From Mark Copeland "EQUIPPING THE SAINTS FOR MINISTRY" The Providential Necessity


                       The Providential Necessity


1. In Ep 4:7-16, we see where Christ has given "gifts" to His church...
   a. These "gifts" are such functions as apostles, prophets,
      evangelists, pastors, teachers
   b. Some of these "gifts" were temporary
      1) Such as apostles and prophets
      2) For their work relates to the establishing the foundation of
         the Lord's church - Ep 2:19-22
      3) Once the foundation had been laid, their work as such was
   c. Other "gifts" are permanent
      1) Such as evangelists, pastors, and teachers
      2) For their work of adding to and building up the body of Christ
         continues to be needed
      3) Building upon the foundation laid by the apostles and
         prophets, this work is ongoing - cf. 1Co 3:9-11

2. The purpose of these "gifts" (offices, if you will) is defined by
   Paul in Ep 4:12...
   a. "for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry"
   b. "for the edifying of the body of Christ"

3. "Equipping The Saints For Ministry", then, is an important function
   of those who serve as evangelists, pastors, and teachers...
   a. Indeed, it is a major reason why we assemble together - He 10:24-25
   b. Titus, a young preacher, was instructed by Paul time and again to
      work toward this end:
      1) "Remind them...to be ready for every good work" - Tit 3:1
      2) "...these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those
         who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good
         works." - Tit 3:8
      3) "And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet
         urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful." - Tit 3:14

4. As a minister of the gospel of Christ...
   a. I certainly have a responsibility in the area of evangelism - cf.
      2Ti 4:5
   b. But if I am to "fulfill my ministry", I must think in terms
      beyond my own personal work as an evangelist
   c. I must also give thought to how I can contribute toward
      "equipping the saints for ministry"

5. Thus with this lesson, I begin a series of studies designed to...
   a. Point out the "necessity" for a local church to focus on
      "equipping the saints for ministry"
   b. Stress the need for, and the value of, diversity of function in
      the body of Christ
   c. Provide direction on how we, as a local congregation of Christ,
      can facilitate "equipping the saints for ministry"

[In the first two lessons, I want to emphasize the "need" for a
congregation to be concerned about equipping its members for service.
For unless we appreciate the necessity, we are not likely to possess
the motivation required to carry through with the challenge we face.

There is first of all, "The Providential Necessity" for equipping the
saints for ministry.  To understand what I mean by that, consider


      1. Jesus made His promise in Mt 16:18
         a. Certainly this promise pertains to the "establishment" of
            the church
         b. But I believe we have good reason to say that Jesus is
            still building His church
      2. As the "head" of the body, the church (Ep 1:22,23), we should
         not be surprised to see that He is very much involved in the
         "expansion" of the church!
      3. In fact, in nearly every example of conversion recorded in the
         book of Acts, the Lord worked in some way to create the
         opportunity for the person to hear the gospel

      1. The Lord waited until thousands were gathered in Jerusalem to
         pour out the Spirit and let Peter preach the first gospel
         sermon - Ac 2
      2. Philip was sent toward Gaza where he would meet the Ethiopian
         eunuch - Ac 8:26-28
      3. The Lord saw to it that Saul and Ananias would get together
         - Ac 9:10-18
      4. Likewise, it was the Lord who saw to it that Cornelius would
         have an opportunity to hear the gospel from Peter - Ac 10
      5. The evangelization of Europe (beginning with the conversion of
         Lydia and the Philippian jailor) occurred after the
         "Macedonian Call" led Paul and his companions in that
         direction - Ac 16

      1. Granted, the above examples are in keeping with the miraculous
         events surrounding the establishment of the Lord's church
      2. However, I propose that they illustrate a principle that is
         just as valid for us today...
         a. The Lord knows the hearts of all men, and still seeks those
            who are seeking Him - cf. 2Ch 16:9
         b. He will make sure that those who "hunger and thirst for
            righteousness" will somehow be "filled" - cf. Mt 5:6
      3. This is where the providence of God comes in...
         a. If someone, somewhere, is seeking to do God's will (as was
            the eunuch, Cornelius, and Lydia)...
         b. ...the Lord will give the one seeking truth an opportunity
            to come across one prepared to do the teaching
      4. Thus Paul viewed those who taught others as "God's fellow-
         workers" - 1Co 3:5-9
         a. They are simply servants through whom the Lord gave
         b. It is God who is giving the increase

