If there’s a place in the world where people gather, a place where God is admired and praised this should be the place. If there’s a gathering in the midst of the multiplied millions of gatherings, a gathering where God who gives grace, generates joy and provokes praise from the richly blessed this should be such a gathering. And if there’s a gathering where a God is sought out by troubled souls, a God who gives courage and endurance to burdened hearts and trusts them to continue to trust him—if there’s a gathering like that anywhere in the world it should be this one in this place.

A day may come when we will fix our eyes on the strength of the enemy and the vast number of its legions, on the skill and ruthlessness of its commanders and on the way such an enemy has swept the human race into a pit of hopelessness, a pit in which they brawl with one another for their very existence. That day may come but it will not be THIS day! For THIS day we have gathered to admire the Great God, to tell stories of him and learn of his faithfulness down through the ages, a faithfulness that stretches from one end of eternity to the other and expresses itself in Jesus whom we this day know as the returning King in whom we have a living hope. And we will this day in the name of the fearless Christ speak to our morbid fear, speak with power, commanding it as if it were a rabid and threatening hound: Sit! and it will obey.

A day may come when due to many disappointments, due to felt needs not provided for, due to pains long endured and that make no sense, due to failure despite many brave attempts to accomplish something fine and good, a day when we will resent God for his not being there to visibly make a difference and resenting his refusal to even explain his absence--that day may come and we will walk away emotionally worn out and no longer caring. That day may come but it will not be THIS day! For THIS day we have gathered at his bidding, trusting in his strength, to tell him that we are his companions wherever the war leads and however long it takes. And we will not turn back!

A day may come when life in this chaotic world persuades us that there's no point to any of it, that believing in a final triumph and a happy ending is a story we tell ourselves because we don't want to face the stubborn fact that nothing really changes, that we as individuals make no difference--no difference at all--and that one generation after another will continue to end up in oblivion as the mindless and uncaring universe looks on--that day may come but it will not be THIS day for THIS day we will meet and Supper with Jesus who, in that strong assuring way of his, says to us again--says it here and now, here in the midst of this world that troubles and bewilders us so, "Let not your hearts be troubled, neither be afraid. You believe in God, believe also in me." And we will believe in him!

Here lies the scandal and the glory of our Story and the faith it brings to life in us.

A day may come when the consumer spirit may so overwhelm the Western culture that the entire religious world will want only what it wants. On that day believers, male and female, young and old who have resisted the tide of entertainment and the temptation to speak and teach and sing and write to meet the hunger for the novel, the syrupy, the “interesting” and the banal—on that day such believers may grow weary with a single Story about the one Holy One and join the fickle world that loves to sample sermons. But it will not be THIS day! For THIS day, with the certain knowledge that the Holy One meant what he said when he said: “Look unto me and be saved all you ends of the earth!” we will speak only of the Worthy One as he in generous grace, relentless love and spellbinding trust in us call us to it--TELL THEM OF ME! And those of us who speak and are convicted and chastened by the Christ of the Supper will vow to speak of HIM. 

A day may come under the sound of preaching that is good-natured and banal, that is "quite interesting" and "helpful", preaching that is lecturing rather than preaching, preaching that is filled with historical, cultural and literary tidbits from Google and various places; preaching that makes no demands, that creates no holy discontent, preaching that suits the spirit of congregations that over the years have been shaped by such preaching and now want nothing more, that want nothing more because they have come to believe there IS nothing more; congregations that know no better and therefore look for no better because being misled and misshapen by such "preaching" they don't know to be able to say, "They have taken away our Lord and we don't know where they've laid him." 

That day may come! For some that day may already have come!

But it will not be THIS day, not for those who are blessed to be able to see the gospeling Christ beyond the steady stream of "religious talk". To such people the living Christ who Suppers with them will speak in that Suppering about adventure against the gods, against the powers, war on behalf of a world that desperately needs light as they stumble around in darkness, a world that would love soft bright light that banishes their gloom. Such people will be blessed to take their gaze of themselves and look to Him, to Him and all he is and means and they will see themselves as a living covenant God has made for all the nations of the world and for the millions of Lazaruses lying around their doors.
And aware of their own stubborn moral flaws but fully aware that God knows about them and yet has called them to engage with Him in the world of blessing and rescue they will gospel in all the ways that are open to them. God will see this and be pleased.

Lessons Learned from the Practice of Law: Interpretative Aids by Kevin Cain, J.D.


Lessons Learned from the Practice of Law: Interpretative Aids

by  Kevin Cain, J.D.

