6/26/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Watch Out For Wolves! (7:15-20) by Mark Copeland



"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

Watch Out For Wolves! (7:15-20)

INTRODUCTION

1. Many people like to think that you can trust religious leaders...
   a. Ministers normally rank high in polls concerning people you can trust
   b. People will often accept whatever a preacher, priest, or rabbi
      says as the truth

2. Yet Jesus told His disciples to beware of false prophets - Mt 7:15-20
   a. They may appear like sheep, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves
   b. We need to be able to identify them, knowing what to look for

3. Are you concerned about false prophets today?  You should be!
   a. The great diversity of teaching suggests that many are being misled
   b. We need to be reminded of the danger, and know how to spot any
      "wolves" that might come our way!

[With the words of our Savior in Mt 7:15-20 fresh on our mind, I wish
to use this opportunity to remind us to "Watch Out For Wolves!"  Let me
first re-emphasize the point that...]

I. THERE WILL BE FALSE PROPHETS

   A. AS PAUL WARNED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS...
      1. To the Ephesian elders - Ac 20:28-31
         a. Telling them to take heed
         b. For even from among themselves would men arise, misleading people
      2. To the church at Corinth - 2Co 11:13-15
         a. Referring to false teachers present even then
         b. Appearing as ministers of righteousness, even as Satan
            appears as an angel of light
      3. To the young preacher Timothy - 1Ti 4:1-3; 2Ti 3:1-9
         a. Warning of the apostasy that would come
         b. Describing the character and tactics of those who would mislead others

   B. AS DID OTHER NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS...
      1. Peter, in telling of the rise of false teachers - 2Pe 2:1-3
      2. John, in calling for people to "test the spirits" - 1Jn 4:1
      3. Jude, in writing of some who had already come - Jude 3-4

[With so many warnings, this is not a subject to take lightly!  But how
can we spot such "wolves" when they appear so disarming (like sheep)?
Thanks to Jesus and the Word of God...]

II. WE CAN IDENTIFY FALSE PROPHETS

   A. BY EXAMINING THE FRUIT OF THEIR LIFE...
      1. We can know them by their "fruit" - Mt 7:16-20
         a. What is truly in their heart will eventually come out
         b. For from the heart proceeds any sin that may be there - cf. Mk 7:21-23
      2. Thus false teachers and false prophets are often betrayed...
         a. By their greediness (e.g., as manifested by their lavish lifestyles)
         b. By their immorality (e.g., as manifested by adulterous relationships)
         c. By their lust for power (e.g., as manifested by religious empires)
      -- Given time, the true character of many false prophets will be
         exposed by the fruit of their life!

   B. BY EXAMINING THE FRUIT OF THEIR TEACHING...
      1. Taking notice of their methods
         a. Working secretly - cf. 2Pe 2:1
            1) Their ministries (especially finances) will be shrouded in secrecy
            2) Rather than being open to one and all - cf. 2Co 8:20-21
         b. Appealing to covetousness - cf. 2Pe 2:3
            1) They draw people with an appeal to what people often
               covet (such as health and wealth)
            2) Rather than preparing people for what Christians can
               expect - cf. Ac 14:23; 2Ti 3:12
         c. Using deceptive words - cf. 2Ti 3:13; 2Pe 2:3
            1) Twisting the scriptures to support their message (just
               as Satan did in trying to tempt Jesus)
            2) Rather handling the word of God rightly - 2Ti 2:14-16
      2. Taking notice of their doctrine
         a. How they twist and pervert the scriptures - cf. Ga 1:8-9
            1) Their gospel may start out right, but becomes twisted along the way
            2) Their teaching often expressed in the terms of man, not Scripture
         b. How they teach that which is clearly contrary to the
            scriptures - cf. Deut 13:1-4
            1) Even if they appear able to perform signs and wonders!
            2) The final test is how their teaching compares to the
               word of God and that of His apostles - cf. 1Jn 4:1,6

CONCLUSION

1. It is not necessary to judge the hearts of those who claim to speak for God...
   a. We need only to be "fruit-inspectors"
   b. The fruit of their life and teaching will become apparent soon enough
   -- This is how we can "Watch Out For Wolves!"

2. Of course, this presumes that our knowledge of God's word is sufficient...
   a. To know what to look for in the life of a false prophet
   b. To know what to listen for in the teaching of a false prophet
   -- Otherwise we will be no different than Israel, of whom God said:
      "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." - Hos 4:6

Are you equipped to identify a wolf in sheep's clothing if you saw one?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Look Who’s Talking by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1349

Look Who’s Talking

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

As we study and defend the Bible, we must keep in mind that we are dealing with an inspired record that contains numerous uninspired statements. Even though “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), not everything that the inspired writers recorded was a true statement. For example, after God created Adam, He told him not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil lest he die (Genesis 2:17). Yet, when the serpent approached Eve, he “informed” her that she would not die if she ate of this forbidden fruit (3:4). Obviously, Satan was not inspired by God to say “You will not surely die.” In fact, as we learn earlier, he actually lied (John 8:44). However, when Moses recorded the events that took place in Eden hundreds of years later, he wrote by inspiration of God (cf. Luke 24:44; John 5:46). When Jesus healed a demoniac, some of the Pharisees accused Him of casting out demons, not by the power of God but by the power of “Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Matthew 12:24). Like Moses, Matthew did not write a lie, but merely reported a lie. The inspired writers of the Bible are in no way responsible for the inaccurate statements that are recorded therein. Whether the statements were true or false, they reported them accurately.

When giving a defense for a particular truth the Bible teaches (cf. 1 Peter 3:15), or when refuting the error that someone else may be teaching (cf. Ephesians 5:11; 2 Timothy 4:2), we must keep in mind who is doing the talking. The above examples are rather elementary: Satan’s statement and the Pharisees allegations clearly were false. But what about when statements are made by individuals who do not seem “as bad” as these?

Oftentimes when attempting to defend a certain doctrine, a person will quote a verse from the book of Job and say, “See, that’s what it says…the book of Job says…therefore my doctrine is proven true.” Not long ago I read an article by a gentleman who was defending a doctrine by citing various verses in the book of Job. This man never indicated who made the statements; he simply cited all of them as being true statements. Those who “defend the truth” in such a way totally disregard one of the fundamental rules of interpretation, i.e., knowing who is speaking. One who studies Job must realize that it is an inspired book that contains many uninspired statements. For instance, we know that Job’s wife was incorrect when she told him to “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). We also know that many statements made by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar were incorrect. Nine of the 42 chapters in the book were speeches by these “miserable comforters” (16:2) whom God said had “not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has” (42:7). Clearly then, one never should quote these men and claim it as an inspired truth.

Finally, we must understand that even though Job was “blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (1:1), there is no indication that his speeches were inspired. Neither He nor anyone else in the book ever claimed his statements were “given by inspiration of God.” In fact, when Jehovah finally answered Job out of the whirlwind, He asked: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (38:2, emp. added). Obviously, God never would have asked such a rhetorical question had Job been inspired. Prior to the Lord’s speeches, Elihu twice accused Job of the very same thing (34:35; 35:16). Later, Job even said himself: “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (42:3, emp. added; cf. 30:16-23). Clearly, then, these passages indicate that Job’s speeches were not inspired.

Through the years, various authors have sought to establish scientific foreknowledge in the passage found in Job 26:7 where Job, in speaking of God, observed that “He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.” Two items from this passage are alleged to be prescientific in nature. First, appeals have been made to the fact that one supposedly can observe an “empty space” in the northern skies—a space where there are no stars, thus corroborating Job’s statement about an “empty space” in the north. Second, some have suggested that since Job’s phrase, “He hangs the earth on nothing,” is literally true (because as everyone now knows, the Earth is freely suspended in space), this is an example of scientific foreknowledge. But if we attempt to convince people that this verse is to be taken literally, how do we then consistently deal with statements in the same chapter that obviously are figurative (such as verse 11: “The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at his rebuke”)? Further, there is no empty space in the north. Instead, “billions of stars and galaxies extend outward in all directions” (DeYoung, 1989, p. 95). [Job was not speaking of a literal “empty space” in the north. During his day, pagan gods of idolaters were said to live “in the north.” Job pointed out, correctly, that this could not be true because in the north there was nothing but “an empty space.”]

The honest Christian desires to defend the Word of God with every legitimate weapon in the apologetic arsenal. However, we only hurt the cause of Christ when we employ arguments that are backed by uninspired statements. When studying your Bible or when teaching and defending one of its many truths, always remember to look who’s talking.

REFERENCES

DeYoung, Donald B. (1989), Astronomy and the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Letting the Bible Explain Itself by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=5589

Letting the Bible Explain Itself

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The scene is quite familiar to many people: a nervous, well-intentioned, but sometimes ill-prepared Bible teacher stands or sits before the class, reads a passage of Scripture, and then begins a discussion with this simple question, “What does this mean to you?” The question seems innocent enough. Many people find it quite appropriate. After all, Bible teachers don’t know everything, and class discussions can be very beneficial.1 So why not give everyone an opportunity to tell the class what a Bible verse means to them?

In short, because it simply does not matter what a particular Bible passage means to you or me. The actual, true explanation of the text is ultimately all that matters (i.e., what did God mean?). If there is a right interpretation of a section of Scripture, then that particular, correct explanation should be the only interpretation we seek. Application of the sacred text to our own individual lives certainly is vital to genuine Christian living, but first, we must come to a right understanding of the text (Ephesians 5:17).2 How do we do this? By allowing God to explain Himself. Similar to how we frequently ask those with whom we are engaged in conversations to explain themselves when they use words or expressions that we do not understand, if God gave us the Bible, then we need to seek His explanation of His Word. Whenever possible, we must allow the Bible to explain itself. This principle of Bible interpretation is both logical and God-honoring.

As great and faithful as was Joseph the patriarch, he informed the King of Egypt that “it is not in me” to interpret Pharaoh’s divinely revealed dreams (Genesis 41:16).3 God was the only One Who knew for sure what the dreams meant (since He was the One Who caused them in the first place), and He chose to give Joseph the meaning so that he, in turn, could inform Pharaoh. More than 1,000 years later, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, also had a special dream from God. As he sought a revelation and an interpretation of the inspired dream, the prophet Daniel informed the king that “there is a God in heaven Who reveals secrets” (Daniel 2:28). Only when God revealed the meaning of the dream to Daniel (2:19-23) could he in turn be of real help to Nebuchadnezzar. In essence, the faithful prophet Daniel logically and honorably allowed God to explain Himself.