[So the Lord is very much involved in the "expansion" of His church,
and can do much through His providential workings in the affairs of

Of course, how useful "we" can be to the Lord in His providence is
dependent upon our willingness to prepare and be available for


      1. Some doors the Lord opened...
         a. An "open door" for Paul at Ephesus - 1Co 16:9
         b. Another "open door" at Troas (though not fully utilized by
            Paul) - 2Co 2:12-13
      2. But these doors are opened only when there are those prepared
         to be used by the Lord - cf. Re 3:8

      1. To be useful to the Master, we must be prepared for every good
         work - cf. 2Ti 2:20-22
      2. This applies to congregations as well as individuals...
         a. Individuals must prepare themselves to be able to teach, or
            to lead souls to those ready to teach
         b. Congregations must be ready to assimilate new converts into
            the family of God where they can be nurtured during a vital
            stage of their new life in Christ
      3. What if we as individuals and as a congregation are not prepared?
         a. Can we really expect the Lord to use us in His providence?
            1) Who can He use to teach?
            2) Who can He use to encourage?
            3) Who can He use to serve?
         b. Can we really expect Him to "open a door" for a
            congregation if it is made up of uncaring, and therefore
            unprepared, Christians?


1. And so there is "The Providential Necessity" for us to be concerned
   about "Equipping The Saints For Ministry"
   a. If we wish to be a "light" for the Lord in our community, we must
      develop our ability to "shine"
   b. If we wish to be "salt" that He can use, we must develop our "flavor"

2. In our next lesson, we shall examine the "necessity" from another
   angle, what I call "The Practical Necessity" for equipping the
   saints for ministry

Dear brother or sister, are you doing what you can to make yourself
"useful to the Master"?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Don't Touch Dead Bodies! by Kyle Butt, M.A.


Don't Touch Dead Bodies!

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

In their book, None of These Diseases, physicians S.I. McMillen and David Stern discussed how that many of the hygienic rules established by God for the children of Israel still are applicable today. To illustrate their point, they recounted the story of Ignaz Semmelweis.
In 1847, an obstetrician named Ignaz Semmelweis was the director of a hospital ward in Vienna, Austria. Many pregnant women checked into his ward, but 18% of those women never checked out. One out of every six that received treatment in Semmelweis’ ward died of labor fever. Autopsies revealed pus under their skin, in their chest cavities, in their eye sockets, etc. Semmelweis was distraught over the mortality rate in his ward, and other hospital wards like it all over Europe. If a woman delivered a baby using a midwife, then the death fell to only 3%. Yet if she chose to use the most advanced medical knowledge and facilities of the day, her chance of dying skyrocketed to 18%!
Semmelweis had tried everything to curb the carnage. He turned all the women on their sides in hopes that the death rate would drop, but with no results. He thought maybe the bell that the priest rang late in the evenings scared the women. So, he made the priest enter silently, yet without any drop in death rates.
As he contemplated his dilemma, he watched young medical students perform their routine tasks. Each day the students would perform autopsies on the dead mothers. Then they would rinse their hands in a bowl of bloody water, wipe them off on a common, shared towel, and immediately begin internal examinations of the still-living women. As a twenty-first-century observer, you probably are appalled to think that such practices actually took place in institutes of what was at the time “modern technology.” What doctor in his right mind would touch a dead person and then perform examinations on living patients—without first employing some sort of minimal hygienic practices intended to kill germs? But to Europeans in the middle-nineteenth-century, germs were a foreign concept. They never had seen a germ, much less been able to predict its destructive potential. According to their theories, disease was caused by “atmospheric conditions” or “cosmic telluric influences.”
Semmelweis ordered everyone in his ward to wash thoroughly his or her hands in a chlorine solution after every examination. In three months, the death rate fell from 18% to 1%. Semmelweis had made an amazing discovery. Or had he? Is it possible that Dr. Semmelweis simply “rediscovered” what had been known in some circles for many years?
Almost 3,300 years before Semmelweis lived, Moses had written: “He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean.” Germs were no new discovery in 1847; God had known about them all along. If only we would learn to give the Holy Scriptures the respect they deserve, we could save ourselves from so much sin, heartache, and death.

