How to murder children: Bible style

On a Facebook website called “Jesus or Mohammad, who’s the Right Way to Heaven,” the following was posted by a Muslim, I presume.

I present it here to demonstrate how many go to the Bible to find fault with what it says, without having understood it, and probably without having read it.

This example is an example of how not to interpret the Bible. The error, of course, is failing to consider the context of each passage, and arbitrarily linking passages which have no obvious connection with each other. To learn much more about how to interpret the Bible, read the two major posts I have placed in the October 2010 Archives at the link given at the right hand side of this page.

How to Murder Children: Bible Style

Matthew 18:6                                    Drown them

Lamentations 2:20                           Moms should eat daughters

Ezekiel 5:10                                         Fathers should eat sons

Lamentations 4:4                             Starve them to death

Genesis 9:24; Lev 10:3                    Set fire to them

Exodus 12:29                                      Smite them all dead

Deuteronomy 21:21                        Stone them to death

Joshua 10:36                                      Use a sword

Nahum 3:10                                        Smash them in the streets

Matthew 19:29                                 Abandon them

Revelation 2:23                               Kill them with death

Deuteronomy 32:24                        Poison them

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=147303515861844&set=p.147303515861844&type=3

 

My Comment:

Very interesting list, but all these Bible texts are taken out of context. That means that none of these texts actually support the claim that is made for them, namely, that the Bible gives instructions on how to kill children.

 

The Bible says, “Judas went and hanged himself.” It also says, “Go and do thou likewise.” It also says, “And what thou doest, do quickly.”

 

See Matthew 27:5; Luke 10:37; John 13:27.

 

It ought to be quite clear from my short example that taking words out of context or combining them arbitrarily is not the proper or correct way to interpret or understand the Bible.

 

The Bible gives us accurate history. It does not commend the evil actions of some of the people it records. David had multiple wives, committed adultery which led to murder. The Bible does not commend those evil actions on the part of David. But the Bible told the truth about the people it gives the history of, even when that truth reflects badly on those people.

 

By the way, no other ancient literature has come down to us which faithfully records the character flaws of ancient heroes and important persons like the Bible does. The Bible declares the whole truth, even when that truth reflects unfavorably upon the person spoken of. Secular literature reports the good deeds, not the bad deeds, of the important people it tells about.

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Daily Bible Nugget #462, Isaiah 40:8

The Nugget:

Isa 40:8  The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

My Comment:

The Bible is dependable. It does not contain errors. It is the Word of God. It is Divinely inspired. You can trust that what it says and teaches is the truth. Anyone who claims otherwise has not studied the subject enough to know better.

On a website populated mostly by Muslims I have read many false claims about what the Bible says, and many false claims about the reliability of the Bible. This evening, I took the time to give what I hope will be a clear, fair, and I hope helpful explanation that refutes some of the charges repeatedly made by some in the Muslim community against the truth of the Bible.

The Muslim claim:

“The Oldest Version of the Bible in the World is the Sinai Bible, Housed in the British Museum!!

“There are over 14,800 differences between this Bible and the King James Version!!

“Woe to the people who write the Scripture with their own hands and then says This is from God” (Koran 2:79).

My Response:

Whoever wrote these supposed “facts” has done little by way of learning about textual criticism and scholarly research. The variations within the original manuscripts, though numerous, are inconsequential. Most differences are minor variations in spelling, word order, and grammatical matters. The differences do not affect the meaning. The fact that the Bible has more manuscript evidence to support its text, and manuscripts that go back closer to the time of its original composition means we have a text that is more certain to be accurate than for any other work of ancient times.

The Muslim Claim:

“May I have your attention please!!”

“The Revised Standard Version saying something about the King James Version!!”

“If you read the Preface of the Revised Standard Version it says:

“Yet the King James Version has grave defects; that these defects are so many and so serious as to call for revision!!”

Further, “Bible gone for a toss–Dr. Clinton Baldwin [near as I can make out the fine print].

“We have lost the Originals of the New Testament!!”

“Today what we have is the copy of the copy of the copy of the copy of the copy of the copy of the Originals.”

My Response:

The Revised Standard Version was produced by liberal scholarship and was not accepted by most Bible believing Christians when it first appeared. It was accepted widely in many so-called mainline Protestant churches or denominations.
 
