Scientists, Soldiers, and Fish Scales by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



Scientists, Soldiers, and Fish Scales

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Operating on a grant from the U.S. Army, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing better body armor for soldiers. Surprisingly, the inspiration for their work comes from a foot-long African fish known as Polypterus senegalus.

According to scientists, the fish’s “armor” is able to protect it from others of its own species, as well as other carnivores. Its overlapping armored scales “first dissipate the energy of a strike, then protect against any penetrations to the soft tissues below and finally limit any damage to the shield to the immediate area surrounding the assault” (Crane, 2008). What makes the fish’s armor so effective? Aside from its four layers of overlapping scales, “researchers believe the dermal scales’ different composite materials [including bone and dentine—EL] and the geometry and thickness of various layers” all contribute to the armor’s strength and effectiveness in protecting the animal (Crane, 2008). Dr. Christine Ortiz, lead MIT researcher on the Polypterus project, stated: “Such fundamental knowledge holds great potential for the development of improved biologically inspired structural materials” (Bryner, 2008).

Brilliant scientists in the 21st century are spending an untold amount of time, energy, and money studying the scale structure of a fish, in hopes of designing new and improved armor applications for U.S. soldiers and military vehicles. Scientists admit that the “design” of the overlapping scale layers is “fascinating, complex and multiscale” (Crane, 2008). Yet, at the same time, we are told that this fish, which is inspiring state-of-the-art human armor systems, had no Designer (Bryner, 2008). Once again, naturalistic evolution allegedly was the great cause of a “fascinating” and “complex” creature. But design demands a designer. An effect (especially one of this magnitude) demands an adequate cause. In truth, blind chance, plus non-intelligence, plus random mutations, plus eons of time, neither designed nor caused Polypterus senegalus. Only an intelligent Designer could make such an awe-inspiring creature. As the psalmist wrote: “This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all” (104:25,24, emp. added).


Bryner, Jeanna (2008), “Incredible Fish Armor Could Suit Soldiers,” LiveScience, July 27, [On-line], URL: http://www.livescience.com/animals/080727-fish-armor.html.

Crane, David (2008), “Flexible Biological Scalar Body Armor for Future Soldiers?” Defense Review, July 31, [On-line], URL: http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article& amp;sid=1159.

Scientists Are Human, Too! by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.



Scientists Are Human, Too!

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

The scientific community has been doing some soul-searching of late. At the center of the issue is the question of objectivity in science. The philosophy of scientism would have us believe that science is the only road to truth and, therefore, that scientists are the sole guardians of knowledge. Practically speaking, most scientists probably would acknowledge that science is a human endeavor and, consequently, subject to the imperfections of its practitioners. Nonetheless, the scientific establishment is wrestling with issues of pseudoscience, bias, and fraud.


This first category usually includes the paranormal, various New Age beliefs, and personal encounters with UFOs. Proponents of naturalism and materialism expand this definition to include any scientific theory that challenges their personal perception of the world. Examples would be creationism, cold fusion, homeopathic medicine, and the Gaia hypothesis. Personally, I do not subscribe to the last three ideas. However, some scientists depart from objectivity in their harsh criticism of such unconventional views.


Of course, creationists have argued that their view can compete on the same level as evolutionary theories (e.g., Geisler and Anderson, 1987). It is here that I raise the issue of bias. In the big picture, the purpose of consensus is to prevent confusion arising from unconfirmed or seemingly suspect research. Supposedly, scientists will not accept any new theory until their collective learning and experience tell them that it is better than the existing one. Still, some charge that editors of professional journals, and peer reviewers, occasionally resist publishing opposing views. Consensus should not censor, but should encourage more rigorous work.

Sometimes the resistance can be great indeed. For example, Halton Arp thinks he has found evidence that supports his theory against the prevailing Big Bang theory. However, he has difficulty getting access to major telescopes because other scientists do not believe he could possibly be right (Arp, 1990).

The same people will hardly give creationism a fair hearing. The following list is a small selection of attitudes that illustrate my point.

Faith in creation is personal and subjective, whereas faith in evolution is universal and objective (Ferrell, 1991).
Any scientific experiments that set out to confirm the Bible are automatically unscientific (Rice, 1989).
Although Werhner von Braun led America into space, his belief in creationism prevents him from being considered a “true” scientist (Jones, 1989).
One evolutionist said this in response to the young age of dinosaur bones dated by a group of creationists: “No matter what date they claim, the dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago” (Lafferty, 1991).


