"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" He Taught As One Having Authority (7:28-29) by Mark Copeland


He Taught As One Having Authority (7:28-29)

 INTRODUCTION 1. During His earthly ministry, Jesus astonished the people with His teaching... a. He astonished them in the synagogues - Mk 1:21-22; 6:2 b. They were astonished by His sermon on the mount - Mt 7:28-29 2. What impressed the people was that "He taught as one having authority" a. Unlike the scribes, who simply interpreted the Law b. Jesus spoke as One had the right to make the law! 1) E.g., "But I say to you...But I tell you..." - Mt 5:22,28,32,34,39,44 2) E.g., "Take heed...You shall not be...Do not..." - Mt 6:1,2,5,8,19,25 3. The question might be raised, "Did Jesus have the authority to speak this way?" a. He may have taught with authority, but was it His to do so? b. Should we, who read that which He taught, give heed to obey what He said? 4. At a time when many do not heed the words of Jesus... a. Not only those in the world b. But, sadly, even many who profess Him to be Lord ...the authority of Jesus needs to be recognized and followed by all, but especially by those who claim to be His disciples [In this study, we shall review the authority that Jesus has, beginning with...] I. THE INHERENT RIGHT OF JESUS' AUTHORITY A. BY VIRTUE OF BEING THE CREATOR... 1. All things were made through Him - Jn 1:1-3; He 1:2 2. All things were made by Him and for Him - Col 1:16 -- As Creator, Jesus has the authority to expect and demand whatever He desires of His creation B. BY VIRTUE OF BEING THE HEIR... 1. As prophesied, Jesus would be given all things - Ps 2:8 2. As the Son, Jesus has been appointed heir of all things - He 1:2 -- As the Heir, Jesus has authority over that which has been given Him C. BY VIRTUE OF BEING THE REDEEMER... 1. Jesus has redeemed us from our sins - 1Pe 1:18-19 2. This He has done with His own blood - Ep 1:7; Ac 20:28 -- As our Redeemer, He certainly has authority over those who have been purchased by His blood! [As Creator, Heir, and Redeemer, Jesus has both the inherent right and the earned right to speak with authority. Dare we living today not recognize such authority? Consider others who gave voice to...] II. THE RECOGNITION OF JESUS' AUTHORITY A. HE WAS WORSHIPPED BY ANGELS... 1. When He came into the world - He 1:6 2. As He sat on the throne of God - Re 5:11-12 -- Angels deemed Him worthy to receive power (authority) B. HE WAS RECOGNIZED BY DEMONS... 1. They acknowledged He had the authority to destroy them - Mk 1:23-24 2. They obeyed His rebuke - Mk 1:25-26 -- Demons, even when possessing power of their own, could not resist His authority C. HE WAS PRAISED BY THE REDEEMED... 1. Those before the throne and the Lamb ascribed salvation to God and the Lamb - Re 7:9-10 2. Even as John praised Him for having authority over the kings of the earth - Re 1:5 -- If we are among the redeemed, should we not also recognize His authority? [Finally, let's note...] III. THE EXTENT OF JESUS' AUTHORITY A. HE HAS ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH... 1. As announced by Him prior to His ascension - Mt 28:18 2. As received when He ascended to sit at God's right hand - Ep 1:20-22; 1Pe 3:22 3. Including ruling over the kings of the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords - Re 1:5; 1Ti 6:14-15 B. HE IS HEAD OVER THE CHURCH... 1. He is the head of the body, the church - Col 1:18 2. Even as He is the savior of the body - Ep 5:23 3. As the Head, He has delegated His authority to His apostles a. Promising His Spirit to guide them into all the truth - Jn 16:12-13 b. Commanding them to teach others to observe all that He commanded - Mt 28:20 c. Proclaiming that whoever receives them, receives Him - Jn 13:20 CONCLUSION 1. As revealed in the New Testament, Jesus clearly has all authority... a. Which must be confessed in order to be saved - Ro 10:9; Php 2:9-11 b. Which will be confessed at the Judgment - Ro 14:10-12 2. The key issue, then, is what we do in light of this authority... a. Will we listen to Jesus and heed Him who speaks with such authority? b. Will we as His church allow His apostles to lead and guide us through the authority delegated to them? Those willing to accept Jesus as Lord, will do what He says (cf. Lk 6: 46); as prophesied by David, they will freely volunteer in the day of His power (Ps 110:1-3). May we all honor and accept the authority of Jesus Christ!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Meaning of “Apostles” in 1 Corinthians 15 by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Meaning of “Apostles” in 1 Corinthians 15

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.


“In 1 Corinthians 15:3-9, where Paul talks about those who had seen Jesus after his resurrection, in verse 5 he says that he was seen of Cephas and then of the twelve. But then in verse 7, he says he was seen of James; then all of the apostles. Do we know if he was just referring to the twelve 'official' apostles again, or other men like Barnabas and James the brother of Jesus, who are also referred to as apostles in the Bible?”


Four observations help to clear up this confusion:

(1) The appearance to Cephas is referred to in Luke 24:34, but we have no way of knowing the circumstances/occasion;

(2) “The Twelve” was an official designation for the original 12 apostles, though at the time Jesus was seen by them, Judas was deceased leaving only 11. This appearance occurred in John 20:26-29;

(3) The reference to James in verse 7 is a reference to “James the Just” who was a physical brother of Jesus and not one of the Twelve (though designated an “apostle,” a term which was applied to others besides the Twelve since apostolos simply means “one sent”). This is the James who wrote the book of James;

(4) The phrase “all the apostles” in verse 7 refers to one of the appearances noted in Acts 1:3. Verse 2 makes it clear that these appearances occurred with reference to “these men,” i.e., the original apostles.