The so-called “grave defects” are not defects at all. Our knowledge of ancient Bible manuscripts has greatly increased since the years before 1611 when the King James Version was released. The King James translators did not have access to as many or as good of manuscripts as scholars have access to in our day. But the better manuscripts available today which were discovered since the time when the King James Version was produced, while giving us a better picture of what the original copies must have said, vary little from the received text underlying the King James Version. What variations there are do not affect any Bible doctrine. I have in my personal library here at home a large collection of published scholarly works and texts pertaining to the Greek text of the New Testament. I have studied this subject since 1955. You can be sure I know something about this topic in depth.
 
The notion that “we have lost the originals” is more hype than reality. The reality is that no ancient literature has come down to us except in the form of copies of copies of copies. Those who copied the Bible manuscripts were extremely careful. They made every effort, humanly speaking, to make the copies accurately.
 
But when things are copied by hand, it is next to impossible to make entirely error free copies, especially when a document has been copied many times over many years, even centuries, before the invention of printing.
 
But because the Bible has more manuscript support than any other work of literature from ancient or classical literature, and its surviving manuscripts are proportionately much older, and the oldest Bible manuscripts are closer to the time the Bible books were written–especially for the New Testament, by comparing these manuscripts carefully it is relatively easy for those who can read the original language to determine what the original text was and when a variation is the result of a copyist’s error.
 
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which contained in the collection some Bible manuscripts used by the community whose library was preserved in the jars found in caves by the Dead Sea demonstrates the accuracy of our settled printed text of the Old Testament of today. There are very few differences in the printed text of today and the texts found by the Dead Sea.
 
Interestingly, a complete scroll of Isaiah was among the finds at the Dead Sea. That is most significant because liberal scholarship has contended that the Book of Isaiah was not written by a single author. The claim is that chapters 1 to 39 were perhaps by Isaiah, but chapters 40 to 66 are by another and probably later author. In my studies just recently I read so-called modern scholarship that suggests the latter portion of Isaiah ought to be divided and referred to two authors, for a total of three!
 
All this is so much nonsense and misinformation. There is no sign whatsoever in the Qumran Isaiah scroll that suggests any such breaks in the text were known to them. It is evident that such notions are the invention of so-called modern scholarship, unbelieving scholarship at that.
 
It is scholarship like this that produced the Revised Standard Version in its day, which has left out many verses and parts of verses, and called into question the account of how Jesus dealt with the adulterous woman in John chapter 8, and have called into question the longer ending of the Gospel of Mark.
 
It is possible to produce an original text and a proper translation of it without resorting to the mistaken textual theories followed by the translators of the Revised Standard Version.

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Daily Bible Nugget #461, 1 Samuel 15:3

The Nugget:

1Sa 15:3  Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 

My Comment:

This passage, and perhaps some others like it, is sometimes brought forward as an objection to the morality of the Bible. It might by some be considered a “problem passage.” The key to understanding such a passage is to (1) consider the immediate context;  (2) take into account other passages in the Bible that shed light on the “problem passage.” When this is done, the “problem” is generally removed, and a deeper understanding of how God operates will be gained.

This passage was just brought forward to me by someone who claims that reading the Bible turned him away from any faith in the God of the Bible because incidents like this are immoral.

A commenter said,

“it’s the parts of the bible that i do understand is why i reject the bible.
“any book that values obedience more than morality deserves to be challenged. since those ideas lead to terrorism.”

To that, I suggested:

“I think you need to learn to re-read a difficult text until you understand it. There has been in all of world history no source of higher morality than the Bible. There has never been a Person who more perfectly fulfilled and accurately represented the morality of the Bible than the Lord Jesus Christ.

“It may be possible that the parts of the Bible you believe you understand may be parts that you do not actually understand. Each part must be understood in the light of the whole.”

The commenter then presented the case of 1 Samuel 15:1-3.

My Response:

As you read the Bible, it is very important to understand who is spoken of, who is spoken to, and by whom. In this case, a directive given by the prophet Samuel to Saul the King of Israel is not a general command or principle to be followed by all believers from then until now!
 
Have you met any Amalekites lately? I’ve never met any. So the command does not apply to me or to anyone else in this day and age.
 