Sadly, fraud and misconduct have tainted the history of science. Perhaps the most famous example is the so-called Piltdown man, which was announced to the world in 1912. Clever forgers put a human skull with the jaw bone of a modern ape, and aged it artificially. The hoax fooled many great experts until the early 1950s, when new techniques exposed the deception. This is an embarrassing incident, not just for science, but for evolution. For almost forty years, evolutionists pointed to the Piltdown man as an example of the alleged ape-man transition. The Piltdown case has a positive side, however. It teaches us that science can correct itself, despite the consensus.


Some scientists may call our view pseudoscience, look with bias on our scientific case, and present false arguments to the world, whether intentional or otherwise. However, science itself is not the enemy of truth. Certainly, science and scientists have their limitations, but we can work within those limitations to advance the cause of our Creator.


Arp, Halton (1990), “Discordant Observations,” Science, 249:611, August 10.

Ferrell, Keith (1991), “The Chasm of Creationism,” Omni, 14[1]:14, October.

Geisler, Norman L. and J. Kerby Anderson (1987), Origin Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Jones, Lewis (1989), “The Two Cultures: A Resurrection,” Skeptical Inquirer, 14[1]:57-64, Fall.

Lafferty, Michael B. (1991), “Creationists Say Dinosaurs Lived With Man,” Columbus Dispatch, pp. 1B-2B, November 3

Rice, Stanley (1989), “ ‘Faithful in the Little Things’: Creationists and ‘Operation Science,’ ” Creation/Evolution, 25:8-14.

Science: Instituted by God by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.



Science: Instituted by God

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Some contend that science is at odds with religion. They suggest that the scientific method requires empirical testing, but God’s existence cannot be empirically verified. Science supposedly proves the Big Bang, evolutionary theory, a very old Universe, and dinosaurs that never co-existed with humans, while the Bible mistakenly contends that the Universe was created in six literal, 24-hour days only a few thousand years ago, with humans and dinosaurs being created together on day six. Supposedly, science is based on verifiable evidence, whereas religion is based on “blind faith” and ambiguous “tinglies” attributed to the Holy Spirit. For such reasons, it is claimed that science and Scripture cannot be harmonized—that they are diametrically opposed to each another.

In reality, however, true science agrees perfectly with Scripture. Though God’s existence cannot be empirically verified, it can be easily verified through deductive reasoning from the scientific evidence available to us—in the same way forensic scientists use science to investigate events that they did not personally witness. While atheists have successfully created the mirage that science supports their theories, abundant scientific evidence exists which disproves the Big Bang Theory, evolutionary theory, an old Universe, and proves that dinosaurs and humans co-existed (see www.apologeticspress.org for more information on these matters). And yet, no scientific evidence exists that contradicts the true creation model. Rather, the evidence always supports it. The concept of “blind faith,” though championed by many who call themselves Christians, is at odds with Scripture, which defines faith as choosing to believe in something, based on the evidence that has been presented for it, and responding accordingly (see Miller, 2003). Atheistic scientists are simply wrong in their sweeping accusation that science and religion are at odds.

Though some theistic beliefs contradict science, when handled accurately (2 Timothy 2:15), Scripture and science compliment each other perfectly. For instance, science has shown us that matter is not eternal, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and could not have spontaneously generated—popping into existence from nothing—according to the First Law of Thermodynamics. This fact indicates that matter must have been placed here by an Entity outside the physical Universe (see Miller, 2007). This truth, arrived at through science and deductive reasoning, is not in harmony with atheism and much of today’s pseudo-science. But this truth is in keeping with the Bible, which says in its very first verse that God—a Being not subject to the laws of nature (i.e., a supernatural Being)—created the heavens and the Earth. Science supports Scripture.

Science has shown us that in nature, life comes only from life and that of its kind, according to the Law of Biogenesis. Again, this fact indicates that a Being outside of nature must exist Who initiated life (see Miller, 2012). This truth, arrived at through science and deductive reasoning, is not in harmony with atheism and much of today’s pseudoscientific world which must contend, without scientific support, that life popped into existence from non-life. Rather, this truth is in keeping with the Bible, which says in Genesis 1:11,24 and 2:7 that God created life.

Science—the Law of Biogenesis and the Laws of Genetics—has shown us that living beings produce other living beings of their own kind (see Thompson, 2002). There may be small changes along the way (e.g., beak size, color, size, etc.), but the offspring of a bird is still a bird. The offspring of a fish is still a fish. Therefore, since there is no common ancestor for all living beings from which all species evolved, there must be a supernatural Being Who initially created various kinds of life on Earth. This truth, arrived at through science and deductive reasoning, is not in harmony with the teachings of atheism and much of today’s pseudo-scientific world, which argues against the evidence, that various kinds of living beings can give rise to completely different kinds of living beings. But this truth is in keeping with the Bible, which says in Genesis 1:21 and 1:24-25 that God directed living beings to reproduce after their kind.

