From Jim McGuiggan... CREATION: MALE & FEMALE


This piece is very repetitive. I don't care.
I'm open to correction.


Genesis 1:26-27 [KJV]:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 
Genesis 5:1-2:
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
1. God created humanity in his own image.
2. God created humanity [Man] as a plural unity and not two images.
3. “Him” and “them” are used interchangeably in the texts.
4. God called “their” name [not “names”] “Adam” [“humanity”].
5. Eve is not “humanity” independent of and apart from Adam.
6. Adam is not “humanity” independent of Eve.
7. Together they are named [identified as] “humanity”.
8. When we see ”humanity” as God created it we see a male & female pair.
9. That is “Man” [humanity] and when we see “the image of God” that’s what we 
    see—humanity as a plural but single reality and not as two independent images of God.
10. God created “him” male and female.
11. Gender distinctions are not confused or mixed but together they constitute 
12. If you drew a single figure in a circle named humanity that would not be
      what God created as humanity.
13. Only if you drew two figures in that circle would you be representing 
      humanity as God created it.
14. But God didn’t just create Man [humanity]—he created Man “in his image.”
15. If you drew one figure in a circle named "the image of God" you would not 
      be representing the “image of God” as God created it.
16. Only if you drew two figures as a single reality in that circle would you be representing “the 
      image of God.” 
17. “The image of God” in humanity is seen in the Genesis account as male and 
      female, as a plural singularity. 
18. God could have made two independent creations; he could have made the
     woman out of the dust as he had made the man but the narrative says he chose 
     not to.
19. Genesis offers this truth as a creation truth and not as something that became 
      true after the Fall when curse entered.

Genesis 2:18-23:
And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 
And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him. 
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
1. This is a creation narrative that adds details about the way in which God created 
    humanity. It says that the creation took place in two phases. The male was first 
    created and then the female was created.
2. The creation of humanity [Man] was not completed when the male was created
    [as the earlier observations have made clear].
3. God says that it isn’t “good” that the male be alone. In the absence of a female the 
    situation is “not good” [but see Genesis 1:31 after the woman has made her
    appearance—it is "very good"].
4. Adam [the male, here] names all the animals and whatever else is involved in
    that exercise we’re told at its conclusion that in God’s created animal world there 
    was nothing that suited Adam’s need—nothing that made Adam’s solitary 
    existence “good”.
5. At this point God puts Adam to sleep and creates Eve [the female] out of a rib 
    from his side.
6. The man says, “Finally, at last” [see the versions and the literature], as distinct 
    from all that he has seen, named and identified in the animal world that God 
    created, “this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.”
7. Now that the female [Eve] has been created the male [Adam] finds himself 
    complete—without her, God calls the man’s existence “not good”. She is part of 
    him and he is part of her. They are "one flesh" prior to marriage.
8. [Marriage becomes the grand illustration of that truth—a truth that existed at 
    creation and before marriage—Genesis 2:24. Unmarried males and females are 
    together the image of God. It is a gender issue and not a marital one.]
9. This section adds narrative details not earlier spelled out and Paul, for example, 
    will call on it for various reasons. But these added details do not conflict with the 
    earlier mentioned creation texts and truths.
10. Nevertheless, these added details are not to be ignored.
11. However we understand Paul’s point when he uses this section he does make a 
      case built on the fact that the man [male] was created prior to the woman 
      [female]. See 1 Timothy 2:12-13.
12. However we understand Paul’s point when he uses this section he does make a
      case built on the fact that the woman was created out of the man and for the 
      man. [“For” the man can be understood in more than one way.] 
      See 1 Corinthians11:7-9, taking note of 11:3.


The Genesis creation narrative and Paul’s use of it tell us that as the biblical witness presents it there is no “humanity” or “image of God” without the male/female interdependent existence. 
The Genesis creation narrative and Paul’s use of it tell us that within that “plural singularity” as created by God there are truths to be acknowledged and lived out in and as the “image of God.”
The Genesis creation narrative and Paul’s use of it tell us that these truths about male and female as “the image of God” are pre-Fall truths; they are what God purposed. They are not social constructs but creation truths.

God enabling I mean to take this a bit further.

What is “Sexual Immorality” in Matthew 19:9? by Kyle Butt, M.A.


