Right before your eyes

If bed were a little bit more square  (bEd), the bed might be a bit more comfortable.  Whoever noticed the similarity of the word to the object is very observant!  Sometimes things are right in front of you and you just don't see them; take this verse from the book of Mark for example....

Mark, Chapter 16
15 He said to them, "“Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation.  16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.

Jesus is speaking: To paraphrase; he says to go everywhere and proclaim the Good News (the Gospel) to everyone.  Most people have no problem with this, but the next verse gives some people problems.  My breakdown goes like this: He who believes + baptized = saved.  He who disbelieves ( - baptized ) = condemned.  The person who has concrete confidence in the Good News of Jesus and passively submits to being baptized is saved.  The person whose belief has no concrete confidence does not really believe enough to submit to God's will and obey the command to be baptized and therefore is condemned by their lack of true faith.  From past experience, I know that some out there will think this harsh or legalistic, but truthfully, it is not.  Consider this passage from the book of James:

James, Chapter 2
 19 You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder.  

I have never heard of anyone who says that a demon will be in heaven. So, just believing in God isn't enough.  If that weren't enough to state the obvious, consider the following passages...

Acts, chapter 2
 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Titus, Chapter 3
4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love toward mankind appeared,  5 not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit6 whom he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 

Romans, Chapter 6
 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  2 May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer?  3 Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.  5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin.  7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.  8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him!  10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God.  11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The reason for baptism is simple... to get rid of sins.  When your hands are dirty, what do you do?  You wash them of course!  Why, to get rid of your dirt problem. You have to the desire to want to get rid of the dirt and then actually wash.  Sin is really no different.  Simply put, belief in Jesus (true, obedient faith) when coupled with baptism washes your sins away. Belief+baptism=salvation.  Read it again and believe it, because its true.  After awhile you will wonder how you could ever see it any other way....

July 11 2 Kings 19-21

July 11
2 Kings 19-21

2Ki 19:1 It happened, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 19:2 He sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
2Ki 19:3 They said to him, Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of rejection; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.
2Ki 19:4 It may be Yahweh your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.
2Ki 19:5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
2Ki 19:6 Isaiah said to them, Thus you shall tell your master, Thus says Yahweh, Don't be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
2Ki 19:7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he shall hear news, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
2Ki 19:8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.
2Ki 19:9 When he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against you, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying,
2Ki 19:10 Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Don't let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
2Ki 19:11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shall you be delivered?
2Ki 19:12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden that were in Telassar?
2Ki 19:13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?
2Ki 19:14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of Yahweh, and spread it before Yahweh.
2Ki 19:15 Hezekiah prayed before Yahweh, and said, Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sit above the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.
2Ki 19:16 Incline your ear, Yahweh, and hear; open your eyes, Yahweh, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, with which he has sent him to defy the living God.
2Ki 19:17 Of a truth, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands,
2Ki 19:18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.
2Ki 19:19 Now therefore, Yahweh our God, save us, I beg you, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you Yahweh are God alone.
2Ki 19:20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Whereas you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.
2Ki 19:21 This is the word that Yahweh has spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.
2Ki 19:22 Whom have you defied and blasphemed? and against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.
2Ki 19:23 By your messengers you have defied the Lord, and have said, With the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars of it, and the choice fir trees of it; and I will enter into his farthest lodging place, the forest of his fruitful field.
2Ki 19:24 I have dug and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt.
2Ki 19:25 Haven't you heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it of ancient times? now have I brought it to pass, that it should be yours to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
2Ki 19:26 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as grain blasted before it is grown up.
2Ki 19:27 But I know your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your raging against me.
2Ki 19:28 Because of your raging against me, and because your arrogance is come up into my ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came.
2Ki 19:29 This shall be the sign to you: You shall eat this year that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat its fruit.
2Ki 19:30 The remnant that has escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
2Ki 19:31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion those who shall escape: the zeal of Yahweh shall perform this.
2Ki 19:32 Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it.
2Ki 19:33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come to this city, says Yahweh.
2Ki 19:34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
2Ki 19:35 It happened that night, that the angel of Yahweh went forth, and struck in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred eighty-five thousand: and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
2Ki 19:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and lived at Nineveh.
2Ki 19:37 It happened, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick to death. Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Set your house in order: for you shall die, and not live.
2Ki 20:2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to Yahweh, saying,
2Ki 20:3 Remember now, Yahweh, I beg you, how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in your sight. Hezekiah wept sore.
2Ki 20:4 It happened, before Isaiah was gone out into the middle part of the city, that the word of Yahweh came to him, saying,
2Ki 20:5 Turn back, and tell Hezekiah the prince of my people, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears: behold, I will heal you; on the third day you shall go up to the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 20:6 I will add to your days fifteen years; and I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
2Ki 20:7 Isaiah said, Take a cake of figs. They took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
2Ki 20:8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, What shall be the sign that Yahweh will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of Yahweh the third day?
2Ki 20:9 Isaiah said, This shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?
2Ki 20:10 Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to decline ten steps: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps.
2Ki 20:11 Isaiah the prophet cried to Yahweh; and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the dial of Ahaz.
2Ki 20:12 At that time Berodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.
2Ki 20:13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious oil, and the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah didn't show them.
2Ki 20:14 Then came Isaiah the prophet to king Hezekiah, and said to him, What did these men say? and from where did they come to you? Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.
2Ki 20:15 He said, What have they seen in your house? Hezekiah answered, All that is in my house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.
2Ki 20:16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the word of Yahweh.
2Ki 20:17 Behold, the days come, that all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have laid up in store to this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, says Yahweh.
2Ki 20:18 Of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you shall father, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
2Ki 20:19 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of Yahweh which you have spoken. He said moreover, Isn't it so, if peace and truth shall be in my days?
2Ki 20:20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 20:21 Hezekiah slept with his fathers; and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