Bible students and teachers in the 21st century need to learn from the faithful prophets of old the important lesson of humbly seeking God’s explanation of His revealed will. Since some things in Scripture are “hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16), we must approach the study of the Scriptures with the utmost care and attention. Like the apostles, we prayerfully need to seek the Master’s truthful explanations (“Explain to us the parable of the tares,” Matthew 13:36) and not rely on the imaginative, diverse, biased, and ever-changing opinions of man. If the Bible is God’s all-sufficient revelation to mankind,4 and the entirety of His Word is truth and forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:160,89), then whenever and wherever possible, we must allow the Bible to explain itself. Although helpful man-made commentaries have their place,5 no uninspired commentary can compare to the divinely authoritative commentary within the Bible itself. We must allow the immediate and remote contexts of inspiration to assist us in our studies. We must use the simple, straight-forward language of Scripture to help us understand the more challenging texts, and use the literal language to help us better understand the figurative. It is paramount that we use God’s Old Testament to better understand His New Testament and vice versa. If an authoritative elucidation to a particular biblical statement exists,6 we must (as much as possible) get out of God’s way and allow Him to explain Himself! Indeed, as has often been said, “The Bible is its own best interpreter.”

A Word of Caution

When “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) by using the Bible to explain the Bible, we must handle the potential associated passages with the utmost integrity and care. Do the verses actually relate to the primary passage in question, or am I rather carelessly using them to “prove” a preconceived idea? Do I actually understand the secondary passages in their own contexts, or am I rushing ahead to use them to “explain” the principal passage, when I have not yet even understood the supposed “inspired commentary” (the secondary passages)?

Example: A Misuse of 2 Peter 3:8

Second Peter 3:8 is one of the most frequently cited proof texts for the six days of Creation actually being thousands of years (or more) long. Allegedly, “Peter said, ‘One day is a thousand years and a thousand years is one day,’ thus the days of Creation were (or at least could have been) a thousand years (or more) long.” Sadly, for many Christians, 2 Peter 3:8 has become their leading commentary on Genesis 1.

Notice first of all that Peter does not actually say, “With God one day is a thousand years and a thousand years is one day.” The apostle actually wrote: “[B]eloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as (Greek hos) a thousand years, and a thousand years as (hos) one day.” Peter used a figure of speech known as a simile to compare a day to a thousand years. It is not that one day is precisely equivalent to 1,000 years or vice versa. Rather, within the specific context of 2 Peter 3, one could say that they share a likeness.

In 2 Peter 3, the apostle reminded Christians that “scoffers” would arise in the last days saying, “Where is the promise of His [Jesus’] coming?” (vss. 3-4). Peter declared: “[T]he heavens and the earth…are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (vs. 7). Regardless of what the scoffers alleged about the Second Coming, Peter wanted the Church to know that “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise [of a return], as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (vs. 9). Sandwiched between these thoughts is the fact that the passing of time does not affect God’s promises, specifically the promise of His return. If Jesus promised to return 1,000 or 2,000 years ago, it is as good as if He made the promise one or two days ago. Indeed, “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” With men, the passing of long periods of time generally affects their keeping of promises, but not with God. Time has no bearing on whether He will do what He said He would do: “a thousand years are like a day” (vs. 8, NIV).

Bible students should also consider the fact that Peter used the term “day” (Greek hemera) and the phrase “thousand years” (chilia ete). This, in itself, is proof that God is able to communicate to man the difference between one day and 1,000 years.7 (For similes to make sense, one first must understand the literal difference between what is being compared. If there were no difference, then it would be meaningless to use such a figure of speech.) What’s more, within Genesis 1 God used the terms “days” (Hebrew yamim) and “years” (shanim). Many rightly have questioned, “If a day in Genesis is really a thousand years (or some other long period of time), then what are the years mentioned in Genesis 1?” Such a definition of “days” makes a reasonable interpretation of Creation impossible. The facts are: (1) God knows the difference between a day and a thousand years; (2) Peter and Moses understood this difference; (3) their original audience comprehended the difference; and (4) any serious student today can do the same.8

“Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth”

Although there is always the possibility of misusing Scripture when seeking to understand it (just as any communication can be misunderstood when treated carelessly), we must not allow the potential mistreatment of God’s Word to keep us from carefully and sincerely interpreting it. The saving faith of Jesus Christ “comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Hearing and understanding the revelation of God both precedes faith and continues working alongside it as faithful men and women continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Just as the Corinthian Christians were expected to “understand, even to the end” (2 Corinthians 1:13), a continual proper understanding of God’s Word is vital to our spiritual success throughout life.

Like the Bereans, we must seriously “search” or “examine” (Greek anakrino) the Scriptures in a noble, fair-minded fashion (Acts 17:11). The Greek word anakrino means to “engage in careful study of a question;” to “question, examine.”9 It is to “sift up and down;” “to make careful and exact research as in a legal process.”10 Similar to how Pilate “examined” (anakrino) Jesus and found no fault with Him concerning the things of which He was being accused (Luke 23:14), the Bereans examined the Scriptures daily to see whether the things that Paul preached were true. There is a commendable, reasonable manner in which to interpret Scripture, including and especially, allowing God to explain Himself—using the Bible to illuminate the Bible.

Exodus 20:11—To “Make” or to “Remake”?

“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.”

Several years ago, I listened to an evolutionary-sympathizing, radio evangelist emphatically and repeatedly stress that Exodus 20:11 does not mean that God created the Universe and everything in it in six days. Instead, God supposedly “fashioned” or “remade” the Universe in six days after an original creation billions of years earlier. Allegedly, between the time God (1) “created” the world (Genesis 1:1), and (2) “made” (or “recreated”) the world (Genesis 1:3-31), billions of years of time transpired in which evolution supposedly took place. This gentleman based his entire argument about Exodus 20:11 on the belief that “to create” (Hebrew bara) and “to make” (Hebrew asah) always mean two different things in relation to God’s creative acts.

The problem with this theory (commonly known as the Gap Theory) is that the inspired “explanatory notes” God has given us throughout the Old Testament concerning the events recorded in Genesis 1 reveal that the words “create” (bara) and “make/made” (asah) are used interchangeably in reference to the creation of the Universe and everything in it.

Since Exodus 20:11 refers to the events that took place in Genesis, it is quite appropriate to revisit the book of beginnings to see how these two words are used in reference to what took place during the Creation. In Genesis 1-2, bara and asah are used several times in reference to God’s work. Interestingly, they never stand at odds with one another; they teach one central truth: God created/made the Universe and everything in it in six days. For example, on day five “God created (bara) great sea creatures and every living thing that moves” (1:21), while on day six “God made (asah) the beast of the earth according to its kind” (1:25). On day six of Creation, God said: “Let us make (asah) man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Then we are told in the very next verse that He “created (bara) man in His own image.” When Moses commented on this day of Creation in Genesis 5:1-2, he again used these words interchangeably: “In the day that God created (bara) man, He made (asah) him in the likeness of God. He created (asah) them male and female” (5:1-2).

In Genesis 2:4 Moses summarized the events of Creation, stating: “This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created (bara), in the day that the Lord God made (asah) the earth and the heavens.” The phrases “the heavens and the earth…were created” and “God made the earth and the heavens” parallel each other. They are two ways of saying the same thing.

Notice the prophet Isaiah’s use of four different Hebrew terms (including bara and asah) to refer to God’s work at Creation: “For thus says the Lord, Who created (bara) the heavens, Who is God, Who formed (yatsar) the earth and made (asah) it, Who has established (kun) it, Who did not create (bara) it in vain, Who formed (yatsar) it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:18). Did God intend to communicate a different message every time He used different words to describe something? Not according to His inspired commentary. Just as you may tell one person, “I mowed the yard,” you might mention to someone else that “I cut the grass.” You have spoken one truth, even though you used two different phrases.

Though the term asah has a broader semantic range than bara and they may not always be synonymous terms, the fact is, as Hebrew scholar Dr. Justin Rogers concluded: “As any careful reader of the Bible will observe, the Hebrew language does not make a sharp distinction between bara and asah in accounts depicting the Creation. On the contrary, the terms are used interchangeably for Creation throughout the Old Testament, and can often be found in parallel expressions.”11

Gap theorists who contend that the Hebrew words bara and asah must have two different meanings when referring to God’s creative acts “in the beginning,” and who allege that Exodus 20:11 (and other verses) refer to a re-creation of Earth and everything on it, are not logically and fairly interpreting the Bible. Rather than respectfully allowing God’s Word to explain itself, it seems they have chosen to use the latest theories in old-Earth, evolutionary science to manipulate the Scriptures to their liking.

John 2:4—Was Jesus Disrespectful to His Mother?

“Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.’”

Prudent world travelers take into consideration the differences in the countries they visit. They carefully consider their words and actions, knowing that sometimes the same word or action can mean two totally different things in different places at the same time. Wearing “pants” (trousers) in the U.S. is not equivalent to wearing “pants” (underwear) in England, nor is holding up two fingers (which may be interpreted as an obscene gesture by Englishmen).

Similar to conscientious world travelers who fairly interpret the words and actions of those in other countries according to the language and customs of those countries, Bible students must interpret the Bible with the Bible. Allowing the Bible to explain itself is fundamental to a proper understanding of it since the events of Scripture took place in very different times in different places with different people who spoke different languages and who had different customs.