What is “Sexual Immorality” in Matthew 19:9?

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible repeatedly stresses the fact that God designed the institution of marriage (Genesis 2:22-25). He has, from the beginning of human history, given very specific ideas about what composes a divinely approved marriage (Matthew 19:1-4), consisting of one man and one woman. We learn from the Scriptures, however, that not every man or woman is qualified to enter into certain marital relationships. In the New Testament, we read of three, and only three, categories of people whom God approves to enter into marriage. The first category is those who have never been married (Hebrews 13:4). The second category of people who are eligible to marry is those who have been married but whose spouses have died (Romans 7:1-3). The third category of God-approved marriage candidates is those whose spouses have committed “sexual immorality” (Matthew 19:9). It is to this last category and to the term “sexual immorality” that we will direct our attention.
In Matthew 19:1-10, Jesus was tested by the Pharisees with the following question: “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” Jesus responded by directing their attention to God’s original creation of Adam and Eve. They then queried why Moses allowed certificates of divorce if marriage was supposed to be such a permanent institution. Jesus responded:
Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery (Matthew 19:8-9).
Notice, from this verse, that any person who gets a divorce for any reason other than sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery. But a person who divorces his/her spouse for sexual immorality and marries another person does not commit adultery. Thus, Jesus gives the criterion for those who are in the third category of God-approved marriage candidates. Also notice those who are not eligible to enter into a marriage: anyone who has gotten a divorce for any reason other than sexual immorality. [NOTE: The parallel passage found in Matthew 5:32 quotes Jesus as saying: “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”]
With Jesus’ statement in mind, it becomes imperative to learn what the term “sexual immorality” means, since this is the only infraction on behalf of a spouse that would allow for the remarriage of the innocent party (the spouse who does not commit sexual immorality) after a divorce. As you can imagine, in our culture of rampant divorce and remarriage, and secularized Christianity, this word has been given all sorts of meanings in an attempt to allow virtually every divorced person to be considered a God-approved candidate for remarriage. Many of these definitions are nothing more than attempts to alter the Word of God. So then, what does “sexual immorality” mean?
In order to understand what Jesus was saying, we must go back to the original language and identify what the word meant in the first century. The word translated “sexual immorality” in this verse is the Greek word porneia. The respected Greek lexicon of Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker states that the word refers to “prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse.” In their primary definition, they mention that it refers to “the sexual unfaithfulness of a married woman” (1979, p. 693). The NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words has an extensive section on porneia and related words: “This word group describes various extramarital sexual modes of behavior insofar as they deviate from accepted social and religious norms (e.g., homosexuality, promiscuity, pedophilia, and esp. prostitution)” (Verbrugge, 2000, 6:1077). This dictionary further notes: “Rab. Jud. (Rabbinical Judaism—KB) frowned on any kind of prostitution of extramarital sexual intercourse. Incest and all kinds of unnatural sexual intercourse were viewed as porneia (6:1078). In the discussion of the word’s use in the New Testament, the volume states:
It is not clear whether porneia in the so-called ‘exceptive clause’ (Matt 5:32; 19:9) is to be understood simply as extramarital sexual intercourse in the sense of moicheia or as including prostitution. Most interpreters tend to favor the former interpretation…. The porne word group denotes any kind of illegitimate sexual intercourse in Paul’s letters (6:1078, emp. added).
TheTheological Dictionary of New Testament Words says concerning this word group that the “NT is characterized by an unconditional repudiation of all extra-marital and unnatural intercourse” (Hauck and Schultz, 1968, 6:590). In discussing the word as it is used in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9, this source states: “In both verses porneia refers to extra-marital intercourse on the part of the wife, which in practice is adultery” (6:592). From a survey of the lexical information regarding the word, the almost universally understood meaning of the word porneia is illicit physical sexual intercourse with someone who is not the person’s God-approved spouse (this would include homosexuality and beastiality). In modern terminology, then, the text is simply saying that the only time a person can divorce his or her spouse and marry another is if that spouse has been involved in a sexual affair with someone else. With knowledge of this word’s actual meaning, let us examine how some have attempted to redefine the term. [NOTE: Mark 10:11-12 is evidence of the fact that the Scripture applies both to a man who divorces his wife and to a woman who divorces her husband. The divine regulations apply equally to both genders. See Lenski, 1998, p. 734.]

