"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Fasting That Pleases God (6:16-18) by Mark Copeland


Fasting That Pleases God (6:16-18)


1. You don't hear much about fasting these days
   a. In a culture where the landscape is dotted with shrines to the
      "Golden Arches" and an assortment of "Pizza Temples" (Richard
      Foster, Celebration Of Discipline, p.47)...
   b. ...fasting seems out of place, out of step with the times

2. But the Scriptures have much to say about fasting...
   a. There is more teaching in the NT on fasting than repentance and confession!
   b. Jesus taught more on fasting than on baptism and the Lord's Supper!
   -- Yet some question whether fasting is something for Christians today

3. In His sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught concerning "Fasting That
   Pleases God"...
   a. In connection with other acts of righteousness like charity and prayer
   b. In calling His disciples to exceed the righteousness of the scribes
 and Pharisees [In this study, we will examine Mt 6:16-18, and consider what Jesus had to say about "Fasting That Pleases God." But in so doing, let's begin by answering a few questions...] I. SHOULD CHRISTIANS FAST TODAY? A. THE EXAMPLE AND TEACHING OF JESUS... 1. He fasted during his forty day period of temptation in the wilderness - Lk 4:1-2 2. In His teaching on the subject of fasting: a. He assumed His disciples would fast -- He said "when" not "if" - Mt 6:16-17 b. He said they would fast when He was gone - Mt 9:14-15 c. He taught: 1) How to fast so as to incur God's good pleasure - Mt 6:16-18 2) When done properly, fasting would incur God's good pleasure - Mt 6:18b 3) Fasting should be done only when appropriate - Mt 9:16-17 4) There were occasions when prayer needed to be joined with fasting - Mt 17:20-21 B. THE EXAMPLES OF FASTING IN THE EARLY CHURCH... 1. The brethren at Antioch - Ac 13:1-3 a. Fasting in their service to the Lord b. Fasting and praying as they send out Paul and Barnabas 2. The churches in Galatia - Ac 14:21-23 a. Done in EVERY church b. When appointing elders C. THE EXAMPLE OF PAUL FASTING AS A MINISTER... 1. He listed fasting among things which proved him as a minister of Christ - cf. 2Co 11:23-28 2. Are we not commanded to imitate him, even as he imitated Christ? - 1Co 11:1 (and both fasted in their service to God!) [At the very least, we can say that it is not inappropriate for Christians to fast today. Unless we have medical reasons not to fast, we have very good examples to motivate us TO fast! But to be sure that we fast for the right reason, we should answer another question...] II. WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS FAST? A. PEOPLE OFTEN FAST TODAY FOR VARIOUS REASONS... 1. Some do it solely for health reasons 2. Others do it only in times of grief and sorrow 3. Still others do it as a way to gain self-control -- But these are not reasons Christians should fast in their service to God - cf. Col 2:20-23 B. CHRISTIANS SHOULD FAST WHEN SEEKING DIVINE HELP... 1. In the Old Testament; people of God fasted... a. In times of war, or at the threat of it (Israel) b. When loved ones were sick (David) c. When seeking God's forgiveness (Ahab, Daniel) d. When seeking God's protection (Ezra) 2. In the New Testament; fasting occurred... a. When dealing with temptations (Jesus) b. When serving the Lord (the church at Antioch) c. When beginning a work for the Lord (again at Antioch) d. When selecting and appointing elders (in Galatia) 3. Such fasting should be done in conjunction with prayer a. For fasting, when done properly... 1) Humbles the soul - Ps 35:13 2) Chastens the soul - Ps 69:10 b. The prayers of the humble are more likely to be heard!- cf. Ezr 8:21-23 [This being true, this should help us to answer the next question specifically...] III. WHEN SHOULD CHRISTIANS FAST? A. WHENEVER WE DESIRE GOD'S HELP... 1. These may be occasions on an individual level a. When faced with difficult temptations b. When faced with the serious illness of a loved one 2. These occasions might be on a congregational level a. As when appointing elders b. As when sending out missionaries B. WHENEVER SITUATIONS CALL FOR PERSISTENT PRAYER... 1. Such would be an occasion for fasting joined with prayer 2. Are we not taught that God is more likely to answer our prayers... a. If we are persistent? - cf. Lk 18:1-8 b. If we fast in the proper way? - cf. Mt 6:17-18 [So whenever there is a matter requiring much prayer, fasting in conjunction with such prayer would be appropriate. Finally, let's take a look at...] IV. FASTING THAT PLEASES GOD A. NOT TO BE SEEN OF MEN... 1. As practiced by the hypocrites of Jesus' day, it involved: a. Doing so with a "sad countenance" b. Doing so with "disfigured faces" (perhaps by applying ashes?) -- The only good such fasting might do them is win the praise of men, but certainly not of God! - Mt 6:16 2. Rather, our fasting is to be seen of God a. To be done without any outward appearance of fasting - Mt6:17 1) Therefore, it should include "anointing your head" 2) Also, "washing your face" -- I.e., what people would normally do to as part of their daily ablutions b. By doing this, only God will see your fasting and He will reward you openly (perhaps by answering prayers offered while fasting) - Mt 6:18 B. NOT AS SOME REGULAR RITUAL... 1. This point Jesus made in Mt 9:14-17 2. It should be done only when the occasion calls for it (such as situations where you would already be spending much time in prayer) C. NOT WITHOUT TRUE REPENTANCE... 1. Cf. Isa 58:3-9 2. All the praying, all the fasting, is of no avail if it is not accompanied with penitent obedience on our part D. SOME PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS... 1. Don't go out and fast just because it sounds like "a neat thing to do" a. Take the subject seriously and prayerfully b. Fast only when the occasion is a serious one c. One in which you desperately desire God's help 2. If you have never fasted before... a. Start slow, fast only for brief periods of time b. End slow, gradually breaking your fast with fresh fruits and vegetables in small amounts 3. Fast when you have time to spend in prayerful meditation a. Remember the purpose for fasting b. To humble oneself in God's sight; to seek a favorable answer to prayer for some important plea CONCLUSION 1. There is much more that could be said on the subject of fasting (cf. Fasting - A Special Study) 2. But I hope this suffices to stimulate our thinking on a subject which has often been neglected in both study and practice 3. But implied in Jesus' teachings is that His disciples would fast, and so it is important that we know what is involved in "Fasting That Pleases God" Now as useful as fasting might be, praying and fasting alone cannot save a person who is lost. Paul found this out when he fasted three days after coming to believe in Jesus as the Lord (Ac 9:3-9; 22:6-16). Have you heeded what Paul was told to do? 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' (Ac 22:16)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Is Sprinkling an Appropriate Mode of Baptism? by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


Is Sprinkling an Appropriate Mode of Baptism?