The first time a person reads Jesus’ statement to His mother at the wedding feast in Cana of Galilee (“Woman, what does your concern have to do with me?—John 2:4), he may be a little confused. Why did the sinless Son of God address His mother with the term “woman”? According to Richard Dawkins, “Jesus’ family values, it has to be admitted, were not such as one might wish to focus on. He was short, to the point of brusqueness, with his own mother.”12 According to Dennis McKinsey, “Jesus needs to practice some parental respect.”13 “Imagine someone talking to his own mother in such a disrespectful manner and addressing her by such an impersonal noun as ‘woman.’ Talk about an insolent offspring!”14

As with most Bible critics, Dawkins and McKinsey are guilty of judging Jesus’ words by what is common in 21st-century English vernacular, rather than putting Jesus’ comments in their proper biblical context in a first-century setting. When we allow the Bible to explain itself, we learn that it was not rude or inappropriate for a man in the first century to speak to a lady by saying, “Woman” (Greek gunai). Jesus used this word when complimenting the Syrophoenician woman’s great faith in Matthew 15:28 (“O woman, great is your faith”). Later, as He was dying on the cross, Jesus spoke to His disconsolate mother one last time, saying, “Woman, behold your son” (John 19:26). Then, after He rose from the dead, Jesus affectionately addressed Mary Magdalene (as the angels had just done—John 20:13) with these words: “Woman, why are you weeping?” (John 20:15). As disrespectful as it may sound to us today, the use of the term “woman” in the first century “was a highly respectful and affectionate mode of address,”15 “with no idea of censure.”16 As Adam Clarke remarked: “[C]ertainly no kind of disrespect is intended, but, on the contrary, complaisance, affability, tenderness, and concern, and in this sense it is used in the best Greek writers.”17 The New International Version captures the true sense of this word in John 2:4: “Dear woman, why do you involve me?”

As to why Jesus used the term “woman” (gunai) instead of “mother” (meetros) when speaking to his own mother, we simply do not know.18 We must be careful to say “why” someone did or said something a certain way if the Bible does not give some indication, especially if we are assuming the worst about an individual.19 Contemplating and discussing why Jesus made this statement (and many others which may be left unexplained) is not wrong.20 We simply must differentiate between Bible-inspired explanations and the uninspired suggestions of men (however interesting they may be).

Mark 8:31—On What Day Exactly Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?

“And He [Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”

The most frequent reference to Jesus’ resurrection in the New Testament reveals that He rose from the grave on the third day of His entombment. Matthew and Luke both record Jesus as prophesying that He would rise from the grave on this day (Matthew 17:23; Luke 9:22). The apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle to the Corinthians that Jesus arose from the grave “the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4). And while preaching to Cornelius and his household, Peter taught that God raised Jesus up “on the third day” (Acts 10:40). According to Mark 8:31, however, Jesus predicted that He would “be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31). How could Jesus arise both “on” and “after” the third day? Does the Bible help explain this difference in time in the most important event in the history of the world? Indeed, it does.

Scripture is peppered with references which demonstrate that in Bible times a part of a day was oftentimes equivalent to a whole day. Consider two examples:

  • When the Israelites visited King Rehoboam and asked him to lighten their burdens (2 Chronicles 10:3-4), he wanted time to contemplate their request, so he instructed Jeroboam and the people of Israel to return “after three days” (10:5). Verse 12 of that chapter indicates that Jeroboam and the people of Israel came to Rehoboam “on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, ‘Come back to me the third day.’” Interesting, is it not, that even though Rehoboam instructed his people to return “after three days,” they understood him to mean “on the third day” (cf. 1 Kings 12:5,12).
  • In Acts 10, we glean further insight into the ancient practice of counting consecutive days (in part or in whole) as complete days. Luke recorded how an angel appeared to Cornelius at “about the ninth hour of the day” (10:3, approximately 3:00 p.m.). “The next day” (10:9) Peter received a vision from God and welcomed visitors sent by Cornelius. “On the next day” (10:23) Peter and the servants of Cornelius departed for Caesarea. “And the following day they entered Caesarea” where Peter taught Cornelius and his household the Gospel (10:24). At one point during Peter’s visit, Cornelius spoke about his encounter with the angel of God. Notice carefully how he began the rehearsal of the event. He stated: “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour” (10:30, NASB). Although the event really had occurred only 72 hours (or three literal days) earlier, Cornelius spoke of it as taking place “four days ago to this hour.” Why four days instead of three? Because according to the ancient Jewish method of reckoning time, a part of the first day and a part of the fourth day were counted as whole days. Surely one can see how this information aligns itself perfectly with Jesus’ burial taking place on Friday and His resurrection occurring on Sunday. A part of Friday, all day Saturday, and a part of Sunday would be considered three days in ancient times, not one or two.

By studying these and other passages,21 one can see clearly that the Bible uses expressions such as “three days,” “the third day,” “on the third day,” “after three days,” and “three days and three nights” to signify the same period of time.

Further evidence proving that Jesus’ statements regarding His burial were not contradictory center around the fact that even His enemies did not accuse Him of contradicting Himself. No doubt this was due to their familiarity with and own use of the flexible, customary method of stating time. In fact, the chief priests and Pharisees even said to Pilate the day after Jesus was crucified: “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day” (Matthew 27:63-64). The phrase “after three days” must have been equivalent to “the third day,” else surely the Pharisees would have asked for a guard of soldiers until the fourth day. Interesting, is it not, that modern skeptics charge Jesus with contradicting Himself, but not the hypercritical Pharisees of His own day?

The expressions that Jesus and the Bible writers employed to denote how long Jesus would remain in the grave does not mean that He literally was buried for 72 hours. If we interpret the account of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection in light of God’s divine commentary (as well as helpful, uninspired historical writings which shed light on the culture of the day),22 and not according to the present-day (mis)-understandings and biases, we find perfect harmony in the expressions that Jesus and the gospel writers used to describe Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

Conclusion

How often have we “heard” God, but not actually understood Him? Twentieth-century American author and children’s book illustrator Robert McCloskey once stated, “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”23 Sadly, billions of people on Earth either don’t care what God’s Word says or they don’t care enough to put forth the effort to understand it properly.

Some things are definitely harder to understand than others, and some things we may never fully understand, but one thing is for sure: if we humbly and honestly allow the Bible to explain itself whenever possible, we will successfully arrive at the proper conclusions that God intended for us to reach.

Endnotes

1 Both as a student and as a teacher, I have often benefited from the scriptural, relevant, and practical comments of others in a Bible class.

2 “Explanation” logically precedes “application.” That is, we cannot apply what we do not understand.

3 All bold text in Scripture quotations has been added for emphasis.

4 Read 2 Peter 1:3; John 16:13; 14:26; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 3:1-5; Jude 3; Revelation 22:18-19. See also Eric Lyons (2003), “Hearing God in the Twenty-First Century,” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=912&topic=86.

5 Commentaries are often helpful in noting corresponding historical information, which leads to a better overall understanding of the time, place, and setting of a particular book of the Bible. The underlying Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words are also frequently defined and discussed in a search for a better understanding of the text.

6 Keep in mind, just as the apostles did not understand all of Jesus’ teachings during His ministry (cf. Mark 9:32; John 12:16; 13:7), there are likely a number of things that we will never fully understand about the Bible this side of eternity. No doubt, we can understand everything we need to know to become a Christian and to live the faithful Christian life (John 8:32; 1 John 5:13; 1:5-10), but there may be many things about angels, the Trinity, Satan, heaven, hell, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, etc. that we will likely never fully understand while on Earth. Perhaps one way God tests the sincerity of our hearts is by examining whether or not we are willing to concede that we are uncertain what some Bible passages mean exactly.

7 Some argue that since “God is not bound by time” and “could have taken as long as he wanted to create the Universe and everything in it,” then the days of Creation could have been thousands of years (or more) long. The point, however, is not whether God is outside of time (He most certainly is; Psalm 90:2), but what God has revealed to us—both in Genesis 1 and in the rest of Scripture. God could have created the Universe in any way He so desired; in whatever order He wanted, and in whatever time frame He so chose. But the question is not what God could have done; it is what He said He did. And He said that He created everything in six days (Exodus 20:8-11). Cf. Eric Lyons (2014), “Creation and the Age of the Earth,” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=5000&topic=327.

8 Even if 2 Peter 3:8 could be tied to the length of the Creation days (logically and biblically it cannot), adding 6,000 years to the age of the Earth would in no way appease evolutionary sympathizers. A person could add 600,000 years or 600 million years and still not come close to the alleged age of the Universe. According to evolutionary calculations, one would still be 13+ billion years away from the Big Bang and four billion years this side of the formation of Earth. Truly, even an abuse of 2 Peter 3:8 will not help Day-Age theorists.

9 Frederick Danker, et al. (2000), Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago), p. 66.

10 A.T. Robertson (1997), Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

11 Justin Rogers (2015), “Is the Gap Theory Linguistically Viable?” Reason & Revelation, 35[12]:134-141, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1208#.

12 Richard Dawkins (2006), The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin), p. 250.

13 Dennis McKinsey (2000), Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus), p. 251.

14 Dennis McKinsey (1995), The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus), p. 134.

15 Marvin R. Vincent (1997), Word Studies in the New Testament (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

16 A.T. Robertson (1932), Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman), 5:34.

17 Adam Clarke (1996), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

18 Admittedly, the use of “woman” seems to have been an unusual way to address one’s mother in first-century Hebrew and Greek cultures.

19 Generally speaking, people understand the importance of the principle of being “innocent until proven guilty.” In our daily lives, we generally consider a person to be truthful until we have actualevidence that he or she has lied. In addition to giving peoplethe benefit of the doubt and generally considering them to be truthful about a matter unless we have evidence to the contrary, when we read a historical document or book, the same rule applies. The writing is considered to be truthful until it can be proven otherwise.

20 For example, commentator Leon Morris sensibly supposes that Jesus was indicating that there was going to be a new and different kind of relationship between Him and His mother beginning at the wedding in Cana. “Jesus in his public ministry was not only or primarily the son of Mary, but ‘the Son
of Man’ who was to bring the realities of heaven to people on earth (1:51)” ([1995], The Gospel According to John [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans], revised edition, p. 159).

21 Genesis 42:17-24; 1 Kings 29:20; Esther 4:16; 5:1.

22 The Jerusalem Talmud, for example, quotes rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived around A.D. 100, as saying: “A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it” (Shabbath ix. 3, as quoted in Harold W. Hoehner [1974], “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ—Part IV: The Day of Christ’s Crucifixion,” Bibliotheca Sacra, July, 131:248-249, bracketed comment in orig.). Azariah was indicating that a portion of a 24-hour period could be considered the same “as the whole of it.” Cf. John Lightfoot (1979), A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), pp. 210-211.