Comical Contentions on the Ear by Evolutionists by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Comical Contentions on the Ear by Evolutionists

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Humans are proficient masters of self-deception. Many tend to believe what they want to believe, and see what they want to see. Especially when it comes to our own actions, we generally believe and defend those ideas that enable us to behave the way we choose. “I desire to engage in same-sex relations—so homosexuality is genetic;” “I don’t want a child—so a ‘fetus’ is not a human and abortion is okay;” “I want another woman—so God will accept my divorce.”
The essential contention of evolution is that the God of the Bible does not exist and, therefore, the Universe and all life forms came about gradually by blind, non-intelligent, non-purposive, mechanistic forces over millions and billions of years. Hence, all value—including moral value—is merely and strictly the product of subjective human inclination. Right and wrong are purely relative. Such thinking is attractive and convenient to some, since it allows man to think and act as he pleases, without any interference from a higher Power.
Yet, with all their intellectual prowess, academic attainment, and sophisticated scientific jargon, the evolutionists frequently express themselves in such a way that the honest person of average intelligence can see the foolishness of their theory. Indeed, the theory of evolution is downright laughable. Take, for instance, the explanation advanced for the evolution of the human ear. Renowned evolutionist Richard Dawkins is typical of the comical contention of evolutionists that the human ear evolved over millions of years by means of the chance, mindless, naturalistic forces of evolution: “If you think about the evolution of a really complex adaptation like an eye or an ear, then precisely because it cannot have come about as a single chance step it had to have come about as a gradual improvement” (see Brown, 2004, emp. added). It could not have just happened on its own—“a single chance step.” So with what options are we left? An all-powerful, transcendent God? Absolutely not—not even an option! So it just had to have come about gradually by multiple chance steps. A single chance step? Impossible. But multiple chance steps? Certainly! Rational, or comical gobbledygook?
Consider the claim by two evolutionists at Uppsala University in Sweden: “The structure that became the sound-conducting middle ear of land animals began as a tube that permitted ancient shallow-water fish to take an occasional breath of air out of the top of their heads” (Brown, 2006). Sounds reasonable—the nose became the ear. Why not? Given enough time, maybe your nose will do the same.
Then we have an article, appearing in a Turkish newspaper, by evolutionist Veysel Atayman claiming that “[o]ur hearing organ, the ear, emerged as a result of the evolution of the endoderm and exoderm layers, which we call the skin. One proof of this is that we feel low sounds in the skin of our stomachs” (1999, emp. added). The BBC televised a special on “The Human Body” advancing the notion that the common evolutionary ancestry of man and fish is seen in the evolution of the human ear from the bones associated with the gills of fish (“Evolutionary Tell...,” 2002).
And we mustn’t omit the shrewd observation by Michael Benton who holds the Chair in Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Bristol, England: “At a certain point, in the Late Triassic, the reptilian jaw joint had shifted function. We can still detect the legacy of this astonishing transition: when you chew a hamburger, you can hear your jaw movements deep inside your ears” (2001, emp. added). Did you catch that? You hear yourself chewing because parts of your hearing structure evolved from reptilian jawbones.
Let’s recap: the human ear evolved from a breathing tube. No, it was from skin layers connected to the stomach. No, it was from fish gills. Wait a minute, actually your ear came from a jaw. It all makes perfect sense—if you’ve been educated beyond your intelligence. Observe that evolutionists not only disagree among themselves on such matters as the evolution of the ear, the sheer speculation they advance consists of very specific scenarios in which they describe imaginary events as if they really happened. Even then, often their conjuring is laced with very telling admissions that concede their lack of substantive evidence. For example, consider the admissions that riddle an article titled, “The Evolution of the Human Ear,” by the “Senior House Officer” at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, England: “Much of the story of the evolution of the human ear is controversial” (Bhutta, 2004, 13[5]:50, emp. added); “These early steps are conjecture” (13[5]:50, emp. added); “Evolution is a poor method of design” (13[5]:50, emp. added); “We actually know little of the early amphibian ear” (13[5]:51, emp. added); “Why this change occurred...is a matter of debate” (13[5]:51, emp. added). Observe: the evolution of the ear is controversial, conjecture, and a matter of debate. Yet we are supposed to be assured that it nevertheless happened.
This is self-delusion—not science. The explanation of the Bible is sensible and rational: “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both” (Proverbs 20:12).