Any Type of Lewd or Licentious Behavior

In our modern culture the term “pornography” has a host of meanings. It includes pictures of scantily clad men and women, videos of people engaged in illicit sexual situations, posters of women or men “baring it all,” etc. The word “pornography”derives from the word porneia. One can see the obvious connection. Due to the fact that “pornography”seems so similar to porneia, many have come to believe that any actions or behavior that modern people would term pornography would also fall under the definition of porneia. Thus, they suggest that if a person were to look at a pornographic movie, he would be guilty of porneia. If a wife were to send a man who is not her husband text messages with photos of herself in her underwear, or with messages that talk about sexual situations, she would be guilty of porneia. If a spouse were to call a phone-sex line and listen to a sexual situation described to him, he would be guilty of porneia. And the list could go on and on.
The problem with this line of reasoning is that it projects a definition of the word porneia onto the first-century Greek term that the word in the first century did not have. Notice that in the definition provided from the lexical resources, there is near universal consensus that the term meant “sexual intercourse.” Due to the way the term “sex” has been overly applied to modern activities such as “phone sex,” or “sexting,” and “sexy,” the modern understanding is that anything that would be “sexually arousing” would be included in the term “sex.” But the term porneia would not have been understood to have such a loose, broad meaning.
It should be noted, of course, that many of the activities that have been described such as “sexting” or phone sex would be sinful and would be included in numerous lists of thoughts and actions that Christians should avoid. The terms for such activities include licentiousness, lusts (1 Peter 4:3), or lewdness (Romans 13:13). These terms have a much broader definition than porneia. Since that is the case, if Jesus had wanted to use one of these terms with a broader definition than “sexual intercourse” He could have, but He chose not to. As Wayne Jackson correctly stated: “Bible translations that render porneia more generically (e.g., ‘sexual immorality’) are misleading. There are various forms of sexual immorality (e.g., exposing one’s body in seductive clothing) that do not fall under the definition of fornication, though clearly they are sinful” (n.d.).
We get a definite understanding of how first-century Jews understood the term in John 8. In that passage Jesus accused the Jews of being the children of the devil, because they were behaving in the same way the devil would behave. They responded to His accusation by saying, “We were not born of fornication, we have one Father—God” (John 8:41). The word translated “fornication” in this verse is porneias. Notice their understanding of the term porneias included the idea that a person could be born of porneias. That would imply that the term must mean more than looking at pornographic pictures or explicit conversations about sex. In this context, it would be narrowly defined as sexual intercourse that has the biological ability to produce offspring. [NOTE: While the Jews had “spiritualized” the term and applied it to their spiritual relationship with God, that does not change the meaning of the word as they understood it. They certainly meant that they were not “illegitimate” spiritual children born as the result of an extra-marital sexual encounter. The fact that the term was figuratively applied to a spiritual relationship does not alter its literal meaning. See the section of this article titled “Sexual Immorality Used to Describe Idolatry.”]
The response to this statement from those who desire to view porneia as having a broader meaning is that “sexual intercourse” is such a difficult concept to define. Obviously, they say, homosexual behavior cannot produce offspring. Bestiality cannot produce offspring. So, according to them, any attempt to put limits on the nature of such “sexual” activity is doomed to failure. Such reasoning has at least two glaring flaws. First, it misses the point that the word porneia had a first-century meaning that was understood in the context as extra-marital sexual intercourse. Second, such reasoning fails to take into account the fact that in order to accept a broader definition for the term porneia, positive evidence must be presented that shows the word was understood in the first century to have the looser meaning. It is not enough to say, “I really feel like the term would include looking at pornography, sexting, or phone sex.” Any person who believes such activities would be included in the definition must present lexical information and first-century usages of the word that show such activities could be a part of the word’s meaning. Without this type of positive proof, we must stick with the definition that can be shown from the Bible and lexical sources to have been in use in the first-century.
Practically speaking, then, suppose a wife were to confide in a preacher that her husband is viewing pornography and masturbating. She asks the preacher if these transgressions would allow her to scripturally divorce her husband and be a candidate to remarry. The preacher then explains that porneia is the only divinely sanctioned cause for divorce and subsequent remarriage. The woman wants to know if porneia would include what she has described. The preacher shows her the lexical information and biblical usage and explains that “sexual intercourse” is the key component of the word. The woman argues that masturbation could be included in the term “sexual intercourse.” The preacher then goes to John 8:41, explains how the word was used there, and asks the woman to do some study and try to find any instance in or around the time of the first century where we know for a fact the word was used for masturbation or viewing pornography. If such a usage is not forthcoming, the only proper course of interpretation is to exclude masturbation and viewing pornography from the definition of porneia.

