8/11/21

The Universe—A “Waste of Space”? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1207

The Universe—A “Waste of Space”?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

“The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be” (Sagan, 1980, p. 4). So begins Carl Sagan’s immensely popular book and PBS television series, Cosmos. A more atheistic, humanistic, materialistic declaration could not be spoken. Sagan (1934-1996), who was an astronomer at Cornell University who lived his entire life resistant to the possibility of God and an afterlife, maintained his unbelief—in the words of his third wife—“unflinching” to the end (Sagan, 1997, p. 225). She, herself, finds comfort after his passing “without resorting to the supernatural” (p. 228).

When people reject or avoid the implications of the created order—i.e., that it is logically the result of a Supreme Creator—they have inevitably “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Skeptical of the survival of the Earth at the mercy of Homo sapiens, Sagan turned his attention to an almost obsessive dedication to finding answers and solutions from life forms beyond Earth. In his own words: “In a very real sense this search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a search for a cosmic context for mankind, a search for who we are, where we have come from, and what possibilities there are for our future—in a universe vaster both in extent and duration than our forefathers ever dreamed of ” (Sagan, 1973, pp. ix-x).

Less than a year after his death, Hollywood released a movie (on July 11, 1997) based on Sagan’s novel, Contact (1985). The film’s central character, Dr. Eleanor Arroway (played by Jodie Foster), is surely the embodiment of the formative experiences, philosophical perspectives, and spiritual beliefs of Sagan himself. On three separate occasions in the film, a pseudo-intellectual remark, obviously designed to defend the naturalistic explanation of the existence of the Universe while ridiculing the Christian viewpoint, is offered up to viewers. As a child, “Ellie” asks her father if life exists out in the Universe, to which he responds: “Well, if there wasn’t, it’d be an awful waste of space.” As an adult, she converses with Palmer Joss (played by Matthew McConaughey), and, staring up at the starry Puerto Rican sky, expresses her confidence in the evolution of other life forms elsewhere in the Universe: “If just one in a million of those stars has planets, and if only one in a million of those has life, and if just one in a million of those has intelligent life, then there are millions of civilizations out there” (as cited in Bohlin, 1998). [Of course, the scientific evidence does not support this conclusion—see Bohlin, 2002]. Ellie is pleasantly stunned when Joss repeats the same line that her father uttered to her when she was a child. Near the close of the film, Ellie speaks the line again to a group of school children when asked if life exists in space.

This triple declaration was obviously intended to offer a “logical” proof that, rather than looking to some supernatural Being Who is transcendent of the Universe, humans had best recognize that the only life beyond planet Earth are those life forms that have evolved (like our own) on other planets in far off galaxies. The materialist is forced to follow Sagan’s presupposition: life must exist elsewhere in the Universe since there is no God. If there is a God Who created life only on Earth, then He was guilty of poor teleological design—creating a vast physical realm that serves absolutely no purpose—and thus producing a nearly infinite realm of “wasted space.”

But wait! The Bible long ago anticipated the skepticism of the materialist astronomer. At the creation of the Universe, God said: “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth” (Genesis 1:14-15). The luminaries that God made included the stars: “God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night” (vss. 17-18). One very specific function of the stars that occupy space far beyond our solar system is illumination (cf. Psalm 136:9). They are “light-bearers” (Keil and Delitzsch, 1976, 1:56; Leupold, 1950, p. 71).

Another very specific purpose of the vastness of space is seen in the multiple declarations regarding the infinitude of God and the evidence that points to His existence, His glory, His eternality, and His power. Paul affirmed very confidently that “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). It is absolutely incredible—and, according to Paul, inexcusable—for a rational human being to contemplate the magnitude of the Universe and the vastness of space, and then to reject the only logical, plausible explanation for it all: God. Indeed, atheism, evolution, and humanism are simply more sophisticated forms of the polytheism that has plagued humanity for millennia. Moses warned the Israelites of this very thing: “[T]ake heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage” (Deuteronomy 4:19). Evolutionary astronomy assigns an inflated value to the vastness of space by postulating that it can provide mankind with an alternative explanation for the existence of life—an explanation that absents God. Any such postulation ultimately amounts to idolatry.

David, too, paid homage to the glory of the Creator, as evidenced by the eloquent symphony of the majestic Universe that is played perpetually—twenty-four hours a day:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat (Psalm 19:1-6; cf. 74:16-17; 136:7-8).

Separate and apart from the latest evidence that confirms the movement of the Sun through space (see Thompson, 2001, p. 46), these verses reaffirm the fact that the created Universe loudly announces the existence of the Universe-Maker. David also declared: “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, You have set Your glory above the heavens! …When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:1,3). God “stretched out the heavens like a curtain” (Psalm 104:2). No wonder even a philosopher on the order of Immanuel Kant observed: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me” (as quoted in Geisler, 1983, p. 59).

A third biblical explanation for the creation of the vast Universe was hinted at by God Himself in the attitude-adjusting lecture He delivered to Job: “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Can you lead forth a constellation in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you fix their rule over the earth?” (Job 38:31-33). Notice the action terms that are used to refer to the movement of the constellations: bind, loose, lead forth, and guide. Observe also the “laws of the heavens” and their relationship to “ruling over the earth” (see Gaebelein, 1988, 4:1037,1042). These verses imply that the heavenly bodies have been deliberately orchestrated, modulated, and regulated by the Creator to serve a purpose or purposes far beyond our present understanding. The text seems to hint that Earth’s status, with its living beings, is somehow affected by the phenomena of the cosmic bodies. Even as the comprehension of scientists has been lacking through the centuries on many features of the physical realm, only eventually to discover the meaning that lay behind observable phenomenon, even so our present comprehension of space is woefully inadequate to justify passing judgment on the intentionality and teleology that lie behind many astronomical phenomena.