True science is in harmony with true religion. Why would science lie? It does not have a mind of its own. It has no bias or agenda. It can certainly be misrepresented or its findings misinterpreted, but science is not the enemy of true religion. In fact, according to the Bible, God, Himself, instituted the field of science. When God created human beings on day six and told them to “have dominion” over the Earth and “subdue” it (Genesis 1:28), He was commanding mankind to do something that would require extensive scientific investigation and experimentation. If God founded science, why would science be at odds with religion? When God, through His servant Paul, said in Romans 1:20 that His existence and some of His attributes could be learned from His creation, He was putting His stamp of approval on the scientific study of creation. When He said in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to “[t]est all things; hold fast what is good,” He was essentially summarizing the scientific method. Bottom line: God founded science. When legitimate scientific findings are interpreted properly and fairly, science supports the Bible and Christianity. It certainly is not at odds with the Bible.


Miller, Dave (2003), “Blind Faith,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/article/444.

Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.

Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.

Thompson, Bert (2002), The Scientific Case for Creation (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" They Beheld His Glory (1:14-18) by Mark Copeland




They Beheld His Glory (1:14-18) 

1. In the last few verses of the prologue to his gospel, John identifies the Word...
   a. Who was in the beginning with God, and was God - Jn 1:1-2
   b. Through whom all things were made - Jn 1:3
   c. Who was life, and the light of men - Jn 1:4-5,9
   d. Who came into the world, though many did not receive Him - Jn 1:10-11
   e. Yet those who received Him, were given the right to become
      children of God - Jn 1:12-13

2. The Word was Jesus Christ...
   a. Who became flesh and lived among men - Jn 1:14
   b. Who glory was seen by men - Jn 1:14

3. The word "glory" as used here...
   a. Means "majesty, dignity, splendor" (Barnes)
   b. Pertaining to Christ, it refers to His personal excellence or majesty

[John writes "We beheld His glory".  What majesty, dignity, or splendor
did John and others see in  Jesus when He walked in the flesh among men...?]


      1. "the glory as of the only begotten of the Father" - Jn 1:14a
      2. "The dignity which was appropriate to the only begotten Son of God" (Barnes)
         a. "Such glory or splendor as could belong to no other, and as
            properly expressed his rank and character."
         b. "This glory was seen eminently on the mount of
            transfiguration" - Lk 9:28-32; 2Pe 1:16-18
         c. "It was also seen in his miracles, his doctrine, his
            resurrection, his ascension" - cf. Jn 2:11
         -- "All of which were such as to illustrate the perfections,
            and manifest the glory that belongs only to the Son of God." (Barnes)
      1. "full of grace...grace for grace...grace and truth came through
         Jesus" - Jn 1:14b,16-17
      2. "The word grace means favors, gifts, acts of beneficence." (Barnes)
         a. "He was kind, merciful, gracious, doing good to all, and
            seeking man's welfare by great sacrifices and love;"
         b. "so much so, that it might be said to be characteristic of
            him, or he abounded in favors to mankind." (Barnes)

      1. "full...of truth...truth came through Jesus Christ." - Jn 1: 14b,17
      2. "He was also full of truth. He declared the truth. In him was
         no falsehood." (Barnes)
         a. "He was not like the false prophets and false Messiahs, who
            were wholly impostors"
         b. "Nor was he like the emblems and shadows of the old
            dispensation, which were only types of the true; but he was truth itself."
      3. "He represented things as they are, and thus became the truth
         as well as the way and the life." - cf. Jn 14:6 (Barnes)

      1. "He who comes after me is preferred before me..." - Jn 1:15
      2. As witnessed to by John the Baptist - cf. Jn 1:27,29-30
      3. John the Baptist recognized His superiority, as did the apostle Paul
         a. By virtue of His preexistence ("He was before me") - cf. also Jn 8:58; 17:5
         b. By virtue of His creative powers - cf. Col 1:16-17

      1. "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son...He
         has declared Him" - Jn 1:18
         a. "This passage is not meant to deny that men had witnessed
            manifestations of God, as when he appeared to Moses and the
            prophets (cf. Num 12:8 Isa 6:1-13)."
         b. "...it is meant that no one has seen the essence of God, or has fully known God."
         c. "The prophets delivered what they heard God speak; Jesus
            what he knew of God as his equal, and as understanding fully his nature." (Barnes)
      2. Jesus manifested or declared the Father as no one had done before!
         a. As Jesus told Philip - Jn 14:9
         b. As Jesus expressed in His prayer - Jn 17:6,24
         c. As the apostles wrote in their epistles - Col 1:15; He 1:1-4
      3. "This verse proves that, Jesus had a knowledge of God above
         that which any of the ancient prophets had, and that the
         fullest revelations of his character are to be expected in the gospel." (Barnes)
         a. "By his Word and Spirit he can enlighten and guide us, and
            lead us to the true knowledge of God;"
         b. "There is no true and full knowledge of God which is not
            obtained through his Son."