What About Matthew 5:27-28?

Once it has been clearly established that porneia is the only exception given for a spouse to scripturally divorce and contract a subsequent marriage, some then turn to Matthew 5:27-28 to broaden the meaning of porneia. Those verses record Jesus saying: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” The reasoning is, if a man lusts for a woman other than his spouse, Jesus says he has committed adultery with her “in his heart.” Since he commits mental/heart adultery, the argument goes, that must mean his wife could divorce him for “adultery” based on his lustful thoughts, and she could contract another scriptural marriage. This argument is flawed on several levels.
First, notice where Jesus said the “adultery” takes place: “in his heart.” In Matthew 5:27-28, however, Jesus makes a distinction between what He is saying in Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9. In neither of the latter two instances does Jesus allow for the adultery to be in any other realm but physical. The word porneia carries no inherent meaning that would cause the reader to interpret it to mean anything other than physical sexual intercourse. Since “in his heart” or other such phrases are not included in Matthew 5:32 or 19:9, correct interpretation rules would require us to define the word porneia in physical terms, not mental or spiritual ones. As Wayne Jackson correctly stated: “A fundamental principle of Bible interpretation is that words must be interpreted literally unless there is compelling reason for assigning them a figurative meaning. The term ‘adultery’ is not employed in a metaphorical sense in Matthew 19:9” (n.d.).
Second, we must recognize that while certain sins may carry the same spiritual weight, they do not have the same physical consequences. In Matthew 5:21, Jesus explained that the Old Testament prohibited murder. He elaborated on this concept when He insisted that any person who hates his brother enough to say, “You fool,” will “be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:22). The inspired writer John said: “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). From these passages it is clear that the sins of hatred and murder carry the same spiritual weight, but they do not carry the same physical consequences. In the Old Testament, murder was a capital offense punishable by death, but hatred was not. Again, physical adultery was a crime punishable in the Old Testament by stoning, but lust was not. In Matthew 19:9, the sin of porneia may carry the same spiritual weight as lust “in the heart,” but the verses never hint at the idea that the terms carry the same physical consequences. The physical consequences of a spouse committing porneia are that the innocent spouse can divorce that person and contract a new scriptural marriage, while the guilty party must remain unmarried for the rest of his or her life. The same physical consequences are not enumerated for “adultery in the heart” in Matthew 5:28.