Evolutionists have far better arguments with which to attempt to prop up their atheistic stance (the “problem of evil” being the strongest, though refutable—see Warren, 1972). The “wasted space” argument is anemic, pitiful, and hardly worthy of rebuttal. However, since they brought it to our attention, the Christian is once again reminded of the unfathomable attributes of the great God Who stands above and beyond this vast physical realm. The immensity and vastness of the Universe only spurs the rational mind to marvel at the One whose own metaphysical transcendence surpasses the visible. In the words of the psalmist: “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness (145:5-6). “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4-5). Isaiah agreed: “Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power” (40:26).

REFERENCES

Bohlin, Ray (1998), “Contact: A Eulogy to Carl Sagan,” [On-line], URL: http://www.probe.org/docs/contact.html.

Bohlin, Ray (2002), “Are We Alone in the Universe?”, [On-line], URL: http://www.probe.org/docs/lifemars.html.

Gaebelein, Frank E., ed. (1988), The Expositor’s Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Geisler, Norman L. (1983), Cosmos: Carl Sagan’s Religion for the Scientific Mind (Dallas, TX: Quest).

Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch (1976 reprint), Commentary on the Old Testament: The Pentateuch (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Leupold, Herbert C. (1950 reprint), Exposition of Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Sagan, Carl (1997), Billions and Billions (New York: Random House).

Sagan, Carl (1985), Contact (New York: Simon and Schuster).

Sagan, Carl (1980), Cosmos (New York: Random House).

Sagan, Carl, ed. (1973), “Introduction,” Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence [CETI] (MIT Press).

Thompson, Bert (2001), In Defense of the Bible’s Inspiration (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), second edition.

Warren, Thomas B. (1972), Have Atheists Proved There Is No God (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

The Universe Just Got Much Bigger—On Paper by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1016

The Universe Just Got Much Bigger—On Paper

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Every now and then I come across an article on modern “scientific” findings that absolutely stuns me, not necessarily because of the newest “findings,” but because of how casually information that was declared to be so scientifically accurate can be disregarded with a few computer keystrokes. Last week research was discussed that will forever change the way we look at the Universe (if you read the right article), and the irony is that you probably are not even aware of it.

For many years, cosmologists (scientists who study the Universe and its supposed origins) have explained to us that our Universe appears to be approximately 28 billion light years across. A light year is the distance light travels in one year. Since light travels at about 186,000 miles per second, the distance it covers in one year is about 5.9 trillion miles. That means if light were to start at one end of our Universe, travelling 186,000 miles per second, it would take 28 billion years to get to the other side. At least that is what we have been told for about a decade.

New studies, however, indicate that cosmologists have been wrong, on a grand scale, about the size of our Universe. Last week, Ed Oswald wrote an article for Yahoo! Tech titled, “How Big is the Universe? Attempting to Answer One of Astronomy’s Most Complex Questions.” In the article, he explained the complicated processes of how cosmologists attempt to measure the size of the Universe. Using the latest information, he wrote, “Physicists…now believe the radius of the observable universe is now roughly 46.5 billion light years away.”1 That is much bigger than we were told it appeared in years past. But Oswald does not stop there. He goes on to make clear that the galaxies that we see at the edge of our Universe are too “well-formed” to have appeared immediately following the Big Bang. (He incorrectly assumes the reality of the Big Bang.)2 That being the case, he mentions researchers at Oxford who believe that our Universe could be “as big as 250 times the size of our observable universe. Try to wrap your mind around that.”3

So what does all this mean? First, it shows us the serious limitations of science. We are often told to bow to the modern dating methods of the Universe, conform to the “real science” that proves the Bible false, and admit the validity of “current scientific findings.” Yet, we learn every day how limited and incorrect these often are. We are told that such is the nature of science; that it is a “self-correcting” endeavor, so that the most current material must be accurate. That simply is not the case. Many times, what passes for science in cosmology is not self-correcting, it is self-refuting. What we learn from situations in which the size of the Universe can greatly expand on paper is that those researchers who purported to present scientific facts about the Universe’s age, size, or composition were giving us nothing of the sort. They were wrong, the whole time. What happens, then, to the person who demanded that we shove the “modern scientific findings” into the biblical account and make it fit? He is left holding a battered Bible in one hand, and useless, “outdated” (read that as false) cosmology in the other.

Furthermore, the better we understand the Universe, the more we realize that atheistic, Big Bang explanations are not scientifically adequate to explain its origin. Before this latest “discovery,” the atheistic understanding of the origin of the Universe already had a real problem explaining how a tiny “singularity” could explode and bring into existence a 28-billion-light-year Universe. Now the problem has been further compounded, since the Universe appears to be much larger, maybe even 250 times bigger for all we know. Atheism’s conundrum is that to get a 93-billion-light-year Universe from a tiny singularity violates the Law of Cause and Effect that says for every material effect there must be a cause that was greater than it. What in the world is big enough to give us a 93-billion-light-year Universe? A tiny singularity smaller than the period at the end of this sentence is not a legitimate, scientific answer.

The apostle Paul wrote, “For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” The only plausible explanation for a Universe that is 93 billion light years across is an eternal, all-powerful Creator.

Endnotes

1 Ed Oswald (2016), “How Big is the Universe? Attempting to Answer One of Astronomy’s Most Complex Questions,” Yahoo! Tech, https://www.yahoo.com/tech/big-universe-attempting-answer-one-230016820.html.

2 Branyon May, et al. (2003), “The Big Bang—A Scientific Critique,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=1453&topic=57.