Mary—Mother of God? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Mary—Mother of God?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ, generated a flurry of interest and discussion regarding the Christian religion. Since Mel declares himself to be a Catholic, the movie naturally elicited a consideration of the Catholic perspective on various aspects of the life of Christ on Earth. One unique feature of Catholicism is the role and status assigned to Mary. While many Catholics will “hedge” when in private conversation about the veneration given to Mary, the official pronouncements of the Catholic Church are forthright and unreserved in declaring her to be the “mother of God,” and in sanctioning the offering of worship to her, and assigning to her an intercessory role. Consider the following authoritative decrees of the Vatican II Council:

Mary was involved in the mysteries of Christ. As the most holy Mother of God she was, after her Son, exalted by divine grace above all angels and men. Hence the Church appropriately honors her with special reverence. Indeed, from most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been venerated under the title of “God-bearer.” In all perils and needs, the faithful have fled prayerfully to her protection…. This most holy Synod…charges that practices and exercises of devotion toward her be treasured as recommended by the teaching authority of the Church in the course of centuries, and that those decrees issued in earlier times regarding the veneration of images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and the saints, be religiously observed…. Let the entire body of the faithful pour forth persevering prayer to the Mother of God and Mother of men. Let them implore that she who aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers may now, exalted as she is in heaven above all the saints and angels, intercede with her Son in the fellowship of all the saints (Abbott, 1966, pp. 94-96, emp. added).

Of course, rejecting the concept of abiding strictly by the Bible (sola scriptura), the Catholic Church has maintained for centuries that God’s Word is transmitted through (in addition to the Bible) the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, i.e., through the papacy and supporting church authorities. But for those who remain unconvinced of the right of post-apostolic men to speak by inspiration, the Bible continues to be the only rule of faith and practice—the sole receptacle for God’s Word since the close of the first century A.D.

The Bible is abundantly clear on the role of Mary in the divine scheme of things. The Bible nowhere indicates that Mary ascended into heaven. Nor does the Bible ever use the expression “mother of God.” The expression, in fact, carries with it misleading baggage. It leaves the impression that Mary somehow is being credited with originating Jesus or bringing Him into existence—ludicrous notions at best (cf. John 1:1; Colossians 1:16-17). A fair representation of Scripture would recognize the need to provide clarification by using different wording (e.g., Mary was the mother of Jesus in His incarnate form). In reality, Mary’s body merely served as a host. Matthew worded it this way: “[T]hat which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20). Someone has gotten “way off track” by overemphasizing the role of Mary—thus giving rise to Mariolatry (the worship of Mary) among Catholics. Using the expression “mother of God” is, therefore, an example of decontextualization. The meaning of the phrase “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43) has been greatly expanded, thereby causing the expression to convey more meaning than the Holy Spirit intended.

The Bible likewise does not give Mary any special status above others. It is acknowledged that she was selected to be the female through whom the Holy Spirit implanted the seed that brought forth the Lord (Luke 1:26-38). It is true that Mary’s relative, Elizabeth, referred to her as “blessed” (Luke 1:42). And it is true that Mary, herself, felt that “henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48). But notice that nothing is attributed to Mary that is not attributed to many, many other followers of God in Bible history. Many people, in fact, have been “blessed.”

To “bless” in Bible jargon simply means to wish intended good, favor, and well-being upon the recipient (cf. Gray, 1939, 1:487). For example, consider how Melchizedek, king of Salem, extolled Abram: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand” (Genesis 14:19-20). Rebekah was similarly blessed: “And they blessed Rebekah and said to her: ‘Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendants possess the gates of those who hate them’ ” (Genesis 24:60; cf. vs. 31). Abimelech announced to Isaac: “You are now the blessed of the Lord” (Genesis 26:29). The entire nation of Israel was pronounced blessed: “You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock” (Deuteronomy 7:14). Moses directed multiple assurances of blessedness toward the Israelites (Deuteronomy 28:1-8).

In fact, the Bible pronounces as “blessed” all people who follow Jesus: “Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him” (Psalm 2:12). Many people in Bible history were found in the “favor” of God (e.g., 1 Samuel 2:26; Proverbs 12:2). Nowhere does the Bible even hint at the notion of Mariolatry. When on the cross, Jesus said to John: “Behold your mother!” (John 19:27), He certainly was not calling for the veneration of Mary! He was merely assigning to John the responsibility of caring for His mother. Mary’s husband, Joseph, was undoubtedly deceased. If veneration of Mary is necessitated by this statement of Jesus, then the immediately preceding statement directed to Mary pertaining to John (“Woman, behold your son!”—John 19:26) would necessitate the veneration of John! Likewise, the notion of Mary’s “perpetual virginity” is a contradiction of Bible teaching, since she and her husband, Joseph, had several children after the birth of Jesus (Matthew 12:46; 13:55-56; Mark 6:3). The New Testament is completely silent on these doctrines (Mariolatry, assumption into heaven, perpetual virginity) that have evolved within Catholicism long after the first century.


Abbott, Walter, ed. (1966), The Documents of Vatican II (New York, NY: America Press).

Gray, James M. (1939), “Bless,” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 1974 reprint.

Mary, Catholicism, and the Bible by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Mary, Catholicism, and the Bible

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

One unique feature of Catholicism is the role and status assigned to Mary. The official pronouncements of the Catholic Church are forthright and unreserved in declaring her to be the “mother of God,” and in sanctioning the offering of worship to her and assigning to her an intercessory role (see Miller, 2004). Catholics insist that Mary is deserving of respect that surpasses other fleshly mothers, in the same way that a person has greater respect for his or her own fleshly mother. But the New Testament does not make this analogy. While a person’s own fleshly mother certainly deserves more respect than that given to other mothers, Mary is not the fleshly mother of humanity (cf. Genesis 3:20). She is not deserving of any more respect than any other mother. A child views his own mother as the mother—because she bore him. But Mary did not give birth to anyone living today. She is no more the mother than any other mother.

The Catholic Church confuses Mary’s physical motherhood (which is taught in Scripture—earning for her the surpassing respect of her physical children, including Jesus’ respect for her) with an alleged spiritual motherhood—about which the Bible says nothing. Indeed, to embrace the Catholic view of Mary would require one to repudiate Jesus’ own view of His fleshly mother. This view is accentuated in two separate incidents that occurred while Jesus was on Earth.

On one occasion when Jesus was imparting spiritual teaching to a crowd, Mary arrived with her other children and sought to speak to Him:

While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.” But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers? And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:46-50, emp. added).