When interpreting a statute, courts adhere to general canons of construction to aid in the proper interpretation of that statute. The first and most important rule of statutory interpretation is that the resolution of a dispute over the meaning of a statute begins with the language of the statute itself (United States v. Ron Pair Enterprises, Inc., 1989). In other words, the cardinal rule of statutory construction is “that a legislature says in a statute what it means and means in a statute what it says there” (Connecticut National Bank v. Germain, 1992). As such, “[i]f statutory language is plain, permitting only one construction, there is no occasion to seek out congressional intent by reference to legislative history or other extrinsic aids” (Lapine v. Town of Wellesley, 2002). However, if the statute’s language is not plain, courts may rely on the legislative history of the statute to help interpret that statute (United States v. Fields, 2007). Legislative history is comprised of the comments and statements of senators and congressmen made while a bill is being debated.
Occasionally, a judge will cite a statement made by a legislator to help explain or support a particular interpretation of some statute. For example, when trying to determine the exact meaning of a less-than-clear statute, the judge may look to a record of statements made by various legislators while the bill is being discussed and ultimately passed into law. These statements may help clarify the meaning or purpose of a particular law.
Not all scholars think that legislative history is a proper tool in determining the interpretation of a statute. One of the most outspoken scholars on this subject is Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He has clearly identified himself as one who does not favor the use of legislative history when interpreting a statute. In one of his more colorful explanations of this view, Justice Scalia recalled the statement of Judge Harold Leventhal who once compared arguments from legislative history to “entering a crowded cocktail party and looking over the heads of the guests for one’s friends” (Conroy v. Aniskoff, 1993). The point being, everyone can find a friend in that setting. Likewise, everyone can research and find some remote statement made by a legislator that supports his subjective interpretation of a statute. Accordingly, many scholars and judges believe that there may very well be a good reason why such language was left on the legislative floor and never made its way into the statute itself. Simply put, if it is not in the statute, it should not resolve the meaning of a statute. Accordingly, the law says what it means and it means what it says.
The same comparison can be made with God’s holy Word. We have many extrinsic aids: books, commentaries, research tools, historical statements, church fathers, and scholarly interpretations of God’s Word. These can be both a blessing and a curse, depending upon how we use them. However, we often turn to these aids not because we cannot understand what God has revealed through His Word. Rather, we often turn to these extra-biblical sources because we are either (1) lacking in diligence to study the Bible for ourselves, or because (2) our judgment is clouded by our preconceived ideas about what we think that passage should mean.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed this problem. During the lifetime of Jesus, just like today, people were prone to listen to scholars, religious leaders, and other sources outside the Bible, and consider them just as important and binding as God’s word. Jesus says no less than six times in that sermon, “You have heard that it was said...” (Matthew 5:21,27,31,33,38,43). Jesus is contrasting the true word of God with what the people have heard their religious leaders teach over the years (see Lyons, 2009). Scholars and religious leaders may teach one thing, but of infinitely greater importance is the pure and simple Word of God. When Jesus continues in the Sermon on the Mount and says, “but I say to you,” he is turning our attention from scholars, commentators, and “legislative history,” and is directing our minds and hearts toward the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
I have heard the phrase before that the Bible is its own best interpreter (Miller, 2003). In other words, when we come to a passage that we do not clearly understand, rather than turning to non-inspired sources to help us understand the Bible, we should be turning to other passages in the Bible to help us understand more clearly.
For example, we can literally see the Bible interpreting itself through a literary style called Hebrew parallelism. This beautiful style of writing involves the repetition of a thought, but expressed in different terms. The author makes a point, and then emphasizes that point by repeating it, but in different language that adds further depth, meaning, and application to the first phrase. For example, Psalm 19:1 states, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Then, that same verse goes on to repeat itself in Hebrew parallelism when it declares, “And the firmament shows His handiwork.” How do the heavens declare the glory of God? They demonstrate the fine work of God’s own hands. The last half of this verse helps us interpret the first half. A little later in this same psalm, the psalmist writes, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart” (Psalm 19:8). That same verse then interprets itself when it states, “The commandments of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (Psalm 19:8). These two phrases are not distinct and unrelated. This is parallelism; the Bible interpreting itself through thoughtful reiteration.
An understanding of the “whole counsel of God” will cause us to dig deeper into the Scriptures and less into what others have to say about the Bible. When Paul addressed the elders of Ephesus in Acts 20, Paul declared that he had not hesitated to declare unto them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27). No doubt, a person familiar with the whole counsel of God will spend more time in the Bible and less time studying other sources. But how do we become a person who is more inclined to turn to the Word of God rather than the words of men?
Paul gave some excellent advice to the young preacher Timothy describing the nature of how we become more familiar with the Bible, so that we can preach the “whole counsel of God.” Paul wrote, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV). Other translations replace the word “study” with “be diligent” (NASB, NKJV), “make every effort” (NCV), and “do your best” (NIV, ESV). All these translations are accurate. Study is designed to be hard, arduous work by its very nature. To study God’s Word in such a way that we can rightly divide the word of truth, we must make great effort and work hard at familiarizing ourselves with the Word of God.  Certainly devotional reading for the pure pleasure of God’s Word has its place, but we must also roll up our sleeves, work hard, and apply ourselves to the diligent study of God’s Word so we can answer those who question us about our faith and our hope (1 Peter 3:15).
We must be people of the Book—people who are drawn to and guided more and more by the word of God, and less and less by what others say about the Word of God. Commentaries, treatise, scholarly writings, and other uninspired works can be useful and have their place in a Christian’s life. But this “legislative history” can only be helpful after we have plumed the depths in ardent study of the way, the truth, and the life—God’s holy Word (John 1:1, 14: 14:6).  You have heard that it was said, “I read a good book recently.” But I say unto you, “Read the good book.”