3 Ibid.

The Universe and Its Laws by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2206


The Universe and Its Laws

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In a recent issue of New Scientist titled “How the Universe Got Its Laws and Our Surprising Role in Shaping Them,” Paul Davies of Arizona State University made some observations that creationists find noteworthy, given his prominence as an evolutionist. He described the alleged 13.7 billion-year-old Universe (2007, 194[2610]:30), which supposedly is the result of mindless, naturalistic, random processes, as “uniquely hospitable” (p. 30), “remarkable” (p. 34), and “ordered in an intelligible way” (p. 30). He admitted to the many examples of “uncanny bio-friendly ‘coincidences’” and “fine-tuned properties” of the Universe (p. 30). He then wrote: “Like Baby Bear’s porridge in the story of Goldilocks, our universe seems ‘just right’ for life. It looks, to use astronomer Fred Hoyle’s dramatic description, as if ‘a super-intellect has been monkeying with physics’” (p. 30).

Still, although Davies admitted that it appears a being of “super-intellect” lies behind the law-driven Universe, he pressed on to find a natural phenomenon to explain “why the universe is as it is” (p. 31). To Paul Davies and other evolutionary scientists, any explanation outside of nature itself is a cop-out. The laws of physics that govern the Universe, and that “are strangely independent of the universe,” must have a naturalistic explanation. So how did the Universe get its laws?

Davies conveniently suggested that we must abandon the orthodox view that the laws of physics are immutable and universal. “Laws” of physics must be considered “flexi-laws.” If you concede this possibility, then the “laws of physics are inherent in the physical universe, and emerge with it” (p. 33, emp. added). The laws “start out unfocused, but rapidly sharpen and zero in on the form we observe today as the universe grows” (p. 33). “[W]ith flexi-laws,” Davies suggested, “the way lies open for a self-consistent explanation” (p. 34).

The fuzzy primordial laws focus in on precisely the form needed to give rise to the living organisms that eventually observe them. Cosmic bio-friendliness is therefore the result of a sort of quantum post-selection effect extended to the very laws of physics themselves (p. 34).

In other words, the laws of physics just evolved to their current status like everything else in the Universe.

While several evolutionary scientists around the world continue to spend countless hours and untold amounts of money “attempting to place the concept of flexi-laws and quantum post-selection on sound mathematical footing” (p. 34), the fact remains that laws of science are called “laws” for a reason: there is no known exception to them. In truth, Davies’ thoughts are no more rational than those of biologists who testify to the law of biogenesis, but then conclude that millions of years ago life must have spontaneously generated.

Davies and others apparently cannot tolerate the thought of the absence of a naturalistic explanation for the origin of our law-driven Universe. When all naturalistic explanations fail to clarify what exists, instead of rationally concluding what such results imply (i.e., that their must be a Supernatural explanation separate and apart from the physical Universe), men like Davies simply come up with another new complicated theory that defies both natural law and common sense.

Naturalistic explanations for the Universe and its laws leave an explanatory void that only a Supernatural Being (i.e., God) can fill. Indeed, laws demand a lawgiver. “The things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, emp. added).

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, emp. added).

REFERENCES

Davies, Paul (2007), “Laying Down the Laws,” New Scientist, 194[2610]:30-34, June.

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" The Truth Shall Make You Free (8:31-36) by Mark Copeland


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

The Truth Shall Make You Free (8:31-36)

INTRODUCTION
  1. One of the better known statements of Jesus is this: "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn 8:32)
  2. Today this popular statement is often used in a political context...
    1. Referring to freedom from political oppression
    2. Extolling the value of the free press, and freedom of expression
  3. While such are notable virtues, Jesus had something else in mind...
    1. Freedom from something more serious than political oppression
    2. Truth that comes from only one source

[Let's examine the context in which Jesus' statement is found (i.e., Jn 8:31-36). From a careful reading of it we first note...]

  1. THE FREEDOM OF WHICH JESUS SPEAKS
    1. FREEDOM FROM SIN...
      1. The Jews misconstrued Jesus - Jn 8:33
        1. They claimed to have never been in bondage (i.e., political oppression)
        2. An odd claim in view of the present Roman occupation, and past Egyptian, Assyrian and Babylonian captivities!
      2. Jesus explains the context of His statement - Jn 8:34-36
        1. He is talking about the slavery of sin
        2. He offers freedom from the bondage of sin
    2. THE BONDAGE OF SIN...
      1. There is the guilt of sin
        1. A guilt shared by everyone - Ro 3:23; 1Jn 1:8
        2. Even if one has committed only one sin (if such were possible!) - Jm 2:10-11
      2. There is the power of sin
        1. Jesus describes how committing sin makes one a slave to sin - Jn 8:34
        2. Paul illustrated the dilemma of one in bondage to the power of sin - Ro 7:14-24

        [More oppressive than any kind physical slavery is the spiritual slavery that comes from being a sinner! While man may legislate political freedom, only Jesus provides freedom from the bondage of sin. How He does this can be seen as we now examine...]

  2. THE TRUTH OF WHICH JESUS SPEAKS
    1. HIS DOCTRINE...
      1. The truth of which Jesus speaks is His own word or doctrine - Jn 8:31-32
      2. Which offers freedom from the bondage of sin
        1. From the guilt of sin through the blood of Christ - cf. Mt 26:28; Ep 1:7
        2. From the power of sin through the Spirit of God - cf. Ro 8:1-2,12-13
    2. WHICH WE MUST OBEY...
      1. To be His disciples indeed - Jn 8:31; cf. Lk 6:46
      2. To be set free from sin - Ro 6:17-18; cf. He 5:9
    3. BEGINNING WITH BAPTISM INTO CHRIST...
      1. In which we are crucified with Christ - Ro 6:3-4a,6a
      2. In which we die to sin, thus freed from sin - Ro 6:6b,7,11a
        1. Its guilt removed by the blood of Jesus - Ac 2:38; 22:16
        2. Its power weakened by the gift of the Holy Spirit - Ac 2:38; Ep 3:16
      3. In which we rise to newness of life, free now to serve God - Ro 6:4c,11b-14,17-18
        1. With the aid of the continual cleansing of Jesus' blood - 1Jn 1:9
        2. With the aid of the Spirit in putting to death the deeds of the body - Ro 8:12-13
    4. CONTINUING WITH ABIDING IN HIS WORD...
      1. As stated by Jesus - Jn 8:31
      2. As reiterated by John - 2Jn 9
CONCLUSION
  1. Perhaps we can now better appreciate the significance of the Great Commission...
    1. To make disciples by baptizing them - Mt 28:19
    2. To make disciples by teaching them to observe all that Christ commanded them - Mt 28:20
  2. For in carrying out the Great Commission into all the world...
    1. We offer the truth that really makes one free!
    2. Freedom from sin, the burden which truly oppresses mankind!