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

In their definitions of “baptism,” most modern dictionaries include the sprinkling (and pouring) of water. Similarly, many in the religious world teach that “baptism” by sprinkling is acceptable and sufficient, while others disagree. Because of these conflicting messages, questions on the issue of sprinkling inevitably arise. What does the word “baptism” really mean? Does it, by definition, include sprinkling? The answers to these questions have a bearing on the meaning of Jesus’ command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19, emp. added).

The English word “baptism” is transliterated from the Greek word baptisma, which signifies dipping or immersion (Thayer, 1958, p. 94; Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, 1979, p. 132). Immersion and sprinkling are two very different things, and the Greek language bears that out (Jackson, 2002a, p. 31). Forms of the word baptisma appear in various extrabiblical Greek writings, where it consistently carries with it the meaning of immersion. Aristotle, Polybius, Plutarch, Strabo, Diodorus, and Josephus all wrote of things that were “immersed” in water, and they all used forms of baptizo (Martin, 1991, pp. 208-210). In the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, there is a passage that plainly shows the clear distinction between the concepts of sprinkling and baptism. Leviticus 4:17 reads: “Then the priest shall dip [baptizo] his finger in the blood and sprinkle [rhantizo] it several times before the Lord, in front of the veil.” In this verse, the word translated “baptize” (or “dip”) is mentioned in the same sentence with the word rightly translated “sprinkle,” so it is clear that in the Old Testament, sprinkling is not baptism. The same holds true in the New Testament. In John 13:16, Jesus “dipped” (Greek bapto) a bread morsel and passed it to Judas. Every time “baptism” is mentioned in the New Testament, it means immersion, never sprinkling. In fact, the practice of substituting sprinkling for baptism was unheard of until A.D. 253 (Thompson and Jackson, 1984, p. 11).

Despite the fact that the word “baptism” has nothing to do with sprinkling, there are several passages of Scripture that frequently are used by advocates of sprinkling to justify their position.

LEVITICUS 14:15-16

Sometimes those who defend the practice of sprinkling claim that three of the most common modern “modes” of baptism (immersion in water, pouring of water, and sprinkling) are all authorized in Leviticus 14:15-16: “And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand. Then the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle some of the oil with his finger seven times before the Lord” (emp. added).

Observe that Leviticus 14:15-16 was written about the process of purification of lepers after they recovered from their disease. This process of purification was the way by which the recovered leper could re-enter Hebrew society (Keil and Delitzsch, 1976, 1: 385). Leviticus 14:15-16 is part of the discussion of the second act of leper purification. This process is similar to one described in Leviticus 8:23, when Moses consecrated Aaron and his sons as priests. Both Leviticus 14:15-16 and Leviticus 8:23 are totally unrelated to New Testament baptism (both passages are addressing guidelines of Mosaic law, not Christian law—see Hebrews 7:22-28; Galatians 3:21-29), and thus cannot be used to justify sprinkling as an appropriate mode of baptism.

ISAIAH 52:15

Some contend that because this passage mentions the word “sprinkle,” the act of sprinkling must be a scriptural substitution for New Testament baptism. We must evaluate the validity of that contention by examining the context of Isaiah 52:15: “So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, and what they had not heard they shall consider” (emp. added). This verse is couched in a portion of Scripture that discusses the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of the world, so it is clear that the One Who shall “sprinkle many nations” is the Lord Himself.

The word “sprinkle” in Isaiah 52:15 is translated from the Hebrew word nazah. Every time nazah appears in the Old Testament, it is translated “sprinkle” (in the King James Version—see Exodus 29:21; Leviticus 5:9; Numbers 8:7), but some scholars believe that a more accurate translation of nazah here is “startle” (e.g., Hailey, 1992, p. 435; Keil and Delitzsch, 1976, 7: 308). Albert Barnes (1950, 2: 258) observed that the usage of “sprinkle” in this context is either an allusion to the sprinkling of blood in the Old Testament (and figuratively a link between that sprinkling and the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross), or to the ceremonial sprinkling of water to symbolize cleansing and purity (see Leviticus 14:51; Hebrews 9:19). However, if nazah were translated “startle,” the emphasis of the verse would change completely. The verse would then tell us that Christ’s suffering was going to “startle” the nations. Many accept that interpretation because of the statement in verse 15, “Kings shall shut their mouths.” This interpretation indicates that many were going to be shocked or even speechless when the Word became flesh, died as a sacrifice for sin, and was resurrected from the dead (Hailey, 1992, p. 436; Jackson, 1991, p. 105). No matter which translation of nazah is correct in this context, there is nothing contained in Isaiah 52:15 that has any connection to New Testament baptism, so it cannot be used to justify the modern practice of sprinkling.


