6/4/21

Richard Dawkins: Enemy of Truth by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=378

Richard Dawkins: Enemy of Truth

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Richard Dawkins is a professor of zoology at Oxford University who has described himself as “a fairly militant atheist, with a fair degree of active hostility toward religion” (Bass, 1990, p. 86). According to Dawkins, “religion is very largely an enemy of truth” (Bass, p. 87). He characterizes the idea that man was created by God as a “blasphemy” that “we [atheists—WJ] have to fight against” (Watson, 1987, p. 11). In fact, it is he who is the enemy of truth.

Dawkins has achieved a degree of fame from several books he has written. In 1976 he authored The Selfish Gene, in which he set forth his theory of genetic determinism (although he would deny that appellation). Akin to E.O. Wilson’s concept of “sociobiology,” it attempts to explain animal and/or human behavior on a genetic basis. Genes, Dawkins contends, are the key to understanding animal behavior. But aren’t men animals according to evolutionary theory? Yes, but in order to escape the logical consequence of the argument (that man is not responsible for his behavior), it is claimed that humans, in their evolutionary progress, can break free from the genes that program them.

Dawkins has boasted that his book brings home the reality of the ruthless, mechanistic explanation of human existence. “You are for nothing. You are here to propagate your selfish genes. There is no higher purpose to life” (Bass, p. 60). He is gratified also that in reading his book, people are “losing religious faith” (Bass, p. 60).

In 1986, Dawkins authored The Blind Watchmaker. In this treatise he attempted to negate the influence of William Paley’s classic work, Natural Theology (1802), in which the English theologian eloquently argued that the design suggested in the Universe is evidence of a grand Designer (God). To Dawkins, the blind force of natural selection is the basis for the “apparent design” around us that appears to cry out “for an explanation” (1988, p. ix; see also Jackson, 1992).

Christians must not let these challenges go unanswered. Enemies of the truth must be opposed in a kind, but firm and rational way.

REFERENCES

Bass, Thomas (1990), “Interview with Richard Dawkins,” Omni, 12[4]:58-60,84,86-89, January.

Dawkins, Richard (1988), The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton).

Jackson, Wayne (1992), “The Blind Bookwriter,” Reasoning from Revelation, 4:11, June.

Watson, David C.C. (1987), “A Reply to Richard Dawkins,” Origins, pp. 10-11, May.

Reflections on My Debate with Bart Ehrman by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4844

Reflections on My Debate with Bart Ehrman

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

On April 4, 2014 I debated Dr. Bart Ehrman on the campus of the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama. Approximately 1,500 people attended the event live, and an estimated 70-80 thousand people viewed the debate on-line or via television on the Gospel Broadcasting Network. Since the recording of the debate was uploaded onto Youtube, it has been viewed almost 7,000 times. All told, the best estimates we have indicate that between 90-100 thousand people have viewed the debate.

Dr. Ehrman, a self-proclaimed agnostic, was there to affirm the proposition: “The pain and suffering in the world indicate that the Christian God does not exist.” I was there to deny that proposition and show that the pain and suffering in this world do not show that God does not exist. In this article, I would like to highlight some things that I learned from this debate.

unbelief likes to hide its real agenda

Almost a year prior to the event, Dr. Ehrman agreed to the proposition of the debate. He contracted to shoulder the affirmative position and show how the pain and suffering in the world indicate that the God of the Bible does not exist. When he issued his opening statements, however, he stated that he was not there to win a debate. In fact, throughout the evening, he said that he was not even trying to convince the audience of the accuracy of his position. He said that he did not mind if the listeners agreed with him or not. If the listeners wanted to believe something different from what he was saying, it was fine with him, as long as they had seriously thought it through. He made it a conspicuous point to insist that he was not trying to convert anyone, or even convince anybody of anything. It is interesting to note that Blair Scott, the atheist I debated in 2011, said almost the exact same thing.

There are two reasons why I find Dr. Ehrman’s approach perplexing. First, it shows a complete failure to do what he agreed to do with the proposition. If a debater agrees to affirm a certain proposition, then the debate can only proceed if he attempts to do that. Dr. Ehrman, in essence, said early on in his opening comments that he could not uphold his end of the debate and show that the pain and suffering in the world indicate that the Christian God does not exist.

Second, Dr. Ehrman’s statement that he was not trying to convince the audience of his point of view is simply not true. In the very act of saying he is not trying to convince you of anything, he is trying to convince you that he is not trying to convince you. You see, if he can convince you that he is not trying to convince you of anything, then when he tries to convince you that the Christian God does not exist, you may not even recognize what is happening. It is the classic “wolf in sheep’s clothing” technique. The phrase comes from a dangerous predator (a wolf) attempting to look innocent by donning the garb of a helpless sheep. If Ehrman can sheepishly suggest that he is not a big, bad unbeliever here to steal your faith, then you may not be on the defensive when he tries to do that very thing.

There are at least two ways to lay bare Dr. Ehrman’s deception. First, we could simply ask the common sense question: why is Dr. Ehrman writing books and doing debates if he does not care if he convinces anyone of his premises? If the situation is such that any point of view is equally valid, then, pray tell, why has Dr. Ehrman poured thousands of man hours into writing books that state that the biblical view of suffering is contradictory, or that pain and suffering indicate that the Christian God does not exist? What’s it all for? Is he simply spinning his wheels to collect royalties and honorariums from the sale of his books and from his speaking engagements, with no desire to see others adopt his point of view? Such would seem absurd. The mere fact that he has engaged in five debates on the topic of suffering (and numerous debates on various other topics) brings to light his disingenuous claim that he is not trying to convince people that the Christian God does not exist.

The second way to show the falsity of Dr. Ehrman’s claim that he is not trying to convince people of the correctness of his position is to show specific instances in our debate in which he tried to convince the audience of his position. That can easily be done. For example, throughout the debate, Dr. Ehrman insisted that the Bible writers made statements about suffering that are contradictory to one another. He stated that the books of Job and Ecclesiastes explicitly deny that there is an afterlife. And he quoted several verses from Ecclesiastes that supposedly “prove” that the book denies an afterlife. Was he trying to convince the audience that Ecclesiastes was not inspired and contradicted other books of the Bible? Absolutely. [NOTE: During the debate it was brought out that he was using the verses out of context and “conveniently” left out the other verses in the text that affirm an afterlife.] At another point in the debate, Dr. Ehrman said there is no afterlife and that this life is all there is. With such statements, he most certainly was trying to convince the audience that there is no afterlife.

From what I can tell, Dr. Ehrman has done as much or more than any single individual in modern times to destroy the Christian faith of literally thousands of people, young and old alike, across the globe. He has written four New York Times bestsellers, in each of which he boldly proclaims that the Bible is not God’s Word, Jesus was not, and never claimed to be, God, the Christian God does not exist, and the resurrection of Jesus never occurred. And then he stood before a live audience of 1,500 people and tried to convince them that he was not there to convince them of anything. Such a ploy is nothing short of dishonest. It would be my plea and prayer that every person who views the debate could see past such subtle and devious devices.