Are you under the heavy burden of sin, both it's guilt and it's power? Then respond to the Savior's tender invitation:

"Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Mt 11:28-30)
Accept His call to discipleship ("take My yoke...learn from Me"), remembering His promise in our text:
"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (Jn 8:36)
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Can’t We All Just Get Along? by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


 https://thepreachersword.com/2018/06/26/cant-we-all-just-get-along/#more-12549

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Since crossing the border into Canada 10 days ago, I haven’t been watching much news. But I noticed an article on my Yahoo news feed this morning bemoaning (again) a lack of civility that continues to plague our country.

I gather there is a war of words regarding Sarah Sanders being asked to leave a  restaurant called the Red Hen. A provocative speech by Rep. Maxine Waters. Some cryptic comments by Rep. Nancy Pelosi. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi being heckled as she bought tickets to see a showing of Mister Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor. And the President tweeting about something needing a paint job and someone with a low I.Q. That’s about it. Eh?

So, as a result, everyone is weighing in on social media and all kinds of vitriolic language is being hurled by one side against another. It seems that everyone feels obligated to make a statement or extend a gesture regarding their political and social views on almost every topic. ThePreachersWord has largely refrained from engaging in such debate except to weigh in on some spiritual and moral issues. Neither have we personally tweeted or posted on facebook our opinions.

Of course, we have opinions. As the old adage goes, “Opinions are like noses. Everybody has one.” Of course, someone may retort, “In your case have you considered plastic surgery?”

However, there is sometimes a virtue in silence. Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself.” Then he added, “Avoid trifling Conversation.” May we add to that to avoid bombastic outbursts. Avoid vulgar insults. Avoid crude and crass speech.

It’s bad enough when have to hear it from our politicians, political pundits, star athletes and talk show hosts, but unfortunately, sometimes it is observed among Christians. Especially on social media.

Coarse language, insulting retorts, abrasive attitudes have no place among the people of God. As we model the character of Christ, we ought to exemplify civility, common courtesy, and good manners.

The Bible is plain regarding the impropriety of rude and crude talk among God’s people.

“But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out-of-place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (Eph. 5:4)

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice (Eph 4:31).

In contrast, 1 Corinthians reminds us that “love is kind.” And “love has good manners.” It is not rude or crude. Love issues itself in speech that is ennobling, uplifting and edifying.

The wise man reminds us of the value of a good word spoken to others, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Prov 16:24)

He further advises, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (Prov.. 21:23).

He opines that “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent” (Prov 17:28).

Indeed “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Prov 15:1).

In a time of fierce partisan divide, let us as God’s set apart people rise above the fray. In our tweets. Our facebook posts. And our individual conversations.

May we constantly engage in gracious speech, “seasoned with salt” to kindly, considerately and with civility respond to others. Even with those whom we may seriously disagree.

The prayer of the Psalmist might benefit us all. “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Ps.141:3).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

 

THE QUESTION OF INFANT BAPTISM BY STEVE FINNELL


 http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-question-of-infant-baptism-by-steve.html

 THE QUESTION OF INFANT BAPTISM BY STEVE FINNELL


Does infant baptism find support in the Scriptures? No, baptizing babies is a man-made doctrine.

Mark 16:16 He who has believed and and been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

Belief precedes baptism in water. Infants cannot believe nor can they disbelieve. Baptism is for those who have already believed.

John 6:24 'Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

Jesus said unless you believe you will die in your sins. Infants cannot believe. Will they die in their sins? Of course not, babies are not guilty of any sins.  In any event, water baptism does not wash away sins of non-believers. If it did, why did Jesus not instruct us to baptized believers and non-believers alike? THERE IS NOT ONE CASE IN SCRIPTURE, WERE A NON-BELIEVER WAS IMMERSED IN WATER.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;.....

How would it be possible to teach infants all that Jesus commanded?

Acts 2:22-41.........41 So then, those who received his word were baptized.... 
On the Day of Pentecost the apostle Peter preached Jesus. The three thousand repented  and were baptized in water. They were not baptized before they received the word of Peter. Infants cannot believe nor do they have anything of which to repent. There is no Biblical doctrine that teaches that adults or infants should be baptized before they believe.

Faith (John 3:16) precedes water baptism. Babies have no faith.
Repentance (Acts 2:38) precede water baptism. Infant have not sinned; therefore, they do not need to repent. Babies cannot turn from sin and turn toward God. They are not sinners.
Confession  (Acts 8:35-37) precedes water baptism.

INFANTS ARE NOT GUILTY OF SIN

James 1:14-15 But each one is tempted when he is carried way and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Do infants lust for fornication, are they thieves, do they get drunk, do they lie, are they swindlers? Babies are not guilty of sin.

Ezekiel 18:20 The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment of the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.

Infants are not guilty of their fathers sins nor are they guilty of the, first man, Adam's sin.

Cain was not guilty of Adam's sin; he was guilty of  his own sin because he murdered his brother Abel.(Genesis 4:1-8)

All men die physically because Adam sinned. Men die spiritually because of the unforgiven sins they, themselves, commit.

INFANT BAPTISM?