[What a wonderful experience it must have been to behold the glory of
God's only begotten Son!  It undoubtedly transformed the life of John
and others who saw Him.  By the grace of God, it also possible that...]


      1. We can behold His glory...
         a. The glory of His deity, grace and truth!
         b. The glory of His preeminence and revelation!
      2. How?  Through the words of His eyewitnesses!
         a. Who made known the power and coming of our Lord - cf. 2 Pe 1:16-18
         b. Who declared what they heard, saw, even handled, that we
            might share with them in their fellowship with the Father
            and Son - cf. 1Jn 1:1-4; 5:11-13
         -- Through their gospels, their letters, their inspired
            writings, we can behold His glory!
      3. Indeed, we must behold His glory to be transformed!
         a. Our transformation is fundamental to true discipleship - cf. Ro 8:29; 12:1-2
         b. Our transformation is gradual, occurring as we behold His
            glory - cf. 2Co 3:18
         c. Our transformation involves renewing the mind, a mind set on
            things above where Christ is - cf. Ro 12:1-2; Col 3:1-2

      1. We will behold His glory...
         a. When He appears - Col 3:4
         b. When He comes again, to be glorified in His saints - 2 Th 1:10
      2. Indeed, every one will behold His glory...
         a. For every eye will see Him - cf. Re 1:7
         b. For every knee will bow, and every tongue confess Him - cf. Php 2:9-11


1. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His
   glory..." - Jn 1:14

2. We may not have seen Jesus in the flesh, but we can still behold His glory...
   a. Even now, through the testimony of His apostles and the Word of God
   b. Even then, when Jesus comes again to be revealed in His glory

3. What will we do with the glory of Jesus as declared by His apostles...?
   a. We should let it transform our lives as we behold the glory of the Lord - 2Co 3:18
   b. Then when Christ comes, we will be glorified together with Him! - 2Th 1:10

Here is Paul's prayer for the Thessalonians...

   "Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count
   you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of
   His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of
   our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him,
   according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

                                                     (2Th 1:11-12)

May his prayer be fulfilled in our lives, along with this prayer from

   "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make
   you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
   to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be
   glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now
   and forever. Amen."
                                                      (Jude 24-25)


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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‘Sex over religion’: Legal scholars discuss America’s shifting religious freedom landscape by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



‘Sex over religion’: Legal scholars discuss America’s shifting religious freedom landscape

The above headline from The Christian Post caught my attention this morning.

CP contributor Emily Wood, reported on a recent virtual event hosted by the Religious Freedom Institute featuring legal experts in the area of religious freedom. The panel discussed the shifting religious landscape in the United States and voiced their concerns “about the impact of the nation’s increasing religious disaffiliation on the First Amendment” that has evolved over the past two decades.

Among the featured speakers was U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas, appointed to the bench by former President Trump in 2019. Kacsmaryk observed that “multiple factors have contributed to the legislative shift in religious freedom over the last 20 years.”

Church memberships has dipped below the majority of the population according to a recent Gallup Poll. In addition those who identify as “nones”, not adhering to any religion, is on the rise.

In addition, Kacsmaryk observed that the sexual revolution that began in the 1960’s has resulted in a “decrease in national religiosity.”

All of these factors result in legal and legislative trends away from religious freedom. “Law flows downstream from politics and politics flows downstream from culture,” Kacsmaryk said.

Here’s Kacsmaryk’s conclusion that really caught my eye.

“When combined, the sociological, theological and theoretical factors generate a culture that is focused on expressive individualism, self-definition and therapeutic affirmation. It combines to create a politics that prioritizes expression over free exercise, prioritizes sex over religion and safe spaces over debate and dialogue.”

Finally, the Judge argued that “traditional Abrahamic religions will become harder to explain to courts and legislatures as these beliefs continue to fall outside the mainstream.”

Three observations.

(1) Let’s be careful not to equate American patriotism with Christianity.

While Christians may love their country, enjoy the freedom of worship, and benefit from laws that favor our religious beliefs, our faith, fidelity, and future is not dependent on America’s success or survival.

Too often we’ve been guilty of wrapping the American flag around the Bible with a cross towering above it. It’s easy to forget that Christianity was born and flourished in a culture of opposition and persecution. Both the political influence of the Jewish Sanhedrin combined with the compliance and suspicions of the Roman Empire often made life difficult for Christians.

