"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Greater Than John The Baptist? (11:11) by Mark Copeland


Greater Than John The Baptist? (11:11)


1. At the height of His earthly ministry, Jesus was approached by two
   disciples of John the Baptist - Mt 11:1-6
   a. John was in prison, and had sent the two disciples to Jesus
   b. Perhaps troubled by his own imprisonment, he wanted affirmation
      that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Coming One
   c. Jesus pointed to His works, and spoke of the blessedness of those
      not offended because of Him

2. Jesus used this opportunity to tell the multitudes about John the Baptist - Mt 11:7-10
   a. That he was not some easily shaken reed or man in soft clothing, but a prophet
   b. Indeed, he was the prophet foretold by Isaiah and Malachi - Isa 40:3; Mal 3:1; 4:5

3. But then Jesus made two remarkable statements - Mt 11:11
   a. First, that no one had been greater than John the Baptist
   b. Second, that one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he!

4. It is the second statement that has perplexed many...
   a. For the kingdom of heaven is the church that was about to be established
   b. And in the church there are many people who do not seem to measure up to a man
 like John the Baptist! -- How can any of us be greater than he? [When we know the answer, it should fill us with humility and gratitude, and encourage us to
greater dedication in our service to the Lord. Before we consider the answer, let's review...] I. THE GREATNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST A. HE WAS GREAT AS A MAN... 1. Enduring a life of austerity, with voluntary simplicity - Lk 1:80; Mt 3:4 2. He showed courage before king Herod, condemning his unlawful marriage - Mt 14:3-4 3. He possessed humility, showing deference at the height of his own ministry to a New Comer - Jn 1:19-37; 3:22-30 B. HE WAS GREAT AS A PROPHET... 1. His influence brought people throughout Judea into the desert - Mt 3:1-2,5 2. They were moved to be baptized and confess their sins - Mt 6:6 3. Yet He did not weaken his message to accommodate his audience - Mt 6:7-8 C. HE WAS GREAT IN PREPARING THE WAY FOR CHRIST... 1. Such was his particular mission - Mt 3:3; 11:9-10 2. And when Jesus came, he pointed people to Him - Jn 1:29,34-36;3:30,36 a. "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" b. "I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God." c. "He must increase, but I must decrease." d. "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life..." [In light of his mission, and the faithful manner in which he carried it out, no one had arisen greater than John (not even Moses, Elijah, etc., though they might be consider "as great as" John). But again, Jesus says that the least in the kingdom is "greater" than Johhn. How can that be...?] II. THE GREATNESS OF THOSE IN THE KINGDOM A. WE ENJOY GREATER KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST... 1. John's limited knowledge of Christ is implied by his question - Mt 11:2-3 a. He had not seen what Jesus' disciples had seen b. He had not heard what Jesus' disciples had heard - cf. Mt 13:16-17 2. Through the further teaching of Christ and His apostles... a. We know the wonderful story of the cross! b. We know the nature of the kingdom, its establishment, its future glory! c. We know "many things" which even Jesus Himself had not taught His apostles until after the Holy Spirit was sent! - cf. Jn 16:12-13 -- Even "he who is least in the kingdom" knows things about Jesus and His church that John did not know! B. WE ENJOY A GREATER STATION IN THIS LIFE... 1. John was not in the kingdom of heaven (or church) during his life a. He proclaimed it was "at hand" - Mt 3:1-2 b. Jesus and His apostles were still preaching it as being "at hand" - Mt 10:7 c. Jesus would later speak of building His church - Mt 16:18 2. But with the establishment of the church, those who are in it... a. Have been translated into the kingdom of God's Son - Co 1:13; cf. Re 1:9 b. Have been made a royal priesthood and holy nation - 1 Pe 2:9 -- John lived under the Old Covenant; even "he who is least in the kingdom" lives under the New Covenant with its better sacrifice, hope,
and promises - He 7:9; 8:6 C. WE ENJOY GREATER PRIVILEGES... 1. John certainly enjoyed wonderful privileges a. He was filled with the Spirit from his mother's womb - Lk 1:15 b. Who certainly helped him fulfill his mission 2. But Jesus offers things which John did not have; e.g... a. A gift (or measure) of the Spirit that was not given until after Jesus was glorified - Jn 7:37-39 1) Something other than inspiration or miraculous powers, for many had enjoyed that before Jesus was glorified (ascended to heaven) 2) Because of the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost, all who are saved have experienced "the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" - Tit 3:5-7 3) John was born of woman, but those in the kingdom are "born of the Spirit"! - cf. Jn 3:5 a) We therefore receive "the gift of the Spirit" - Ac 2:38 b) A gift that helps deliver one from the power of sin - cf. Ro 8:11-13 c) A gift not enjoyed by those under the Old Covenant - cf. Ro 7:14-8:4 b. The fellowship of the church, the body of Christ - Ro 12:5 1) Remember that John spent his life in the desert, and then in prison 2) He did not enjoy the blessings of fellowship available to the "least" in the kingdom 3) As promised by Jesus, we have a "hundred-fold" family members in this life, something John never had - Mk 10:28-30 -- Many other privileges peculiar to the New Covenant could be mentioned, all of which are enjoyed today by "he who is least in the kingdom"! CONCLUSION 1. In at least three ways, then, we are "greater" than John the Baptist... a. In our knowledge of Jesus Christ b. In our station of life by being in Christ c. In our privileges offered by Jesus Christ 2. As per J. W. McGarvey: "We find from this passage that all true greatness arises from association, relation and contact with Jesus Christ" (The Fourfold Gospel) a. As the forerunner of Christ, John was as great as any other teacher, prophet, priest, lawgiver, and king b. As the beneficiaries of Christ, even the least of those in His kingdom are greater than he 3. Should this not fill us with humility, gratitude, and a desire to greater service? a. That Jesus would bestow such great blessings upon us? b. That we ought to be more dedicated in our service to Christ? 1) Producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives 2) Nurturing and enjoying the fellowship of the family of God 3) Proclaiming the gospel of Christ and the kingdom in its fullness If John was so faithful in that which is less, should we not be more diligent when we have that which is more? "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more." (Lk 12:48)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Pluralism, Multiculturalism, Syncretism, and America by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Pluralism, Multiculturalism, Syncretism, and America

