"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Does Your Temple Need Cleaning? (21:12-14) by Mark Copeland



Does Your Temple Need Cleaning? (21:12-14)


1. Shortly after entering Jerusalem at the beginning of His final week,
   Jesus entered the temple - Mt 21:12-14
   a. Angered by the presence of the moneychangers and merchants, He
      drove them out
   b. He decried their turning the house of God into a den of thieves
   c. With the temple cleansed, He then healed blind and lame

2. Jesus had cleansed the temple before - Jn 2:13-17
   a. It was during the Passover, three years before
   b. Then He rebuked them for making the house of God a house of merchandise

3. In both cases, we see Jesus' anger for their misuse of the temple...
   a. Not that there was anything inherently wrong with buying and selling
   b. But it was not the proper place, or use of the temple

4. How about your temple?
   a. Is it being properly used? 
   b. Does it need cleaning?
   c. Are you aware that you even have a temple?  

[Yes, you do have a temple.  As with the temple in Jerusalem, it is to
be used in the service and praise of God.  If it is not, then it too
needs a cleaning!  What am I talking about...?]


      1. Your physical body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who in you - 1Co 6:19
         a. This "indwelling" refers to a special relationship between
            you and the Spirit
            1) By which God strengthens you - cf. Ep 3:16
            2) By whom we can deal with the power of sin - cf. Ro 8:11-13
         b. As Solomon recognized with the temple in Jerusalem, no
            physical dwelling can contain the omnipresent God - cf. 2Ch 6:18
         c. Such is true of the Spirit of God - cf. Ps 139:7-12
         d. Yet the uniqueness of the Spirit's presence in the life of
            a Christian is such that it is proper to speak of Him
            "indwelling" the Christian - cf. Ga 4:6
      2. What is said of the physical body, is also said of the church
         as a whole - 1Co 3:16
      3. What is said of the church as a temple, is also true of the body - 1Co 3:17
         a. Defile the temple of God, and you incur the wrath of God!
         b. For the temple is to be holy!

      1. The temple of Jerusalem was to be a place of prayer 
           - cf. Mt 21:13; 2Ch 6:19-21
      2. So your temple, including both body and mind, is to be devoted
         in service to God
         a. Your body is to be a living sacrifice - Ro 12:1; cf. Col 3:5-9
         b. Your mind is to be renewed, focused on things above
               - Ro 12:2; cf. Col 3:1-2

      1. We have seen how the temple in Jerusalem was abused
         a. A place designed for prayer, turned into a marketplace
         b. A place that need to be cleansed, once and again
      2. The same can be true of our temples...
         a. We can become guilty of setting our minds on earthly things
            1) We begin serving our bellies (fleshly appetites), rather
               than Jesus - Php 3:18-19
            2) We find ourselves unable to abide by will of God - Ro 8:5-8
         b. We can begin offering our bodies to that which it does not belong
            1) Some which is inherently sinful - cf. 1Co 6:13-18
            2) Other things (cares, riches, pleasures of life) which
               detract us from our true service and hinder our ability
               to serve God with our bodies - cf. Lk 8:14

[What is the condition of your temple?  Perhaps you are in need of a
"major overhaul" (salvation).  Perhaps you need some "spring cleaning"
(restoration and rededication).  In either case, the principles for
cleaning are similar...]


      1. Jesus is an expert at "temple-cleansing"!
      2. Even more so, when it comes to cleansing the temples of our
         bodies and spirits
         a. He knows that it must occur from the inside out - cf. Mt 23:25-27
         b. He died, that He might purify us - Tit 2:11-14
         c. His blood is the cleansing power to purify us from all sin- 1Jn 1:7
      3. How do we ensure the presence of Christ in our "temples"?
         a. Through faith - Ep 3:17
         b. Through obedience - Jn 14:21,23; 1Pe 1:22
      4. For the non-Christian, such faith and obedience includes baptism
         a. For baptism unites us with Christ, that the body of sin
            might be destroyed - Ro 6:3-4
         b. For in baptism we put on Christ - Ga 3:27
      5. For the Christian in need of cleansing, faithful obedience
         includes repentance and prayer - cf. Ac 8:22
         a. Repentance, as Christ counseled the Laodiceans - Rev 3:14-19
         b. Prayer, through which the Lord is allowed back into our hearts - Rev 3:20