23 Attributed to Robert McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman by Marvin Kalb, CBS reporter, in TV Guide, March 31, 1984, citing an unspecified press briefing during the Vietnam war, http://quotes.yourdictionary.com/author/quote/601648.

Lessons Learned in the Practice of Law: The Truth by Kevin Cain, J.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=3759

Lessons Learned in the Practice of Law: The Truth

by  Kevin Cain, J.D.

“I object, your Honor. Hearsay!” Whether on television, the movies, or in real life, nearly all of us have heard these words. I know from experience in talking with jurors that people often wonder, “What is the attorney trying to hide by keeping this testimony from the jury?” All of the 50 states have rules that exclude “hearsay” evidence, including the Federal Rules of Evidence. In essence, the hearsay rule excludes evidence of a statement made by someone who is not present at trial (Fed. R. Evid. 801, 802). For example, the hearsay rule would exclude testimony of what was overheard by another person after an accident took place. If I try to testify about what someone else said at the scene of an accident, a hearsay objection will likely be asserted.

The purpose of this rule is not to suppress the truth, but to safeguard the reliability of the testimony that is considered by the jury. Because an attorney cannot cross-examine, look into the eyes, or administer the oath to the absent witness who purportedly made the statement, courts deem these second-hand statements unreliable, and therefore, inadmissible (California v. Green, 1970). To make this rule even more complicated, there are statements that are excluded from being deemed hearsay; and there are exceptions that, even though the testimony is hearsay, the exception makes it admissible (Fed. R. Evid. 801(d); 803 (listing 24 exceptions), 804, 807). Therefore, what evidence is deemed reliable and, ultimately admissible, may have more to do with the ability of the attorney to navigate these rules of evidence as opposed to what the truth really is. On many occasions I have observed clients express frustration over the fact that the truth did not come out at trial because of the evidence excluded by the judge. At the end of the day, we simply want the jury to know what the truth is so they can make an informed decision and get it right.

But what is the truth? Where did Anna Nicole Smith really want to be buried? Where was O.J. on the night of June 12, 1994? Did Barry Bonds know that he was taking steroids? Did Coach Tressel know about his players’ misconduct? These are the kinds of questions that jurors must answer, and they simply want to know the truth.

“What is truth?” That was the question asked of Jesus by Pilate, and, ironically, it was asked in the context of a trial (John 18:38). Jesus is on trial, and He and Pilate are having a private deposition. The Jews have asked for Roman permission to put Jesus to death, knowing that they cannot legally do this themselves under Roman law (John 18:28-32). In response to this request, Pilate takes Jesus into his palace and privately cross-examines Him (John 18:33).

Pilate asks Jesus if He is the king of the Jews (John 18:33).  Jesus responds by asking if Pilate came up with that question on his own or was he told this by others (John 18:34).  Pilate responds defensively, as if he were the one on trial, and says, “Am I a Jew? It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” (John 18:35). Jesus now answers the question, and declares that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). Pilate, believing he has a smoking gun, declares, “You are a king, then” (John 18:37). Jesus answers that He is a king, and He was born for the purpose of testifying to the truth (John 18:37). It is at this point that Pilate asks the eternally important question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). John does not record that Jesus answered this question (John 18:38). Pilate’s response to this silence is to go to the mob and declare, “I find no fault in him” (John 18:38). Is it possible that Jesus did not answer this profound question because the answer was literally staring Pilate in the face? It was this same Jesus who proclaimed earlier in His ministry, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

Hours before this sham trial, Jesus had been praying in the garden (John 17). In that prayer, Jesus expressed the sentiment, “Sanctify them through your truth, your word is truth” (John 17:17). God’s Word, the Bible, is truth. That truth was personified in the body and life of Jesus, and Jesus is called the Word (John 1:1,14). Moreover, Jesus called Himself the truth (John 14:6). Therefore, we cannot separate truth from God’s Word from Jesus Himself. They are one and the same. 

The author John makes a final point about truth that must not escape our attention. We can know the truth. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). As jurors who are listening to the testimony of the life, death, burial, resurrection, and teaching of Jesus, we are told that the truth is something we can know. It is not some gray, amorphous, intangible thing floating around out there that we can never presume to understand. We may never know the truth about where a suspect was on the night his wife was murdered, but we can know the truth of God’s holy Word. It is reliable and understandable.

Just pause for a moment and consider the many passages that emphasize that we can know and understand God’s Word. God implored the people of Isaiah’s day, “Come now, and let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). The saints at Berea “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). We are to “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Moreover, we are commanded to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). John instructs us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). When Jesus referred to the book of Daniel, the verse concludes by stating, “Let the reader understand” (Matthew 24:15).

When the lawyer asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus responded by asking the lawyer how he read or interpreted the law (Luke 10:25-26). After the lawyer answered, Jesus stated, “You have answered correctly” (Luke 10:27-28). Surely if a lawyer could understand the Bible, anyone can. These passages are merely illustrative of the absolute fact that men and women can come to the truth, investigate and reason over the truth, and understand the truth.

Some may quickly turn and say, “But doesn’t the Bible itself admit that Scripture is difficult to understand?” The questioner is likely alluding to 2 Peter 3:16, wherein Peter, referring to Paul’s writings, states that there are “some things hard to understand.” First, notice that in 2 Peter 3:16 there are some things that are hard to understand, but not impossible to understand. More importantly, these things are not hard to understand because they contain concepts too deep for mankind to fathom and comprehend. Rather, this verse explicitly states that Paul’s writings are hard to understand because some come to God’s Word with a degree of ignorance and lack of maturity that cause them to twist not only Paul’s inspired writings, but all the Scripture. “He [Paul] writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). In other words, we can understand the Bible if we do not come with unhealthy predispositions and if we are willing to be taught. We can understand God’s Word if we approach it with good and honest hearts—hearts ready to accept and humbly obey God’s Word regardless of the consequences (Luke 8:15).

The issue with all Scripture is not whether we can understand it—the issue is whether we are willing to do it. When Jesus proclaimed some very basic principles of marriage as it relates to the subject of divorce and remarriage (Matthew 19:1-9), His disciples responded that this teaching was so harsh that it would be better for some not to marry (Matthew 19:10). Notice that the disciples did not say, “This teaching on divorce and remarriage is hard to comprehend so we should all just keep our opinions to ourselves.” No, they fully understood this hard saying—not because it was hard to understand, but because it was hard to live.

When Jesus spoke of the level of absolute commitment of His disciples in metaphorical terms of eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus, His disciples responded, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60). This was not a concept that could not be understood, it was simply a concept that required great sacrifice, great commitment, and great humility. As such, upon hearing this teaching, most disciples turned and never followed Jesus again (John 6:66). This would explain why Jesus immediately asked, “Does this offend you?” (John 6:61). This was not the first time that Jesus’ teachings were clearly understood, and caused others to be offended. When Jesus taught in his hometown, the people were offended (Matthew 13:57). The Pharisees were offended at the simple teaching of Jesus when he proclaimed that what makes a man unclean is determined by what comes out of that person, not that which goes in (Matthew 15:12). All of the apostles were offended because of Jesus on the night He was betrayed (Matthew 26:31). Jesus did not offend others because His teaching and doctrine were not clear. Rather, Jesus offended people in His lifetime because people understood what He taught, and did not like what Jesus had to say.

There is not a single instance in the Bible where someone exhibits such bold dishonesty by trying to argue that they disobeyed God because they were confused or could not understand what God had commanded. Adam blamed his wife (Genesis 3:12), Aaron blamed the people (Exodus 32:22), the Israelites blamed difficult circumstances (Numbers 13:31). But nowhere in the Bible does anyone have the gall to offer the immature excuse, “I simply could not understand what you meant, God.”

We can know the truth. We can know the truth about God, in spite of the fact that many in the world do not believe in the existence of the God of the Bible. We can know the truth about God’s teaching on divorce and remarriage—it may be hard to apply, but the teaching is clear.  We can know the truth about baptism—it may cause others to be offended because they themselves are not baptized, but that does not change the truth and our ability to know it.  Is this to say that we can know all things and claim to have knowledge parallel to God’s? Absolutely not. The Bible is clear that there are many matters we will never comprehend.  That was part of God’s response to Job (Job 38-40). However, the Bible plainly teaches that while there are matters beyond our comprehension, there are things that God has revealed to us that we can understand. “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). It would surely be impossible to follow that which we cannot understand. Notice that the Israelites had the ability to “follow all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). We can understand every word, every sentence, every thought, and every precept that God has revealed to us. We call those words, sentences, thoughts, and precepts the holy Word of God—the Bible.

We can know God’s Word—the truth. God has given us His Word so that we can make informed decisions in life based on the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

REFERENCES

California v. Green, 399 U.S. 149, 158 (1970).

Fed. R. Evid. 801, 802, 803, 804, 807.

Is There a Gospel for the Happy? by Jim McGuiggan


http://theabidingword.com/logos/index.html

She said, “ I know you have a gospel for the poor, the hurting, the unhappy; do you have a gospel for the happy?”

I know we have a gospel for those weighed down with sins; do we have a gospel for those who aren’t burdened down with sins?

Is our gospel only one of assurance for the fearful, a promise of future deliverance to the captives and the oppressed; is it pretty much summarized in the consoling old and sad hymn, “We’ll understand it better by and by?
Are there no marvelous friendships in the world? No loving parents and happy children? Are there no jobs that bring in a good wage and re a pleasure to turn up for? Are there no comfortable homes, beds that insist on giving you a great night’s sleep, no delicious food, no clean water, no parks, happy rivers, pleasant surroundings–all those and more that make life pleasant?
Of course we hear Jesus say, “If you’re weary and heavy laden come unto me and I will give you rest.” And there was the time (Luke 4) when he said he had come to free prisoners, to heal broken hearts, to deliver people from demonic bondage and to give sight to the blind, unhappy, sad and overburdened souls. We don’t need to apologize for such a gospel; He didn’t! He saw multitudes like sheep without shepherds and He had compassion on them. But is that the entire story? Can you ever imagine Jesus saying, “Come to me if you’re energetic, happy and not a prisoner of besetting sins and I will give you a commission to match your blessedness?” Is He always offering consolation and never challenge? We never hear Him saying, I want you to enjoy your friends and your families and all the blessings that come your way in life—these are gifts from my Father!”