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

As America continues her downward spiral into social, moral, ethical, and spiritual chaos, it is difficult to realize that the first 150 years of American civilization stand in such stark contrast to current culture. The Christian orientation of this country from its inception is irrefutable, revisionist history notwithstanding. The present extensive transformation of society, and the wholesale abandonment of biblical principles, are astonishing. If the Founding Fathers could be resurrected momentarily to observe the change, they would be unquestionably incredulous. They would be aghast, horrified, and deeply saddened that America could be so thoroughly redirected toward moral degradation—a condition that characterized the France of their day.

Pluralism is the notion that all religious belief systems and philosophies are of equal validity. Multiculturalism is the idea that American culture has historically been neither superior to nor preferable over any other culture in the world, and that all cultures—regardless of basic religious, moral, ethical, and spiritual beliefs and practices—are equally credible, viable representations of proper behavior and living. Multiculturalism actually denigrates American civilization as inferior to the other cultures of the world, demonizing it as oppressive, coercive, and exploitive. For both multiculturalism and pluralism, absolute truth does not exist. Both systems embrace the self-contradictory notion that truth is relative, and that right and wrong depend upon the subjective assessments of fallible humans. The politically correct climate that has been forged, insists that whatever people choose to believe is, indeed, correct and good—at least for them!

One illustration of the mad rush to dilute truth and to advocate the mindless acceptance of every imaginable belief or practice is the recent Interfaith Congress held at the Paul VI Pastoral Center in Fatima, Portugal, site of the Catholic shrine dedicated to “the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Attended by delegates representing many religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and African Paganism, the Shrine’s rector, Monsignor Luciano Guerra, spoke of the need to create a shrine where different religions can mingle—a “universalistic place of vocation” (“Fatima,” 2003). Jesuit theologian Jacques Dupuis insisted that the religions of the world must unite: “The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all” (“Fatima”). Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, spoke of the Shrine’s “inter-religious dimension” (“Vatican,” 2003).

Dupuis argued: “The other religious traditions in the world are part of God’s plan for humanity and the Holy Spirit is operating and present in Buddhist, Hindu and other sacred writings of Christian and non-Christian faiths as well” (“Fatima”). The Congress issued an official statement that urged all religions to refrain from proselytizing those of other religions, since “no one religion can irradiate another or strengthen itself by downplaying others. What is needed is that each religiontreat each [other] religion on the same footing of equality with no inferior or superiority complexes (“Fatima”). The statement emphasized the idea that peace may be achieved among all religions—if everyone will admit that contradictions exist between beliefs, and then concentrate on what unites them rather than what separates them.

History repeats itself over and over again. Stubborn humanity refuses to learn from the mistakes of the past. The Israelites were plagued by syncretism [the fusion of differing systems of belief, as opposed to remaining individualistic] through much of their Old Testament history. They did not remove God completely from their lives. They did not become outright atheistic (although polytheism amounts to the same thing). Rather, they engaged in syncretism and, as a result, mixed many elements of false religion into their own beliefs and practices. During the dark ages of the judges, a man named Micah was typical of the spiritual climate of the day. He had a shrine dedicated to the gods of the pagan nations, but he also latched on to a Levite in hopes of currying the favor of the one true God as well (Judges 17:5-13). The condition of the northern kingdom of Israel at the time of the Assyrian captivity was one in which “[t]hey feared the Lord, yet served their own gods” (2 Kings 17:33). By Zephaniah’s day, the same conditions prevailed. God pronounced judgment on Judah in the following words: “I will stretch out My hand against Judah, and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I will cut off every trace of Baal from this place, the names of the idolatrous and pagan priests—those who worship the host of heaven on the housetops; those who worship and swear oaths by the Lord, but who also swear by Molech” (Zephaniah 1:4-5).

Precisely the same malady is afflicting America. Many Americans still claim to believe in the God of the Bible (although the number is declining year by year). However, many—perhaps most—have bought into the idea that we must not be “judgmental” or “intolerant” of the beliefs of others. Hence, our society is swiftly becoming a strange mixture of every sort of religious belief and practice. People in high places are calling upon nationwide acceptance of all religions without reservation—from Native American animism to Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Most shocking of all is the way that so many Americans have simply chosen to embrace a nebulous blend of ambiguous New Age beliefs that enables them to embrace diversity without consideration of specific differences in belief and practice. Spiritual ambiguity has become the sum and substance of religion for many.

It is interesting—if not sadly tragic—that although Israel was born in monotheism in 1500 B.C., it degenerated into paganism, polytheism, and idolatry. America, too, was born in monotheism—the God of the Bible, not Allah or the gods of Hinduism or Buddhism. But her citizenry is now moving full swing into raw paganism. The gods of sensualism and ethical relativity have become the focus of attention for large numbers of Americans. Sensible people have looked back over the centuries and recognized that any country or culture that worships physical things, or attributes divinity to anyone or anything except the one true God, is a country that is ignorant, superstitious, and unenlightened. Who would ever have dreamed that America would one day turn into just such a country? Israel returned to monotheism by the time of Christ—but only after years of suffering and tribulation as a consequence of their national sin. Will America survive the present mad rush away from God? History shows—probably not. The nation likely will face severe punishment in a variety of forms. Oh, that Americans in large numbers would heed the advice of God given to Solomon—a prescription for national health and well-being: “[I]f My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).