Atayman, Veysel (1999), “Maddeci ‘Madde,’ Evrimci Madde” (“Materialist ‘Matter,’ Evolutionist Matter”), Evrensel Newspaper, June 13, [On-line], URL:http://www.darwinismrefuted.com/irreducible_complexity_08.html#359.
Benton, Michael (2001), “Evidence of Evolutionary Transitions,” American Institute of Biological Sciences, [On-line], URL: http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/benton2.html.
Bhutta, Mahmood (2004), ENT News, 13[5]:50-52, November/December.
Brown, David (2006), “Evolution of Ear is Noted in Fossil,” Washington Post, A03, Thursday, January 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/18/ AR2006011802159.html.
Brown, Doug (2004), “Richard Dawkins: The Biologist’s Tale,” Author Interviews, [On-line], URL: http://www.powells.com/authors/dawkins.html.
“Evolutionary Tell Tales from BBC (2)” (2002), September 25, [On-line], URL: http://www.darwinism-watch.com/bbc_evolutionarytales_02.php.

Ancient Nitwits or Knowledgeable Ancestors? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Ancient Nitwits or Knowledgeable Ancestors?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Were our forefathers the ignorant, unlearned nitwits that many evolutionists today make them out to be? Did they resemble the brutish, club-carrying cavemen that Hollywood movies show—savages who communicated by using grunts and groans rather than real language? Absolutely not!
Research shows that many of our ancestors were very intelligent. Take, for instance, the ancient Egyptians. More than 4,000 years ago, they built great pyramid-shaped “tombs” in which to bury their dead kings. One of these tombs, known as the Great Pyramid, stood nearly 500 feet high (almost as tall as the Washington Monument—the tallest stone structure in the world!) The Great Pyramid was made of over two million blocks of stone that had to be cut, transported, and assembled to create the almost six-million-ton structure. To this day, modern man still does not know exactly how the Egyptians built these great pyramids.
The ancient Mayans are another example of our “finely tuned” forefathers. More than one thousand years before astronomers found that the length of a year was precisely 365.2422 days, the Mayans (without computers or modern measuring devices) calculated it to be 365.2420 days long. They also figured the orbit of Venus to be 584 days, when current science shows it at 583.92 days. Without question, the Mayans were an intelligent people.
As you would expect, the Bible verifies these types of historical facts. By reading just the first six chapters of Genesis, we learn that: (1) Adam was created with the ability to speak a language (naming all of the animals God brought to him the very day of his creation—2:19); (2) Jubal, one of Cain’s descendents, “was the father of all those who play the harp and flute” (4:21); (3) Tubal-Cain, Jubal’s half-brother, formed tools out of bronze and iron (4:22); and (4) Noah built an ark bigger than many modern-day cruise ships. Furthermore, Job chapter 28 indicates that our early forefathers were capable of tunneling through rock, and mining precious metals from deep within the Earth. All of these things were accomplished without modern-day power tools or lightening-fast computers.
Truth be told, our ancestors were no dummies; man has been intelligent since the beginning of time. God made us that way. He created us in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27), and crowned us with glory and honor (Psalm 8:5).

Apple® CEO Tim Cook Claims His Homosexuality Is a Gift from God by Kyle Butt, M.A.