God gave a reason for the local command given to Saul:  “I remember that which Amelek did to Israel.” If you study that out further, you will find that God had His reasons for the command He gave.
 
Without digging further into the historical background, I would mention that God gave a promise to Abraham that is recorded in Genesis 12:3,
 
Gen 12:3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
 
God has kept this promise throughout history.
 
The incident that provoked or brought about this dreadful revenge from God is recorded in Exodus 17:8-16.
 
The Israelites were attacked and had done nothing to provoke such an attack. The attackers were out to plunder the goods of the Israelites. They attacked the rear, where the feeble, the elderly, and the very young were keeping up as best they could.
 
Because of this wrongful attack by the Amalekites, God promised that they would at some future time be utterly destroyed.
 
That is in line with what we read of how God works in Genesis 6:13,
 
Gen 6:13  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 
 
God does not support unjustified violence, and He promises to punish such violence, sometimes in the here and now in this life, some times later, and sometimes hereafter. This should serve as a severe warning against those who engage in violence against the innocent. There is much Scripture that bears this out if you consult the cross references [links to other parts of Scripture that shed light on the current passage]. I have assembled a full set of cross references to Genesis 6:13 as follows, taken from my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and from my Bible software program, “The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury,” which I share below:
 
destroy. T566 (Future punishment presaged by temporal judgments). The following cross references form a major study demonstrating God sometimes punishes evil here and now in this life, as well as hereafter. Gen 7:4; Gen 7:21; Gen 18:20-21; Gen 19:24-25; Gen 37:35 note. Gen 42:21, +*Exo 22:23; +*Exo 22:24; Exo 23:22, +**Num 32:23 (T733). Deut 15:9, Jdg 9:24 note. *2Sa 3:39; 2Sa 4:11, +*1Ki 8:32 (T1751). +Est 7:9, +*Job 4:8; +*Job 31:2; +*Job 31:3, *Psa 31:23; Psa 34:16; +Psa 37:9 (T87). Psa 54:5; Psa 58:10; +Psa 58:11 (T630). Psa 91:8; +*Psa 109:17, Pro 3:33; *Pro 13:15; **Pro 22:22; **Pro 22:23; Pro 24:17; *Pro 24:18; Pro 28:13, +**Isa 66:24, +Eze 39:23 (T486). +*Dan 4:31, Hos 2:6, Joe 3:7, Hab 1:6; Hab 2:8, +*Zec 5:3, +*Mal 3:5, Mat 18:6; Mat 18:10, +*Luk 18:7; +*Luk 18:8; +*Luk 18:30, +*Rom 1:27; **Rom 12:19, Col 3:25, 2Th 1:6, 1Pe 3:12, 2Pe 2:4-7, +*Rev 11:18.
 
Going back to Exodus 17:8, I think Adam Clarke’s comment on this passage is helpful:
 
Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel – The Amalekites seem to have attacked the Israelites in the same way and through the same motives that the wandering Arabs attack the caravans which annually pass through the same desert. It does not appear that the Israelites gave them any kind of provocation, they seem to have attacked them merely through the hopes of plunder. The Amalekites were the posterity of Amalek, one of the dukes of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, and consequently Israel’s brother, Gen 36:15, Gen 36:16.
Fought with Israel – In the most treacherous and dastardly manner; for they came at the rear of the camp, smote the hindmost of the people, even all that were feeble behind, when they were faint and weary; see Deut 25:18. The baggage, no doubt, was the object of their avarice; but finding the women, children, aged and infirm persons, behind with the baggage, they smote them and took away their spoils.
 
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Daily Bible Nugget #460, Acts 5:42

The Nugget:

Act 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. 

My Comment:

In Acts 5:42 we have the pattern very well described that brought results in the early church. This same pattern will bring results today. Because we are not following this pattern, we do not see like results. The world needs the Gospel. Follow this pattern, and your neighborhood, city, state, and country will experience the full blessing of transformed lives of  people living for God instead of self alone.

