The Gospel Observer (July 30, 2017)

old_family_Bible_2Contents:

1) The Wording of the King James Bible (and comparing 122 of its words with the NASB and seeing the Greek or Hebrew definitions)  (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
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-1-

The Wording of the King James Bible
Tom Edwards

It was back around 1973 when I first read through all of the King James Version of the Bible.  Having been written in 1611, its different wording also had an interesting appeal to me – the “thee’s” and the “thou’s” and the words with the “eth” endings, such as “heareth,” “findeth,” “bringeth,” etc.  But, of course, even more important than the mere sound was the message of those old English words that can instill faith and show the way of salvation that leads to eternal life.  Since the KJV was written during the time that Shakespeare had been writing his plays, which he did from 1590 to 1612, and his sonnets in 1609, we find much similarity in his wording and that of the Bible.

Some folks, however, have viewed some of these words in the King James Version as if they are sacred or a way of expressing more reverence to God — though probably more so a few decades ago. Bob Crawley, for instance, who had preached about 24 years for the University Heights church of Christ in Lexington, Kentucky, was once asked, “Is it disrespectful to use ‘You’ in our prayers?  Some of our members think we should always say ‘Thou’ when we are talking to God.”

What is one reason some people might have thought that way?  Would it not be because it was the version that was often being heard from the pulpit back then, which would seem to make those words more special?  For rather than being used in day-to-day conversation, they were words being heard in places where people worshiped God and heard His word proclaimed, and in their own study of God’s message.

But folks need to realize that the KJV language was just simply the common language of that day back in 1611.  As Bob Crawley writes, “the ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ style of speech was as much the language of the street as of the church, of the gutter as well as the pulpit, and of cursing as well as of praying. Such words do not, then, of themselves, signify respect.  To insist upon a particular old fashioned style of speech and attribute to it an exclusively religious superiority is to make the same mistake which is made by the Amish people, and others, in requiring a dress code which is not particularly spiritual but merely out of date.”  Bob makes a good point.

In addition, if the KJV style of language is what is necessary to address God reverently, then what about all the years prior to that kind of language?

But notice this also.  Even in the Bible, the “thee’s” and the “thou’s” are not used exclusively for God – or, in other words, used to show a special reverence or respect only to Deity.  For consider the Lord’s model prayer in the KJV: Matt. 6:9-13.  In it, the Lord uses the terms “thy” and “thine” (in vv. 9 & 13) in speaking of God; but if you look back several verses (vv. 3 & 4), the “thy” and “thine” are also used in addressing ordinary people, as Bob points out.   In Ezra 9:15 in the KJV, Ezra declares, “O LORD God of Israel, thou art righteous…”; and that same “thou” is also used throughout the Bible in referring to just people – and even evil people (cf. Acts 13:10)!  Obviously, the word “thou” in itself does not indicate deep reverence or respect toward that one.

Bob also points out that “the language of the original New Testament writing (the Greek of the first century A.D.) likewise makes no distinction between the form of the pronouns used for prayer and those used for other occasions.”  So the KJV type of speech was not a special language reserved for only sacred texts. It was simply part of the every-day vocabulary that was being used at that time.

But even though all of this is so, what about the one who still feels that using the King James language in addressing God is more respectful? Then, would that not be a personal conviction of that individual and better for that person to then pray that way?  It certainly would not be a wrong thing to do – though he should not try to bind his personal conviction or conscience on everyone else as well.  We can compare that to what Paul teaches in Romans 14:1-6, 13.

Bob makes another good point when saying, “Respect or disrespect are matters of the attitude of the heart and are not determined by whether one uses modern or old fashioned styles of speech. The truly respectful person will use those words which most naturally express the respect which he has when praying to God.  The younger among us will need to be patient with those of us who find it natural to use the old style, which has become so traditional with us. And we, who for so many years have been used to hearing the prayers prayed in the style of the era of Kings James I, of England, will need to realize that those who address God in a dignified, but more up-to-date style are no less respectful than we.”

As mentioned, I had liked the sound of the KJV, but I was finding some of the terms that the apostle Paul used as being unfamiliar to me.  So I went with the New American Standard Bible, which I probably bought soon after it had come out in the early ’70s.  It was first published in 1971; and I have read through all of that version, too, a number of times.

When going to a Greek Lexicon to look up the meanings of some of the Greek words in the KJV New Testament, I would often find that one of the words in its definition (by Thayer or Strong or some other Lexicon scholar) would be how it was already translated in the NASB.  So that also had me liking that version even more.

If one is going to use the KJV, it will be helpful to better understand some of the terms that now no longer mean what they originally did.  For word-meanings can change over a period of time – and especially over 406 years!  One example of this, would be the word “conversation.” In 1 Peter 2:12, for instance, “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles…” sounds like only one’s speech, doesn’t it? For we know we are to speak the truth and not lie.  But the Greek for “conversation” (anastrophe) is defined by Thayer as “manner of life, conduct, behavior, deportment.”  So it means much more than merely speech alone.  And how does the NASB render it? It translates it as “behavior,” which is one of the definitions that we just saw Thayer give for the Greek word it stems from.

And how about the word “banqueting” in 1 Peter 4:3?  What do you think of when you think of a banquet? Probably much food for many people!  Webster defines the English word as “1. a lavish meal; feast. 2. a ceremonious public dinner, as to honor a person or benefit a charity.”  But is that what it meant back in 1611?  What does the Greek word it comes from in 1 Peter 4:3 actually mean?  James Strong defines it as “a drinking bout or carousal.”  Thayer shows it to mean, “a drinking, carousing.” And in Mounce Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament, it is “a drinking, a drinking together, drinking bout.”  After hearing these three similar definitions, one might be prone to blurt out, “Where’s the beef?!,” like in that old 1984 Wendy’s commercial.  Or where is mention in the definition of any vegetables, fruits, or any other food? None of that is mentioned because the Greek word does not pertain to it.  So how does the NASB translate it?  It says “drinking parties” in 1 Peter 4:3 – with no mention of food.

What are some other terms that do not mean what folks might think? How about the word “answer” in 1 Peter 3:21 of the KJV?  “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”  Would you not think of an “answer” as being the exact opposite of a question, a query, or an inquiry?  According to the Thesaurus it is.  But what does the Greek word (“eperotema”), from which “answer” is translated in the KJV, actually mean?  James Strong defines it as “an inquiry.”  Thayer gives the definition of  “1) an enquiry, a question  2) a demand 3) earnestly seeking 3a) craving, an intense desire.”  And how is it translated in the NASB?  It renders it as an “appeal,” which Webster defines as “an earnest plea; entreaty: an appeal for help.”  So through baptism that appeal was being made.  Look how clearly that is seen in the “God’s Word” version of the Bible: “…baptism is a request to God for a clear conscience.”  This doesn’t mean, of course, that the request takes the place of baptism; but, rather, that the request is actually being made in a non-verbal way by being baptized, after it had been preceded by faith in Christ (Jn. 8:24), repentance (Luke 13:5), and a confession of one’s faith in the Lord (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).  For baptism is the last step to put one into Christ (Gal. 3:26,27), where there is no condemnation (Rom. 8:1), and from which one rises up to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3,4).