“Fatima to Become Interfaith Shrine” (2003), The Portugal News, November 1, [On-line], URL: http://the-news.net/cgi-local/story.pl?title=Fatima to become interfaith shrine &edition=all.

“Vatican Denies Fatima Will Become Interfaith Shrine” (2003), The Portugal News, November 29, [On-line], URL: http://the-news.net/cgi-local/story.pl?title=Vatican denies Fatima will become interfaith shrine&edition=all.

Philemon and Slavery by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Philemon and Slavery

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

American abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman, and reformer, Frederick Douglass, himself a former slave, was invited to deliver a speech in 1852 (eight years before the Civil War) to a women’s anti-slavery society in Rochester, New York. His assigned subject? “What, to the Slave, is the Fourth of July?” His remarks demonstrate forcefully that the Bible and the Christian religion were not to be blamed for the existence or perpetuation of slavery. In his brilliant oration, Douglass demonstrated that those “Christians” and churches in America at the time that used the Bible to sanction slavery were misinterpreting and misrepresenting it. He stated:

But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines [preachers—DM], who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.... Fellow-citizens! I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretence, and your Christianity as a lie.... Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery—the great sin and shame of America! (1852, emp. added).

Douglass was insistent and adamant: to propagate the form of slavery in America at that time was to disregard and trample upon the Bible (and the Constitution!), and to misrepresent and deny the very essence of Christianity and the will of Christ.

Douglass surely understood the New Testament correctly. In a succinct personal note to a fellow Christian (Philemon), the apostle Paul presented a fascinating glimpse into the Christian attitude toward slavery. In a masterpiece of pathos, Paul blended together tender affection, encouraging commendation, unanswerable logic, heartfelt sympathy, and respectful persuasion to convince Philemon to exude Christian compassion.

In examining the successive thoughts that Paul offers in verses 1-15 and 18-25, one is apt to miss the primary point that the apostle was making. Stripping away the side points that he musters along the way in building his appeal allows the central purpose of the letter to come into view as a result of Paul’s triple repetition of “receive him” in verses 12, 15, and 17. He folds the culminating objective in between the latter two verses. The climax is seen in his explicit allusion to the nature of the reception: to get Philemon to receive Onesimus back “no longer as a slave” (vs. 16).

Here is the real message of Philemon—and the Christian stance on slavery: God would have slaves not to be treated as slaves! This divine intention effectively eradicates the forms of slavery that are deemed objectionable. To treat a slave as an equal (“more than a slave”—vs. 16), and to treat him the way one wishes to be treated himself (Matthew 7:12), strips the institution of slavery of its objectionable traits. Who would not want to be the “slave” of a person who treats you as a dear, beloved brother? Paul’s directives to masters elsewhere in the New Testament focus on this same necessity of being just, fair, impartial, and non-threatening (Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1). Recognizing that slavery would continue in the Roman Empire until Christian principles were able to gradually permeate and infiltrate its institutions, Paul gave sensible advice to Corinthian Christians:

Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave (1 Corinthians 7:20-22, emp. added).

A Christian can be a Christian anytime, anywhere. His commitment to Christ is unaffected by his environment or what others may do to him. If he can (ethically and scripturally) improve his physical circumstances, then certainly he is authorized to do so. But if not, “let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called,” that is, one must fulfill one’s pre-baptism (legitimate) obligations (which, in the case of slavery, may entail financial or other matters). The Christian’s focus is to remain on being faithful to God—even in the midst of very unjust or inhumane circumstances. This is the consistent portrait given in the New Testament (e.g., Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24). It certainly is no overstatement to insist that if Christianity, in its pure and accurate form, were implemented throughout the world, the evils of slavery would be eradicated.


Douglass, Frederick (1852), Oration Delivered in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, http://books.google.com/books?id=1glyAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=frederick+douglass&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cmlfT5zROISygwfG57yCCA&ved= 0CFcQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=frederick%20douglass&f=false.

Perspectives Matter by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Perspectives Matter
by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Twice a year for the past few years I have visited the offices of a certified public accountant in Montgomery, Alabama. Since I rarely went to his place of business (or even the area in which his business is located), I had a difficult time remembering exactly what side of the road it was on. When I expected to see it on my right, it would strangely appear on my left. Then, just as sure as I thought it might be on my left, I would find it on my right. Maybe I was just confused. Perhaps my memory was failing me. For whatever reason, I never took the time to figure out why I had the distinct impression that sometimes this building should be on the opposite side of the road. Whenever the time came for me to see the CPA, I simply headed in the direction of his office, confident that I could find it, but unsure on which side of the road it would appear.

Recently, I finally learned why sometimes the building was on my left and other times it was on my right: I had not realized that the street on which this office is located is a long, slow-curving semi-circle. Both ends of the street eventually meet up at the same road, just one intersection apart from each other. Since the two intersections look very similar, I (like many men who are rather unobservant) never realized that I sometimes turned left at one intersection and other times turned left at the next intersection. When I took the first left, the office building always appeared on my right. When I took the second left, the building was always on my left. For whatever reason, I had never paid close enough attention. I had failed to consider that the apparent contradiction was merely the result of two different perspectives: one from the North, and one from the South.

Sadly, many people approach a study of the Bible as carelessly as I approached the CPA’s office building: they fail to consider the various perspectives at play. Approximately 40 different inspired men from all walks of life wrote the Bible over a period of 1,600 years. These men lived at different times in different places among different people in different cultures. They wrote in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and the original recipients of their writings varied greatly—from Jewish, to Greek, to Roman, to all men. Sometimes the Bible writers wrote chronologically (e.g., Genesis 1; Matthew 4:1-11); at other times they wrote thematically (e.g., Genesis 2; Luke 4:1-13). Sometimes they focused on a group of people (e.g., Matthew 28:1; Luke 23:55-24:1); at other times they targeted a particular person within the group (e.g., John 20:1).