And daily.  Everyday Evangelism

in the temple.  Church Evangelism

and in every house.  House to House Evangelism

they.  Every Believer Evangelism

ceased not.  Continuous, Persistent & Consistent Evangelism

to teach.  Instructional Evangelism

and to preach.  Preaching Evangelism

Christ.  Christ-centered Evangelism

If these things do not interest or concern you, then you have not been reading and studying your Bible!  Read the whole Book of Acts, repeatedly, and catch the spirit and motivation of the early church. If enough people start doing this, once again it will be said of us that we “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

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Daily Bible Nugget #459, Psalm 15:4

The Nugget:

Psa 15:4  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. (KJV) 

Psa 15:4 He despises a reprobate,       but honors the LORD’s loyal followers. He makes firm commitments and does not renege on his promise. (NET Bible)  

My Comment:

Psalm 15:1 asks, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”

My understanding is that Psalm 15 describes the person who will qualify for heaven. Those who do not meet the specifications given in the short Psalm 15 will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

One important qualification is stated in verse 4, “He makes firm commitments, and does not renege on his promise.” The KJV provides added insight when it translates “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” In other words, if you enter an agreement, you keep the agreement, even if it proves to be to your disadvantage.

The Bible makes a very big issue about this matter. The nation of Israel lost its position, lost its land, lost its great Temple, when it violated an agreement it had made with the king of Babylon (Ezekiel 17:9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19). God holds nations, national leaders, and individuals to this standard. Consulting the cross references given for Psalm 15:4 will make this clear. I will post cross references for Psalm 15:4 at the end of this article. Be sure to study them. I thought I had furnished these elsewhere on this site, but apparently not, so here they are below.

This holds true in my experience for agreements reached in collective bargaining between teachers, teacher unions, and boards of education and the school administration. Administrators frequently flaunted contract provisions, saying “grieve it, if you disagree with my decision.” As the Union Representative I frequently did just that, and generally won each grievance because I was correct in interpreting the contract, and the administrator or the administration was wrong.

I have been retired for some time now, but I suspect things have not changed that much. Human nature has not changed, so I expect administrators have not changed. Unfortunately, administrators often took an adversarial stance toward teachers. That is bad practice. When it involves administrative violation of a contract, it is wrong. It violates the contract and violates the Bible.

Instead of violating the contract, the administration should adhere to the contract just as it expects teachers to do. If a provision of the contract proves to be to the disadvantage of the administration, the solution is to seek a change in the contract the next time the contract is up for re-negotiation.

What prompts me to write about this subject just now is that in my summer project to clean up the attic, I came across the April, 1973 issue of The Michigan Teacher, where on page 8 appeared a most significant article, “The other side has coordinated bargaining!” The article says in part:

“School Boards have already started their coordinated bargaining. Following are some recommendations of a steering committee to a coordinating task force of school boards, superintendents, and chief board negotiators:

  1. No automatic increments from salary schedule of past contract–divorce new contract from any past contract.
  2. Limit of 5.5% to increased costs, including increments.
  3. Don’t permit clauses which require a continuation of educational standards–they might cost money in teachers’ salaries.
  4. No deficit financing for teacher increases.
  5. Minimum 40-hour work week for teachers visible to public, with teachers required to be at work locations.
  6. Teachers’ work year–minimum of 189 duty days.
  7. No released time for union activities.
  8. No class size language that doesn’t permit adjustments by administration.
  9. Binding Arbitration:  If you don’t have it, don’t accept. If you have it, try to limit authority of arbitrator and to define what is grievable and what can be taken to arbitration. Avoid language requiring consultation with the union.
  10. Reduction of staff:  seniority should not be sole basis.
  11. Eliminate the use of other contract settlements as basis for your salary schedule.
  12. Teacher responsibility:  A strong management rights clause should be included.
  13. All school districts should become members and cooperate with the coordinating agency on contract negotiations. All districts should encourage active participation of their chief negotiator in the Negotiators Association

WHO SAYS COORDINATED BARGAINING WON’T WORK? It’s working beautifully for the school boards!”

Let this be a lesson in how the administration favors for itself what it denies collectively for the teachers.

Some may argue that unions are bad. Some unions have gotten provisions in their favor which appear contrary to common sense, particularly contracts in the automotive industry. There are obviously faults and flaws on both sides, union and management. My father said to me when I was first faced with the decision requiring me to join a union, “The only reason we need unions is because of bad management.”