      1. Jesus exercised strength to overturn the tables and drive out the merchants
      2. Even more so, does He offer strength for the Christian
         a. Without Him, we can do nothing - Jn 15:4-5
         b. With Him, we can do everything - Php 4:13
      3. Thus we need to stand strong "in the power of His might" 
           - Ep 6:10; Col 1:11; cf. Isa 40:29-31; 41:10

      1. While we are dependent upon Christ for our cleansing, we 
         cannot sit by idly
         a. We must "cleanse ourselves" - 2Co 7:1
         b. We must "pursue holiness" - He 12:14
      2. This involves both "putting off" and "putting on" things in our life
         a. As counseled by James - Jm 1:21
         b. As instructed by Peter - 1Pe 2:1-2
         c. As commanded by Paul - Ep 4:22-32; Col 3:8-14
      3. Our cleansing will be greatly facilitated by what we allow in our minds
         a. For things that are worthy of praise and virtue will ensure
            God's presence in our lives - Php 4:8-9
         b. Our transformation will take place as our minds are renewed - Ro 12:1-2


1. In what condition is your "temple"?
   a. Is it a place where God, Jesus, and the Spirit can reside?
   b. Is your body and mind "a place of prayer", one that brings glory to God?
   -- Or have you allowed the mundane things of life to so preoccupy
      your "temple" that it is not what God intended, a place that is
      common and profane?

2. If your temple needs cleaning, then look to Jesus...
   a. Only He can provide the cleansing you need
   b. But He also provides power for godly living

3. But be careful that you do not just let Jesus clean your temple and nothing else...
   a. For cleansing without replacement can make thing worse - cf. Mt 2:43-45
   b. Therefore we must fill our "temples" with prayer, praise, virtue, and godliness
   c. Otherwise our "temples" will soon be filled with idols

Do not forget the words of the apostle Paul:

   "And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are
   the temple of the living God."

   "As God has said: `I will dwell in them And walk among them. I 
   will be their God, And they shall be My people.' Therefore `Come
   out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch
   what is unclean, And I will receive you.  I will be a Father to
   you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD

   "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse 
   ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting
   holiness in the fear of God."
                                               (2Co 6:16-7:1)

Are you participating with Christ in your cleansing, and perfecting
holiness in the fear of God?  
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Bible is its Own Best Interpreter by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



The Bible is its Own Best Interpreter

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Many excellent books have been written that discuss the principles involved in understanding the Bible. Within churches of Christ, for example, several fine volumes have been produced to assist the Christian in comprehending the Bible’s intended meanings (e.g., Dungan, 1888; Lockhart, 1901; Kearley, et al., 1986). One feature of the process of interpreting the Bible is the Bible’s own ability to shed light on its meaning. The Holy Spirit caused the Bible to be written with the specific intention that people would be able to understand its message. Consequently, the Bible shares in common with other books the basic characteristics that one might expect any piece of written communication to possess. It utilizes the same laws of thought and language, and it assumes that the honest, sincere, dedicated student can arrive at the meanings intended by the Author.

Perhaps the greatest deterrent to a proper interpretation of the Bible is the widespread and growing sense of uncertainty in the acquisition of absolute truth. American civilization has been inundated with pluralism, and has been brow-beaten into accepting the notion that one belief is as good as another, and that it really does not matter what one believes. Since so many people hold to so many conflicting beliefs, it is commonly thought that no one should be so intolerant, arrogant, and mean-spirited as to think that he has a corner on truth. One belief is as good as another, so we are told. And the same principle applies to religion, ethics, and virtually every other facet of human existence. Agnosticism (the philosophical posture that insists that one cannot know) has literally come to dominate our society. Perhaps the majority of Americans now feel that one cannot know whether the God of the Bible exists, whether the Bible is the one and only Word of God, whether Christianity is the only true religion, or whether New Testament Christianity is distinguishable from denominationalism.


At the heart of the issue of how the Bible should be interpreted, and whether the Bible is its own best interpreter, lies the deeper question of whether we humans are capable of knowing anything for certain, whether we can use logic to reason correctly, and whether we can arrive at truth. These preconditions for understanding the Bible may seem obvious and self-evident to Christians. But we are living at a time in which most people have been influenced to think that we cannot be certain about knowing anything. It goes without saying that this viewpoint is self-contradictory. Yet many continue to believe it.