In 1 Thessalonians 4:15 (KJV), Paul says, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.”  Notice the word “prevent” in this passage.  What does it mean? We, of course, know that the definition of the English term “prevent” means simply “1. to keep from occurring; stop … 2. to stop from doing something…” Webster then also shows its archaic meaning of “to precede.”  And “precede” is also part of the meaning of the Greek word that “prevent” is translated from in 1 Thessalonians 4:15.  Thayer defines it as “1) to come before, precede…”  And how does the NASB translate it?  It uses the word “precede.”

Another word that might give some folks a wrong idea is seen in Acts 17:22 – the word “superstitious.”  In thinking of how we use that term today, what comes to your mind?  James Strong shows the Greek word to mean “more religious than others.”  And Thayer’s primary definition for it is “reverencing god or the gods, pious, religious.”  So how does the NASB translate it?  It speaks of those people as being “very religious.”

Something else that should be pointed out to folks who use the KJV Bible is the use of the word “Easter” in Acts 12:4.  Out of at least 24 different Bible versions I looked this up in, the KJV was the only one that uses the word “Easter” in this verse.  The Greek word for it is “pascha,” which is used in 27 verses of the Bible; and in all of those verses, except there in Acts 12:4, the KJV renders it as “passover.”  Since it is the same Greek word, why does not the KJV render it as “Easter” in all those other verses, too?  According to Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, “The word in our King James Version is an ecclesiastical term of later date, and ought not to  have been employed here.”  Albert Barnes gives the following explanation for its use: He says, “In the translation by Wycliffe, the word ‘paske,’ that is, ‘Passover,’ is used. But Tyndale and Coverdale used the word ‘Easter,’ and hence, it has very improperly crept into our King James Version.”

What is the difference between a translation and a transliteration?

A translation is simply converting text from one language to another language.  In doing so, the word-meaning from that one language will be translated into a word of the other language that means the same.  For example, Paul shows in Galatians 5:22 that “patience” is a fruit of the Spirit.  The word patience is a “translation” from the Greek into English, which is much more helpful for us who speak English.  In Thayer’s Greek Definitions, the Greek word for patience is defined as “1) patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance…”  So we see that the first word in this definition is being used to translate that Greek word to an English word in the KJV and various other versions of the Bible as well – and making it easy for us to understand.

But if that Greek word were transliterated instead of translated, then it would be seen as “makrothumia” (or something similar) in the KJV and other English versions, which is simply taking the Greek letters of that word and replacing them with the corresponding letters of whatever language it is being converted to — and in our case, English.  This is what has been done with the word “baptize” and  its various forms.  In the Greek, the word for “baptize” is “baptizo.”  Those letters that make up that Greek word are beta, alpha, pi, tau, iota, zeta, and omicron.  Some of the letters in Greek look very similar to our English letters.  This is true of the letters for alpha, beta, delta, epsilon, iota, kappa, omicron, sigma, tau, upsilon, and zeta.  So, again, in just changing Greek letters to their corresponding letters in another language’s alphabet is a transliteration and does not involve the meaning of the word, but just its letters.  Thayer defines the Greek word for baptism (baptisma) as “1) immersion, submersion…”  So it does not include sprinkling (rhantizo) or pouring (epicheo).  Of course, even if one didn’t know the meaning of baptism,  it can be inferred from the verses that speak of it as being a burial, such as Romans 6:4, “…we have been buried with Him through baptism…”  But what if  the Greek word for “buried” was transliterated instead of translated?  It would then be in our English Bibles as some form of “sunthapto,” which we might not find too helpful in understanding the passage.  If “baptizo” had been translated  instead of transliterated, then we would be reading passages with the following or similar renditions: “He that believeth and is immersed shall be saved…” (Mk. 16:16).   “…Repent, and be immersed every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38).  And for the Greek word “baptisma,” “…corresponding to that, immersion now saves you…” (1 Pet. 3:21), etc.

As mentioned, there are many KJV words that are archaic and unfamiliar.  Consider the following, which gives a comparison between words from the KJV and how those same words are translated in the NASB, to determine which is easier for you to understand.  As you can see, the listing below is in an alphabetized order based on the KJV words:

The following sources have been used for the Greek and Hebrew Definitions:

BDB = Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions
Strong = Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries
Mounce = Mounce Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament
Thayer = Thayer’s Greek Definitions
Moulton and Milligan = JH Moulton and G Milligan: The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament

Matthew 5:39: “ADO” (KJV) or “COMMOTION” (NASB). Thayer: “to make a noise or uproar, be turbulent…to wail tumultuously”
Luke 14:32: “AMBASSAGE” (KJV) or “DELEGATION” (NASB). Thayer: “an embassy”
Deuteronomy 22:19: “AMERCE” (KJV) or “FINE” (NASB). BDB: “to fine”
1 Corinthians 16:22: “ANATHEMA” (KJV) or “ACCURSED” (NASB). Thayer: “…a man accursed, devoted to the direst of woes”
Exodus 30:25: “APOTHECARY” (KJV) or “PERFUMER” (NASB). BDB: “perfumer”
Genesis 4:22: “ARTIFICER” (KJV) or “FORGER” (NASB). BDB: “metal craftsman”
Isaiah 14:23: “BESOM” (KJV) or “BROOM” (NASB).  Strong & BDB: ”broom”
Isaiah 8:21: “BESTEAD” (KJV) – See “HARDLY BESTEAD.”
Isaiah 16:3: “BEWRAY” (KJV) or “BETRAY” (NASB)
Exodus 9:9: “BLAINS” (KJV) or “SORES” (NASB). BDB: “blisters, boils”
Exodus 9:31: “BOLLED” (KJV) or “BUD” (NASB)
1 Samuel 26:7: “BOLSTER” (KJV) or “HEAD” (NASB). BDB: “place at the head…”
Deut. 28:27: “BOTCH” (KJV) or  “BOILS” (NASB). DBD: “boil, inflamed spot…”
Philemon 1:7: “BOWELS” (KJV) or “HEARTS” (NASB). Thayer shows that though the Greek word for “bowels” is sometimes used literally for the “bowels, intestines, (the heart, lungs, liver, etc.),” it was also used to refer to “the seat of the more violent passions, such as anger and love; but by the Hebrews as the seat of the tenderer affections, especially kindness, benevolence, compassion; hence our heart (tender mercies, affections, etc.).”
Jeremiah 51:3: “BRIGANDINE” (KJV) or “SCALE-ARMOR” (NASB). Strong: “a coat of mail”; BDB: “armor”
Jeremiah 10:22: “BRUIT” (KJV) or “REPORT” (NASB). BDB: “report, news, rumour”
2 Samuel 22:31: “BUCKLER” (KJV) or “SHIELD” (NASB). BDB: “shield”
Leviticus 26:16: “BURNING AGUE” (KJV) or “FEVER” (NASB). BDB: “fever”
Luke 10:41: “CAREFUL” (KJV) or “WORRIED” (NASB). Though we normally think of the word “careful” to mean “cautious in one’s actions,” yet Webster also gives a fifth definition, which is archaic, but shows it had meant “troubled” and “anxious” long ago.)  Thayer: “1) to be anxious  1a) to be troubled with cares”
Isaiah 3:18: “CAULS” (KJV) or “HEADBANDS” (NASB). BDB: “1) front band 1a) for a woman’s head”
Numbers 7:13: “CHARGER” (KJV) or “DISH” (NASB). BDB: “dish, platter”
Colossians 3:5: “evil CONCUPISCENCE” (KJV) or “evil DESIRE” (NASB). Thayer: “desire, craving, longing,desire for what is forbidden, lust”
Exodus 30:35: “CONFECTION” (KJV) or “PERFUME” (NASB). BDB: “spice-mixture, perfume, ointment.”
2 Chronicles 4:12: “CHAPITERS” (KJV) or “CAPITALS” (NASB). BDB: “1) capital crown, capital of a pillar”
Isaiah 32:5: “CHURL” (KJV) or “ROGUE” (NASB). BDB: ”scoundrel, knave”
Isaiah 3:22: “CRISPING PINS” (KJV) or “MONEY PURSES” (NASB). BDB: “bag, purse”
Galatians 2:13: “DISSEMBLED” (KJV) or “JOINED HIM IN HYPOCRISY” (NASB). Thayer: “to act hypocritically with”
Genesis 45:6: “EARING” (KJV) or “PLOWING” (NASB). BDB: “ploughing, ploughing time”
John 2:6: “FIRKINS” (KJV) – See “TWO OR THREE FIRKINS.”
Isaiah 28:25: “FITCHES” (KJV) or “DILL” (NASB).
2 Samuel 6:19: “FLAGON” (KJV) or “RAISINS” (NASB). BDB: “raisin-cake”; Strong: “something closely pressed together, that is, a cake of raisins or other comfits”
Deuteronomy 32:20: “FROWARD” (KJV) or “PERVERSE” (NASB). BDB: “perversity, perverse thing”
Matthew 3:12: “GARNER” (KJV) or “BARN” (NASB). Thayer: “1) a place in which anything is laid by or up. 2) a storehouse, granary”
Job 18:9: “GIN” (KJV) or “SNARE” (NASB). BDB: “1) bird trap, trap, snare”
Zechariah 6:3: “GRISLED” (KJV) or “DAPPLED” (NASB).  BDB: “spotted, marked”
Exodus 28:32: “HABERGEON” (KJV) or “COAT OF MAIL” (NASB). BDB: “corselet”; Webster defines corselet as “2. a. a suit of light armor covering the entire trunk”
Judges 3:22: “HAFT” (KJV) or “HANDLE” (NASB). Strong: “a handle”
Luke 12:58: “HALE” (KJV) or “DRAG” (NASB). Thayer: “1) to draw down, pull down 2) to draw along, drag forcibly”
Mark 9:45: “HALT” (KJV) or “LAME” (NASB). Thayer: “lame…deprived of a foot, maimed”
Acts 17:27: “HAPLY” (KJV) or “PERHAPS” (NASB)
Isaiah 8:21: “HARDLY BESTEAD” (KJV) or “HARD-PRESSED” (NASB). BDB: “to be hard pressed”
Deuteronomy 12:15: “HART” (KJV) or “DEER” (NASB).  Strong: “a stag or male deer”
Luke 15:4: “HOLPEN” (KJV) or “GIVEN HELP” (NASB). Thayer: “to help”
Josh.11:6: “HOUGH” (KJV) or “HAMSTRING” (NASB). BDB: “2) to cut, hamstring”
Acts 19:38: “IMPLEAD” (KJV) or “BRING CHARGES” (NASB). Thayer: “to come forward as accuser against, bring charge against”
2 Timothy 3:3: “INCONTINENT” (KJV) or “WITHOUT SELF-CONTROL” (NASB)  Thayer: “without self-control, intemperate”
Matthew 5:18: “JOT” (KJV) or “SMALLEST LETTER” (NASB). Thayer: “1) the Hebrew letter, the smallest of them all  1a) hence equivalent to the minutest part”
Genesis 32:15: “KINE” (KJV) or “COWS” (NASB). BDB: “cow, heifer”
Exodus 25:33: “KNOP” (KJV) or “BULB” (NASB). BDB: “bulb, knob, capital, capital of a pillar”
Psalm 5:6: “LEASING” (KJV) or “FALSEHOOD” (NASB). BDB: “a lie, untruth, falsehood, deceptive thing”
Zephaniah 1:12: “LEES” (KJV) – See “SETTLE ON THEIR LEES.”
John 3:8: “LISTETH” (KJV) or “WISHES” (NASB). Thayer: “to will… to desire, to wish…”
1 Samuel 8:3: “LUCRE” (KJV) or “DISHONEST GAIN” (NASB)
Matthew 6:24: “MAMMON” (KJV) or “WEALTH” (NASB). Mounce: “wealth, riches”; Thayer: “1) mammon, 2) treasure 3) riches (where it is personified and opposed to God)”
Judges 4:18: “MANTLE” (KJV) or “RUG” (NASB). Strong: “a rug”
Proverbs 25:18: “MAUL” ((KJV) or “CLUB” (NASB). BDB: “scattering club”
Genesis 43:34: “MESSES” (KJV) or “PORTIONS” (NASB). BDB: “1) …portion… 1d) portion, present, largess, gift, contribution, offering, tribute”
Luke 12:59: “MITE” (KJV) or “CENT” (NASB). Moulton & Milligan: “the smallest piece of money in circulation”; Thayer: “a small brass coin…worth about 1/5 of a cent”
Exodus 29:6: “MITRE” (KJV) or “TURBAN” (NASB). BDB: “turban (of the high priest)”
Matthew 7:3: “MOTE” (KJV) or “SPECK” (NASB). Mounce: “any small dry thing, as chaff, stubble, splinter”
Isaiah 3:19: “MUFFLERS” (KJV) or “VEILS” (NASB). Strong: “a long veil (as fluttering)
Exodus 9:3: “MURRAIN” (KJV) or “PESTILENCE” (NASB). Strong: “a pestilence”
Jeremiah 2:22: “NITRE” (KJV) or “LYE” (NASB). BDB: “mineral potash (so called from effervescing with acid)”