Sexual Immorality Used to Describe Idolatry

In a similar way, some have contended that because God used the terms “adultery,” or “sexual immorality,” or equivalent ideas to describe the Israelites’ apostasy into idolatry (Hosea 4:11-13), then the terms can have a broader meaning. They argue that if God’s people can commit “adultery” against Him by worshipping idols, then the word “adultery” must have a meaning broad enough to include activities other than actual, physical intercourse.
Again, this type of argument fails for at least two primary reasons. First, it is clear from the context of Matthew 19:1-9 that the physical relationship between a husband and wife is under discussion. Respected linguists Vine (1985) and Thayer (1962, p. 532) concur that  when not used metaphorically (in reference to idolatry) porneia is used of “illicit sexual intercourse.” There is no discussion in this context of idolatry or spiritualized unfaithfulness. The text could not be clearer in regard to the physical marriage relationship.
Second, the spiritualized, figurative sense of the word makes no sense if the Jews did not understand the physical sense as the primary, literal meaning. For instance, in Hosea 4:12, in regard to Israelite idolatry, the prophet said: “Therefore your daughters commit harlotry and your brides commit adultery.” In a physical sense, what do the terms “adultery” and “harlotry” mean?—illicit sexual intercourse. Without the understanding of the physical meanings, the illustration that God used makes no sense—that in a figurative sense, Israel is married to God, and idolatry is a spiritual act of unfaithfulness. Unless adultery really does mean committing sexual sin against one’s spouse, God’s illustration breaks down.
For instance, consider the statement: “The debater blew his opponent’s argument out of the water.” This figurative use of the phrase only makes sense if we understand the physical picture of literal water and some type of blasting explosion. The figurative use of the word is always dependent on the physical meaning of the term. The physical meanings of the terms are necessarily logically prior to the figurative or spiritualized meanings. Thus, spiritual “adultery” can only be understood if we comprehend the physical use of the term “adultery.” And we have sufficiently established that the physical use of porneia means illicit sexual intercourse.
Finally, and worthy of serious consideration, is this fact: even if it could be shown that porneia might have a spiritualized, figurative meaning in Matthew 19:1-9 (which it cannot), that fact would only indicate a possible use of the word. The one contending that a person could contract a God approved divorce and subsequent remarriage would have to prove that this spiritualized usage is being applied, not just that it is a possibility.If that usage cannot be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, then a person would be risking his or her soul on a mere possibility. What kind of ground would a person be standing on in the Day of Judgment contending with God, “But I thought the word possibly could have meant…,” when we have a very clear meaning of “physical sexual intercourse” that we know the word carries.


Marriage is permanent. The only two situations in the New Testament in which a person can get married more than once with God’s approval are when a spouse dies, or when an innocent spouse divorces a spouse for porneia. The term porneia means unlawful, physical sexual intercourse. In an attempt to broaden the category of those who can scripturally remarry, some have attempted to define the term porneia with concepts such as viewing pornography or “phone sex.” While those activities are sinful, they are not porneia as the word was used in the first century. Others have contended that lust results in “adultery in the heart” and would be grounds for a scriptural divorce and remarriage. But they fail to differentiate between sins that have the same spiritual weight but have different physical consequences. Jesus’ sole exception for divorcing a living spouse and marrying another is if that spouse has committed physical sexual intercourse with another biological being.


Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second revised edition.
Hauck, F. and Siegfried Schultz (1968), porneia, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Jackson, Wayne (No Date), “Is ‘Lust’ the Equivalent of ‘Fornication’”, Christian Courier, http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1371-is-lust-the-equivalent-of-fornication.
Lenski, R.C.H. (1998), The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).
Thayer, Joseph (1962), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan).
Verbrugge, Verlyn (2000), The NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words(Grand Rapids: Zondervan).
Vine, W.E. (1985), Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Electronic PC Study Bible Version).

From Mark Copeland... Paul's Defense Before Agrippa (Acts 26:1-32)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

               Paul's Defense Before Agrippa (26:1-32)


1. Following his arrest in Jerusalem, Paul had the opportunity to defend
   himself before...
   a. The Jewish mob - Ac 22:1-21
   b. The Sanhedrin council - Ac 23:1-10
   c. The Roman governor Felix and Drusilla - Ac 24:1-27
   d. The Roman governor Festus - Ac 25:1-12

2. After being incarcerated in Caesarea for two years...
   a. Jewish leaders wanted Paul brought back in Jerusalem - Ac 25:1-3
   b. But there was a plot to ambush Paul along the way - Ac 25:3
   c. Rather than be returned to Jerusalem, Paul appealed to Caesar - Ac 25:9-11

[Festus was willing to grant Paul's appeal.  Uncertain of charges to
specify against Paul, Festus solicited King Agrippa's help (Ac 25:12-27).
Once again, Paul was permitted to defend himself (Ac 26:1)...]


      1. To be able to answer for himself before the king - Ac 26:2
      2. Because the king was known for his expertise regarding Jewish
         matters - Ac 26:3

      1. Brought up in Jerusalem (though born in Tarsus) - Ac 26:4; cf.
         Ac 22:3
      2. Lived as a Pharisee, the strictest sect of Jewish religion - Ac 26:5
      3. He was being judged for the hope of the resurrection, a promise
         made by God to the Jews which the king should not think 
         incredible - Ac 26:6-8; cf. Ac 23:6
      4. As a zealous Pharisee, he thought he should persecute Christians
         - Ac 26:9-11
         a. Imprisoning them in Jerusalem
         b. Casting his own vote to put them to death
         c. Punishing them in the synagogues, forcing them to blaspheme
         d. Persecuting them to even foreign cities