The Logical and Emotional Aspects of Suffering

The “problem of suffering,” as it is often called, is used by unbelievers to cast doubt on the existence of the God of the Bible. The tactic normally employed, and the one utilized by Dr. Ehrman, is to rattle off a series of statistics about death, disease, murder, war, genocide, natural disasters, and a host of other calamities and then finish the list with a question such as, “Are you telling me that a loving God allows that?” This is a well-known rhetorical device designed to appeal to your emotions. There is no logical argument made. There is nothing in the statement that would lead a person to correctly conclude, “Thus the Christian God does not exist.” It is simply an emotional appeal designed to leave the listener with the sense that something is wrong, when in reality, there has been no real evidence presented that verifies the conclusion.

The emotional appeal presented by unbelievers such as Dr. Ehrman has long been known to be a logical fallacy—an incorrect way to arrive at any conclusion. You can find this logical fallacy in virtually every list of logical fallacies. One sample that represents the standard discussion of the appeal to emotion states that an appeal to emotion is when a person attempts

to manipulate an emotional response in place of a valid or compelling argument. Appeals to emotion include appeals to fear, envy, hatred, pity, pride, and more. It’s important to note that sometimes a logically coherent argument may inspire emotion or have an emotional aspect, but the problem and fallacy occurs when emotion is used instead of a logical argument, or to obscure the fact that no compelling rational reason exists for one’s position. Everyone, bar sociopaths, is affected by emotion, and so appeals to emotion are a very common and effective argument tactic, but they’re ultimately flawed, dishonest, and tend to make one’s opponents justifiably emotional (“Appeal to Emotion,” 2014).

Throughout the debate, it was clear that Dr. Ehrman was not providing logical arguments for his belief that pain and suffering supposedly show that the God of the Bible does not exist. Instead, he was simply offering an emotional appeal. He never once offered rational or logical evidence to affirm his position. Instead, he kept insisting that humans are emotional beings, and suffering is emotional. In fact, he attempted to belittle the idea that we should even approach suffering from a logical standpoint. He stated that the concepts of suffering “couldn’t be solved like a mathematical formula.” And he said that it is not “whether 2+2=4 or not, it’s a matter of how to make sense of it all.” The irony of such a statement is that “to make sense of it all” demands that there be something more than emotion to our answer. “Making sense” means thinking correctly, logically, or rationally about something. It is impossible “to make sense” of anything without providing logical answers to the questions presented.

Dr. Ehrman’s raw appeal to emotion is misguided and inadequate. Any legitimate answer to suffering should have both a proper emotional and a logical aspect. Dr. Ehrman as much as admitted that he cannot provide a rational reason to accept his conclusion that the Christian God does not exist. In the course of the debate he conceded over and over that there is no logical reason to be an unbeliever. He rested his case on his emotional appeal. In contrast, however, Christianity and the Bible can offer both logical and emotional ways to validate the claims that an all-loving, all-powerful God exists. The Bible certainly offers logical reasons that explain suffering, such as—God giving people free will and them misusing it; some suffering resulting as a punishment for wicked deeds; some suffering being redemptive and bringing about a greater good; and the opportunity of an afterlife where all can be made right. The Bible also offers the only satisfactory emotional answer to suffering: that God, in the human form of Jesus Christ, came to Earth to share in our suffering. The battered body of the Lord Jesus Christ hanging on the cross for the sins of man provides the final emotional exclamation point to the logical answers to suffering provided in the Bible.

Ehrman Denies objective moral values

I continue to be astonished at the admissions that unbelievers such as Dr. Ehrman and others I have debated make during our debates. For instance, when I debated Dan Barker in 2009, he admitted that, according to his view of atheism, it would be permissible to rape two million girls to save humanity. After such admissions, I am awestruck that other unbelievers continue to align themselves with such debased and immoral thinking. In my debate with Dr. Ehrman, he made some of the most serious and baffling admissions of any unbeliever that I have heard in any debate.

In my opening statements, I presented two problems for unbelief as it relates to suffering and God’s existence. First, I presented the moral argument for God’s existence, which states that if objective moral values exist, then God exists. Objective moral values do exist, therefore God exists. From what I had read from the pen of Dr. Ehrman and from what I had heard in his other debates, I assumed he would argue that there can be objective moral values without a Creator. After all, he is very fond of saying that this world is unfair, unjust, and that there is something wrong with it. If there really are objective concepts of fairness and justice, then those objective values must be explained. It was rather surprising when he abandoned the idea of objective moral values and stated that there are none. He argued that cultural anthropologists have “shown” that some cultures have differing sets of values, and therefore there cannot be any objective values. He insisted that there are “no moral absolutes,” and we do not need to provide any logical or philosophical reasons why we think something is wrong; we should simply be able to say that we think something is right or wrong, and that should suffice.

It was clear in the debate that Dr. Ehrman’s position (that there are no absolutes) is indefensible. During the discussion, it was brought up that the Nazis were doing what they thought was right by killing millions of Jews. Can we, as a different society and culture, tell the Nazis that they were violating some law that is higher than a cultural law? According to Dr. Ehrman’s position, we cannot. In fact, he insisted that there are no “moral imperatives.” A moral imperative is something that a person is bound by objective moral law to follow. When we begin a statement with, “you should…,” the “should” implies that there is something that you are obliged to do. Dr. Ehrman’s position is that there is nothing that one person can legitimately say another person “should” do. And yet, Dr. Ehrman often says (even though it contradicts his position) we “should” do this or that.

I have rarely heard an unbeliever in public in modern times so openly embrace moral relativism and deny moral absolutes. This denial of moral absolutes is not even embraced by some of the most hardnosed atheists, such as Sam Harris or Michael Ruse. In fact, Michael Ruse stated: “The man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children, is just as mistaken as the man who says that 2 + 2 = 5” (1982, p. 275). What Dr. Ehrman tried to do is say that there are no moral absolutes—no moral imperatives—but at the same time say we should still be able to say that some things are absolutely right and absolutely wrong. When he abandoned absolute moral values, he destroyed the foundation that would permit any person to say something is wrong, unfair, or unjust. In essence, he was saying that he might not like certain things, like someone beating a child for fun, but since there are no moral absolutes or imperatives, one culture cannot tell another culture that it is wrong for them to do it. [For a discussion of the moral argument, see Lyons, 2011).]

Easy Answers

Throughout the debate, and often in his writings, Dr. Ehrman claims that Christian apologists are providing easy answers and are not really wrestling with the reality of suffering. Ehrman is fond of saying, and said at least twice in the debate, that if there is an answer that can be given in 20 seconds that supposedly solves “the problem of suffering,” then it is almost certainly wrong. The implication of his statement is that his brand of unbelief does not provide these types of “easy” answers. In fact, during the debate, he claimed that he did not even have any answers, just questions. And he disparaged me for claiming to have answers, as though somehow, if a person claims to have any definite answers, he is doing something wrong.

