I know, I know, YESTERDAY was memorial day!  However, I didn't see this one until today.  This could another picture of Iwo Jima, or maybe not.  Anyway, it appears to be a World War II picture celebrating a military victory.  Honestly, I don't think much of war... all that dying and pain, just seems so unnecessary!  On the other hand, World War II was necessary because it went beyond ideology to the point of genocide!!! I thank God it is over and wish all wars were over for ever.  For Christians, we can see the final outcome as being won, but unfortunately sin still remains in this world.  Its an odd situation, but we have victory BEFORE THE WAR IS OVER!!!  Read on to see what I mean...

1 Corinthians, Chapter 15
  51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  54 But when this corruptible will have put on incorruption, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

  55 “Death, where is your sting?
Hades, where is your victory?”

  56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Death!!!  Morbid and cruel, it takes us all.  It does not respect genius or innocence and ignores fairness; it just happens.  No one wants to die; except perhaps those in the final stages of some dreadfully painful terminal disease.  However, God has ultimately solved the problem of death in the sacrifice of Jesus.  Victory is ours; believe it because its true.  You do not have to waive a flag, you just have to believe God and obey his will.  If you haven't done this, now would be a good time.  Turn to the book of Acts and read chapter two.  Follow the directions...live forever!!!

May 29 Judges 15, 16

May 29
Judges 15, 16

Jdg 15:1 But it happened after a while, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father wouldn't allow him to go in.
Jdg 15:2 Her father said, I most certainly thought that you had utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to your companion: isn't her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her, instead.
Jdg 15:3 Samson said to them, This time shall I be blameless in regard of the Philistines, when I do them a mischief.
Jdg 15:4 Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between every two tails.
Jdg 15:5 When he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing grain, and also the olive groves.
Jdg 15:6 Then the Philistines said, Who has done this? They said, Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife, and given her to his companion. The Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.
Jdg 15:7 Samson said to them, If you behave like this, surely I will be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.
Jdg 15:8 He struck them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.
Jdg 15:9 Then the Philistines went up, and encamped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi.
Jdg 15:10 The men of Judah said, Why have you come up against us? They said, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he has done to us.
Jdg 15:11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, "Don't you know that the Philistines are rulers over us? What then is this that you have done to us?" He said to them, As they did to me, so have I done to them.
Jdg 15:12 They said to him, We have come down to bind you, that we may deliver you into the hand of the Philistines. Samson said to them, Swear to me that you will not fall on me yourselves.
Jdg 15:13 They spoke to him, saying, No; but we will bind you fast, and deliver you into their hand: but surely we will not kill you. They bound him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock.
Jdg 15:14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him: and the Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands dropped from off his hands.
Jdg 15:15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put forth his hand, and took it, and struck a thousand men therewith.
Jdg 15:16 Samson said, With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps on heaps, With the jawbone of a donkey I have struck a thousand men.
Jdg 15:17 It happened, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand; and that place was called Ramath Lehi.
Jdg 15:18 He was very thirsty, and called on Yahweh, and said, You have given this great deliverance by the hand of your servant; and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised.
Jdg 15:19 But God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out of it. When he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: therefore its name was called En Hakkore, which is in Lehi, to this day.
Jdg 15:20 He judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.
Jdg 16:1 Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a prostitute, and went in to her.
Jdg 16:2 It was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come here. They surrounded him, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, Let be until morning light, then we will kill him.
Jdg 16:3 Samson lay until midnight, and arose at midnight, and laid hold of the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and plucked them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of the mountain that is before Hebron.
Jdg 16:4 It came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.
Jdg 16:5 The lords of the Philistines came up to her, and said to her, Entice him, and see in which his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will each give you of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.
Jdg 16:6 Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, Please, in which your great strength lies, and with which you might be bound to afflict you.
Jdg 16:7 Samson said to her, If they bind me with seven green cords that were never dried, then shall I become weak, and be as another man.
Jdg 16:8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green cords which had not been dried, and she bound him with them.
Jdg 16:9 Now she had an ambush waiting in the inner chamber. She said to him, "The Philistines are on you, Samson!" He broke the cords, as a string of tow is broken when it touches the fire. So his strength was not known.
Jdg 16:10 Delilah said to Samson, Behold, you have mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, Please, with which you might be bound.
Jdg 16:11 He said to her, If they only bind me with new ropes with which no work has been done, then shall I become weak, and be as another man.
Jdg 16:12 So Delilah took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. The ambush was waiting in the inner chamber. He broke them off his arms like a thread.
Jdg 16:13 Delilah said to Samson, Until now, you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me with what you might be bound. He said to her, If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web.
Jdg 16:14 She fastened it with the pin, and said to him, The Philistines are on you, Samson. He awakened out of his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam, and the web.
Jdg 16:15 She said to him, How can you say, I love you, when your heart is not with me? you have mocked me these three times, and have not told me in which your great strength lies.
Jdg 16:16 It happened, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, that his soul was troubled to death.
Jdg 16:17 He told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come on my head; for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I will become weak, and be like any other man."
Jdg 16:18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he has told me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hand.
Jdg 16:19 She made him sleep on her knees; and she called for a man, and shaved off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.
Jdg 16:20 She said, The Philistines are on you, Samson. He awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free. But he didn't know that Yahweh had departed from him.
Jdg 16:21 The Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he ground at the mill in the prison.
Jdg 16:22 However the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaved.
Jdg 16:23 The lords of the Philistines gathered them together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice; for they said, Our god has delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.
Jdg 16:24 When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, Our god has delivered into our hand our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, who has slain many of us.
Jdg 16:25 It happened, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. They called for Samson out of the prison; and he made sport before them. They set him between the pillars:
Jdg 16:26 and Samson said to the boy who held him by the hand, Allow me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house rests, that I may lean on them.
Jdg 16:27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were on the roof about three thousand men and women, who saw while Samson made sport.
Jdg 16:28 Samson called to Yahweh, and said, Lord Yahweh, remember me, Please, and strengthen me, Please, only this once, God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Jdg 16:29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and leaned on them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left.
Jdg 16:30 Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. He bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell on the lords, and on all the people who were therein. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than those who he killed in his life.
Jdg 16:31 Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial site of Manoah his father. He judged Israel twenty years.