We experience sadness at the death of our beloved ones—and we won’t apologize for it. But we will not live as victims of death.

We refuse to be the prisoners of disease, old age, terminal wards, hospice care or old cemeteries! Nor despite our tears will we think of our beloved ones as slaves of any of these.

 (Oh you mysterious, wondrous God and Father of mankind, thank you for making us conquerors in Jesus Christ come what may. This prayer in His name.)

THE TRUTH VERSUS DOCTRINAL POSITIONS by steve finnell


http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-truth-versus-doctrinal-positions-by.html

THE TRUTH VERSUS DOCTRINAL POSITIONS by steve finnell


When the truth opposes doctrinal positions, men reject the truth. If Scripture is contrary to long held denominational teaching most men either reject Scripture outright or explain it away. God's truth, found in the Bible, is the first casualty of denominational rules for faith and practice.

God's Truth: 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; it there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.........13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NASB)

Opposite of God's Truth: Gifts of prophecy have not been done away with. Tongues have not ceased. Knowledge that is God's revelation to men has not been done away with. Faith, hope, love, tongues, prophecy, and special knowledge from God, these six abide with us today.

God's Truth: Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.(NASB)

Opposite of God's Truth: He who has believed is saved immediately. Water baptism has nothing to do with being saved. Besides that, Mark 16:16 should not be included the  Bible away; because it is not included in some manuscripts. You really cannot trust God to give mankind an accurate translation of the Bible.

God's Truth: Acts 10:25-26 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am just a man."(NASB)

Opposite of God's Truth: The apostle Peter should have permitted Cornelius to worship him; because the apostle Peter was the first Catholic pope. Cornelius should have kissed Peter's ring and feet. Cornelius was correct, he should have treated Peter with awe, reverence. adoration, and veneration. Peter was the first Holy Father on earth and deserved to be worshipped.

God's Truth: Revelation 3:1-6 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write:..........5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life....(NASB)

Opposite of God's Truth: Jesus was not talking to Christians. Christians are once saved always saved, there is no possibility of having their names erased from the book of life.


The first casualty of God's truth is man's opinion.

Concerns About Baptism by Eugene Perry

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Perry/Eugene/Charles/1922/Articles/baptism.html

Concerns About Baptism

Many years ago a listener came to me expressing concern. I had just preached and concluded an entire sermon without even mentioning baptism or its relationship to salvation. Such was expected to be a part of or in the conclusion of every sermon. After all, were we not in the Salvation business with Jesus.

There have been changes since that long-ago episode. Now, we sometimes hear expressions of concern if baptism is mentioned "too" frequently. In many churches, members cannot even remember when it was mentioned and would be surprised if it was mentioned, let alone emphasized. When we see people transferring to denominational groups or community churches we should not be surprised. We have made the transition too easy. The difference may not even be noticed and, if it is, it will not likely be consider of much importance.

In this matter, one thing that has been a marvel to me is what must be a deliberate exclusion, by many, of baptism from the things leading to salvation. There are tracts and other printed items that, although entitled, "God's Plan of Salvation" or something similar, manage to make no mention of baptism. These can only be the product of those who have chosen to leave out what the scriptures repeatedly include.

The reader is challenged to go through the New Testament and make two lists. A list of the scripture references where baptism is stated to be related to salvation, forgiveness, cleansing and church membership (i.e. becoming a part of the body of Christ). And a list of the references where baptism is mentioned but not related to the above. The results will be interesting and should be convincing. Accept this challenge!

Another marvel to me has been the manner in which proponents of salvation prior to and without baptism are quick to call it a work of man and therefore not required because "Jesus did it all" and there is nothing that man must contribute. It is not of works. We must recognize that, although baptism is a re-enactment of the death, burial and resurrection of our Saviour and involves an act of submission on man's part, it is only truly baptism because of God's work in our hearts when we are baptized. On man's part believing, repenting and confessing faith, all of which are usually included, involve more work than is involved in submitting to being immersed in obedience to God's will.

Again, I marvel to hear well-read Bible scholars when discussing the question of what makes one a Christian declare without hesitation and dogmatically, "It's not baptism." Does this come from man's reasoning or God's teaching? Certainly, salvation does not result from dipping one in water. Yet that it is a vital part of the "Plan of Salvation" cannot honestly be denied by one who reads without prejudice.

Another marvel is that men have been so bold as to change the mode of baptism. What the scriptures frequently call a burial, what is understood to have been the meaning of the word itself, what is admitted to have been the practise of the church for many centuries and what was evidently meant to be a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ has been changed to an act of sprinkling or pouring water. This neither fits the meaning of the word, conforms to the original practise nor presents the intended picture. How dare men do such a thing.

Lastly, these changes and interpretations become even more daring when one considers that baptism's part in salvation, which men have tended to deemphasize or deny, was a dominant feature of the parting statement/instruction that Jesus made to his closest disciples. His parting wish was that the "good news" of salvation be preached to all the world so that those who believed and submitted in baptism would be saved. (Mk 16:15,16; Mt.28:19)

If anyone doubts this or perhaps thinks it is being misinterpreted or misunderstood by us, the matter is easily clarified by an observance of the apostles as they went about carrying out Jesus' parting wishes. What did they understand?

Their first efforts are recorded in the second chapter of Acts. Note Peter's statement, "Repent and be baptized, everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins . . ." (v.38). Surely these people who actually heard Jesus statement and who were led by the Holy Spirit had a better perception of the Lord's intent than any "scholar" or "interpreter" lacking these benefits and part of a different culture.

The wishes of a departing loved one are usually consider significant and are carefully and respectfully carried out. To ignore them or alter them is to practise shameful disrespect. We are also careful to recognize the intent of the departed. The beneficiary often receives the inheritance upon compliance with conditions. The inheritance that Jesus willed to us is "salvation" and the conditions are faith, repentance, confession and baptism.

Remember that Jesus came to bring salvation. He died, was buried and was resurrected to make this possible. Baptism is a re-enactment of this (Rom.6:3-7, 17, 18). Jesus' departing words linked baptism with salvation. The apostles, in compliance with these parting words preached and practiced baptism in relation to salvation.

Don't throw it out. Rather check it out and then carry it out.

Eugene Perry

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading June 26 - 28 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading June 26 - 28

World  English  Bible

June 26

2 Samuel 19-21

2Sa 19:1 It was told Joab, Behold, the king weeps and mourns for Absalom.

2Sa 19:2 The victory that day was turned into mourning to all the people; for the people heard say that day, The king grieves for his son.

2Sa 19:3 The people got them by stealth that day into the city, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.

2Sa 19:4 The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, my son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!

2Sa 19:5 Joab came into the house to the king, and said, You have shamed this day the faces of all your servants, who this day have saved your life, and the lives of your sons and of your daughters, and the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines;

2Sa 19:6 in that you love those who hate you, and hate those who love you. For you have declared this day, that princes and servants are nothing to you: for this day I perceive that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased you well.

2Sa 19:7 Now therefore arise, go out, and speak to comfort your servants; for I swear by Yahweh, if you don't go out, not a man will stay with you this night: and that would be worse to you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth until now.

2Sa 19:8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. They told to all the people, saying, Behold, the king is sitting in the gate: and all the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his tent.

2Sa 19:9 All the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land from Absalom.

2Sa 19:10 Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why don't you speak a word of bringing the king back?

2Sa 19:11 King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, to bring him to his house.

2Sa 19:12 You are my brothers, you are my bone and my flesh: why then are you the last to bring back the king?

2Sa 19:13 Say to Amasa, Aren't you my bone and my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if you aren't captain of the army before me continually in the room of Joab.

2Sa 19:14 He bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent to the king, saying, Return, you and all your servants.

2Sa 19:15 So the king returned, and came to the Jordan. Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king over the Jordan.

2Sa 19:16 Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was of Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David.

2Sa 19:17 There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went through the Jordan in the presence of the king.

2Sa 19:18 A ferry boat went to bring over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, when he was come over the Jordan.

2Sa 19:19 He said to the king, Don't let my lord impute iniquity to me, neither do you remember that which your servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart.

2Sa 19:20 For your servant does know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I have come this day the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.

2Sa 19:21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered, Shall Shimei not be put to death for this, because he cursed Yahweh's anointed?

2Sa 19:22 David said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be adversaries to me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for don't I know that I am this day king over Israel?

2Sa 19:23 The king said to Shimei, You shall not die. The king swore to him.

2Sa 19:24 Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace.

2Sa 19:25 It happened, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, Why didn't you go with me, Mephibosheth?

2Sa 19:26 He answered, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for your servant said, I will saddle me a donkey, that I may ride thereon, and go with the king; because your servant is lame.

2Sa 19:27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in your eyes.

2Sa 19:28 For all my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right therefore have I yet that I should cry any more to the king?

2Sa 19:29 The king said to him, Why do you speak any more of your matters? I say, You and Ziba divide the land.

2Sa 19:30 Mephibosheth said to the king, yes, let him take all, because my lord the king is come in peace to his own house.

2Sa 19:31 Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim; and he went over the Jordan with the king, to conduct him over the Jordan.

2Sa 19:32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even eighty years old: and he had provided the king with sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man.

2Sa 19:33 The king said to Barzillai, Come over with me, and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem.

2Sa 19:34 Barzillai said to the king, How many are the days of the years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem?

2Sa 19:35 I am this day eighty years old: can I discern between good and bad? can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? why then should your servant be yet a burden to my lord the king?

2Sa 19:36 Your servant would but just go over the Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward?

2Sa 19:37 Please let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city, by the grave of my father and my mother. But behold, your servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good to you.

2Sa 19:38 The king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good to you: and whatever you shall require of me, that will I do for you.

2Sa 19:39 All the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over: and the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned to his own place.

2Sa 19:40 So the king went over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him: and all the people of Judah brought the king over, and also half the people of Israel.

2Sa 19:41 Behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king, and his household, over the Jordan, and all David's men with him?

2Sa 19:42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is a close relative to us: why then are you angry for this matter? have we eaten at all at the king's cost? or has he given us any gift?

2Sa 19:43 The men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than you: why then did you despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? The words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.