I believe unions and union contracts are essential to protect employees from arbitrary actions of management, especially the denial of due process rights.

Certainly, in the light of Psalm 15:4, God holds contracts and agreements inviolable, even when made with a pagan king. In the Bible, God sometimes has acted swiftly and without mercy against those who failed to live up to an agreement.

 

PSALM 15:4 CROSS REFERENCES

Psa 15:4  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 

a vile person. or, reprobate. Heb. rejected (Jer 6:30). Psa 40:4; *Psa 101:4; Psa 139:21, 2Sa 6:22, 2Ki 3:13-14, **+2Ch 19:2, *Est 3:2; Est 5:9, Job 30:8; Job 32:21-22; +*Job 36:13; +*Job 36:14 mg. %Pro 26:12, Isa 32:5-6, Dan 5:17, etc. Dan 11:21, Mic 3:2, Act 24:2-3; Act 24:25, +*1Co 15:33, Jas 2:1-9, Jud 1:16.

is contemned. or, despised. Psa 26:5; Psa 88:4, Gen 20:10, Neh 13:25, %Mat 11:19; %+*Mat 18:10; %Mat 21:31; %Mat 21:32, %Luk 7:34, 2Ti 3:3.

but he honoureth them. T914 [Topic: love to God’s people]. *Psa 16:3, Psa 101:6; **+Psa 119:63; *Psa 122:6, Num 24:9, 1Sa 2:30, 2Ki 3:14, Pro 26:1, %*Mic 3:2, Mat 7:15-23; *Mat 12:49; *Mat 12:50; Mat 18:10, +**Rom 15:7, *Heb 6:10, 1Jn 3:14; 1Jn 3:18-19; *1Jn 4:12.

that fear the Lord. Psa 22:23; Psa 22:25; Psa 66:16; *Psa 115:11; Psa 118:4; +**Psa 119:63; +**Psa 119:74; Psa 135:20, Job 37:24, Pro 14:2, Isa 50:10, +**Mal 3:16, Act 13:16; Act 13:26.

sweareth. T901. [Topic: Promises for performing oaths]. Psa 24:4-5, +*Exo 20:7, Lev 5:4; Lev 6:2; Lev 19:12, +*Num 30:2 note. Deut 6:13, +*Jos 6:22; Jos 9:18-20, +*Jdg 11:31 note, Jdg 11:35; Jdg 21:5, 1Sa 19:6; 1Sa 20:16, 2Sa 21:1-2, 1Ki 2:42, *2Ch 16:3, Neh 13:25, Jer 7:9; Jer 11:6, **Eze 17:9; Eze 17:12-19, Hos 4:2; Hos 10:4, Amos 1:9, Zec 5:4; Zec 8:17, Mal 1:14; +*Mal 3:5, *Mat 5:33-37; Mat 23:16-22, Rom 1:31, Gal 3:15, 1Ti 1:10, 2Ti 3:3.

changeth not. Gen 24:39, Exo 21:6, Lev 27:10; Lev 27:33, Num 30:2, +Jos 9:19, **Jdg 11:30; Jdg 11:35, *2Ki 24:20, %**Eze 17:9 note, Eze 17:18 note, **Eze 17:19, Mic 2:4 note. Mat 5:33 note. Joh 13:1, 2Co 8:21, +*Col 4:1 (T1851). 2Ti 3:3, Heb 6:16; Heb 12:2.

 

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #458, Luke 4:2

The Nugget:

Luk 4:2  Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

My Comment:

Someone kindly “joined” me to another group on Facebook, “JESUS or MOHAMMAD, who’s the Right Way to HEAVEN.”

I have not participated in this group very much until yesterday and today.

I learned that at least some Muslims believe that Jesus was a sinner, a human just like us, and therefore Jesus cannot be God as Christians claim.

This time they brought forward as proof Luke 4:2. They think that because Jesus was tempted, that proves He is a sinner.

I offered proof and explanation to the contrary, which of course they vociferously rejected. So, I wrote another comment on the thread today, having figured out one more “trick” about how to use the e-Sword Bible software program. The “trick” involved using the F4 key on the keyboard to “copy” information from a “pop-up window” so it can be used in a document. I used that to “copy and paste” the definition for the Greek word underlying “tempt” as used in Luke 4:2.