This “easy answers” idea turns out to be inconsistent. Dr. Ehrman claims not to be giving answers to the problem of suffering, but that is not true. He is offering answers. On his blog he stated: “There is suffering because people are able to do nasty things when they want, and they often do them, usually because it advances their own purposes; and there is suffering because the universe we live in is a hard and cruel place that doesn’t give a rip about us or our needs and sometimes we get in the way of its workings” (Ehrman, 2013). His answer is that there is suffering because there is no loving God. As I stated in the debate, that answer takes far less than 20 seconds to state. And it is an answer, ironically, that is very “easy.” That is, without a God, we do not have to wrestle with things that seem unjust or unfair. Without a God, we do not have to demand that other people adhere to absolute moral values. Without a God, there is no “problem of suffering” because humans are just another living organism that happen to get in the way of the naturalistic workings of the Universe. Dr. Ehrman’s idea of an “easy answer” cannot be defined in any real sense. He means that any answer that includes God or an afterlife is “easy,” and his answers (that he does not call answers, because remember he is not trying to convince anyone of anything) that do not include God or an afterlife are not easy. I find it fitting that when C.S. Lewis was struggling through his unbelief, and he ran into the problem of trying to arrive at absolute moral values without God, he rejected unbelief and stated, “Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple” (1952, pp. 45-46). “There is no God.” “This Universe is chaotic and cares nothing for us.” Those are some of the “easiest” and most unsatisfactory answers ever given to suffering. 

The Bible Taken Out of Context

One issue on which Dr. Ehrman spent a considerable amount of time in his opening statements was his assertion that the Bible writers have different, and often contradictory, views of how to deal with suffering. Dr. Ehrman delights in saying that the book of Job claims that Job is such a “peon” (Ehrman’s word) that he shouldn’t even ask why he is suffering. Dr. Ehrman insists that the prophets viewed suffering as punishment: God bringing suffering into the lives of those who disobey. He contends that the apocalyptic writers had an altogether different view of suffering that contradicted that of the prophets. He claims that the apocalyptic view is that evil forces in this world are causing suffering, and those who are righteous are suffering because of these evil forces.

The contention that the Bible writers’ views on suffering are contradictory can only be made if you leave out large portions of what the books actually say. This point became clear in the debate when Dr. Ehrman claimed to hold to the view of Ecclesiastes—“that we should eat and drink for tomorrow we die.” When the entirety of the book is read, however, it is clear that the writer summed up the whole of man by saying that humans should fear God and keep His commandments (12:13-14). Dr. Ehrman claimed that the conclusion had been added on by a later writer. But there is no textual evidence that would lead to this conclusion. In fact, other verses in the book, such as 11:9, which says that God will bring each person into judgment for his deeds, or 7:29 that says that God made man upright but he has chosen to do evil, do not correspond with Dr. Ehrman’s unbelief. It is only when those verses are intentionally ignored that the teaching of the book could be construed to be contradictory to other teachings about suffering found in the Bible. Futhermore, Dr. Ehrman misses the point that Ecclesiastes was written to show that only when life is viewed from an earthly, materialistic perspective, is all life meaningless. When viewed in light of eternity, there is a purpose to this life (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

We can further see the flaws of Dr. Ehrman’s assessment in his dealing with apocalyptic literature. He insists that according to such literature, it is only the wicked who prosper, and it is the righteous who suffer at the hands of the evil spiritual forces. Yet a quick look at the book of Daniel shows this to be an oversimplified statement of what the writers actually said. Why are the Israelites in captivity? Because of their own sins. God is punishing them. Why are Daniel and his friends suffering? Because the righteous sometimes suffer. Does Daniel ever prosper? Yes, and he is elevated to one of the most honorable positions in the kingdom. Is there an afterlife in this book? Certainly since “those who sleep in the dust will arise, and some will go to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (12:2). Are some aspects of suffering redemptive? Yes, that is why Nebuchadnezzar in chapter four is humbled by God and then given his kingdom back after he repented. There is nothing in apocalyptic literature that cannot be reconciled with every other answer given in the Bible. In reality, the books of the Bible supplement one another in their dealing with suffering in order to give a broad answer to the many different aspects of the topic. Dr. Ehrman’s accusation that the Bible is contradictory on the theme of suffering is inaccurate and cannot be sustained.

The Tragedy of unbelief

Dr. Ehrman is one of the most well-known and highly credentialed unbelievers in the world. The flaws and inconsistencies in his positions are not due to a lack of intelligence. The flaws are inherent to unbelief. Since disbelief in God and the Bible as His Word is irrational, there will always be aspects of every unbeliever’s case that cannot be defended. Ultimately, the most heartbreaking failure of unbelief is the void it causes in the spiritual lives of its adherents. Even though unbelievers attempt to deny the spiritual dimension of their lives, this denial comes with tragic consequences. For instance, in his book on suffering, Dr. Ehrman wrote:

The Problem is this: I have such a fantastic life that I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for it; I am fortunate beyond words. But I don’t have anyone to express my gratitude to. This is a void deep inside me, a void of wanting someone to thank, and I don’t see any plausible way of filling it (2008, p. 128).

Dr. Ehrman has a deep void inside that he cannot fill because he attempts to deny that he is a spiritual being created in the image of God. One of the most basic human emotions in the face of blessings is the desire to thank the Giver of those blessings. By denying God’s existence, Ehrman has denied himself the opportunity to be a completely fulfilled human. It is for this reason that I come away from debates such as this one with a heavy heart of pity and sorrow for those who have chosen unbelief.

Another telling statement comes from Dr. Ehrman in his discussion of hell. He states:

As a result, when I fell away from my faith—not just in the Bible as God’s inspired word, but in Christ as the only way of salvation, and eventually from the view that Christ was himself divine, and beyond that from the view that there is an all-powerful God in charge of this world—I still wondered, deep down inside: could I have been right after all? What if I was right then but wrong now? Will I burn in hell forever? The fear of death gripped me for years, and there are still moments when I wake up at night in a cold sweat (2008, p. 127.)

Ehrman’s haunting admission brings to mind the only solution to this crippling fear. As the Hebrews writer stated, Jesus shared in humanity’s flesh and blood that “through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15). As much as Dr. Ehrman tries to deny that Jesus is the answer, many of his statements belie his inability to do so. In one of his blog posts, he stated:

When I was a Christian, acknowledging that the myth of the incarnation was a myth, I accepted the myth as saying something very profound. In that myth, the ultimate reality (call it God) did not come into the world in a blaze of power worthy of, well, a Roman emperor. He came as an impoverished child to an unwed mother in the midst of a world of pain and suffering; and this child grew in poverty and urged his followers to give of themselves for the sake of others, insisting that it was the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, the hungry, the sick, the demon-possessed, the sinners, the outcasts who were the concern of that ultimate reality. That made a lot of sense to me. It still does (2012, emp. added).