2Sa 20:1 There happened to be there a base fellow, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew the trumpet, and said, We have no portion in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, Israel.

2Sa 20:2 So all the men of Israel went up from following David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah joined with their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.

2Sa 20:3 David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in custody, and provided them with sustenance, but didn't go in to them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood.

2Sa 20:4 Then said the king to Amasa, Call me the men of Judah together within three days, and be here present.

2Sa 20:5 So Amasa went to call the men of Judah together; but he stayed longer than the set time which he had appointed him.

2Sa 20:6 David said to Abishai, Now will Sheba the son of Bichri do us more harm than did Absalom: take your lord's servants, and pursue after him, lest he get him fortified cities, and escape out of our sight.

2Sa 20:7 There went out after him Joab's men, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men; and they went out of Jerusalem, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.

2Sa 20:8 When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was girded with his apparel of war that he had put on, and thereon was a sash with a sword fastened on his waist in its sheath; and as he went forth it fell out.

2Sa 20:9 Joab said to Amasa, Is it well with you, my brother? Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.

2Sa 20:10 But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab's hand: so he struck him therewith in the body, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and didn't strike him again; and he died. Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bichri.

2Sa 20:11 There stood by him one of Joab's young men, and said, He who favors Joab, and he who is for David, let him follow Joab.

2Sa 20:12 Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the midst of the highway. When the man saw that all the people stood still, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field, and cast a garment over him, when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still.

2Sa 20:13 When he was removed out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to pursue after Sheba the son of Bichri.

2Sa 20:14 He went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth Maacah, and all the Berites: and they were gathered together, and went also after him.

2Sa 20:15 They came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maacah, and they cast up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart; and all the people who were with Joab battered the wall, to throw it down.

2Sa 20:16 Then cried a wise woman out of the city, "Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, 'Come near here, that I may speak with you.' "

2Sa 20:17 He came near to her; and the woman said, Are you Joab? He answered, I am. Then she said to him, Hear the words of your handmaid. He answered, I do hear.

2Sa 20:18 Then she spoke, saying, They were wont to speak in old time, saying, They shall surely ask counsel at Abel: and so they ended the matter.

2Sa 20:19 I am of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel: you seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel: why will you swallow up the inheritance of Yahweh?

2Sa 20:20 Joab answered, Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy.

2Sa 20:21 The matter is not so: but a man of the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against David; deliver him only, and I will depart from the city. The woman said to Joab, Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.

2Sa 20:22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. They cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. He blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

2Sa 20:23 Now Joab was over all the army of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites;

2Sa 20:24 and Adoram was over the men subject to forced labor; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder;

2Sa 20:25 and Sheva was scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests;

2Sa 20:26 and also Ira the Jairite was chief minister to David.


2Sa 21:1 There was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David sought the face of Yahweh. Yahweh said, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he put to death the Gibeonites.

2Sa 21:2 The king called the Gibeonites, and said to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn to them: and Saul sought to kill them in his zeal for the children of Israel and Judah);

2Sa 21:3 and David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? And with what shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of Yahweh?

2Sa 21:4 The Gibeonites said to him, It is no matter of silver or gold between us and Saul, or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel. He said, What you shall say, that will I do for you.

2Sa 21:5 They said to the king, The man who consumed us, and who devised against us, that we should be destroyed from remaining in any of the borders of Israel,

2Sa 21:6 let seven men of his sons be delivered to us, and we will hang them up to Yahweh in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of Yahweh. The king said, I will give them.

2Sa 21:7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of Yahweh's oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

2Sa 21:8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:

2Sa 21:9 He delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the mountain before Yahweh, and they fell all seven together. They were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, at the beginning of barley harvest.

2Sa 21:10 Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water was poured on them from the sky; and she allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day, nor the animals of the field by night.

2Sa 21:11 It was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done.

2Sa 21:12 David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh Gilead, who had stolen them from the street of Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, in the day that the Philistines killed Saul in Gilboa;

2Sa 21:13 and he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son: and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged.

2Sa 21:14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. After that God was entreated for the land.

2Sa 21:15 The Philistines had war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. David grew faint;

2Sa 21:16 and Ishbibenob, who was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David.

2Sa 21:17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, You shall go no more out with us to battle, that you don't quench the lamp of Israel.

2Sa 21:18 It came to pass after this, that there was again war with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was of the sons of the giant.

2Sa 21:19 There was again war with the Philistines at Gob; and Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite's brother, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

2Sa 21:20 There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant.

2Sa 21:21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David's brother, killed him.

2Sa 21:22 These four were born to the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.


June 27

2 Samuel 22-24

2Sa 22:1 David spoke to Yahweh the words of this song in the day that Yahweh delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:

2Sa 22:2 and he said, Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, even mine;

2Sa 22:3 God, my rock, in him I will take refuge; my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge. My savior, you save me from violence.

2Sa 22:4 I will call on Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised: So shall I be saved from my enemies.

2Sa 22:5 For the waves of death surrounded me. The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.

2Sa 22:6 The cords of Sheol were around me. The snares of death caught me.

2Sa 22:7 In my distress I called on Yahweh. Yes, I called to my God. He heard my voice out of his temple. My cry came into his ears.

2Sa 22:8 Then the earth shook and trembled. The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken, because he was angry.

2Sa 22:9 Smoke went up out of his nostrils. Fire out of his mouth devoured. Coals were kindled by it.

2Sa 22:10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down. Thick darkness was under his feet.

2Sa 22:11 He rode on a cherub, and flew. Yes, he was seen on the wings of the wind.

2Sa 22:12 He made darkness pavilions around himself: gathering of waters, and thick clouds of the skies.

2Sa 22:13 At the brightness before him, coals of fire were kindled.

2Sa 22:14 Yahweh thundered from heaven. The Most High uttered his voice.

2Sa 22:15 He sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and confused them.

2Sa 22:16 Then the channels of the sea appeared. The foundations of the world were laid bare by the rebuke of Yahweh, At the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

2Sa 22:17 He sent from on high and he took me. He drew me out of many waters.

2Sa 22:18 He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.

2Sa 22:19 They came on me in the day of my calamity, but Yahweh was my support.

2Sa 22:20 He also brought me out into a large place. He delivered me, because he delighted in me.

2Sa 22:21 Yahweh rewarded me according to my righteousness. He rewarded me according to the cleanness of my hands.

2Sa 22:22 For I have kept the ways of Yahweh, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

2Sa 22:23 For all his ordinances were before me. As for his statutes, I did not depart from them.

2Sa 22:24 I was also perfect toward him. I kept myself from my iniquity.

2Sa 22:25 Therefore Yahweh has rewarded me according to my righteousness, According to my cleanness in his eyesight.

2Sa 22:26 With the merciful you will show yourself merciful. With the perfect man you will show yourself perfect.

2Sa 22:27 With the pure you will show yourself pure. With the crooked you will show yourself shrewd.

2Sa 22:28 You will save the afflicted people, But your eyes are on the haughty, that you may bring them down.

2Sa 22:29 For you are my lamp, Yahweh. Yahweh will light up my darkness.

2Sa 22:30 For by you, I run against a troop. By my God, I leap over a wall.

2Sa 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect. The word of Yahweh is tested. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.

2Sa 22:32 For who is God, besides Yahweh? Who is a rock, besides our God?

2Sa 22:33 God is my strong fortress. He makes my way perfect.

2Sa 22:34 He makes his feet like hinds' feet, and sets me on my high places.

2Sa 22:35 He teaches my hands to war, so that my arms bend a bow of brass.

2Sa 22:36 You have also given me the shield of your salvation. Your gentleness has made me great.

2Sa 22:37 You have enlarged my steps under me. My feet have not slipped.

2Sa 22:38 I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them. I didn't turn again until they were consumed.

2Sa 22:39 I have consumed them, and struck them through, so that they can't arise. Yes, they have fallen under my feet.

2Sa 22:40 For you have armed me with strength for the battle. You have subdued under me those who rose up against me.

2Sa 22:41 You have also made my enemies turn their backs to me, that I might cut off those who hate me.

2Sa 22:42 They looked, but there was none to save; even to Yahweh, but he didn't answer them.

2Sa 22:43 Then I beat them as small as the dust of the earth. I crushed them as the mire of the streets, and spread them abroad.

2Sa 22:44 You also have delivered me from the strivings of my people. You have kept me to be the head of the nations. A people whom I have not known will serve me.

2Sa 22:45 The foreigners will submit themselves to me. As soon as they hear of me, they will obey me.

2Sa 22:46 The foreigners will fade away, and will come trembling out of their close places.

2Sa 22:47 Yahweh lives! Blessed be my rock! Exalted be God, the rock of my salvation,

2Sa 22:48 even the God who executes vengeance for me, who brings down peoples under me,

2Sa 22:49 who brings me away from my enemies. Yes, you lift me up above those who rise up against me. You deliver me from the violent man.

2Sa 22:50 Therefore I will give thanks to you, Yahweh, among the nations. Will sing praises to your name.

2Sa 22:51 He gives great deliverance to his king, and shows loving kindness to his anointed, to David and to his seed, forevermore.


2Sa 23:1 Now these are the last words of David. David the son of Jesse says, the man who was raised on high says, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel:

2Sa 23:2 The Spirit of Yahweh spoke by me. His word was on my tongue.

2Sa 23:3 The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me, one who rules over men righteously, who rules in the fear of God,

2Sa 23:4 He shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun rises, a morning without clouds, When the tender grass springs out of the earth, Through clear shining after rain.

2Sa 23:5 Most certainly my house is not so with God, yet he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure, for it is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he doesn't make it grow.

2Sa 23:6 But all of the ungodly shall be as thorns to be thrust away, because they can't be taken with the hand,

2Sa 23:7 But the man who touches them must be armed with iron and the staff of a spear. They shall be utterly burned with fire in their place.

2Sa 23:8 These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb Basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite, against eight hundred slain at one time.

2Sa 23:9 After him was Eleazar the son of Dodai the son of an Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines who were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away.

2Sa 23:10 He arose, and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand froze to the sword; and Yahweh worked a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to take spoil.

2Sa 23:11 After him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. The Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils; and the people fled from the Philistines.

2Sa 23:12 But he stood in the midst of the plot, and defended it, and killed the Philistines; and Yahweh worked a great victory.