We’ve been blessed in the United States with laws and a culture that has allowed freedom of religious expression. There are signs suggesting this may continue to diminish.

Let’s remember that the world’s best hope is not in a free America, but in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(2) Let’s not conflate our religious freedom in America with our liberty in Christ.

The Bible admonishes us to “stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free” (Gal. 5:1). The context is actually speaking about Christians being entangled in the bondage of the Old Covenant, the Mosaic Law.

Jesus said, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:32). Freedom in Christ releases us from the bondage, burden and blame of sin. We’re free from Satan’s shackles. From sin’s shame and guilt. And free from a guilty conscience to one washed pure by the blood of Christ (Heb. 10:22).

Furthermore, we ought not to use our liberty in Christ as a “covering for evil,” or “cloak of maliciousness.” or as a camouflage for promoting our personal political agenda (1 Pet. 2:15-16).

(3) Let us live godly in an ungodly world.

More important than the American way of life, is the Christian way of life. More valuable than our political freedom is our freedom from sin and Satan. More necessary than our social activism is our righteous influence in an unrighteous world.

To scattered and persecuted Christians who were maligned and mistreated Peter admonished them to “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (I Pet. 2:11). Then he offered this challenge.

“Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

In these perilous times preachers and pastors need to do more Bible preaching and spiritual Shepherding rather than politicizing their pulpits.

And all Christians need to remember that the Kingdom of God differs from the kingdoms of the world in its purpose, policies and practices.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





Heresy is an opinion, especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and formation of sects. Christian heresy is opinion contrary to the Scriptures. Christian heresy is opinion in opposition to the doctrines of God.

One man's heretic is another man's truth teller.

There are men who believe there are many ways to heaven. Was Jesus being a heretic when He said (John 14:6 ..."I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.)

There are believers in Christ as well as others who believe that that it took God millions or billions of years to create the heavens and the earth. Was Moses being a heretic when he wrote in Genesis of a six day, twenty four hour day creation? (Genesis 1:1-31......31 God saw all that He made, and behold, it was very good. And that was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.)

Many believers in Christ believe and teach that water baptism is not essential to have sins forgiven. Was the apostle Peter being heretical when he said (Acts 2:38 ....and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins..)

Some believe that Jesus is God the Father. Was the apostle Paul guilty of heresy when he said (1 Corinthians 15:20-28.....24 then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He has abolished all rule authority and power......28 When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.)

Some men believe that you do not have to believe in Jesus to be saved. Other men assert that water baptism is not a requirement for salvation. Was Jesus demonstrating an act of heresy when He said (Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved...)

There are those who proclaim that Christians cannot fall from grace. Was the apostle Paul deemed a heretic when he said (Galatians 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.)

There are a few who believe that God only offers salvation, by His grace, to a select chosen few. Was the apostle Paul showing his heretical side when he said (Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared bring salvation to all men) Gods grace is available to all who accept His terms for pardon.

Are Jesus, Moses, the apostles, and the writers of the Bible, all heretics?

Is it heretical to be opposed to denominational doctrines that are contrary to the facts found in the Bible?

Are Jesus and the apostles heretics because they disagree with denominational doctrines?


Christ - Yes; The Church - No? by T. Pierce Brown



Christ - Yes; The Church - No?

Most of us have heard the expression that is the title of this article. Those of us who preach and/or write have been quick to point out that the very idea is ridiculous from a Biblical standpoint, for when one accepts Christ properly in response to his gracious offer of salvation, one is automatically a part of the church. Sadly enough, most of our speaking and writing is heard or read only by those who already know that. It is probable that we have failed to properly appreciate some very important points.

First, those who use the expression, "Christ-yes; the church-no" do not mean by the expression what we mean. To them the church is merely a denomination that they have been taught has nothing to do with salvation (which is true with respect to the church with which they are acquainted) and mostly deals with empty rituals that have very little relationship to the problems of this life or the hope of the next. If we consider the expression from their viewpoint, instead of arguing with them and showing how wrong they are, we should agree with them -- that is the churches about which they are speaking are not related to Christ. Then we may be able to show them the difference between the Biblical concept of the church and what theirs has been.

Another problem arises, of which very few of us seem to be aware. When we are confronted with such a situation as described above, we launch into a discussion that relates to the greatness of the church, the glory of the church, the necessity of the church, the organization of the church, the work of the church, how to get membership in the church, and other such topics. We do not seem to be aware that one may learn all the rituals and doctrines about the church -- even the Lord's church -- without ever having Christ presented to them in such a fashion that they are constrained to love and obey him. 2 Corinthians 5:14 says, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead." Let us examine an ordinary discussion and see if the point can be seen more clearly.