My Response:

Anyone who wishes to gain an accurate knowledge of the meaning of the Bible must use careful methods of study to arrive at that meaning.
 
For most of us who read English only, we can get a “good enough” understanding of the meaning of the Bible just by reading the Bible in its English translation.
 
But when we need to “dig deeper” into the text to learn the precise intended meaning of the original author, it is necessary to consult sources which tell more about the underlying original text.
 
The Bible was not written in the form of a Systematic Theology. But it is possible to put together an accurate systematic theology of and from the Bible.
 
This is accomplished by comparing Scripture with Scripture. To compare Scripture with Scripture, we can use a concordance to the Bible. The best concordance for English readers is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible. This resource is helpful because it assigns a “number” for each Hebrew and each Greek word used in the Bible and gives that number for each instance of an English translation of a particular original language word. Furthermore, Strong’s Concordance contains a very helpful though abbreviated lexicon or dictionary of the original language words.
 
Luke 4:2 uses the English word “tempted” to represent the underlying word in the Greek text, and that word is given the number G3985.
 
Here is the entry from Strong’s Greek lexicon for G3985:
 
G3985
pe??a´??
peirazo¯
pi-rad’-zo
From G3984; to test (objectively), that is, endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline: – assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt (-er), try.
Total KJV occurrences: 39
Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries
 
The word “tempt” is used in two very basic but differing senses, as I explained above in my prior comment and repeat below in this comment. Which sense is intended at any given verse must be determined by the context, in harmony with the rest of what the Bible says on the subject.
 
The word “tempt” can mean “tempted to evil.” The word “tempt” can also mean “to test, to prove.” Jesus was “tempted” in this second sense. The Temptation in the Wilderness proved He was qualified to be the Messiah because he passed the tests and did not give in to the efforts of Satan to turn Him to a wrong path.
 
It is not a sin to be faced with temptation. It is a sin to give in to the temptation to evil.
 
Jesus challenged His enemies to find any fault or sin in Him. They were not able to do so.
 
Joh 8:46  Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? (KJV)
 
Joh 8:46  Who among you can prove me guilty of any sin? If I am telling you the truth, why don’t you believe me? (NET Bible)
 
Peter declared that Jesus was entirely without sin.
 
1Pe 2:22  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
 
To fully understand the doctrinal teaching of the Bible, it is helpful and even necessary to first understand the underlying grammar of the text. This is especially important when reading the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek. When Peter wrote “who did no sin,” he used the aorist tense in Greek, which means that Jesus “Never in a single instance did” any sin.
 
This EVIDENCE ought to settle the meaning of Luke 4:2,
 
Luk 4:2  Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
 
The fact that Jesus was “tempted” does not suggest in any way that Jesus Himself was a sinner, or that He ever committed sin. Satan was trying to “tempt” Jesus in the evil sense of the word; God saw that His Son passed the test when Jesus did not fall for any of the tricks or efforts of Satan waged against Him.
 
 

 

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #457, Jude 3

The Nugget:

Jude 1:3  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

My Comment:

Pastor Anderson, one of my Facebook contacts/friends, posted an interesting challenge to everyone to become actively engaged in learning about false cults, false teachers, and false   prophets. Many of these groups and individuals are very well-versed in their viewpoint, and are well-trained when it comes to reaching out in a convincing way to others who do not know the Bible as well as they should.

My Response:

Thank you for encouraging those truly in the Body of Christ to dig deeper into the Bible.
 
It is impossible to obey the command that we are to “contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3) if we are not well-taught ourselves.
 
One way to get motivated to take up this kind of study is to actually witness to others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
I’m talking about active witnessing outside of the doors of your church building. We often strike up friendly conversations with strangers about many other things. That is a good start. But we must press forward and reach the lost souls about us in our sphere of influence before it is eternally too late.
 
How can you do this? Sometimes it is appropriate to give a person a good Gospel tract.
 
Sometimes it is helpful to ask a question to start a conversation.
 
Sometimes you may be able to ask a simple question like “Are you interested in spiritual things?”
 
Very often, people who know you and observe how you live out your Christian life in the workplace will themselves bring questions to you. When they do the questioning, you surely then have a legitimate opening to share your faith by answering their question.