After pouring over Dr.  Ehrman’s materials, meeting him in a head-to-head debate, and praying for him frequently, I pity him most because he now lives a life with no hope and without God in this world. The answer to his struggle with suffering, to his attempts to “make sense of it all” is staring him in the face, in the person of Jesus Christ. But Bart refuses to accept the answer, and instead, attempts to satisfy himself with questions that leave him with a deep void in his life and frightened about eternity. 

After the lights are out, and the final scene on life’s curtain is almost drawn, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Would to God that Bart Ehrman and other unbelievers truly accepted the book of Ecclesiastes.

References

“Appeal to Emotion” (2014), Your Logical Fallacy Is, https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-emotion.

Ehrman, Bart (2008), God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question—Why We Suffer (New York: Harper One).

Ehrman, Bart (2012), “Christmas Longings,” http://ehrmanblog.org/christmas-longings/.

Ehrman, Bart (2013), “Suffering and My Blog,” http://ehrmanblog.org/suffering-and-my-blog/.

Lewis, C.S. (1952), Mere Christianity (New York: Simon and Schuster).

Lyons, Eric (2011), “The Moral Argument for God’s Existence,” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4101&topic=95.

Ruse, Michael (1982), Darwinism Defended: A Guide to the Evolution Controversies (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley).

Recent Turing Award Implies Creation by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3739

Recent Turing Award Implies Creation

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The A.M. Turing Award is one of, if not the, highest awards that can be given to those in the computing field. It was named after British mathematician Alan M. Turing, and awarded to those who are believed to have made breakthrough advancements in computing technology (Robertson, 2011). The most recent recipient of the Turing award was Harvard University professor Leslie Valiant. He received the award based on his contributions to the field of “computer learning.” Jordan Robertson, AP Technology Writer, noted that Valiant’s efforts “paved the way for computers that more closely mimic how humans think” (2011). Robertson quoted ACM President Alain Chesnais as saying that Valiant’s work, “has produced modeling that offers computationally inspired answers on fundamental questions like how the brain ‘computes’” (2011).

Valiant’s work is truly amazing. He has spent 30 years of his life trying to help synthetic machinery “compute” more like the human brain. In many ways, however, the computers are still vastly inferior to the human brain. Reasoning through this situation leads to a very important conclusion. If Valiant is a brilliant computational scientist, and he has spent three decades trying to mimic the computational abilities of the brain, what does that imply about the brain? It means it was designed by an Intelligent Designer even more brilliant than Valiant. That is the only conclusion that adequately evaluates the evidence. Yet sadly, many in the scientific community will pat Valiant on the back for the efforts he has made to understand the brain’s computational abilities, while they will completely ignore the implication of design that is inherent in his work. In reality, God’s design of the human brain has paved the way for scientists like Valiant to mimic His work and build better computers.

REFERENCE

Robertson, Jordan (2011), "Turing Award Goes to ‘Machine Learning’ Expert", http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110309/ap_on_hi_te/us_tec_technology_prize/print.

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Signs That Followed (16:17-20) by Mark Copeland

 






 

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK"


The Signs That Followed (16:17-20)

INTRODUCTION

1. As the gospel of Mark closes, it does so with an amazing promise by Jesus...
   a. "And these signs will follow those who believe.." - Mk 16:17
   b. That are then summarized as to their nature and fulfillment - Mk 16:18-20

2. This passage has often been used to justify various religious practices...
   a. By many who believe such signs exist today
   b. By some who practice snake-handling in their services

[In determining whether "The Signs That Followed" still exist today, a
good place to begin is to carefully notice what the Bible reveals about
such things.  So let’s first consider...]

I. THE PROMISE OF SIGNS

   A. GIVEN TO THE APOSTLES...
      1. Power to cast out demons - Mk 16:17
      2. Speak with new tongues - ibid.
      3. Take up serpents - Mk 16:18
      4. Drink anything deadly without harm - ibid.
      5. Lay hands and heal the sick - ibid.

   B. EXPERIENCED BY HIS DISCIPLES...
      1. Power to expel demons - Ac 5:16; 8:7; 16:18; 19:12
         a. Peter, Philip, and Paul cast out demons or unclean spirits
         b. With complete success, with no record of failures by these  men of God
      2. Speak with new tongues - Ac 2:4-11; 10:46; 19:6; 1Co 12:10,28,
         30; 14:5-26
         a. The apostles and some disciples spoke in tongues
         b. These were clearly foreign languages, designed to convince unbelievers
 - 1Co 14:22
      3. Take up serpents - Ac 28:3-6
         a. The only example we have is that of Paul
         b. In which it was done inadvertently, not as a religious  exercise
      4. Drink anything deadly without harm - no record
         a. We have no record in the New Testament of this being done
         b. Neither inadvertently nor as a religious exercise
      5. Lay hands and heal the sick - Ac 3:6-8; 5:15-16; 9:17-18,34,
         40-42; 19:12; 28:8-9
         a. The apostles and some disciples healed the sick
         b. Again with complete success, with no record of failures

[Clearly the rest of the New Testament record confirms Mark’s account
(cf. Mk 16:20).  To help determine whether such signs continue today,
let’s take a close look at...]

II. THE PURPOSE OF SIGNS

   A. REVEALED IN MARK’S GOSPEL...
      1. The purpose was to confirm the word being preached - Mk 16:20
      2. Demonstrating that the Lord was working with them - ibid.

   B. STATED ELSEWHERE IN THE BIBLE...
      1. The Lord Himself was bearing witness through such signs - Ac 14:3
      2. God was bearing witness through such signs, wonders, miracles,
         gifts of the Spirit - He 2:4

   C. OBSERVATIONS...
      1. Regarding the purpose of the signs
         a. "These gifts were part of the credentials of the apostles as
            the authoritative agents of God in founding the Church..." - B. B. Warfield
         b. "These extra gifts were given in order to the founding and
            establishing of the church in the world." - Jonathan Edwards
         c. In other words, to confirm that the apostles were indeed
            from God and that their message was truly the Word of God
      2. Regarding the duration of the signs
         a. Paul wrote that a time would come when such signs would
            cease - cf. 1Co 13:8-10
         b. "...since the canon of Scripture has been completed, and the
            church fully founded and established, these extraordinary
            gifts have ceased." - Jonathan Edwards
         c. "That with the passing away of the apostolic age these gifts
            ceased is also the testimony of Chrysostom and Augustine...
            Matthew Henry, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Robert
            L. Dabney, Abraham Kuyper, Sr., and W. G. T. Shedd." - William Hendriksen
         d. If such signs or spiritual gifts exist today, then we should expect...
            1) New revelation from God for the benefit of all
            2) Which should be added to the Bible!
         e. Who would be so bold as to say that their doctrine is from God?
            1) Those who have, are eventually exposed as false prophets
            2) When their prophecies are proven false, or their doctrine
               contrary to what has been revealed - cf. Deut 18:21-22; 13:1-4

CONCLUSION

1. "The Signs That Followed" were important, the means by which the Lord...
   a. Bore witness to His Word and to His apostles - Mk 16:19-20; He 2:3-4
   b. Provided a full and final revelation of His Will - 2Pe 1:3; Jude 3; 2Ti 3:16-17

2. Yet such signs were simply a means to an end...
   a. To produce the Word of God, the sword of the Spirit - Ep 6:17
   b. Which in turn produces the "fruit" of the Spirit - Ga 5:22-23; Ro 8:5-6

3. More important than signs (including tongues, prophecy, knowledge, or
   any other spiritual gift)...
   a. Are the qualities of love, joy, peace, hope, etc., in the life of
      the Christian - Ga 5:22-23
   b. I.e., the "fruit" of the Spirit in our life is more important than
      the "gifts" of the Spirit!