1. Infants are not candidates for baptism because they are not guilty of sin.(Ezekiel 18:20)
2. Infants cannot be baptized because they are not capable of believing the gospel.(Mark 16:16, John 3:16)
3. Infants are not subjects for baptism because they cannot confess Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:35-37)
4. Infants are not candidates for baptism because they cannot repent nor do they have anything of which to repent. (Luke 24:47, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19)

INFANT BAPTISM IS THE PRODUCT OF MAN-MADE CREED BOOKS. 

Chapter 5 LIMITED ATONEMENT Man's words Canons of Dordt - Second Head of Doctrine Article 8 commented on by C.A. Feenstra

 

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Chapter 5

LIMITED ATONEMENT

Man's words

Canons of Dordt - Second Head of Doctrine

Article 8


For this was the sovereign counsel and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of His Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation; that is, it was the will of God that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby He confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation and given to Him by the Father; that He should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, He purchased for them by His death; should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them, free from every spot and blemish, to the enjoyment of glory in His own presence forever.

* * *

"The Biblical or Calvinistic position is that Christ intended that his death should atone only for the elect and not for others. According to this position, man is totally depraved, and God, loving some with a great love, elected them, or in other words, determined that they should be saved. He sent Christ to die for them and them alone, thereby saving them. Thus the atonement of Christ is limited to some and is not intended for all. Hence, the name 'limited atonement'. That is all there is to the doctrine. It is very simple." The Five Points of Calvinism, Edwin H. Palmer, Th.D., page 35

"Historical or mainline Calvinism has consistently maintained that Christ's redeeming work was definite in design and accomplishment -- that it was intended to render complete satisfaction for certain specified sinners and that it actually secured salvation for these individuals and for no one else. The salvation which Christ earned for His people includes everything involved in bringing them into a right relationship with God, including the gifts of faith and repentance. Christ did not die simply to make it possible for God to pardon sinners. Neither does God leave it up to sinners as to whether or not Christ's work will be effective. On the contrary, all for whom Christ sacrificed Himself will be saved infallibly. Redemption, therefore, was designed to bring to pass God's purpose of election.

All Calvinists agree that Christ's obedience and suffering were of infinite value, and that if God had so willed, the satisfaction rendered by Christ would have saved every member of the human race. It would have required no more obedience nor any greater suffering for Christ to have secured salvation for every man, woman, and child who ever lived than it did for Him to secure salvation for the elect only. But He came into the world to represent and save only those given to Him by the Father. Thus Christ's saving work was limited in that it was designed to save some and not others, but it was not limited in value for it was of infinite worth and would have secured salvation for everyone if this had been God's intention." The Five Points of Calvinism, Steele and Thomas, page 39

Q. Is Calvinism's "Limited Atonement" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that God loves all men?

"For Jehovah your God, he is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, the mighty, and the terrible, who regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward. He doth execute justice for the fatherless and widow, and loveth the sojourner, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the sojourner; for ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt." Deut. 10:17-19

"Jehovah is gracious, and merciful;
Slow to anger, and of great lovingkindness.
Jehovah is good to all;
And his tender mercies are over all his works." Ps. 145:8-9

"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else." Isa. 45:22

"Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezek. 33:11

"But I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. For if ye love them that love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?... Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Matt. 5:44-46, 48

"But love your enemies, and do them good, and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil. Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:35-36

Q. Is Calvinism's "Limited Atonement" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that God loves all men and that He desires the salvation of all men?

"Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? saith the Lord Jehovah; and not rather that he should return from his way, and live?...For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord Jehovah: wherefore turn yourselves, and live." Ezek. 18:23, 32

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

"And we have beheld and bear witness that the Father hath sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." I John 4:14

"For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men" Titus 2:11

"This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." I Tim. 2:3-4

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isa. 53:6

"And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people." Luke 2:10

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." II Pet. 3:9

Q. Is Calvinism's "Limited Atonement" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that Jesus died for all men?

"Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all." I Tim. 2:5-6

"And he (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world." I John 2:2

"But we behold him who hath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God he should taste of death for every man." Heb. 2:9

"And he (Jesus) died for all, that they that live should no longer live unto themselves, but unto him who for their sakes died and rose again." II Cor. 5:15

"Who needeth not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he (Jesus) did once for all, when he offered up himself." Heb. 7:27

"By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Heb. 10:10

* * *

Q. Is Calvinism's "Limited Atonement" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that God earnestly calls all men to hear and obey the gospel of His Son that they may be saved?

"...Jesus answered and said...Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; ...and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt. 11:25, 28-29

"And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned." Mark 16:15-16

"And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:" Matt. 28:18-19

"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem." Luke 24:47

"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Rev. 22:17 AV

* * *

Q. If God loves all men and Jesus died for all men, does this mean that all men will be saved?

"Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it." Matt. 7:13-14

"For many are called, but few chosen." Matt. 22:14

Q. Is Calvinism's "Limited Atonement" true, OR does GOD'S WORD teach that Jesus died for some men who will be lost?

"For through thy knowledge he that is weak perisheth, the brother for whose sake Christ died." I Cor. 8:11

"Destroy not with thy meat him for whom Christ died." Rom. 14:15

"Overthrow not for meat's sake the work of God.... It is good not to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor to do anything whereby thy brother stumbleth." Rom. 14:20-21

"But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them" II Pet. 2:1

* * *

Q. If God loves all men and Jesus died for all men and yet only few are saved, who are these few?

"And he (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his (Jesus') commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoso keepeth his (Jesus') word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected." I John 2:2-5

"...The living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe." I Tim. 4:10

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven." Matt. 7:21

"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Matt. 17:5

"He (Jesus) became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation." Heb. 5:9

"He that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36b

* * *

Q. Is Calvinism's "Limited Atonement" true, OR is there a great amount of teaching in GOD'S WORD which shows us that God loves all men and that He desires their salvation, and that Jesus' death made salvation possible for whosoever will obey him?