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Daily Bible Nugget #456, Acts 17:11

The Nugget:

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 

My Comment:

I was just now motivated to write a comment on Facebook in response to some good Scripture shared by my Facebook friend, Cris Jackson. She shares the “good stuff” several times a day, and puts me to shame when it comes to on-line productivity!

Here is what I wrote:

We are not getting the Lord’s ideas, thoughts, and wisdom unless we are feeding upon His written Word as it is found in the Bible.
 
Just as we eat physical food on a very regular basis, so we need to take in spiritual food on a regular basis.
 
If we ate physical food with the same regularity as we take in spiritual food for ourselves from the Bible itself, some of us would have no problem watching our weight! And some more of us just might be very sickly.
 
How do you expect to have robust spiritual life without taking in spiritual food as regularly as we take the time to eat our necessary physical food? Let us not kid ourselves. We make time to do what is important to ourselves. No one else can do our “spiritual eating” for us!
 
How we spend our time is a good measure of what our priorities are.

Here is what she wrote:

We are not getting the Lord’s ideas, thoughts, nor wisdom unless we are committed, abiding, surrendered! (Proverbs 16:3) “Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Psalm 37:5) “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Psalm 4:5) “Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the LORD.”
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Daily Bible Nugget #455, Ephesians 2:12

The Nugget:

Eph 2:12  That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 

My Comment:

I find in my reading and listening that many Christians, both lay persons and pastors and teachers, are fundamentally mistaken about what the Bible teaches about Bible  prophecy.

Ephesians 2:12 is of course very near, in terms of context, to the much more familiar Ephesians 2:8, 9, 10. It should be just as well known and understood, but it clearly is not.

The Covenants of Scripture are an important key to understanding the plan of God in history and promise. Some theologies seem to invent covenants that are not expressly stated in Scripture, and ignore, downplay, or deny the Covenants that are definitely stated as such in Scripture.

A careful study of the cross references I have placed in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury would be a great help to understanding just what the Bible has to say about these important matters.

Ephesians 2:12

at that time. Eph 2:13, Eph 5:8, Rom 11:30, 1Co 12:2.

without Christ. %Eph 2:13, Eph 5:8, Mat 3:9, +*Joh 10:16; *Joh 15:5; *Joh 15:6, *Act 4:12, 1 Cor 12:2, Col 1:21; Col 3:7.

aliens. or, having been estranged from. Gr. apallotrioō (S# G575). Eph 4:18 g. Exo 12:43; Exo 12:45, Lev 22:25, Jos 5:9; Jos 6:23, Ezr 4:3, Isa 61:5, Eze 13:9; Eze 14:5; Eze 14:7, Gal 2:15; Gal 4:8, Col 1:21 g. Heb 11:34.

commonwealth of Israel. Eph 2:19, Num 9:10; Num 23:9, Deut 4:7; Deut 6:21; Deut 23:8, Psa 147:2; Psa 147:20, Isa 49:8; Isa 63:19, Act 22:28 g. 1Cor 10:18, Php 3:5.

strangers. Gr. xenos (S# G3581). Eph 2:19 g. +Gen 23:4 (S# H1616, S# H8453). +Exo 12:43 (S# H5236). =Lev 22:10, 1Ch 22:2, 2 Chron 6:32, Isa 14:1, Mat 25:35 g, Mat 25:38 g, Mat 25:43 g, Mat 25:44 g. Mat 27:7 g. Act 17:18 g, Act 17:21 g. Rom 16:23 g (host). Heb 11:13 g. Heb 13:9 g. 1Pe 1:1; 1Pe 4:12 g. 3Jn 1:5 g.

the covenants. +**Gen 12:2 note *Gen 15:18; +*Gen 17:7-9, Exo 19:5; Exo 24:3-11, Num 18:19, +**2Sa 7:10 note. *Psa 89:3, etc. +**Isa 55:3, **Jer 31:31-34; *Jer 33:20-26, Eze 37:26, Luk 1:72-73, *Act 3:25, Rom 2:14; Rom 9:1; +Rom 9:4; Rom 9:5; Rom 9:8, +*Gal 3:16; +*Gal 3:17.