2Sa 23:13 Three of the thirty chief men went down, and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam; and the troop of the Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim.

2Sa 23:14 David was then in the stronghold; and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem.

2Sa 23:15 David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me water to drink of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate!

2Sa 23:16 The three mighty men broke through the army of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but he would not drink of it, but poured it out to Yahweh.

2Sa 23:17 He said, Be it far from me, Yahweh, that I should do this: shall I drink the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did the three mighty men.

2Sa 23:18 Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the three. He lifted up his spear against three hundred and killed them, and had a name among the three.

2Sa 23:19 Wasn't he most honorable of the three? therefore he was made their captain: however he didn't attain to the first three.

2Sa 23:20 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, he killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab: he went down also and killed a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow.

2Sa 23:21 He killed an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with his own spear.

2Sa 23:22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had a name among the three mighty men.

2Sa 23:23 He was more honorable than the thirty, but he didn't attain to the first three. David set him over his guard.

2Sa 23:24 Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,

2Sa 23:25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite,

2Sa 23:26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite,

2Sa 23:27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite,

2Sa 23:28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite,

2Sa 23:29 Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin,

2Sa 23:30 Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash.

2Sa 23:31 Abialbon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite,

2Sa 23:32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan,

2Sa 23:33 Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite,

2Sa 23:34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maacathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,

2Sa 23:35 Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite,

2Sa 23:36 Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite,

2Sa 23:37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor bearers to Joab the son of Zeruiah,

2Sa 23:38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,

2Sa 23:39 Uriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.


2Sa 24:1 Again the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah.

2Sa 24:2 The king said to Joab the captain of the army, who was with him, Go now back and forth through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and number you the people, that I may know the sum of the people.

2Sa 24:3 Joab said to the king, Now Yahweh your God add to the people, however many they may be, one hundred times; and may the eyes of my lord the king see it: but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?

2Sa 24:4 Notwithstanding, the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the army. Joab and the captains of the army went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.

2Sa 24:5 They passed over the Jordan, and encamped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad, and to Jazer:

2Sa 24:6 then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi; and they came to Dan Jaan, and around to Sidon,

2Sa 24:7 and came to the stronghold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites; and they went out to the south of Judah, at Beersheba.

2Sa 24:8 So when they had gone back and forth through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

2Sa 24:9 Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

2Sa 24:10 David's heart struck him after that he had numbered the people. David said to Yahweh, I have sinned greatly in that which I have done: but now, Yahweh, put away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly.

2Sa 24:11 When David rose up in the morning, the word of Yahweh came to the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying,

2Sa 24:12 Go and speak to David, Thus says Yahweh, I offer you three things: choose one of them, that I may do it to you.

2Sa 24:13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said to him, Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now answer, and consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me.

2Sa 24:14 David said to Gad, I am in distress. Let us fall now into the hand of Yahweh; for his mercies are great; and let me not fall into the hand of man.

2Sa 24:15 So Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning even to the time appointed; and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

2Sa 24:16 When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Yahweh relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who destroyed the people, It is enough; now stay your hand. The angel of Yahweh was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

2Sa 24:17 David spoke to Yahweh when he saw the angel who struck the people, and said, Behold, I have sinned, and I have done perversely; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me, and against my father's house.

2Sa 24:18 Gad came that day to David, and said to him, Go up, rear an altar to Yahweh in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

2Sa 24:19 David went up according to the saying of Gad, as Yahweh commanded.

2Sa 24:20 Araunah looked forth, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.

2Sa 24:21 Araunah said, Why is my lord the king come to his servant? David said, To buy the threshing floor of you, to build an altar to Yahweh, that the plague may be stopped from afflicting the people.

2Sa 24:22 Araunah said to David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him: behold, the cattle for the burnt offering, and the threshing instruments and the yokes of the oxen for the wood:

2Sa 24:23 all this, king, does Araunah give to the king. Araunah said to the king, Yahweh your God accept you.

2Sa 24:24 The king said to Araunah, No; but I will most certainly buy it of you at a price. Neither will I offer burnt offerings to Yahweh my God which cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

2Sa 24:25 David built there an altar to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So Yahweh was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.


June 28

1 Kings 1-3

1Ki 1:1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he got no heat.

1Ki 1:2 Therefore his servants said to him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and cherish him; and let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may keep warm.

1Ki 1:3 So they sought for a beautiful young lady throughout all the borders of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king.

1Ki 1:4 The young lady was very beautiful; and she cherished the king, and ministered to him; but the king didn't know her intimately.

1Ki 1:5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.

1Ki 1:6 His father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why have you done so? and he was also a very goodly man; and he was born after Absalom.

1Ki 1:7 He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.

1Ki 1:8 But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.

1Ki 1:9 Adonijah killed sheep and cattle and fatlings by the stone of Zoheleth, which is beside En Rogel; and he called all his brothers, the king's sons, and all the men of Judah, the king's servants:

1Ki 1:10 but Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he didn't call.

1Ki 1:11 Then Nathan spoke to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Haven't you heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns, and David our lord doesn't know it?

1Ki 1:12 Now therefore come, please let me give you counsel, that you may save your own life, and the life of your son Solomon.

1Ki 1:13 Go in to king David, and tell him, Didn't you, my lord, king, swear to your handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne? why then does Adonijah reign?

1Ki 1:14 Behold, while you yet talk there with the king, I also will come in after you, and confirm your words.

1Ki 1:15 Bathsheba went in to the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king.

1Ki 1:16 Bathsheba bowed, and did obeisance to the king. The king said, What would you like?

1Ki 1:17 She said to him, My lord, you swore by Yahweh your God to your handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne.

1Ki 1:18 Now, behold, Adonijah reigns; and you, my lord the king, don't know it:

1Ki 1:19 and he has slain cattle and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the army; but he hasn't called Solomon your servant.

1Ki 1:20 You, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, that you should tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him.

1Ki 1:21 Otherwise it will happen, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.

1Ki 1:22 Behold, while she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet came in.

1Ki 1:23 They told the king, saying, Behold, Nathan the prophet. When he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground.

1Ki 1:24 Nathan said, My lord, king, have you said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne?

1Ki 1:25 For he is gone down this day, and has slain cattle and fatlings and sheep in abundance, and has called all the king's sons, and the captains of the army, and Abiathar the priest; and behold, they are eating and drinking before him, and say, Long live king Adonijah.

1Ki 1:26 But he hasn't called me, even me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon.

1Ki 1:27 Is this thing done by my lord the king, and you haven't shown to your servants who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?

1Ki 1:28 Then king David answered, Call to me Bathsheba. She came into the king's presence, and stood before the king.

1Ki 1:29 The king swore, and said, As Yahweh lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all adversity,

1Ki 1:30 most certainly as I swore to you by Yahweh, the God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place; most certainly so will I do this day.

1Ki 1:31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did obeisance to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live forever.

1Ki 1:32 King David said, Call to me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. They came before the king.

1Ki 1:33 The king said to them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:

1Ki 1:34 and let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel; and blow the trumpet, and say, Long live king Solomon.

1Ki 1:35 Then you shall come up after him, and he shall come and sit on my throne; for he shall be king in my place; and I have appointed him to be prince over Israel and over Judah.

1Ki 1:36 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: Yahweh, the God of my lord the king, say so too.

1Ki 1:37 As Yahweh has been with my lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David.

1Ki 1:38 So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride on king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon.

1Ki 1:39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the Tent, and anointed Solomon. They blew the trumpet; and all the people said, Long live king Solomon.

1Ki 1:40 All the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth shook with the sound of them.

1Ki 1:41 Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they had made an end of eating. When Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, Why is this noise of the city being in an uproar?

1Ki 1:42 While he yet spoke, behold, Jonathan the son of Abiathar the priest came: and Adonijah said, Come in; for you are a worthy man, and bring good news.

1Ki 1:43 Jonathan answered Adonijah, Most certainly our lord king David has made Solomon king:

1Ki 1:44 and the king has sent with him Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and they have caused him to ride on the king's mule;

1Ki 1:45 and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon; and they are come up from there rejoicing, so that the city rang again. This is the noise that you have heard.

1Ki 1:46 Also Solomon sits on the throne of the kingdom.

1Ki 1:47 Moreover the king's servants came to bless our lord king David, saying, Your God make the name of Solomon better than your name, and make his throne greater than your throne: and the king bowed himself on the bed.

1Ki 1:48 Also thus said the king, Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who has given one to sit on my throne this day, my eyes even seeing it.

1Ki 1:49 All the guests of Adonijah were afraid, and rose up, and went every man his way.

1Ki 1:50 Adonijah feared because of Solomon; and he arose, and went, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.

1Ki 1:51 It was told Solomon, saying, Behold, Adonijah fears king Solomon; for, behold, he has laid hold on the horns of the altar, saying, Let king Solomon swear to me first that he will not kill his servant with the sword.

1Ki 1:52 Solomon said, If he shall show himself a worthy man, there shall not a hair of him fall to the earth; but if wickedness be found in him, he shall die.

1Ki 1:53 So king Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar. He came and did obeisance to king Solomon; and Solomon said to him, Go to your house.


1Ki 2:1 Now the days of David drew near that he should die; and he commanded Solomon his son, saying,

1Ki 2:2 I am going the way of all the earth: you be strong therefore, and show yourself a man;

1Ki 2:3 and keep the instruction of Yahweh your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his ordinances, and his testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, and wherever you turn yourself.

1Ki 2:4 That Yahweh may establish his word which he spoke concerning me, saying, If your children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you, said he, a man on the throne of Israel.

1Ki 2:5 Moreover you know also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, even what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war on his sash that was about his waist, and in his shoes that were on his feet.

1Ki 2:6 Do therefore according to your wisdom, and don't let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace.

1Ki 2:7 But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those who eat at your table; for so they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother.

1Ki 2:8 Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, of Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim; but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by Yahweh, saying, I will not put you to death with the sword.

1Ki 2:9 Now therefore don't hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down to Sheol with blood.

1Ki 2:10 David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.

1Ki 2:11 The days that David reigned over Israel were forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty-three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

1Ki 2:12 Solomon sat on the throne of David his father; and his kingdom was established greatly.