We are studying with a person who is willing to accept the Bible as his authority for his religious activity. We point out to him that Paul says in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." He readily admits it, and knows that he is lost. We rapidly turn to Acts 2:38 and show him that when lost persons wanted to know what to do, they were told, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." They hear that, and are glad, and immediately ask, "Can I be baptized right now?" We rejoice and baptize them. How many times have you done this, or seen it done? But where in the story has the person really been made aware of the love of Christ, or learned the gospel message in such a fashion that he feels constrained to fall on his knees and say, "Thank you, God, for your gracious love! I want to commit my life to you, now and forever?" We may have explained to him that salvation is in Christ (Acts 4:12) and the way the Bible says to get into Christ is to be baptized into him (Rom. 6:3-4 and Gal. 3:27). We assume that knowing those facts will cause him to love the Lord, but it is not necessarily so. Paul gives a glimpse of what we are trying to impress upon you when he said in 1 Corinthians 2:2, "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." The awareness and deep appreciation of the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf is the thing that creates love for him, not simply an understanding that we need to be baptized in order to be saved.

Do you have any idea why many members of the Lord's church does not come for Bible study on Sunday morning, and does not come back on Wednesday night? Can you guess why the average member gives less than 5% of his income to advance the cause of Christ? Have you ever wondered why less than 5% of the average membership of the church are involved in any personal way with leading a person to Christ? One of the answers is that many have been converted to a plan of salvation, a safe church, a system of doctrine, a friendly loving fellowship, or any number of other things, but not moved to surrender their lives to the Lord because their love for Christ impelled them to do it. They, like the Samaritans of 2 Kings 17:26, know the "manner (or rituals) of the god of the land," but have not been so taught that the love of Christ impels them to do what they do.

T. Pierce Brown

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for June 14 and 15 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for June 14 and 15

World  English  Bible


June 14

1 Samuel 21, 22

1Sa 21:1 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and said to him, Why are you alone, and no man with you?

1Sa 21:2 David said to Ahimelech the priest, The king has commanded me a business, and has said to me, Let no man know anything of the business about which I send you, and what I have commanded you: and I have appointed the young men to such and such a place.

1Sa 21:3 Now therefore what is under your hand? give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever there is present.

1Sa 21:4 The priest answered David, and said, There is no common bread under my hand, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women.

1Sa 21:5 David answered the priest, and said to him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days; when I came out, the vessels of the young men were holy, though it was but a common journey; how much more then today shall their vessels be holy?

1Sa 21:6 So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the show bread, that was taken from before Yahweh, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.

1Sa 21:7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before Yahweh; and his name was Doeg the Edomite, the best of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul.

1Sa 21:8 David said to Ahimelech, Isn't there here under your hand spear or sword? for I have neither brought my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king's business required haste.

1Sa 21:9 The priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if you will take that, take it; for there is no other except that here. David said, There is none like that; give it to me.

1Sa 21:10 David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.

1Sa 21:11 The servants of Achish said to him, "Isn't this David the king of the land? Didn't they sing one to another about him in dances, saying, 'Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands?' "

1Sa 21:12 David laid up these words in his heart, and was very afraid of Achish the king of Gath.

1Sa 21:13 He changed his behavior before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down on his beard.

1Sa 21:14 Then said Achish to his servants, Look, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me?

1Sa 21:15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?

1Sa 22:1 David therefore departed there, and escaped to the cave of Adullam: and when his brothers and all his father's house heard it, they went down there to him.

1Sa 22:2 Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented, gathered themselves to him; and he became captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

1Sa 22:3 David went there to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said to the king of Moab, Please let my father and my mother come forth, and be with you, until I know what God will do for me.

1Sa 22:4 He brought them before the king of Moab: and they lived with him all the while that David was in the stronghold.

1Sa 22:5 The prophet Gad said to David, Don't stay in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah. Then David departed, and came into the forest of Hereth.

1Sa 22:6 Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him: now Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree in Ramah, with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him.

1Sa 22:7 Saul said to his servants who stood about him, Hear now, you Benjamites; will the son of Jesse give everyone of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds,

1Sa 22:8 that all of you have conspired against me, and there is none who discloses to me when my son makes a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you who is sorry for me, or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

1Sa 22:9 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub.

1Sa 22:10 He inquired of Yahweh for him, and gave him food, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

1Sa 22:11 Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father's house, the priests who were in Nob: and they came all of them to the king.

1Sa 22:12 Saul said, Hear now, you son of Ahitub. He answered, Here I am, my lord.

1Sa 22:13 Saul said to him, Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread, and a sword, and have inquired of God for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

1Sa 22:14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, Who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king's son-in-law, and is taken into your council, and is honorable in your house?