Those who suggest that sprinkling is a legitimate substitution for baptism sometimes appeal to Ezekiel 36:25 as a “proof text.” “And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols” (emp. added). This verse, however, is not in a context concerning baptism. A study of Ezekiel 35 reveals that the language about “washing” is obviously metaphoric. It would have been a fitting metaphor for Ezekiel to use in relating to his audience, because of the Mosaic system of cleansing. Old Testament passages that use language like that used here about “washing” are numerous. For example, Moses recorded in Exodus 30:20: “When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash with water, lest they die.” Exodus 29:4 reads: “And Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and you shall wash them with water.” Numbers 19:18 declares: “A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons who were there, or on the one who touched a bone, the slain, the dead, or a grave.” The concept of sprinkling and washing is prevalent in Old Testament passages, but in such passages (like Ezekiel 36), baptism for salvation is not under consideration. What is under consideration in Ezekiel 36 is, literally, the destruction of one of Israel’s enemies, the nation of Edom, and figuratively, the future destruction of all the Lord’s enemies (Jackson, 2002a, p. 31).

Notice Ezekiel 36:24: “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.” Then, immediately following the verse that mentions the sprinkling of clean water, God said: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). These two verses present the immediate context from which many modern religious people remove Ezekiel 36:25 in order to justify sprinkling. If we are to believe that Ezekiel was writing about a literal sprinkling of water in this verse, then we would also be forced to understand Ezekiel’s usage of “heart of stone” in verse 26 as being literal. New Testament baptism is simply not under consideration in Ezekiel 36:25. Wayne Jackson noted that many denominational scholars who defend the practice of sprinkling as an authentic form of baptism do not appeal to Ezekiel 36:25, because it does not aid their cause (2002a, p. 31). The substitution of sprinkling for true baptism cannot be defended, based on Ezekiel 36:25.

ACTS 2:41

At times, those who accept sprinkling appeal to Acts 2 in an attempt to justify their position. Some suggest that the twelve apostles could not have immersed as many as 3,000 people in one day (Acts 2:41 records that “about three thousand souls” were baptized on Pentecost), so the apostles must have sprinkled water on the 3,000. However, if each baptism took approximately a minute, the apostles could have done the job in just over four hours (Jackson, 2002b, p. 32). Also, nothing in the New Testament demands that the apostles had to do all the baptizing themselves.

Still others claim that ample water was not available in Jerusalem to accommodate all the immersions. However, there were many pools in Jerusalem, some of which were large. The Virgin’s pool was about 132 feet square and three feet deep. The pool of Siloam occupied approximately 800 square feet, and was more than three feet deep. Lower Gihon covers more than three acres, and can hold a depth of twenty feet of water; plus, there were other pools (McGarvey, 1881, p. 201). Without a doubt, on the day of Pentecost, the believers were immersed.


Those who support the substitution of sprinkling for baptism sometimes appeal to 1 Corinthians 10:2 to justify their position. The passage states that “all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea”—a direct reference to Exodus 14:22. Baptism into Moses is entirely different from baptism into Christ, but some who defend sprinkling assert that, because Paul called the crossing of the Red Sea a “baptism,” the Israelites must have been sprinkled as they crossed the Red Sea. [Israel certainly was not immersed in water—the people walked on dry ground (Hebrews 11:29).] What did Paul mean when he wrote that our fathers were “baptized into Moses”?

The meaning of baptism in 1 Corinthians 10:2 is both literal and figurative. The Israelites were baptized—in the sense that they were literally surrounded by water, though the water did not touch them. This is a legitimate use of the word “baptism.” When a body is buried in a cemetery, for example, the body is “immersed” in the ground (surrounded by dirt), though a casket prevents any dirt from actually touching the body. In that sense, the children of Israel were immersed in the Red Sea. Paul also wrote of baptism in a figurative sense: the children of Israel were “baptized” into Moses in that they devoted themselves to his leadership and, through him, God’s leadership. G.G. Findlay explained:

The cloud, shading and guiding the Israelites from above, and the “the sea” making a path for them through its midst and drowning their enemies behind them, were glorious signs to “our fathers” of God’s salvation; together they formed a washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5), inaugurating the national covenant life; as it trode the miraculous path between upper and nether waters, Israel was born into its Divine estate. Thus “they all received their baptism unto Moses, entering through him into acknowledged fellowship with God; even so the Corinthians in the use of the same symbolic element had been baptized unto Christ (cf. Romans 6:3f., Galatians 3:27; n.d., p. 857).

Baptism into Christ is not mandated by Exodus 14:22, though the example of the Red Sea crossing metaphorically foreshadows baptism into Christ, as does Noah’s ark (1 Peter 3:20-21; see Lenski, 1937, p. 391). In Exodus 14, though, the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea in order to save their physical lives, not to save their eternal souls, and the “baptism” of Exodus 14 was instituted by Moses thousands of years before the baptism of Christ came into effect. There is no identification of the proper “mode” of baptism in either 1 Corinthians 10:2 or Exodus 14:22, so the substitution of sprinkling for baptism cannot be justified based on either passage.


This verse often is cited as proof that people should be sprinkled in order to be saved, but a brief examination of the text reveals another meaning. Hebrews 10:22 reads: “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (emp. added). This verse seems to draw its spiritual meaning from God’s old covenant with Israel. During that period of Mosaic law, the high priests had to wash themselves before they entered the Most Holy Place (see Leviticus 16:3-4). Notice Hebrews 10:19-21: “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God….” These verses, and verse 22, both deal with how people “draw near” to God, and the message in verse 22 is clear: our hearts must be true. What apparently makes our hearts true is the “sprinkling” of our hearts. If the hearts of Christians are “sprinkled,” the “evil conscience” is removed and they no longer bear the guilt of sin. The evil conscience is one that does not object to evil (cf. 1 Timothy 4:2). Robert Milligan explained this:

Every act that we perform contrary to the known will of God defiles our conscience and also our consciousness; we have them both an evil conscience and an evil self-consciousness. And this, so long as it continues, must seriously interrupt our union, communion, and fellowship with God. The child that is suffering from an evil consciousness on account of its having transgressed the known will of its father can not, so long as the feeling lasts, approach Him with perfect confidence. But when it repents of the evil, confesses the wrong, and feels fully assured that the fault is forgiven, then what a change comes over it (1950, p. 281).

