From Gary... Personally speaking...

Interlinear commentary (horizontally, NOT vertically); that's what this is. And even though I don't use the King James Version much anymore, I appreciate its rhythmic word flow and the elegance of its language. Perhaps this could be subtitled: "What this means to me" because of all the "That's".   Anyway, this is a nice idea and worth reading a few times. At the risk of being redundant, I would just like to give you The World English Bible's version, as it is the one I use on the blog....

Psalm 23
  1  Yahweh is my shepherd:
I shall lack nothing.
  2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
  3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
  4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
  5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup runs over.
  6 Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in Yahweh’s house forever.

Very similar, except for that "Yahweh". Yet, that one word says it all to me. Why? Because it is God's memorial name, not a substituted title. At this point you are probably asking yourself- so what's the BIG DEAL?  Well, it is his NAME; which makes it more personal (as well as accurate). And isn't this Psalm very personal?  When we get right down to it, if the Bible isn't taken personally (i.e. applied practically)- then we have missed the point.  God personally made everything, HE personally intervened when sin entered the world and HE personally suffered and bled and died for each and every one of us.  Whether or not you agree with me on the idea of using Yahweh in the Bible; take The Word of God both seriously and personally!!!! Frankly, the more you do this, the greater the probability you will do what it says- and that is a good thing!!!!!

From Gary... Bible Reading March 2

Bible Reading  

March 2

The World English Bible

Mar. 2
Exodus 12

Exo 12:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
Exo 12:2 "This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exo 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household;
Exo 12:4 and if the household is too little for a lamb, then he and his neighbor next to his house shall take one according to the number of the souls; according to what everyone can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.
Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats:
Exo 12:6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at evening.
Exo 12:7 They shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel, on the houses in which they shall eat it.
Exo 12:8 They shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread. They shall eat it with bitter herbs.
Exo 12:9 Don't eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted with fire; with its head, its legs and its inner parts.
Exo 12:10 You shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire.
Exo 12:11 This is how you shall eat it: with your waist girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is Yahweh's Passover.
Exo 12:12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and animal. Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am Yahweh.
Exo 12:13 The blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be on you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
Exo 12:14 This day shall be to you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast to Yahweh: throughout your generations you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.
Exo 12:15 " 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away yeast out of your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
Exo 12:16 In the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you.
Exo 12:17 You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this same day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance forever.
Exo 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty first day of the month at evening.
Exo 12:19 Seven days shall there be no yeast found in your houses, for whoever eats that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a foreigner, or one who is born in the land.
Exo 12:20 You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your habitations you shall eat unleavened bread.' "
Exo 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, "Draw out, and take lambs according to your families, and kill the Passover.
Exo 12:22 You shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.
Exo 12:23 For Yahweh will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two doorposts, Yahweh will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to strike you.
Exo 12:24 You shall observe this thing for an ordinance to you and to your sons forever.
Exo 12:25 It shall happen when you have come to the land which Yahweh will give you, according as he has promised, that you shall keep this service.
Exo 12:26 It will happen, when your children ask you, 'What do you mean by this service?'
Exo 12:27 that you shall say, 'It is the sacrifice of Yahweh's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians, and spared our houses.' " The people bowed their heads and worshiped.
Exo 12:28 The children of Israel went and did so; as Yahweh had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
Exo 12:29 It happened at midnight, that Yahweh struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of livestock.
Exo 12:30 Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Exo 12:31 He called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel; and go, serve Yahweh, as you have said!
Exo 12:32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also!"
Exo 12:33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, "We are all dead men."
Exo 12:34 The people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.
Exo 12:35 The children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing.
Exo 12:36 Yahweh gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. They despoiled the Egyptians.
Exo 12:37 The children of Israel traveled from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children.
Exo 12:38 A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much livestock.
Exo 12:39 They baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt; for it wasn't leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt, and couldn't wait, neither had they prepared for themselves any food.
Exo 12:40 Now the time that the children of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years.
Exo 12:41 It happened at the end of four hundred thirty years, even the same day it happened, that all the armies of Yahweh went out from the land of Egypt.
Exo 12:42 It is a night to be much observed to Yahweh for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of Yahweh, to be much observed of all the children of Israel throughout their generations.
Exo 12:43 Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover. There shall no foreigner eat of it,
Exo 12:44 but every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat of it.
Exo 12:45 A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it.
Exo 12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth anything of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone of it.
Exo 12:47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
Exo 12:48 When a stranger shall live as a foreigner with you, and will keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one who is born in the land: but no uncircumcised person shall eat of it.
Exo 12:49 One law shall be to him who is born at home, and to the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you."
Exo 12:50 All the children of Israel did so. As Yahweh commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
Exo 12:51 It happened the same day, that Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.