"On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!" John 1:29

"And they (the Samaritans) said to the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy speaking: for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world." John 4:42

"For the bread of God is that which cometh down out of heaven, and giveth life unto the world." John 6:33

"I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world." John 6:51

"Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

"I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and shall find pasture." John 10:9

"And I (Jesus), if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself." John 12:32

"And if any man hear my sayings, and keep them not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." John 12:47

"For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell; and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross..." Col. 1:19-20

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev. 3:20

"...God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and gave unto us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses..." II Cor. 5:18-19

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?" Rom. 8:32

"For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matt. 12:50

"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matt. 18:4

"Jesus answered and said unto her, Every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life." John 4:13-14

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die." John 11:25-26

"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me may not abide in the darkness." John 12:46

"And it shall be, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Acts 2:21

"For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him: for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Rom. 10:12-13

"...Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's shall save it." Mark 8:35

"Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine (Jesus), and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:" Matt. 7:24 AV

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." Matt. 10:32 AV

"To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Acts 10:43 AV

"Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my (Jesus') sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house..." Luke 6:47-48 AV

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life." John 3:14-15

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame." Rom. 10:10-11

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God: and whosoever loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him." I John 5:1

"As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Rom. 9:33 AV

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

* * *

Q. How are we to harmonize the few scriptures which teach that Christ died for "the sheep" and "the church", with the many, many scriptures which teach that he died for all men?

"And he (Jesus) is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. And hereby we know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him (Jesus), and keepeth not his (Jesus') commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoso keepeth his (Jesus') word, in him verily hath the love of God been perfected." I John 2:2-5

"...The living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe." I Tim. 4:10

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

Bible Reading for August 11 and 12 by Gary Rose

 


Bible Reading for August 11 and 12

World  English  Bible


Aug. 11

Nehemiah 10, 11

Neh 10:1 Now those who sealed were: Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hacaliah, and Zedekiah,

Neh 10:2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

Neh 10:3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malchijah,

Neh 10:4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluch,

Neh 10:5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

Neh 10:6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

Neh 10:7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

Neh 10:8 Maaziah, Bilgai, Shemaiah; these were the priests.

Neh 10:9 The Levites: namely, Jeshua the son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel;

Neh 10:10 and their brothers, Shebaniah, Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

Neh 10:11 Mica, Rehob, Hashabiah,

Neh 10:12 Zaccur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

Neh 10:13 Hodiah, Bani, Beninu.

Neh 10:14 The chiefs of the people: Parosh, Pahathmoab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,

Neh 10:15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

Neh 10:16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

Neh 10:17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,

Neh 10:18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,

Neh 10:19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nobai,

Neh 10:20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

Neh 10:21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,

Neh 10:22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

Neh 10:23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,

Neh 10:24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,

Neh 10:25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

Neh 10:26 and Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,

Neh 10:27 Malluch, Harim, Baanah.

Neh 10:28 The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge, and understanding;

Neh 10:29 They joined with their brothers, their nobles, and entered into a curse, and into an oath, to walk in God's law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of Yahweh our Lord, and his ordinances and his statutes;

Neh 10:30 and that we would not give our daughters to the peoples of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons;

Neh 10:31 and if the peoples of the land bring wares or any grain on the Sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy of them on the Sabbath, or on a holy day; and that we would forego the seventh year, and the exaction of every debt.

Neh 10:32 Also we made ordinances for us, to charge ourselves yearly with the third part of a shekel for the service of the house of our God;

Neh 10:33 for the show bread, and for the continual meal offering, and for the continual burnt offering, for the Sabbaths, for the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.

Neh 10:34 We cast lots, the priests, the Levites, and the people, for the wood offering, to bring it into the house of our God, according to our fathers' houses, at times appointed, year by year, to burn on the altar of Yahweh our God, as it is written in the law;

Neh 10:35 and to bring the first fruits of our ground, and the first fruits of all fruit of all manner of trees, year by year, to the house of Yahweh;

Neh 10:36 also the firstborn of our sons, and of our livestock, as it is written in the law, and the firstborn of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God;

Neh 10:37 and that we should bring the first fruits of our dough, and our wave offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, the new wine and the oil, to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground to the Levites; for they, the Levites, take the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

Neh 10:38 The priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

Neh 10:39 For the children of Israel and the children of Levi shall bring the wave offering of the grain, of the new wine, and of the oil, to the chambers, where are the vessels of the sanctuary, and the priests who minister, and the porters, and the singers: and we will not forsake the house of our God.


Neh 11:1 The princes of the people lived in Jerusalem: the rest of the people also cast lots, to bring one of ten to dwell in Jerusalem the holy city, and nine parts in the other cities.

Neh 11:2 The people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell in Jerusalem.

Neh 11:3 Now these are the chiefs of the province who lived in Jerusalem: but in the cities of Judah lived everyone in his possession in their cities, to wit, Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants.

Neh 11:4 In Jerusalem lived certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin. Of the children of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, of the children of Perez;

Neh 11:5 and Maaseiah the son of Baruch, the son of Colhozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, the son of the Shilonite.

Neh 11:6 All the sons of Perez who lived in Jerusalem were four hundred sixty-eight valiant men.

Neh 11:7 These are the sons of Benjamin: Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah, the son of Ithiel, the son of Jeshaiah.

Neh 11:8 After him Gabbai, Sallai, nine hundred twenty-eight.

Neh 11:9 Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer; and Judah the son of Hassenuah was second over the city.

Neh 11:10 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib, Jachin,

Neh 11:11 Seraiah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God,

Neh 11:12 and their brothers who did the work of the house, eight hundred twenty-two; and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malchijah,

Neh 11:13 and his brothers, chiefs of fathers' houses, two hundred forty-two; and Amashsai the son of Azarel, the son of Ahzai, the son of Meshillemoth, the son of Immer,

Neh 11:14 and their brothers, mighty men of valor, one hundred twenty-eight; and their overseer was Zabdiel, the son of Haggedolim.