The Hebrews writer did make reference to baptism, but notice how he did it. Verse 22 says our hearts are sprinkled from an evil conscience, but that our bodies are washed with pure water. Sprinkling is indeed under consideration in Hebrews 10:22, but the reader must take care to observe what, exactly, is being “sprinkled.” In this passage, the Hebrew writer illustrates the need to have our hearts sprinkled, so obviously the meaning is not literal, but must be understood as figurative or metaphorical. The only portion of the verse that potentially deals with literal water is the part that mentions a “washing.” What is this washing? It is the same “washing of regeneration” that is mentioned in Titus 3:5—baptism (Milligan, 1950, p. 282). However, the portion of the verse that deals with sprinkling does not apply to the portion of the verse that deals with baptism. The hearts of Christians are figuratively sprinkled with the blood of Christ, but their bodies are washed (they are buried in water for the forgiveness of their sins; see Acts 22:16; Mark 16:16). The modern practice of sprinkling for baptism is not authorized by Hebrews 10:22.


If the “proof texts” for sprinkling as a substitution for baptism do not prove that sprinkling is a form of baptism, then what is the authentic, scriptural form of baptism? The baptism Jesus authorized and commanded is precisely what is indicated by the Greek word baptizo: immersion. The book of Acts contains multiple accounts of baptism, and in every instance, the candidate for baptism was immersed. In every instance, that immersion was sufficient (see Acts 10:48; Acts 16:31-33; Acts 22:16).


Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition revised.

Barnes, Albert (1950), Notes on the Old Testament: Isaiah (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Findlay, G.G. (no date), The Expositor’s Greek Testament, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Hailey, Homer (1992), A Commentary on Isaiah (Louisville, KY: Religious Supply).

Jackson, Wayne (1991), Isaiah: God’s Prophet of Doom and Deliverance (Abilene, TX: Quality).

Jackson, Wayne (2002a), “Did The Prophet Ezekiel Preview ‘Sprinkling’ As A Form of New Testament ‘Baptism’?,” Christian Courier, 38:31, January.

Jackson, Wayne (2002b), “Notes from the Margin of My Bible,” Christian Courier, 38:31, January.

Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch (1976a reprint), Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Lenski, Robert C.H. (1937), The Interpretation of I and II Corinthians (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).

Martin, Luther W. (1991) “Translating Baptizo,” Firm Foundation, 106:208-210, July.

McGarvey, J.W. (1881), Lands of the Bible (Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott).

Milligan, Robert (1950), The New Testament Commentary: Epistle to the Hebrews (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

Thayer, J.H. (1958 reprint), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark).

Thompson, Bert and Wayne Jackson (1984), “That ‘Loaded’ Questionnaire,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1181.

Is Satan Real? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Is Satan Real?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Is Satan Real?


Several years ago, after teaching a Bible class on the book of Genesis, a longtime Christian indicated to me that he did not believe in the reality of Satan. This gentleman acknowledged the existence of good and evil, but he thought that “Satan” was simply a word used in Scripture to describe evil, rather than refer to an actual wicked being.

It is true that Satan is evil. (Have you ever noticed that you cannot spell “devil” without spelling “evil”?) He tempts, deceives, destroys, lies, murders, etc. But, he is not merely a word used by the Holy Spirit and His inspired penmen to symbolize evil; he is, as Jesus and Paul referred to him, “the evil one” (Matthew 6:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:3, emp. added). He is not just wickedness; he is “the wicked one” (1 John 3:12, emp. added). He does not merely represent dishonesty; “he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).

Although Satan is not deity and in no way has the infinite, eternal attributes of God, the devil is as real as God. That is, the same God-inspired book that describes the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-benevolent, glorious Creator, also tells us about a real, fallen spiritual being called Satan. His name appears 14 times in the first two chapters of Job (perhaps the oldest book of the Bible). Scripture reveals that God confronted Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:14-16). Jesus spoke to him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). And Michael the archangel contended with him about the body of Moses (Jude 9).

Satan is not a fairytale character on par with the Big Bad Wolf or Captain Hook. He is not a little red cartoon figure with horns and a pitchfork who gleefully sits on a throne in hell (see Butt, 2012). The sooner that Christians take seriously “the adversary” (Satan), “the accuser” (devil), who goes “to and fro on the earth…walking back and forth” (Job 1:7), “like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), the better prepared we will be to withstand his schemes (Ephesians 6:11) and snares (2 Timothy 2:26). We should neither underestimate him nor overestimate him. He is not deity (and thus not all-powerful or all-knowing), but he is also not a figment of our imagination. Unlike God, he desires all men to be lost (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4). Thankfully, “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).


Butt, Kyle (2012), “Satan is Not the Ruler of Hell,” /apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1026.

Is Private Interpretation Possible? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Is Private Interpretation Possible?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Does the phrase “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20) mean that we can’t understand the Bible for ourselves?

A casual reading of 2 Peter 1:20—with little concern for the context in which the passage is found—might very well lead one to understand the verse in such a manner. However, a closer examination of this passage reveals that it has no reference at all to those who read the Scriptures, but refers instead to those who wrote the Scriptures. By studying the context of the passage, one learns that the passage is discussing how the Scriptures came into existence, not how they are to be “interpreted.”

Continuing the thought from verse 20 to verse 21, we read: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (emp. added). That little word “for” in verse 21 connects the two thoughts. The English word “for” derives from the Greek conjunction gar. Strong’s Greek-Hebrew Dictionary (1994) indicates that this word is a “primary particle” that assigns “a reason” and is used in argument for “explanation” or “intensification.” The reason that “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” is because “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (emp. added). The word “for” connects the two thoughts. Peter is saying that the prophets did not invent what they wrote; rather, they were guided by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). No doubt this is why the NIV reads: “No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20, emp. added)—not the reader’s interpretation.

