"THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER" Peter's Perplexing Passage (3:18-20) by Mark Copeland


Peter's Perplexing Passage (3:18-20)


1. In 2Pe 3:15-16, Peter mentions that Paul wrote some things that
   were hard to understand

2. The same could be said about some of Peter's own writings,
   especially the passage in 1Pe 3:18-20

3. Considered by some to be one of the most difficult passages in the
   Bible, various and sometimes fanciful interpretations have been given

4. In a lesson designed to inform rather than exhort...
   a. We shall examine several of the interpretations that have been offered
   b. And suggest which one seems to be the right one (to me, at least)

[We shall examine five interpretations, in the chronological sequence
in which they have been offered...]


      1. That Christ went to Hades in His spirit between His death and
         His resurrection
      2. That He proclaimed the message of salvation to the souls of
         sinners imprisoned there since the flood

      1. This view would suggest that for some reason these souls were
         given a "second chance"
      2. Whereas the Bible consistently teaches against such an idea...
         a. "it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the
            judgment" - He 9:27
         b. Peter himself later wrote that the wicked souls before the
            flood were being "reserved... under punishment for the day
            of judgment" - 2Pe 2:4-5,9
      3. Why would people before the flood be given a second chance
         when those after the flood are not?


      1. That the "pre-existent" Christ in His spirit proclaimed
         salvation through Noah to the people who lived before the flood
         a. We know that Noah was "a preacher of righteousness" in his
            day - 2Pe 2:5
         b. We know that the Spirit of Christ was at work in O.T.
            prophets - 1Pe 1:10-11
      2. This view is held by many brethren today

      1. The wording of Peter would more naturally suggest that he is
         speaking of...
         a. The Christ who was "put to death in the flesh but made
            alive by the Spirit"
         b. I.e., the "crucified & resurrected" Christ, not the
            "pre-incarnate" Christ
      2. Also, the wording would more naturally suggest the preaching occurred...
         a. To the spirits "in prison", not before they were imprisoned
         b. When they "formerly were disobedient", not during their

[Augustine's view dominated the theological scene for centuries, but
then other views were presented...]


      1. That in His spirit Christ went to release the souls of the
         RIGHTEOUS who repented before the flood and had been kept in
      2. In Catholic theology, "limbo" is the place between heaven and
         hell, where the souls of the O.T. saints were kept

      1. The Bible is silent about a place such as "limbo"
      2. The "spirits" under discussion by Peter were "disobedient" in
         "the days of Noah"...
         a. According to Ge 6:5-13; 7:1, only Noah and his family
            were righteous
         b. If others had repented, would they not also have been on
            the ark?
      3. I.e., there were no righteous before the flood save Noah and
         his family!


      1. After His death and BEFORE His resurrection, Christ preached
         to "fallen angels", also known as "sons of God", who during
         Noah's time had married "daughters of men"
      2. This view is based upon a particular interpretation of
         Ge 6:1-4...
         a. Job 1:6; 2:1 is offered as evidence that angels are
            sometimes referred to as "sons of God"
         b. Jude 6, also, is offered as referring to "fallen angels"
            in the days of Noah
            1) Because it sounds very similar to references in a book
               called I Enoch
            2) Which expounds in detail the idea that the "sons of God"
               in Ge 6 were "fallen angels"
            3) And Jude seems to quote directly from this book in Ju 14,15
         c. Josephus, a Jewish historian born in 37 A.D., took a
            similar view of Ge 6
      3. This view is held by many Protestant scholars

      1. In responding to the Sadducees, Jesus taught that angels of
         God do not marry - Mt 22:30
      2. Of course, Jesus may have been referring to angels who "keep
         their proper domain", and do not leave "their own habitation"
         a. If righteous angels could temporarily take on human form to
            deliver God's message (as in the case described in Ge 18:
            1-8; 19:1-3) where they ate food...
         b. It might have been possible for "fallen angels" to take on
            human form and cohabitate as some believe Ge 6 suggests
      3. But it just as feasible to understand Ge 6 differently...
         a. That the "sons of God" were the descendants of Seth (i.e.,
            godly people), and the "daughters of men" were descendants
            of Cain (ungodly people)
         b. This view stays clear of speculation which can easily take
            on mythological proportions!

[We come to a fifth interpretation, one that I think has much to
commend for it...]


      1. That the resurrected Christ, WHEN HE ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN,
         proclaimed to imprisoned spirits his victory over death
      2. That the exalted Christ passed through the realm where the
         fallen angels are kept and proclaimed His triumph over them
         (Ep 6:12; Col 2:15 is offered as support for this view)
      3. This interpretation has met favorable response in both
         Protestant and Roman Catholic circles
      4. More importantly, this view is in beautiful harmony with
         Peter's wording and context...