Oftentimes when two or more Bible writers differ in their description of a certain event, skeptics cry “contradiction.” In reality, however, the skeptics have merely overlooked or dismissed the fact that the inspired penmen wrote from different perspectives. One question I continually get asked and hear skeptics frequently repeat is, “How did Judas die?” “Did he hang himself as Matthew wrote (27:5), or, as Luke indicated (Acts 1:18), did he fall headlong and ‘burst open in the middle’ and all his entrails gush out?” The answer: Judas hanged himself, and later his body fell (from wherever it was hanging), burst open, and his entrails spilled. Are Matthew and Luke’s accounts different? Yes. Are they contradictory? No. They simply wrote about two different, specific moments during the same general event.

If we fail to recognize the logical reasons for differences in life, we will continually find ourselves dazed and confused. Just as I was perplexed for years over the exact location of a particular office building, because I had not taken the time to consider the exact direction from which I approached the building, skeptics and others will never come to a proper understanding of Scripture until they recognize that perspectives play a major role.

“The Flesh Profits Nothing.” by Jim McGuiggan


“The Flesh Profits Nothing.”

Jesus said of those who trusted themselves to Him: “ As I live by the Father… they also shall live by Me.” There lies the secret of life that is LIFE.

It’s profoundly important that we openly, without apology, happily, joyfully insist on the humanity of Jesus of Nazareth. God did not become a ‘God-man’. A hybrid. God became a man. Jesus of Nazareth was not God being God—He was/is always God always being a man!

It is equally important that we remember and insist, just as happily, just as joyfully and without apology that the man Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 2:22, passim) ceaselessly pointed to God as the source of everything He was and is! God sent Him, God empowered Him, God gave Him the words He taught, the thoughts He thought and the promises He made. The life Jesus of Nazareth enjoyed had its source in God, Jesus said.
His life is reflected in the lives of believers who are parts of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 6:14-15, 17). We do not “live” apart from the Lord Jesus (John 5.26 and entire context).  That we live even if we reject God is true (Acts 17:25, 27-28) and for millions of us it is a fine life with blessings of all kinds (Acts 14:16-17). But there is “life” now and ahead that is brimful of life; lovelier, fuller, in which all that is honorable, noble, adventure-filled and freedom is the order of every day; a life in which nothing that has been gracious, gallant or life-promoting is forgotten but is taken up into the fabric of that ultimate abundant life in a new creation.

Jesus not only died in the flesh, He died to it, died to all its limits and has been given a name that is above every name, not only in this world but beyond. He’s Alive! And all who are embraced in His redeeming work of loving commitment will experience that life they now taste in completeness in a coming day. In the meantime of that life Paul had this to say in Colossians 2:12: “Buried with Him in baptism in which [in baptism—jmcg]  you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God who raised Him from the dead.”
This text is very strong—stronger even that Romans 6:4-5. Here we have believers co-buried and co-raised with Christ. No word here about “likeness” to Christ’s death and resurrection though of course that’s true. Believers are viewed as buried and raised with Christ. That is, by faith In Christ’s dying they died and in His rising they rose (see Ephesians 2:5-6).

Then in Col. 3:1-3 he comes back to this truth that in Christ believers were raised with Christ. Once more, he doesn’t say baptism is like Christ’s death and rising out of it is like Christ’s resurrection. He says believers are co-buried (one word) and co-raised (one word] in the death and resurrection of the Lord.. But he says of that life, that resurrection life, “You died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” We don’t bodily experience or ‘see’ that full-resurrection life right now but that resurrection life personally experienced by Christ—is ours though not yet seen. (See Hebrews 2:8-9.)

He “gives” His flesh and blood for the world (John 6.51) for the life of the world. He speaks here of surrendering the life He then lived in the world as a human like every other human in order to take it again. He gives it, lays it down as ‘flesh”—humanness as it belongs to this phase of human life— that He might take it up again in spirit and power (John 10:17; 1 Peter 3.18; 2 Corinthians 13.4)—that is, in a mode of Being that transcends this phase of human life limited by mortality. 1 John says we do not yet know what we shall be but we know that we will be like Him in whom is the secret of life that is life.

It is in this sense that He said, “the flesh profits nothing” (John 6.63 with 6:27). He doesn’t despise human life. They were seeing Him as someone who could make life “in the flesh” easier and finer (hardly a bad thing) but that was of no lasting effect—and especially in comparison to what He was offering. To deliver them from national oppression or from physical hunger (as food does from death) as He had done the day before (6:22) wouldn’t defeat Death and bring the life God sent Him to give. He meant to kill Death and did it by rising to life beyond Death. They had eaten but they would die as ancient Israelites under Moses had done. Had He gave them the kind of bread Moses gave and the kind of deliverance Moses brought it would profit them nothing, ultimately, for Death would come. Deliverance from Rome was not deliverance from mortality and God sent Jesus to offer deliverance from Death itself in delivering them from their personal and national Sin (Romans 5:21; 1 Corinthians 15:55-56).

Deliverance from predatory nations in war is not triumph over Death itself. But who would fault joyous dancing in the streets in 1945? Who would fault Jonah if he had lived long enough to see God bring down savage Nineveh, the capital of the most brutal of all the ancient empires that tormented a world on its way to doom—who would have complained if he had lived long enough to see that empire structure obliterated and ran everywhere shouting his joy and proclaiming his ‘gospel’? But Death would come to him and he would stop proclaiming the good news about Assyria’s perdition. Deliverance from the C-virus can hardly be a bad thing. But Death will come and no vaccines or other wise responses will save us from it. Christians will be compassionate as well as careful but Christians will be more than that. Won’t they? They will gospel without swaggering, gospel without bullying. Whatever else they will speak of they will speak of the Lord Jesus, the Death Destroyer and the Life Giver.