Apple® CEO Tim Cook Claims His Homosexuality Is a Gift from God

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

On October 30, 2014, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple®, announced to the world that he is a homosexual. Admittedly, high-profile millionaires, CEOs, athletes, and movie stars “come out” as homosexuals on a regular basis, so this declaration is not surprising. Cook made one statement, however, that is so outlandish and inaccurate that it simply cannot go unanswered. He said: “So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me” (2014, emp. added). According to Tim Cook, his homosexuality is a blessing from God.
Tim’s misunderstanding of God and His Word cannot be further from the truth. We have discussed in numerous other places the fact that homosexuality is a sin, just like other sexual sins such as adultery, fornication, bestiality, and pedophilia. And we have shown that there is no genetic link to homosexuality (Miller and Harrub, 2004). It is a choice—a sinful way of life. It is not something that a person is; it is something that a person chooses to do.
As an analogy, suppose that a person who practices bestiality were to contend that his sexual choice is a gift from God. His bestiality has put him in the minority and allowed him to see things from a minority perspective. His bestiality helped him to develop thick skin and made him a stronger person. In addition, he looks forward to the day when our country recognizes the rights of people to legally marry animals.
While those who practice homosexuality do not appreciate such comparisons, the same arguments can be made in favor of bestiality as are made in favor of homosexuality. A person could claim that there is nothing he can do about his sexual preference for animals. He was made that way. He loves animals, and that is his way to show it. He can’t believe people are so judgmental and unloving as to claim that his choice is sinful or wrong. He is being persecuted by “bigots” who hate minorities such as those who practice bestiality.
One could make the same case for pedophilia. The person who engages in this sexual practice could claim she can’t help it. God created her as a pedophile. She is glad that God made her this way, because it helps her understand other minorities such as those who practice bestiality or homosexuality. It has given her thick skin and helped her learn to be herself. She looks forward to the day when our country understands that 12 year olds know what they want and should be allowed to give their consent.
I hope that you can see the problem with Tim Cook’s statement. It is one thing to blatantly live a sinful life of rebellion against God. It is another thing to claim that God is “blessing you” by endowing you with a sinful behavior. That is the equivalent of a thief claiming that “being” a thief is the greatest thing God ever did for him; or a habitual liar claiming that He is thankful God made him a liar; or an adulterer claiming that God blessed him with three girlfriends in addition to his wife; or a teenage boy thanking God for making him promiscuous and giving him the chance to have sex with scores of girls.
Has our “Christian” nation wandered so far from what God actually says in the Bible that it can swallow the proclamation that a person’s homosexual lifestyle is a gift from God? Have even New Testament Christians lived so long outside the Word of God that they can’t recognize such a blasphemous statement for the twisting of the truth that it is? Homosexuality is a sin, like any number of other sins such as lying, adultery, cheating, stealing, fraud, malicious gossip, etc. God loves all sinners and wants them to be saved. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 2:15). Jesus Christ died on the cross to save Tim Cook from his choice to be a homosexual, just as Jesus died to save each and every one of us from our sins. But Jesus commands, yes demands, that we recognize that we are sinning and stop—repent of—our sins. Jesus clearly said “unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3).
It may be true that our culture no longer recognizes that sex before marriage is sin, or that adultery is sinful, or that homosexuality is a violation of God’s Law. But to claim that not only are these actions not sinful, but they are gifts from God, shows an ignorance of the nature of God and of His Will that is startling. As the apostle John wrote: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:10). The haunting words of the prophet Isaiah, written over 2,700 years ago remind us that Cook’s tactic is nothing new: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).


Miller, Dave and Brad Harrub (2004), “An Investigation of the Biblical Evidence Against Homosexuality,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1401&topic=36.

From Jim McGuiggan... JESUS AND PSALM 22 (3)