      1. While journeying to Damascus, commissioned by the chief priests
         - Ac 26:12
      2. Along the road, seeing a bright light shining about him and his
         fellow travelers - Ac 26:13
      3. Falling to the ground, hearing a voice in Hebrew - Ac 26:14
         a. "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
         b. "It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
      4. Asking "Who are you, Lord?", Jesus identifies Himself - Ac 26:15
      5. Jesus then tells Paul why He has appeared to him - Ac 26:16-18
         a. To make him a minister
         b. A witness of things seen and things yet to be revealed
         c. To be delivered from Jews and Gentiles, while opening their
         d. To turn them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan
            to God
         e. That they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance
            among those sanctified by faith in Him

      1. He was not disobedient to the heavenly vision - Ac 26:19
      2. But declared to those in Damascus, Jerusalem, Judea, and to the
         Gentiles - Ac 26:20
         a. That they should repent, turn to God
         b. And do works befitting repentance
      3. For such reasons Jews seized him in the temple and tried to kill
         him - Ac 26:21
      4. But with help from God, to that day Paul witnessed to both small
         and great - Ac 26:22
      5. Saying only what the prophets and Moses said would come - Ac 26:22-23
         a. That the Christ would suffer
         b. That He would be the first to rise from the dead
         c. That He would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the

[At this point, Paul is interrupted by an outburst from the Roman
governor Festus...]


      1. "Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you
         mad!" - Ac 26:24
      2. Paul's calm response - Ac 26:25-26
         a. "I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of
            truth and reason."
         b. "For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these
         c. "For I am convinced that none of these things escape his
         d. "Since this thing was not done in a corner."

      1. Paul:  "King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that
         you believe" - Ac 26:27
      2. Agrippa:  "You almost persuade me to become a Christian." - Ac 26:28
      3. Paul:  "I would to God that not only you, but all who hear me 
         today, might become almost and altogether such as I am, except
         for these chains." - Ac 26:29

      1. At this point, Agrippa, Festus, Bernice, and others went aside
         to talk - Ac 26:30
      2. Their conclusion:  "This man is doing nothing deserving of death
         or chains." - Ac 26:31
      3. Agrippa:  "This man might have been set free if he had not
         appealed to Caesar." - Ac 26:32


1. The final two chapters of Acts (27-28) will cover Paul's eventful sea
   journey to Rome...

2. In the meantime, give serious consideration to whether we are
   experiencing the blessings of Paul's ministry in our own lives... 
"to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and
from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of
sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me."
                                                            - Ac 26:18

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary... Bible Reading July 31