Neh 11:15 Of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;

Neh 11:16 and Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chiefs of the Levites, who had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God;

Neh 11:17 and Mattaniah the son of Mica, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph, who was the chief to begin the thanksgiving in prayer, and Bakbukiah, the second among his brothers; and Abda the son of Shammua, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun.

Neh 11:18 All the Levites in the holy city were two hundred eighty-four.

Neh 11:19 Moreover the porters, Akkub, Talmon, and their brothers, who kept watch at the gates, were one hundred seventy-two.

Neh 11:20 The residue of Israel, of the priests, the Levites, were in all the cities of Judah, everyone in his inheritance.

Neh 11:21 But the Nethinim lived in Ophel: and Ziha and Gishpa were over the Nethinim.

Neh 11:22 The overseer also of the Levites at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Mica, of the sons of Asaph, the singers, over the business of the house of God.

Neh 11:23 For there was a commandment from the king concerning them, and a settled provision for the singers, as every day required.

Neh 11:24 Pethahiah the son of Meshezabel, of the children of Zerah the son of Judah, was at the king's hand in all matters concerning the people.

Neh 11:25 As for the villages, with their fields, some of the children of Judah lived in Kiriath Arba and its towns, and in Dibon and its towns, and in Jekabzeel and its villages,

Neh 11:26 and in Jeshua, and in Moladah, and Beth Pelet,

Neh 11:27 and in Hazar Shual, and in Beersheba and its towns,

Neh 11:28 and in Ziklag, and in Meconah and in its towns,

Neh 11:29 and in En Rimmon, and in Zorah, and in Jarmuth,

Neh 11:30 Zanoah, Adullam, and their villages, Lachish and its fields, Azekah and its towns. So they encamped from Beersheba to the valley of Hinnom.

Neh 11:31 The children of Benjamin also lived from Geba onward, at Michmash and Aija, and at Bethel and its towns,

Neh 11:32 at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,

Neh 11:33 Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim,

Neh 11:34 Hadid, Zeboim, Neballat,

Neh 11:35 Lod, and Ono, the valley of craftsmen.

Neh 11:36 Of the Levites, certain divisions in Judah were joined to Benjamin. 

 

Aug. 12

Nehemiah 12, 13

Neh 12:1 Now these are the priests and the Levites who went up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra,

Neh 12:2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush,

Neh 12:3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth,

Neh 12:4 Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah,

Neh 12:5 Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah,

Neh 12:6 Shemaiah, and Joiarib, Jedaiah.

Neh 12:7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua.

Neh 12:8 Moreover the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who was over the thanksgiving, he and his brothers.

Neh 12:9 Also Bakbukiah and Unno, their brothers, were over against them according to their offices.

Neh 12:10 Jeshua became the father of Joiakim, and Joiakim became the father of Eliashib, and Eliashib became the father of Joiada,

Neh 12:11 and Joiada became the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan became the father of Jaddua.

Neh 12:12 In the days of Joiakim were priests, heads of fathers' houses: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah;

Neh 12:13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan;

Neh 12:14 of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph;

Neh 12:15 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai;

Neh 12:16 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam;

Neh 12:17 of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai;

Neh 12:18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan;

Neh 12:19 and of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi;

Neh 12:20 of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber;

Neh 12:21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel.

Neh 12:22 As for the Levites, in the days of Eliashib, Joiada, and Johanan, and Jaddua, there were recorded the heads of fathers' houses; also the priests, in the reign of Darius the Persian.

Neh 12:23 The sons of Levi, heads of fathers' houses, were written in the book of the chronicles, even until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib.

Neh 12:24 The chiefs of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers over against them, to praise and give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch next to watch.

Neh 12:25 Mattaniah, and Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, Akkub, were porters keeping the watch at the storehouses of the gates.

Neh 12:26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor, and of Ezra the priest the scribe.

Neh 12:27 At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with giving thanks, and with singing, with cymbals, stringed instruments, and with harps.

Neh 12:28 The sons of the singers gathered themselves together, both out of the plain around Jerusalem, and from the villages of the Netophathites;

Neh 12:29 also from Beth Gilgal, and out of the fields of Geba and Azmaveth: for the singers had built them villages around Jerusalem.

Neh 12:30 The priests and the Levites purified themselves; and they purified the people, and the gates, and the wall.

Neh 12:31 Then I brought up the princes of Judah on the wall, and appointed two great companies who gave thanks and went in procession. One went on the right hand on the wall toward the dung gate;

Neh 12:32 and after them went Hoshaiah, and half of the princes of Judah,

Neh 12:33 and Azariah, Ezra, and Meshullam,

Neh 12:34 Judah, and Benjamin, and Shemaiah, and Jeremiah,

Neh 12:35 and certain of the priests' sons with trumpets: Zechariah the son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph;

Neh 12:36 and his brothers, Shemaiah, and Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God; and Ezra the scribe was before them.

Neh 12:37 By the spring gate, and straight before them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, even to the water gate eastward.

Neh 12:38 The other company of those who gave thanks went to meet them, and I after them, with the half of the people, on the wall, above the tower of the furnaces, even to the broad wall,

Neh 12:39 and above the gate of Ephraim, and by the old gate, and by the fish gate, and the tower of Hananel, and the tower of Hammeah, even to the sheep gate: and they stood still in the gate of the guard.

Neh 12:40 So stood the two companies of those who gave thanks in the house of God, and I, and the half of the rulers with me;

Neh 12:41 and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets;

Neh 12:42 and Maaseiah, and Shemaiah, and Eleazar, and Uzzi, and Jehohanan, and Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezer. The singers sang loud, with Jezrahiah their overseer.