Observe that while Jesus was not being disrespectful to His physical mother, he was contradicting the very aspect of Mary’s status that is advocated by Catholic dogma. Jesus clarified that while His fleshly mother certainly was deserving of respect (cf. Luke 2:51; Ephesians 6:1-3), nevertheless, Mary was secondary to His higher, spiritual concerns. Those who were attending to the assimilation of the spiritual principles that Jesus was imparting were held up by Him as transcending the physical/blood ties associated with mere human relatives.

Mark’s account of this incident (3:31-35) is preceded by Jesus’ family (identified in vss. 31-32 as his mother and brothers) questioning His sanity (3:20-21). The Catholic translation (NAB) renders the verses: “He came home. Again (the) crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’ ” The critical notes that accompany the text of the Catholic Bible make the following comment on these verses: “There were those even among the relatives of Jesus who disbelieved and regarded Jesus as out of his mind (21). Against this background, Jesus is informed of the arrival of his mother and brothers [and sisters] (32)” (1987, p. 1121, italics in orig., emp. added).

The other incident in the life of Jesus that illustrates His true assessment of His physical mother occurred as He responded to His critics. Some accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub, while others tested Him by challenging Him to produce a sign from heaven. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus gave His usual masterful rebuttal. “And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!’ ” (Luke 11:27). This unnamed woman in the crowd likely did not intend to accentuate the person of Mary, but simply was expressing her wish that she could have produced such a fine son herself, thereby fulfilling the prophecy of Luke 1:48.

Nevertheless, her statement expresses the viewpoint of the Catholic Church in its veneration of Mary. If this attitude and emphasis were proper, one would have expected Jesus to give a response that confirmed, bolstered, and sanctioned her declaration. One would have expected that Jesus would have said something to the effect that—

Yes, you are right. The one who bore Me and nursed Me is the “most holy Mother of God” who will be “honored with special reverence” by the Church throughout the centuries, “venerated under the title of ‘God-bearer,’ ” and the faithful will “pour forth persevering prayer to the Mother of God and Mother of men,” venerate “images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and the saints.”

Why would one expect Jesus to have made comments along these lines? Because the portions of this imaginary response that are in quotes are taken directly from the official pronouncements of the Catholic Church at Vatican II (Abbott, 1966, pp. 94-96).

Did Jesus give a response to the woman that in any way resembled these sentiments? Absolutely not! To the contrary, He declared: “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28). Instead of “more than that,” the NAB renders it “rather” (cf. ASV, NIV, RSV)—further underscoring the contrast He was making. The NASB makes the Greek even more vivid: “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” As University of Cambridge Greek professor C.F.D. Moule noted, menoun in Luke 11:28 functions as “an introduction to a new statement correcting or modifying a foregoing statement” (1977, p. 163, emp. added). Nicoll was inclined to agree: “Correction probably was uppermost in Christ’s thoughts. Under the appearance of approval the woman was taught that she was mistaken in thinking that merely to be the mother of an illustrious son constituted felicity” (n.d., 1:550, emp. added). Dana and Mantey also agree: “In Lk. 11:28...the expression contains both contrast and emphasis, with the significance of in fact, rather” (1927, p. 261, italics in orig., emp. added). In essence, Jesus was contradicting the woman and pointing her to the correct focus and object of commendation: not the physical mother of Jesus, but those who obey God’s Word.


The premiere passage of Scripture that is offered to sustain the view that Mary was assigned a special role in the practice of the Christian religion is the statement that Jesus made from the cross:

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home (John 19:25-27, emp. added).

The fact that Jesus was referring strictly to the physical care for his earthly mother after His death—and not to an alleged spiritual role that Mary was to fill in Christ’s religion—is evident from the context. Jesus spoke the directive to John—not to everyone else present on that occasion, let alone to everyone since. Jesus simply was turning the care of His fleshly mother over to John, since her husband was already deceased and her other children were likely still unbelievers (Mark 3:21; John 7:5). The very verse that refers to this oral utterance of Jesus regarding care of His fleshly mother contains proof of its intended meaning: “And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:27).

Consider the following three observations: First, Jesus did not entrust the care of His mother to Peter! But if Peter were the first pope, Jesus surely would have linked Mary to Peter in order to establish her official spiritual status for all time. Second, Jesus did not arrange to have Mary circulated to the homes of all of the disciples, but only to John’s home. Jesus knew that the “disciple whom Jesus loved” would see to it that she received adequate care in His absence. Third, John took her to “his own home,” i.e., he was attending to her physical needs! He did not take her to any “Holy Shrine of the Blessed Virgin,” or to any other location that would have confirmed a unique role. Indeed, absolutely nothing in this verse leads the objective reader to think that Jesus was assigning a significance or role to Mary that the Catholic Church has since assigned her—“the Mother of us all”!

Interestingly, if when Jesus said to John, “Behold your mother!,” He intended to call for the veneration of Mary, then the immediately preceding statement directed to Mary pertaining to John, “Woman, behold your son!” (John 19:26), would necessitate the veneration of John by both Mary and everyone since!

The fact of the matter is that the Bible makes no provision for worship, adoration, or veneration to be directed to Mary. The Bible forbids offering praise to any human being. All praise, worship, and adoration belongs to God alone (Matthew 4:10; Acts 10:25-26; 14:14-15; Revelation 19:10; 22:9). To extend veneration to other humans ought to be as horrifying to us as it was to Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14-15). Indeed, when Herod accepted such veneration, he was struck dead by God and eaten with worms (Acts 12:23).


Abbott, Walter, ed. (1966), The Documents of Vatican II (New York, NY: America Press).

Dana, H.E. and Julius Mantey (1927), A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Toronto, Canada: Macmillan).

Miller, Dave (2004), “Mary—Mother of God?” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/2234.

Moule, C.F.D. (1977 reprint), An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, second edition).

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

New American Bible (1986), (Nashville, TN: Catholic Bible Press).




A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing.
Our helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe.
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,
Were not the right man on our side,
The man of God’s own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He.
Lord Sabboth, his name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him.
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure.
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers
Not thanks to them, abideth.
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through him who with us sideth.
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also.
The body they may kill,
God’s truth abideth still.
His kingdom is forever…
Martin Luther

(Holy Father, empower us to sing such truth with assurance in times of joy and sorrow, in times of prosperity and economic trouble, in fear  certainty, confucsion and clarity. Deliver us we pray from glibness and gives us strengthened faith knowing there is nothing you are not LORD over and that you are for us; all of us (Rom 8:31; John 1:4; 3:17), patiently purposing only goods for us. In your Son Jesus, this prayer.)