Jesus “in the flesh” (that is, a human—John1.14; Romans 8:3) could not give, never intended just to give but intended to gain for us (Romans 4.25) and exhibit and embody the fullness of life God always meant for His beloved creation—now alienated from Him. Jesus Christ IS the fullness of life. “I am the Life…” He said (John 14). Within God’s sovereign and altogether gracious purpose He sent Jesus in whom He offered reconciliation to the world (see John 6:51; 2 Cor 5:18-20).

[Holy Father, who can we believe these days? More and more we come to admire  the One whose ‘yes’ was ‘yes’ and ‘no’ was ‘no’.  The One who said, “If that isn’t true I would have told you. Trust Me—I am the Truth.” Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. This prayer in the name of the  One called, “Faithful & True”].




(Dialogue continued)


Baptist::           Since we last talked I have thought a lot about you teaching that “baptism” is essential to salvation.” I’ve thought of some things that just kind of blow that idea out of the water. No pun intended.
Christian:         Okay, I am sure ready to listen and learn.
Baptist::           When you teach that you have to “be baptized to be saved,” you are teaching that you can earn your salvation.
Christian:         Well, why do you think a person is baptized?
Baptist::           You are baptized to get into the Church.
Christian:         So, in other words, you earn your way into the Baptist Church.
Baptist::           Well, no, that is not true.
Christian:         Now wait. If I say that one is baptized into Christ to be saved, you say that I am teaching that you can earn your salvation, but if you teach that you are baptized to get into the Baptist Church, are you not teaching that you can earn your way into the Baptist Church? Is that logical?
Baptist::           Well, baptism is simply the means of getting into the Baptist Church so it is not really earning your way into the Baptist Church.
Christian:         But if I say one is baptized into Christ, it all of the sudden becomes a work of merit to earn salvation. Is that what you are saying?
Baptist::           Well, kind of, I guess.
Christian:         Well, my mind won’t make such a great leap of faith as to believe there is a difference between one being a work of merit and the other not. There is no merit at all in being baptized into Christ. Salvation is merited completely by what Christ did on the cross. Salvation is only in Christ, so I was baptized into Him “where all the promises of God are. I am saved by what happened to Him, not what happened to me. There is no condemnation to those “in Christ.” If one is “in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away and all things are made new.” The only way I know to be “in Christ,” is to be baptized into Him. Paul says,
`“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Galatians 3:27
Baptist::           Well, we believe you are baptized to be a member of the Baptist Church.
Christian:         Yes, I know that is what you believe, but you do not believe you have to be baptized to get into Heaven.
Baptist::           No way.
Christian:         Well, I guess then that you believe it is easier to get into Heaven than it is the Baptist Church.
Baptist::           Huh?
Christian:         Well, if you do not have to be baptized to get into Heaven, but you do to be a member of the Baptist Church, it takes more to get into the Baptist Church than it does to get into Heaven.
Baptist::           Okay, I’ll admit that.
Christian:         I reckon you would have to, because that is what you believe. Let me ask you how you were saved.
Baptist::           I just said the “sinner’s prayer,” and asked Jesus into my heart.
Christian:         What is the “sinner’s prayer?” And what is this “asking Jesus into your heart?” I have never read that in the Bible. Where is that?
Baptist::           I don’t know but I’m sure it’s in there. Even the radio preachers quote it. Revelation shows Jesus standing at the door and knocking. You have seen the famous picture of Jesus knocking on a door without a latch.  He won’t barge in. He knocks and you have to let Him in.
Christian:         Well, I have looked and looked for “sinner’s prayer” and have never found it. The artist probably took his idea from the Revelation picture, but that is Jesus knocking on the door of the lukewarm church, not on an alien sinner’s heart.
Baptist::           Oh, my! I have never noticed that before.
Christian:         Let me ask you, how old were you when you were saved? And how old were you when you were baptized?
Baptist::           I was ten when I said the “sinner’s prayer,” and was saved, but I was twelve when I was baptized and joined the Baptist Church.
Christian:         So you were saved two years outside the Baptist Church?
Baptist::           Yes.
Christian:         So one does not have to be a member of the Baptist Church to be saved?
Baptist::           Oh, no! There are a lot of people saved that are not in the Baptist Church!
Christian:         Well, that is encouraging to know. So you don’t think that you have to be in the Church to be saved?
Baptist::           Oh, no! You don’t believe that you have to be in the Church to be saved, do you?
Christian:         Well, I believe, if you are saved, you are in the Church. On Pentecost, those that gladly received the Word were baptized and the same day there were added about 3,000 souls.
Acts 2:42 and 47, “42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 47 Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
We believe the Lord adds you to His Church, not men.
Baptist:            Well, what kind of Church was it?
Christian:         Well, it is Christ’s Church. It is His body and by one spirit we are all baptized into one body.
I Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
Baptist:            So, you are saying, when you were baptized, you were added to the Church?
Christian:         Yes, we were baptized into Christ. We became a part of His body. When we were baptized into Christ, we were baptized into His death. We died with Him and arose with Him to walk in a newness of life.
Romans 6:4, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Baptist:            Well, let me change gears here. Paul specif-ically said,”Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the Gospel.” It follows then that baptism has no part of the Gospel.
Christian:         It is true, Paul was sent to preach, not merely baptize. This is true, but let’s follow your logic. Since Paul was not sent to baptize, he was not sent to make Baptists, since you have said that it takes “baptism to make a Baptist.”
Baptist:            Now, that is not what I said.
Christian:         No, it is just the logical conclusion to your argument. Furthermore, if baptism is no part of the Gospel, then the Baptist Church is no part of the Gospel. It is not a Gospel Church since it takes baptism to make a Baptist. Will you admit to that?
Baptist:            You frustrate me.
Christian:         (Smiling)No, truth frustrates you. I have just been using your logic on your own doctrine.
Baptist:            Well, maybe so, but I am proud to be a Baptist!
Christian:         But you are not a Baptist, sir.
Baptist:            What do you mean, “I’m not a Baptist?” I have been a Baptist for twenty years.
Christian:         No, sir. I am sorry to tell you, but you are not a Baptist.
Baptist:            Now what do you mean by such a statement?
Christian:         You have been a member of the baptist Church for twenty years, but have you baptized any one?
Baptist:            No, you have to be an ordained minister to administer “baptism.”
Christian:         Then you are not a Baptist. A Baptist is one who baptizes. That is why John was called “the Baptist.” You have baptized no one, so how can you be called “a Baptist?”
Baptist:            Sir, you are playing word games.
Christian:         Not really. Is one who does not do plumbing a plumber? Is one who has never driven a nail a carpenter? Is one who has never preached a preacher? Are you, sir, really a Baptist, if you have never baptized?
Baptist:            Oh, boy!
Christian:         The Great Commission says, “Go, teach and baptize.” Baptist preachers do that, but you don’t. You do not obey the Great Commission.
Baptist:            You may have something there, but one needs to go to a minister to be baptized.
Christian:         You fellows are always talking about a man out in the dessert with no water to baptize them. Let me ask you this. What would happen if a man wanted to be baptized on an island with no ordained Baptist preacher present? How could he become a member5 of the Baptist Christ?
Baptist:            He couldn’t, but he does not have to be a member of the Church to be saved.
Christian:         But the Bible says that the Church is what is going to be presented without spot and blemish.
Ephesians 5:27, “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.“
II Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.”
I don’t know of anyone but the Church that is going to be saved, since He adds the saved to His Church.
Acts 2:42, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
It is His Church which He purchased with His own blood.
Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” 
It is the purchased ones who are redeemed. It is the redeemed ones who are saved. Yes, I believed all saved persons are a member of His Church.
Baptist:            Well, you have given me something to think about. I think my arguments are sound in the overall, though.
Christian:         (Smiling, putting his right arm around him, replies,) We will have to talk again. In the meantime, I don’t think your arguments on baptism hold water. Pun intended.