2Ki 21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Hephzibah.
2Ki 21:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, after the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel.
2Ki 21:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, as did Ahab king of Israel, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them.
2Ki 21:4 He built altars in the house of Yahweh, of which Yahweh said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.
2Ki 21:5 He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 21:6 He made his son to pass through the fire, and practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.
2Ki 21:7 He set the engraved image of Asherah, that he had made, in the house of which Yahweh said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever;
2Ki 21:8 neither will I cause the feet of Israel to wander any more out of the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.
2Ki 21:9 But they didn't listen: and Manasseh seduced them to do that which is evil more than did the nations whom Yahweh destroyed before the children of Israel.
2Ki 21:10 Yahweh spoke by his servants the prophets, saying,
2Ki 21:11 Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, and has done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols;
2Ki 21:12 therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Behold, I bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears shall tingle.
2Ki 21:13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
2Ki 21:14 I will cast off the remnant of my inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies;
2Ki 21:15 because they have done that which is evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even to this day.
2Ki 21:16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
2Ki 21:17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 21:18 Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza: and Amon his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 21:19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.
2Ki 21:20 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did Manasseh his father.
2Ki 21:21 He walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them:
2Ki 21:22 and he forsook Yahweh, the God of his fathers, and didn't walk in the way of Yahweh.
2Ki 21:23 The servants of Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own house.
2Ki 21:24 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.
2Ki 21:25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 21:26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his place.



                               Chapter Nine


1) To be impressed with Paul's own example of restricting his liberty
   in Christ so as to save others

2) To understand the Biblical authority for supporting those who labor
   in the preaching of the gospel

3) To see the importance of self-control, and the danger of apostasy


After warning in chapter eight that the improper exercise of one's
liberty in Christ might lead to the damnation of those who are weak in
faith and conscience, Paul now illustrates how he was willing to
exercise restraint even when it came to the liberties he had as an
apostle of Jesus Christ.  Though he had the right to have a believing
wife and be supported in the preaching the gospel (1-14), he freely
chose not to exercise these and other rights.  One reason was so he
might be able to freely offer some sort of service to the Lord (15-18),
but it also was because he desired to save others (19-23).  There was
also the realization that self-restraint was a necessary quality to
assure his own salvation as well (24-27)!



      1. By virtue of being an eyewitness of the Lord (1a)
      2. By virtue of his work among the Corinthians (1b-2)

      1. The right to eat and drink (4)
      2. The right to take along a believing wife, as other apostles,
         the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas were doing (5)
      3. The right to refrain from working and be supported by others
         a. Illustrations of a soldier, farmer, and shepherd (7)
         b. As illustrated by the Law of Moses (8-10)
         c. An exchange of spiritual things for material things (11)
         d. If others could, why not Paul, if he wanted? (12)
         e. The example of priests in the temple (13)
         f. The clear decree of the Lord Himself (14)

    HIMSELF (15-27)

      1. His purpose in writing is not to raise support, for that would
         make his boasting void (15)
      2. Preaching the gospel was a necessity laid upon him by the Lord
         a. He had no choice, he would be lost if he did not (16)
         b. If he had chosen to preach on his own, he would have a
            reward (17a)
         c. But he was like a slave, entrusted with a stewardship
            regardless of his will (17b)
      3. But by choosing to present the gospel without charge, he could
         have a reward, and also not abuse his authority in the gospel

      1. Though free from all men, he made himself a servant to all to
         save them (19-22a)
         a. To the Jews and those under the Law (20)
         b. To those not under the Law (21)
         c. To the weak (22a)
      2. He became all things to all men, desiring to save them and share
         the gospel with them (22b-23)

      APOSTASY (24-27)
      1. Not all who run in a race win a prize, so one needs to run so
         as to win (24)
      2. Those who compete for perishable crowns exercise self-control
         in all things, how much more should we who seek for an
         imperishable crown! (25)
      3. So Paul runs his race, and fights the good fight, with
         determined discipline and control over his own body (26-27a)
      4. For he knows he could be lost (disqualified) after preaching
         to others! (27b)


1) List the main points of this chapter
   - Paul's Liberty As An Apostle (1-14)
   - Paul's Example Of Restricting His Liberty To Save Others And
     Himself (15-27)

2) What two things helped to verify Paul's apostleship? (1-2)
   - He had seen the Lord
   - The conversion of the Corinthians

3) What were two things that the apostles had the right to do? (5-6)
   - To take along a believing wife
   - To refrain from working

4) What arguments does Paul make to justify preachers receiving
   support? (7-14)
   - Illustrations of a soldier, farmer, and shepherd
   - Illustrated by the Law of Moses
   - An exchange of spiritual things for material things
   - The fact others were receiving support
   - The example of priests in the temple
   - The clear decree of the Lord Himself

5) Why did Paul choose not to accept support? (15-18)
   - So he might receive a reward for doing something willingly, not
     out of necessity

6) Why was Paul willing to make himself a servant to all men? (19,22)
   - So he could save some of them

7) What two athletic events did Paul compare with the Christian life?
   - Running a race
   - Boxing

8) Why was Paul so concerned about exercising self-control? (27)
   - He was aware of the real possibility of being "disqualified"
     himself after having preached to others