of promise. or, the promise. +Act 26:6, Rom 15:8.

having no hope. +Eph 1:18, Job 7:6, Pro 15:29, Jer 14:8; Jer 17:13, Mat 15:26; Mat 20:7, Mar 7:27-28, Joh 4:22, Act 26:6-7; Act 27:20; Act 28:20, %+*Rom 15:4, %*Col 1:5, %*Col 1:27, 1Th 4:13, *2Th 2:16, 1Ti 1:1, %*Heb 6:18, %*Heb 6:19, %*1Pe 1:3; %*1Pe 1:21; *1Pe 3:15, 1Jn 3:3.

without God. 2 Chron 15:3. Psa 10:4, Psa 14:1, Isa 44:6; Isa 45:4; Isa 45:20, Hos 3:4, **Luk 10:22, Act 14:15-16; Act 17:23; Act 19:35, +*Rom 1:18-20; +*Rom 1:28-32; +*Rom 2:12; *Rom 10:13-15, +*1Cor 8:4-6; 1Cor 10:19-20; 1Cor 12:2, Gal 4:8, 1Th 4:5.

world. Gr. kosmos, +Mat 4:8.

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Daily Bible Nugget #454, Exodus 23:2

The Nugget:

Exo 23:2  Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: 

My Comment:

By a strict interpretation, this passage has primary reference to how God wants those who are His to stand up strictly for truth in court, and in the words of the Common English Version, “even if everyone else is dishonest and stands in the way of justice.”

But as a practical matter, I see additional meaningful applications of this commandment.

God does not want us joining with a crowd of others with the intent to do what is clearly evil. I think that for the most part, student protests that disrupt the educational process in school or college, or that interfere with the free speech rights of others that wish to express a contrary opinion, violate this commandment and are not pleasing to God.

I thought about this verse when, earlier this month, it was announced in the news and on the Internet that there were to be protests in 142 cities across the United States from July 2 through July 4, protests which potentially would erupt in violence against persons and the destruction of property. Thankfully, as far as I know, those protests were peaceful and not violent.

Fifty years ago today I was driving home to Detroit from the Maranatha Bible Conference grounds near Muskegon, Michigan, where I had spent a week with members of my high school Sunday school class. We had all stayed at Mrs. Boyd’s cottage there and had wonderful times of Bible study and instruction with her, and good messages and music in conjunction with the services held at the conference itself.

As we drove home Sunday afternoon, the teenagers wanted me to change the station I was listening to so they could hear the kind of music they liked. I declined to follow their request, and left the classical music station on.

But that means none of us had so much as an inkling of what was going on in the current news.

I passed several large convoys of military vehicles on the freeway, but thought nothing of it since there is a large Michigan National Guard base, camp Grayling, somewhere in the vicinity of where we were.

I was planning to treat my riders to a hamburger or whatever they wished to get before we got all the way home. But when we got to the border of Detroit, the freeway was eerily empty. My students said that maybe we should just go straight home. As we continued on the freeway, we saw many fires on both sides of the freeway in the neighborhoods near Wayne State University.

When we reached the first student’s home, her parents asked how did we ever manage to enter Detroit? They said all the freeways were supposed to be closed to traffic and they had been wondering how we were going to get back home safely.

Then we found out that the 1967 riots in Detroit had started earlier that day and were continuing even then. The military forces had taken over Clark Park near where we lived, just two blocks north of my apartment, with tanks, tents, and all. I think none of us will ever forget that ride home in the late afternoon of July 23, 1967.

Watching the goings-on and the antics of the rioters and their destructive actions, I saw a good many whites engaged in looting, not just black people.

Unfortunately, needful resources for many communities were completely destroyed by fire, grocery stores in particular. I really do not think those neighborhoods have fully recovered yet from the destruction done by the rioters then.

I personally do not believe that such violence and destruction is ever warranted. It is surely condemned by the Word of God, especially Exodus 23:2.

There are better solutions at hand, foremost of which is for the churches and the Bible believing Christians to get the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ out to the young people, and everyone, in those neighborhoods. Genuine Christians never behave in this fashion. But well-taught Christians do know the teaching of the Bible well enough to share the truth, and bring about genuine justice as more people come to true faith in Christ.

 

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