Connecticut National Bank v. Germain, 503 U.S. 249, 253-54 (1992).
Conroy v. Aniskoff, 507 U.S. 511, 519 (1993) (Scalia, J., concurring).
Lapine v. Town of Wellesley, 304 F.3d 90, 96 (1st Cir. 2002).
Lyons, Eric (2009), “This Is the Law and the Prophets,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=526.
Miller, Dave (2003), “The Bible Is Its Own Best Interpreter,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1242.
United States v. Fields, 500 F.3d 1327, 1330 (11th Cir. 2007).
United States v. Ron Pair Enterprises, Inc., 489 U.S. 235, 242 (1989).

From Mark Copeland... The Call Of Four Fishermen (Mark 1:16-20)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  The Call Of Four Fishermen (1:16-20)


1. Jesus began His public ministry by preaching...
   a. Proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God - Mk 1:14
   b. That the time was fulfilled, the kingdom of God was at hand - Mk 1:15a
   c. That people needed to repent and believe the gospel - Mk 1:15b

2. As He did so, He also called people to become His disciples...
   a. Calling them to follow Him
   b. Offering to make them "fishers of men"

[His first disciples included two sets of brothers, four fishermen who
later become apostles.  In our text (Mk 1:16-20) we read how Jesus
called them.  Let's take a closer look at them, beginning with...]


      1. Their background
         a. Sons of Jonah - Jn 1:42
         b. From Bethsaida of Galilee - Jn 1:44
         c. Fishermen by trade - Mk 1:16
         d. Partners with James and John - Lk 5:10
      2. Their call to discipleship
         a. Both met Jesus a year earlier - Jn 1:35-42
            1) In Bethabara beyond the Jordan - Jn 1:28
            2) Andrew had been a disciple of John
            3) Andrew introduced Simon to Jesus
            4) Jesus named Simon "Cephas" (Aramaic), "Peter" (Greek),
               meaning "a rock"
         b. They were called while fishing in the Sea of Galilee - Mk 1:16
            1) They had been washing their nets - Lk 5:1-2
            2) Jesus had Simon take him out in a boat, to teach the
               people on shore - Lk 5:3
            3) Jesus told him to launch out and cast his net, resulting
               in a large catch - Lk 5:4-9
            4) Then Jesus called them to follow Him and be fishers of
               men - Lk 5:10; Mk 1:17
            5) They immediately left their nets and followed him - Mk 1:18

      1. Their service as apostles
         a. Simon and Andrew were selected along with twelve others - Mk 3:14-19
         b. Simon (Peter) became part of Jesus' "inner circle" - Mk 5:
            37; 9:2; 14:33
         c. He is well known for his denial of Christ and restoration
            - Mk 14:66-72; Jn 21:15-19
         d. He is a key figure in the first half of the book of Acts,
            and wrote two epistles
         e. Andrew is known for introducing people to Jesus - Jn 1:40-
            42; 6:8-9; 12:20-22
         f. Both asked Jesus about the destruction of Jerusalem - Mk 13:
      2. According to apocryphal (doubtful) literature (cf. ISBE)
         a. Simon (Peter) died a martyr at Rome about 67 AD, along with
            his wife
         b  Crucified upside down at his own request, felt unworthy to
            die exactly like Jesus
         c. Andrew is thought to have been crucified in Greece, on a
            cross in the form of an X
         d. Various sources attribute his missionary work in Bithynia,
            Scythia, Greece, Ephesus

[Simon and Andrew:  brothers, fishermen, disciples, apostles, martyrs.
One well known, the other lesser known.  Both faithful servants of the
Lord Jesus Christ.  Next we take a look at...]


