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October 12 - Evening

Stephen said to the Sanhedrin:
“ 'You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!  Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute?  They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.'
When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him."
- Acts 7:51-54

The Stoning of Stephen


The apostles were brought on trial before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem several times for teaching in the name of Jesus on the Temple Mount, and also, for healing in the name of Jesus. Stephen, one of the men assigned by the church to help distribute the meals to people, began debating with some of the Jews concerning Jesus and his claim to be the Messiah. The Jews accused Stephen of speaking against Moses and God and for saying Jesus would tear down the Temple and change the customs of Moses.
When Stephen is brought before the Sanhedrin he gives an overview of the Old Testament beginning with Abraham. As Stephen tells the story he points out that the Jewish people always resisted the Lord every step of the way and he quotes Amos 5:25-27 as his text verse. Concerning the Temple, Stephen quotes from Isaiah where God himself says, “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me?”
The Jews listened to all of this until Stephen came to this part of his speech:
'You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him!”

When they heard this the Sanhedrin erupted into violence and stoned Stephen outside the city in the Kidron Valley.
Hupsos (Gr) -  Height (Eng) - the Greek word hupsos  means "summit," or "top." Hupsos is combined with ex (or, ek) to create the phrase ex hupsos which is translated, "on high."
Do I resist the truth? Or, do I present the truth?
I will try to have an open mind to the truth in scripture and not resist the Holy Spirit.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Parents

Church

Confront liberalism
Economy
Russia - spiraling health issues crisis



Ceiling of Hezekiah's Tunnel - The pick marks of Hezekiah’s workers are still visible on the rock walls and ceiling of this 1,750 foot tunnel.
Hezekiah’s Tunnel was cut through bedrock in 701 BC under the City of David, curving and weaving for 1750 feet. If the same tunnel were cut in a straight line, it would be 40% shorter at only 1070 feet. This tunnel was designed and cut to bring water from the Gihon Springs in the Kidron Valley located on the east sideof the Eastern Hill outside the city’s walls, through the bedrock of the Eastern Hill to the west side, where Hezekiah’s city of Jerusalem was expanding and protected by the new Broad Wall.
"After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. A large force of men assembled, and they blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. ‘Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?’ they said.  Then he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the supporting terraces (Millo) of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields. . . It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David. He succeeded in everything he undertook."  - 2 Chronicles 32:1-5, 30

"As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? " - 2 Kings 20:20

The tunnel ceiling is only 5 feet high at the entrance, but reaches 16 feet toward the end, near the Pool of Siloam. The water is generally knee deep at the beginning but only to mid calf throughout the rest of the tunnel. At times the water in the tunnel can be chest deep, depending on the circumstances. The water naturally flows from the Gihon Springs to the Pool of Siloam because the tunnel was cut using a 12 inch (0.6‰) gradient altitude difference between each end of the 1,750 foot tunnel.
Alexander's march from Greece to Babylon and
further into the eastern lands.
(click on image for larger size)



Someone to Quote

"No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means." - George Bernard Shaw

Something to Ponder

It is interesting to notice that the Bible is not written to skeptics. Scripture does not try to defend miracles, but unashamedly begins by saying, “In the beginning God created…”, and it never stops to defend this assumption.

Here’s a Fact

The story that Voltaire's house is used for printing and distributing Bibles is NOT true. (details)
It is impossible at this point to even find a source that documents the alleged quote by Voltaire:
"The Bible will be nothing more than a museum piece within 100 years."
Besides, Voltaire was not an Atheist, but a Deist like Thomas Jefferson.

Proverb

"There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace." - Proverbs 12:20

Coach’s Corner

"There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil, but joy for those who promote peace." - Proverbs 12:20

Acts 12
New International Version (NIV)
Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison
12 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them. He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword. When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread. After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.
So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.
18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.
Herod’s Death
Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.
21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
24 But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.
Barnabas and Saul Sent Off
25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.
Matthew 11:20-30
New International Version (NIV)
Woe on Unrepentant Towns
20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades. For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
The Father Revealed in the Son
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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