      1. The preaching was made by Jesus Himself (not through Noah)
      2. The preaching was made by Jesus AFTER "being put to death in
         the flesh" (not in His pre-incarnate form)
      3. The preaching was made by Jesus AFTER He was "made alive by
         the Spirit" (i.e., after His resurrection, not during the
         three day period between death and resurrection)
      4. The preaching was made to "THE SPIRITS"
         a. Not to "the spirits of men" (which is how the souls or
            spirits of men are commonly referred to, notice He 12:23;
            Re 6:9; 20:4)
         b. But rather to "angelic spirits"
      5. The preaching was made to them "IN PRISON" (that there are
         angels so bound is clearly taught in 2Pe 2 and Jude)
      6. The preaching was made to them who were "FORMERLY DISOBEDIENT
         ...IN THE DAYS OF NOAH"
         a. This view does not require that the rebellious angels were
            the "sons of God" in Ge 6
         b. But simply were somehow disobedient at that time (as some
            were later during Christ's time)
      7. The preaching was a proclamation of victory over death, not an
         offer of a second chance to a select few!


1. As suggested, this last view is not only in harmony with the very
   words and grammatical constructions used by Peter, but it is harmony
   with the CONTEXT...
   a. Peter had been teaching us to be willing to suffer, if necessary,
      for doing good - 1Pe 3:17
   b. He appeals to the example of Christ - 1Pe 3:18a
   c. Who despite His suffering and death, was made alive, proclaimed
      victory to those spirits who had not been willing to submit to
      God in Noah's day, ascending to the right hand of God, over all
      angels and authorities! - 1Pe 3:18b-20, note especially v. 22
   d. In view of Jesus' triumph over suffering, we should be willing to
      do the same! - 1Pe 4:1

2. Admittedly, this passage is difficult, so one needs to be careful
   and not dogmatic in one's treatment of it

3. I hope that by presenting this survey of the various views it may
   serve helpful in drawing your own conclusions about "Peter's
   Perplexing Passage"

But one thing Peter mentions in this passage that is not perplexing is
his reference to baptism, and it's necessity for salvation (1Pe 3:21)...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Shrewbot’s Synthetic Whiskers Detect God by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Shrewbot’s Synthetic Whiskers Detect God

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Tiny shrews use their whiskers to locate prey and navigate.
The Etruscan pygmy shrew is a contender for the smallest mammal in the world. But its diminutive size does not detract from its amazing design. Since this little critter is blind, it must rely on its whiskers to navigate and find food. The whiskers of this tiny shrew are highly sensitive and extremely efficient. In fact, the shrew’s whiskers work so well that researchers have been studying them in an attempt to equip robots with similar technology.
Robotics experts from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory in England have been working on a new machine they call Shrewbot. Shrewbot is a small robot fitted with synthetic whiskers that mimic those of the Etruscan shew (Moon, 2012). The primary advantage of this “touchy” technology is that the bot does not rely on vision. Researchers suggest that the sense of touch will enable the bot to explore “dark, dangerous or smoke filled environments” (2012).
When scientists copy designs in nature, it is called biomimicry. At Apologetics Press, we have written several articles about this field of research (see Biomimicry). Each new instance of this practice underscores the intelligent design within the natural world. The implication is simple. If brilliant scientists find complex, proficient designs in nature that are more efficient than any man-made designs, then the Designer of the natural world must be more intelligent than any human designer. It is ironic that one of the world’s smallest mammals provides such a “big” piece of evidence for the existence of God—the Intelligent Designer.


Biomimicry, /APContent.aspx?category=12&topic=66.
Moon, Mariella (2012), “How the Etruscan Pygmy Shrew Inspired a Bewhiskered Disaster Relief Robot,” http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/etruscan-pygmy-shrew-inspired-bewhiskered-disaster-relief-robot-154004920.html.

Seeing the Designer in Shrimp Vision by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Seeing the Designer in Shrimp Vision

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Humans have amazing eyesight. In fact, many camera companies have looked to the eye in an effort to glean useful information in developing better photographic and video technology. As effective as the human eye is, however, there are certain things it cannot do. One of those is to detect ultraviolet light. But researchers have recently discovered a creature with the amazing ability to detect ultraviolet light—the mantis shrimp.
Mantis shrimp are some of the most interesting creatures in the water. They have extremely powerful claws and lightening fast reflexes. But their ability to see ultraviolet light makes their eyesight one of the most remarkable abilities in the animal kingdom. Michael Bok, one of the researchers studying mantis shrimp vision stated: “The overall construction of the mantis shrimp’s visual system is just so unbelievably ridiculous, so this is just another piece of that tapestry” (Pappas, 2014). What makes their vision “unbelievably ridiculous” is that they have 12 photoreceptors in their eyes, while humans only have three (2014). Another interesting element to their vision is that the shrimp uses amino acids that act as sunscreen in their eyes to help them see ultraviolet light.
The design behind mantis shrimp vision, according to those doing the work on it, is “unbelievably ridiculous,” meaning of course that it is so advanced that it takes a team of researchers just to try to understand it, much less figure out a way to copy the technology. Those who contend that the mantis shrimp is a product of evolutionary changes that have taken place over millions of years cannot explain how such advanced capabilities could reside in the shrimp. No amount of mindless tinkering could produce such highly sensitive instruments as mantis shrimp eyes.
The most reasonable explanation for mantis shrimp vision is that an intelligent Creator, Who sees all things (including ultraviolet light), designed the shrimp and its complex eye. When brilliant human researchers come away from such “technology” in awe of the abilities of mantis shrimp vision, the obvious conclusion to draw is that the Designer of such vision possesses an intelligence far superior to that of the humans involved in the research. When the Proverbs writer stated: “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them” (Proverbs 20:12), that would certainly include a “seeing eye” that uses amino acids as sunscreen and 12 photoreceptors to see light that humans cannot.