Furthermore, according to Mounce’s Analytical Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (1993), the Greek word epilusis (translated “interpretation” in 2 Peter 1:20) means primarily “a loosing” or “liberation.” The stem of epilusis is luo, and means literally “to loosen, unbind, unfasten” (p. 305). Therefore, “no prophecy of Scripture” ever was released, loosed, or given out by the prophets’ own inventions. They did not put their own “interpretation” on God’s message; instead, the Holy Spirit guided them. Thus, this passage has no reference to present-day interpreters of the text, but rather to those who wrote it—i.e., the prophets or apostles (cf. Ephesians 3:5).

“You’ll Like Yourself A Lot” by Jim McGuiggan


“You’ll Like Yourself A Lot”

Salvation, fullness of life comes to whoever by the grace of God manifested finally and completely and solely in the Lord Jesus Christ. Everlasting LIFE is God’s gift!
At this stage of my life it seems a bit tedious to go on and on saying that because to me it’s so obviously true. Still, if it’s true why wouldn’t we gladly say it.
God is magnificent and glorious for out of love He purposed a world and a human family and meant to do them good; meant to do them eternal good and He meant to do so because that’s the kind of God He is as we’ve learned from the biblical witness that comes to its climax in the blessed Lord Jesus.
I don’t know everything about anything but I’m aware that we the human family can be desperately wicked. I’ll make no attempt to prove that point—is there any sane person who would doubt it?
Let me tell you what has come home to me more clearly as the years have gone by—the human family while it can be desperately wicked can also be profoundly gallant and worthy of admiration. I’m not advocating humanism! But I will not deny that there are hosts of non-Christian people who live lives of moral grandeur. To reject! God in any of the forms that takes ends in everlasting loss.

I say that all the evil present in our world is the expression of human corruption and I believe that our corrupt state as a family is the result of many contributing factors. No one is born bad! The presence of and the pervasive nature of evil gets hold of us and as we grow we enter into that evil way.
But it’s very clear to us that evil isn’t the only thing that’s in the world. We’re persuaded beyond debate that God has not left the human family without help in His war against evil. The ways in which He helps the human family are many but He does help us! That there is good in the world as well as evil is plain to see and all the religious double-talk won’t change it. In their millions there are lovers who love others more than they love themselves. There are people who astonish us with their gallantry when they lay down their lives as caregivers to the profoundly and chronically ill. There are people young and old, rich and poor, female and male, educated or semi-literate, red and yellow, black and white who live gloriously in all parts of the world.
There! When we see such people we see the magnificence of God. There are those who wonder how a good God can be lord of a world that is so desperately wicked and that wonder is no strange thing—didn’t God’s own prophets and psalmists wonder the same thing? But there’s something else to wonder about: how can there not be a good God at work in the world when there is so much human grandeur and honor, gallantry, patience, compassion, self-giving and cheerfulness?

Why would we doubt it? What is it, are we afraid to say these people live lovely lives (not sinless lives) in case they think they will earn heaven by their goodness? Because we know they can’t buy their way into God’s love we must call their goodness evil (as some corrupt religion does) or must we avoid praising them when they do so gloriously what we wish we could do?
God help us to believe that all we see that’s lovely and fine is His work. God help us to believe that He has given them more than food and gladness, friends and family, health and political freedom. God help us to believe that He has gifted them with friends and teachers, literature and experiences that mediate truth to them—truth that shapes their character and strengthens their resolve to love and do what’s right and just and beautiful.
Tell them that! Tell them we see that in them and God has richly blessed them with it and maybe that will enable them to think noble things of God; maybe that will turn their hearts to a God who is already committed to them and who expresses that commitment in the moral glory we see in them.

That beats to pulp denying the goodness in them and damning all the evil in them. Link their goodness to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus! Link their harmless joys and pleasures with Him. Help them to admire Him. Don’t begrudge them their decency, honesty, faithfulness—it’s the work of God. Give them some praise! We don’t need to endorse corruption or remain silent about it but we need to acknowledge the presence of God in moral loveliness wherever and in whoever we see it.
Back in 1938 they made a movie about the work of a priest called Edward Flanagan who began a home for needy boys—a home that grew and grew until it became Boy’s Town. It is a moving and fine movie with plenty of interesting characters in it.
As the movie tells it Flanagan goes to the store of his friend Dave Morris [played by Henry Hull] looking for a $100 loan to lease a house to shelter the homeless boys he’d gathered up. Business man Morris wants to know what Flanagan has as collateral and the priest brings out a cheap watch that the broker has scores of—he sells them for a couple of dollars each. What else? The priest has nothing else but a10¢ toy—the kind with a clown face, two little holes as eyes and two little balls you must get settled in the eyes. That? That’s collateral? Against his better business judgment Dave succumbs to the priest’s plea and loans him the $100, refuses the collateral and urges the priest, “You better leave before I change my mind.”

Flanagan says, “Oh, I’m not afraid of that Dave!”

I love that line! I love it not only because it was the right thing to say but also because Dave Morris was such a character that the priest was able to say such a thing to him. How marvelous it is to know such people—they make a commitment and have no intention of backing away from it. You know such people don’t you? Christians and non-Christians. You’ve met or heard of them; you might well be one of them; one of those that people talk about as I am now talking about Dave Morris who helped Flanagan’s dream to become a reality and wouldn’t “change his mind” until such a place as Boy’s Town came into and remains in existence to this day.

The scene from the movie ends with Flanagan talking the storeowner into selling him some stuff for the house with Morris’ own money and then working another scheme on him. The frustrated Morris blusters and protests but is clearly weakening and the priest says to him just as he’s leaving, “Dave, tonight before you go to sleep you’re gonna like yourself—a lot!”

I love that line too and I fervently hope that some of you who read this, in whom Dave Morris is alive and well—I hope that you know God is enabling you and has blessed you and is pleased with such a spirit in you and that tonight you can like yourself—a lot.





There is a popular doctrine that states, "Just believe in Jesus and you will be saved and can never be lost." Is it true?