PAUL'S MISSIONARY TRIPS? by steve finnell


PAUL'S MISSIONARY TRIPS? by steve finnell

When the apostle Paul went on his mission trips did he take a representative from the Church of Judaizers, The Lutheran Church, The Roman Catholic Church, The Baptist Church, The Mormon Church, The Church of Seventh Day Adventist, The Jehovah's Witness Church, The Christian Science Church, The Masonic Church, The Pentecostal Church, The Methodist Church? Did Paul believe that all denominational churches needed to preach their various plans for salvation?

 Paul only taught one way to be saved. He did not believe in interdenominational mission trips.

The apostle Paul said; Galatians 1:8 But if we or angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (NKJV)

Romans 16:17-18 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions  and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words  and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. (NKJV)

NOTE: The aforementioned denominations do not preach the same doctrine of salvation that the apostle Paul preached. Paul taught the apostles' doctrine and the apostles' doctrine only. The apostles' doctrine is found in the Bible alone.

SAVED BY FAITH: John 3:16, Acts 16:30-34

SAVED BY REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19

SAVED BY CONFESSION: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:35-38

SAVED BY IMMERSION IN WATER: Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:20-21, Acts 22:16, John 3:5, Titus 3:5, Galatians 3:26-27, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:3-7, Ephesians 5:25-27, Colossians 2:11-13

Paul taught all four requirements in order to be saved.      

Let us be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God by Roy Davison


Let us be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God

Paul wrote: “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1, 2).

What is a steward?

A steward is someone who has been entrusted with the possessions or affairs of someone else with the understanding that he is to care for them and manage them responsibly.

A steward must be trustworthy.

Every position of responsibility involves stewardship.

How would you feel if someone gave you a briefcase containing diamonds worth thousands of dollars, and asked you to walk through the streets of a large city and deliver them to another address?

Brother Gus Amssoms went to be with the Lord many years ago. When he retired, after working for 45 years as a laborer in Antwerp, he had not missed a single day of work because of illness. He was a trustworthy man.

Antwerp, Belgium is the diamond-cutting capital of the world. About 2000 gem-related offices are located in a one-square-mile area near the central train station.

After Gus retired, he was given a part-time job as a diamond courier. If you had been a tourist in Antwerp, you might have seen an elderly workman with a gentle smile walking through the narrow streets of Antwerp carrying an old, worn-out briefcase. You would have never dreamed that his briefcase contained diamonds worth thousands of dollars. He did not have a gun or a bulletproof vest or an armored vehicle. He had something that the diamond merchants considered much safer and more secure. He had a gentle, innocent appearance and he was a completely dependable man.

As Christians, we must be faithful stewards of something much more valuable than a briefcase full of diamonds: the mysteries of God.

What are the mysteries of God?

The mysteries of God are truths known only by revelation: “According to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith” (Romans 16:25, 26).

The wonders and intricacies of life, prove the existence of a Creator. But only through the Bible can we know who this Creator is and what our relationship with Him can be through His Son Jesus Christ.

A steward is answerable to his master.

Preachers and elders must remember that they, as stewards, are answerable to God not to man. Paul wrote: “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness - God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others” (1 Thessalonians 2:4-6).

Unfaithful stewards will be punished by God.

The Lord was angry with the unfaithful prophets under the old covenant: “‘I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, “I have dreamed, I have dreamed!” How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal. The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?’ says the Lord. ‘Is not My word like a fire?’ says the Lord, ‘And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the Lord, ‘who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,’ says the Lord, ‘who use their tongues and say, “He says.” Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,’ says the Lord, ‘and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:25-32).

In our time as well, many falsely claim to be prophets, leading people astray by the lies they speak in the name of the Lord.

As stewards, we must speak God’s word faithfully.

All Christians must be good stewards of the grace of God. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do so as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10, 11).

This great responsibility rests doubly on elders, teachers and preachers because of their leadership position.

A bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God” (Titus 1:7). An elder must hold “fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

Peter wrote: “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:1-3). Elders are stewards of God, His flock has been entrusted to their care.

Paul was entrusted with the gospel because God considered him faithful: “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Timothy 1:12).

Paul mentions the faithfulness of several men with whom he worked. He calls Epaphras “our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf” (Colossians 1:7). He refers to Tychicus as “a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord” and to Onesimus as “a faithful and beloved brother” (Colossians 4:7-9). Peter refers to Silvanus as “our faithful brother” (1 Peter 5:12). Let us follow their example, and be faithful servants of Christ.

This solemn command, given by Paul to Timothy, echoes through the ages: “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:1-5).

The message must be faithfully passed on to following generations of teachers.

As faithful stewards of the mysteries of God we must pass the message on. Paul told Timothy: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:1, 2).

What have we learned?

1. As stewards, we have been entrusted with the mysteries of God, the good news of salvation by grace through the sacrifice of Christ.
2. We are answerable to God and must speak His word faithfully, striving to please God rather than men.
3. God will punish unfaithful stewards.
4. We must faithfully pass on the mysteries of God to the next generation of faithful stewards.

Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes” (Luke 12:42, 43). Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading July 3 - 5 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading July 3 - 5

World  English  Bible

July 4

1 Kings 19-22

1Ki 19:1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.

1Ki 19:2 Then Jezebel send a messenger to Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I don't make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.

1Ki 19:3 When he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

1Ki 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is enough; now, O Yahweh, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

1Ki 19:5 He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, Arise and eat.

1Ki 19:6 He looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on the coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and laid down again.

1Ki 19:7 The angel of Yahweh came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.

1Ki 19:8 He arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the Mount of God.

1Ki 19:9 He came there to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of Yahweh came to him, and he said to him, What are you doing here, Elijah?