Neh 12:43 They offered great sacrifices that day, and rejoiced; for God had made them rejoice with great joy; and the women also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.

Neh 12:44 On that day were men appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the wave offerings, for the first fruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them, according to the fields of the cities, the portions appointed by the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites who waited.

Neh 12:45 They performed the duty of their God, and the duty of the purification, and so did the singers and the porters, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son.

Neh 12:46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there was a chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Neh 12:47 All Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, as every day required: and they set apart that which was for the Levites; and the Levites set apart that which was for the sons of Aaron.


Neh 13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that an Ammonite and a Moabite should not enter into the assembly of God forever,

Neh 13:2 because they didn't meet the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, to curse them: however our God turned the curse into a blessing.

Neh 13:3 It came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude.

Neh 13:4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, being allied to Tobiah,

Neh 13:5 had prepared for him a great chamber, where before they laid the meal offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the wave offerings for the priests.

Neh 13:6 But in all this time I was not at Jerusalem; for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king: and after certain days asked I leave of the king,

Neh 13:7 and I came to Jerusalem, and understood the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God.

Neh 13:8 It grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber.

Neh 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and there brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meal offerings and the frankincense.

Neh 13:10 I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them; so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled everyone to his field.

Neh 13:11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken? I gathered them together, and set them in their place.

Neh 13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the grain and the new wine and the oil to the treasuries.

Neh 13:13 I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were counted faithful, and their business was to distribute to their brothers.

Neh 13:14 Remember me, my God, concerning this, and don't wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for its observances.

Neh 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some men treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys therewith; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day in which they sold food.

Neh 13:16 There lived men of Tyre also therein, who brought in fish, and all manner of wares, and sold on the Sabbath to the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

Neh 13:17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said to them, What evil thing is this that you do, and profane the Sabbath day?

Neh 13:18 Didn't your fathers do thus, and did not our God bring all this evil on us, and on this city? yet you bring more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

Neh 13:19 It came to pass that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut, and commanded that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. I set some of my servants over the gates, that no burden should be brought in on the Sabbath day.

Neh 13:20 So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside of Jerusalem once or twice.

Neh 13:21 Then I testified against them, and said to them, Why do you stay around the wall? if you do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath.

Neh 13:22 I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember to me, my God, this also, and spare me according to the greatness of your loving kindness.

Neh 13:23 In those days also saw I the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:

Neh 13:24 and their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.

Neh 13:25 I contended with them, and cursed them, and struck certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take their daughters for your sons, or for yourselves.

Neh 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, and he was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did foreign women cause to sin.

Neh 13:27 Shall we then listen to you to do all this great evil, to trespass against our God in marrying foreign women?

Neh 13:28 One of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son-in-law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me.

Neh 13:29 Remember them, my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.

Neh 13:30 Thus cleansed I them from all foreigners, and appointed duties for the priests and for the Levites, everyone in his work;

Neh 13:31 and for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the first fruits. Remember me, my God, for good.


Aug. 11, 12

Acts 24

Act 24:1 After five days, the high priest, Ananias, came down with certain elders and an orator, one Tertullus. They informed the governor against Paul.

Act 24:2 When he was called, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, "Seeing that by you we enjoy much peace, and that excellent measures are coming to this nation,

Act 24:3 we accept it in all ways and in all places, most excellent Felix, with all thankfulness.

Act 24:4 But, that I don't delay you, I entreat you to bear with us and hear a few words.

Act 24:5 For we have found this man to be a plague, an instigator of insurrections among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

Act 24:6 He even tried to profane the temple, and we arrested him.

Act 24:7 but the commanding officer, Lysias, came by and with great violence took him out of our hands,

Act 24:8 commanding his accusers to come to you. By examining him yourself you may ascertain all these things of which we accuse him."

Act 24:9 The Jews also joined in the attack, affirming that these things were so.

Act 24:10 When the governor had beckoned to him to speak, Paul answered, "Because I know that you have been a judge of this nation for many years, I cheerfully make my defense,

Act 24:11 seeing that you can recognize that it is not more than twelve days since I went up to worship at Jerusalem.

Act 24:12 In the temple they didn't find me disputing with anyone or stirring up a crowd, either in the synagogues, or in the city.

Act 24:13 Nor can they prove to you the things of which they now accuse me.

Act 24:14 But this I confess to you, that after the Way, which they call a sect, so I serve the God of our fathers, believing all things which are according to the law, and which are written in the prophets;

Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Act 24:16 Herein I also practice always having a conscience void of offense toward God and men.

Act 24:17 Now after some years, I came to bring gifts for the needy to my nation, and offerings;

Act 24:18 amid which certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, not with a mob, nor with turmoil.

Act 24:19 They ought to have been here before you, and to make accusation, if they had anything against me.

Act 24:20 Or else let these men themselves say what injustice they found in me when I stood before the council,

Act 24:21 unless it is for this one thing that I cried standing among them, 'Concerning the resurrection of the dead I am being judged before you today!' "

Act 24:22 But Felix, having more exact knowledge concerning the Way, deferred them, saying, "When Lysias, the commanding officer, comes down, I will decide your case."

Act 24:23 He ordered the centurion that Paul should be kept in custody, and should have some privileges, and not to forbid any of his friends to serve him or to visit him.

Act 24:24 But after some days, Felix came with Drusilla, his wife, who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ Jesus.

Act 24:25 As he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified, and answered, "Go your way for this time, and when it is convenient for me, I will summon you."

Act 24:26 Meanwhile, he also hoped that money would be given to him by Paul, that he might release him. Therefore also he sent for him more often, and talked with him.

Act 24:27 But when two years were fulfilled, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, and desiring to gain favor with the Jews, Felix left Paul in bonds.