With the aid of the Word of God, including the wonderful Gospel of Mark,
we can be sure that we will faithfully follow the Lord who died for us
and will one day return...             
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Reflections On Turning 70 by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2018/03/13/reflections-on-turning-70/#more-12056

Reflections On Turning 70

Today I’m reminded of a neat story told about the baseball great Ty Cobb, who played in a different era. He retired in 1928 at the age of 41 with a lifetime .367 batting average.

When he was 70 a reporter asked, “What do you think you’d hit if you were playing today?”

Cobb replied, “Oh, about .290. Maybe .300.”

The reporter responded, “I guess that’s because of increased travel? Night games? Artificial Turf? And new pitches like the slider? Right?

Cobb calmly glared at the reporter and said, “No. It’s because I’m 70!

I can relate to Cobb. With the NCAA tournament beginning, I get excited and feel like I could still play some ball. But the reality is my mind says one thing but my body quite another.

Today is a milestone that is difficult to imagine at age 20. Or even 30 or 40.
It’s one thing to preach on aging, but quite another to admit you are actually the one being identified in Ecclesiastes 12. If we’re honest, there is an aspect where aging frightens us a bit. Jonathan Swift expressed it this way, “Every man desires to live long, but no man wants to be old.”

I am part of that intrepid group of Baby Boomers that are known for their desire to stay young. Look young. And act young. In fact, some have advanced the idea that 70 is the new 50. We struggle with the phrase “senior citizen.” (Although, I’m not adverse to accept the discount at restaurants). However, all of this is denying the inevitable.

The sobering words of the Psalmist come to mind on this day.

The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

While I’ve been blessed with good health, and still feel energetic and enthusiastic about life, one day, like all others, age with catch up with me. Life on earth will end. And I will fly away. But in the meantime, let me be used for God’s purpose.

I was thinking about a sermon I prepared several years entitled: “Honoring Senior Saints–They Still Bear Fruit in Old Age.” It was designed to encourage the older people in the congregation. I guess I’m now one of them!

In that sermon, I pointed out that God has used older people to accomplish his purpose. Moses was 80 and Aaron 83 when they led Israel out of Egypt. Caleb was 85 when he said, “Give me this mountain” as he staked his claim in the promised land of Canaan. Daniel was probably over 80 when he served as Governor of Babylon and thrown into the den of lions. Older people can still bear fruit for the Lord.

We’ve announced that we’re leaving local work here in North Texas the first of June, but we’re not retiring to a rocking chair in Florida. Not yet, anyway. We have a jam-packed schedule for the rest of the year of traveling, preaching and teaching.

While I don’t want to be that old preacher who thinks that he’s just as good as he ever was, and refuses to step aside, I still want to be used and bear fruit as long as possible. Whatever wisdom, knowledge or skills that I may possess, I trust that I may still use them to the glory of God and for the edification of His people. I do know I must release the past with whatever mistakes I have made or successes I have enjoyed. I must accept the present. And like Paul, “press on.”

But more importantly, I want to enjoy this rest of the journey with my wonderful wife, Norma Jean, who’s been my faithful partner for the past 50 years. To focus on the future. To keep our eyes on the eternal goal. And to go hand in hand to a land where we will never grow old.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 1 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2Cor. 4:16-18).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

WHAT IS FAITH? BY STEVE FINNELL

 

https://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2016/11/what-is-faith-by-steve-finnell-what-is.html

WHAT IS FAITH? BY STEVE FINNELL


What is faith? Faith is believing in something you cannot prove.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (New International Version-1984)
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of thing hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (New American Standard Bible)
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (King James Version)

I have faith that Jesus is the Son of God. I have faith that He performed miracles. I have faith that Jesus was resurrected from the grave by God the Father. I believe this because I have faith that the historical record of the Bible is accurate, yet I cannot prove it. There are no living eyewitness to confirm that Jesus was who He said He was or that He was resurrected from the dead, I accept it by faith, I believe it, however, I cannot prove it.

Atheists do not believe the fact that Jesus was the Son of God or that there even is a God, they cannot prove their unbelief, they accept it by faith.

Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what he already sees?(NASB)

We have hope we have been saved, but we hope because of faith. We cannot prove we have been saved. We believe that we have been save because we  believe, by faith, that the Bible is accurate and trustworthy.

John 20:27-31 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach here with you finger, see My hands and put them into my side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing." 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!'29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." ...... (NASB)

Thomas had proof that Jesus was resurrected from the grave. Men today cannot prove the resurrection of Jesus from the grave, they accept it by faith.

There were more than five hundred brethren, including the apostles, who saw Jesus alive after He faced death on the cross. They were eyewitnesses, they had proof of the resurrection of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:3-7)

Those of us alive today have to have FAITH that the Biblical accounts of Jesus and His resurrection are true. We cannot prove they are true. NO ONE IS ALIVE TODAY WHO WAS AN EYEWITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS.


FAITH IS BELIEVING SOMETHING YOU CANNOT PROVE!



NOTE: Atheists believe, by faith, that God does not exists, but they cannot prove it.     

The Dignity of Man by Sandra F. Cobble

 

https://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Cobble/Sandra/Fontaine/1933/dignity.html

The Dignity of Man

For twenty-three years I was the wife of a denominational evangelist. During part of those years we were members of a Free Will Baptist Church. My husband and I, by our own independent study, had discovered many things wrong with the doctrine and practice of that group, but had not seen the simplicity of New Testament Christianity until personally taught by one who cared.

Some errors are so close to the truth and may be so closely interwoven with truth that it is very difficult to see exactly what the error is without help. Let me urge you to care enough about some friend whom you may believe to be in error to lovingly share with hem the "faith that once for all was delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).

Note some of the doctrine of the denomination to which I once belonged, and how mixed it is with truth.