Of course, the Bible is filled with statements that presuppose (and, in fact, absolutely demand) that we reason correctly, weigh evidence, and come to correct conclusions regarding God’s will. Through Isaiah, God beckoned: “Come now, and let us reason together” (1:18), and “State your case, that you may be acquitted” (43:26). The noble Bereans “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). Paul said he was appointed for “the defense of the gospel” (Philippians 1:17). He insisted that the Thessalonians “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). He told Timothy to rightly divide the word of truth and to correct those who were in opposition (2 Timothy 2:15,25). Peter urged us to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). John warned: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). And Jude said that we must “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3). Every single one of these verses, and many, many more, demand that the individual engage in a process of assessing facts, investigating circumstances, weighing evidence, diligent thinking, and reasoning, in order to arrive at the truth.

Yet, the magnitude of disagreement that exists in the world is astonishing. It is frustrating, depressing, heart-rending, and mind-boggling. For example, in American politics, a wide range of viewpoints exists with a multiplicity of variations and shades. How can so many politicians adamantly insist that abortion is absolutely right and good, while many other politicians, with equal vigor, insist that abortion is evil and wrong? How can people be so diametrically opposed to each other’s viewpoints? In religion, the diversity and cleavage is incredible. Christendom is hopelessly divided due to differing doctrinal views. The vast majority of those who claim to be following Christ adamantly maintain that water immersion is not necessary to salvation. Millions believe that it is appropriate to sprinkle infants, or to worship God with instruments of music, or that you cannot fall from grace. The religious division that exists in the entire world is even more staggering, since, for example, Islam (representing over a billion people) and Hinduism (representing about a billion people) are in absolute and complete contradiction to each other. By the very nature of their views, they cannot possibly “agree to disagree.” Atheism maintains that all religion is crazy. Karl Marx said that religion is the “opiate of the people.” So to the communist, evolutionist, and atheist, religion is actually harmful and detrimental to society.

With such irreparable, irreversibly deep diversity, no wonder so many have thrown up their hands and concluded that we cannot know for sure who is right and who is wrong (or perhaps more commonly, it really does not matter what is right and wrong). But after surveying the disconcerting, discouraging condition of the world’s lack of interest in ascertaining spiritual reality, one can return once again to the Bible, bring the entire state of affairs back into focus, and make perfect sense of the situation. It has ever been this way! The vast majority of humanity has always chosen to go its own way—for a variety of reasons and motivations. But the truth can be ascertained! Hence, they are all without excuse (cf. Romans 1:20).

The notion that the Bible is its own best interpreter was articulated during the Reformation as a reaction to the Catholic notion that the church was the final interpreter of God’s Word. The reformers took issue with this claim, and insisted instead that “Scripture is its own interpreter” (Scriptura sacra sui ipsius interpres). What they meant was that the totality of the Bible must be allowed to interpret every part of the Bible. Thus, “no part of Scripture can be so interpreted as to deform the teaching of the whole of Scripture” (Ramm, et al., 1987, p. 23). As Milton Terry observed: “God’s written word, taken as a whole, and allowed to speak for itself, will be found to be its own best interpreter” (n.d., p. 162; cf. p. 222).

There is much to be said for the recognition that to really understand the Bible—to really know the Bible—one must study the Bible book by book, giving attention to the contextual variables that characterize each individual book, and grasping the overall argument and line of reasoning inherent in each book. Clinton Lockhart, a Christian who authored a textbook on hermeneutics in 1901 that, by some estimations, surpasses the work of Dungan, pointed out that “no man that reads the Bible merely as a collection of proverbs or disconnected texts can ever understand the real nature of the sacred volume” (p. 233). Indeed, there is no substitute or shortcut to Bible interpretation. One must develop a broad and thorough familiarity with the entire Bible


The Scriptures contain within them the keys to their own interpretation. Take, for example, the question of Holy Spirit baptism. The charismatic community typically associates the expression “Holy Spirit baptism” with the phenomenon that enables the believer to speak in tongues, heal someone, or work other miracles. In other words, Holy Spirit baptism is simply a generic reference to miraculous empowerment. Anyone who can speak in a tongue or perform any other miraculous action is said to have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. He is said to be “Spirit-filled.” However, the Bible actually alludes to Holy Spirit baptism in a very narrow, specialized, even technical sense (see Miller, 2003). Just because a person could speak in tongues or work miracles did not necessarily mean he or she had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. The principle of the Bible being its own best interpreter is well illustrated in the verses that allude directly to Holy Spirit baptism: Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5; and Acts 11:16. In all three verses, Holy Spirit baptism is mentioned by name, and the language that is employed links the three occasions together. Thus, one critical principle involved in allowing the Bible to interpret itself is to recognize and accept the explicit explanations that verses often give on a particular subject.


