The wisdom of innocence!!!

There is something beautiful about these youngsters!  Whether it be animal or human seeing a young one is delightful.  That changes with time.  Cuddly puppies sometimes grow up to be aggressive, snarling brutes and occasionally babies do the same.  Human beings can be especially vicious and the Earth has far too many of that sort!!!  Once in awhile Christians do things that are contrary to the teachings of Christ and then there is a problem!!!  Here is an example of what could be...

Romans, Chapter 16
 17 Now I beg you, brothers, look out for those who are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.  18 For those who are such don’t serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the innocent.  19 For your obedience has become known to all. I rejoice therefore over you. But I desire to have you wise in that which is good, but innocent in that which is evil.  20 And the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Paul wrote Romans to prevent problems.  Although he had never been there when he composed these words, still, he knew some people there and wanted the best for them.  What better way to avoid problems than to present the truth of the Gospel and give exhortation to apply it?  However, Paul knew what people are capable of and so this passage was necessary.  A word of warning is time well spent and for me the emboldened, underlined portion says it all.  Know GOOD, be INNOCENT TOWARDS EVIL!!!  Hard to put that into practice???  Remember when you looked like the baby in the picture and be innocent towards evil?  You will be glad you did; trust me on this one!!!!!

May 23 Judges 3, 4

May 23
Judges 3, 4

Jdg 3:1 Now these are the nations which Yahweh left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
Jdg 3:2 only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing of it:
Jdg 3:3 namely, the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath.
Jdg 3:4 They were left, to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of Yahweh, which he commanded their fathers by Moses.
Jdg 3:5 The children of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites:
Jdg 3:6 and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.
Jdg 3:7 The children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and forgot Yahweh their God, and served the Baals and the Asheroth.
Jdg 3:8 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Cushan Rishathaim eight years.
Jdg 3:9 When the children of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised up a savior to the children of Israel, who saved them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.
Jdg 3:10 The Spirit of Yahweh came on him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and Yahweh delivered Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand: and his hand prevailed against Cushan Rishathaim.
Jdg 3:11 The land had rest forty years. Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
Jdg 3:12 The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: and Yahweh strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
Jdg 3:13 He gathered to him the children of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and struck Israel, and they possessed the city of palm trees.
Jdg 3:14 The children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
Jdg 3:15 But when the children of Israel cried to Yahweh, Yahweh raised them up a savior, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a man left-handed. The children of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab.
Jdg 3:16 Ehud made him a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length; and he girded it under his clothing on his right thigh.
Jdg 3:17 He offered the tribute to Eglon king of Moab: now Eglon was a very fat man.
Jdg 3:18 When he had made an end of offering the tribute, he sent away the people who bore the tribute.
Jdg 3:19 But he himself turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand to you, king. He said, Keep silence. All who stood by him went out from him.
Jdg 3:20 Ehud came to him; and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. Ehud said, I have a message from God to you. He arose out of his seat.
Jdg 3:21 Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his body:
Jdg 3:22 and the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed on the blade, for he didn't draw the sword out of his body; and it came out behind.
Jdg 3:23 Then Ehud went forth into the porch, and shut the doors of the upper room on him, and locked them.
Jdg 3:24 Now when he was gone out, his servants came; and they saw, and behold, the doors of the upper room were locked; and they said, Surely he is covering his feet in the upper chamber.
Jdg 3:25 They waited until they were ashamed; and behold, he didn't open the doors of the upper room: therefore they took the key, and opened them, and behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.
Jdg 3:26 Ehud escaped while they waited, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped to Seirah.
Jdg 3:27 It happened, when he had come, that he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he before them.
Jdg 3:28 He said to them, Follow after me; for Yahweh has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. They went down after him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and didn't allow a man to pass over.
Jdg 3:29 They struck of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every lusty man, and every man of valor; and there escaped not a man.
Jdg 3:30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. The land had rest eighty years.
Jdg 3:31 After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck of the Philistines six hundred men with an oxgoad: and he also saved Israel.
Jdg 4:1 The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, when Ehud was dead.
Jdg 4:2 Yahweh sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth of the Gentiles.
Jdg 4:3 The children of Israel cried to Yahweh: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
Jdg 4:4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, she judged Israel at that time.
Jdg 4:5 She lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
Jdg 4:6 She sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh Naphtali, and said to him, Hasn't Yahweh, the God of Israel, commanded, saying, Go and draw to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?
Jdg 4:7 I will draw to you, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into your hand.
Jdg 4:8 Barak said to her, If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.
Jdg 4:9 She said, I will surely go with you: notwithstanding, the journey that you take shall not be for your honor; for Yahweh will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
Jdg 4:10 Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh; and there went up ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
Jdg 4:11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh.
Jdg 4:12 They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to Mount Tabor.
Jdg 4:13 Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles, to the river Kishon.
Jdg 4:14 Deborah said to Barak, Up; for this is the day in which Yahweh has delivered Sisera into your hand; hasn't Yahweh gone out before you? So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
Jdg 4:15 Yahweh confused Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his army, with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot, and fled away on his feet.
Jdg 4:16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the army, to Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; there was not a man left.
Jdg 4:17 However Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.
Jdg 4:18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; don't be afraid. He came in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.
Jdg 4:19 He said to her, Please give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. She opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.
Jdg 4:20 He said to her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man does come and inquire of you, and say, Is there any man here? that you shall say, No.
Jdg 4:21 Then Jael Heber's wife took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and struck the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground; for he was in a deep sleep; so he swooned and died.
Jdg 4:22 Behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, Come, and I will show you the man whom you seek. He came to her; and behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples.
Jdg 4:23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.
Jdg 4:24 The hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

"ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" Chapter Six by Mark Copeland

                         "ACTS OF THE APOSTLES"

                              Chapter Six


1) To note how the church in Jerusalem handled their internal problems

2) To examine the process of selecting and appointing those who serve in
   the Lord's church

3) To evaluate the charges that were brought against Stephen


As the disciples in Jerusalem multiplied in number, it is not surprising
to read of problems increasing as well.  This chapter describes problems
from within and without the congregation.

Hellenists (Jewish Christians who adopted Grecian culture) complained
that the Hebrews (Jewish Christians who sought to preserve Jewish
culture) neglected their widows in the daily distribution (cf. 2:44-45;
4:34-35).  The apostles, desiring not to be distracted from their own
work, summon the disciples and charge them to select seven men whom the
apostles might appoint to take care of this responsibility.  Seven are
selected by the people and appointed by the apostles through prayer and
the laying on of hands.  With the problem solved, the word of God spread
and the number of disciples multiplied greatly, including the obedience
of many priests (1-6).

Stephen, one of the seven, began doing many wonders and signs.
Opposition arose from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen who
disputed with Stephen.  Unable to resist the Spirit and the wisdom of
which he spoke, they resorted to false witnesses to stir up the people,
elders, and scribes.  Brought before the council, Stephen was charged
with blasphemy against the temple and the law of Moses.  The chapter
ends with the council looking at Stephen, seeing his face as the face of
an angel (7-15).



      1. As the church grew, there arose a complaint
      2. The Hellenists were complaining against the Hebrews
      3. The Hellenistic widows were being neglected during the daily

   B. THE SOLUTION (3-6)
      1. The twelve apostles summon the multitude of disciples
         a. It was not good that the apostles leave the word of God to
            serve tables
         b. The congregation should select seven men that the apostles
            might appoint
            1) Of good reputation
            2) Full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom
         c. So the apostles might give themselves to prayer and the word
            of God
      2. The multitude is pleased, and select seven men
         a. Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit
         b. Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a
            proselyte from Antioch
      3. The seven men are appointed by the apostles
         a. Having prayed
         b. Laying hands on them

   C. THE RESULT (7)
      1. The word of God spread, the number of the disciples multiplied
      2. Many of the priests were obedient to the faith


   A. HIS MINISTRY (8-10)
      1. Full of faith and power, he did great wonders and signs among
         the people
      2. Disputed with some from the Synagogue of the Freedmen
         a. Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia
         b. Who were unable to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which
            he spoke

      1. They secretly induced men to charge him with blasphemy against
         Moses and God
      2. They stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes
         a. To come and seize him
         b. To bring him to the (Sanhedrin) council
      3. They set up false witnesses who charged Stephen with blasphemy
         a. The holy place (temple):  "We have heard him say that this
            Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place"
         b. Against the law (of Moses) "...and change the customs which
            Moses delivered to us"

      1. All who sat in the council looked steadfastly at him
      2. They saw his face as the face of an angel


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The selection of the seven (1-7)
   - The charges against Stephen (8-15)

2) As the church in Jerusalem grew in number, who raised a complaint?
   Why? (1)
   - The Hellenists against the Hebrews
   - The Hellenistic widows were being neglected in the daily

3) When the apostles summoned the disciples, what did they first say to
   them? (2)
   - "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve

4) What proposal did the apostles offer? (3)
   - For the congregation to select seven whom the apostles could
     appoint over this business

5) What qualifications did the apostles lay down for the selection of
   the seven? (3)
   - Men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom

6) What would this enable the apostles to do? (4)
   - Give themselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the

7) What were the names of the seven men who were selected?  What is
   unique about their names? (5)
   - Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicholas
   - They are all Grecian (Hellenistic) names

8) How did the apostles appoint those whom the congregation selected?
   - Through prayer and the laying on of hands

9) As the word of spread, what two things occurred? (7)
   - The number of the disciples multiplied greatly
   - A great many of the priests were obedient to the faith

10) What did Stephen, one of the seven, do among the people? (8)
   - Great signs and wonders

11) Who began to dispute with Stephen? (9)
   - Some from the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians,
     others from Cilicia and Asia)

12) What were they unable to do? (10)
   - Resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which Stephen spoke

13) What did they secretly induce men to say? (11)
   - "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God"

14) What did they stir up the people, elders, and scribes to do? (12)
   - To seize Stephen and bring him to the council

15) What did they set up false witnesses to say? (13-14)
   - "This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this
     holy place and the law"
   - "We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy
     this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us"

16) As those in the council looked at Stephen, what did they see? (15)
   - His face as the face of an angel