1Ki 2:13 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, Do you come peaceably? He said, Peaceably.

1Ki 2:14 He said moreover, I have something to tell you. She said, Say on.

1Ki 2:15 He said, You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel set their faces on me, that I should reign: however the kingdom is turned about, and is become my brother's; for it was his from Yahweh.

1Ki 2:16 Now I ask one petition of you; don't deny me. She said to him, Say on.

1Ki 2:17 He said, "Please speak to Solomon the king (for he will not tell you 'no'), that he give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife."

1Ki 2:18 Bathsheba said, Well; I will speak for you to the king.

1Ki 2:19 Bathsheba therefore went to king Solomon, to speak to him for Adonijah. The king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself to her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a throne to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand.

1Ki 2:20 Then she said, I ask one small petition of you; don't deny me. The king said to her, Ask on, my mother; for I will not deny you.

1Ki 2:21 She said, Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as wife.

1Ki 2:22 King Solomon answered his mother, Why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is my elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah.

1Ki 2:23 Then king Solomon swore by Yahweh, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not spoken this word against his own life.

1Ki 2:24 Now therefore as Yahweh lives, who has established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house, as he promised, surely Adonijah shall be put to death this day.

1Ki 2:25 King Solomon sent by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell on him, so that he died.

1Ki 2:26 To Abiathar the priest said the king, Go to Anathoth, to your own fields; for you are worthy of death: but I will not at this time put you to death, because you bore the ark of the Lord Yahweh before David my father, and because you were afflicted in all in which my father was afflicted.

1Ki 2:27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest to Yahweh, that he might fulfill the word of Yahweh, which he spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

1Ki 2:28 The news came to Joab; for Joab had turned after Adonijah, though he didn't turn after Absalom. Joab fled to the Tent of Yahweh, and caught hold on the horns of the altar.

1Ki 2:29 It was told king Solomon, Joab is fled to the Tent of Yahweh, and behold, he is by the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, Go, fall on him.

1Ki 2:30 Benaiah came to the Tent of Yahweh, and said to him, Thus says the king, Come forth. He said, No; but I will die here. Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, Thus said Joab, and thus he answered me.

1Ki 2:31 The king said to him, Do as he has said, and fall on him, and bury him; that you may take away the blood, which Joab shed without cause, from me and from my father's house.

1Ki 2:32 Yahweh will return his blood on his own head, because he fell on two men more righteous and better than he, and killed them with the sword, and my father David didn't know it, to wit, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the army of Judah.

1Ki 2:33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab, and on the head of his seed forever: but to David, and to his seed, and to his house, and to his throne, shall there be peace for ever from Yahweh.

1Ki 2:34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and fell on him, and killed him; and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness.

1Ki 2:35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the army; and Zadok the priest did the king put in the room of Abiathar.

1Ki 2:36 The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and dwell there, and don't go forth from there any where.

1Ki 2:37 For on the day you go out, and pass over the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall surely die: your blood shall be on your own head.

1Ki 2:38 Shimei said to the king, The saying is good: as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do. Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

1Ki 2:39 It happened at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. They told Shimei, saying, Behold, your servants are in Gath.

1Ki 2:40 Shimei arose, and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish, to seek his servants; and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath.

1Ki 2:41 It was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and was come again.

1Ki 2:42 The king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, Didn't I adjure you by Yahweh, and protest to you, saying, Know for certain, that on the day you go out, and walk abroad any where, you shall surely die? and you said to me, The saying that I have heard is good.

1Ki 2:43 Why then have you not kept the oath of Yahweh, and the commandment that I have instructed you with?

1Ki 2:44 The king said moreover to Shimei, You know all the wickedness which your heart is privy to, that you did to David my father: therefore Yahweh shall return your wickedness on your own head.

1Ki 2:45 But king Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before Yahweh forever.

1Ki 2:46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out, and fell on him, so that he died. The kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.


1Ki 3:1 Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of Yahweh, and the wall of Jerusalem all around.

1Ki 3:2 Only the people sacrificed in the high places, because there was no house built for the name of Yahweh until those days.

1Ki 3:3 Solomon loved Yahweh, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

1Ki 3:4 The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer on that altar.

1Ki 3:5 In Gibeon Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give you.

1Ki 3:6 Solomon said, You have shown to your servant David my father great loving kindness, according as he walked before you in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with you; and you have kept for him this great loving kindness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

1Ki 3:7 Now, Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child; I don't know how to go out or come in.

1Ki 3:8 Your servant is in the midst of your people which you have chosen, a great people, that can't be numbered nor counted for multitude.

1Ki 3:9 Give your servant therefore an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this your great people?

1Ki 3:10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

1Ki 3:11 God said to him, Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life, neither have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice;

1Ki 3:12 behold, I have done according to your word: behold, I have given you a wise and an understanding heart; so that there has been none like you before you, neither after you shall any arise like you.

1Ki 3:13 I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like you, all your days.

1Ki 3:14 If you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.

1Ki 3:15 Solomon awoke; and behold, it was a dream: and he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

1Ki 3:16 Then there came two women who were prostitutes, to the king, and stood before him.

1Ki 3:17 The one woman said, Oh, my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house.

1Ki 3:18 It happened the third day after I was delivered, that this woman was delivered also; and we were together; there was no stranger with us in the house, save we two in the house.

1Ki 3:19 This woman's child died in the night, because she lay on it.

1Ki 3:20 She arose at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while your handmaid slept, and laid it in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.

1Ki 3:21 When I rose in the morning to give my child suck, behold, it was dead; but when I had looked at it in the morning, behold, it was not my son, whom I bore.

1Ki 3:22 The other woman said, No; but the living is my son, and the dead is your son. This said, No; but the dead is your son, and the living is my son. Thus they spoke before the king.

1Ki 3:23 Then said the king, The one says, This is my son who lives, and your son is the dead: and the other says, No; but your son is the dead, and my son is the living.

1Ki 3:24 The king said, Get me a sword. They brought a sword before the king.

1Ki 3:25 The king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.

1Ki 3:26 Then spoke the woman whose the living child was to the king, for her heart yearned over her son, and she said, Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and in no way kill it. But the other said, It shall be neither mine nor yours; divide it.

1Ki 3:27 Then the king answered, Give her the living child, and in no way kill it: she is its mother.

1Ki 3:28 All Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do justice.


Jun. 26, 27

Acts 1

Act 1:1 The first book I wrote, Theophilus, concerned all that Jesus began both to do and to teach,

Act 1:2 until the day in which he was received up, after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

Act 1:3 To these he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking about God's Kingdom.

Act 1:4 Being assembled together with them, he commanded them, "Don't depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which you heard from me.

Act 1:5 For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

Act 1:6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, are you now restoring the kingdom to Israel?"

Act 1:7 He said to them, "It isn't for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within his own authority.

Act 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth."

Act 1:9 When he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Act 1:10 While they were looking steadfastly into the sky as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white clothing,

Act 1:11 who also said, "You men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who was received up from you into the sky will come back in the same way as you saw him going into the sky."

Act 1:12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away.

Act 1:13 When they had come in, they went up into the upper room, where they were staying; that is Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.

Act 1:14 All these with one accord continued steadfastly in prayer and supplication, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Act 1:15 In these days, Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (and the number of names was about one hundred twenty), and said,

Act 1:16 "Brothers, it was necessary that this Scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to those who took Jesus.

Act 1:17 For he was numbered with us, and received his portion in this ministry.

Act 1:18 Now this man obtained a field with the reward for his wickedness, and falling headlong, his body burst open, and all his intestines gushed out.

Act 1:19 It became known to everyone who lived in Jerusalem that in their language that field was called 'Akeldama,' that is, 'The field of blood.'

Act 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his habitation be made desolate. Let no one dwell therein;' and, 'Let another take his office.'

Act 1:21 "Of the men therefore who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Act 1:22 beginning from the baptism of John, to the day that he was received up from us, of these one must become a witness with us of his resurrection."

Act 1:23 They put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

Act 1:24 They prayed, and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two you have chosen

Act 1:25 to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place."

Act 1:26 They drew lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.


Jun. 28

Acts 2

Act 2:1 Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Act 2:2 Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Act 2:3 Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them.

Act 2:4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.

Act 2:5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky.

Act 2:6 When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language.

Act 2:7 They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Behold, aren't all these who speak Galileans?

Act 2:8 How do we hear, everyone in our own native language?

Act 2:9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia,

Act 2:10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

Act 2:11 Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!"

Act 2:12 They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, "What does this mean?"

Act 2:13 Others, mocking, said, "They are filled with new wine."

Act 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke out to them, "You men of Judea, and all you who dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words.

Act 2:15 For these aren't drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is only the third hour of the day.

Act 2:16 But this is what has been spoken through the prophet Joel:

Act 2:17 'It will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams.

Act 2:18 Yes, and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days, I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy.

Act 2:19 I will show wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and billows of smoke.

Act 2:20 The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.

Act 2:21 It will be, that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

Act 2:22 "Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as you yourselves know,

Act 2:23 him, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed;

Act 2:24 whom God raised up, having freed him from the agony of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it.

Act 2:25 For David says concerning him, 'I saw the Lord always before my face, For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved.

Act 2:26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced. Moreover my flesh also will dwell in hope;

Act 2:27 because you will not leave my soul in Hades, neither will you allow your Holy One to see decay.

Act 2:28 You made known to me the ways of life. You will make me full of gladness with your presence.'

Act 2:29 "Brothers, I may tell you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.

Act 2:30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, he would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,

Act 2:31 he foreseeing this spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was his soul left in Hades, nor did his flesh see decay.

Act 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, to which we all are witnesses.

Act 2:33 Being therefore exalted by the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this, which you now see and hear.

Act 2:34 For David didn't ascend into the heavens, but he says himself, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit by my right hand,

Act 2:35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." '

Act 2:36 "Let all the house of Israel therefore know certainly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."

Act 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

Act 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Act 2:39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself."

Act 2:40 With many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation!"

Act 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls.

Act 2:42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer.

Act 2:43 Fear came on every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

Act 2:44 All who believed were together, and had all things in common.

Act 2:45 They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need.

Act 2:46 Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,

Act 2:47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to the assembly day by day those who were being saved.