Genesis 37:7: “OBEISANCE” (KJV) or “BOWED DOWN” (NASB). BDB: “to bow down”
2 Samuel 16:23: “ORACLE” (KJV) or “WORD” (NASB). Strong: “a word”
Exodus 28:11: “OUCHES” (KJV) or “FILIGREE SETTINGS” (NASB). BDB: “plaited or filigree or chequered work (of settings for gems)”
Matthew 4:24: “PALSY” (KJV) or “PARALYTICS” (NASB). Thayer: “paralytic”
Acts 1:3: “PASSION” (KJV) or “SUFFERING” (NASB). Strong: “to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful)”
1 Peter 2:9: “PECULIAR” (KJV) or “A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESION” (NASB)
Matthew20:2: “PENNY” (KJV) or “DENARIUS” (NASB). Strong: “a denarius.” A denarius was the equivalent of about our 16 cents, and it was what a common laborer made for a full day’s work when Jesus walked this earth.
2 Chronicles 4:12: “POMMELS” (KJV) or “BOWLS” (NASB). BDB: “1) bowl…1b2) of bowl shaped portion of capitals of pillars of the temple”
Luke 19:16: “POUND” (KJV) or “MINA” (NASB). Strong: “mina”
Jeremiah 51:31: “POST” (KJV) or “COURIER” (NASB).
1 Sam. 10:5: “PSALTERY” (KJV) or “HARP” (NASB). BDB: “2) harp…”
Matthew 10:3: “PUBLICAN” (KJV) or “TAX COLLECTOR” (NASB). Thayer: “2) a tax gatherer, collector of taxes or tolls”
Daniel 1:12: “PULSE” (KJV) or “VEGETABLES” (NASB). Strong: “a vegetable”
1 Corinthians 5:11: “RAILER” (KJV) or “REVILER” (NASB). Thayer: “a railer, reviler”
Proverbs 23:16: ”REINS” (KJV) or “INMOST BEING” (NASB). BDB: “1b) of seat of emotion and affection (figuratively)”; Strong: “figuratively the mind (as the interior self)”
Romans 1:28: “REPROBATE” (KJV) or “DEPRAVED” (NASB). Strong: “unapproved, that is, rejected; by implication worthless (literally or morally)”
Isaiah 58:8: “REREWARD” (KJV) or “REAR GUARD” (NASB)
Acts 12:4: “QUATERNIONS” (KJV) or “FOUR SQUADS” (NASB). Strong: “a quaternion or squad (picket) of four Roman soldiers”
1 Samuel 27:10: “ROAD” (KJV) or “RAID” (NASB). BDB: “1) to strip, invade, strip off, make a dash, raid, spread out”; Strong: “to spread out (that is, deploy in hostile array)”
Isaiah 3:18: “ROUND TIRES” (KJV) or “CRESCENT ORNAMENTS” (NASB). BDB: “1) moon, crescent 1a) as ornament; Strong: “a round pendant for the neck”
Isaiah 13:21: “SATYRS” (KJV) or “SHAGGY GOATS” (NASB). BDB: “1) hairy (adjective) 2) he-goat, buck (noun masculine)…”
Matthew 10:10: “SCRIP” (KJV) or “BAG” (NASB). Strong: “a wallet or leather pouch for food”
Exodus 23:19: “SEETHE” (KJV) or “BOIL” (NASB). BDB: “1) to boil, cook, bake, roast…”
2 Kings 4:42: “SERVITOR” (KJV) or “ATTENDANT” (NASB). Strong: “to attend as a menial or worshipper; figuratively to contribute to”; BDB: “to minister, serve, minister to”
Zephaniah 1:12: “SETTLED ON THEIR LEES” (KJV) or “STAGNANT IN SPIRIT” (NASB).
Isaiah 17:4: “SHALL WAX LEAN” (KJV) or “WILL BECOME LEAN” (NASB). Strong: “to emaciate, that is, make (become) thin (literally or figuratively)”; BDB: “1) to be or become or grow lean…”
Daniel 3:2: “SHERIFFS” (KJV) or “MAGISTRATES” (NASB). BDB: “magistrate”; Strong: “judicial, that is, a lawyer”
Genesis 38:18: “SIGNET” (KJV) or “SEAL” (NASB). BDB: “seal, signet, signet-ring”
John 13:26: “SOP” (KJV) or “MORSEL” (NASB). Strong: “a crumb or morsel (as if rubbed off), that is, a mouthful”; Thayer: “a fragment, bit, morsel”
Isaiah 3:24: “STOMACHER” (KJV) or “FINE CLOTHES” (NASB). BDB: “rich or expensive robe”
Matthew 7:13: “STRAIT” (KJV) or “NARROW” (NASB). Strong: “narrow”
Matthew 19:14: “SUFFER” (KJV) or “LET” (NASB). Thayer: “to permit, allow, not to hinder”
Exodus 35:22: “TABLES” (KJV) or “BRACELETS” (NASB). BDB: “1) ornaments, golden ornament 1a) maybe – armlets of gold”; Strong: “a jewel (probably gold beads)”
Exodus 26:6: “TACHES” (KJV) or “CLASPS” (NASB). BDB: “hook”
Exodus 5:18: “TALE” (KJV) or “QUOTA” (NASB). Strong: “a fixed quantity”; BDB: “1) measurement, a measured amount”
1 Samuel 17:6: “TARGET” (KJV) or “JAVELIN” (NASB). BDB: “1) javelin, short sword, dart”
2 Chronicles 9:15: “TARGET” (KJV) or “LARGE SHIELD” (NASB). BDB: “3) shield, large shield, buckler”
Ezekiel 24:17: “TIRE OF THINE HEAD” (KJV) or “TURBAN” (NASB). BDB: “head-dress, ornament, turban”
Isaiah 3:18: “TIRES” (KJV) — see “ROUND TIRES.”
Matthew 5:18: “TITTLE” (KJV) or “STROKE” (NASB). Thayer: “of the little lines or projections, by which the Hebrew letters, in other respects similar, differ from one another; the meaning is, ‘not even the minutest part of the law shall perish.’”
Isaiah 43:17: “TOW” (KJV) or “WICK” (NASB). Strong: “flax; by implication a wick”
John 2:6: “TWO OR THREE FIRKINS” (KJV) or “TWENTY OR THIRTY GALLONS” (NASB). Thayer defines the Greek word for “firkin” as “containing somewhat less than nine English gallons or about [40 l].” Since an English gallon is the equivalent of  1.2 U.S. Gallons, then 9 English gallons is about 10.8 gallons. And 40 liters is about 10.56 gallons. But the “somewhat less” than that could easily be thought of as “10” gallons.
1 John 2:20: “UNCTION” (KJV) or “ANOINTING” (NASB). Mounce: “anything which is applied by smearing; ointment; in NT an anointing, in the reception of spiritual privileges”
Acts 2:40: “UNTOWARD” (KJV) or “PERVERSE” (NASB). Thayer: “perverse, wicked.”
Matthew 25:27: “USURY” (KJV) or “INTEREST” (NASB). We use the word “usury” today in referring to an exorbitant amount of interest rate, but Strong and Thayer show that the Greek word for it simply meant “interest.” Webster also includes the definition of “interest paid for the use of money,” as his third definition, but shows that meaning of “usury” to be obsolete for our time.
Matthew 5:18: “VERILY” (KJV) or “TRULY” (NASB). Mounce: “in truth, most certainly, so be it…amen; truly”
Acts 12:10: “WARD” (KJV) or “GUARD” (NASB). BDB: “1) guard, watch”
Isaiah 17:4: “WAX” (KJV) – See “SHALL WAX LEAN.”
Isaiah 3:22: “WIMPLES” (KJV) or “CLOAKS” (NASB). BDB: “cloak”; Strong: “a wide cloak (for a woman)”
Isaiah 63:2: “WINEFAT” (KJV) or “WINE PRESS” (NASB). Strong: “a wine press”
Acts 3:17: “WOT” (KJV) or “KNOW” (NASB). Thayer: “to see” and “to know.”
Mark 10:1: “WONT” (KJV) or “ACCORDING TO…CUSTOM” (NASB). Thayer: “to be accustomed”
Exodus 28:14: “WREATHEN” (KJV) or “CORDED” (NASB). BDB: “1) cord…”; Strong: “something intwined..”
——————–