Pappas, Stephanie (2014), “Natural Sunscreen Explains Mantis Shrimp’s Amazing UV Vision,” LiveSciencehttp://news.yahoo.com/natural-sunscreen-explains-mantis-shrimps-amazing-uv-vision-200152964.html.

Seeing is Believing: The Design of the Human Eye by Taylor Richardson


Seeing is Believing: The Design of the Human Eye

by Taylor Richardson

If one of your friends asked you, “How do you know God exists?,” what would you say? There are many different ways to prove God’s existence, because God has given us so much evidence. Sometimes we find that evidence in things we see in the Universe, for example, the Sun. The Sun is like a giant nuclear engine. It gives off more energy in a single second than mankind has produced since the Creation. It converts 8 million tons of matter into energy every single second, and has an interior temperature of more than 20 million degrees Celsius (see Lawton, 1981). Sometimes we find evidence in the animal kingdom. Take the golden orb spider for instance. Pound for pound, the dragline silk of this spider is five times stronger than steel, and is twice as strong as the material that currently makes up SWAT teams’ bulletproof vests. In fact, due to its amazing strength and elasticity, it has been said that you could trap a jumbo jet with spider silk that is the thickness of a pencil.
And sometimes the evidence for God’s existence can even be found within our own bodies. The writer of the book of Hebrews spoke about this evidence when he said: “For every house is built by someone, but he who built all things is God” (3:4).
One of the best examples of design within the human body is the eye. Even Charles Darwin struggled with the problem of how to explain how such a complex organ as the eye could have “evolved” through naturalistic processes. In The Origin of Species he wrote:
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest sense (1859, p. 170, emp. added).
But even though Darwin acknowledged that the eye could not have evolved, he went on to argue that it had, in fact, been produced by natural selection through an evolutionary process. It seems almost as though Darwin could not seem to make up his mind on the matter. But he is not the only one who has struggled to explain, from a naturalistic viewpoint, the intricacy of the eye. Evolutionist Robert Jastrow once wrote:
The eye is a marvelous instrument, resembling a telescope of the highest quality, with a lens, an adjustable focus, a variable diaphragm for controlling the amount of light, and optical corrections for spherical and chromatic aberration. The eye appears to have been designed; no designer of telescopes could have done better. How could this marvelous instrument have evolved by chance, through a succession of random events? (1981, pp. 96-97, emp. added).
How indeed? Though Dr. Jastrow argued that “the fact of evolution is not in doubt,” he confessed that “…there seems to be no direct proof that evolution can work these miracles.… It is hard to accept the evolution of the eye as a product of chance” (1981, pp. 101,97,98, emp. added). Considering the extreme complexity of the eye, it is easy to understand why Jastrow would make such a comment. In his book, Does God Believe in Atheists?, John Blanchard described just how complex the eye really is.
The human eye is a truly amazing phenomenon. Although accounting for just one fourth-thousandth of an adult’s weight, it is the medium which processes some 80% of the information received by its owner from the outside world. The tiny retina contains about 130 million rod-shaped cells, which detect light intensity and transmit impulses to the visual cortex of the brain by means of some one million nerve fibres, while nearly six million cone-shaped cells do the same job, but respond specifically to colour variation. The eyes can handle 500,00 messages simultaneously, and are kept clear by ducts producing just the right amount of fluid with which the lids clean both eyes simultaneously in one five-thousandth of a second (2000, p. 313).
Statements like this proves that the eye was so well designed, and so complicated, that it could not have happened by accident, as evolution teaches.