And with that, they both laughed and ended company.

James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and
not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”




"The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing" (Proverbs 20:4).

What happens when a person plows in the cold weather? If he waits until there is no discomfort in his work, he won't often work. If we only preach the word at a convenient time, we are not plowing in the cold. We are told to:

"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Tim 4:2).

Worldly people will force us to conform to their ways unless we are willing to suffer their hatred and scorn to follow Christ and His commands.

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Rom 12:2).

Jesus refused to be conformed to the world – but his brothers fell to the temptation! Jesus told them:

"The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil" (John 7:7).

We must be willing to stand for Jesus even in the cold and even when the world hates us.

"And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolk, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls (Luke 21:16-19).

We need to use the spiritual plow in cold weather as well as good weather. We should not be like the sluggard who has nothing when the harvest comes.

Beth Johnson

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for July 22 and 23 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for July 22 and 23

World  English  Bible

July 22

1 Chronicles 27-29

1Ch 27:1 Now the children of Israel after their number, the heads of fathers' houses and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and their officers who served the king, in any matter of the divisions which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year--of every division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:2 Over the first division for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:3 He was of the children of Perez, the chief of all the captains of the army for the first month.

1Ch 27:4 Over the division of the second month was Dodai the Ahohite, and his division; and Mikloth the ruler: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:5 The third captain of the army for the third month was Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, chief: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:6 This is that Benaiah, who was the mighty man of the thirty, and over the thirty: and of his division was Ammizabad his son.

1Ch 27:7 The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:8 The fifth captain for this fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:9 The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:10 The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:11 The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zerahites: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:12 The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anathothite, of the Benjamites: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:13 The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zerahites: and in his division were Twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:14 The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:15 The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his division were twenty-four thousand.

1Ch 27:16 Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri the ruler: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maacah:

1Ch 27:17 of Levi, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of Aaron, Zadok:

1Ch 27:18 of Judah, Elihu, one of the brothers of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:

1Ch 27:19 of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jeremoth the son of Azriel:

1Ch 27:20 of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:

1Ch 27:21 of the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:

1Ch 27:22 of Dan, Azarel the son of Jeroham. These were the captains of the tribes of Israel.

1Ch 27:23 But David didn't take the number of them from twenty years old and under, because Yahweh had said he would increase Israel like the stars of the sky.

1Ch 27:24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but didn't finish; and there came wrath for this on Israel; neither was the number put into the account in the chronicles of king David.

1Ch 27:25 Over the king's treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the treasures in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the towers, was Jonathan the son of Uzziah:

1Ch 27:26 Over those who did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub:

1Ch 27:27 and over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: and over the increase of the vineyards for the winecellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:

1Ch 27:28 and over the olive trees and the sycamore trees that were in the lowland was Baal Hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash:

1Ch 27:29 and over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai:

1Ch 27:30 and over the camels was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the donkeys was Jehdeiah the Meronothite: and over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagrite.

1Ch 27:31 All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David's.

1Ch 27:32 Also Jonathan, David's uncle, was a counselor, a man of understanding, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king's sons:

1Ch 27:33 Ahithophel was the king's counselor: and Hushai the Archite was the king's friend:

1Ch 27:34 and after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the captain of the king's army was Joab.

1Ch 28:1 David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies who served the king by division, and the captains of thousands, and the captains of hundreds, and the rulers over all the substance and possessions of the king and of his sons, with the officers, and the mighty men, even all the mighty men of valor, to Jerusalem.

1Ch 28:2 Then David the king stood up on his feet, and said, Hear me, my brothers, and my people: as for me, it was in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and for the footstool of our God; and I had made ready for the building.

1Ch 28:3 But God said to me, You shall not build a house for my name, because you are a man of war, and have shed blood.