From Mark Copeland... The Rest That Remains (Hebrews 4:1-11)

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

                     The Rest That Remains (4:1-11)


1. In chapter three of "The Epistle To The Hebrews", we saw...
   a. A comparison of Christ to Moses
   b. How the comparison led to a warning based upon the example of
      Israel in the wilderness

2. Appealing to the example of Israel's fall in the wilderness is a
   natural one...
   a. For despite Moses' leadership, most died in the wilderness and
      did not enter the promised land for lack of faith
   b. Now under Christ's leadership, we face a similar danger of
      falling short of our "promise" through a lack of faith - He 3:
      14-15; 4:1

3. Chapter four continues the warning with a focus on the promised
   "rest" which awaits the faithful Christian...
   a. This promised "rest" is actually one of several "rests" found in
      the Scriptures
   b. It is a "rest" that Moses and Joshua did not provide, which is
      just another reason why the Hebrew Christian should not forsake
      Jesus and return to Judaism
   c. It is "The Rest That Remains" for the people of God today!

4. In this lesson, we shall address two questions...
   a. What is "The Rest That Remains"?
   b. What essential elements are necessary to enter "The Rest That

[Let's begin, then, with the first question...]


      1. This "rest" is alluded to in Deut 3:20; 12:9-10; Josh 1:13-15
      2. This "rest" was given as God promised - Josh 21:43-45
      3. But in chapter four "His rest" (or "My rest", "God's rest") is
         clearly delineated from that which Joshua provided - He 4:8
         a. Long after Joshua died, the passage in Ps 95:7-8 was
         b. The word "Today...", indicates that the Spirit was warning
            the Israelites who had long before received the "Canaan"
      -- So Joshua provided the "Canaan" rest, but there is still "The
         Rest That Remains"!

      1. It is natural to think of the Sabbath day when one hears or
         reads the word "rest"
         a. When first introduced to the nation of Israel, it was
            spoken of as "the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD"
            - Exo 16:23
         b. This was the seventh day rest, patterned after God's own
            rest following the creation - Gen 2:2
         c. It was encoded into the Law given on tablets of stone - cf.
            Exo 20:8-11
      2. But the Sabbath as a day of rest was given only to the nation
         of Israel
         a. It was not given to the nation's fathers (i.e., ancestors
            such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) - Deut 5:2-22; Neh 9:13-14
         b. It was given to Israel as a weekly remembrance of their
            deliverance from Egypt - Deut 5:12-15
         c. The only Gentiles ever commanded to keep the Sabbath were
            those living among the Israelites in Canaan ("your stranger
            who is within your gates")
      3. The Sabbath day, like the rest of the Old Law, has been done
         a. It was nailed to the cross - cf. Ep 2:14-15; Col 2:14
         b. Those in Christ have died to the Old Law, having been
            delivered from it that they may now serve Christ - Ro 7:4,6
         c. As part of "the ministry of death" (the Old Testament), it
            has been replaced by "the ministry of the Spirit" (the New
            Testament) - 2Co 3:5-8,11
         d. It is now a matter of indifference to God, left to one's
            individual conscience, and not to be bound on anyone - cf.
            Ro 14:4-6; Col 2:16-17
      4. Finally, the argument regarding Joshua can also be made
         regarding Moses...
         a. Long after Moses provided the "Sabbath" rest, Ps 95:7-8 was
         b. Indicating that there was still another "rest" to come
      -- While Moses provided the "Sabbath" rest, there is still "The
         Rest That Remains"!