Demons believed, they knew who Jesus was and even confessed Him. Were they saved? No.

Mark1:23-24 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And cried out, 24 saying , "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are---the Holy One of God!'' (NKJV)

Simply believing does not guarantee salvation.

John 12:42-43 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. (NKJV)

Simply believing does not guarantee salvation.

Luke 8:13 "But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. (NKJV)

Simply believing cannot save anyone if they fall away. Yes, some people stop believing.

John 8:31 The Jesus said to those Jews who believe Him, "If you abide in My word you are My disciples indeed.(NKJV) John 15:6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (NKJV)

Jesus said those who abide in His word are His disciples.

Are those who reject water immersion as being essential for salvation abiding in the word of Jesus. (Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved...(NKJV)

Are those who say infants are guilty of Adam's sin; abiding in the word of Jesus?

Are those who baptize unbelieving infants; abiding in the word of Jesus?

Are those who worship the Virgin Mary by praying to her; abiding in the word of Jesus?

Are those who say God has selected them for salvation, but selected their friends to burn in hell; abiding in the word of Jesus?

Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says  to Me,'Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven...............23.....depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!. (NKJV)

Simply believing in Jesus cannot save anyone.

Things The Gentiles Seek by B. Johnson

Things The Gentiles Seek

Things The Gentiles Seek

"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" (Matt 6:31-34).

Today we see so many in the church working long hours or even two jobs, sending the wife out to work, and often the older teenagers. We have to wonder if they truly are trusting God. They drive the newest cars and SUV's, have a new multistory home, and even a boat or camper in the back yard. They have parties and go to all the sports events and clubs. Then they worry about losing all they have mortgaged or charged to the credit cards.

Judging from the scripture above, the Gentiles (in the figurative sense) were deemed to be destitute of the true doctrines of religion, and unacquainted with proper dependence on God, heathens in every sense of the word. According to this verse, they made it their chief anxiety to seek food and clothing, whereas Christians, who have knowledge of the Father in Heaven, who know that He will provide for their needs, should not be anxious for those things. Christians should seek first His kingdom, seek first to be righteous, and seek His favor, while understanding that all necessary things will be added to them. God, who has control over all things, can give Christians what they need. He WILL give Christians what HE deems best.

Should we be concerned with earthly pleasures? Should we strive to fit into the world's pattern, where our physical possessions and appearances are more important than our souls and our service to our Creator? Do we want to imitate the worst kind of pagans in our daily living and in our goals? God, our heavenly Father, is infinite in wisdom, and knows all our needs. It is the attribute of a wise and tender father to provide necessities, and not superfluities, for his children.

Numerous passages admonish Christians to be different, better, more focused on spiritual things (Luke 12:29-31; Eph 4:17-19). Christians are not to think like the Gentiles, who consider only their fleshly desires, their physical needs for fun and fulfillment. They are greedy for the things of the world and will worry themselves sick to obtain them.

One thing that surprised me several years ago was to realize that even the way we choose a mate is important with God. We should not lust after a mate nor should we "take a wife" the same way the Gentiles do (1 Thes 4:3-5). Our choices in a partner should be based on spiritual qualities and spiritual goals we have.  However, even the Gentiles knew that committing incest was wrong (1 Cor 5:1).

How much easier our lives would be, how easy to overcome worry, if we truly depended on God for our every need and if we trusted Him in our relationships with each other.

Beth Johnson


Published in The Old Paths Archive


Bible Reading for June 8 and 9 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for June 8 and 9

World  English  Bible

June 8

1 Samuel 9, 10

1Sa 9:1 Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of valor.

1Sa 9:2 He had a son, whose name was Saul, an impressive young man; and there was not among the children of Israel a better person than he. From his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.

1Sa 9:3 The donkeys of Kish, Saul's father, were lost. Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with you, and arise, go seek the donkeys.

1Sa 9:4 He passed through the hill country of Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they didn't find them: then they passed through the land of Shaalim, and there they weren't there: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they didn't find them.

1Sa 9:5 When they had come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, Come, and let us return, lest my father leave off caring for the donkeys, and be anxious for us.

1Sa 9:6 He said to him, See now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes surely to pass: now let us go there; peradventure he can tell us concerning our journey whereon we go.

1Sa 9:7 Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?

1Sa 9:8 The servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have in my hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.

1Sa 9:9 (In earlier times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he said, Come, and let us go to the seer; for he who is now called a prophet was before called a Seer.)

1Sa 9:10 Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went to the city where the man of God was.

1Sa 9:11 As they went up the ascent to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said to them, Is the seer here?

1Sa 9:12 They answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before you: make haste now, for he is come today into the city; for the people have a sacrifice today in the high place:

1Sa 9:13 as soon as you have come into the city, you shall immediately find him, before he goes up to the high place to eat; for the people will not eat until he come, because he does bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat who are invited. Now therefore go up; for at this time you shall find him.

1Sa 9:14 They went up to the city; and as they came within the city, behold, Samuel came out toward them, to go up to the high place.

1Sa 9:15 Now Yahweh had revealed to Samuel a day before Saul came, saying,

1Sa 9:16 Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel; and he shall save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked on my people, because their cry is come to me.

1Sa 9:17 When Samuel saw Saul, Yahweh said to him, Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! this same shall have authority over my people.

1Sa 9:18 Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, Please, where the seer's house is.

1Sa 9:19 Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer; go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today: and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is in your heart.

1Sa 9:20 As for your donkeys who were lost three days ago, don't set your mind on them; for they are found. For whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you, and for all your father's house?

1Sa 9:21 Saul answered, Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? why then speak you to me after this manner?

1Sa 9:22 Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the guest room, and made them sit in the best place among those who were invited, who were about thirty persons.

1Sa 9:23 Samuel said to the cook, Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, Set it aside.

1Sa 9:24 The cook took up the thigh, and that which was on it, and set it before Saul. Samuel said, Behold, that which has been reserved! set it before yourself and eat; because to the appointed time has it been kept for you, for I said, I have invited the people. So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

1Sa 9:25 When they had come down from the high place into the city, he talked with Saul on the housetop.