"ACTS OF THE APOSTLES" Chapter Twelve by Mark Copeland

                         "ACTS OF THE APOSTLES"

                             Chapter Twelve


1) To note the martyrdom of James, and the miraculous release of Peter
   from prison

2) To review the untimely death of Herod, and the continued success of
   the word of God


This chapter records the efforts by King Herod to harass the church in
Jerusalem.  This Herod was Agrippa I, son of Herod Antipas (who beheaded
John the Baptist, Mt 14:1-12), and grandson of Herod the Great (who slew
the infants at Bethlehem, Mt 2:1-16).  Successfully killing James the
brother of John with the sword, Herod had Peter arrested and imprisoned,
intending to bring Peter before the people after the Passover.  Herod's
plans were thwarted when an angel of the Lord freed Peter from prison.
After meeting with brethren at the home of Mary, mother of John Mark,
Peter sent word to James and the brethren of his miraculous release.
When Peter was not found in the prison, Herod had the guards examined
and executed.  Herod then went down to Caesarea (1-19).

While at Caesarea, the people of Tyre and Sidon came to Herod to appeal
for peace.  When he gave them an oration, the people praised his speech
as "the voice of a god and not of a man."  Failing to give glory to God,
an angel of the Lord struck Herod and he died.  The word of God,
however, grew and multiplied.  Barnabas and Saul, having completed their
ministry to the saints in Judea (cf. 11:29-30), returned from Jerusalem
to Antioch accompanied by John Mark.  At this point in Luke's narrative
of the history of the church, the focus turns from the ministry of Peter
to the ministry of Paul (20-24).