1Ki 19:10 He said, I have been very jealous for Yahweh, the God of Armies; for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword: and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

1Ki 19:11 He said, Go forth, and stand on the mountain before Yahweh. Behold, Yahweh passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before Yahweh; but Yahweh was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but Yahweh was not in the earthquake:

1Ki 19:12 and after the earthquake a fire; but Yahweh was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

1Ki 19:13 It was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. Behold, there came a voice to him, and said, What are you doing here, Elijah?

1Ki 19:14 He said, I have been very jealous for Yahweh, the God of Armies; for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and slain your prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

1Ki 19:15 Yahweh said to him, Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when you come, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria;

1Ki 19:16 and you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel; and you shall anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah to be prophet in your place.

1Ki 19:17 It shall happen, that he who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu kill; and he who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha kill.

1Ki 19:18 Yet will I leave me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him.

1Ki 19:19 So he departed there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing, with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed over to him, and cast his mantle on him.

1Ki 19:20 He left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me please kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you. He said to him, Go back again; for what have I done to you?

1Ki 19:21 He returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and killed them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave to the people, and they ate. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered to him.

1Ki 20:1 Ben Hadad the king of Syria gathered all his army together; and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and fought against it.

1Ki 20:2 He sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and said to him, Thus says Ben Hadad,

1Ki 20:3 Your silver and your gold is mine; your wives also and your children, even the best, are mine.

1Ki 20:4 The king of Israel answered, It is according to your saying, my lord, O king; I am yours, and all that I have.

1Ki 20:5 The messengers came again, and said, Thus speaks Ben Hadad, saying, I sent indeed to you, saying, You shall deliver me your silver, and your gold, and your wives, and your children;

1Ki 20:6 but I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house, and the houses of your servants; and it shall be, that whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.

1Ki 20:7 Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Please notice how this man seeks mischief: for he sent to me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I didn't deny him.

1Ki 20:8 All the elders and all the people said to him, Don't listen, neither consent.

1Ki 20:9 Therefore he said to the messengers of Ben Hadad, Tell my lord the king, All that you did send for to your servant at the first I will do; but this thing I may not do. The messengers departed, and brought him word again.

1Ki 20:10 Ben Hadad sent to him, and said, The gods do so to me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me.

1Ki 20:11 The king of Israel answered, Tell him, Don't let him who girds on his armor boast himself as he who puts it off.

1Ki 20:12 It happened, when Ben Hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings, in the pavilions, that he said to his servants, "Prepare to attack!" They prepared to attack the city.

1Ki 20:13 Behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel, and said, Thus says Yahweh, Have you seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.

1Ki 20:14 Ahab said, By whom? He said, Thus says Yahweh, By the young men of the princes of the provinces. Then he said, Who shall begin the battle? He answered, You.

1Ki 20:15 Then he mustered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty-two: and after them he mustered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand.

1Ki 20:16 They went out at noon. But Ben Hadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty-two kings who helped him.

1Ki 20:17 The young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Ben Hadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out from Samaria.

1Ki 20:18 He said, Whether they are come out for peace, take them alive, or whether they are come out for war, taken them alive.

1Ki 20:19 So these went out of the city, the young men of the princes of the provinces, and the army which followed them.

1Ki 20:20 They killed everyone his man; and the Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them: and Ben Hadad the king of Syria escaped on a horse with horsemen.

1Ki 20:21 The king of Israel went out, and struck the horses and chariots, and killed the Syrians with a great slaughter.

1Ki 20:22 The prophet came near to the king of Israel, and said to him, Go, strengthen yourself, and mark, and see what you do; for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against you.

1Ki 20:23 The servants of the king of Syria said to him, Their god is a god of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we: but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.

1Ki 20:24 Do this thing: take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their room;

1Ki 20:25 and muster an army, like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot; and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. He listened to their voice, and did so.

1Ki 20:26 It happened at the return of the year, that Ben Hadad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.

1Ki 20:27 The children of Israel were mustered, and were provisioned, and went against them: and the children of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country.

1Ki 20:28 A man of God came near and spoke to the king of Israel, and said, Thus says Yahweh, Because the Syrians have said, Yahweh is a god of the hills, but he is not a god of the valleys; therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am Yahweh.

1Ki 20:29 They encamped one over against the other seven days. So it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined; and the children of Israel killed of the Syrians one hundred thousand footmen in one day.

1Ki 20:30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and the wall fell on twenty-seven thousand men who were left. Ben Hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

1Ki 20:31 His servants said to him, See now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: please let us put sackcloth on our bodies, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel. Maybe he will save your life.

1Ki 20:32 So they put sackcloth on their bodies and ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, Your servant Ben Hadad says, please let me live. He said, Is he yet alive? he is my brother.

1Ki 20:33 Now the men observed diligently, and hurried to catch whether it were his mind; and they said, Your brother Ben Hadad. Then he said, Go, bring him. Then Ben Hadad came out to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot.

1Ki 20:34 Ben Hadad said to him, The cities which my father took from your father I will restore; and you shall make streets for you in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. I, said Ahab, will let you go with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

1Ki 20:35 A certain man of the sons of the prophets said to his fellow by the word of Yahweh, Please strike me. The man refused to strike him.

1Ki 20:36 Then said he to him, Because you have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh, behold, as soon as you are departed from me, a lion shall kill you. As soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and killed him.

1Ki 20:37 Then he found another man, and said, Please strike me. The man struck him, smiting and wounding him.

1Ki 20:38 So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with his headband over his eyes.

1Ki 20:39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king; and he said, Your servant went out into the midst of the battle; and behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man to me, and said, Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then your life shall be for his life, or else you shall pay a talent of silver.

1Ki 20:40 As your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. The king of Israel said to him, So your judgment shall be; yourself have decided it.

1Ki 20:41 He hurried, and took the headband away from his eyes; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets.

1Ki 20:42 He said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people.

1Ki 20:43 The king of Israel went to his house sullen and angry, and came to Samaria.

1Ki 21:1 It happened after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.

1Ki 21:2 Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near to my house; and I will give you for it a better vineyard than it: or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its worth in money.

1Ki 21:3 Naboth said to Ahab, Yahweh forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers to you.

1Ki 21:4 Ahab came into his house sullen and angry because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he had said, I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers. He laid him down on his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.