1Ch 28:4 However Yahweh, the God of Israel, chose me out of all the house of my father to be king over Israel forever: for he has chosen Judah to be prince; and in the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel;

1Ch 28:5 Of all my sons (for Yahweh has given me many sons), he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of Yahweh over Israel.

1Ch 28:6 He said to me, Solomon your son, he shall build my house and my courts; for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.

1Ch 28:7 I will establish his kingdom forever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my ordinances, as at this day.

1Ch 28:8 Now therefore, in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of Yahweh, and in the audience of our God, observe and seek out all the commandments of Yahweh your God; that you may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children after you forever.

1Ch 28:9 You, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for Yahweh searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts: if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.

1Ch 28:10 Take heed now; for Yahweh has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.

1Ch 28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch of the temple, and of its houses, and of its treasuries, and of the upper rooms of it, and of the inner chambers of it, and of the place of the mercy seat;

1Ch 28:12 and the pattern of all that he had by the Spirit, for the courts of the house of Yahweh, and for all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the house of God, and for the treasuries of the dedicated things;

1Ch 28:13 also for the divisions of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of Yahweh, and for all the vessels of service in the house of Yahweh;

1Ch 28:14 of gold by weight for the vessels of gold, for all vessels of every kind of service; of silver for all the vessels of silver by weight, for all vessels of every kind of service;

1Ch 28:15 by weight also for the lampstands of gold, and for its lamps, of gold, by weight for every lampstand and for its lamps; and for the lampstands of silver, silver by weight for every lampstand and for its lamps, according to the use of every lampstand;

1Ch 28:16 and the gold by weight for the tables of show bread, for every table; and silver for the tables of silver;

1Ch 28:17 and the forks, and the basins, and the cups, of pure gold; and for the golden bowls by weight for every bowl; and for the silver bowls by weight for every bowl;

1Ch 28:18 and for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot, even the cherubim, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of Yahweh.

1Ch 28:19 All this, said David, have I been made to understand in writing from the hand of Yahweh, even all the works of this pattern.

1Ch 28:20 David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: don't be afraid, nor be dismayed; for Yahweh God, even my God, is with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of Yahweh is finished.

1Ch 28:21 Behold, there are the divisions of the priests and the Levites, for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with you in all manner of work every willing man who has skill, for any manner of service: also the captains and all the people will be entirely at your command.

1Ch 29:1 David the king said to all the assembly, Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great; for the palace is not for man, but for Yahweh God.

1Ch 29:2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the brass for the things of brass, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, stones for inlaid work, and of various colors, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.

1Ch 29:3 In addition, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, seeing that I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, I give it to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,

1Ch 29:4 even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, with which to overlay the walls of the houses;

1Ch 29:5 of gold for the things of gold, and of silver for the things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. Who then offers willingly to consecrate himself this day to Yahweh?

1Ch 29:6 Then the princes of the fathers' houses, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers over the king's work, offered willingly;

1Ch 29:7 and they gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand darics, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and of iron a hundred thousand talents.

1Ch 29:8 They with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of Yahweh, under the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.

1Ch 29:9 Then the people rejoiced, because they offered willingly, because with a perfect heart they offered willingly to Yahweh: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.

1Ch 29:10 Therefore David blessed Yahweh before all the assembly; and David said, You are blessed, Yahweh, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever.

1Ch 29:11 Yours, Yahweh, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, Yahweh, and you are exalted as head above all.

1Ch 29:12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all; and in your hand is power and might; and it is in your hand to make great, and to give strength to all.

1Ch 29:13 Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name.

1Ch 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.

1Ch 29:15 For we are strangers before you, and foreigners, as all our fathers were: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is no abiding.

1Ch 29:16 Yahweh our God, all this store that we have prepared to build you a house for your holy name comes of your hand, and is all your own.

1Ch 29:17 I know also, my God, that you try the heart, and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy your people, that are present here, offer willingly to you.

1Ch 29:18 Yahweh, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this forever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of your people, and prepare their heart to you;

1Ch 29:19 and give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for which I have made provision.

1Ch 29:20 David said to all the assembly, Now bless Yahweh your God. All the assembly blessed Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads and prostrated themselves before Yahweh and the king.

1Ch 29:21 They sacrificed sacrifices to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings to Yahweh, on the next day after that day, even one thousand bulls, one thousand rams, and one thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel,

1Ch 29:22 and ate and drink before Yahweh on that day with great gladness. They made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him to Yahweh to be prince, and Zadok to be priest.

1Ch 29:23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of Yahweh as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.

1Ch 29:24 All the princes, the mighty men, and also all of the sons of king David submitted themselves to Solomon the king.

1Ch 29:25 Yahweh magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed on him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

1Ch 29:26 Now David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.

1Ch 29:27 The time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

1Ch 29:28 He died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor: and Solomon his son reigned in his place.

1Ch 29:29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Samuel the seer, and in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the history of Gad the seer,

1Ch 29:30 with all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

July 23

2 Chronicles 1-3

2Ch 1:1 Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and Yahweh his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.

2Ch 1:2 Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every prince in all Israel, the heads of the fathers' houses.

2Ch 1:3 So Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the Tent of Meeting of God, which Moses the servant of Yahweh had made in the wilderness.

2Ch 1:4 But David had brought the ark of God up from Kiriath Jearim to the place that David had prepared for it; for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.

2Ch 1:5 Moreover the bronze altar, that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of Yahweh: and Solomon and the assembly were seeking counsel there.

2Ch 1:6 Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before Yahweh, which was at the Tent of Meeting, and offered one thousand burnt offerings on it.

2Ch 1:7 In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, "Ask what I shall give you."

2Ch 1:8 Solomon said to God, You have shown great loving kindness to David my father, and have made me king in his place.

2Ch 1:9 Now, Yahweh God, let your promise to David my father be established; for you have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.