1Sa 22:15 Have I today begun to inquire of God for him? be it far from me: don't let the king impute anything to his servant, nor to all the house of my father; for your servant knows nothing of all this, less or more.

1Sa 22:16 The king said, You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you, and all your father's house.

1Sa 22:17 The king said to the guard who stood about him, Turn, and kill the priests of Yahweh; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and didn't disclose it to me. But the servants of the king wouldn't put forth their hand to fall on the priests of Yahweh.

1Sa 22:18 The king said to Doeg, Turn and attack the priests! Doeg the Edomite turned, and he attacked the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five people who wore a linen ephod.

1Sa 22:19 Nob, the city of the priests, struck he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing babies, and cattle and donkeys and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

1Sa 22:20 One of the sons of Ahimelech, the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David.

1Sa 22:21 Abiathar told David that Saul had slain Yahweh's priests.

1Sa 22:22 David said to Abiathar, I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul: I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father's house.

1Sa 22:23 Stay with me, don't be afraid; for he who seeks my life seeks your life: for with me you shall be in safeguard. 


June 15

1 Samuel 23, 24

1Sa 23:1 They told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and are robbing the threshing floors.

1Sa 23:2 Therefore David inquired of Yahweh, saying, Shall I go and strike these Philistines? Yahweh said to David, Go, and strike the Philistines, and save Keilah.

1Sa 23:3 David's men said to him, Behold, we are afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?

1Sa 23:4 Then David inquired of Yahweh yet again. Yahweh answered him, and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.

1Sa 23:5 David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their livestock, and killed them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

1Sa 23:6 It happened, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.

1Sa 23:7 It was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. Saul said, God has delivered him into my hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that has gates and bars.

1Sa 23:8 Saul summoned all the people to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.

1Sa 23:9 David knew that Saul was devising mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring here the ephod.

1Sa 23:10 Then said David, O Yahweh, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.

1Sa 23:11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Yahweh, the God of Israel, I beg you, tell your servant. Yahweh said, He will come down.

1Sa 23:12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver up to me and my men into the hand of Saul? Yahweh said, They will deliver you up.

1Sa 23:13 Then David and his men, who were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went wherever they could go. It was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he gave up going there.

1Sa 23:14 David abode in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God didn't deliver him into his hand.

1Sa 23:15 David saw that Saul had come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in the wood.

1Sa 23:16 Jonathan, Saul's son, arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.

1Sa 23:17 He said to him, Don't be afraid; for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you; and you shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you; and that also Saul my father knows.

1Sa 23:18 They two made a covenant before Yahweh: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.

1Sa 23:19 Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doesn't David hide himself with us in the strongholds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of the desert?

1Sa 23:20 Now therefore, O king, come down, according to all the desire of your soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him up into the king's hand.

1Sa 23:21 Saul said, You are blessed by Yahweh; for you have had compassion on me.

1Sa 23:22 Please go make yet more sure, and know and see his place where his haunt is, and who has seen him there; for it is told me that he deals very subtly.

1Sa 23:23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides himself, and come again to me with certainty, and I will go with you: and it shall happen, if he is in the land, that I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah.

1Sa 23:24 They arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah on the south of the desert.

1Sa 23:25 Saul and his men went to seek him. When David was told, he went down to the rock, and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. When Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.

1Sa 23:26 Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men surrounded David and his men to take them.

1Sa 23:27 But a messenger came to Saul, saying, "Hurry and come; for the Philistines have made a raid on the land!"

1Sa 23:28 So Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Sela Hammahlekoth.

1Sa 23:29 David went up from there, and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.

1Sa 24:1 It happened, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of En Gedi.

1Sa 24:2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the rocks of the wild goats.

1Sa 24:3 He came to the sheep pens by the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were abiding in the innermost parts of the cave.

1Sa 24:4 The men of David said to him, Behold, the day of which Yahweh said to you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe secretly.

1Sa 24:5 It happened afterward, that David's heart struck him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.

1Sa 24:6 He said to his men, Yahweh forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, Yahweh's anointed, to put forth my hand against him, seeing he is Yahweh's anointed.

1Sa 24:7 So David checked his men with these words, and didn't allow them to rise against Saul. Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.

1Sa 24:8 David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. When Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth, and did obeisance.

1Sa 24:9 David said to Saul, Why do you listen to men's words, saying, Behold, David seeks your hurt?

1Sa 24:10 Behold, this day your eyes have seen how that Yahweh had delivered you today into my hand in the cave: and some urged me to kill you; but I spared you; and I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is Yahweh's anointed.