      1. Their background
         a. Sons of Zebedee - Mk 1:19
         b. Their mother was Salome - Mk 16:1; Mt 27:56
         c. Many believe Salome was Mary's sister, making them Jesus'
            cousins - Jn 19:25
         d. Successful fishing business (several boats, partners with
            Simon and Andrew, hired servants) - Mk 1:20; Lk 5:10-11
      2. Their call to discipleship
         a. While mending nets by the Sea of Galilee - Mk 1:19
         b. When Jesus called them, they left their father and hired
            servants - Mk 1:20

      1. Their service as apostles
         a. James and John were selected along with twelve others - Mk 3:14-19
         b. To whom Jesus gave the name "Boanerges" (Sons of Thunder)
            - Mk 3:17
         c. Perhaps due to a fiery temper (though see below) - cf. Lk 9:54
         d. John tried to forbid one from casting out demons who did not
            follow them - Mk 9:38
         e. Both became part of Jesus' "inner circle" - Mk 5:37; 9:2;
         f. They asked to sit at Christ's side in glory - Mk 10:35-37
         g. Both asked Jesus about the destruction of Jerusalem - Mk 13:
         h. Both were present when Jesus appeared the third time after
            His resurrection - Jn 21:1-14
         i. John was likely the "disciple whom Jesus loved" - Jn 19:26;
            20:2; 21:7,20
         j. John often worked with Peter - Ac 3:1; 8:14; Ga 2:9
         k. James became the first apostle to be martyred, fulfilling
            the Lord's prophecy that he would drink the same cup as His
            Master - Ac 12:1-2; cf. Mk 10:39
         l. John went on to write his gospel, three epistles, and the
            book of Revelation
      2. According to apocryphal (doubtful) literature (cf. ISBE)
         a. Zebedee their father was of the house of Levi, their mother
            of the house of Judah
         b. Called "Sons of Thunder" because they were of both the
            priestly house and royal house
         c. James joined Peter in a missionary trip to India; also
            preached in Spain prior to his death
         d. John is thought to have spent his later years in Ephesus,
            following his exile on the isle of Patmos (cf. Re 1:9),
            dying around 98 AD

[James and John:  brothers, fishermen, disciples, apostles.  One an
early martyr, the other a lifelong witness.  Both faithful servants of
the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now for some concluding observations...]


1. Becoming a disciple of Jesus often involves sacrifice...
   a. For Simon and Andrew, it meant leaving their business behind
   b. For James and John, it also meant leaving their family behind
   c. For all four, it meant lives of service that included hardship,
      ending in martyrdom or exile

2. Becoming a disciple of Jesus means to seek the lost...
   a. Jesus wants His disciples to become "fishers of men" - Mk 1:17
   b. Just as He come to "seek and save the lost" - Lk 19:10

3. As disciples of Christ today...
   a. Are we willing to sacrifice for the Lord?
   b. Are we willing to seek the lost?
   c. If not, can we really claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ?

Jesus would have everyone become His disciple today (cf. Mt 28:19-20).
May "The Call Of Four Fishermen", and the service they rendered to the
Lord, inspire us to greater dedication as disciples...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The Preaching Ministry Of Jesus - II (Mark 1:14-15)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

             The Preaching Ministry Of Jesus - II (1:14-15)


1. Previously, we observed that "The Preaching Ministry Of Jesus"
   a. Proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God
   a. That kingdom foretold by Daniel - Dan 2:44; 7:13-14
   b. The good news that is was "at hand", for "the time is fulfilled"!

2. In examining the nature of the kingdom, we noted that it...
   a. Involves the rule or reign of God through the person of Jesus
   b. Is spiritual in nature
   c. Is manifested visibly today in the form of the Lord's church
   d. Has both present and future elements
   -- Indeed, this kingdom is now available to all who freely submit to
      the authority of Jesus

3. But Jesus did more than just announce the coming of the kingdom of
   a. He called on people to repent
   b. He called on people to believe

[And so as we return to our text (Mk 1:14-15), we note that in addition
to the kingdom of God...]