1Ki 21:5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, Why is your spirit so sad, that you eat no bread?

1Ki 21:6 He said to her, Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give you my vineyard.

1Ki 21:7 Jezebel his wife said to him, Do you now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let your heart be merry: I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

1Ki 21:8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and to the nobles who were in his city, and who lived with Naboth.

1Ki 21:9 She wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:

1Ki 21:10 and set two men, base fellows, before him, and let them testify against him, saying, You cursed God and the king. Then carry him out, and stone him to death.

1Ki 21:11 The men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them, according as it was written in the letters which she had sent to them.

1Ki 21:12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.

1Ki 21:13 The two men, the base fellows, came in and sat before him: and the base fellows bore witness against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did curse God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him to death with stones.

1Ki 21:14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.

1Ki 21:15 It happened, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

1Ki 21:16 It happened, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

1Ki 21:17 The word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

1Ki 21:18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who dwells in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he is gone down to take possession of it.

1Ki 21:19 You shall speak to him, saying, Thus says Yahweh, Have you killed and also taken possession? You shall speak to him, saying, Thus says Yahweh, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick your blood, even yours.

1Ki 21:20 Ahab said to Elijah, Have you found me, my enemy? He answered, I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do that which is evil in the sight of Yahweh.

1Ki 21:21 Behold, I will bring evil on you, and will utterly sweep you away and will cut off from Ahab everyone who urinates against a wall, and him who is shut up and him who is left at large in Israel:

1Ki 21:22 and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah for the provocation with which you have provoked me to anger, and have made Israel to sin.

1Ki 21:23 Of Jezebel also spoke Yahweh, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the rampart of Jezreel.

1Ki 21:24 Him who dies of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him who dies in the field shall the birds of the sky eat.

1Ki 21:25 (But there was none like Ahab, who did sell himself to do that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

1Ki 21:26 He did very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites did, whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel.)

1Ki 21:27 It happened, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.

1Ki 21:28 The word of Yahweh came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,

1Ki 21:29 See how Ahab humbles himself before me? because he humbles himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days; but in his son's days will I bring the evil on his house.

1Ki 22:1 They continued three years without war between Syria and Israel.

1Ki 22:2 It happened in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel.

1Ki 22:3 The king of Israel said to his servants, "You know that Ramoth Gilead is ours, and we are still, and don't take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?"

1Ki 22:4 He said to Jehoshaphat, Will you go with me to battle to Ramoth Gilead? Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.

1Ki 22:5 Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, Please inquire first for the word of Yahweh.

1Ki 22:6 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? They said, Go up; for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king.

1Ki 22:7 But Jehoshaphat said, Isn't there here a prophet of Yahweh besides, that we may inquire of him?

1Ki 22:8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, there is yet one man by whom we may inquire of Yahweh, Micaiah the son of Imlah: but I hate him; for he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. Jehoshaphat said, "Don't let the king say so."

1Ki 22:9 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Get quickly Micaiah the son of Imlah.

1Ki 22:10 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them.

1Ki 22:11 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron, and said, Thus says Yahweh, With these you shall push the Syrians, until they are consumed.

1Ki 22:12 All the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth Gilead, and prosper; for Yahweh will deliver it into the hand of the king.

1Ki 22:13 The messenger who went to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, See now, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one mouth: please let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak good.

1Ki 22:14 Micaiah said, As Yahweh lives, what Yahweh says to me, that will I speak.

1Ki 22:15 When he was come to the king, the king said to him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall we forbear? He answered him, Go up and prosper; and Yahweh will deliver it into the hand of the king.

1Ki 22:16 The king said to him, How many times shall I adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of Yahweh?

1Ki 22:17 He said, I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and Yahweh said, These have no master; let them return every man to his house in peace.

1Ki 22:18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Didn't I tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?

1Ki 22:19 Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of Yahweh: I saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, and all the army of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.

1Ki 22:20 Yahweh said, 'Who shall entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?' One said on this manner; and another said on that manner.

1Ki 22:21 There came forth a spirit, and stood before Yahweh, and said, 'I will entice him.'

1Ki 22:22 Yahweh said to him, 'How?' He said, 'I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' He said, 'You shall entice him, and shall prevail also: go forth, and do so.'

1Ki 22:23 Now therefore, behold, Yahweh has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; and Yahweh has spoken evil concerning you."

1Ki 22:24 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of Yahweh from me to speak to you?

1Ki 22:25 Micaiah said, Behold, you shall see on that day, when you shall go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.

1Ki 22:26 The king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son;

1Ki 22:27 and say, Thus says the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.

1Ki 22:28 Micaiah said, If you return at all in peace, Yahweh has not spoken by me. He said, Hear, you peoples, all of you.

1Ki 22:29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.

1Ki 22:30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and go into the battle; but you put on your robes. The king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle.

1Ki 22:31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.

1Ki 22:32 It happened, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel; and they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out.

1Ki 22:33 It happened, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.

1Ki 22:34 A certain man drew his bow at a venture, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of the armor: therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, Turn your hand, and carry me out of the army; for I am severely wounded.

1Ki 22:35 The battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even; and the blood ran out of the wound into the bottom of the chariot.

1Ki 22:36 There went a cry throughout the army about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his country.

1Ki 22:37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.

1Ki 22:38 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood (now the prostitutes washed themselves there); according to the word of Yahweh which he spoke.

1Ki 22:39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he built, and all the cities that he built, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

1Ki 22:40 So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

1Ki 22:41 Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel.

1Ki 22:42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.

1Ki 22:43 He walked in all the way of Asa his father; He didn't turn aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh: however the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

1Ki 22:44 Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.

1Ki 22:45 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, and his might that he showed, and how he warred, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

1Ki 22:46 The remnant of the sodomites, that remained in the days of his father Asa, he put away out of the land.

1Ki 22:47 There was no king in Edom: a deputy was king.

1Ki 22:48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they didn't go; for the ships were broken at Ezion Geber.

1Ki 22:49 Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab to Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with your servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not.

1Ki 22:50 Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; Jehoram his son reigned in his place.

1Ki 22:51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel.