Following the NRSB, ESV and others, the psalmist takes an entirely different tack beginning in 22:21b. Up to that point he has been lamenting, pleading and agonizing. All of a sudden he is thanking God for rescue. [Did a messenger/priest come to him to tell him God had heard his prayers? Had he written the first half of the psalm and some time later experienced rescue and now writes a “sequel”?]
At the risk of being even more tedious than I’ve been up to this point, let me ask if the man now thinks he was wrong about God all along—that is, does he now think that God had never forsaken him? [“In my stress and agony I thought God had forsaken me but now I know he had never turned away from me.”]
 Or is he saying something like, “God had forsaken me for a while but he has now turned his face back to me in holy kindness”?
What we’re sure of is this. He now insists (22:24): “He has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” This reverses what he has said in 22:1-2 but it doesn’t settle the question about the psalmist’s new perspective.
For some length of time God did not give him what he was asking for; God was not hearing his prayers (“hearing” in the sense of granting the request). If that’s what the psalmist meant by “forsaken” then God truly had forsaken the man but we need to remember, if we take that view we’re reducing “forsakenness” to mean nothing more than: “For a long time you refused to give me what I asked for.”
I confess that doesn’t sound at all right to me. It seems to me to reduce the depth of the man’s feelings and the aguish he is enduring. It’s more than that God didn’t deliver him from his physical and psychological agony—he seems to think that God has cut him off, that God has withdrawn his fellowship from him; he’s not at one with God. Once more, the suffering is bad enough but it seems to me that the serrated edge that cuts him deepest is the conviction that God has left him and the suffering is the expression of that departure. His jeering and sarcastic enemies obviously thought something like that even while they spoke of the man’s trust (22:6-8).
[Did he feel “lost” in the sense that Christians usually mean—“spiritually separated” and therefore damned or heading for eternal lostness? I don’t think he would have thought of such things. On this side of the cross Christians tend to think that all ages thought as they think. Whatever this psalmist knew or didn’t know about after-life and a final judgment it would have been enough for him to think that God had withdrawn his fellowship and commitment from him.]
Taking the above to be the case—that is, the man truly believed that God had departed from him—the next question is: was he right in thinking what he certainly felt?
It can’t be disputed that God can land a person in great trouble or watch while his servants suffer greatly! He did it with Job and he did it with Joseph but he never “forsook” them (Genesis 45:5-8 with 39:20-21). It simply isn’t possible for God to “forsake” those who trust themselves to him ("He cannot be faithless"2 Timothy 2:13) though it is certainly possible for him to put them to grief for redemptive reasons.
If in his agony he thinks God cut him off, the man was wrong! His later remarks are (in my view) most easily understood as a confession that he had misunderstood the situation. Whatever the reason for the suffering, it was not proof that God had forsaken him. He now knows that God at no point had despised his suffering and his prayers and he wants everyone to know it, so he sings his song in church and has a meal of celebration to which he invites “the meek” to share in his joy and have his assurance (Psalm 22:22-26).
This psalm at so many points make contact with the experience of Jesus that it’s no wonder the NT makes frequent use of it.
The story involves more than this individual sufferer. In 22:4 he speaks of “our” fathers, which clearly means his story is being told with his brothers and sisters in mind. It’s “my” God but it’s also “our” fathers.
In 22:23-24 he makes his own vindication (note 22:7-8) and rescue a message to all those who trust and reverence God. He makes his own experience a model and an illustration. “What he has been to me and has done for me,” he seems to say, “he will be to you and do for you.”
The truth imbedded in this man’s experience has ramifications that go beyond Israel to the nations of the world (22:27). God is not in the forsaking business—he doesn’t forsake this person or Israel and he certainly doesn’t forsake Jesus. It doesn’t matter how many jeering enemies there are, it doesn’t matter how much doubt is cast on the integrity of the sufferer or the God he has trusted all his life and it doesn’t matter that the agony is real—the sufferer has been vindicated and in his vindication God has been vindicated (22:28). The psalmist now knows in light of his reversal of fortunes that it wouldn’t have mattered if God had carried him all the way to the grave—trust in and worship of God would be the well placed and worthily earned (22:15, 29).
All that and more is in Psalm 22.
All that and more is gathered around the cross of Jesus Christ. His agony is real, the sneering enemies are real and God’s willingness to lay him “in the dust of death” is real (22:15). This too is around the cross: foreigners got the message (compare Luke 23:47)! This too was in and around the cross—the kingdom of God is in view in the words of the psalmist (22:28) and in the words of Jesus (Luke 23:38,42-43; Mark 15:32; Matthew 27:29,37,42,43.). This too is in the words of the psalmist (22:23) and in the words of Jesus (Luke 23:46)commit yourself in trust into God's hands” (see Psalm 31.5).
Was Jesus fully aware of all this? Did he believe God had never left his side though he was making himself absent in some profound ways? I’m certain he did—Click here.