      1. There are two common misconceptions concerning repentance
         a. E.g., that repentance is "sorrow"
            1) But repentance is an outcome of sorrow - cf. 2Co 7:9-10
            2) Sorrow leads to repentance; sorrow itself is not
         b. E.g., that repentance is "a changed life"
            1) Thinking that repentance is a converted life
            2) But repentance and conversion are two separate things
               - cf. Ac 3:19
               a) Peter says "Repent therefore and be converted"
               b) If repentance means the same as conversion, then Peter
                  was redundant
      2. W. E. Vine defines "repentance" as:
         a. A "change of mind"
         b. That which "involves both a turning from sin and a turning
            to God"
      3. Repentance is therefore a decision to "turn from sin and turn
         to God"
         a. Preceded by sorrow - 2Co 7:10
         b. Followed by a changed life - 2Co 7:11
      -- Jesus therefore called on people to make a decision regarding
         sin, because of the imminent arrival of the kingdom of God

      1. Most certainly!
         a. Repentance is to be preached in Jesus' name to all nations
            - Lk 24:46-47
         b. God now calls men everywhere to repent - Ac 17:30
         c. Thus Paul preached to both Jews and Gentiles that they
            should repent - Ac 26:20
      2. Wherever there is sin, repentance needs to be proclaimed
         a. People need to be told to "change their minds" (repent)
         b. They need to "turn to God, and do works befitting
            repentance" - cf. Ac 26:20
      3. Whenever the kingdom of God is proclaimed, it must include a
         call to repent
         a. Paul spoke of preaching the kingdom of God - cf. Ac 20:25
         b. Which included telling people of repentance - cf. Ac 20:21
      -- Any preaching of the kingdom of God that does not include a
         clarion call to repent is not the true gospel!

[Of course, the decision to turn from sin involves faith.  So we are not
be surprised to note also that...]


      1. As defined by Easton's Bible Dictionary:
         a. Faith is in general the persuasion of the mind that a
            certain statement is true
         b. Its primary idea is trust
      2. It is a strong conviction or trust in something; as the NIV
         translates He 11:1...
         a. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for..."
         b. "...and certain of what we do not see."
      3. For example, you have faith that your parents are indeed your
         a. Based upon your trust or conviction in the reliability of
            their word
         b. Such trust prompts you to respond accordingly
      -- Jesus proclaimed that people should trust in the good tidings
         concerning the kingdom of God

      1. Most certainly!  For people need to believe:
         a. In God, to be pleasing to Him - He 11:6
         b. In Jesus, to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life - Jn 8:24; 20:31
      2. But people also need to believe in the kingdom of God!
         a. Which is what Jesus was saying in our text - Mk 1:15
         b. That it was "at hand" when Jesus was preaching
      3. Thus there is the need to believe in the kingdom of God today!
         a. Just as Paul sought to convince his Jewish brethren - Ac 28:23
         b. If we do not believe, then the good news of God's kingdom
            and salvation should be taken to others - Ac 28:24-28
      4. We need to believe concerning the kingdom of God:
         a. That Jesus now reigns over all - Mt 28:18; Ep 1:20-22; 1 Pe 3:22
         b. That those who obey the gospel become members of that
            kingdom - Col 1:13
         c. That those who persevere will inherit the everlasting
            kingdom - 2Pe 1:10-11
         d. That those who persist in sin will not inherit the kingdom
            of God - 1Co 6:9-10; Ep 5:5


1. Thus "The Preaching Ministry Of Jesus" began with a proclamation
   a. The coming of the kingdom of God
   b. The need to repent and believe

2. The kingdom of God came just as Jesus (and the prophets) said it
   a. Jesus received all authority, and now reigns at the right hand of
      God - Mt 28:18; 1Pe 3:22
   b. He exercises that reign, even in the midst of His enemies - cf.
      Ps 110:1-2
   c. His people (the church) freely volunteer in the day of His power
      - cf. Ps 110:3
   d. When He returns, it will be to deliver the kingdom to His Father
      - 1Co 15:24-26

Do you wish to be part of that everlasting, heavenly kingdom?  Then you
must be in the kingdom of God now, freely submitting to the reign of God
in your life today!

If you have not yet done so, then repent of your sins, put your faith in
Jesus Christ, be baptized for the remission of your sins, and begin
living for Him today...! - Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:36-38

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The Preaching Ministry Of Jesus - I (Mark 1:14-15)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

             The Preaching Ministry Of Jesus - I (1:14-15)


1. In Mk 1:14-15, we read of the beginning of Jesus' public ministry in
   a. Which followed the imprisonment of John the Baptist - cf. Mk 6:
   b. Which began at Capernaum, on the edge of the Sea of Galilee - cf.
      Mt 4:13

2. His public ministry involved "preaching"...
   a. "...preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God" - Mk 1:14
   b. The word "preach" (Gr., kerux) means "to herald, to proclaim"

[But what was the message Jesus proclaimed?  Is it a message we should
be preach today?  From our text (Mk 1:14-15) we first see that...]