Another example where we see the Bible being its own best interpreter pertains to baptism. The Protestant world has insisted that water baptism is a secondary and subsequent action to salvation. Various religionists have maintained that it serves as “an outward sign of an inward grace.” They claim that baptism is a symbol—a visible expression of the forgiveness already received at the point of faith. But the Bible nowhere articulates this provocative, illicit concept. It is the figment of someone’s vivid imagination that has been taken up and repeated so often that it sounds “biblical.” When Ananias prodded Paul to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16), he said nothing about an alleged symbolic cleansing or post-forgiveness washing. He uttered not one word that would lead the unbiased reader to even remotely conclude that Paul’s sins were washed away before he was baptized.

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

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

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

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

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

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

But doesn’t the Bible teach that baptism is, in fact, a symbol? Doesn’t baptism have “symbolic” significance? Yes, the Bible assigns symbolic significance to baptism in regard to at least three distinct features. Paul said that water baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He used the terms “likeness” and “form” to pinpoint this symbolism (Romans 6:5,17). He later identified a symbolic link between baptism and Old Testament circumcision—the idea that as skin was cut off by circumcision, so sins are cut off at baptism (Colossians 2:11-12). Peter added a third instance of baptism’s symbolic value. He compared a person passing through the water of baptism in order to be saved (by Christ’s resurrection) with the eight persons who were saved “by,” i.e., through (dia) the water of the Flood of Noah’s day (1 Peter 3:20-21). Notice carefully how the Bible is its own best interpreter: baptism symbolizes: (1) Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; (2) the “cutting off” of circumcision; and (3) the waters of the Flood. How in the world could anyone get out of this that baptism symbolizes past forgiveness that was achieved prior to being baptized?


The account of Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus has certainly spawned a great deal of resistance to the role of water baptism in God’s scheme of redemption. While the bulk of Christendom for most of the last 2,000 years has recognized that “water” in John 3:5 is an allusion to water baptism (Shepherd, 1894, pp. 320-338), in the last few decades, many have attempted to assign a different meaning to the word—everything from “blood,” “sperm,” and the “Spirit” to the “water” that accompanies the physical birth of a child (i.e., amniotic fluid). However, once again, the Bible is its own best interpreter.

The context yields three useful factors. In the first place, Nicodemus thought being “born again” entailed physical birth (vs. 4). Jesus would not have followed up that misunderstanding by confirming it! If “water” in verse five refers to physical birth, then the flow of thought was that when Nicodemus asked if Jesus was referring to physical birth, Jesus responded that He was: “Do I have to be born physically a second time from my mother’s womb?” “Yes, you must be born of water….” In the second place, Jesus would not have told Nicodemus that one of the prerequisites for getting into the spiritual kingdom is physical birth. That would have Jesus making the redundant and ridiculous statement: “Before you can get into My kingdom, you first have to become a human being.” To frame such a statement would not only make Jesus appear oblivious to the fact that Nicodemus was already a human being, but also would put Jesus in the absurd position of thinking He needed to inform all non-humans (i.e., the animals) that they are not permitted entrance into the kingdom.

In the third place, while multiple occurrences of the same word in the same context can have different meanings, attendant extenuating circumstances would be necessary in order to realize the distinction. No such factors are evident, especially since, eighteen verses later, the writer informs us that John the baptizer “was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23, emp. added). Was John baptizing in that location because there was much amniotic fluid there? Or because there was much blood there? Or because the Holy Spirit was there? The Bible is indeed its own best interpreter!