1Sa 24:11 Moreover, my father, behold, yes, see the skirt of your robe in my hand; for in that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and didn't kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor disobedience in my hand, and I have not sinned against you, though you hunt for my life to take it.

1Sa 24:12 May Yahweh judge between me and you, and may Yahweh avenge me of you; but my hand shall not be on you.

1Sa 24:13 As the proverb of the ancients says, Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness; but my hand shall not be on you.

1Sa 24:14 Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?

1Sa 24:15 May Yahweh therefore be judge, and give sentence between me and you, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hand.

1Sa 24:16 It came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, Is this your voice, my son David? Saul lifted up his voice, and wept.

1Sa 24:17 He said to David, You are more righteous than I; for you have done good to me, whereas I have done evil to you.

1Sa 24:18 You have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, because when Yahweh had delivered me up into your hand, you didn't kill me.

1Sa 24:19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away unharmed? Therefore may Yahweh reward you good for that which you have done to me this day.

1Sa 24:20 Now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.

1Sa 24:21 Swear now therefore to me by Yahweh, that you will not cut off my seed after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house.

1Sa 24:22 David swore to Saul. Saul went home; but David and his men got them up to the stronghold. 


Jun.  14

John 15

Joh 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer.

Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit, he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Joh 15:3 You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Joh 15:4 Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me.

Joh 15:5 I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Joh 15:6 If a man doesn't remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Joh 15:7 If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.

Joh 15:8 "In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples.

Joh 15:9 Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love.

Joh 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and remain in his love.

Joh 15:11 I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Joh 15:12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.

Joh 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Joh 15:14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.

Joh 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn't know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.

Joh 15:16 You didn't choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Joh 15:17 "I command these things to you, that you may love one another.

Joh 15:18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you.

Joh 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his lord.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours also.

Joh 15:21 But all these things will they do to you for my name's sake, because they don't know him who sent me.

Joh 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Joh 15:23 He who hates me, hates my Father also.

Joh 15:24 If I hadn't done among them the works which no one else did, they wouldn't have had sin. But now have they seen and also hated both me and my Father.

Joh 15:25 But this happened so that the word may be fulfilled which was written in their law, 'They hated me without a cause.'

Joh 15:26 "When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me.

Joh 15:27 You will also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning. 


Jun. 15

John 16

Joh 16:1 "These things have I spoken to you, so that you wouldn't be caused to stumble.

Joh 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time comes that whoever kills you will think that he offers service to God.

Joh 16:3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.

Joh 16:4 But I have told you these things, so that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you about them. I didn't tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.

Joh 16:5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'

Joh 16:6 But because I have told you these things, sorrow has filled your heart.

Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I don't go away, the Counselor won't come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

Joh 16:8 When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment;

Joh 16:9 about sin, because they don't believe in me;

Joh 16:10 about righteousness, because I am going to my Father, and you won't see me any more;

Joh 16:11 about judgment, because the prince of this world has been judged.

Joh 16:12 "I have yet many things to tell you, but you can't bear them now.

Joh 16:13 However when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak from himself; but whatever he hears, he will speak. He will declare to you things that are coming.

Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take from what is mine, and will declare it to you.

Joh 16:15 All things whatever the Father has are mine; therefore I said that he takes of mine, and will declare it to you.

Joh 16:16 A little while, and you will not see me. Again a little while, and you will see me."

Joh 16:17 Some of his disciples therefore said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little while, and you won't see me, and again a little while, and you will see me;' and, 'Because I go to the Father?' "

Joh 16:18 They said therefore, "What is this that he says, 'A little while?' We don't know what he is saying."

Joh 16:19 Therefore Jesus perceived that they wanted to ask him, and he said to them, "Do you inquire among yourselves concerning this, that I said, 'A little while, and you won't see me, and again a little while, and you will see me?'

Joh 16:20 Most certainly I tell you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.

Joh 16:21 A woman, when she gives birth, has sorrow, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she doesn't remember the anguish any more, for the joy that a human being is born into the world.

Joh 16:22 Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.

Joh 16:23 "In that day you will ask me no questions. Most certainly I tell you, whatever you may ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

Joh 16:24 Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.

Joh 16:25 I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. But the time is coming when I will no more speak to you in figures of speech, but will tell you plainly about the Father.

Joh 16:26 In that day you will ask in my name; and I don't say to you, that I will pray to the Father for you,

Joh 16:27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from God.

Joh 16:28 I came out from the Father, and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."

Joh 16:29 His disciples said to him, "Behold, now you speak plainly, and speak no figures of speech.

Joh 16:30 Now we know that you know all things, and don't need for anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came forth from God."

Joh 16:31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?

Joh 16:32 Behold, the time is coming, yes, and has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

Joh 16:33 I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world."