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News & Notes

We extend  our condolence to  all the family and friends of Mary Lou Prevatt (Tori McCarthy’s great grandmother) who passed away last Thursday.  Included among her survivors are not only 15 grandchildren, but also 22 great grandchildren, and 11 great great grandchildren!  Let us be remembering all of her loved ones in prayer.  Her funeral service will be this Monday at the Music Funeral Home Chapel at 11 a.m. There will also be a visitation there for friends Sunday evening from 6 to 8.

Let us continue to remember Shirley Davis in our prayers as she has been having to deal with various health problems, including pain, for a couple years now.   Her next doctor appointments will be on the 2nd and 3rd of  August.

Remember, too, Pat Joyner, that though she is with us, yet she also continues with doctor appointments every month for her conditions.

We are glad that Myrna Jordan and Melotine Davis are now feeling better.

Others to be remembering in prayer: Michelle Rittenhouse and Rachael Gerbing who both have heart issues; Ronald Renfrow who is undergoing treatments for cancer.  Misty Thornton for her health problems, and Cicily Thompson in finding a place to live.

As of last Friday, it had been one year since Easton Cox had a chemo treatment.  We were glad to have him visiting with us recently and seeing how well he is doing!
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe
in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent
of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith
in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith,
living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday:
7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday:
7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor:
Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

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The Gospel Observer (July 23, 2017)

Contents:

1) God’s Grief (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
——————–

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God’s Grief
Tom Edwards

Last week, we considered how special we are to God. That though we are so unworthy and have nothing in ourselves, apart from Christ, to be deserving of eternal life, yet God has treated us as having tremendous value by sending His Son Jesus to suffer and die that we might be saved. We noted that God regards His people as being “much more valuable…than the birds!,” as being “a treasured possession” (Deut. 26:18), as being “a people for God’s own possession” (1 Pet. 2:9), as being “precious” (“valuable,” James Strong) in God’s sight (Isa. 43:1), and as being “the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8), which Webster defines as “someone or something very precious or dear to one…”

Something else that also indicates God’s affection toward us is in knowing that He can be grieved by our sin and ungodliness. We are first made aware of that in Genesis 6:5,6: “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”

The Bible sometimes uses “accommodating language” or what is also referred to as “speaking in the fashion of man,” such as when it says in Genesis 11:5, “The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.” Did God have to literally come down? Even from heaven, the LORD “sees all the sons of men” (Psa. 33:13). And surely, the Lord knew — before He even made man — of what man would do, which would result in the need for a Savior. For Jesus’ death on the cross is said to be according to “the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23); and when speaking of being “not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold…but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ,” Peter goes on to say, “For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you” (1 Pet. 1:18-20).

So, apparently, God wanted to have a people for Himself – even though it would also include some grief on His part along the way!

Psalm 78:40, a historical psalm, declares, “How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness And grieved Him in the desert!”

“In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled And grieved His Holy Spirit; Therefore He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them” (Isa. 63:10).

According to WebMD, “Grief and grieving are the natural response to a major loss, such as the death of a loved one.” How, therefore, could God be grieving over others unless they had been of importance and value to Him, and were now a great loss?

Being a God of justice, the Lord cannot condone or overlook transgression. So those who remain in their sin, refusing to repent, will have to suffer the consequences; but that is not what the Lord desires to carry out – but He must! For as He says in Ezekiel 33:11: “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’”

And what about when man dies “spiritually,” as Adam and Eve did on the day they took the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? (See Gen. 2:17.)  Sin results in spiritual death, which has been defined as a separation from God. See Isaiah 59:1,2.  James writes: “…each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14,15).  “For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23).  So the point is, would not God be just as grieved over those who have spiritually died because of sin as He was toward those whose sin had resulted in a physical death?

To grieve over those you love is also seen of Jesus in Luke 19:41-44: “When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.'” The Lord’s heart had gone out to these who were heading toward suffering. He wanted to save them, but they were unwilling.

This is also seen in Luke 13:34 where the Lord probably said bemoaningly, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it!”

Jesus came to this world to also show what His Father in heaven is like (cf. Jn. 14:7-11). For His love and concern for others is identical to that of Jesus. Notice also the compassion Jesus manifested toward those emotionally suffering over the death of Lazarus. Jesus was there to raise Lazarus from the dead, but when He saw Mary “weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see’” (John 11:33-34). Then the next verse so tenderly tells us that “Jesus wept.” Some who saw that had said, “See how He loved him!” (v. 36). Yes, Lazarus was a good friend of the Lord’s whom He loved; but was not the Lord’s weeping because of these others — or at least also — and out of love and sympathy for them?

Isaiah prophesied about 700 years prior to Jesus’ birth into this world and shows the extent to which He was willing to go, due to His love for His Father and for humanity: “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken; Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him” (Isa. 53:2-6). God loved us that much – and still does!

To express the grief God had toward His wayward people of Old Testament times, He is sometimes depicted as a husband toward them, and they as an unfaithful and adulterous wife, such as when God speaks of “the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them” (Jer. 31:32). And by their going after the false gods of idolatry, they were then referred to as not only unfaithful, but also as adulterers and harlots. “Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, bear now the punishment of your lewdness and your harlotries” (Ezek. 23:35). “For they [Samaria and Jerusalem, v. 4] have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. Thus they have committed adultery with their idols and even caused their sons, whom they bore to Me, to pass through the fire to them as food” (v. 37; See also Jer. 32:35).

To better understand the grief that God went through by His people being disloyal toward Him and going after false gods, the Lord had Hosea marry a woman prone to harlotry, “for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD” (Hos. 1:2). Her name was “Gomer” (v. 3), and she did go after other lovers (Hos. 2:5); but God said He would “hedge up her way with thorns” and “build a wall against her so that she cannot find her paths. She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, ‘I will go back to my first husband, For it was better for me then than now!’” (Hos. 2:6-7). And in spite of all the wrong she had done and all the grief she had brought to Hosea, he still took her back — having paid the fee to do so (Hos. 3:2)! How much more meaningful Hosea’s message to the people of His day — of God’s love for them and His desire for them to repent and return to Him — must have been for all those who had known of Hosea’s love for Gomer. For they were like her, in a manner of speaking, being spiritual adulterers by their unfaithfulness to God and going after the false gods of idolatry. But God still loved them and wanted them to come to their senses, repent and return, that He may welcome them again and His grief be turned to joy!

So let us each live, according to the gospel, so that we will not bring grief to the Father, to the Son, nor to the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30)! For they do greatly care for each of us!

(All Scripture from the NASB.)
——————–

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News & Notes

There will be a Gospel Meeting at the Golden Isles church of Christ July 28-30 with Robert Harkrider. Friday & Saturday: 7 p.m.  Sunday: 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.  Location: 441 Touchstone Parkway, Brunswick.