Premillennialists are fond of calling attention to the concluding prophetic remarks of Amos: “‘On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,’ says the Lord who does this thing” (Amos 9:11-12). They insist that the fulfillment of this prophecy is yet future. They say the Temple, which was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans (Matthew 23:37-24:35), will be rebuilt on the Temple platform in Jerusalem (a site currently occupied by the third most holy shrine of Islam—the Dome of the Rock). They say that Jesus will return after the Rapture, the Tribulation, and Armageddon, and set up His millennial kingdom. They say He will reign on a literal throne for a thousand years, and incorporate the Gentiles, in addition to the nation of Israel, into His kingdom. On the face of it, this prophecy certainly possesses terminology that fits the millenarian interpretation placed upon it.

However, two Bible passages dispute this interpretation, and settle the question as to the proper application of Amos’ prophecy. The first is the great Messianic prophecy uttered by the prophet Nathan to King David regarding David’s future lineage and royal dynasty (2 Samuel 7:12-16). Nathan declared that God would establish and sustain the Davidic dynasty. Even though he also noted that a permanent form of the Tabernacle (that God refused to allow David to build [2 Samuel 7:1-7]) would be built by David’s son (i.e., Solomon), God, Himself, would build David a house, i.e., a dynasty, a kingly lineage. It is this lineage to which Amos referred—not a physical temple building.

The second passage that clarifies Amos’ prophecy is the account of the Jerusalem “conference” (Acts 15). Following Peter’s report regarding Gentile inclusion in the kingdom, James offered the following confirmatory comment: “Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written” (Acts 15:13-15). James then quoted Amos 9:11-12. In other words, on that most auspicious occasion, James was noting two significant facts that had come to pass precisely as predicted by Amos: (1) after the downfall of the Jewish kingdom, the Davidic dynasty had been reinstated in the person of Christ—the “Son of David” (Matthew 22:42)—Who, at His ascension, had been enthroned in heaven, thereby “rebuilding the tabernacle of David that had fallen down”; and (2) with the conversion of the first Gentiles in Acts 10, as reported on this occasion by Peter, the “residue of men,” or the non-Jewish segment of humanity, was now “seeking the Lord.” I repeat: the Bible is its own best interpreter.

A fitting conclusion to this feature of God’s amazing Word might be the remark made by Peter on the occasion of the establishment of the church of Christ on Earth. You no doubt remember how he and his fellow apostles, empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak foreign languages to the international audience gathered on that occasion were nevertheless accused of being intoxicated. After noting it was too early in the day for such an explanation to be plausible, he prefaced his quotation of Joel with the following words: “This is that….” Much of the effort that we expend in coming to a correct understanding of God’s Word will be directed toward that very goal. Peter was telling his Pentecost audience: the Bible is its own best interpreter.


Dungan, D.R. (1888), Hermeneutics (Delight, AR: Gospel Light).

Kearley, F. Furman, Edward P. Myers, and Timothy D. Hadley, eds. (1986), Biblical Interpretation (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Lockhart, Clinton (1915), Principles of Interpretation (Delight, AR: Gospel Light), revised edition.

Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2572.

Ramm, Bernard, et al. (1987), Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

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

Shepherd, J.W. (1894), Handbook on Baptism (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate, 1972 reprint).

Terry, Milton (no date), Biblical Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan), reprint.

The Bible Explains Itself by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



The Bible Explains Itself

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

It often has been said, “The Bible is its own best commentary.” When we read something that we do not understand in one section of the Bible, frequently other passages in the Scriptures will “interpret” the “unclear” sections for us. Someone questioning the identity of the “seed” of Abraham who would be a blessing to all nations (Genesis 22:18; cf. 26:4) can read Galatians 3:16 and learn that the “seed” mentioned in Genesis is Christ. If a person wanted to know what the water baptism Jesus and the apostles commanded involved, he could study Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12, and Acts 8:38, and come to the correct conclusion that New Testament water baptism is a burial in water, and not the mere sprinkling of water on a person. Instead of approaching the Scriptures with the mindset of, “What do I think about…,” or “What do you think about…,” we first need to ask ourselves, “What does the Bible say about itself?” If there is one section of the Scriptures that we do not understand fully, we always should examine other passages in the Bible that deal with the same subject first. Such is the case when we interpret the account of Creation recorded in Genesis 1.