2Ch 1:10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this your people, that is so great?

2Ch 1:11 God said to Solomon, Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor the life of those who hate you, neither yet have asked long life; but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge my people, over whom I have made you king:

2Ch 1:12 wisdom and knowledge is granted to you; and I will give you riches, and wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had who have been before you; neither shall there any after you have the like.

2Ch 1:13 So Solomon came from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the Tent of Meeting, to Jerusalem; and he reigned over Israel.

2Ch 1:14 Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had one thousand four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

2Ch 1:15 The king made silver and gold to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance.

2Ch 1:16 The horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt and from Kue; the king's merchants purchased them from Kue.

2Ch 1:17 They brought up and brought out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred pieces of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.

2Ch 2:1 Now Solomon purposed to build a house for the name of Yahweh, and a house for his kingdom.

2Ch 2:2 Solomon counted out seventy thousand men to bear burdens, and eighty thousand men who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.

2Ch 2:3 Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As you dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build him a house in which to dwell, even so deal with me.

2Ch 2:4 Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of Yahweh my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him incense of sweet spices, and for the continual show bread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts of Yahweh our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.

2Ch 2:5 The house which I build is great; for great is our God above all gods.

2Ch 2:6 But who is able to build him a house, seeing heaven and the heaven of heavens can't contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn incense before him?

2Ch 2:7 Now therefore send me a man skillful to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and who knows how to engrave all manner of engravings, to be with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.

2Ch 2:8 Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon; for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon: and behold, my servants shall be with your servants,

2Ch 2:9 even to prepare me timber in abundance; for the house which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful.

2Ch 2:10 Behold, I will give to your servants, the cutters who cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.

2Ch 2:11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, "Because Yahweh loves his people, he has made you king over them."

2Ch 2:12 Huram continued, "Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, that should build a house for Yahweh, and a house for his kingdom.

2Ch 2:13 Now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, of Huram my father's,

2Ch 2:14 the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan; and his father was a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson, also to engrave any manner of engraving, and to devise any device; that there may be a place appointed to him with your skillful men, and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.

2Ch 2:15 Now therefore the wheat and the barley, the oil and the wine, which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants:

2Ch 2:16 and we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as you shall need; and we will bring it to you in floats by sea to Joppa; and you shall carry it up to Jerusalem."

2Ch 2:17 Solomon numbered all the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, after the numbering with which David his father had numbered them; and they were found one hundred fifty-three thousand six hundred.

2Ch 2:18 He set seventy thousand of them to bear burdens, and eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred overseers to set the people at work.

2Ch 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where Yahweh appeared to David his father, which he made ready in the place that David had appointed, in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

2Ch 3:2 He began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.

2Ch 3:3 Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was sixty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.

2Ch 3:4 The porch that was before the house, its length, according to the breadth of the house, was twenty cubits, and the height one hundred twenty; and he overlaid it within with pure gold.

2Ch 3:5 The greater house he made a ceiling with fir wood, which he overlaid with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains.

2Ch 3:6 He garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.

2Ch 3:7 He overlaid also the house, the beams, the thresholds, and its walls, and its doors, with gold; and engraved cherubim on the walls.

2Ch 3:8 He made the most holy house: its length, according to the breadth of the house, was twenty cubits, and its breadth twenty cubits; and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.

2Ch 3:9 The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. He overlaid the upper chambers with gold.

2Ch 3:10 In the most holy house he made two cherubim of image work; and they overlaid them with gold.

2Ch 3:11 The wings of the cherubim were twenty cubits long: the wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house; and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.

2Ch 3:12 The wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house; and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.

2Ch 3:13 The wings of these cherubim spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were toward the house.

2Ch 3:14 He made the veil of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and ornamented it with cherubim.

2Ch 3:15 Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty-five cubits high, and the capital that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.

2Ch 3:16 He made chains in the oracle, and put them on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.

2Ch 3:17 He set up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.

Jul. 22, 23

Acts 14

Act 14:1 It happened in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed.

Act 14:2 But the disbelieving Jews stirred up and embittered the souls of the Gentiles against the brothers.

Act 14:3 Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who testified to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

Act 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided. Part sided with the Jews, and part with the apostles.

Act 14:5 When some of both the Gentiles and the Jews, with their rulers, made a violent attempt to mistreat and stone them,

Act 14:6 they became aware of it, and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra, Derbe, and the surrounding region.

Act 14:7 There they preached the Good News.

Act 14:8 At Lystra a certain man sat, impotent in his feet, a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked.

Act 14:9 He was listening to Paul speaking, who, fastening eyes on him, and seeing that he had faith to be made whole,

Act 14:10 said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet!" He leaped up and walked.

Act 14:11 When the multitude saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voice, saying in the language of Lycaonia, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"

Act 14:12 They called Barnabas "Jupiter," and Paul "Mercury," because he was the chief speaker.

Act 14:13 The priest of Jupiter, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, and would have made a sacrifice along with the multitudes.

Act 14:14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out,

Act 14:15 "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made the sky and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them;

Act 14:16 who in the generations gone by allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways.

Act 14:17 Yet he didn't leave himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."

Act 14:18 Even saying these things, they hardly stopped the multitudes from making a sacrifice to them.

Act 14:19 But some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, and having persuaded the multitudes, they stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.

Act 14:20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe.

Act 14:21 When they had preached the Good News to that city, and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:22 confirming the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God.

Act 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed.

Act 14:24 They passed through Pisidia, and came to Pamphylia.

Act 14:25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.

Act 14:26 From there they sailed to Antioch, from where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work which they had fulfilled.

Act 14:27 When they had arrived, and had gathered the assembly together, they reported all the things that God had done with them, and that he had opened a door of faith to the nations.

Act 14:28 They stayed there with the disciples for a long time.