1Sa 9:26 They arose early: and it happened about the spring of the day, that Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, saying, Up, that I may send you away. Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad.

1Sa 9:27 As they were going down at the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us (and he passed on), but stand still first, that I may cause you to hear the word of God.

1Sa 10:1 Then Samuel took the vial of oil, and poured it on his head, and kissed him, and said, Isn't it that Yahweh has anointed you to be prince over his inheritance?

1Sa 10:2 When you have departed from me today, then you shall find two men by Rachel's tomb, in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will tell you, The donkeys which you went to seek have been found; and behold, your father has stopped caring about the donkeys, and is anxious for you, saying, What shall I do for my son?

1Sa 10:3 Then you shall go on forward from there, and you shall come to the oak of Tabor; and three men shall meet you there going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine:

1Sa 10:4 and they will greet you, and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall receive of their hand.

1Sa 10:5 After that you shall come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall happen, when you have come there to the city, that you shall meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tambourine, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they will be prophesying:

1Sa 10:6 and the Spirit of Yahweh will come mightily on you, and you shall prophesy with them, and shall be turned into another man.

1Sa 10:7 Let it be, when these signs have come to you, that you do as occasion shall serve you; for God is with you.

1Sa 10:8 You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: you shall wait seven days, until I come to you, and show you what you shall do.

1Sa 10:9 It was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs happened that day.

1Sa 10:10 When they came there to the hill, behold, a band of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came mightily on him, and he prophesied among them.

1Sa 10:11 It happened, when all who knew him before saw that, behold, he prophesied with the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?

1Sa 10:12 One of the same place answered, Who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets?

1Sa 10:13 When he had made an end of prophesying, he came to the high place.

1Sa 10:14 Saul's uncle said to him and to his servant, Where did you go? He said, To seek the donkeys; and when we saw that they were not found, we came to Samuel.

1Sa 10:15 Saul's uncle said, Tell me, Please, what Samuel said to you.

1Sa 10:16 Saul said to his uncle, He told us plainly that the donkeys were found. But concerning the matter of the kingdom, of which Samuel spoke, he didn't tell him.

1Sa 10:17 Samuel called the people together to Yahweh to Mizpah;

1Sa 10:18 and he said to the children of Israel, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all the kingdoms that oppressed you:

1Sa 10:19 but you have this day rejected your God, who himself saves you out of all your calamities and your distresses; and you have said to him, No, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before Yahweh by your tribes, and by your thousands.

1Sa 10:20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was taken.

1Sa 10:21 He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by their families; and the family of the Matrites was taken; and Saul the son of Kish was taken: but when they sought him, he could not be found.

1Sa 10:22 Therefore they asked of Yahweh further, Is there yet a man to come here? Yahweh answered, Behold, he has hid himself among the baggage.

1Sa 10:23 They ran and fetched him there; and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.

1Sa 10:24 Samuel said to all the people, "You see him whom Yahweh has chosen, that there is none like him among all the people?" All the people shouted, and said, Long live the king.

1Sa 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before Yahweh. Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.

1Sa 10:26 Saul also went to his house to Gibeah; and there went with him the army, whose hearts God had touched.

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

June 9

1 Samuel 11, 12

1Sa 11:1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabesh Gilead: and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.

1Sa 11:2 Nahash the Ammonite said to them, On this condition will I make it with you, that all your right eyes be put out; and I will lay it for a reproach on all Israel.

1Sa 11:3 The elders of Jabesh said to him, Give us seven days' respite, that we may send messengers to all the borders of Israel; and then, if there be none to save us, we will come out to you.

1Sa 11:4 Then came the messengers to Gibeah of Saul, and spoke these words in the ears of the people: and all the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

1Sa 11:5 Behold, Saul came following the oxen out of the field; and Saul said, What ails the people that they weep? They told him the words of the men of Jabesh.

1Sa 11:6 The Spirit of God came mightily on Saul when he heard those words, and his anger was kindled greatly.

1Sa 11:7 He took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the borders of Israel by the hand of messengers, saying, Whoever doesn't come forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen. The dread of Yahweh fell on the people, and they came out as one man.

1Sa 11:8 He numbered them in Bezek; and the children of Israel were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah thirty thousand.

1Sa 11:9 They said to the messengers who came, Thus you shall tell the men of Jabesh Gilead, Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you shall have deliverance. The messengers came and told the men of Jabesh; and they were glad.

1Sa 11:10 Therefore the men of Jabesh said, Tomorrow we will come out to you, and you shall do with us all that seems good to you.

1Sa 11:11 It was so on the next day, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the camp in the morning watch, and struck the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it happened, that those who remained were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

1Sa 11:12 The people said to Samuel, Who is he who said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death.

1Sa 11:13 Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day; for today Yahweh has worked deliverance in Israel.

1Sa 11:14 Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there.

1Sa 11:15 All the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before Yahweh in Gilgal; and there they offered sacrifices of peace offerings before Yahweh; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.

1Sa 12:1 Samuel said to all Israel, Behold, I have listened to your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you.

1Sa 12:2 Now, behold, the king walks before you; and I am old and gray-headed; and behold, my sons are with you: and I have walked before you from my youth to this day.

1Sa 12:3 Here I am: witness against me before Yahweh, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose donkey have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I taken a ransom to blind my eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

1Sa 12:4 They said, You have not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither have you taken anything of any man's hand.

1Sa 12:5 He said to them, Yahweh is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand. They said, He is witness.

1Sa 12:6 Samuel said to the people, It is Yahweh who appointed Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt.

1Sa 12:7 Now therefore stand still, that I may plead with you before Yahweh concerning all the righteous acts of Yahweh, which he did to you and to your fathers.

1Sa 12:8 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried to Yahweh, then Yahweh sent Moses and Aaron, who brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them to dwell in this place.