      1. That kingdom of God foretold in book of Daniel
         a. A kingdom which shall never be destroyed - Dan 2:44
         b. A kingdom, along with glory and dominion, given to the Son
            of Man - Dan 7:13-14
      2. The kingdom of God involves four interrelated concepts
         a. God's kingship, rule, or recognized sovereignty
            1) The term "kingdom" as used by the Jews often stressed the
               abstract idea of rule or dominion, not a geographical
               area surrounded by physical boundaries
            2) basileia - royal power, kingship, dominion, rule; not to
               be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right
               or authority to rule over a kingdom - Thayer
         b. This rule of God is spiritual in nature
            1) It is not a physical kingdom - cf. Jn 18:36
            2) But one that is spiritual - cf. Ro 14:17
         c. Its visible manifestation today is in the form of the Lord's
            1) For the church is that community of souls in whose hearts
               God is Sovereign
            2) That the church constitutes the kingdom of God on earth,
               a) The term "church" and "kingdom" used interchangeably
                  - Mt 16:18
               b) Comments made to those who were in the church - Col 1:
                  13; 1Th 2:12
               c) The description of those in the churches of Asia - Re 1:4,6,9
         d. It has a future element as well as a present one
            1) Future aspect as spoken of by Jesus - Mt 25:34
            2) Future aspect as spoken of by Paul - 1Co 15:50; 2 Ti 4:18
            3) Future aspect as spoken of by Peter - 2Pe 1:10-11
      3. Thus the kingdom of God is both present and future
         a. In the present sense:
            1) It is found wherever the sovereignty of God is accepted
               in the hearts of men
            2) It is a spiritual kingdom, for God rules in the hearts of
            3) Its outward manifestation today is the Lord's church
            4) This rule or kingdom of God was "inaugurated" on the Day
               of Pentecost (Ac 2)
         b. In the future sense:
            1) The rule or kingdom of God will be "culminated" with the
               coming of the Lord
            2) It will involve that "news heaven and a new earth in
               which righteousness dwells", described by Peter and John
               - 2Pe 3:10-13; Re 21-22
            3) It will be experienced only by those in the church who
               are submitting to God's will today! - cf. Mt 7:21-23;
               2Pe 3:13-14
      -- The kingdom of God involves good news (gospel)!

      1. Most certainly!
         a. Philip "preached the things concerning the kingdom of God"
            - Ac 8:12
         b. The apostle Paul in his preaching and teaching:
            1) Spoke of the challenges in entering the kingdom in its
               future sense - Ac 14:22
            2) Reasoned and persuaded with people concerning the kingdom
               - Ac 19:8
            3) Had gone among the Ephesians, "preaching the kingdom of
               God" - Ac 20:25
            4) Solemnly testified of the kingdom of God to the Jews in
               Rome - Ac 28:23,30-31
         c. In his epistles, Paul wrote of:
            1) The nature of the kingdom - Ro 14:17
            2) Those who will not inherit the kingdom - 1Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:21; Ep 5:5
            3) Jesus giving the kingdom to God when He returns - 1Co 15:24-26
            4) How flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom - 1Co 15:50
            5) How we are in the kingdom now - Col 1:13
            6) His companions as fellow workers for the kingdom - Co 4:11
            7) How we might be counted worthy of the kingdom - 2Th 1:5
            8) God calling us into His kingdom and glory - 2Th 2:12
            9) Jesus judging us at His appearing and His kingdom - 2 Ti 4:1
           10) The Lord preserving him for His heavenly kingdom - 2 Ti 4:18
         d. Hebrews refers to our receiving a kingdom which can't be
            shaken - He 12:28
         e. James described the faithful poor as "heirs of the kingdom"
            - Jm 2:5
         f. Peter wrote how we might have an abundant entrance into the
            everlasting kingdom - 2Pe 1:10-11
         g. John was a brother and companion in the kingdom of Jesus
            Christ - Re 1:9
      2. Yet there is an important difference in our message today
         a. John the Baptist, Jesus, His disciples in the Limited
            Commission...all proclaimed the kingdom "at hand" (drawing
            1) For the rule of God as foretold by the prophets was about
               to be manifested - cf. Mk 1:14-15; Dan 2:44; 7:13-14
            2) During Jesus' earthly ministry that kingdom (reign) was
               yet future
            3) That was the "good news" (gospel) of the kingdom then:
               it was near!
         b. After the ascension of Christ, the preaching of the kingdom
            proclaimed it both present and future
            1) The rule of God is now being fully manifested through
               Jesus Christ - cf. Mt 28:18; Ep 1:20-22; 1Pe 3:22
            2) Those who "gladly receive" the message are added by the
               Lord Himself to His church or kingdom (i.e., the
               community of believers who submit to His authority)
               - cf. Ac 2:36-41,47; Col 1:13; Re 1:9
            3) Those who persevere to the end inherit the heavenly and
               everlasting kingdom of our Lord - Ac 14:22; 2Pe 1:10-11
      -- This is the good news (gospel) of the kingdom today:  it is
         both now and coming!