Some who read Genesis 1-2 have suggested, for example, that the Hebrew words translated “create” (bara) and “make” (asah) always mean entirely different things. They believe that bara means “to create,” while asah means “to re-create” or “to make over.” Thus, we are told, “the heavens and earth” were created in the beginning (vss. 1-2; supposedly a time that could have been billions of years ago), and then there was a six-day “make over” (vss. 3-31). The problem with this theory (commonly known as the Gap Theory) is that the “explanatory notes” God has given us throughout the Old Testament concerning the events recorded in Genesis 1 reveal that the words “create” (bara) and “make/made” (asah) are used interchangeably in reference to the creation of the Universe and everything in it.

Consider Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the Lord made [asah] heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” Gap theorists contend that this verse speaks only of God’s “re-forming” from something already in existence. Yet notice that the verse specifically speaks of the heaven and the earth—the very same things mentioned in Genesis 1:1. Notice also the psalmist’s commentary on Genesis 1:

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created (Psalm 148:1-5, emp. added).

The psalmist indicated that the Sun, Moon, and stars (among other things) were created (bara). However, Genesis 1:16 states: “God made (asah) two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made (asah) the stars also.” When we “couple” Genesis 1:16 with Psalm 148:1-5, the only logical conclusion that we can draw is that “to create” and “to make” are used to refer to the same event—the making of heavenly bodies on the fourth day of creation.

Finally, consider what Nehemiah wrote concerning God’s creation:

You alone are the Lord; You have made [asah] heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You (9:6, emp. added).

When Nehemiah wrote about some of the same events recorded in Psalm 148:1-5 and Genesis 1:1 [in which the word “created” (bara) was used], he employed the word “made” (asah).

What does all of this prove, you may ask? It proves that we can know God created everything in six days—including the heavens and Earth mentioned in Genesis 1:1. The reason that some insist on the Hebrew words bara and asah having two different meanings when referring to God’s creative acts is not because it is the most logical reading of the text (especially in light of other verses in the Bible), but because they are searching to find some way to fit billions of years of alleged Earth history into the Bible in order to accept the evolution-based geologic timetable.

The Bible Contradicts Itself? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


 The Bible Contradicts Itself?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The light shone brightly into the eyes of the suspect who was seated between two FBI special agents in black suits. “Where were you the night of October 31, 2000?” demanded one of the agents. The suspect nervously muttered, “I already told you, I was at a Halloween party with some friends.” The interrogation continued: “And what exactly were you doing at the party?” asked the same demanding voice. “I bobbed for apples,” retorted the suspect in his shaky voice. Several hours later, during another interrogation, a different FBI agent asked the suspect what seemed to be a silly question: “Have you ever bobbed for apples?” The suspect promptly replied, “No, I have never in my life bobbed for apples.”

Obviously, the testimony of the suspect was faulty. He could not truthfully say in one breath that he bobbed for apples, and then in the next breath say that he never bobbed for apples in all his life. Either he had or he had not bobbed for apples; both of his statements could not have been be true.

Some people accuse the Bible of doing the exact same thing as the lying suspect. They claim that when the Bible is put under close scrutiny it says one thing in one place, and then says something completely contradictory in another place.

If the Bible does contradict itself, then the Christian has a serious problem. The Christian claims that the Bible is the Word of God. Yet if it contradicts itself, then that would make God a liar. And since the Bible says that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), then any book with contradictions in it could not have been inspired by God. Therefore, if legitimate contradictions can be found in anywhere in the Bible, then it is not the Word of God.

The skeptic, of course, claims to have found not just one, but hundreds of contradictions. Furthermore, the sincere Bible reader must admit that, occasionally even he comes across something in a passage that seems to “contradict” something else in the Bible.


Let it be noted that if the Bible does, in fact, contain a legitimate contradiction of some kind, it has not yet been found. When all the facts are considered, each alleged biblical contradiction has been shown to be something other than a true contradiction. That is a powerful statement, considering the fact that no book in the world has been examined more closely or scrutinized more carefully. After the Bible has been put under the high-powered microscope of criticism, and dissected by the razor-sharp scalpel of supposed contradictions, it rises from the surgery with no scratches or scars, none the worse for wear.


Dealing with alleged contradictions entails several different principles; one of which involves the fact that sometimes many different solutions will present themselves. In order to “fix” the contradiction and show that the Bible is not self-negating, an exact solution does not necessarily have to be established. All that the biblical defender must do is offer a possible solution.

