Scripture for 10.12.2018

TORAH  – Bereshit (In the beginning)

  • Genesis 6:1-8

Prophets

  • Joshua 10

Wisdom Writing 

  • Psalm 7
  • Psalm of the Day 93
  • Proverbs 2:1-5

The Gospels & Letters

  • Matthew 7
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The Last Knock

Situation: An Antifa member viciously attacks Christians and seconds later as he runs to block the highway gets seriously hit by a truck.

Q: What would our LORD Jesus do for this young man?

A: First, take care that the angry young man is physically cared for. Secondly, He would say ‘pray for those who persecute you.’ If your enemy is thirsty, give him water to drink. His prayer for His enemies which treated Him so severely still was, ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do.’ His standard is the highest standard possible. It is to be our standard as His disciples. Did you know that Israelis actually have hospitals in Israel near the battle zones and care for wounded enemies as well?

When you know God, as Father, as Abba, He is constantly protecting His own from the assaults of the enemy. When Saul(who was later renamed Paul, the Apostle)was persecuting, imprisoning and killing Christians, God knocked him off his high horse and said, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Jesus had already been crucified, buried and resurrected and ascended to His throne, but He in His glorified state as omnipresent (present everywhere), omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) knew His people, His sheep, His lambs, His children were being persecuted and appeared at that place to deal directly with Saul. Any attack against His flock who He lovingly watches over is taken as an attack against Him.

So back to the young man. This morning, we read in our daily portion a passage from Proverbs 1:24-31, “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand and no man regarded: But you have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof; I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock, when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as a desolation, and your destruction as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come upon you, then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; for they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD; they would none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.”

Charles Bridges comments, “The Saviour calls by His Word, His Providence, His Ministers, conscience. But you refused. Not til his calls have been refused, does He thunder forth His warnings. Man alone resists his yoke.”

“Does this unmeasured wrath seem inconsistent with a God of love? The Lord our God is a consuming fire. And think of His knowledge, instead of being a delight, being hated; his fear not chosen; none of his gracious counsel regarded; all of his reproof despised.

“Is it not just, that the sinner, this obstinately bent on the choice of his own way, should not only gather, but eat the fruit of it?”

“We must not, however, soften down God’s own words by a misplaced presumptuous tenderness…there is a knock, which will be the last knock; that a sinner may be lost this side of hell; intreated, pleaded with, wept over–yet lost!..It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

I pray for the young man that he may live and know the true and living God. May this incident be a wake up call for him and for his community. Christ did not come to save the righteous, but sinners and as Paul said, of which I am the foremost.” Would you pray in agreement with me? And that God would send him compassionate Christian doctors and nurses to help him recover? Since God said in His Word that He does not rejoice in the death of the wicked, should we also not grieve for these lost souls as deceived and destructive as they are, that they may repent and turn from their wicked ways? That he would bring home the prodigals of our lives?

Wisdom for Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Storm clouds lightning

Proverbs 1:24-28

Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,

Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,

 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,

When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.

 

“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

 

 

 

Examining Bible References

Looking at Bible References. When I first came to know the Lord after practicing Buddhism for 14 years, I was looking for apologetic materials on how to witness to Buddhists. At the time, I found an article by “an expert” on Nichiren Shoshu, the Buddhism I had practiced who said that Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists worshipped a black box called the Gohonzon, when in fact the black box was actually the cabinet, the butsudon, in which the object of worship, the Gohonzon was enshrined. In article after article I read, the same mistake was passed on. Any serious Buddhist seeking answers would basically say the apologists didn’t have a clue what they were talking about and would turn elsewhere for their info. An opportunity lost.

Is this still an issue? Yes. On the journey of Exploring God’s Library, our reading yesterday led us to Joshua Chapter 6 and the famous battle of Jericho. After reading the passage, I was overjoyed to discover a video on the archaeological research of Dr. Bryant Wood. This morning I thought, I wonder what The Biblical World says about Jericho and the famous Biblical event. Here’s my note to Elizabeth who’s about to search for any updated version

“Is there an upgrade of Pfeiffer’s The Biblical World last published by Baker in 1972? Why? Simply because on page 308 Archaeologist Kenyon’s interpretation of the fall of Jericho which refuted the findings of her colleague Garstang, conjectured that the destruction of Jericho had occurred 150 years before the birth of Joshua. However, the excellent archaeological research of Dr. Bryant Wood, formerly a nuclear engineer who left his profession and became a specialist in Middle Age Bronze Age pottery disproved her analysis by an intensive global search and exhaustive unearthing of evidence which conclusively affirms the historicity and accuracy of the Biblical text in Joshua 6.”

So we must also check the accuracy of the facts we are fed by the experts. I’m not calling into question Pfeiffer’s excellent work, I just realized that they only provided the most up-to-date research they had until 1977.

If you or any of your colleagues knows of an updated or superior archaeological work on the Biblical World, please let us know.

Thanks,

James Stephens

exploringgodslibrary@gmail.com
Or exploringgodslibrary.org.

Scripture for 10.8.2018

TORAH  – Bereshit (In the beginning)

Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526 in the Courtauld Gallery, London
Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526 in the Courtauld Gallery, London
  • Genesis 3
    • “The serpent deceives Eve, 1-5. Both she and Adam transgress the divine command, and fall into sin and misery, 6,7. God arraigns them, 8-13. The serpent is cursed, 14. The promised seed, 15. The punishment of mankind, 16-20. Their first clothing, 21. Their expulsion from paradise, 22-24.”*

Prophets

  • Joshua 5
    • “The Canaanites are afraid, 1. Joshua renew circumcision, 2-9. The passover is kept at Gilgal, 10,11. Manna ceases, 12. An Angel appears to Joshua, 13-15.”*
  • Joshua 6
    • “Jericho is shut up, 1. God instructs Joshua how to besiege it, 2-19. [Marker Warfare-W.1-“Joshua was one of the greatest military strategists in antiquity”] The city is compassed, 12-16, It must be accursed, 17-19. The walls fall down, 20,21. Rahab is saved, 22-25. The builder of Jericho is cursed, 26, 27.”*
    •   “Secrets of the Bible: The Fall of Jericho with Dr. Bryant Wood” 

Wisdom Writing 

  • Psalm 3
    • “The security of God’s protection.”*
  • Psalm of the Day 48
    • “The ornaments and privileges of the church.”*
  • Proverbs 1:10-19
    • “To avoid the enticing of sinners.”*

The Gospels & Letters

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  • Matthew 3
    • “John preaches: his office, life, and baptism, 1-6. He reprehends the Pharisees, 7-12, and baptizes Christ in Jordan, 13-17.”*