1. Thus "The Preaching Ministry Of Jesus" involved proclaiming the
   kingdom of God...
   a. The coming rule or reign of God
   b. As proclaimed by prophets like Daniel
   c. Was now "at hand", for "the time is fulfilled"!

2. But Jesus did more than just announce the coming of the kingdom of
   a. He called on people to repent
   b. He called on people to believe - Mk 1:15

We will examine His call for repentance and faith in our next study.  In
the meantime, we do well to ask ourselves, "Are we in the kingdom of God
today?"  The answer lies in whether we submit to the rule of God now
manifested in the person of Jesus Christ... - cf. Mt 28:18-20

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading November 22

Bible Reading  

November 22

The World English Bible

Nov. 22
Jeremiah 38-41

Jer 38:1 Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, and Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchijah, heard the words that Jeremiah spoke to all the people, saying,
Jer 38:2 Thus says Yahweh, He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he who goes forth to the Chaldeans shall live, and his life shall be to him for a prey, and he shall live.
Jer 38:3 Thus says Yahweh, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.
Jer 38:4 Then the princes said to the king, Let this man, we pray you, be put to death; because he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words to them: for this man doesn't seek the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
Jer 38:5 Zedekiah the king said, Behold, he is in your hand; for the king is not he who can do anything against you.
Jer 38:6 Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchijah the king's son, that was in the court of the guard: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. In the dungeon there was no water, but mire; and Jeremiah sank in the mire.
Jer 38:7 Now when Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, a eunuch, who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon (the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin),
Jer 38:8 Ebedmelech went forth out of the king's house, and spoke to the king, saying,
Jer 38:9 My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon; and he is likely to die in the place where he is, because of the famine; for there is no more bread in the city.
Jer 38:10 Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with you, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he dies.
Jer 38:11 So Ebedmelech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took there rags and worn-out garments, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah.
Jer 38:12 Ebedmelech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put now these rags and worn-out garments under your armholes under the cords. Jeremiah did so.
Jer 38:13 So they drew up Jeremiah with the cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.
Jer 38:14 Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took Jeremiah the prophet to him into the third entry that is in the house of Yahweh: and the king said to Jeremiah, I will ask you a thing; hide nothing from me.
Jer 38:15 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, If I declare it to you, will you not surely put me to death? and if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me.
Jer 38:16 So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, As Yahweh lives, who made us this soul, I will not put you to death, neither will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life.
Jer 38:17 Then said Jeremiah to Zedekiah, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Armies, the God of Israel: If you will go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire; and you shall live, and your house.
Jer 38:18 But if you will not go forth to the king of Babylon's princes, then shall this city be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape out of their hand.
Jer 38:19 Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews who are fallen away to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they mock me.
Jer 38:20 But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver you. Obey, I beg you, the voice of Yahweh, in that which I speak to you: so it shall be well with you, and your soul shall live.
Jer 38:21 But if you refuse to go forth, this is the word that Yahweh has shown me:
Jer 38:22 behold, all the women who are left in the king of Judah's house shall be brought forth to the king of Babylon's princes, and those women shall say, Your familiar friends have set you on, and have prevailed over you: now that your feet are sunk in the mire, they are turned away back.
Jer 38:23 They shall bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans; and you shall not escape out of their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon: and you shall cause this city to be burned with fire.
Jer 38:24 Then said Zedekiah to Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and you shall not die.
Jer 38:25 But if the princes hear that I have talked with you, and they come to you, and tell you, Declare to us now what you have said to the king; don't hide it from us, and we will not put you to death; also what the king said to you:
Jer 38:26 then you shall tell them, I presented my supplication before the king, that he would not cause me to return to Jonathan's house, to die there.
Jer 38:27 Then came all the princes to Jeremiah, and asked him; and he told them according to all these words that the king had commanded. So they left off speaking with him; for the matter was not perceived.
Jer 38:28 So Jeremiah abode in the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.
Jer 39:1 It happened when Jerusalem was taken, (in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and besieged it;
Jer 39:2 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city),
Jer 39:3 that all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, to wit, Nergal Sharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergal Sharezer, Rabmag, with all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon.
Jer 39:4 It happened that, when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, through the gate between the two walls; and he went out toward the Arabah.
Jer 39:5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgment on him.
Jer 39:6 Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon killed all the nobles of Judah.
Jer 39:7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.
Jer 39:8 The Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem.
Jer 39:9 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the residue of the people who remained in the city, the deserters also who fell away to him, and the residue of the people who remained.
Jer 39:10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, who had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
Jer 39:11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon commanded Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard concerning Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 39:12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do to him even as he shall tell you.
Jer 39:13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushazban, Rabsaris, and Nergal Sharezer, Rabmag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon;
Jer 39:14 they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guard, and committed him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he lived among the people.
Jer 39:15 Now the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the guard, saying,