"Our first parents, in their original state, were upright. They naturally preferred and desired to obey their Creator, and had no preference or desire to transgress His will until they were influenced and inclined by the tempter to disobey God's commands. Previous to this, the only tendency of their nature was to do righteousness. In consequence of the first transgression the state under which the posterity of Adam came into the world is so different from that of Adam that they have not that righteousness and purity which Adam had before the fall; they are not willing to obey God, but are inclined to evil. Hence none, by virtue of any natural goodness and mere work of their own, can become the children of God; but they are all dependent for salvation upon the redemption effected through the blood of Christ, and upon being created anew unto obedience through the operation of the Spirit; both of which are freely provided for every descendent of Adam." (A treatise of the Faith and Practices of the Original Free Will Baptists, 1953, Chapter IV, Section II, pp. 11-12).

If Adam had no preference or desire to transgress God's will, then the tempter must have been stronger than Adam. If the posterity of Adam are not willing to obey God, but are inclined to evil because of Adam's sin, how can they be guilty of the sins they commit when they inherited a nature which was not theirs by choice? Is it any wonder that men become atheists?

Exactly how a person who is by nature totally inclined to evil can be regenerated by the Spirit and made "disposed to serve Him" and do this by his own free will, when his own free will was inclined only to evil, we never did discover! In footnote 3 on page 25 our little "Treatise" quotes John 3:5 this way, "Except a man be born...of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." And in footnote 1 of the article just quoted attempting to prove that Adam had no desire to transgress God's will, Ecclesiastes 7:29 is quoted thus, "God hath made man upright." We were never told why the rest of the verse was not included -- "but he sought out many inventions."

Now let us read what the scriptures say: "Then God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:26-27).

"Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy" (Leviticus 11:35 and several other places).

God is commanding the descendants of Adam to be holy. Note that the atonement has not yet been made! How could a just God command a man who is by nature a sinner to be holy? Again, is it any wonder that men become atheists?

Just faintly I am beginning to see a new dawn approaching in which the dignity of man is being restored. As yet it is obscured by violence, misfeasance, and even atheism, yet in a distance, beyond the fierce battle of this night, the sunrise of a new day is dawning.

As most people of my age, I have been shocked by some of the things I have seen happening during the last few years. Yet, these very things have brought about a new atmosphere. As a reaction among some, there has come into being a renewed respect for human life and human dignity.

It is only when we realize the dignity of man -- man created in the image and likeness of God -- man that has the ability within himself to make the choice to be holy before he sins, and the choice to be made holy by the blood of Christ after he sins -- that we begin to realize the enormity of sin. That such a man would deliberately separate himself from His God fully knowing the consequences of doing so is amazing. Only when we realize the enormity of sin can we realize the greatness of God's love and mercy.

Let us take advantage of the day as it dawns. Let us help restore the dignity of man. Let us help man realize who he is. People are searching for another day! When man realizes who he is, he will begin to realize the enormity of his sin, and he will be seeking salvation from his sin! And he can find it in Christ.

Sandra F. Cobble

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

Bible Reading for June 4 - 6 by Gary Rose

 

Bible Reading for June 4 - 6

World  English  Bible

 

June 4

1 Samuel 1, 2

1Sa 1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite:

1Sa 1:2 and he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

1Sa 1:3 This man went up out of his city from year to year to worship and to sacrifice to Yahweh of Armies in Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests to Yahweh, were there.

1Sa 1:4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

1Sa 1:5 but to Hannah he gave a double portion; for he loved Hannah, but Yahweh had shut up her womb.

1Sa 1:6 Her rival provoked her sore, to make her fret, because Yahweh had shut up her womb.

1Sa 1:7 as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of Yahweh, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

1Sa 1:8 Elkanah her husband said to her, Hannah, why do you weep? and why don't you eat? and why is your heart grieved? am I not better to you than ten sons?

1Sa 1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the temple of Yahweh.

1Sa 1:10 She was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to Yahweh, and wept sore.

1Sa 1:11 She vowed a vow, and said, Yahweh of Armies, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your handmaid, and remember me, and not forget your handmaid, but will give to your handmaid a boy, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come on his head.

1Sa 1:12 It happened, as she continued praying before Yahweh, that Eli marked her mouth.

1Sa 1:13 Now Hannah, she spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

1Sa 1:14 Eli said to her, How long will you be drunken? put away your wine from you.

1Sa 1:15 Hannah answered, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I poured out my soul before Yahweh.

1Sa 1:16 Don't count your handmaid for a wicked woman; for out of the abundance of my complaint and my provocation have I spoken hitherto.

1Sa 1:17 Then Eli answered, Go in peace; and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of him.

1Sa 1:18 She said, Let your handmaid find favor in your sight. So the woman went her way, and ate; and her facial expression wasn't sad any more.

1Sa 1:19 They rose up in the morning early, and worshiped before Yahweh, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and Yahweh remembered her.

1Sa 1:20 It happened, when the time was come about, that Hannah conceived, and bore a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of Yahweh.

1Sa 1:21 The man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer to Yahweh the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.

1Sa 1:22 But Hannah didn't go up; for she said to her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned; and then I will bring him, that he may appear before Yahweh, and there abide forever.

1Sa 1:23 Elkanah her husband said to her, Do what seems good to you; wait until you have weaned him; only Yahweh establish his word. So the woman waited and nursed her son, until she weaned him.

1Sa 1:24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, and one ephah of meal, and a bottle of wine, and brought him to the house of Yahweh in Shiloh: and the child was young.

1Sa 1:25 They killed the bull, and brought the child to Eli.

1Sa 1:26 She said, Oh, my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to Yahweh.

1Sa 1:27 For this child I prayed; and Yahweh has given me my petition which I asked of him:

1Sa 1:28 therefore also I have granted him to Yahweh; as long as he lives he is granted to Yahweh. He worshiped Yahweh there.


1Sa 2:1 Hannah prayed, and said: My heart exults in Yahweh! My horn is exalted in Yahweh. My mouth is enlarged over my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.

1Sa 2:2 There is no one as holy as Yahweh, For there is no one besides you, nor is there any rock like our God.

1Sa 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly. Don't let arrogance come out of your mouth, For Yahweh is a God of knowledge. By him actions are weighed.

1Sa 2:4 The bows of the mighty men are broken. Those who stumbled are girded with strength.

1Sa 2:5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread. Those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. Yes, the barren has borne seven. She who has many children languishes.

1Sa 2:6 Yahweh kills, and makes alive. He brings down to Sheol, and brings up.

1Sa 2:7 Yahweh makes poor, and makes rich. He brings low, he also lifts up.

1Sa 2:8 He raises up the poor out of the dust. He lifts up the needy from the dunghill, To make them sit with princes, and inherit the throne of glory, for the pillars of the earth are Yahweh's. He has set the world on them.

1Sa 2:9 He will keep the feet of his holy ones, but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness; for no man shall prevail by strength.

1Sa 2:10 Those who strive with Yahweh shall be broken to pieces. He will thunder against them in the sky. Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

1Sa 2:11 Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. The child did minister to Yahweh before Eli the priest.

1Sa 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were base men; they didn't know Yahweh.

1Sa 2:13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was boiling, with a fork of three teeth in his hand;

1Sa 2:14 and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest took therewith. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.