For instance, it has been claimed that a contradiction exists because Acts 7:16 states that Abraham bought a tomb in Shechem where the patriarchs were buried. Yet, in Joshua 24:32 the Bible plainly says that Jacob was the one who bought the plot of ground in Shechem where Joseph was buried. At first glance, these passages appear to be in opposition, but upon closer inspection several possible solutions come to light.

First, both men could have bought the field. Jacob was in the area more than 150 years after Abraham. Abraham could have bought the field, sold it back, and Jacob could have bought the field many years later. The United States has been in existence only a little over 200 years. Imagine your great grandfather buying a field before the Civil War. In order for you to gain possession of the field today, you might have to buy it. Another possibility is that Abraham bought the tomb in Shechem, but Jacob bought a field. The Bible does not say that Jacob bought a tomb, just a field (Genesis 33:19, Joshua 24:32).

Actually, no one knows for sure exactly what happened with the field, the tomb, Jacob, or Abraham. But in order to avoid the charge of a contradiction, we simply must show that there is a possibility that the two statements could be true. By using such principles as this, each alleged Bible contradiction can be answered quite adequately.

Seeing The Unseen by Ken Weliever



Seeing The Unseen

“No one could have seen this coming,” is an often repeated phrase used by President Trump in his press conferences referring to the current crisis caused by COVID-19.

Critics, of course, are quick to point out there are certain signs our leaders should have seen that were red flags. There have even been predictions of a global pandemic for years by some health officials.

Honest people, however, admit that we’ve all been blind sided by this virus and the disruption it has caused in our lives. A visible enemy is easy to spot. Warships navigating across the oceans. Bombers flying across the sky. Armies marching across continents. We can see those. But this “unseen enemy”? Well, that’s something different.

Seeing the unseen is difficult and demanding. That’s true in so many areas of life. Maybe none more so than when it comes to spiritual matters. In today’s Bible reading, Acts 9, we meet a man whose eyes were blinded to the Truth, but spiritually opened to see the unseen.

Saul of Tarsus was a persecutor of Christians. The Bible says he was constantly breathing out murderous threats toward the disciples of Christ. He consented to the stoning of Stephen. Imprisoned Believers. And generally made havoc of the church.

While on the road to Damascus to further his diabolical deeds, something miraculous occurred that changed Saul forever. He saw Jesus. He came face to face with the One he was persecuting.

Up to now Saul thought he was defending the faith of his forefathers. Squelching the preaching of a dangerous doctrine. And eliminating a radical religion.

But in the most ironic fashion Saul’s spiritual eyes were opened when he was physically blinded by the great Light on the Damascus road. Shaken and shuddering at this occurrence he asked, “Lord what do you want me to do?”

He was told to go into the city and wait for instructions. In his sightless state he prayed and fasted. Three days later the disciple, Ananias, came and revealed to Saul heaven’s message. He believed. Obeyed. And immediately changed from the fierce persecutor to the passionate preacher of the gospel of Christ, now known as the apostle Paul.

Paul’s new found vision and insight into spiritual matters is often reflected in his writings. He prayed for the Ephesians, that “the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints (Eph. 1:18).

He urged his readers to look to Jesus as the “founder and protector of our faith” (Heb. 12:2).

In the midst of problems and persecution he confidently affirmed that “we do not look at the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen” (2 Cor 4:18).

And he warned that we should be watchful and alert to our unseen enemy, Satan, who seeks to seduce and sidetrack us from spiritual pursuits (Eph. 6:10-18).

Satan can use this unseen virus, COVID-19, to create worry, breed fear and propagate panic. He can spawn restlessness and recklessness. And even divide God’s people over opinions, speculations and matters of judgment.

Instead, let’s open our eyes to God’s Word. God’s glory. God’s promises. Protection. And provisions. Let’s see Jesus as our Savior. Mediator. And Advocate. Let’s see the Holy Spirit interceding for us in prayer.

Let’s open our spiritual eyes to the hope that lies beyond this life. And not be blinded by material concerns and physical worries. Let’s restore our focus to the fundamentals of our Faith. And to our spiritual calling, our divine duties and our heavenly hope.