1Sa 12:9 But they forgot Yahweh their God; and he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab; and they fought against them.

1Sa 12:10 They cried to Yahweh, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken Yahweh, and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve you.

1Sa 12:11 Yahweh sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side; and you lived in safety.

1Sa 12:12 When you saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, you said to me, No, but a king shall reign over us; when Yahweh your God was your king.

1Sa 12:13 Now therefore see the king whom you have chosen, and whom you have asked for: and behold, Yahweh has set a king over you.

1Sa 12:14 If you will fear Yahweh, and serve him, and listen to his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, and both you and also the king who reigns over you are followers of Yahweh your God, well:

1Sa 12:15 but if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh, but rebel against the commandment of Yahweh, then will the hand of Yahweh be against you, as it was against your fathers.

1Sa 12:16 Now therefore stand still and see this great thing, which Yahweh will do before your eyes.

1Sa 12:17 Isn't it wheat harvest today? I will call to Yahweh, that he may send thunder and rain; and you shall know and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of Yahweh, in asking for a king.

1Sa 12:18 So Samuel called to Yahweh; and Yahweh sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared Yahweh and Samuel.

1Sa 12:19 All the people said to Samuel, Pray for your servants to Yahweh your God, that we not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.

1Sa 12:20 Samuel said to the people, "Don't be afraid; you have indeed done all this evil; yet don't turn aside from following Yahweh, but serve Yahweh with all your heart:

1Sa 12:21 and don't turn aside; for then would you go after vain things which can't profit nor deliver, for they are vain.

1Sa 12:22 For Yahweh will not forsake his people for his great name's sake, because it has pleased Yahweh to make you a people to himself.

1Sa 12:23 Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against Yahweh in ceasing to pray for you: but I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

1Sa 12:24 Only fear Yahweh, and serve him in truth with all your heart; for consider how great things he has done for you.

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

Jun. 8

John 12

Joh 12:1 Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

Joh 12:2 So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him.

Joh 12:3 Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.

Joh 12:4 Then Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, one of his disciples, who would betray him, said,

Joh 12:5 "Why wasn't this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?"

Joh 12:6 Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it.

Joh 12:7 But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial.

Joh 12:8 For you always have the poor with you, but you don't always have me."

Joh 12:9 A large crowd therefore of the Jews learned that he was there, and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.

Joh 12:10 But the chief priests conspired to put Lazarus to death also,

Joh 12:11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

Joh 12:12 On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

Joh 12:13 they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!"

Joh 12:14 Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written,

Joh 12:15 "Don't be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey's colt."

Joh 12:16 His disciples didn't understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him.

Joh 12:17 The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it.

Joh 12:18 For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign.

Joh 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him."

Joh 12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those that went up to worship at the feast.

Joh 12:21 These, therefore, came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we want to see Jesus."

Joh 12:22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn, Andrew came with Philip, and they told Jesus.

Joh 12:23 Jesus answered them, "The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Joh 12:24 Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Joh 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life.

Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

Joh 12:27 "Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say? 'Father, save me from this time?' But for this cause I came to this time.

Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name!" Then there came a voice out of the sky, saying, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."

Joh 12:29 The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."

Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice hasn't come for my sake, but for your sakes.

Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out.

Joh 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Joh 12:33 But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die.

Joh 12:34 The multitude answered him, "We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up?' Who is this Son of Man?"

Joh 12:35 Jesus therefore said to them, "Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn't overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn't know where he is going.

Joh 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light." Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them.

Joh 12:37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn't believe in him,

Joh 12:38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, "Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

Joh 12:39 For this cause they couldn't believe, for Isaiah said again,

Joh 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and would turn, and I would heal them."

Joh 12:41 Isaiah said these things when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.

Joh 12:42 Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn't confess it, so that they wouldn't be put out of the synagogue,

Joh 12:43 for they loved men's praise more than God's praise.

Joh 12:44 Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me.

Joh 12:45 He who sees me sees him who sent me.

Joh 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.

Joh 12:47 If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn't believe, I don't judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

Joh 12:48 He who rejects me, and doesn't receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.

Joh 12:49 For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

Joh 12:50 I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak."

Jun. 9

John 13

Joh 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

Joh 13:2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,

Joh 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and was going to God,

Joh 13:4 arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

Joh 13:5 Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Joh 13:6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, "Lord, do you wash my feet?"

Joh 13:7 Jesus answered him, "You don't know what I am doing now, but you will understand later."

Joh 13:8 Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I don't wash you, you have no part with me."

Joh 13:9 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"

Joh 13:10 Jesus said to him, "Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you."

Joh 13:11 For he knew him who would betray him, therefore he said, "You are not all clean."

Joh 13:12 So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?

Joh 13:13 You call me, 'Teacher' and 'Lord.' You say so correctly, for so I am.

Joh 13:14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

Joh 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

Joh 13:16 Most certainly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, neither one who is sent greater than he who sent him.

Joh 13:17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Joh 13:18 I don't speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.'

Joh 13:19 From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am he.

Joh 13:20 Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me."

Joh 13:21 When Jesus had said this, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, "Most certainly I tell you that one of you will betray me."

Joh 13:22 The disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke.

Joh 13:23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was at the table, leaning against Jesus' breast.

Joh 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him, "Tell us who it is of whom he speaks."

Joh 13:25 He, leaning back, as he was, on Jesus' breast, asked him, "Lord, who is it?"

Joh 13:26 Jesus therefore answered, "It is he to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.

Joh 13:27 After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."

Joh 13:28 Now no man at the table knew why he said this to him.

Joh 13:29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus said to him, "Buy what things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.

Joh 13:30 Therefore, having received that morsel, he went out immediately. It was night.

Joh 13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.

Joh 13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately.

Joh 13:33 Little children, I will be with you a little while longer. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you can't come,' so now I tell you.

Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another.

Joh 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Joh 13:36 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going, you can't follow now, but you will follow afterwards."

Joh 13:37 Peter said to him, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."

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