Jer 39:16 Go, and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring my words on this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished before you in that day.
Jer 39:17 But I will deliver you in that day, says Yahweh; and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.
Jer 39:18 For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but your life shall be for a prey to you; because you have put your trust in me, says Yahweh.
Jer 40:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah, who were carried away captive to Babylon.
Jer 40:2 The captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said to him, Yahweh your God pronounced this evil on this place;
Jer 40:3 and Yahweh has brought it, and done according as he spoke: because you have sinned against Yahweh, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come on you.
Jer 40:4 Now, behold, I loose you this day from the chains which are on your hand. If it seems good to you to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will take care of you; but if it seems bad to you to come with me into Babylon, don't: behold, all the land is before you; where it seems good and right to you to go, there go.
Jer 40:5 Now while he was not yet gone back, Go back then, said he, to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people; or go wherever it seems right to you to go. So the captain of the guard gave him food and a present, and let him go.
Jer 40:6 Then went Jeremiah to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and lived with him among the people who were left in the land.
Jer 40:7 Now when all the captains of the forces who were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed to him men, and women, and children, and of the poorest of the land, of those who were not carried away captive to Babylon;
Jer 40:8 then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, to wit, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men.
Jer 40:9 Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore to them and to their men, saying, Don't be afraid to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
Jer 40:10 As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans who shall come to us: but you, gather you wine and summer fruits and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that you have taken.
Jer 40:11 Likewise when all the Jews who were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon, and in Edom, and who were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan;
Jer 40:12 then all the Jews returned out of all places where they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, to Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much.
Jer 40:13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,
Jer 40:14 and said to him, Do you know that Baalis the king of the children of Ammon has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam didn't believe them.
Jer 40:15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Please let me go, and I will kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: why should he take your life, that all the Jews who are gathered to you should be scattered, and the remnant of Judah perish?
Jer 40:16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, You shall not do this thing; for you speak falsely of Ishmael.
Jer 41:1 Now it happened in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal and one of the chief officers of the king, and ten men with him, came to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they ate bread together in Mizpah.
Jer 41:2 Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men who were with him, and struck Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and killed him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.
Jer 41:3 Ishmael also killed all the Jews who were with him, to wit, with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there, the men of war.
Jer 41:4 It happened the second day after he had killed Gedaliah, and no man knew it,
Jer 41:5 that there came men from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even eighty men, having their beards shaved and their clothes torn, and having cut themselves, with meal offerings and frankincense in their hand, to bring them to the house of Yahweh.
Jer 41:6 Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and it happened, as he met them, he said to them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.
Jer 41:7 It was so, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah killed them, and cast them into the midst of the pit, he, and the men who were with him.
Jer 41:8 But ten men were found among those who said to Ishmael, Don't kill us; for we have stores hidden in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey. So he stopped, and didn't kill them among their brothers.
Jer 41:9 Now the pit in which Ishmael cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had killed, by the side of Gedaliah (the same was who which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel), Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with those who were killed.
Jer 41:10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people who were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and all the people who remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the children of Ammon.
Jer 41:11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done,
Jer 41:12 then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon.
Jer 41:13 Now it happened that, when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, then they were glad.
Jer 41:14 So all the people who Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned about and came back, and went to Johanan the son of Kareah.
Jer 41:15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the children of Ammon.
Jer 41:16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had killed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, to wit, the men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gibeon:
Jer 41:17 and they departed, and lived in Geruth Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt,
Jer 41:18 because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor over the land. 

Nov. 22
Hebrews 8

Heb 8:1 Now in the things which we are saying, the main point is this. We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,
Heb 8:2 a servant of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.
Heb 8:3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer.
Heb 8:4 For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;
Heb 8:5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses was warned by God when he was about to make the tabernacle, for he said, "See, you shall make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain."
Heb 8:6 But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which on better promises has been given as law.
Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he said, "Behold, the days come," says the Lord, "that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
Heb 8:9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they didn't continue in my covenant, and I disregarded them," says the Lord.
Heb 8:10 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days," says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Heb 8:11 They will not teach every man his fellow citizen, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness. I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more."
Heb 8:13 In that he says, "A new covenant," he has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and grows aged is near to vanishing away.