The anatomy of the eye was first examined and recorded at Alexandria, Egypt, in the first century A.D. An anatomist, Rufus of Ephesus, described the main parts of the eye, which included the dome-like cornea at the front, the colored iris, the lens, and the vitreous humor (which gives the eye its shiny look). Today, thanks to microscopes, we now know that these, along with many other parts of the eye, work in harmony to produce the gift of sight.
Diagram of the Human Eye
The outer white layer of the eye is called the sclera, more commonly known as the “white of the eye.” This layer is an extremely durable, fibrous tissue that extends from the cornea (the clear front section of the eye) to the optic nerve (at the back of the eye). Six tiny muscles (known as the extraocular muscles, or EOMs) connect to the sclera around the eye and control the eye’s movements. Four of the muscles (known as the rectus muscles) control the horizontal and vertical movement, while two (the oblique muscles) control the rotation. All six muscles work together so that the eye moves smoothly.
The inside of the eye can be divided functionally into two distinct parts. The first is the physical “dioptric” mechanism (from the Greek word dioptra, meaning something through which one looks), which handles incoming light. This includes the cornea, iris, and lens. The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped window (about eleven millimeters in diameter) that covers the front of the eye. Its most important function is to protect the delicate components of the eye against damage by foreign bodies. Thus, the cornea acts like a watch face, in that it lets us look through the “window” of our eye while protecting the internal components from debris and harmful chemicals. The cornea also takes care of most of the refraction (the ability of the eye to change the direction of light in order to focus it on the retina) and works with the lens to help focus items seen at varying distances as it changes its curvature. The iris and the pupil work together to let in just the right amount of light. There are two opposing sets of muscles that regulate the size of the aperture (the opening, or the pupil) according to the brightness or dimness of the incoming light. If the light is bright, the iris constricts, allowing little light to pass; but if it is dark, the iris dilates or expands, allowing more light to pass through. The light (or image) then moves through a lens that has the ability to adjust its shape to help it clarify the image by changing the focal length of the lens between 40.4 and 69.9 millimeters where it is then focused (in an inverted form) on to the retina.
Between the lens and the retina is a transparent substance (the vitreous fluid) that fills the center of the eye. This substance is important because it not only gives the eye its spherical shape, but also provides nutrition for the retinal vessels inside the eye. In children, the vitreous feels like a gel, but as we age, it gradually thins and becomes more of a liquid.
The second is the receptor area of the retina where the light triggers processes in the nerve cells. The retina plays a key role in visual perception. In his book, The Wonder of Man, Werner Gitt explains how the retina is a masterpiece of engineering design.
One single square millimetre of the retina contains approximately 400,000 optical sensors. To get some idea of such a large number, imagine a sphere, on the surface of which circles are drawn, the size of tennis balls. These circles are separated from each other by the same distance as their diameter. In order to accommodate 400,000 such circles, the sphere must have a diameter of 52 metres... (1999, p. 15).
Alan L. Gillen also praised the design of the retina in his book, Body by Design.
The most amazing component of the eye is the “film,” which is the retina. This light-sensitive layer at the back of the eyeball is thinner than a sheet of plastic wrap and is more sensitive to light than any man-made film. The best camera film can handle a ratio of 1000-to-1 photons in terms of light intensity. By comparison, human retinal cells can handle a ratio of 10 billion-to-1 over the dynamic range of light wavelengths of 380 to 750 nanometers. The human eye can sense as little as a single photon of light in the dark! In bright daylight, the retina can bleach out, turning its “volume control” way down so as not to overload. The light-sensitive cells of the retina are like an extremely complex high-gain amplifier that is able to magnify sounds more than one million times (2001, pp. 97-98, emp. added).
Without a doubt, this thin (only 0.2 mm) layer of nerve tissue is a marvel of engineering. It contains photoreceptor (light-sensitive) cells and four types of nerve cells, as well as structural cells and epithelial pigment cells. The two kinds of photoreceptor cells are referred to as rods and cones because of their shape. Each eye has about 130 million rods and 7 million cones. The rods are very sensitive to light (whether it is bright or dim), and allow the eye to see in black and white. Cones, on the other hand, are not as sensitive as rods, and function only optimally in daylight. There are three different types of cones—red light, green light, and blue light—each of which is sensitive to its respective color of light, and which allow the eye to see in full color. The rods and cones convert the different lights into chemical signals, which then travel along the optic nerve to the brain.
Not only are the images produced by the dioptric mechanism miniaturized and upside-down, but it turns out that they also are left-right inverted. The optic nerves from both eyes split up and cross each other in such a way that the left halves of the images of both eyes are received by the right hemisphere of the brain, while the right halves are received by the left. Each half of the observer’s brain receives information from only one half of the image. As Gitt went on to explain, “Note that, although the brain processes the different parts of the image in various remote locations, the two halves of the field of vision are seamlessly reunited, without any trace of a joint—amazing! This process is still far from being fully understood” (p. 17). It is hard to believe that this inverted system of sight could have been produced through evolution.
Since the eyes are one of the most important organs in the body, they must be taken care of constantly. And God designed just such a built-in cleaning system, consisting of the eyelashes, eyelids, and lacrimal glands. The lacrimal glands produce a steady flow of tears that flush away dust and other foreign materials. The tears also contain a potent anti-microbial agent known as lysozyme that destroys bacteria, viruses, etc. The eyelids and eyelashes work together to keep dirt and other debris from entering the eye. The eyelids act like windshield wipers, blinking 3-6 times a minute to moisten and clean the eye.
For many years, scientists have compared the eye to the modern manmade camera (see Miller, 1960, p. 315; Nourse, 1964, p. 154; Gardener, 1994, p. 105). True, the eye and camera do have many things in common, if the function of the camera demands that it was “made,” does it not stand to reason that the more complex human camera, the eye, also must have had a Maker? Alan Gillen explained it best when he wrote: “No human camera, artificial device, nor computer-enhanced light-sensitive device can match the contrivance of the human eye. Only a master engineer with superior intelligence could manufacture a series of interdependent light sensitive parts and reactions” (p. 99, emp. added). That master engineer was God. The writer of Proverbs knew this when he wrote, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both” (20:12).


Blanchard, John (2000), Does God Believe in Atheists? (Auburn, MA: Evangelical Press).
Darwin, Charles (1859), On the Origin of Species (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; a facsimile of the first edition).
Gardner, Lynn (1994), Christianity Stands True (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Gillen, Alan L. (2001), Body by Design (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Gitt, Werner (1999), The Wonder of Man (Bielefeld, Germany: Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung E.V.).
Jastrow, Robert (1981), The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (New York: Simon and Schuster).
Lawton, April (1981), “From Here to Infinity,” Science Digest, 89[1]:98-105, January/February.
Miller, Benjamin and Goode, Ruth (1960), Man and His Body (New York: Simon and Schuster).
Nourse, Alan E., ed. (1964), The Body (New York: Time, Inc.).

Teachings of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke (Part 3 When Jesus called Levi) by Ben Fronczek


Teachings of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke (Part 3 When Jesus called Levi)

After Jesus left His home town of Nazareth and after being rejected there we read about Him continuing on with His ministry of preaching and healing in the 2nd half of Luke 4 and 5.
We also read that He began to call certain disciples to follow Him. He tells some fisherman including Simon Peter that they now become fishers of men in 5:10.
I’m sure many in the religious community of His time were surprised and even frowned on His choice of companions as well as the company He kept. These guys probably had at best the basic religious education one would receive as a child yet Jesus chose them over the religious elite of His time.
And then in Luke 5:27 and following the Jews were probably even more shocked at His next choice.
Read 5:27-32 “ Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Tax collectors were NOT well liked back then. Their job was to collect taxes for Rome, the hated conquering occupiers of their homeland.
These collectors of the Roman tax made their living by taking a little extra off the top for themselves. And if they thought you could give a “little” extra – well, so much the better. There was not court of appeals. Whatever these men said you had to pay – you paid – you had no choice. The Jews therefore hated these tax collectors and viewed them not much better than prostitutes. Even the Romans really didn’t like them. Nobody seem to like these guys.
And, I suspect, when Jesus found him, Levi was tired of it all.  Tired of being rejected and turned away. Tired of being hated and spat upon. I can picture him being a sad and lonely man who just wanted out – but he didn’t know how. He didn’t know how to change WHO he was and WHAT he was. And even if he did, nobody would let him forget what he had been, and how he’d made his living.
But Jesus didn’t care what Levi had BEEN. He only cared about what Levi had the potential to BE. Jesus not only has the audacity to associate with this man, He even goes as far as to call him to become one of his disciples and follow Him.
The grammatical tense of Jesus request indicates that He wanted Levi to come and follow Him not just for a moment but rather constantly, even permanently. And Levi responds by getting up and following Him.
The next thing we see in the text is that Levi throws a party and a feast at His home in home in honor of Jesus. Rather than feeling sorry about what he was leaving behind, the good paying job for a life of sacrificial, Levi wanted to party because he was obviously very happy. And Jesus and His disciple stayed and enjoyed the festivities.
.And, of course, Levi invites a number of his friends – and of course his friends were other tax collectors. They too were also despised by the community. There were probably other socially undesirables present as well base on comments made by the Pharisees and teachers in the following verses. The probably wondered, ‘How could this teacher, this Rabbi, possibly associate with such despicable people?’
And so Jesus responds by telling them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
A medical doctor is not much of a doctor if he only sees healthy fit people.     If a Doctor wants to be a true healer he needs to work with sick people like these Jews… And I guess a savior would not be much of a savior if he only spent time with people who already thought they were righteous church people.
I can see a couple of lesson here from this text so far. #1. We are to be careful not to write off anyone when it comes to turning to Jesus. We don’t know where people really are and what’s going on in their life. They may have been scoundrels and they may have done some bad things in their past but they also may be ready for a change, a new and improved life lie Levi. Some of us have pretty shoddy backgrounds as well. We also need to see people for what they can become and not always for who they were and what they did in the past.
Verse 27 says that Jesus saw Levi, a better translation for the Greek word saw is observed, or look attentively at him. Maybe after taking some time to really observe and study this guy maybe Jesus saw how unhappy he really was. Maybe he took the time to see how much he was ready for a change. And maybe we need to do the same and open our eyes and really look at what going on in another person’s life before we make judgments about them.
#2. Jesus was no stick in the mud. He apparently liked to have a good time and party and have fun and probably have a few laughs. The Pharisees and teacher seem to be appalled at His behavior.
Look at what the Pharisees ask Jesus in Verse 33ff
“They said to him, “John’s disciples1 often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.”
And so Jesus answered by saying, “Can you make the guests of the bridegroom2 fast while he is with them?  But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them;3 in those days they will fast.”
All that those Pharisees could do was find something wrong to complain about. They did not even really know who was standing before them..
Isn’t it sad that so many people are like that. They could be standing in the presence of God Himself or be surrounded by all kinds of blessing in their life, but all they can do is complain about this or that and even look down on others and find something to complain about them.
Those men even ignored the fact that it was quite possible that some of those tax collectors and other sinners enjoying that party may have made a decision to change from their life of sin.
#3. A lot of us seem to have forgotten how to enjoy our Christian life. We work and go to church, work and go to church. What do we do to enjoy our self. And what about having fun with our brothers and sisters, having dinner parties or picnics, having a few laughs together. It is so rare today.               No wonder so many churches are losing young people and can’t attract new people if all we do is act holy and stoic like those Pharisees and never have any fun. I think we need to loosen up a bit, find ways to enjoy life and have a few laughs together, and maybe then we will attract more outsiders like Jesus did that day.
Maybe we all have it backwards. The big thing we try to do is invite someone to Bible Study, Church service or may even a pot-luck meal after they have to sit thru a service and we wonder why people don’t come flocking in and come back for more each week. Levi called his friends and said come on over for a feast and a party at my home and people came. They had some good food, and wine, they probably had a few laughs and I sure Jesus probably made a few more friends that day. There might be a lesson in this for us today.
But as we’ve read, there Pharisees didn’t like the way Jesus did things.
Jesus goes on and tells them two similar parables in verse 36-39 saying, “No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old.”                                                                              
Can you just imagine tearing a piece of material out a new shirt to patch a hole in the elbow of an old worn out shirt? He continues on by saying…
37 “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.
I believe what Jesus was telling them was sometime you have to get rid of that which is old and worn out and replace it with that which is new. Some things are just not worth fixing. Like the way those legalistic Jews had been doing things had run it course and Jesus was ushering in something completely new. People hence forth would be saved by the grace of God, by their faith and trusting in Him as their Savior, not by adhering to their rules and regulations of the Pharisees and then pretending to be holy.
He concludes by saying, 39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, ‘The old is better.’ “
Back then old wine turned sour, it began to turn to vinegar. He was saying that despite the fact that it was turning sour some simply choose not to partake of the tasty sweet new wine because the old wine is what they were use to. And as a matter of fact they felt that it was better because that’s what they are use to.
Some say that there was a touch of humor there in Jesus’ illustration.            It would be like saying, ‘I like using a washboard to wash my clothes on instead of one of those fancy new washer machines. I like my washboard, it’s better than a washing machine because that’s what I’m use to.’
Jesus was letting these critical Jews know that they were the one’s who were drinking the old sour wine and probably smiling as He told them that they prefer it because that’s what they were use to.
They couldn’t seem to accept anything that the Lord Himself was doing because it was different than what they were doing. They were in that much of a rut; keeping that law and all those rules and regulation for the sake of religion, and unfortunately overlooking the need to show love and mercy and the need to reach out to others with that love lie Jesus did to Levi.
And here lies our final lesson for this text today. #4. We have to be careful not to get in that same rut where we are more concerned about keeping rules and regulations and what we do at church rather that observing people and really paying attention to where they are. It should be more about at being willing to show them love and mercy as Jesus did that day rather that shaking a finger that folks because they aren’t doing what we are doing.
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com