Bible Reading  

July 31

The World English Bible

July 31
2 Chronicles 25-27
2Ch 25:1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jehoaddan, of Jerusalem.
2Ch 25:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, but not with a perfect heart.
2Ch 25:3 Now it happened, when the kingdom was established to him, that he killed his servants who had killed the king his father.
2Ch 25:4 But he didn't put their children to death, but did according to that which is written in the law in the book of Moses, as Yahweh commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin.
2Ch 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and ordered them according to their fathers' houses, under captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, even all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and upward, and found them three hundred thousand chosen men, able to go forth to war, who could handle spear and shield.
2Ch 25:6 He hired also one hundred thousand mighty men of valor out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver.
2Ch 25:7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, don't let the army of Israel go with you; for Yahweh is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.
2Ch 25:8 But if you will go, do valiantly, be strong for the battle: God will cast you down before the enemy; for God has power to help, and to cast down.
2Ch 25:9 Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? The man of God answered, Yahweh is able to give you much more than this.
2Ch 25:10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that had come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: therefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in fierce anger.
2Ch 25:11 Amaziah took courage, and led forth his people, and went to the Valley of Salt, and struck of the children of Seir ten thousand.
2Ch 25:12 other ten thousand did the children of Judah carry away alive, and brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were broken in pieces.
2Ch 25:13 But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Beth Horon, and struck of them three thousand, and took much spoil.
2Ch 25:14 Now it happened, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them.
2Ch 25:15 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent to him a prophet, who said to him, Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which have not delivered their own people out of your hand?
2Ch 25:16 It happened, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, Have we made you of the king's counsel? Stop! Why should you be struck down? Then the prophet stopped, and said, I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this, and have not listened to my counsel.
2Ch 25:17 Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.
2Ch 25:18 Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife: and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle.
2Ch 25:19 You say, Behold, you have struck Edom; and your heart lifts you up to boast: abide now at home; why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you?
2Ch 25:20 But Amaziah would not hear; for it was of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they had sought after the gods of Edom.
2Ch 25:21 So Joash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.
2Ch 25:22 Judah was defeated by Israel; and they fled every man to his tent.
2Ch 25:23 Joash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth Shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
2Ch 25:24 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-Edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
2Ch 25:25 Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Ch 25:26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, aren't they written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?
2Ch 25:27 Now from the time that Amaziah did turn away from following Yahweh they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there.
2Ch 25:28 They brought him on horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
2Ch 26:1 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2Ch 26:2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
2Ch 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem.
2Ch 26:4 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2Ch 26:5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God: and as long as he sought Yahweh, God made him to prosper.
2Ch 26:6 He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
2Ch 26:7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim.
2Ch 26:8 The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceeding strong.
2Ch 26:9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
2Ch 26:10 He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain: and he had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved farming.
2Ch 26:11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.
2Ch 26:12 The whole number of the heads of fathers' houses, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred.
2Ch 26:13 Under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
2Ch 26:14 Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging.
2Ch 26:15 He made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong.
2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Yahweh his God; for he went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:17 Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, who were valiant men:
2Ch 26:18 and they withstood Uzziah the king, and said to him, It pertains not to you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Yahweh, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; neither shall it be for your honor from Yahweh God.
2Ch 26:19 Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:20 Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there; yes, himself hurried also to go out, because Yahweh had struck him.
2Ch 26:21 Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of Yahweh: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.
2Ch 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
2Ch 26:23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 27:1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.
2Ch 27:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Uzziah had done: however he didn't enter into the temple of Yahweh. The people did yet corruptly.
2Ch 27:3 He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.
2Ch 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
2Ch 27:5 He fought also with the king of the children of Ammon, and prevailed against them. The children of Ammon gave him the same year one hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon render to him, in the second year also, and in the third.
2Ch 27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before Yahweh his God.
2Ch 27:7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
2Ch 27:8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 27:9 Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

From Gary... What does God say about it?

It is going to be in the low 90's again today, but the humidity is 10% lower than in previous days, so even 90 won't seem so bad.  But, it is NOT COLD!!!  And so, I was drawn to this picture of a man on a high mountain. Cold- you bet!!! You can tell that from the snow, the altitude and the clothing he is wearing.  You know, there is just something special about mountains; a certain undefinable draw that tells you something wonderful lies up there- something marvellous. And this tale of a mountain-top experience does not disappoint!!!

Matthew 17:1-8 NASB
(1)  Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves.
(2)  And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
(3)  And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
(4)  Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
(5)  While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"
(6)  When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.
(7)  And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, "Get up, and do not be afraid."
(8)  And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.

Matthew 16:13-28 NASB
(13)  Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
(14)  And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
(15)  He *said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
(16)  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

(17)  And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
(18)  "I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
(19)  "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."
(20)  Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
(21)  From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
(22)  Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."
(23)  But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."

(24)  Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
(25)  "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
(26)  "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
(27)  "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
(28)  "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

Jesus chose ordinary men; like those you might meet everyday- hard-working people.  And in Chapter 17 we find that Jesus takes his "inner circle" of disciples up to a high mountain. While there, the father attests to Jesus' sonship and commands that they listen to HIM!!!  I wonder- why?  I think the answer is found in the previous chapter (16).  Jesus asked who they thought he was and Peter made his now famous confession.  But, then Peter rebukes Jesus and in turn is properly put in his place. Or is he? Jesus said the correct thing, but somehow I don't think Peter really heard him.  The "inner circle" needed something more to really believe and that's what the mountain-top experience really did.  But, belief is more than just mental assent; it is a confident trust in God, which yields obedience to God's will. Forget your own interests; focus on listening to Jesus and actually do what he tells you to do. 

Gary- This means you!!!  (and everyone else as well)