Then what are the words “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” doing on his lips?

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

From Gary... Bible Reading June 8

Bible Reading   

June 8

The World English Bible

June 8
1 Samuel 9, 10

1Sa 9:1 Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of valor.
1Sa 9:2 He had a son, whose name was Saul, an impressive young man; and there was not among the children of Israel a better person than he. From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
1Sa 9:3 The donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with you, and arise, go seek the donkeys.
1Sa 9:4 He passed through the hill country of Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they didn't find them: then they passed through the land of Shaalim, and there they weren't there: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they didn't find them.
1Sa 9:5 When they had come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, Come, and let us return, lest my father leave off caring for the donkeys, and be anxious for us.
1Sa 9:6 He said to him, See now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes surely to pass: now let us go there; peradventure he can tell us concerning our journey whereon we go.
1Sa 9:7 Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?
1Sa 9:8 The servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have in my hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.
1Sa 9:9 (In earlier times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, Come, and let us go to the seer; for he who is now called a prophet was before called a Seer.)
1Sa 9:10 Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went to the city where the man of God was.
1Sa 9:11 As they went up the ascent to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said to them, Is the seer here?
1Sa 9:12 They answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before you: make haste now, for he is come today into the city; for the people have a sacrifice today in the high place:
1Sa 9:13 as soon as you have come into the city, you shall immediately find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat; for the people will not eat until he come, because he does bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat who are invited. Now therefore go up; for at this time you shall find him.
1Sa 9:14 They went up to the city; and as they came within the city, behold, Samuel came out toward them, to go up to the high place.
1Sa 9:15 Now Yahweh had revealed to Samuel a day before Saul came, saying,
1Sa 9:16 Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel; and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked on my people, because their cry is come to me.
1Sa 9:17 When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh said to him, Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! this same shall have authority over my people.
1Sa 9:18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, Please, where the seer's house is.
1Sa 9:19 Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer; go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today: and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is in your heart.
1Sa 9:20 As for your donkeys who were lost three days ago, don't set your mind on them; for they are found. For whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you, and for all your father's house?
1Sa 9:21 Saul answered, Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? why then speak you to me after this manner?
1Sa 9:22 Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the guest room, and made them sit in the best place among those who were invited, who were about thirty persons.
1Sa 9:23 Samuel said to the cook, Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, Set it aside.
1Sa 9:24 The cook took up the thigh, and that which was on it, and set it before Saul. Samuel said, Behold, that which has been reserved! set it before yourself and eat; because to the appointed time has it been kept for you, for I said, I have invited the people. So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
1Sa 9:25 When they had come down from the high place into the city, he talked with Saul on the housetop.
1Sa 9:26 They arose early: and it happened about the spring of the day, that Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, saying, Up, that I may send you away. Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad.
1Sa 9:27 As they were going down at the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us (and he passed on), but stand still first, that I may cause you to hear the word of God.