1Ki 22:52 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and walked in the way of his father, and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in which he made Israel to sin.

1Ki 22:53 He served Baal, and worshiped him, and provoked to anger Yahweh, the God of Israel, according to all that his father had done.

July 5

2 Kings 1-3

2Ki 1:1 Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.

2Ki 1:2 Ahaziah fell down through the lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said to them, Go, inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover of this sickness.

2Ki 1:3 But the angel of Yahweh said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and tell them, Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you go to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron?

2Ki 1:4 Now therefore thus says Yahweh, You shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but shall surely die. Elijah departed.

2Ki 1:5 The messengers returned to him, and he said to them, Why is it that you have returned?

2Ki 1:6 They said to him, There came up a man to meet us, and said to us, Go, turn again to the king who sent you, and tell him, Thus says Yahweh, Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you send to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron? therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you are gone up, but shall surely die.

2Ki 1:7 He said to them, What kind of man was he who came up to meet you, and told you these words?

2Ki 1:8 They answered him, He was a hairy man, and girt with a belt of leather about his waist. He said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

2Ki 1:9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. He went up to him: and behold, he was sitting on the top of the hill. He spoke to him, man of God, the king has said, Come down.

2Ki 1:10 Elijah answered to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from the sky, and consume you and your fifty. Fire came down from the sky, and consumed him and his fifty.

2Ki 1:11 Again he sent to him another captain of fifty and his fifty. He answered him, man of God, thus has the king said, Come down quickly.

2Ki 1:12 Elijah answered them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from the sky, and consume you and your fifty. The fire of God came down from the sky, and consumed him and his fifty.

2Ki 1:13 Again he sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. The third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and begged him, and said to him, man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty your servants, be precious in your sight.

2Ki 1:14 Behold, fire came down from the sky, and consumed the two former captains of fifty with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight.

2Ki 1:15 The angel of Yahweh said to Elijah, Go down with him: don't be afraid of him. He arose, and went down with him to the king.

2Ki 1:16 He said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but shall surely die.

2Ki 1:17 So he died according to the word of Yahweh which Elijah had spoken. Jehoram began to reign in his place in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

2Ki 1:18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

2Ki 2:1 It happened, when Yahweh would take up Elijah by a whirlwind into heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

2Ki 2:2 Elijah said to Elisha, Please wait here, for Yahweh has sent me as far as Bethel. Elisha said, As Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel.

2Ki 2:3 The sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that Yahweh will take away your master from your head today?" He said, "Yes, I know it; hold your peace."

2Ki 2:4 Elijah said to him, Elisha, please wait here, for Yahweh has sent me to Jericho. He said, As Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they came to Jericho.

2Ki 2:5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came near to Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that Yahweh will take away your master from your head today?" He answered, "Yes, I know it. Hold your peace."

2Ki 2:6 Elijah said to him, "Please wait here, for Yahweh has sent me to the Jordan." He said, "As Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." They two went on.

2Ki 2:7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood over against them afar off: and they two stood by the Jordan.

2Ki 2:8 Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that they two went over on dry ground.

2Ki 2:9 It happened, when they had gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you. Elisha said, please let a double portion of your spirit be on me.

2Ki 2:10 He said, "You have asked a hard thing. If you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so."

2Ki 2:11 It happened, as they still went on, and talked, that behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

2Ki 2:12 Elisha saw it, and he cried, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" He saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and tore them in two pieces.

2Ki 2:13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of the Jordan.

2Ki 2:14 He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and struck the waters, and said, "Where is Yahweh, the God of Elijah?" When he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there; and Elisha went over.

2Ki 2:15 When the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho over against him saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah does rest on Elisha. They came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

2Ki 2:16 They said to him, See now, there are with your servants fifty strong men; let them go, please, and seek your master, lest the Spirit of Yahweh has taken him up, and cast him on some mountain, or into some valley. He said, You shall not send.

2Ki 2:17 When they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but didn't find him.

2Ki 2:18 They came back to him, while he stayed at Jericho; and he said to them, "Didn't I tell you, 'Don't go?' "

2Ki 2:19 The men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, we pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees: but the water is bad, and the land miscarries.

2Ki 2:20 He said, Bring me a new jar, and put salt therein. They brought it to him.

2Ki 2:21 He went forth to the spring of the waters, and cast salt therein, and said, Thus says Yahweh, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from there any more death or miscarrying.

2Ki 2:22 So the waters were healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.

2Ki 2:23 He went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, some youths came out of the city and mocked him, and said to him, Go up, you baldy; go up, you baldhead.

2Ki 2:24 He looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of Yahweh. Two female bears came out of the woods, and mauled forty-two of those youths.

2Ki 2:25 He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

2Ki 3:1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

2Ki 3:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, but not like his father, and like his mother; for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made.

2Ki 3:3 Nevertheless he cleaved to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin; he didn't depart from it.

2Ki 3:4 Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder; and he rendered to the king of Israel the wool of one hundred thousand lambs, and of one hundred thousand rams.

2Ki 3:5 But it happened, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.

2Ki 3:6 King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time, and mustered all Israel.

2Ki 3:7 He went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab has rebelled against me: will you go with me against Moab to battle? He said, I will go up: I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.

2Ki 3:8 He said, Which way shall we go up? He answered, The way of the wilderness of Edom.

2Ki 3:9 So the king of Israel went, and the king of Judah, and the king of Edom; and they made a circuit of seven days' journey: and there was no water for the army, nor for the animals that followed them.

2Ki 3:10 The king of Israel said, Alas! for Yahweh has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.

2Ki 3:11 But Jehoshaphat said, Isn't there here a prophet of Yahweh, that we may inquire of Yahweh by him? One of the king of Israel's servants answered, Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.

2Ki 3:12 Jehoshaphat said, The word of Yahweh is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

2Ki 3:13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, "What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father, and to the prophets of your mother." The king of Israel said to him, "No; for Yahweh has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab."

2Ki 3:14 Elisha said, "As Yahweh of Armies lives, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward you, nor see you.

2Ki 3:15 But now bring me a minstrel." It happened, when the minstrel played, that the hand of Yahweh came on him.

2Ki 3:16 He said, Thus says Yahweh, Make this valley full of trenches.