   C. IT IS "GOD'S REST"...
      1. Through this section of Scripture there are repeated
         references to:
         a. "My rest" - He 3:11; 4:3,5 cf. Ps 95:7-11
         b. "His rest" - He 3:18; 4:1
            1) Which those who fell in the wilderness did not enter
               - He 3:18
            2) Which Christians today have a promise of entering - He 4:1
      2. It is a rest that God entered upon the completion of His
         creation - He 4:4,10
      3. It is a rest that Joshua (and Moses) did not provide...
      4. God's rest is one in which...
         a. We must be diligent not to come short of it - He 4:1,11
         b. One who has "entered His rest" has "ceased from his works"
            - He 4:10
      -- "God's rest" is the "heavenly rest" of which we read in the
         book of Revelation...

         "Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write:
         'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'
         ""Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their
         labors, and their works follow them."" (Re 14:13)

["The Rest That Remains" in this passage is therefore "God's Rest",
and in particular that "heavenly rest" one enters in which they cease
from the labors.

Now if we wish to one day enter this "rest", some things are


      1. Note that both the Israelites and we today have had "the
         gospel" preached unto us - He 4:2
         a. The "gospel" (i.e., good news) proclaimed unto the
            Israelites pertained to the promises of Canaan
         b. The "gospel" proclaimed unto us pertains to the blessings
            we have in Christ
      2. The Word of God is essential for at least two reasons:
         a. Without it we would not even know about our promised rest!
         b. Without it we would not know how to receive our promised
      3. Thus the Word of God (i.e., the gospel) is truly God's power
         to save - cf. Ro 1:16-17
         a. For it tells us of God's salvation in Christ
         b. And how we might receive that wonderful salvation
      -- But as we proceed, we learn that the Word of God alone is not

      1. The Word of God did not profit many in Israel because they did
         not receive it with faith - He 4:2
      2. As powerful as the Word of God may be (cf. He 4:12), it's
         power in our lives is hindered unless we accept it with faith!
         a. Of course, the Word is designed to create and nurture faith
            to a point - Ro 10:17; Jn 20:30-31
         b. But unless our hearts are good and noble, the Word will not
            find the proper soil needed to produce its intended fruit
            - cf. Lk 8:15
      -- Without faith, then, the promise of God's rest will not be
         experienced by us!

      1. The Hebrew writer stressed both of these essential elements
         a. "let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short..."
            - He 4:1
         b. "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest
            anyone fall..." - He 4:11
      2. Fear (awesome reverence) has an important place in the life of
         the Christian
         a. Jesus taught us Whom to fear - Mt 10:28
         b. Paul taught that "fear and trembling" should accompany our
            efforts to serve God - Php 2:12
      3. Diligence (strenuous effort) likewise is important - 2Pe 1:
         a. We must be diligent to grow in Christ-like character
         b. We must be diligent to "make your calling and election
      -- The need for such fear and diligence is understandable only if
         the possibility of falling short is very real!


1. "The Rest That Remains" is indeed a wonderful blessing...
   a. It is "God's rest", therefore a "heavenly rest"
   b. It is a rest in which one has "ceased from his work as God did
      from His" - He 4:10
   -- It is the rest of which John heard a voice from heaven speak in
      Re 14:13

2. But we have seen how disobedience led many Israelites to fall short
   of their "Canaan rest"...
   a. Though they collectively as the nation of Israel were God's
      "elect", predestined to receive the promises made to Abraham (cf.
      Gen 12:1-3)
   b. But individually, they failed to make their "calling and election
      1) They had the "gospel" spoken to them
      2) But they did not receive it with faith
      3) And so they did not have the fear and diligence necessary to

3. Brethren, what about us today?
   a. If we are "in Christ"...
      1) We are blessed to be God's "elect" in a collective sense as
         Christ's body, the church
      2) We are predestined as such to receive the wonderful blessings
         of salvation in Christ, including the "heavenly rest" that
         awaits us
   b. Yet individually we must still make our "calling and election
      1) Are we receiving the Word mixed with faith?
      2) Do we have that proper sense of fear?
      3) Are we diligent in our efforts to remain faithful and
   -- Only then can we have the assurance of entering into "The Rest
      That Remains"!

May the words of the writer to the Hebrews sink deep into our hearts...

   "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall
   according to the same example of disobedience." - Hebrews 4:11

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Jim McGuiggan... Mark 9: For or against us?

Mark 9: For or against us?