1Sa 10:1 Then Samuel took the vial of oil, and poured it on his head, and kissed him, and said, Isn't it that Yahweh has anointed you to be prince over his inheritance?
1Sa 10:2 When you have departed from me today, then you shall find two men by Rachel's tomb, in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will tell you, The donkeys which you went to seek have been found; and behold, your father has stopped caring about the donkeys, and is anxious for you, saying, What shall I do for my son?
1Sa 10:3 Then you shall go on forward from there, and you shall come to the oak of Tabor; and three men shall meet you there going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine:
1Sa 10:4 and they will greet you, and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall receive of their hand.
1Sa 10:5 After that you shall come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall happen, when you have come there to the city, that you shall meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tambourine, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they will be prophesying:
1Sa 10:6 and the Spirit of Yahweh will come mightily on you, and you shall prophesy with them, and shall be turned into another man.
1Sa 10:7 Let it be, when these signs have come to you, that you do as occasion shall serve you; for God is with you.
1Sa 10:8 You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: you shall wait seven days, until I come to you, and show you what you shall do.
1Sa 10:9 It was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs happened that day.
1Sa 10:10 When they came there to the hill, behold, a band of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came mightily on him, and he prophesied among them.
1Sa 10:11 It happened, when all who knew him before saw that, behold, he prophesied with the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?
1Sa 10:12 One of the same place answered, Who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?
1Sa 10:13 When he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.
1Sa 10:14 Saul's uncle said to him and to his servant, Where did you go? He said, To seek the donkeys; and when we saw that they were not found, we came to Samuel.
1Sa 10:15 Saul's uncle said, Tell me, Please, what Samuel said to you.
1Sa 10:16 Saul said to his uncle, He told us plainly that the donkeys were found. But concerning the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel spoke, he didn't tell him.
1Sa 10:17 Samuel called the people together to Yahweh to Mizpah;
1Sa 10:18 and he said to the children of Israel, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all the kingdoms that oppressed you:
1Sa 10:19 but you have this day rejected your God, who himself saves you out of all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said to him, No, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before Yahweh by your tribes, and by your thousands.
1Sa 10:20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken.
1Sa 10:21 He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by their families; and the family of the Matrites was taken; and Saul the son of Kish was taken: but when they sought him, he could not be found.
1Sa 10:22 Therefore they asked of Yahweh further, Is there yet a man to come here? Yahweh answered, Behold, he has hid himself among the baggage.
1Sa 10:23 They ran and fetched him there; and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.
1Sa 10:24 Samuel said to all the people, "You see him whom Yahweh has chosen, that there is none like him among all the people?" All the people shouted, and said, Long live the king.
1Sa 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before Yahweh. Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.
1Sa 10:26 Saul also went to his house to Gibeah; and there went with him the army, whose hearts God had touched.

1Sa 10:27 But certain worthless fellows said, How shall this man save us? They despised him, and brought him no present. But he held his peace.

 Jun. 7, 8
John 12

Joh 12:1 Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Joh 12:2 So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him.
Joh 12:3 Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.
Joh 12:4 Then Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, one of his disciples, who would betray him, said,
Joh 12:5 "Why wasn't this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?"
Joh 12:6 Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it.
Joh 12:7 But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial.
Joh 12:8 For you always have the poor with you, but you don't always have me."
Joh 12:9 A large crowd therefore of the Jews learned that he was there, and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
Joh 12:10 But the chief priests conspired to put Lazarus to death also,
Joh 12:11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Joh 12:12 On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Joh 12:13 they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!"
Joh 12:14 Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written,
Joh 12:15 "Don't be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey's colt."
Joh 12:16 His disciples didn't understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him.
Joh 12:17 The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it.
Joh 12:18 For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign.
Joh 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him."
Joh 12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those that went up to worship at the feast.
Joh 12:21 These, therefore, came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we want to see Jesus."
Joh 12:22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn, Andrew came with Philip, and they told Jesus.
Joh 12:23 Jesus answered them, "The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Joh 12:24 Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Joh 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life.
Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Joh 12:27 "Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say? 'Father, save me from this time?' But for this cause I came to this time.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name!" Then there came a voice out of the sky, saying, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."
Joh 12:29 The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice hasn't come for my sake, but for your sakes.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
Joh 12:33 But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die.
Joh 12:34 The multitude answered him, "We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up?' Who is this Son of Man?"
Joh 12:35 Jesus therefore said to them, "Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn't overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn't know where he is going.
Joh 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light." Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them.
Joh 12:37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn't believe in him,
Joh 12:38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, "Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
Joh 12:39 For this cause they couldn't believe, for Isaiah said again,
Joh 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and would turn, and I would heal them."
Joh 12:41 Isaiah said these things when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.
Joh 12:42 Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn't confess it, so that they wouldn't be put out of the synagogue,
Joh 12:43 for they loved men's praise more than God's praise.
Joh 12:44 Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me.
Joh 12:45 He who sees me sees him who sent me.
Joh 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.
Joh 12:47 If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn't believe, I don't judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Joh 12:48 He who rejects me, and doesn't receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.
Joh 12:49 For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Joh 12:50 I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak."