"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Responding To Evil (5:38-42) by Mark Copeland


Responding To Evil (5:38-42)


1. When someone treats you wrong, how do you respond?
   a. Do you react in kind, treating evil with evil?
   b. Do you just stand there and take whatever abuse is given?
   -- What is the proper way to respond to evil?

2. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus taught concerning the righteousness of 
the kingdom... a. He did so by contrasting it with the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees 1) Noting how the Law had often been interpreted and applied 2) Declaring what He expected of His disciples b. We have seen Jesus contrast this righteousness in such matters as: 1) Murder and anger - Mt 5:21-26 2) Adultery - Mt 5:27-30 3) Divorce - Mt 5:31-32 4) Swearing Oaths - Mt 5:33-37 [In this lesson, we shall look at what Jesus taught concerning "vengeance" (Mt 5:38-42) as we discuss "Responding To Evil". First,let's compare...] I. THE LAW OF MOSES AND THE TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION A. CONCERNING "AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH"... 1. It is found in Exo 21:24-25 2. A parallel passage is Deut 19:21 B. THESE STATEMENTS WERE LAWS FOR CIVIL COURTS TO APPLY... 1. Notice carefully Deut 19:15-21; Exo 21:22-23 2. They were given to guide the priests in meriting out proper punishment C. WHAT THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES HAD DONE... 1. Interpreted these statements so as to justify personal retribution! 2. Applied them by frequently taking matters of revenge into their own hands -- Just as many people do today! D. THE LAW REPEATEDLY FORBAD "PERSONAL" VENGEANCE... 1. Consider Lev 19:18; Pr 20:22; 24:29 2. In both Old Testament and New Testaments, the matter of vengeance was to be left up to God and His duly appointed agent: civil government! - cf. Ro 12:19; 13:1-4 [There really is no difference between the Law and what we find in the New Testament in this regard: Personal vengeance has no place in the lives of those who are the children of God! Now let's examine more closely...] II. THE PROPER RESPONSE TO EVIL A. JESUS PROCLAIMED TWO PRINCIPLES... 1. Do not resist an evil person (39a) a. Not only should you not take vengeance into your own hands... b. But don't even oppose (resist) the evil person when the evil is being done! 2. Respond to evil by doing good! (39b-42) a. Jesus illustrates this principle with several examples... 1) Responding to physical abuse (39b) a) "Turn the other cheek" b) This may refer to offering the other cheek as an expression of love 2) Responding to a civil suit, by giving more than what the person is
suing! (40) 3) Responding to government oppression, by offering to do more than what is being demanded of you! (41) 4) Responding to those asking for help, by giving them what they ask! (42) b. In each case, the principle is the same 1) We are not to resist the person... a) Who would mistreat us b) Who would try to deprive us of our possessions 2) Instead, respond in a positive manner... a) Demonstrate love towards them b) Do so by freely giving them more than they were hoping to gain by force, oppression, or manipulation! B. IS THIS TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY? 1. Why not? a. We have several O.T. examples... 1) Joseph, in forgiving his brothers - Gen 45:4-15 2) David, in sparing the life of Saul - 1Sa 24:8-15 3) Elisha, in feeding the army of the Arameans - 2Ki 6:8-23 b. We also have several N.T. examples... 1) Jesus, our prime example - 1Pe 2:20-23 2) Stephen, when he was being stoned - Ac 7:59-60 3) The Hebrew Christians, who "joyfully accepted" the plundering of their goods - He 10:32-34 c. We have the clear teaching of Paul in Ro 12:19-21... 1) We are not to avenge ourselves 2) We must seek to overcome evil with good 2. If not, then how do we apply these words of Jesus? a. What does Jesus mean? b. Give some examples of how to apply these teachings... ??? C. ARE WE TO APPLY IT "UNCONDITIONALLY"? 1. I.e., must we decide who is "worthy" to receive this kind of treatment? a. Jesus does not give us any indication that we are to use "discretion" b. Paul does give some qualifying instructions (e.g., 2 Th 3:10)... 1) But it applies to those who are Christians 2) And we have a responsibility to "judge" those in the church, leaving those outside to God - 1Co 5:9-13 2. I do find striking the attitude of Christians in the second century, A.D.: a. "Do good, and give liberally to all who are in need from the wages God gives you. Do not hesitate about to whom you should not give. Give to all. For God wishes gifts to be made to all out of His bounties." (Hermas, 135 A.D.) b. "And he said to love not only our neighbors but also our enemies, and to be givers and sharers not only with the good but also to be liberal givers towards those who take away our possessions." (Irenaeus, 185 A.D.) c. "Do not judge those who is worthy and who is unworthy, for it is possible for you to be mistaken in your opinion. In the uncertainty of ignorance it is better to do good to the unworthy for the sake of the worthy, than by guarding against those who are less good not to encounter the good. For by sparing and trying to test those who are well-deserving or not, it is possible for you to neglect some who are loved by God, the penalty for which is the eternal punishment of fire. But by helping all those in need in turn you must assuredly find some who are able to save you before God." (Clement of Alexandria, 190 A.D.) -- These statements were written at a time when Christians were constantly mistreated, abused, and manipulated by others! 3. The teachings of Jesus in this passage are admittedly challenging... a. It is opposed to what we might call "human nature" b. But we are called upon to be "partakers of the divine nature" (2Pe 1:4); in other words, to be more like God than men 4. As we will see in the next lesson, it is in order to be truly "sons of your Father in heaven" that Jesus teaches a standard of righteousness that far exceeds... a. That of the scribes and Pharisees b. That of most people today! 5. At the very least, let us expend as much energy... a. In seeing how we can apply this passage to lives... b. ...as many do trying to explain how it doesn't really mean what it appears
 to say! CONCLUSION 1. Summarizing the teaching of Jesus concerning "Responding To Evil"... a. We are not to resist evil b. We are to respond by doing good in turn 2. We may never face the exact situations Jesus used to illustrate His point... a. But the principles can be applied to so many things we do face b. E.g., how people treat us at work, in our communities, in our own families,
in the church Whenever mistreated, take the challenge to see how you might overcome evil with good. Then your "righteousness" will exceed that of the scribes
and Pharisees!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Is Denominationalism Scriptural? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Is Denominationalism Scriptural?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

What is a “denomination”? Does God approve of denominations? These are extremely significant and critical questions. They deserve answers from the Word of God.

When we go to the New Testament and examine God’s Word with a view toward ascertaining what His will is with regard to religion, we find that there is a clearly defined system of religion—God’s religion—in the New Testament. It is the religion of Christ that has come to be called Christianity. We also find that Satan does everything he can to blur the distinctions that God wants observed. We should not be surprised at that. Think about the great hoaxes that have been perpetrated upon mankind. For instance, the doctrine of evolution is almost universally believed by the scientific elite of many societies. So it is with many political, philosophical, and religious systems of thought like Communism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Those who have examined the evidence—objective truth—on these matters know that those systems of thought simply are not true. Yet large numbers of people adhere to them. Large numbers of people believe the tenets of those systems.

In 2 Corinthians 2:11, Paul spoke about the fact that Satan endeavors to take advantage of people. He said that we should not let Satan take advantage of us, “for we are not ignorant of his devices.” The word “devices” could easily have been translated “schemes.” We must be aware of the fact that Satan uses deceitful, deceptive ploys in an effort to trick people to get them to believe and practice various things that simply are not true. In a similar statement, Paul used the phrase “wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). Most people are oblivious to this fact. Many people do not even believe that Satan exists—anymore than they believe that God exists. Yet if the New Testament is true, it is clear there is a Satan, and he will do all he can to fool, trick, and deceive people. He wants to blur distinctions that God wants observed—distinctions that are scriptural and biblical.

It is clear that this is the case with denominationalism. Consider the following dictionary definitions (American, 2000, p. 485). The term “denominate” means “to give a name to; designate.” “Denomination” is “[a] large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy; a name or designation, especially for a class or group.” “Denominator” refers to “[t]he expression written below the line in a common fraction that indicates the number of parts into which one whole is divided.” “Denominationalism” is “[t]he tendency to separate into religious denominations; sectarianism.” Think about these meanings for just a moment. The very word “denomination” means a named or designated division. Denominationalism occurs when religious people and groups divide and segregate themselves on the basis of different designations or church affiliations and different doctrines.

Have you gone to the New Testament and read Jesus’ prayer for unity in John chapter 17? There He prayed against religious division, and prayed to God that believers in Christ would be unified! Paul made the same point to the church of Christ in Corinth: “I beseech you brothers by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Here is a passage that says denominations are not even to exist! “Let there be no divisions among you.” If a denomination is a “designated division,” then denominationalism is clearly unscriptural! It is against the will of Christ. The passage continues, “but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

I assure you, I have nothing against any particular religious group. I have no biases or prejudices against any one church or denomination. But we must go to Scripture and be objective in our appraisal of New Testament truth. It is clear when we go to the Bible that denominationalism, though viewed innocently by millions of people worldwide, is an approach to religion that is out of harmony with New Testament teaching. God does not want denominations to exist. He wants all of us to understand His will in the New Testament, and then to bring our lives into conformity and our spirits into submission to that will.


Denominationalism conflicts with New Testament teaching on a variety of subjects. Consider New Testament teaching on the subject of the one church. Passages like Isaiah 2:1-5 and Daniel 2:44 predicted that one day God would set up a kingdom, a church, a house—what Isaiah called the “Lord’s house.” In Matthew 3:2, John the baptizer preached that people should repent and get ready because the kingdom of heaven was at hand. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my church.” In Mark 9:1, He said, “[T]here are some standing here who will not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God come with power.” These passages speak of the same institution. In Acts 2, we find the actual establishment of Christ’s church on Earth. Jesus Christ Himself built His church in the city of Jerusalem in approximately A.D. 30 on the day of Pentecost. Its inception is described in Acts 2.

In Colossians 1:13, Paul spoke of Christians as those who had been removed by God from darkness and translated into the kingdom of His dear Son. In Ephesians 1:22-23, the body of Christ is referred to as the church, and later we are told that there is only one (4:4). Those two passages alone should cause us to recognize that the existence of denominations is out of harmony with God’s will. Ephesians 4:4 says there is one body. That body is the church of our Lord. He established it; He built it; He purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20: 28). If there is only one church, God is not pleased with the division, the named designations, of competing churches with various names, doctrines, and practices. In 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul wrote to Timothy that he might know how to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God. Most people just do not realize that New Testament truth is that simple, that plain, and that uncomplicated. The denominationalism that has gripped western civilization is so entrenched and so entangled in the minds of people that they seem to be unable to detach themselves from it, and to go back to the New Testament to get a clear conception of the New Testament church. They seem unable or unwilling to embrace pure New Testament teaching and to repudiate all denominationalism.

Another concept that we find clearly depicted on the pages of the New Testament is the idea of scriptural names, that is, names for both the church itself and names for individual members of that church. In Romans 16:16 we find the expression “churches of Christ.” In 1 Corinthians 1:2, we have a reference to “the church of God.” In 1 Corinthians 3:16, we find “the temple of God.” And in Ephesians 4:12, we have the phrase “the body of Christ.”

These expressions are not intended to be technical nor formal names for the church. They are descriptions. They are labels that describe Christ’s church. Additional ones may be found as well. Most of the time in the New Testament, Christ’s church is just referred to as “the church.” But here is the point: Most of the names that people are giving to their churches today are not in the New Testament. They therefore are formulating names and founding churches that cannot be found in the New Testament. That’s denominationalism!

The same thing is true with regard to the names that God wants individual Christians to wear. In Isaiah 62:2, the prophet foretold that God with His own mouth would give a name to His people. We find the fulfillment of that prophecy in Acts 11:26. The name that God wants individual members of His church to wear is the name “Christian.” In Romans 1:7, we find the term “saints,” and in Acts 5:14, we find the term “believer.” In other passages we find the word “disciple” and family names like “brother” and the “family of God.” The names that denominations and their members wear are conspicuously absent from the New Testament.

New Testament truth on the matter of names is simple. How contrary to that New Testament pattern are the churches and the individuals who have taken the names of men and applied them to themselves and their churches. Some churches designate themselves by a particular practice or doctrine. I urge you to study your New Testament and realize that God is not pleased with manmade names. He will not sanction or extend His grace to groups and individuals who have chosen to stray from His will and His pattern for religion. Those who formulate for themselves their own religions, their own churches, and their own names, will be rejected by God. The Bible records that down through the annals of human history, God has never tolerated human invention in religion.

The same is true with regard to worship. The New Testament contains specific instruction concerning how God wants to be worshipped. Yet in the denominational world, all sorts of worship practice may be found. For instance, in the New Testament, Christians met for worship on the first day of the week—Sunday. Acts of worship took place on other days—for example, New Testament Christians could and did pray anytime, anywhere. But Sunday is pinpointed in New Testament Christianity as the special day on which Christians gather together to worship God (Acts 20:7). Christians are required by God to attend worship assemblies. Yet many people in our day never attend worship services, and apparently think, “Hey, I can be a Christian at home and worship God in my own way; nothing says that I have to go to church to worship with other Christians.” Most people have not read their New Testaments. The Bible teaches the necessity of assembling in Hebrews 10:25. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33). He was referring to the church. So if I am going to put the church first and seek it first in my life, obviously I am going to assemble with the church—fellow Christians—for worship on Sunday.

A further contrast between denominationalism and the New Testament church pertains to what Jesus would have us to do in the realm of music in the church. In Ephesians 5:19, Paul wrote: “[S]peaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” New Testament instructions for musical worship are that simple and unencumbered. There is no authority in the New Testament for playing musical instruments in worship to God. There is no authority in the New Testament for performance groups like choirs and praise teams. The music in the New Testament is very clearly congregational, vocal singing. It’s that simple.

We also find that communion, the Lord’s Supper, was served in the New Testament to Christians on the first day of the week. Acts 2:46 and 20:7, and 1 Corinthians 11:20-34 and 16:1-3 inform us that the Lord’s Supper in the New Testament church was observed every first day of the week. All Christians partook of both the fruit of the vine and the bread. In addition, every first day of the week Christians are to contribute a percentage of their income to a general treasury so that the church may carry on its work. Acts 2:42 speaks of the importance of continuing in prayer. Praying is a part of Christian worship. The same verse speaks of continuing in the apostles’ doctrine, i.e., the teaching, preaching, and examining doctrinal truth. These five acts of worship are part and parcel of public worship assemblies—no more and no less.

Yet churches all over the land are not patterned after the one church of the Bible. They have unscriptural names for their church and for their individual members. Their worship services engage in many practices that are not taught in the New Testament. Their activities are mere inventions and doctrines of men (Matthew 15:9). Do we want to be exactly what Jesus wants us to be according to the New Testament?

The same is true with God’s plan of salvation. What does the New Testament teach with reference to how one becomes a Christian? So much diversity and widespread misconception exists. Most religious groups teach salvation is solely by faith, without any further acts of obedience. They say that all you have to do is “accept Jesus as your savior,” which means orally saying, “I believe in Jesus Christ, I accept him into my heart as my personal savior.” Denominationalism teaches that at that moment the person is forgiven of sin and he becomes a Christian. The New Testament does teach that a non-Christian must believe (Mark 16:16)—but that is not all. He or she also must repent of sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), confess Christ with the mouth (Romans 10:10), and then be immersed in water with the understanding that the blood of Jesus washes away sin at the point of water baptism. Acts 22:16 indicates that it was at the moment that Saul was immersed in water that his sins were washed away (cf. Galatians 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21). Most people in the religious world believe that a person is forgiven of sins before they are immersed. But, once again, that is a departure from New Testament teaching.

The New Testament is equally explicit on the subject of Christian living. It is frightening that American civilization as we have known it is deteriorating and moving away from the fundamental behaviors that were common to our way of life from our inception as a nation. But it is happening. Many people are showing the same lack of knowledge and disrespect for God’s instructions in this area as they are in the other areas we have noted. Our society is getting farther away from the Bible. Many do not even believe the Bible to be a supernatural, inspired (i.e., God-breathed) book. They think it is just a collection of Jewish myths, a bunch of fairy tales, and the writings of mere men.

We have reason for alarm. Any civilization that does not structure itself around the mind of God as revealed on the pages of the Bible, cannot last for long. Look back over the centuries of human history and you will see this truth. Every nation that rejected God and His principles for living, eventually deteriorated from the inside out and fell to pieces, crumbling into the dust of human history. American civilization is rushing headlong down that same course. So what does the Bible teach concerning Christian living and Christian morality?

For example, regarding marriage, Genesis 2:24 and Matthew 19:9 are sufficient to demonstrate how far our society has deviated from God’s will. Those verses show that God’s will is that one man (never married before) marry one woman (never married before) and that those two individuals remain married for the rest of their lives. Only death should separate them. And only one exception is given to that rule. If one of those mates is sexually unfaithful, God permits the other mate, the innocent partner, to divorce the guilty mate for fornication, i.e., for sexual unfaithfulness, and to marry an eligible partner. The New Testament is that clear and that simple. Yet our society as a whole is so far from that simple teaching that it is frightening to consider whether we could ever recover our spiritual and moral senses.

What about the use of alcohol? People all over our society consume alcoholic beverages in restaurants, in homes, on airplanes, and at ball games. You cannot go to a football game without people freely drinking alcoholic beverages without giving it a second thought. They appear oblivious and unconcerned about the fact that the Bible speaks definitively and decisively against consuming intoxicating beverages (e.g., Proverbs 23:29-35). If you are honest and love God and desire to follow His will, you will examine what the Bible teaches on this matter.

What else is occurring in our society? People use foul language and take God’s name in vain. How often do we hear people say, “O my God”? The expression has saturated our society. But the Bible condemns the vain use of God’s name (Exodus 20:7; Ephesians 4:29). It is sin, and it offends God. Likewise, the practice of lying and deceiving is commonplace, though God hates such acts (Proverbs 6:17; Ephesians 4:25).

What about gambling? The lottery has been legalized in most states, along with horse racing and other forms of gambling. Large numbers of people flock to these activities as if they are perfectly acceptable and moral. My friend, I don’t mean to offend you in any way, but I am telling you that the Bible speaks decisively and clearly against these practices. They are immoral, they are unchristian, and they are ungodly (Matthew 7:12; Ephesians 4:28; 5:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 6:9-10).

Our society says, “People ought to be free to believe what they want. Don’t be judgmental. You don’t have any right to say they are wrong.” But such propaganda is wrong. God has a right. He is the Creator, and He said in His Word that we must know His truth, and we must be right about that truth, and we must obey that truth (Hebrews 5:9). Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). He also said, “[Y]ou shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Paul spoke about the time when people would not want to hear healthy teaching (2 Timothy 4:3). They would reject it. But God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).

The New Testament teaches that we must stay with God’s words. We are not free to deviate, or to believe and practice whatever we choose. We must not do it (2 John 9; 1 Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 1:8). In the final analysis, denominationalism is what results when humans assert their own religious inclinations, formulate their own religious doctrines, and originate their own churches. Solomon’s words ought to cause every single person to refrain from affiliation with denominationalism: “Every word of God is pure. He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words lest He reprove you and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6).


American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.

Is Baptism a Symbol? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Is Baptism a Symbol?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The design of water baptism in the New Testament is unquestionably to allow for the sinner’s sins to be removed by the blood of Jesus. This purpose is variously described as “to be saved” (Mark 16:16), “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), to “put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27), to “enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5), to “wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16), to place one “into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13) and “into Christ” (Romans 6:3). These are parallel expressions that pinpoint the same design.

In an effort to avoid the clear import of such verses, some theologians have concocted the notion that water baptism is a post-salvation action that follows the forgiveness of sins. Christendom, almost in its entirety, insists that remission of sin is imparted to the sinner at the very moment the sinner “believes” (i.e., accepts Jesus as personal Savior). This reception of Christ is an internal, mostly intellectual/mental decision in which the individual makes a genuine commitment to receive Jesus as Lord.

In his book How To Be Born Again, Billy Graham articulated the viewpoint espoused by the bulk of Christendom: “All you have to do to be born again is to repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior” (1977, p. 156). He stated further: “Faith is trust, an act of commitment, in which I open the door of my heart to Him” (p. 160); “It means a single, individual relinquishment of mind and heart toward the one person, Jesus Christ” (p. 161); “Conversion occurs when we repent and place our faith in Christ” (p. 162). Near the close of his book, Graham summarized the prevailing view of when forgiveness occurs:

Make it happen now. …If you are willing to repent for your sins and to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can do it now. At this moment you can either bow your head or get on your knees and say this little prayer which I have used with thousands of persons on every continent: O God, I acknowledge that I have sinned against You. I am sorry for my sins. I am willing to turn from my sins. I openly receive and acknowledge Jesus Christ as my Savior. I confess Him as Lord. From this moment on I want to live for Him and serve Him. In Jesus’ name. Amen. …If you are willing to make this decision and have received Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Savior, then you have become a child of God in whom Jesus Christ dwells. …You are born again (pp. 168-169, emp. in orig.).

Mr. Graham leaves no doubt as to his view of when forgiveness of sins occurs, and that it occurs before and without water baptism.

Another popular Christian writer, Max Lucado, expressed the same viewpoint in his book, He Did This Just for You:

Would you let him save you? This is the most important decision you will ever make. Why don’t you give your heart to him right now? Admit your need. Agree with his work. Accept his gift. Go to God in prayer and tell him, I am a sinner in need of grace. I believe that Jesus died for me on the cross. I accept your offer of salvation. It’s a simple prayer with eternal results (2000, p. 50, italics and emp. in orig.).

Lucado then followed this statement with a “response page” that provided the reader with the opportunity to make the decision that he (Lucado) had just advocated. The page, titled “Your Response,” includes the statement, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. I want him to be the Lord of my life,” and is followed by two blank lines, one for the reader to sign his or her name, and the other to record the date (p. 51).

These two widely recognized figures are sufficient to establish the point: most within Christendom believe that salvation occurs prior to water baptism. The Protestant world has insisted that water baptism is a secondary and subsequent action to salvation. But if this is the case, what then is the purpose of baptism? Various religionists have maintained that it serves as “an outward sign of an inward grace.” That is, since a person already has received the saving grace of God by which sins have been cleansed, baptism serves the purpose of providing an outward demonstration or public declaration that the person has already been saved. The claim is that baptism is a symbol—a visible expression of the forgiveness already received at the point of faith.

Perhaps the reader would be shocked to find that the Bible nowhere articulates this unbiblical—albeit provocative—concept. It is the figment of someone’s vivid imagination that has been taken up and repeated so often that it “sounds biblical,” even when it is not. When Ananias prodded Paul to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16), he said nothing about an alleged symbolic (versus actual) cleansing or post-forgiveness washing. He uttered not one word that would lead the unbiased reader to even remotely conclude that Paul’s sins were washed away before he was baptized in water.

The grammar that the Holy Spirit selected by which to express Himself is very often a key to allowing the Bible to interpret itself. In Acts 22:16, the grammar militates against the denominational interpretation that so often is placed on Paul’s baptism. The Holy Spirit utilized two participles and two verbs in verse 16 that clarify His intended meaning:

anastas is an aorist active participle: “having arisen” or “rising”

baptisai is an aorist middle imperative verb:  “get yourself baptized”

apolousai is also an aorist middle imperative verb:  “get your sins washed away”

epikalesamenos is an aorist middle participle:  “you will have been calling”

An adverbial participle is a participle that is used as an adverb to modify the verb. “Calling” is an adverbial participle of manner. It shows the manner in which the main verbs are accomplished. The verbs (“baptized” and “wash away sins”)—joined by the coordinate conjunction “and” (kai)—are “causative middles” (Robertson, 1934, p. 808) in the aorist tense, and so relate to the aorist middle of the participle that follows (“calling”). Hence, a literal translation would be:  “Having arisen, get yourself baptized and get your sins washed away, and you will have been calling on the name of the Lord.” In other words, Ananias was telling Paul that the way to accomplish “calling on the Lord” was to be baptized and have his sins washed away.


But doesn’t the Bible teach that baptism is, in fact, a symbol? Doesn’t baptism have “symbolic” significance? Yes, the Bible assigns symbolic significance to baptism in regard to at least three distinct features.

ROMANS 6:3-18

In a context dealing with the power of the Gospel to counteract sin (5:20), Paul addressed the potential misconception that some may form in thinking that the continued indulgence in sin might be justified in order to allow grace to flourish (6:1). When the Romans became Christians, they died to sin (vs. 2). Thus, they should no more have continued a sinful lifestyle, than a physically deceased person could continue living physically. In arguing his point, Paul informed the Romans that water baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He used the term “likeness” (and later “form”) to pinpoint this symbolism:

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:3-8).

When the believing, penitent non-Christian allows him or herself to be lowered into the watery grave of baptism, a parallel to Christ’s redemptive work is taking place. Baptism is into Christ’s death because that is where He shed His blood on our behalf. The atoning activity of Christ was achieved in His death, burial, and resurrection. Consequently, the alien sinner taps into that redemptive power in the act of water immersion. The “newness of life” follows—not precedes—baptism (vs. 6). The “old man of sin,” the “body of sin,” is eliminated in the waters of baptism. Being immersed in water— “buried in baptism” (vs. 4)—is equivalent to “you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (vs. 17). Only then, i.e., in the act of emulating Jesus’ atonement in the waters of baptism, is one “set free from sin” (vs. 18). To summarize, notice that seven significant achievements occur at the point of water immersion: (1) baptized into Christ; (2) baptized into Christ’s death; (3) newness of life; (4) united in His death; (5) old man/body of sin crucified/done away; (6) no longer slaves of sin; and (7) freed from sin.


A second depiction of baptism as a symbol is seen in Paul’s identification of a link between baptism and the Old Testament practice of circumcision. God introduced the rite of circumcision into His covenant relationship with Abraham (Genesis 17:10ff.). This surgical procedure was strictly a physical feature of the Abrahamic covenant sustained by God with the physical descendants of Abraham, i.e., the Israelites. In this sense, it did not pertain ultimately to one’s spiritual standing with God (1 Corinthians 7:19). In contrasting and comparing Christianity with various unacceptable religions and philosophies, Paul used the physical rite of Jewish circumcision as a parallel to water baptism:

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses (Colossians 2:11-14).

One must be very careful to allow the text to express itself with regard to the intended symbolism, refraining from drawing unintended points of comparison. The point that Paul was making is the idea that as skin was cut off in the act of circumcision, so sins are cut off at baptism—skin vs. sin!

Paul underscored this meaning by alluding to the fact that baptism in water involves a burial followed by a resurrection—being “raised” (vs. 12). Twelve verses later, he again referred to this rising from the waters of baptism: “If then you were raised with Christ…” (3:1, emp. added). The conclusion is unmistakable: being buried/lowered into the waters of baptism, and then being raised from those waters, is the point at which sin is removed from the sinner—in the same way that flesh was removed from the body in the act of circumcision. In fact, Paul presented precisely the same case to the Colossians that he presented to the Romans. Note carefully the points of comparison in the following chart:

Romans 6 Colossians 2&3
(6:2) “we died” (3:3) “you died”
(6:8) “we died with Christ” (2:20) “you died with Christ”
(6:4) “buried with Him/baptism” (2:12) “buried with Him/baptism”
(6:4) “Christ raised from dead” (2:12) “raised Him from dead”
(6:4) “Walk in newness of life” (3:5) “put to death your members”
(6:2) “live any longer in it” (3:7) “when you lived in them”
(6:4) “Walk in newness of life” (3:1) “Seek things above”

Both passages teach that people are dead in sin and lost until they access the benefits of the death of Christ by being buried in water baptism. At that point, a person becomes dead to sin in the mind of God. Coming up out of the waters of baptism is a type of resurrection that signals a change in the way that person now lives life.

1 PETER 3:20-22

Peter added a third instance of baptism’s symbolic value.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him (1 Peter 3:18-22).

Peter made a powerful point of comparison. The antediluvian people had the opportunity to hear God’s will for their lives. Noah preached to them (2 Peter 2:5), perhaps for over a century (Genesis 6:3). But the day came when God brought the Flood waters upon the Earth, drowning the entire human population with the exception of only eight individuals. Peter noted that those eight people were “saved by (i.e., diathrough) water,” i.e., through the medium of water. In other words, God used water as the dividing line between the lost and the saved. The water was the medium that separated the eight members of Noah’s family from the rest of humanity. He then compared those Flood waters with the water of baptism. The water of baptism is the dividing line that God has designated to distinguish between the lost person and the saved person.

But does that mean that H20 is the cleansing agent? Of course not. Such a conclusion would contradict other clear biblical testimony. Salvation is dependent upon and accomplished by means of the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross: His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Likewise, immersion must be preceded by faith, repentance, and confession of the deity of Christ. But Peter included this very point in his discussion. When one removes the parenthetical material from the verse, the interplay between baptism and Christ’s redemptive activity is clearly seen: “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” “Resurrection” is the figure of speech known as synecdoche in which the part is put in place of the whole. “Resurrection” includes the entire atoning event of Jesus—death, burial, and resurrection. Hence, Peter attributed one’s salvation to Christ’s work on the cross—but the application of this salvific achievement to the sinner occurs at the point of baptism.


The Bible is its own best interpreter. It teaches that baptism is, indeed, a symbol. But what does baptism symbolize? It symbolizes: (1) Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; (2) the act of “cutting off ” in circumcision; and (3) the waters of the Flood. How could anyone get out of this that baptism symbolizes past forgiveness that was achieved prior to being immersed? The honest exegete is forced to conclude that the Bible nowhere expounds such a notion. The symbolism associated with water baptism further verifies the essentiality of immersion as a mandatory prerequisite to forgiveness. We dare not go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6), since it is by Jesus’ words that we will be judged (John 12:48).


Graham, Billy (1977), How to be Born Again (Waco, TX: Word Books).

Lucado, Max (2000), He did This Just for You (Nashville, TN: Word).

Robertson, A.T. (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman).

Is All of Life Worship? by Earl Edwards, D.Miss.


Is All of Life Worship?

by  Earl Edwards, D.Miss.

[AP auxiliary writer Earl Edwards holds a B.A. from David Lipscomb University, an M.Th. from Harding School of Theology, and a D.Miss. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Dr. Edwards was a missionary in Italy for 16 years and also served as director of the Florence Bible School. For 20 years he served as the Director of Biblical Graduate Studies at Freed-Hardeman University, where he continues to work as an adjunct faculty member.]

When the Bible uses the term “worship,” what is included? Does it include all of life as some theologians affirm? For example, one commentator says that Paul, in Romans 12:1, teaches that “all Christian living is worship offered up to God.”1 Is that correct?

Let’s take some typical passages from both testaments to see how inspired writers generally use the word “worship.” In the Old Testament, it is first used in Genesis 22:5 with reference to Abraham and Isaac when Abraham says to his servant, “I and the lad will go over there and worship (shāhāh) and return.”2 It is clear that Abraham is saying we will, “over there,” do an act of “worship” (i.e., offer Isaac as a sacrifice, do an act of obedience to God) which we are not doing over here at present. All of life is not worship as the term is used here.

Let’s move on to 2 Samuel 12:20 which speaks of David, who, after the loss of his child by Bathsheba, ceased grieving and “washed” and “anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the Lord and worshiped (shāhāh).” Obviously while grieving and washing himself he was not worshiping; he did that later in “the house of the Lord.” That is, he performed some literal act in the Temple (probably praying or singing praises or sacrificing to God). So, here, too, all of life is not worship. In fact, one lexicon defines the Hebrew term used in both these passages (shāhāh) as “to bow down” before “a monarch” or “before God in worship.”3 But, as we will see later, for it to be acceptable worship to God, the outward “bowing” must be accompanied by an inward literal decision of the heart/mind to be submissive to God. Now this word shāhāh is the word which is translated by the English word “worship” in roughly 90% of the appearances of “worship” in any major version of our English Old Testament. It must be noted that even when God’s people bowed down and “multipl[ied] prayers,” God did “not listen” (Isaiah 1:15) when there was no corresponding inward decision of the heart/mind to be submissive, God required more than “lip service;” He desired “their hearts” (Isaiah 29:13). No wonder David was a man after God’s own heart, for he wrote (of God), “I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name” (Psalm 138:1-2, emp. added).  David did “bow” his head, but the real worship was in submitting “all” of his “heart.” As P.W. Crannell says of worship, “the OT idea is therefore the reverential attitude of mind or body or both”4 But, as seen from passages like Isaiah 1:15, and others, it is clear that acceptable worship for God must include that “reverential attitude” which will necessarily provoke a literal decision of the heart/mind to be submissive.

Thus, these usages of the term “worship” militate against accepting the idea that all of life is worship because acceptable worship necessarily includes the heart/mind. It must be intentional. One does not have to bow his head to present acceptable worship, but he must of necessity make a decision in his heart/mind to be submissive to his Creator. Acceptable worship must be done with heart/mind engaged, and no man can live with his heart/mind concentrating on his relationship to God 24/7. You can’t concentrate on God when you are studying how to get “your ox out of the ditch”!

Now let’s move to some typical usages of the term “worship” in the New Testament. John 12:20 speaks of certain “Greeks among those who were going up to worship (proskuneo) at the feast.” Acts 8:27 speaks of an Ethiopian who “had come to Jerusalem to worship (proskuneo).” Acts 24:11 quotes Paul as saying, “I went up to Jerusalem to worship (proskuneo).” In all three of these passages it is clear that the persons referenced were not worshiping while traveling; rather, they intended to worship in Jerusalem after arriving. This probably involved one or more of the following: prayers, songs of praise, and/or sacrifices. The term “worship” does not include all of life here. In fact, the original Greek word proskuneo means, according to Bauer’s lexicon, “to express in attitude or gesture one’s complete dependence on or submission to a high authority.”5 Thayer’s lexicon explains further that proskuneo came originally from two Greek words which meant “kiss” and “towards,” a gesture being done “in token of reverence.”6 Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says proskuneo “remains limited to a single act.”7 Now, proskuneo is the Greek word behind roughly 90% of the appearances of the word “worship” in any major version of our English New Testament. When this gesture is done towards our God, we learn from Jesus that it must be done “in spirit and in truth” in order to be acceptable worship (John 4:24). As Leon Morris says, “in spirit” means “a man must worship, not simply outwardly...but in his spirit.”8 In bowing to men just the outward gesture may suffice, but in worship to God the outward gesture (bowing, kissing, sacrificing, mouthing words of praise) is not sufficient; it must include the literal act of submission of the inner person (the heart/mind). This can’t be done while one is concentrating on “figuring one’s income taxes”! All of life is not worship. It is clear in both testaments and in all major translations that acceptable worship to our God requires the concentration of the worshiper’s inner person on submission to his Creator. That does not happen 24/7 in any life. Therefore, all of life is not worship.

It is against this background of the meaning of “worship” in both Testaments that we must approach the problem of how to translate logikēn latreian in Romans 12:1. The NASB renders that passage as follows: “Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your (logikēn latreian) spiritual service of worship.” The two options for translating latreian are “service” and “worship.” In fact, Bauer’s lexicon defines it as “service/worship (to God).”9 The NASB seems to try to straddle the fence and take in both concepts, but most major translations use either “worship” (RSV, NASB, ESV, NIV, etc.) or “service” (KJV, ASV, NKJV, etc.). To be candid, one must admit that the majority of current scholars (translators and commentators) favor using “worship” in this passage, but that does not guarantee that this is correct. (The major number of current scholars also oppose “baptism for the remission of sins.”)

No one doubts that latreia can sometimes mean “worship.” In fact, I think Paul uses it to mean “the temple worship” (NIV) in Romans 9:4. However, the same Paul uses it, I believe, with a more general meaning in Acts 26:7 where Luke quotes him as saying that Christians “hope to attain” the promise as “they earnestly serve” (latreuo—the verb cognate to latreia) God “night and day.” Now what such Christians did in this “night and day” lapse might include public worship and daily prayers, but it certainly would not be limited to such. It would also include sleep when the heart/mind could not be engaged in submitting itself to God. That’s probably why the NIV, and other translations also, render latreuo as “serve” instead of “worship” here in Acts 26:7. Marvin Vincent likewise says that here latreuo is “better [rendered] as serve.”10 So sometimes latreia is a more general term. K. Hess writes,

It was originally used predominantly of physical work, but was then used generally and could include cultic service...in the OT...it is not the meticulously performed cultus which is the true worship of God, but of [general] obedience to the voice of the Lord.11

Notice that latreia, according to Hess, can include worship, but it is not limited to such. It is sometimes a broader, more general, term. As Gary Workman wrote: “It is a fact that latreuo and latreia refer to service in general, and not worship in particular.... Service is broader than worship. All worship is service, but not all service is worship.”12

Now we come to Romans 12:1 and logikēn latreian. Probably the best translation of logikēn is “reasonable” (as in the NKJV). That is, it makes sense to an intelligent, human being. Then we deal with latreian.

As noticed, the examples of acceptable “worship” from both Testaments treated earlier in this study were literal acts of the person’s heart/mind submitting itself to God, possibly also accompanied by a physical act or gesture—like bowing, kissing toward, or sacrificing or praising with one’s lips.

Now, in interpreting latreian in Romans 12:1, Everett F. Harrison aptly notes that in this passage Paul uses latreian in a different sense. He says Paul “gives it a metaphorical turn.”13 That is, though Paul uses worship language—note terms like “present” (parastesai), “sacrifice” (thusian), “holy” (agian), and “acceptable” (euareston)—he is not speaking of literal worship. He is using “metaphorical” or figurative language. William Sanday and Arthur Headlam agree. They say Paul is “metaphorical” in his use of “sacrificial language.”14 Harrison continues his discussion of Romans 12:1 saying,

The problem to be faced is whether “worship” may not be too restricted a rendering, for worship, in the strict sense, is adoration of God, which does not fit well with the concept of bodies [mentioned earlier in the verse—bodies are not where the required submission takes place]. It is just at this point that the term “service” (KJV) has an advantage since it covers the entire range of the Christian’s life and activity.... Service is the proper sequel to worship.15

Harrison is saying that the interpretation of “metaphorical language” is controlled by a different set of rules. E.W. Bullinger has written an 1,100-page book on the use of figures of speech in the Bible and in its preface he says that we should decide we are dealing with a figure when it

seems to be at variance with the general teaching of the Scriptures, then we may reasonably expect that some figure is employed.... Commentators and interpreters, from inattention to the figures, have been led astray from the real meaning of many important passages of God’s Word; while ignorance of them has been the fruitful parent of error and false doctrine.16

For example, since literal baptism is in water (Acts 8:36), when Jesus speaks of a “baptism” He will undergo, which is the same as the “cup” He must drink (Mark 10:38-39; cf. Matthew 26:39)—His suffering on the cross, we know that has to be a figurative baptism. Here there is little chance of mistaking this for a literal baptism but, just to avoid all such possibility, one translator renders it, “Can you be overwhelmed in the immersion that submerges me?”17 In figurative language the rules are less restrictive. In literal language one is either born into a given family or he is adopted. He cannot be both.  Instead, in God’s figurative family from one standpoint we become Christians by being “born of the water and the Spirit” (John 3:5); from another standpoint we have come into the family by “adoption as sons” (Romans 8:15). Likewise, when one thinks of the figurative foundation of the church, from one standpoint Christ is the entire foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) whereas, from another standpoint, the apostles and prophets are a part of the foundation and Christ is the “cornerstone” (Ephesians 3:20). Figurative language is less restrictive. It is controlled by different rules.

Now Harrison is saying that Romans 12:1 should tip us off to the fact that, though worship words are used, we should understand that language to be figurative since “bodies” are mentioned in the same verse and real worship does not take place there, but in the inner person—the heart. Bullinger would probably add (if he were to comment on Romans 12:1) that thinking of the “sacrifice” here as literal “worship” leads one to a definition of “worship” which is “at variance with the general teaching of Scripture.”

In other words, since acceptable worship is a heart/mind activity, such “bodies” cannot do acceptable “worship” by themselves without the participation of the inner person. When the mocking soldiers at the crucifixion “worshiped” (proskuneo) Jesus (Mark 15:19), it certainly was not acceptable worship! Acceptable worship necessarily involves the submission of the heart/mind.

Now, since lexicons agree that “service” is sometimes a legitimate translation of latreia, why should one use “worship” here in Romans 12:1 when such a translation forces a definition of “worship” which goes against the normal usage of the term in both Testaments in all major translations?

Harrison’s argument in favor of “service” in Romans 12:1 is, in reality, the same, but in different words, as the one made by Hugo McCord when he wrote (of latreian),      

Sometimes the word refers to a lifetime of service to God (Acts 24:14; Heb. 12:28), and the context of Romans 12:1 shows one’s offering his body as a living sacrifice is a lifetime of service not of meditation (which is what worship is).18

Gordon Fee seems to be making basically the same argument in his discussion of latreuo as it appears in Philippians 3:3. He says,

The verb, therefore, is not the one for “worship” in the sense of what the congregation does together as a gathered people, but represents the “service” of God’s people in terms of their devotion to him as evidenced in the way they live before him... [A]ll of life in the present is service and devotion to God.19

Now, the fact that it has that meaning in Philippians 3:3 does not necessarily signify it has the same meaning in Romans 12:1, but at least it shows that Fee believes that sometimes latreia is used by Paul to mean “service” (and we have already made the case that it is also so used in Romans 12:1).


All of life is not worship, but all of life is service. But let no one accuse this student of believing that as long as one goes to a church building on Sunday (and says he “worships”) that he can, therefore, live as he pleases during the week. The true worshiper will always remember that “Whatever you do in word or deed” you should “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17).


1 Jack Cottrell (1998), The College Press NIV Commentary: Romans (Joplin, MO: College Press), 2:312.

2 All Biblical quotations are from the New American Standard Bible (Anaheim, CA: Foundation Publishers), unless otherwise indicated.

3 Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and Charles Briggs (1962), A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (London: Clarendon Press), p. 1005.

4 P.W. Crannell (1939), “Worship,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 5:3110.

5 Walter Bauer, Frederick Danker, W.F. Arndt, and F.W. Gingrich (2000), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), p. 882.

6 Joseph Thayer (1956), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh, Scotland: T&T Clark), p. 548.

7 Gerhard Kittel, ed. (1971), Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 7:172.

8 Leon Morris (1971), The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), pp. 270-271, emp. added.

9 Bauer, p. 587.

10 Marvin Vincent (1969), Word Studies in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 1:581.

11 K. Hess (1981), latreia in Dictionary of New Testament Theology, ed. Colin Brown (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 3:549-552, emp. added.

12 Gary Workman (1993), “What is Worship?” Spiritual Sword, June, p. 7.

13 Everett Harrison (1976), Expositor’s Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), 10:128.

14 William Sanday and Arthur Headlam (1900), International Critical Commentary: Romans. (Edinburgh, Scotland: T&T Clark), p. 353.

15 Harrison, p. 128.

16 E.W. Bullinger (1984), Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), pp. xv-xvi, emp. added.

17 Hugo McCord (1988), McCord’s New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel (Henderson, TN: Freed-Hardeman College), p. 87.

18 Hugo McCord (1982), “Worship,” Firm Foundation, June 1, p. 6.

19 Gordon Fee (1995), New International Commentary on the New Testament: Philippians (Grand Rapids: MI: Eerdmans), p. 300, emp. added.

IT’S A MYSTERY by Jim McGuiggan



Jesus repeatedly made the point that the entire OT came to fulfillment in Him. It’s foolishness to think He meant every verse and every event recorded in some immediate way has Him in view. It’s also foolishness to think that He meant we should look for a prediction here and there, put them like pearls on a necklace and we’d have Him. He at least means (as Stephen in Acts 7 and Paul in Acts 13 showed) that the self-revelation of God in keeping with His creation and redemptive purpose & in keeping with His promises remain constant and that they are to be seen in the narrative and words of Moses, Prophets & Psalms (Writings) That’s the claim of Jesus in John 5, Luke 24 (twice) and elsewhere.

“It all comes to fulfillment in Me,” Jesus claims and His witnesses agree. See texts like Romans 1:1-4; John 1:45; Acts 2 & 3; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “according to the scriptures”; 2 Corinthians 1:2, passim.

We see Jesus mainly as a savior from sins and most of our speech is about His cross and His dying. We don’t teach/preach much on His resurrection and the little we hear about it has to do with what happens when He returns. Nothing much is said that relates it to God’s creative purpose to create a human family, glorious and immortal to be His companions in unending LIFE and adventure, righteousness, joy and peace with the incarnate Lord Jesus and even less about Jesus indwelling the Church now by His Holy Spirit.
Our doctrine about Christ must include the deity and humanity of Jesus of Nazareth. Not only does He work our redemption and deliverance from all that is satanic, that is anti-God, anti-human and anti-life, He is Himself the complete embodiment of the triumph over the satanic forces. As a human, the human that God is being, Jesus of Nazareth conquered Sin by resisting all satanic temptation and deception, by refusing satanic promises of power, by totally rejecting self-sufficiency and relying completely on God to give Him life—In all that He triumphed over Sin (see the temptation narrative in Matthew 4:1-11). In rising from the dead never to die again He conquered Death.
And all He was and did He was and did as “the Seed of the woman.” Not as the seed of the man! Note the Genesis 3:15 text. God makes the woman to be the satanic figure’s enemy, God makes the woman’s children the enemies of the satanic figure’s children and God makes the woman’s particular child the crusher of Satan and it is the woman’s child that is bruised in accomplishing that triumph. (Note Romans 16:20 for her children’s victory.)
Paul reminds us in Galatians 4:4 that Jesus was “made of a woman.” Not that He was made of a man! The Greek text doesn’t say He was “born” of a woman but that He was “made” of a woman. I’m taking it that this is an echo of Genesis 2:22 where the woman was “made” (built) of a man.
In Jesus we have the perfect union of male and female, distinguishable (!!) yes, but not separable. Here in Jesus we have the new “image of God” (see Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2).
In His rising immortal, triumphant over Sin & Death humankind rises with Him. The image of God in the first phase of creation chose death without God (Genesis 1:26-27 and 3:1-13) and the new image of God chose LIFE in and with God (see Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 3:18 and 4:4).
The old mortal image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; 5:2) dies in creaturely weakness and the new image of God ascends to immortality, power and glory. The old mortal image brought Sin and Death, the new image (last Adam) brings life and righteousness (Romans 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:45ff, “life-bringing spirit”). The one who is received up in glory is triumphant humankind, male and female, the glory and image of GOD, not separable though distinguishable (see 1 Corinthians 11:11)

“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.”

[Holy Father, deliver us from all that is satanic that sets women against men and men against woman and enable us to sense the great and wondrous mystery. This prayer in your Son who is the embodiment of yourself in union with man and woman.)




Those who claim they were saved by "faith alone" like to quote Hebrews 11:7 to prove they were saved by "faith only," just like Noah.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of righteousness which is according to faith.(NKJV)

Hebrews 11:7By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.(NASB)

Noah was not saved the minute he had faith, he was saved and became an heir of righteousness after faith, plus preparing the ark.  

Noah was saved by faith plus obedience, not by faith alone.
He was obedient by preparing the ark for saving his household. If Noah had tried being saved by "faith alone" he would have drown just like the rest of the world.

1 Peter 3:20.....God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.(NKJV)

Noah was not saved on dry land by "faith alone." He was saved by faith plus obedience.

Without faith Noah and his household would not have been saved.

Without Noah building the ark, Noah and his household would not have been saved.

Faith plus obedience saved Noah and his household.

Faith only advocates claim they are saved by "faith only." They reject being immersed in water in order to be saved.

Jesus said faith plus obedience saves. Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved....(NKJV)

Noah was not saved until he built the ark and men today are not saved until they are immersed in water.

Noah would have drown without the ark

Men today will drown in their sins if they reject water baptism. Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38. Acts 22:16, 1 Peter 3:21, John 3:5, Romans 6:3-7, Ephesians 5:25-27, Colossians 2:12-13 and Galatians 3:27. 

God will create new heavens and a new earth by Roy Davison


God will create new heavens and a new earth

One evening in 1963 I stood on an overpass near Los Angeles watching hundreds of cars whiz by. I remember thinking: “The climate in the whole world will be affected by all the combustion gases we are discharging into the atmosphere.”

Now in 2007 we hear much about air pollution and global warming. Our present consumption of non-renewable resources is not sustainable. In spite of efforts to reduce carbon emissions and conserve energy, the environment will continue to become more polluted. People will suffer and die because of rising seas, dike breaches and extreme weather conditions.

Do your part to help preserve the environment, but do not worry too much about this old earth. God has promised us a new one, and it will be pollution free:
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.
But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing,
And her people a joy.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
And joy in My people;
The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her,
Nor the voice of crying”
(Isaiah 65:17-19).

God gave this promise about 700 years before Christ. Although Jerusalem would be destroyed by the Babylonians as punishment for sin, God promised to create a new Jerusalem where righteousness dwells. This new Jerusalem would be on a new earth under a new firmament.

Jerusalem lay in ruins for 70 years. Then the temple was rebuilt.

But in 70 AD, Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed again. For what sin was Israel being punished the second time the temple was destroyed? Two-thousand years have passed, and the temple has not been rebuilt. Daniel's prophesy in chapter 9, verses 24-27 was fulfilled:
24 “Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy.
25 “Know therefore and understand,
That from the going forth of the command
To restore and build Jerusalem
Until Messiah the Prince,
There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.
26 “And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate” (Daniel 9:24-27).

Christ came. The Most Holy One was anointed. The Messiah made reconciliation for iniquity (verse 24). The city and sanctuary were destroyed and the temple sacrifices were brought to an end (compare verses 26 and 27 with Matthew 24:15).

God caused animal sacrifices to cease because they are no longer relevant. The Messiah, the true sacrifice, has come to make reconciliation for iniquity. On seeing Jesus, John the Baptizer declared: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29, 36).

Now more than 2000 years have passed. The sounds of weeping and crying are still heard in Jerusalem. The word 'Jerusalem' means 'City of Peace'. How much peace is there in Jerusalem today?

God's promise to create a Jerusalem where weeping and crying are never heard, still stands, and John the Apostle saw this new Jerusalem in a vision: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are true and faithful.' And He said to me, 'It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son'” (Revelation 21:1-7).

What will happen to this earth? Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away” (Matthew 24:35). In John's vision, “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Revelation 21:1).

In the Scriptures we read about three periods in man's environment.

The first transition occurred at the fall of man. God told Adam:
17 “Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread”
(Genesis 3:17-19).

We know little about the nature of this curse or about conditions on earth before the fall. Paul says about the coming regeneration of the creation: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20, 21).

The second big change in the environment occurred at the time of the flood. Until then men lived to be hundreds of years old. But God decreased man's longevity to 120 years (Genesis 6:3). Later, longevity was decreased again to 70 or 80 years (Psalm 90:10).

Little is revealed about conditions on earth before the flood, but a world-wide deluge would certainly bring much devastation.

Thus, God created innumerable forms of life, “Living things both small and great” (Psalm 104:24-26). There was a degeneration at the time of the fall, and another at the time of the flood.

These two degenerations can explain the tremendous amount of carbon that is trapped in fossil form, something that could only occur by cataclysm. These degenerations also explain why so many life forms are now extinct.

The carbonized organic material that is now under the ground testifies that the earth was once covered by an incredibly large amount of vegetation that was suddenly buried by some catastrophe. The fossils testify that millions of life forms no longer exist.

Evolution is not working. Where are the people who live to be 900 years old? How many now live to be 120? In connection with the changes at the time of the flood we read: “There were giants on the earth in those days” (Genesis 6:4). Where are the dinosaurs? Where are the hairy mammoths that can still be found well-preserved, frozen in the northern permafrost? Millions of species have become extinct and some scientists predict that from 25% to 50% of species that now exist, will become extinct in the next fifty years!

Evolution is not working and there is no evidence that it ever has. The facts contradict the theory of evolution. The number of life forms continues to decrease and there is historical evidence, also from non-biblical sources, for the devolution of man. Babylonian records also speak of a time when people lived to be a thousand years old.

The whole creation has indeed been subjected to decay (Romans 8:20, 21).

Peter also says what will happen to this earth. Speaking of skeptics who cast doubt on Scriptural predictions, he says: “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:5-7).

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).

All this decay, extinction and pollution can be depressing for unbelievers. But Peter, after predicting the destruction of the universe, speaks of God's promise of new heavens and a new earth: “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:11- 13).

If you are not yet a Christian, believe in the Messiah who has come to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness (Daniel 9:24). Confess you faith (Romans 10:9, 10), repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38). If you are a half-hearted Christian you also should repent. Only by faithful dedication to Christ can we expect a happy homecoming on the new earth God has promised.

Even though this creation is subject to decay, it has awe-inspiring scenes of beauty. As we drove home recently, the sky was ablaze with a glorious sunset. Rita and I stopped by the road for five or ten minutes to admire the slowly changing panorama of vivid colors. Considering the beauty of this creation that in God's good time will be dissolved, we can anxiously anticipate the greater glory of the new heavens and the new earth.

Let us rejoice in the promise of God: “I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create” (Isaiah 65:17, 18).

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 for May 27 and 28 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for May 27 and 28

World  English  Bible

May 27

Judges 11, 12

Jdg 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a prostitute: and Gilead became the father of Jephthah.

Jdg 11:2 Gilead's wife bore him sons; and when his wife's sons grew up, they drove out Jephthah, and said to him, You shall not inherit in our father's house; for you are the son of another woman.

Jdg 11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers, and lived in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain fellows to Jephthah, and they went out with him.

Jdg 11:4 It happened after a while, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.

Jdg 11:5 It was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah out of the land of Tob;

Jdg 11:6 and they said to Jephthah, Come and be our chief, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

Jdg 11:7 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, Didn't you hate me, and drive me out of my father's house? and why have you come to me now when you are in distress?

Jdg 11:8 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Therefore are we turned again to you now, that you may go with us, and fight with the children of Ammon; and you shall be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

Jdg 11:9 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, If you bring me home again to fight with the children of Ammon, and Yahweh deliver them before me, shall I be your head?

Jdg 11:10 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, Yahweh shall be witness between us; surely according to your word so will we do.

Jdg 11:11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them: and Jephthah spoke all his words before Yahweh in Mizpah.

Jdg 11:12 Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What have you to do with me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?

Jdg 11:13 The king of the children of Ammon answered to the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when he came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and to the Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.

Jdg 11:14 Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the children of Ammon;

Jdg 11:15 and he said to him, Thus says Jephthah: Israel didn't take away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon,

Jdg 11:16 but when they came up from Egypt, and Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh;

Jdg 11:17 then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, Please let me pass through your land; but the king of Edom didn't listen. In the same way, he sent to the king of Moab; but he would not: and Israel abode in Kadesh.

Jdg 11:18 Then they went through the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and they encamped on the other side of the Arnon; but they didn't come within the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab.

Jdg 11:19 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said to him, Let us pass, please, through your land to my place.

Jdg 11:20 But Sihon didn't trust Israel to pass through his border; but Sihon gathered all his people together, and encamped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

Jdg 11:21 Yahweh, the God of Israel, delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they struck them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.

Jdg 11:22 They possessed all the border of the Amorites, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness even to the Jordan.

Jdg 11:23 So now Yahweh, the God of Israel, has dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and should you possess them?

Jdg 11:24 Won't you possess that which Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whoever Yahweh our God has dispossessed from before us, them will we possess.

Jdg 11:25 Now are you anything better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them?

Jdg 11:26 While Israel lived in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three hundred years; why didn't you recover them within that time?

Jdg 11:27 I therefore have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong to war against me: Yahweh, the Judge, be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

Jdg 11:28 However the king of the children of Ammon didn't listen to the words of Jephthah which he sent him.

Jdg 11:29 Then the Spirit of Yahweh came on Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over to the children of Ammon.

Jdg 11:30 Jephthah vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, If you will indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand,

Jdg 11:31 then it shall be, that whatever comes forth from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, it shall be Yahweh's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

Jdg 11:32 So Jephthah passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them; and Yahweh delivered them into his hand.

Jdg 11:33 He struck them from Aroer until you come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and to Abelcheramim, with a very great slaughter. So the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

Jdg 11:34 Jephthah came to Mizpah to his house; and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances: and she was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter.

Jdg 11:35 It happened, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! you have brought me very low, and you are one of those who trouble me; for I have opened my mouth to Yahweh, and I can't go back.

Jdg 11:36 She said to him, My father, you have opened your mouth to Yahweh; do to me according to that which has proceeded out of your mouth, because Yahweh has taken vengeance for you on your enemies, even on the children of Ammon.

Jdg 11:37 She said to her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may depart and go down on the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.

Jdg 11:38 He said, Go. He sent her away for two months: and she departed, she and her companions, and mourned her virginity on the mountains.

Jdg 11:39 It happened at the end of two months, that she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel,

Jdg 11:40 that the daughters of Israel went yearly to celebrate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

Jdg 12:1 The men of Ephraim were gathered together, and passed northward; and they said to Jephthah, Why did you pass over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didn't call us to go with you? we will burn your house around you with fire.

Jdg 12:2 Jephthah said to them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, you didn't save me out of their hand.

Jdg 12:3 When I saw that you didn't save me, I put my life in my hand, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and Yahweh delivered them into my hand: why then have you come up to me this day, to fight against me?

Jdg 12:4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the midst of Ephraim, and in the midst of Manasseh.

Jdg 12:5 The Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. It was so, that when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, Let me go over, the men of Gilead said to him, Are you an Ephraimite? If he said, No;

Jdg 12:6 then said they to him, Say now Shibboleth; and he said Sibboleth; for he couldn't manage to pronounce it right: then they laid hold on him, and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. There fell at that time of Ephraim forty-two thousand.

Jdg 12:7 Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

Jdg 12:8 After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel.

Jdg 12:9 He had thirty sons; and thirty daughters he sent abroad, and thirty daughters he brought in from abroad for his sons. He judged Israel seven years.

Jdg 12:10 Ibzan died, and was buried at Bethlehem.

Jdg 12:11 After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.

Jdg 12:12 Elon the Zebulunite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

Jdg 12:13 After him Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel.

Jdg 12:14 He had forty sons and thirty sons' sons, who rode on seventy donkey colts: and he judged Israel eight years.

Jdg 12:15 Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

May 28

Judges 13, 14

Jdg 13:1 The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh; and Yahweh delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

Jdg 13:2 There was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and didn't bear.

Jdg 13:3 The angel of Yahweh appeared to the woman, and said to her, See now, you are barren, and don't bear; but you shall conceive, and bear a son.

Jdg 13:4 Now therefore please beware and drink no wine nor strong drink, and don't eat any unclean thing:

Jdg 13:5 for, behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head; for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb: and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

Jdg 13:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came to me, and his face was like the face of the angel of God, very awesome; and I didn't ask him whence he was, neither did he tell me his name:

Jdg 13:7 but he said to me, Behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing; for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

Jdg 13:8 Then Manoah entreated Yahweh, and said, Oh, Lord, please let the man of God whom you did send come again to us, and teach us what we shall do to the child who shall be born.

Jdg 13:9 God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah, her husband, wasn't with her.

Jdg 13:10 The woman made haste, and ran, and told her husband, and said to him, Behold, the man has appeared to me, who came to me the other day.

Jdg 13:11 Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said to him, Are you the man who spoke to the woman? He said, I am.

Jdg 13:12 Manoah said, Now let your words happen: what shall be the ordering of the child, and how shall we do to him?

Jdg 13:13 The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, Of all that I said to the woman let her beware.

Jdg 13:14 She may not eat of anything that comes of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing; all that I commanded her let her observe.

Jdg 13:15 Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, I pray you, let us detain you, that we may make ready a kid for you.

Jdg 13:16 The angel of Yahweh said to Manoah, Though you detain me, I won't eat of your bread; and if you will make ready a burnt offering, you must offer it to Yahweh. For Manoah didn't know that he was the angel of Yahweh.

Jdg 13:17 Manoah said to the angel of Yahweh, What is your name, that when your words happen, we may honor you?

Jdg 13:18 The angel of Yahweh said to him, Why do you ask after my name, seeing it is wonderful?

Jdg 13:19 So Manoah took the kid with the meal offering, and offered it on the rock to Yahweh: and the angel did wondrously, and Manoah and his wife looked on.

Jdg 13:20 For it happened, when the flame went up toward the sky from off the altar, that the angel of Yahweh ascended in the flame of the altar: and Manoah and his wife looked on; and they fell on their faces to the ground.

Jdg 13:21 But the angel of Yahweh did no more appear to Manoah or to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was the angel of Yahweh.

Jdg 13:22 Manoah said to his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

Jdg 13:23 But his wife said to him, If Yahweh were pleased to kill us, he wouldn't have received a burnt offering and a meal offering at our hand, neither would he have shown us all these things, nor would at this time have told such things as these.

Jdg 13:24 The woman bore a son, and named him Samson: and the child grew, and Yahweh blessed him.

Jdg 13:25 The Spirit of Yahweh began to move him in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Jdg 14:1 Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines.

Jdg 14:2 He came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me as wife.

Jdg 14:3 Then his father and his mother said to him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all my people, that you go to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? Samson said to his father, Get her for me; for she pleases me well.

Jdg 14:4 But his father and his mother didn't know that it was of Yahweh; for he sought an occasion against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines had rule over Israel.

Jdg 14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah: and behold, a young lion roared against him.

Jdg 14:6 The Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and he tore him as he would have torn a kid; and he had nothing in his hand: but he didn't tell his father or his mother what he had done.

Jdg 14:7 He went down, and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson well.

Jdg 14:8 After a while he returned to take her; and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion: and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey.

Jdg 14:9 He took it into his hands, and went on, eating as he went; and he came to his father and mother, and gave to them, and they ate: but he didn't tell them that he had taken the honey out of the body of the lion.

Jdg 14:10 His father went down to the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do.

Jdg 14:11 It happened, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

Jdg 14:12 Samson said to them, Let me tell you a riddle now. If you can declare it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing;

Jdg 14:13 but if you can't declare it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing. They said to him, Put forth your riddle, that we may hear it.

Jdg 14:14 He said to them, Out of the eater came forth food. Out of the strong came forth sweetness. They couldn't in three days declare the riddle.

Jdg 14:15 It happened on the seventh day, that they said to Samson's wife, Entice your husband, that he may declare to us the riddle, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire: have you called us to impoverish us? is it not so?

Jdg 14:16 Samson's wife wept before him, and said, You just hate me, and don't love me: you have put forth a riddle to the children of my people, and haven't told it me. He said to her, Behold, I haven't told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?

Jdg 14:17 She wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it happened on the seventh day, that he told her, because she pressed him sore; and she told the riddle to the children of her people.

Jdg 14:18 The men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? He said to them, If you hadn't plowed with my heifer, you wouldn't have found out my riddle.

Jdg 14:19 The Spirit of Yahweh came mightily on him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and struck thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave the changes of clothing to those who declared the riddle. His anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.

Jdg 14:20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

May  27

John 6

Joh 6:1 After these things, Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is also called the Sea of Tiberias.

Joh 6:2 A great multitude followed him, because they saw his signs which he did on those who were sick.

Joh 6:3 Jesus went up into the mountain, and he sat there with his disciples.

Joh 6:4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.

Joh 6:5 Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?"

Joh 6:6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.

Joh 6:7 Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that everyone of them may receive a little."

Joh 6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,

Joh 6:9 "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these among so many?"

Joh 6:10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in that place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

Joh 6:11 Jesus took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to those who were sitting down; likewise also of the fish as much as they desired.

Joh 6:12 When they were filled, he said to his disciples, "Gather up the broken pieces which are left over, that nothing be lost."

Joh 6:13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which were left over by those who had eaten.

Joh 6:14 When therefore the people saw the sign which Jesus did, they said, "This is truly the prophet who comes into the world."

Joh 6:15 Jesus therefore, perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Joh 6:16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea,

Joh 6:17 and they entered into the boat, and were going over the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not come to them.

Joh 6:18 The sea was tossed by a great wind blowing.

Joh 6:19 When therefore they had rowed about twenty-five or thirty stadia, they saw Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing near to the boat; and they were afraid.

Joh 6:20 But he said to them, "It is I. Don't be afraid."

Joh 6:21 They were willing therefore to receive him into the boat. Immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

Joh 6:22 On the next day, the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except the one in which his disciples had embarked, and that Jesus hadn't entered with his disciples into the boat, but his disciples had gone away alone.

Joh 6:23 However boats from Tiberias came near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.

Joh 6:24 When the multitude therefore saw that Jesus wasn't there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

Joh 6:25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"

Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled.

Joh 6:27 Don't work for the food which perishes, but for the food which remains to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For God the Father has sealed him."

Joh 6:28 They said therefore to him, "What must we do, that we may work the works of God?"

Joh 6:29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."

Joh 6:30 They said therefore to him, "What then do you do for a sign, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you do?

Joh 6:31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness. As it is written, 'He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.' "

Joh 6:32 Jesus therefore said to them, "Most certainly, I tell you, it wasn't Moses who gave you the bread out of heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread out of heaven.

Joh 6:33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world."

Joh 6:34 They said therefore to him, "Lord, always give us this bread."

Joh 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Joh 6:36 But I told you that you have seen me, and yet you don't believe.

Joh 6:37 All those who the Father gives me will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out.

Joh 6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

Joh 6:39 This is the will of my Father who sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should raise him up at the last day.

Joh 6:40 This is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Joh 6:41 The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down out of heaven."

Joh 6:42 They said, "Isn't this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then does he say, 'I have come down out of heaven?' "

Joh 6:43 Therefore Jesus answered them, "Don't murmur among yourselves.

Joh 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.

Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, 'They will all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to me.

Joh 6:46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who is from God. He has seen the Father.

Joh 6:47 Most certainly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life.

Joh 6:48 I am the bread of life.

Joh 6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.

Joh 6:50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die.

Joh 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Joh 6:52 The Jews therefore contended with one another, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

Joh 6:53 Jesus therefore said to them, "Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don't have life in yourselves.

Joh 6:54 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Joh 6:55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

Joh 6:56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him.

Joh 6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me.

Joh 6:58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven-not as our fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread will live forever."

Joh 6:59 He said these things in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

Joh 6:60 Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying! Who can listen to it?"

Joh 6:61 But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble?

Joh 6:62 Then what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.

Joh 6:64 But there are some of you who don't believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who didn't believe, and who it was who would betray him.

Joh 6:65 He said, "For this cause have I said to you that no one can come to me, unless it is given to him by my Father."

Joh 6:66 At this, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Joh 6:67 Jesus said therefore to the twelve, "You don't also want to go away, do you?"

Joh 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.

Joh 6:69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Joh 6:70 Jesus answered them, "Didn't I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"

Joh 6:71 Now he spoke of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, for it was he who would betray him, being one of the twelve.

May 28, 29

John 7

Joh 7:1 After these things, Jesus was walking in Galilee, for he wouldn't walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.

Joh 7:2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand.

Joh 7:3 His brothers therefore said to him, "Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may see your works which you do.

Joh 7:4 For no one does anything in secret, and himself seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, reveal yourself to the world."

Joh 7:5 For even his brothers didn't believe in him.

Joh 7:6 Jesus therefore said to them, "My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.

Joh 7:7 The world can't hate you, but it hates me, because I testify about it, that its works are evil.

Joh 7:8 You go up to the feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled."

Joh 7:9 Having said these things to them, he stayed in Galilee.

Joh 7:10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly, but as it were in secret.

Joh 7:11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, "Where is he?"

Joh 7:12 There was much murmuring among the multitudes concerning him. Some said, "He is a good man." Others said, "Not so, but he leads the multitude astray."

Joh 7:13 Yet no one spoke openly of him for fear of the Jews.

Joh 7:14 But when it was now the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple and taught.

Joh 7:15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, "How does this man know letters, having never been educated?"

Joh 7:16 Jesus therefore answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.

Joh 7:17 If anyone desires to do his will, he will know about the teaching, whether it is from God, or if I am speaking from myself.

Joh 7:18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

Joh 7:19 Didn't Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?"

Joh 7:20 The multitude answered, "You have a demon! Who seeks to kill you?"

Joh 7:21 Jesus answered them, "I did one work, and you all marvel because of it.

Joh 7:22 Moses has given you circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a boy.

Joh 7:23 If a boy receives circumcision on the Sabbath, that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me, because I made a man completely healthy on the Sabbath?

Joh 7:24 Don't judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

Joh 7:25 Therefore some of them of Jerusalem said, "Isn't this he whom they seek to kill?

Joh 7:26 Behold, he speaks openly, and they say nothing to him. Can it be that the rulers indeed know that this is truly the Christ?

Joh 7:27 However we know where this man comes from, but when the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from."

Joh 7:28 Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know me, and know where I am from. I have not come of myself, but he who sent me is true, whom you don't know.

Joh 7:29 I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."

Joh 7:30 They sought therefore to take him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.

Joh 7:31 But of the multitude, many believed in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, he won't do more signs than those which this man has done, will he?"

Joh 7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.

Joh 7:33 Then Jesus said, "I will be with you a little while longer, then I go to him who sent me.

Joh 7:34 You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come."

Joh 7:35 The Jews therefore said among themselves, "Where will this man go that we won't find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

Joh 7:36 What is this word that he said, 'You will seek me, and won't find me; and where I am, you can't come'? "

Joh 7:37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!

Joh 7:38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water."

Joh 7:39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn't yet glorified.

Joh 7:40 Many of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, "This is truly the prophet."

Joh 7:41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "What, does the Christ come out of Galilee?

Joh 7:42 Hasn't the Scripture said that the Christ comes of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"

Joh 7:43 So there arose a division in the multitude because of him.

Joh 7:44 Some of them would have arrested him, but no one laid hands on him.

Joh 7:45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why didn't you bring him?"

Joh 7:46 The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!"

Joh 7:47 The Pharisees therefore answered them, "You aren't also led astray, are you?

Joh 7:48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees?

Joh 7:49 But this multitude that doesn't know the law is accursed."

Joh 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to him by night, being one of them) said to them,

Joh 7:51 "Does our law judge a man, unless it first hears from him personally and knows what he does?"

Joh 7:52 They answered him, "Are you also from Galilee? Search, and see that no prophet has arisen out of Galilee."

Joh 7:53 Everyone went to his own house,