2Ki 3:17 For thus says Yahweh, You shall not see wind, neither shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, and you shall drink, both you and your livestock and your animals.

2Ki 3:18 This is but a light thing in the sight of Yahweh: he will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.

2Ki 3:19 You shall strike every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.

2Ki 3:20 It happened in the morning, about the time of offering the offering, that behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.

2Ki 3:21 Now when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, they gathered themselves together, all who were able to put on armor, and upward, and stood on the border.

2Ki 3:22 They rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water over against them as red as blood:

2Ki 3:23 and they said, This is blood; the kings are surely destroyed, and they have struck each man his fellow: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.

2Ki 3:24 When they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they went forward into the land smiting the Moabites.

2Ki 3:25 They beat down the cities; and on every good piece of land they cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the springs of water, and felled all the good trees, until in Kir Hareseth only they left its stones; however the men armed with slings went about it, and struck it.

2Ki 3:26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too severe for him, he took with him seven hundred men who drew sword, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not.

2Ki 3:27 Then he took his eldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. There was great wrath against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

Jul.  3

Acts 4

Act 4:1 As they spoke to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came to them,

Act 4:2 being upset because they taught the people and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Act 4:3 They laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was now evening.

Act 4:4 But many of those who heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

Act 4:5 It happened in the morning, that their rulers, elders, and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem.

Act 4:6 Annas the high priest was there, with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and as many as were relatives of the high priest.

Act 4:7 When they had stood them in the middle of them, they inquired, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?"

Act 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,

Act 4:9 if we are examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed,

Act 4:10 be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in him does this man stand here before you whole.

Act 4:11 He is 'the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.'

Act 4:12 There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!"

Act 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled. They recognized that they had been with Jesus.

Act 4:14 Seeing the man who was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.

Act 4:15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,

Act 4:16 saying, "What shall we do to these men? Because indeed a notable miracle has been done through them, as can be plainly seen by all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we can't deny it.

Act 4:17 But so that this spreads no further among the people, let's threaten them, that from now on they don't speak to anyone in this name."

Act 4:18 They called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves,

Act 4:20 for we can't help telling the things which we saw and heard."

Act 4:21 When they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people; for everyone glorified God for that which was done.

Act 4:22 For the man on whom this miracle of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

Act 4:23 Being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

Act 4:24 When they heard it, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, "O Lord, you are God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them;

Act 4:25 who by the mouth of your servant, David, said, 'Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing?

Act 4:26 The kings of the earth take a stand, and the rulers take council together, against the Lord, and against his Christ.'

Act 4:27 "For truly, in this city against your holy servant, Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together

Act 4:28 to do whatever your hand and your council foreordained to happen.

Act 4:29 Now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness,

Act 4:30 while you stretch out your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy Servant Jesus."

Act 4:31 When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were gathered together. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

Act 4:32 The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul. Not one of them claimed that anything of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

Act 4:33 With great power, the apostles gave their testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Great grace was on them all.

Act 4:34 For neither was there among them any who lacked, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,

Act 4:35 and laid them at the apostles' feet, and distribution was made to each, according as anyone had need.

Act 4:36 Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race,

Act 4:37 having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Jul. 4, 5

Acts 5

Act 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession,

Act 5:2 and kept back part of the price, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Act 5:3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

Act 5:4 While you kept it, didn't it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn't it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven't lied to men, but to God."

Act 5:5 Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. Great fear came on all who heard these things.

Act 5:6 The young men arose and wrapped him up, and they carried him out and buried him.

Act 5:7 About three hours later, his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in.

Act 5:8 Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." She said, "Yes, for so much."

Act 5:9 But Peter asked her, "How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."

Act 5:10 She fell down immediately at his feet, and died. The young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband.

Act 5:11 Great fear came on the whole assembly, and on all who heard these things.

Act 5:12 By the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. They were all with one accord in Solomon's porch.

Act 5:13 None of the rest dared to join them, however the people honored them.

Act 5:14 More believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women.

Act 5:15 They even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that as Peter came by, at the least his shadow might overshadow some of them.

Act 5:16 Multitudes also came together from the cities around Jerusalem, bringing sick people, and those who were tormented by unclean spirits: and they were all healed.

Act 5:17 But the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy,

Act 5:18 and laid hands on the apostles, and put them in public custody.

Act 5:19 But an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night, and brought them out, and said,

Act 5:20 "Go stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life."

Act 5:21 When they heard this, they entered into the temple about daybreak, and taught. But the high priest came, and those who were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.

Act 5:22 But the officers who came didn't find them in the prison. They returned and reported,

Act 5:23 "We found the prison shut and locked, and the guards standing before the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside!"

Act 5:24 Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these words, they were very perplexed about them and what might become of this.

Act 5:25 One came and told them, "Behold, the men whom you put in prison are in the temple, standing and teaching the people."

Act 5:26 Then the captain went with the officers, and brought them without violence, for they were afraid that the people might stone them.

Act 5:27 When they had brought them, they set them before the council. The high priest questioned them,

Act 5:28 saying, "Didn't we strictly command you not to teach in this name? Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and intend to bring this man's blood on us."

Act 5:29 But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.

Act 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you killed, hanging him on a tree.

Act 5:31 God exalted him with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins.

Act 5:32 We are His witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."

Act 5:33 But they, when they heard this, were cut to the heart, and determined to kill them.

Act 5:34 But one stood up in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, honored by all the people, and commanded to put the apostles out for a little while.

Act 5:35 He said to them, "You men of Israel, be careful concerning these men, what you are about to do.

Act 5:36 For before these days Theudas rose up, making himself out to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed, and came to nothing.

Act 5:37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the enrollment, and drew away some people after him. He also perished, and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered abroad.

Act 5:38 Now I tell you, withdraw from these men, and leave them alone. For if this counsel or this work is of men, it will be overthrown.

Act 5:39 But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow it, and you would be found even to be fighting against God!"

Act 5:40 They agreed with him. Summoning the apostles, they beat them and commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

Act 5:41 They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for Jesus' name.

Act 5:42 Every day, in the temple and at home, they never stopped teaching and preaching Jesus, the Christ.