      1. Herod begins to harass some from the church
      2. He killed James the brother the John

      1. Peter seized during the days of Unleavened Bread
         a. Since Herod saw that it pleased the Jews
         b. Intending to bring Peter before the people after Passover
      2. Peter released by an angel
         a. Constant prayer was being offered by the church
         b. Though bound with chains between two guards, with more
            before the door
         c. An angel stands before Peter, along with a shining light
         d. The angel strikes Peter on the side, and raises him; chains
            fell off
         e. Told to gird himself, tie his sandals, put on his garments,
            and follow
         f. Thinking it was a vision, Peter follows the angel past the
            guards and into the city
      3. Peter rejoined with his brethren
         a. He realizes that the angel has delivered him from Herod
         b. He comes to the house of Mary, mother of John Mark, where
            many are praying
         c. He is first left standing at the door by Rhoda, then
            astonishes the brethren when they come to the door
         d. He relates what happened, sends word to James and the
            brethren, and departs
      4. Peter's release causes a stir
         a. Herod is unable to find Peter
         b. Herod examines the soldiers and has them put to death
         c. Herod leaves Judea and goes to Caesarea


   A. HIS LAST ORATION (20-22)
      1. The people of Tyre and Sidon appeal for peace to Herod through
         Blastus, the king's aide
      2. On a set day, in royal apparel and on his throne, Herod gives
         them an oration
      3. The people praise him as having the voice of a god and not of a

      1. An angel of the Lord strikes him immediately because he did not
         give glory to God
      2. He is eaten of worms and dies

      1. The word of God grows and multiplies
      2. Barnabas and Saul return from Jerusalem with John Mark,
         fulfilling their ministry


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The persecution by Herod the King (1-19)
   - The death of Herod the King (20-25)

2) How did Herod begin to harass the church? (1-3)
   - By having James the brother of John killed with the sword
   - By having Peter put in prison

3) When was Peter imprisoned?  When did Herod intend to present him to
   the people? (3-4)
   - During the Days of Unleavened Bread
   - After Passover

4) How did the church respond to Peter's imprisonment? (5)
   - They offered constant prayer to God in his behalf

5) How was Peter bound, the night before Herod intended to bring him
   before the people? (6)
   - With two chains between two soldiers, and guards before the door of
     the prison

6) As the angel freed Peter and led him out of the prison, what was
   Peter thinking? (7-9)
   - That he was seeing a vision

7) After the angel led Peter into the city and then left, what did Peter
   come to realize? (10-11)
   - The Lord had sent His angel to deliver him from Herod and the
     expectation of the people

8) Where did Peter first go?  What were the people there doing? (12)
   - The house of Mary, mother of John Mark
   - Praying

9) Who answered the door?  How did she react? (13-14)
   - A girl named Rhoda
   - She recognized Peter, but in her excitement left him standing at
     the door

10) What did the people think she had seen at the door? (15)
   - Peter's angel

11) After they finally went to the door and let him in, what
    instructions did Peter give? (16-17)
   - To tell what happened to James and the brethren

12) When Peter was not found in the prison on the next day, what
    happened? (18-19)
   - There was a big stir among the soldiers
   - Herod had the guards examined, then executed

13) Where did Herod then go?  Who came with an appeal for peace? (19-20)
   - From Judea down to Caesarea
   - The people of Tyre and Sidon

14) When Herod gave them an oration, what did the people say? (21-22)
   - "The voice of a god and not of man!"

15) What happened to Herod?  Why? (23)
   - An angel of the Lord struck him, so that he was eaten by worms and
   - Because he did not give glory to God

16) Despite Herod's effort to harass the church, what was the result?
   - The word of God grew and multiplied

17) Who returned from Jerusalem, and whom did they bring with them? (25)
   - Barnabas and Saul, having fulfilled their ministry
   - John Mark