The Marietta church of Christ will also be having a Gospel Meeting July 28-30 with Josh Creel as the guest speaker.   Friday and Saturday: 7 p.m.  Sunday: 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5 p.m.  The church meets at 8150 Driggers St., Jacksonsville.

Folks who can use prayer:

Mary Lou Prevatt has been moved into hospice care.

Shirley Davis’ feet have continued to be swollen. Her doctor, whom she saw last Tuesday, cannot do the knee surgery until that swelling goes down. She is also still having pain from her neck down to her right arm, due to 3 vertebrae in her neck affecting her nerves and will see another doctor about that on the 26th.  Then on the 2nd and 3rd of August she’ll be seeing a cardiovascular doctor to check on the veins in her legs to see if stents are needed. (Her previous appointment for stents had been cancelled.)

Mary Vandevander is in a nursing home.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe
in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent
of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith
in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith,
living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday:
7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday:
7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor:
Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (July 16, 2017)

Contents:

1) Are We of Any Value to God? (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
——————–

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Are We of Any Value to God?
Tom Edwards

The Bible makes it clear that God “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” (Jn. 3:16).  We also see that He did this not because “we loved God,” but because “He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [the atoning sacrifice, NIV] for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10).  For this took place “while we were enemies” of God (Rom. 5:10),  “sinners” (v. 8), “ungodly” and “still helpless” (v. 6), which also indicates that His love for us was not based on our earning or deserving it – for we had not, nor ever would be able to!  These, along with numerous other verses in the Bible, clearly show that God truly does love each one of us.

But what we want to answer in this article is whether we are also of any value or worth to God.  For how often have we humbly felt so worthless in His sight by realizing that we have no value in ourselves, apart from Christ, by which we can stand justified and deserving of eternal life?  Perhaps it causes us to also think of the words of Isaiah: “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isa. 64:6).  But does our own feeling of worthlessness mean that we are of no value or worth to God?

What the Bible shows is that regardless of who we are, God treats us as being of great value to Him!  For is that not expressed in His having Jesus to make an atonement by His death on the cross — and not for just a special few, but in order to impartially “taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9) — and be “the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2)?  Without exception, Jesus died for every transgressor!  And does that not in itself imply that we are of value to God? As the Bible says, “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.  For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you” (1 Pet. 1:18-20).

If we had to pay monetarily for salvation, how much would we be willing to give?  Would it not be everything we had?  But, of course, even all the wealth of the world and the universe combined would not be enough! The psalmist says, “No man can by any means redeem his brother Or give to God a ransom for him – For the redemption of his soul is costly, And he should cease trying forever” (Psa. 49:7,8).

If anyone would ever wonder, “Why did Christ have to die to make the atonement?”  Or, “Could there not have been some other way?”  Would not the answer be that by Jesus’ atoning and sacrificial death, God showed His love to the world in the greatest way possible! And He did that, as we saw, while we were “sinners” and His “enemies.” We should, therefore, never have any doubt of His love for us.  For what Jesus did at Calvary indicates that we are important, special, and of great value to God!

Jesus did not die for rocks and trees and buzzing bees, nor for fish and birds and mountains and seas, nor for plants and animals and their many fleas, nor did He die for any other non-human thing!  For they were not created in God’s image, and they do not have eternal souls!  How much more, therefore, God values and is concerned for mankind and truly wants each one saved from the wrath to come — and for all eternity! (cf. 2 Pet. 3:9.)

So being made “in the image of God” and having been given dominion over all other living creatures on earth (Gen. 1:26,27) and having an eternal soul also indicates that we are special to God and of whom He values above all else on earth.

When speaking of the concern some might have for food and clothing, Jesus points out that God takes care of even the ravens by feeding them; but then also says, “how MUCH MORE VALUABLE you are than the birds!” (Luke 12:22-24, emphasis mine).  So His disciples were not just “more valuable,” but also “MUCH MORE VALUABLE” in God’s sight!

To the nation of Israel, Moses said, “The LORD has today declared you to be His people, A TREASURED POSSESSION, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments; and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken” (Deut. 26:18,19, emphasis mine).  Our possessions usually have value to us — and especially if they are a “TREASURED POSSESSION”! And just think how much greater God can treasure what He treasures!

In our time, the church is the “spiritual Israel” that has a special relationship with God as being “A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY” (1 Pet. 2:9-10).  As the writer shows, Christians are “A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION” — and that sounds mighty special!

Since we are the objects of God’s love, His compassion, and His concern, would not our worth to God be based on that love He has for us – rather than anything worthy in ourselves?  For we are not worthy. Just think of the great love God had for Israel, when through Jeremiah He states, “I  have loved  you with an EVERLASTING LOVE; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jer. 31:3, emphasis mine).  The Hebrew word for “loved” (ahab) in this passage is defined as “to have affection for” (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries).  The Greek word  for “love” (agape) in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” also can mean  “affection” (Thayer).  Do we not value the individual who is the object of our affections?  In our hearts, that person is special, important, and of great worth to us.

God said of Israel, “you are Mine!” and “YOU ARE PRECIOUS in My sight…and I love you” (Isa. 43:1-4, emphasis mine).  The Hebrew word here for “precious” is “yaqar,” which James Strong defines as “to be heavy, that is, (figuratively) VALUABLE” (emphasis mine).  So these individuals were VALUABLE to God!

We were “bought with a price” (1 Cor. 7:23) – and one that is more “precious” than “silver or gold” (1 Pet. 1:18,19).  “Precious” has also been defined as “of high price or great value” (Webster).  Would one pay a great price for that which would be considered worthless or of no value to the buyer?

Regardless of how much we are actually worth, God has treated us as being of tremendous value!

In a world in which some might view the destitute as being worthless, notice the psalmist’s desire in Psalm 72:1,13,14: “Give the king Your judgments, O God, And Your righteousness to the king’s son.  He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save. He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, And their blood will be precious in his sight.”  Since this was to be on the basis of God’s judgments, would not the poor’s blood being “precious” also be the way that God Himself perceives it?  In Psalm 116:15, “PRECIOUS in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones” (emphasis mine).   So these individuals are “of great value” to God and “dearly beloved.”

When Peter shows that the adornment of the wives “must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses”; he then goes on to say, “but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Pet. 3:3,4).  Since God views this “gentle and quiet spirit” to be precious, doesn’t that also add to the woman being of “great value”?

After considering the greatness of the heavens that the Lord had made, David was also awed by God’s regard for humanity and declares in Psalm 8:4, “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?”  But that is the way God is.  For He is love, and He treats us far better than we deserve and even refers to His people as being “THE APPLE OF HIS EYE” (Zech. 2:8, emphasis mine), which Webster defines as  “someone or something very precious or dear to one…”

Think, too, of the love parents have for their children and how greatly they care for them and value them!  Would God’s love and regard for His own be any less?!  To the contrary, His is exceedingly greater!

Though before the creation, God knew that man would sin, which would require the torturous and atoning death of Jesus,  yet God went ahead and made man in spite of that!  How much He must have greatly desired to have us for His people — to be our Father — and to bless us throughout all eternity!