1Sa 2:15 Yes, before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man who sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have boiled flesh of you, but raw.

1Sa 2:16 If the man said to him, They will surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as your soul desires; then he would say, No, but you shall give it to me now: and if not, I will take it by force.

1Sa 2:17 The sin of the young men was very great before Yahweh; for the men despised the offering of Yahweh.

1Sa 2:18 But Samuel ministered before Yahweh, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.

1Sa 2:19 Moreover his mother made him a little robe, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

1Sa 2:20 Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, Yahweh give you seed of this woman for the petition which was asked of Yahweh. They went to their own home.

1Sa 2:21 Yahweh visited Hannah, and she conceived, and bore three sons and two daughters. The child Samuel grew before Yahweh.

1Sa 2:22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel, and how that they lay with the women who served at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

1Sa 2:23 He said to them, Why do you do such things? for I hear of your evil dealings from all this people.

1Sa 2:24 No, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: you make Yahweh's people disobey.

1Sa 2:25 If one man sin against another, God shall judge him; but if a man sin against Yahweh, who shall entreat for him? Notwithstanding, they didn't listen to the voice of their father, because Yahweh was minded to kill them.

1Sa 2:26 The child Samuel grew on, and increased in favor both with Yahweh, and also with men.

1Sa 2:27 There came a man of God to Eli, and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Did I reveal myself to the house of your father, when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house?

1Sa 2:28 and did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire?

1Sa 2:29 Why do you kick at my sacrifice and at my offering, which I have commanded in my habitation, and honor your sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel my people?

1Sa 2:30 Therefore Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before me forever: but now Yahweh says, Be it far from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

1Sa 2:31 Behold, the days come, that I will cut off your arm, and the arm of your father's house, that there shall not be an old man in your house.

1Sa 2:32 You shall see the affliction of my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel; and there shall not be an old man in your house forever.

1Sa 2:33 The man of yours, whom I shall not cut off from my altar, shall be to consume your eyes, and to grieve your heart; and all the increase of your house shall die in the flower of their age.

1Sa 2:34 This shall be the sign to you, that shall come on your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die both of them.

1Sa 2:35 I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in my heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before my anointed forever.

1Sa 2:36 It shall happen, that everyone who is left in your house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and shall say, Please put me into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a morsel of bread. 

 

June 5

1 Samuel 3, 4

1Sa 3:1 The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh before Eli. The word of Yahweh was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision.

1Sa 3:2 It happened at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place (now his eyes had begun to grow dim, so that he could not see),

1Sa 3:3 and the lamp of God hadn't yet gone out, and Samuel had laid down to sleep, in the temple of Yahweh, where the ark of God was;

1Sa 3:4 that Yahweh called Samuel; and he said, Here am I.

1Sa 3:5 He ran to Eli, and said, Here am I; for you called me. He said, I didn't call; lie down again. He went and lay down.

1Sa 3:6 Yahweh called yet again, Samuel. Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for you called me. He answered, I didn't call, my son; lie down again.

1Sa 3:7 Now Samuel didn't yet know Yahweh, neither was the word of Yahweh yet revealed to him.

1Sa 3:8 Yahweh called Samuel again the third time. He arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for you called me. Eli perceived that Yahweh had called the child.

1Sa 3:9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he calls you, that you shall say, Speak, Yahweh; for your servant hears. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

1Sa 3:10 Yahweh came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel said, Speak; for your servant hears.

1Sa 3:11 Yahweh said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone who hears it shall tingle.

1Sa 3:12 In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from the beginning even to the end.

1Sa 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever, for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons did bring a curse on themselves, and he didn't restrain them.

1Sa 3:14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be expiated with sacrifice nor offering forever.

1Sa 3:15 Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of Yahweh. Samuel feared to show Eli the vision.

1Sa 3:16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. He said, Here am I.

1Sa 3:17 He said, "What is the thing that Yahweh has spoken to you? Please don't hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that he spoke to you."

1Sa 3:18 Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. He said, It is Yahweh: let him do what seems him good.

1Sa 3:19 Samuel grew, and Yahweh was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.

1Sa 3:20 All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of Yahweh.

1Sa 3:21 Yahweh appeared again in Shiloh; for Yahweh revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Yahweh.


1Sa 4:1 The word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and encamped beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines encamped in Aphek.

1Sa 4:2 The Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was struck before the Philistines; and they killed of the army in the field about four thousand men.

1Sa 4:3 When the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Why has Yahweh struck us today before the Philistines? Let us get the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of Shiloh to us, that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies.

1Sa 4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh; and they brought from there the ark of the covenant of Yahweh of Armies, who sits above the cherubim: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

1Sa 4:5 When the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.

1Sa 4:6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What means the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? They understood that the ark of Yahweh was come into the camp.

1Sa 4:7 The Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. They said, Woe to us! for there has not been such a thing heretofore.

1Sa 4:8 Woe to us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? these are the gods that struck the Egyptians with all manner of plagues in the wilderness.

1Sa 4:9 Be strong, and behave like men, O you Philistines, that you not be servants to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Strengthen yourselves like men, and fight!

1Sa 4:10 The Philistines fought, and Israel was struck, and they fled every man to his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.

1Sa 4:11 The ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

1Sa 4:12 There ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn, and with earth on his head.

1Sa 4:13 When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching; for his heart trembled for the ark of God. When the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.

1Sa 4:14 When Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What means the noise of this tumult? The man hurried, and came and told Eli.

1Sa 4:15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old; and his eyes were set, so that he could not see.

1Sa 4:16 The man said to Eli, I am he who came out of the army, and I fled today out of the army. He said, How went the matter, my son?

1Sa 4:17 He who brought the news answered, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there has been also a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.

1Sa 4:18 It happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck broke, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.

1Sa 4:19 His daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and brought forth; for her pains came on her.

1Sa 4:20 About the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, Don't be afraid; for you have brought forth a son. But she didn't answer, neither did she regard it.

1Sa 4:21 She named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel; because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband.

1Sa 4:22 She said, The glory is departed from Israel; for the ark of God is taken. 

 

June 6

1 Samuel 5, 6

1Sa 5:1 Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.

1Sa 5:2 The Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

1Sa 5:3 When they of Ashdod arose early on the next day, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh. They took Dagon, and set him in his place again.

1Sa 5:4 When they arose early on the next day morning, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands lay cut off on the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.

1Sa 5:5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any who come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod, to this day.

1Sa 5:6 But the hand of Yahweh was heavy on them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and struck them with tumors, even Ashdod and its borders.

1Sa 5:7 When the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us; for his hand is sore on us, and on Dagon our god.

1Sa 5:8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? They answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about to Gath. They carried the ark of the God of Israel there.

1Sa 5:9 It was so, that after they had carried it about, the hand of Yahweh was against the city with a very great confusion: and he struck the men of the city, both small and great; and tumors broke out on them.

1Sa 5:10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. It happened, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.