Is God’s word written on your heart? by Roy Davison


Is God’s word written on your heart?

Because God’s laws are for our good (Deuteronomy 10:13) we need to write them on our heart. A Bible on our bookshelf is not enough, or even in the memory of our phone. To guide us spiritually, God’s word must be in our heart.

What does it mean to have God’s word in your heart?
God’s word dwells within you and is the guiding force of your life: you know it, understand it, respect it, love it and practice it willingly.

Old Covenant people were to have God’s word in their heart.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). To do this we must know God’s word.
“You shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul” (Deuteronomy 11:18). We store valuable data carefully. Do we store God’s word in our heart and soul?
“For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). If God’s word is in our heart, it will also be in our mouth. What does a football fan talk about? Football! Someone with God’s word in his heart, speaks about God’s word.
“The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice. The law of his God is in his heart” (Psalm 37:30, 31).
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11). When God’s word is in our heart, we know what pleases and displeases Him, and we want to please Him.
“My son, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you. Keep my commands and live, and my law as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:1-3).
God’s people were told repeatedly to write His word on their heart, but most did not do so.

Few under the Old Covenant had God’s law in their heart.
Although God sent prophets to call them to repentance, although the faithful encouraged their unfaithful brethren to know the Lord, few of the physical descendants of Jacob had God’s law in their hearts.
Thus God proclaimed: “‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,’ says the LORD. ‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,” for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ says the LORD. ‘For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more’” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

New Covenant people have God’s law in their heart. 
This prophesy was fulfilled by Jesus Christ who came to bring God’s New Covenant for the whole world, founded on personal faith rather than physical descent, and to be the true sacrifice for sin: “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,’ then He adds, ‘Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more’” (Hebrews 10:14-17). [See also Hebrews 8:10-12.]
Christ had God’s law in His heart: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the Book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart’” (Psalm 40:7, 8).
Because Jesus was sinless, He was qualified to bear the punishment for our sins, and to replace the Old Covenant with the New: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Under the New Covenant, by definition, God’s people consist of those who have God’s law in their heart: “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’ But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?”’ (that is, to bring Christ down from above) or, ‘“Who will descend into the abyss?”’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach)” (Romans 10:4-8).

How can we have God’s law in our heart?
We must prepare our hearts to receive the word. In the parable of the sower, God’s word bears fruit only in good and noble hearts (Luke 8:15).
Of King Rehoboam it is said: “And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD” (2 Chronicles 12:14).
Ezra, on the other hand, “had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it” (Ezra 7:10). 
Our hearts must be receptive. God told Ezekiel: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears” (Ezekiel 3:10).
The word of God must be received: “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). 
It is not enough to attend religious services each Sunday. The law of God must be written on our hearts. Paul told the believers at Corinth that they were a letter of Christ, “written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:2, 3). 
When God’s law is written on our hearts, it permeates our whole being: it influences our thoughts, words and actions.

Bad things may not be written on our heart.
Our degenerate society is always ready to write its godless opinions and materialistic principles on our hearts. How is this done? Mainly through the media, schools and social contacts.
To have God’s law written on our hearts, bad influences must be avoided and resisted. We must be careful what we read, what we watch, what we listen to. We must be careful who our friends are: “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV).
We must also be careful who our virtual friends are. People in films can easily influence the way we think and feel. Even the “good guys” are often rather bad. Much of this evil influence is insidious. Immorality, for example, is presented on television, in films and at school as normal, acceptable behavior, and is falsely portrayed as having no bad consequences. This is inspired by the devil. 
What if someone rang your doorbell each evening, came in and spent the whole evening in your home using worldly language and showing indecent pictures to your children?
As a Christian, would you not show him the door and tell him he was not welcome? Yet, many Christians welcome such a visitor into their home each day. His initials are T.V.
The Internet is also an enticing source of evil influence.
“Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27). If we eat garbage, we get sick. If we fill our mind with garbage, we will have a sick mind. If we look at pornography, we will develop a pornographic mind. If we fill our heart with vanity, our life will be in vain.
On the other hand, if we fill our hearts with the word of God, we will be healthy and strong spiritually. Let us rededicate our hearts to God.

Time is required to write God’s word on our heart.
If God’s word is in our heart it will also be at the heart of our day. We must redeem the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5). This means that we must spend our time profitably.
Most of our day is unavoidably occupied with routine chores. Only a small part can be spent any way we wish. How do we use this prime time? Absorbing God’s word? Or do we waste it in self-indulgence?
To allow God to write His word on our hearts we must attend services and Bible studies regularly. We need to read the Bible or listen to Bible recordings each day. If our daily schedule does not allow this, maybe we ought to rearrange our schedule. We might also dedicate larger blocks of time on certain days to taking God’s word into our hearts. 

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16).
May the word of God permeate our hearts to provide spiritual guidance for our lives. May God’s word be in our conversation. Let us teach His word to our children, talk of it when we are at home, when we ride in the car, when we lie down, and when we rise up. Let us write the commands of God on the tablet of our heart. Only then may we call ourselves the people of God. Amen.
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading June 7-9 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading June 7, 8

World  English  Bible

June 7
1 Samuel 7, 8

1Sa 7:1 The men of Kiriath Jearim came, and fetched up the ark of Yahweh, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Yahweh.
1Sa 7:2 It happened, from the day that the ark abode in Kiriath Jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after Yahweh.
1Sa 7:3 Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If you do return to Yahweh with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you, and direct your hearts to Yahweh, and serve him only; and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 7:4 Then the children of Israel did put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and served Yahweh only.
1Sa 7:5 Samuel said, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray for you to Yahweh."
1Sa 7:6 They gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Yahweh, and fasted on that day, and said there, "We have sinned against Yahweh." Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah.
1Sa 7:7 When the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
1Sa 7:8 The children of Israel said to Samuel, "Don't cease to cry to Yahweh our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines."
1Sa 7:9 Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Yahweh: and Samuel cried to Yahweh for Israel; and Yahweh answered him.
1Sa 7:10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel; but Yahweh thundered with a great thunder on that day on the Philistines, and confused them; and they were struck down before Israel.
1Sa 7:11 The men of Israel went out of Mizpah, and pursued the Philistines, and struck them, until they came under Beth Kar.
1Sa 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto has Yahweh helped us.
1Sa 7:13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more within the border of Israel: and the hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
1Sa 7:14 The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and its border did Israel deliver out of the hand of the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
1Sa 7:15 Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
1Sa 7:16 He went from year to year in circuit to Bethel and Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all those places.
1Sa 7:17 His return was to Ramah, for there was his house; and there he judged Israel: and he built there an altar to Yahweh.

1Sa 8:1 It happened, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
1Sa 8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abijah: they were judges in Beersheba.
1Sa 8:3 His sons didn't walk in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted justice.
1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel to Ramah;
1Sa 8:5 and they said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons don't walk in your ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
1Sa 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. Samuel prayed to Yahweh.
1Sa 8:7 Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them.
1Sa 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also to you.
1Sa 8:9 Now therefore listen to their voice: however you shall protest solemnly to them, and shall show them the manner of the king who shall reign over them.
1Sa 8:10 Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked of him a king.
1Sa 8:11 He said, This will be the manner of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them to him, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and they shall run before his chariots;
1Sa 8:12 and he will appoint them to him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and he will set some to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots.
1Sa 8:13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
1Sa 8:14 He will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive groves, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
1Sa 8:15 He will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
1Sa 8:16 He will take your male servants, and your female servants, and your best young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.
1Sa 8:17 He will take the tenth of your flocks: and you shall be his servants.
1Sa 8:18 You shall cry out in that day because of your king whom you shall have chosen you; and Yahweh will not answer you in that day.
1Sa 8:19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, No: but we will have a king over us,
1Sa 8:20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
1Sa 8:21 Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of Yahweh.
1Sa 8:22 Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to their voice, and make them a king. Samuel said to the men of Israel, Every man go to his city.

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.

June 9
1 Samuel 11, 12

1Sa 11:1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh Gilead: and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.
1Sa 11:2 Nahash the Ammonite said to them, On this condition will I make it with you, that all your right eyes be put out; and I will lay it for a reproach on all Israel.
1Sa 11:3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, Give us seven days' respite, that we may send messengers to all the borders of Israel; and then, if there be none to save us, we will come out to you.
1Sa 11:4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and spoke these words in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voice, and wept.
1Sa 11:5 Behold, Saul came following the oxen out of the field; and Saul said, What ails the people that they weep? They told him the words of the men of Jabesh.
1Sa 11:6 The Spirit of God came mightily on Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly.
1Sa 11:7 He took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, Whoever doesn't come forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen. The dread of Yahweh fell on the people, and they came out as one man.
1Sa 11:8 He numbered them in Bezek; and the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.
1Sa 11:9 They said to the messengers who came, Thus you shall tell the men of Jabesh Gilead, Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance. The messengers came and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.
1Sa 11:10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you shall do with us all that seems good to you.
1Sa 11:11 It was so on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and struck the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it happened, that those who remained were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
1Sa 11:12 The people said to Samuel, Who is he who said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.
1Sa 11:13 Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day; for today Yahweh has worked deliverance in Israel.
1Sa 11:14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.
1Sa 11:15 All the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before Yahweh in Gilgal; and there they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Yahweh; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

1Sa 12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you.
1Sa 12:2 Now, behold, the king walks before you; and I am old and gray-headed; and behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my youth to this day.
1Sa 12:3 Here I am: witness against me before Yahweh, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose donkey have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I taken a ransom to blind my eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.
1Sa 12:4 They said, You have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything of any man's hand.
1Sa 12:5 He said to them, Yahweh is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand. They said, He is witness.
1Sa 12:6 Samuel said to the people, It is Yahweh who appointed Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.
1Sa 12:7 Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before Yahweh concerning all the righteous acts of Yahweh, which he did to you and to your fathers.
1Sa 12:8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried to Yahweh, then Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them to dwell in this place.
1Sa 12:9 But they forgot Yahweh their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.
1Sa 12:10 They cried to Yahweh, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken Yahweh, and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.
1Sa 12:11 Yahweh sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety.
1Sa 12:12 When you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, No, but a king shall reign over us; when Yahweh your God was your king.
1Sa 12:13 Now therefore see the king whom you have chosen, and whom you have asked for: and behold, Yahweh has set a king over you.
1Sa 12:14 If you will fear Yahweh, and serve him, and listen to his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, and both you and also the king who reigns over you are followers of Yahweh your God, well:
1Sa 12:15 but if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh, but rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then will the hand of Yahweh be against you, as it was against your fathers.
1Sa 12:16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which Yahweh will do before your eyes.
1Sa 12:17 Isn't it wheat harvest today? I will call to Yahweh, that he may send thunder and rain; and you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of Yahweh, in asking for a king.
1Sa 12:18 So Samuel called to Yahweh; and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel.
1Sa 12:19 All the people said to Samuel, Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God, that we not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.
1Sa 12:20 Samuel said to the people, "Don't be afraid; you have indeed done all this evil; yet don't turn aside from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart:
1Sa 12:21 and don't turn aside; for then would you go after vain things which can't profit nor deliver, for they are vain.
1Sa 12:22 For Yahweh will not forsake his people for his great name's sake, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you a people to himself.
1Sa 12:23 Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh in ceasing to pray for you: but I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
1Sa 12:24 Only fear Yahweh, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he has done for you.

1Sa 12:25 But if you shall still do wickedly, you shall be consumed, both you and your king." 

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."

Jun. 9, 10
John 13

Joh 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
Joh 13:2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,
Joh 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and was going to God,
Joh 13:4 arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
Joh 13:5 Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Joh 13:6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?"
Joh 13:7 Jesus answered him, "You don't know what I am doing now, but you will understand later."
Joh 13:8 Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I don't wash you, you have no part with me."
Joh 13:9 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
Joh 13:10 Jesus said to him, "Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you."
Joh 13:11 For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, "You are not all clean."
Joh 13:12 So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
Joh 13:13 You call me, 'Teacher' and 'Lord.' You say so correctly, for so I am.
Joh 13:14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
Joh 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.
Joh 13:16 Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him.
Joh 13:17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Joh 13:18 I don't speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.'
Joh 13:19 From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am he.
Joh 13:20 Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me."
Joh 13:21 When Jesus had said this, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, "Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me."
Joh 13:22 The disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke.
Joh 13:23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was at the table, leaning against Jesus' breast.
Joh 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him, "Tell us who it is of whom he speaks."
Joh 13:25 He, leaning back, as he was, on Jesus' breast, asked him, "Lord, who is it?"
Joh 13:26 Jesus therefore answered, "It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
Joh 13:27 After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."
Joh 13:28 Now no man at the table knew why he said this to him.
Joh 13:29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus said to him, "Buy what things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.
Joh 13:30 Therefore, having received that morsel, he went out immediately. It was night.
Joh 13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.
Joh 13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately.
Joh 13:33 Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you can't come,' so now I tell you.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Joh 13:36 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you can't follow now, but you will follow afterwards."
Joh 13:37 Peter said to him, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."

Joh 13:38 Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for me? Most certainly I tell you, the rooster won't crow until you have denied me three times.