Paul shows in Ephesians 2:4-7 that God’s love for us, which prompted His mercy and a salvation by grace, is “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”  And “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).  Is this not also another indication that we are of great value to God — in thinking of all that He wants to do for us?

Though we do not deserve it, nor could ever earn it, yet God treats us as being of exceeding worth to Him and has a love for us that far excels any other we have ever known!

How thankful we should be that God treats us way beyond what we deserve!  From His perspective, we are important, we are special, and we are valuable!   So, yes, we can say we are all of these things to God — but not on the basis of any personal merit; but, rather, because of the way our loving, heavenly Father is and what we mean to Him!

(Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures are from the NASB.)
——————–

-2-

News & Notes

There will be a Gospel Meeting at the Golden Isles church of Christ July 28-30 with Robert Harkrider. Friday & Saturday: 7 p.m.  Sunday: 1 p.m. & 3 p.m.  Location: 441 Touchstone Parkway, Brunswick, GA.

Prayer for our shut-ins would be appreciated: Mary Vandevander and Shirley Davis.

And also prayers for the others whom we have been mentioning with health issues and loss of loved ones.

Update on Gary Cradick who had a double lung transplant April 20.  On July 7, Gary was able to go for an evening walk with his wife along the Atlantic Ocean.  It was the first time he had been able to do that after 3 years of being hindered by a severe case of COPD!  As you can probably imagine, he feels blessed and thankful!
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe
in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent
of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith
in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith,
living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA  31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday:
7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday:
7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor:
Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (July 9, 2017)

Contents:

1) “We Shall See The King Some Day” (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
——————–

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“We Shall See The King Some Day”
Tom Edwards

In this world, we sometimes have our troubles, disappointments, and sadnesses. It might involve the car breaking down, losing our health, losing a job, losing a loved one, etc. Times like these can be difficult. But may we never lose sight of the fact that in spite of whatever would come our way, “We shall see the King some day”!

As you probably recall, this quote is taken from a hymn we have often sung. It was written by Lewis Edgar Jones who lived from 1865 to 1936 and wrote this particular hymn in 1906.

Had this song been written back in Job’s day, I imagine he would have sung it from his heart. For he was a man who had that kind of hope. As seen in Job 19:25-27: “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes shall see and not another. My heart faints within me!” So, yes, Job knew the answer to his rhetorical question, “If a man dies, will he live again?” For he also indicates that in the same passage: “All the days of my struggle I will wait Until my change comes” (Job 14:14).

The hope we have in seeing God in heaven can help us through this earth life. It was certainly an aid to Moses. For by his looking to the “reward” and “seeing Him who is unseen,” Moses was able to choose rather “to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt” (Heb. 11:25-27).

The hope we have, as Christians, in seeing God can also give us that motivating power through our times of troubles and difficulties. The last of the apostles, John, certainly knew about persecution upon the Lord’s people. But he would have them, also, to look to the Lord and His coming again for encouragement through their struggles and making themselves ready for that great day! “Beloved,” he writes, “now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:2,3).

In the previous chapter, John also writes: “And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1 Jn. 2:28,29). John also shows that the way we are to “abide” in the Lord is by keeping His commandments (cf. 1 Jn. 3:24).

It is in the second stanza of the hymn that speaks of seeing the King “After pain and anguish, after toil and care…” Who has ever lived without experiencing a measure of suffering to some degree, whether it be physical or emotional? This life can sometimes be likened to a road filled with numerous potholes that cannot be avoided. But let us not forget that even the struggles of life can be for our good! As John Neal points out, “A certain amount of opposition is a great help to man. Kites rise against, not with the wind.” Sometimes it was in the “furnace of affliction” by which God “refined” and “tested” His people (cf. Isa. 48:10). Peter speaks in similar language of “the proof of one’s faith” being “tested by fire” through “various trials,” yet resulting “in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” and “obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:6-9). Therefore, as James writes, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

We not only have our toils, but also our cares, as the hymn goes on to say in the second stanza. And concerning those cares, we know that even now we can turn to the One who wants to help us overcome them. For Peter exhorted the brethren, who were undergoing extreme difficulties (a “fiery trial,” 1 Pet. 4:12), to “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety [care, KJV] upon Him, because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6,7). Yes, prayer is for the here and now; and it is one of the ways in which we are to deal with our troubles, as seen also in Paul’s instruction: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).

Surely, the ultimate comfort will be heaven itself – where “there shall no longer be any death…mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 21:4).

But while we are here on earth, there are still spiritual battles to be fought and won. As the hymn includes, we shall see the King “After foes are conquered, after battles won…” The fight we are to engage in is the good “fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12). For faith is needed as part of our spiritual armor that we are to put on, which consists of “loins girded with truth,” a “breastplate of righteousness,” feet shod with “the preparation of the gospel of peace,” “the shield of faith,” “the helmet of salvation,” and “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:10-18).

It is a battle between flesh and spirit: “For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin…” (Rom. 7:22,23). This clash is also seen in the next chapter: “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him” (Rom. 8:5-9).

So this spiritual warfare also pertains to our very thoughts, which we each must control: “for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).

It is through the flesh that we can be tempted to sin (cf. James 1:13-15; 1 Jn. 2:16,17). But notice what Paul did about that: “but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27). Paul, of course, did not literally beat his body, but the figurative expression stresses the determination he had to be faithfully obedient — even through difficulty and pain – in order to maintain his relationship with God.

Fighting spiritual battles are not always easy – and especially when they lead to intense emotional or physical agony. Yet, Jesus still gives hope and encouragement: “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until [unto, KJV] death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Rev. 2:10).

One day God is going to gather everyone before Him. And though maybe not always with our hymn title, yet how often have we reminded ourselves of that fact that one of these days we are going to see the Almighty God! Oh, what a day that will be for the redeemed! Will you be ready then? May we each be! And as we go through life, let us continue to remind ourselves that “We shall see the King some day”!

(All Scripture from the NASB, unless otherwise indicated.)
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News & Notes

We are glad that Doug Pennock is now feeling better, since he had not felt up to par the last few weeks. Tests had recently been run, and all with good results.

Others also to remember in prayer:

The family and friends of Barbara Darsey, Shirley Davis, Pat Joyner, Ronald Renfrow, Randy Bartlett, Mary Lou Prevatt, Cheryl Crews, Jim Lively, Mary Vandevander, Cicily Thompson, Kelli Fleeman, Penny Medlock, Michelle Rittenhouse, Rachael Gerbing, LaDonna Andrews, Buddy Gornto, Sunny Nichols, Gary Cradick, Billy Lowe, Tom Haney and his wife.
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The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)

The Gospel Observer (July 2, 2017)

Contents:

1) Questions and Answers on the Existence of God (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
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Questions and Answers on the Existence of God
Tom Edwards

1) “How Do We Know That God Exists?”

We know that God exists because we exist!  This doesn’t mean that He exists because we made Him up in our imagination; but, rather, that our very existence is the proof of His reality. Paul indicates this in Romans 1:19,20: “…that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His ETERNAL power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (emphasis mine).  In other words, since we and everything else in the physical universe had a beginning, it required not only something that preexisted everything else (that Great “First Cause”), but also that which had high intelligence, tremendous power, and awesome abilities to bring about the creation and all things therein.