1Sa 5:11 They sent therefore and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and they said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to its own place, that it not kill us and our people. For there was a deadly confusion throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.

1Sa 5:12 The men who didn't die were struck with the tumors; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.


1Sa 6:1 The ark of Yahweh was in the country of the Philistines seven months.

1Sa 6:2 The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, "What shall we do with the ark of Yahweh? Show us with which we shall send it to its place."

1Sa 6:3 They said, "If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, don't send it empty; but by all means return him a trespass offering: then you shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you."

1Sa 6:4 Then they said, "What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him?" They said, "Five golden tumors, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines; for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.

1Sa 6:5 Therefore you shall make images of your tumors, and images of your mice that mar the land; and you shall give glory to the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.

1Sa 6:6 Why then do you harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When he had worked wonderfully among them, didn't they let the people go, and they departed?

1Sa 6:7 Now therefore take and prepare yourselves a new cart, and two milk cows, on which there has come no yoke; and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them;

1Sa 6:8 and take the ark of Yahweh, and lay it on the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which you return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by its side; and send it away, that it may go.

1Sa 6:9 Behold; if it goes up by the way of its own border to Beth Shemesh, then he has done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it was a chance that happened to us."

1Sa 6:10 The men did so, and took two milk cows, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home;

1Sa 6:11 and they put the ark of Yahweh on the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their tumors.

1Sa 6:12 The cows took the straight way by the way to Beth Shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn't turn aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth Shemesh.

1Sa 6:13 They of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.

1Sa 6:14 The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they split the wood of the cart, and offered up the cows for a burnt offering to Yahweh.

1Sa 6:15 The Levites took down the ark of Yahweh, and the coffer that was with it, in which the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day to Yahweh.

1Sa 6:16 When the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

1Sa 6:17 These are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering to Yahweh: for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one;

1Sa 6:18 and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even to the great stone, whereon they set down the ark of Yahweh, which stone remains to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.

1Sa 6:19 He struck of the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Yahweh, he struck of the people fifty thousand seventy men; and the people mourned, because Yahweh had struck the people with a great slaughter.

1Sa 6:20 The men of Beth Shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?

1Sa 6:21 They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought back the ark of Yahweh; come down, and bring it up to yourselves. 

 

Jun. 4

John 10

Joh 10:1 "Most certainly, I tell you, one who doesn't enter by the door into the sheep fold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

Joh 10:2 But one who enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

Joh 10:3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.

Joh 10:4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

Joh 10:5 They will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they don't know the voice of strangers."

Joh 10:6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn't understand what he was telling them.

Joh 10:7 Jesus therefore said to them again, "Most certainly, I tell you, I am the sheep's door.

Joh 10:8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn't listen to them.

Joh 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters in by me, he will be saved, and will go in and go out, and will find pasture.

Joh 10:10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Joh 10:12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who doesn't own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep, and flees. The wolf snatches the sheep, and scatters them.

Joh 10:13 The hired hand flees because he is a hired hand, and doesn't care for the sheep.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and I'm known by my own;

Joh 10:15 even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I lay down my life for the sheep.

Joh 10:16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.

Joh 10:17 Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.

Joh 10:18 No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father."

Joh 10:19 Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words.

Joh 10:20 Many of them said, "He has a demon, and is insane! Why do you listen to him?"

Joh 10:21 Others said, "These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn't possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?"

Joh 10:22 It was the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem.

Joh 10:23 It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in Solomon's porch.

Joh 10:24 The Jews therefore came around him and said to him, "How long will you hold us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."

Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you don't believe. The works that I do in my Father's name, these testify about me.

Joh 10:26 But you don't believe, because you are not of my sheep, as I told you.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Joh 10:28 I give eternal life to them. They will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

Joh 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of my Father's hand.

Joh 10:30 I and the Father are one."

Joh 10:31 Therefore Jews took up stones again to stone him.

Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of those works do you stone me?"

Joh 10:33 The Jews answered him, "We don't stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy: because you, being a man, make yourself God."

Joh 10:34 Jesus answered them, "Isn't it written in your law, 'I said, you are gods?'

Joh 10:35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture can't be broken),

Joh 10:36 do you say of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You blaspheme,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God?'

Joh 10:37 If I don't do the works of my Father, don't believe me.

Joh 10:38 But if I do them, though you don't believe me, believe the works; that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father."

Joh 10:39 They sought again to seize him, and he went out of their hand.

Joh 10:40 He went away again beyond the Jordan into the place where John was baptizing at first, and there he stayed.

Joh 10:41 Many came to him. They said, "John indeed did no sign, but everything that John said about this man is true."

Joh 10:42 Many believed in him there. 

 

Jun. 5, 6

John 11

Joh 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha.

Joh 11:2 It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick.

Joh 11:3 The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, "Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick."

Joh 11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God's Son may be glorified by it."

Joh 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

Joh 11:6 When therefore he heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was.

Joh 11:7 Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let's go into Judea again."

Joh 11:8 The disciples told him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?"

Joh 11:9 Jesus answered, "Aren't there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn't stumble, because he sees the light of this world.

Joh 11:10 But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn't in him."

Joh 11:11 He said these things, and after that, he said to them, "Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep."

Joh 11:12 The disciples therefore said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."

Joh 11:13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep.

Joh 11:14 So Jesus said to them plainly then, "Lazarus is dead.

Joh 11:15 I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let's go to him."

Joh 11:16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, "Let's go also, that we may die with him."

Joh 11:17 So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already.

Joh 11:18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away.

Joh 11:19 Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.

Joh 11:20 Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house.

Joh 11:21 Therefore Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died.

Joh 11:22 Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you."

Joh 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

Joh 11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.

Joh 11:26 Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

Joh 11:27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God's Son, he who comes into the world."

Joh 11:28 When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, "The Teacher is here, and is calling you."

Joh 11:29 When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him.

Joh 11:30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in the place where Martha met him.

Joh 11:31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there."

Joh 11:32 Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died."

Joh 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

Joh 11:34 and said, "Where have you laid him?" They told him, "Lord, come and see."

Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.

Joh 11:36 The Jews therefore said, "See how much affection he had for him!"

Joh 11:37 Some of them said, "Couldn't this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?"

Joh 11:38 Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

Joh 11:39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days."

Joh 11:40 Jesus said to her, "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see God's glory?"

Joh 11:41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, "Father, I thank you that you listened to me.

Joh 11:42 I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me."

Joh 11:43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"

Joh 11:44 He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let him go."

Joh 11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him.

Joh 11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done.

Joh 11:47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, "What are we doing? For this man does many signs.

Joh 11:48 If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

Joh 11:49 But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,

Joh 11:50 nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish."

Joh 11:51 Now he didn't say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,

Joh 11:52 and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

Joh 11:53 So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death.

Joh 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.

Joh 11:55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand. Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.

Joh 11:56 Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another, as they stood in the temple, "What do you think-that he isn't coming to the feast at all?"

Joh 11:57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.