Questions like, "Who is in and who is outside of Jesus Christ?" will always be with us as long as we believe that what we hold as truth matters to us. Some of us are "too sweet to be wholesome" and doctrinal truth means absolutely nothing and others of us tend to be bigoted and as bitter as gall and every truth we hold is jugular. 

I'm certain we're right to teach and practice what the NT teaches and reveals as practiced and leave the final issues with God. I believe that is true even though it needs to be carefully worked out because there are some situations in which God declares ahead of time what his final word will be. I'm thinking of the teaching of the denial of the humanity/Godhood of Jesus as related in 1 John. God has said this is anti-Christ teaching and that it will result in condemnation. That's the kind of thing I have in mind. As best we're able by God's grace we're both to teach and practice that approach as something the NT teaches and urges us to practice.

Moving from that area of clear instruction or plain (!) implication we move into the not as easily followed area. Is the teaching X or Y anti-Christian teaching of the magnitude spoken of in 1 John? Some errors we'd immediately dismiss as not being errors at such a level and others we would strongly tend to think are such level errors.

Whatever side we come down on in specific matters we must maintain the integrity of our conscience. We have to call it as we see it. It wouldn't be right to say X is fundamental error simply on the grounds that "that is what our church generally believes." Nor is it right for us to deny that it's fundamental error simply because our church would generally tolerate it. There comes a point at which, on both ends of that spectrum, we have to say, "Here I stand. God help me I can do nothing else!"

A person who depends solely on his/her own resources to draw conclusions is in dire need of humility and might well be an idiot. (That is true in addition to the fact that it simply isn't possible to have opinions that haven't been shaped by others.) Our aim is always to be listeners to others and always to affirm a proposal with no greater fervour than the evidence for it warrants. A tall order, it's true, but an infallible Bible doesn't make us infallible students or teachers. If a biblical or theological claim is not patently evident we shouldn't feel obliged to speak of it as though it were—even if everyone around us does otherwise.

Mark 9:38-41 raises interesting questions many of which it gives no answers to. An unnamed person was doing good things in the name of Jesus and it would appear that the apostles were more than a bit jealous and wanted him to stop doing it.

This occurred before Jesus had been established as Lord of all and before the time the new community (NT covenant people, his Church) was to be united in Jesus' name. At that time it didn't matter to him that people followed John, for example, or that they deliberately chose not to be a part of his own larger following (which was larger than the apostolic group). It didn't matter to Jesus at that point that the man didn't seek fellowship in his group. It only mattered that he had believed the gospel that the kingdom was immanent, that he had been baptized with a view to Jesus (all implied, I think, in Luke 7:29-30 and the related texts, such as Acts 19:4) and was in support of the action of God in Jesus in bringing the kingdom. All that being true, Jesus fully endorses the man and everyone else of that mind and practice even if they weren't part of his immediate circle.

That seems clear enough given the historical setting but if, for example, he had rejected God's counsel for the nation and refused to be baptized unto Jesus (Luke 7:29-30) it's crystal clear that he would not have been promoting the kingdom of God as it related to Jesus and he certainly wouldn't have had Jesus' hearty approval, which he most certainly did. (We have that group alluded to in Matthew 7:22-23 that prophesied and did miracles in Jesus' name and were obviously not in support of the kingdom. And be sure to see Acts 19:13-17 not only for the humour in it but the sober witness of it as it relates to this entire discussion.)

And if, after the exaltation and enthronement of the glorified Jesus that same man refused to be identified with the newly defined (by the Spirit) people of God, we would have an entirely different picture from the one we find in Mark 9:38-41. One simply can't refuse to align him/herself with the people of God and still be aligned with the Lord of the covenant people. (I recognize that that raises further questions but it remains true.)

The Mark 9:38-41 text "says" more than the text says. It speaks out of a background that is taken for granted by Mark (see Mark 1:1-8 and related texts). What we mustn't do is to "apply" to other situations some of the elements embedded in this text in that situation and leave as of no account other elements of the text without which we aren't fully hearing this text.

Finally, there is a difference between a heart that is ignorant simply because it lacks knowledge and one that chooses ignorance or plainly denies truth, so we need to remember that our business is to hear and do and teach what we find of him and let him take care of the rest. This we should do without apology and certainly without any feeling that we are somehow morally superior. click here.