We also know that God exists by what we can infer in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies that were given hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth and, therefore, prior to the New Testament Age, yet came to pass with even specific accuracy. God, thus, has that power to know beyond human ability of things to come — and through prophecy and its fulfillment, He has proven that!

2) “How Do We Know That Our Creator Wasn’t Also Created By an Even More Superior Being?”

One might say, however, that “to speak of God as having ‘preexisted’ prior to the creation,” as mentioned earlier, “doesn’t necessarily mean that He has always been.  How do we know that He was not created by a God even more superior?”  The answer to that is found within the word God has given us. For after acquiring faith through His word (Rom. 10:17), realizing the reality of His existence through the creation and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, and learning about the goodness of His nature, such as knowing that He cannot lie (cf. Titus 1:2), we can then very easily accept by faith the truthfulness of His word, such as in Isaiah 43:10-13, in which He says: “‘You are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me. It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,’ declares the LORD, ‘And I am God. Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?'”  God is also referred to elsewhere as being “eternal” (Deut. 32:27),  “everlasting” (Isa. 40:28); and, in addition, the idea of His being “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 21:6) figuratively expresses His eternal nature.

In view of the indications of God’s reality through the creation and fulfilled prophecy, perhaps these are a couple reasons why the Bible declares that “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ …” (Psa. 14:1, Psa. 53:1). In other words, God’s existence should be easily accepted by any accountable person — and certainly much more reasonable to do so than to believe that everything on earth and throughout the universe came about without an Intelligent Designer behind it all.

Recently, I watched a BBC documentary of a baby developing in the womb. It was interesting to see that in just 18 to 19 days from conception, the heart began to form and then started functioning at around the 21 or 22 day. The heart, of course, is necessary in distributing food and oxygen for the continuation of the baby to develop and is, therefore, said to be “one of the first recognizable organs to form.” But while seeing the entirety of this unformed substance begin to form its own heart, I began to think of how anyone could actually deny this amazing process as having been made possible by God. For how would an unintelligible mass know it needs to first form the heart in order that the rest of the development can also occur? And that is just the heart!  Think, too, of all the other organs that will also become necessary to sustain life. It is said that the body is made up of 70 vital organs. The top 10, in countdown fashion, are the bladder, the skin, the small and large intestines, the kidneys, the spleen, the stomach, the liver, the lungs, the heart, and the brain. Each one has its own special function, and each one has its own design, and each one is made up of numerous cells.  But how did each cell know of which group of organ cells it was to be a part of and how it was to form with the others of that group to make possible a particular needed organ, and where it was to reside in the body? According to Smithsonian.com, the body is made up of 37.2 trillion cells! But each one is not merely anywhere in some haphazard fashion throughout the body; but, rather, where it needs to be with purpose in forming and performing. We know that all of that was made possible by the DNA code, but how did that highly complex code come about? Could we not compare it to a computer program? Modern technology has provided us with a wide array of programs to use in our computers and other electronic devices. We see on our screens what they can do. But within each program or app is the needed line after line of computer language that gives the instructions that make the program what it is, how it appears, and how it functions.  For example, Windows 10 is said to have about 50 million lines of code, while Facebook has 61 million, and Google (with all its Internet services) is 2 billion lines of code!  But if we thought of each human genome pair in our DNA as a line of code, it would require 3.3 billion lines!  So just as a lifeless computer program has the need for an intelligent programmer, the same is similarly true of us — but of the need for a Creator who can also give life to that which He makes!

Yes, we can know that God exists because we exist!

3) How Do We Know That God STILL Exists, and Is Not Now Dead?

Someone might admit that God once existed, created all things, and set everything up to continue as it does — but could it be that God now no longer exists?

Fifty-one years ago, on the never-before pictureless cover of Time, were the three words — in large, red letters on a black background — that asked the question, “Is God Dead?”  It was the cover story for the April 8, 1966 edition. Even 42 years later, the Los Angeles Times referred to it as being one of the “10 magazine covers that shook the world.” Do some still ask that question today?  “Is God dead?”

The good news is that God is very much alive and well!  He still exists and will always do so, because He is eternal.  For that which is eternal cannot die. Even Jesus, who was put to death on the cross, only had His human body (which had a beginning) to die, while His true essence (His eternal spirit, which has always been) was still very much alive and in Paradise (cf. Luke 23:43) for those three days following His death and until His resurrection. Similarly, Jesus speaks of Himself figuratively as being the Bread of Life “which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die” (Jn. 6:50). And that “If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death” (Jn. 8:52). In saying these things, Jesus does not mean that a person who keeps the Lord’s word will never die physically, but that spiritual death will never come to the one who does so.  His soul will remain spiritually alive unto God — rather than spiritually dead.

Imagine, for example, that before God could die, one would have to first go back in a time machine to the “beginning” of God, that time when He first came into existence. But since God has always existed, the individual in the time machine would never arrive at the “time” when God began.  God, of course, dwells in eternity and not in linear time as we do or as indicated in this example. But we are using a stretch of endless time in both directions, past and future, to represent eternity and to point out that there will never be an end to God, any more than you could actually find a “beginning” of His existence — since He has always been. And what God, therefore, has always been, He will also always be. This, too, means that He never had to acquire or develop good traits or qualities, as we do. For His virtues have always and perfectly been a part of who and what He is. When the Psalmist, therefore, declares, “…Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psa. 90:2), he is not prophesying that God will still be God at some future time; but, rather, that God already is filling all eternity as fully God. It is only because we cannot actually imagine eternity that we think in terms of the linear time that we do know, with its past, present, and future.  But how wondrously different an eternity in heaven will truly be!

Isn’t it great to know that this God, the only true and living God who has always been and always will be, also wants us to enjoy an eternity with Him in heaven?  What an unsurpassed experience that will be for all those who believe and obey God’s plan of salvation!

(Unless otherwise indicated, all Scriptures are from the NASB.)
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News & Notes

Misty Thornton had recently been in the hospital and was diagnosed with a blood clot in her lung, but they are now indicating it was a false reading.  Her blood pressure is also now back to a better range, so she was released.

The results of the lumbar puncture show that Kelli Fleeman has no cancer in her spine.  So she has no need of inthrathecal chemo, but will continue with the kind of chemo she has been receiving.

Other folks, too, who can use prayer:

Shirley Davis, Pat Joyner, Ronald Renfrow, Randy Bartlett, Mary Lou Prevatt, Cheryl Crews, Misty Thornton, Jim Lively, Mary Vandevander, Penny Medlock, James Medlock, Cicily Thompson, Michelle Rittenhouse, Rachael Gerbing, LaDonna Andrews, Buddy Gornto, Sunny Nichols, Billy Lowe, Gary Cradick, Tom Haney and his wife.
——————–

The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
——————–

Tebeau Street
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
Tom@ThomasTEdwards.com
https://thegospelobserver.wordpress.com (Gospel Observer website with pictures in WordPress)
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://tebeaustreetchurchofchrist.org/
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)