Remember this. What you see in your mind is what you will feel in your heart and ultimately become.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

THE GOSPEL IS THE GOOD NEWS by steve finnell



THE GOSPEL IS THE GOOD NEWS by steve finnell

The gospel is the good news, but what is the good news? The good news is that those who hear and obey the gospel are saved from the penalty of sin.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which you received, in which you also stand , 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached, unless you believed in vain. (NASB)

The apostle Paul said the gospel saves. Paul said you have to hold fast to the gospel or you have believed in vain.

Did Paul preach a different gospel than Jesus? No he did not.

After Jesus was resurrected from the grave He preached the gospel plan of salvation. Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.(NASB)

Yes, those who deny that being immersed in water is part of the gospel plan of salvation are denying the gospel that Jesus and the apostles preached. 

There were men who believed in vain. Galatians 5:4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.(NASB)

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!(NASB)

The apostle Paul said those who deny that immersion in water is part of the gospel will be accursed. Church leaders today say those who pervert the gospel should be part of joint evangelistic efforts and joint good works in the community.

Galatians 1:8 Let God's curses fall on anyone, including  myself, who preaches any other way to be saved than the one we told you about; yes, if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let the be forever cursed.(The Living Bible Paraphrased)

Paul and the apostles preached the gospel plan of salvation.
FAITH: John 3:16
CONFESSION: Romans 10:9


Why do church leaders teach false doctrine and participate in practices condemned by the apostles.

1. Fear of losing their positions in the church.
2. Ignorance of Scripture.
3. Self deception.
4. Pride.
5. Lack of prayerfully asking God for His truth.
6. Peer pressure.
7. Trusting men, Bible commentaries, and their own opinions more than they trust God and His words that are written in the Bible.     

Lest We Forget by J.C. Bailey




Lest We Forget

Churches of Christ started out with a noble aspiration. God gave to man a perfect Saviour. This perfect Saviour built a perfect church. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." He intended that God was to be served in that divine institution for all time and eternity. We read, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be the glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end" (Ephesians 3:20-21). Some say we should serve Christ and that the church is not important. But the above verse states clearly that Christ is to be served in the church for all time and eternity.

If one asks what church? It was the only church that existed then, it was the church of Christ. Paul told the Ephesian elders that he (Paul) had declared unto them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:17). In the next verse Paul says that the church was purchased with the blood of Christ. But it should also be noted that the falling away from the truth was foretold in the days of the early church.

Here is the warning, "I know that after my departure grievous wolves would enter among you, not sparing the flock, also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:28-30). Peter also warned of the apostasy. "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves" (2 Peter 2:1).

The Old Testament foretold apostasy as well. The Old Testament was unlike the New Testament because the New Testament would never be replaced. We read in Jeremiah 31:31-32, "...I will make a new covenant..., not like the covenant I made in the day I took them out of the land of Egypt." Again the difference between the old covenant and the new was explained in Hebrews 7:16, "...not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of endless life." John came as a messenger to announce Christ Jesus declaring that the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). Colossians 1:13 says, "Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." It is a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28).

Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away but His word would not pass away. There will be no more revelation (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We were warned not to take from or add to the word of Christ (Revelation 22:18-19). Those who would add to or take from, should heed this warning.

When we look at the teaching of many religious groups today that have added to and taken from the word of God, it should give us more desire to restore New Testament Christianity. What a noble thing to do. Jesus said, "If you love me you will keep my commandments." He also said, "Come unto me and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Only by following the teachings of Christ can one become a New Testament Christian. "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). We must repent of our sins. We must confess that we believe that Jesus is the son of God. Then we must be baptized for the remission of sins. Then and only then does one become a New Testament Christian and a member of the only church the Bible talks about -- the church that Jesus built -- the church of Christ.

J. C. Bailey, 1996, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for September 4 - 6 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for September 4 - 6


World  English  Bible


Sept. 4

Psalms 36-39

Psa 36:1 An oracle is within my heart about the disobedience of the wicked: "There is no fear of God before his eyes."

Psa 36:2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes, too much to detect and hate his sin.

Psa 36:3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit. He has ceased to be wise and to do good.

Psa 36:4 He plots iniquity on his bed. He sets himself in a way that is not good. He doesn't abhor evil.

Psa 36:5 Your loving kindness, Yahweh, is in the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Psa 36:6 Your righteousness is like the mountains of God. Your judgments are like a great deep. Yahweh, you preserve man and animal.

Psa 36:7 How precious is your loving kindness, God! The children of men take refuge under the shadow of your wings.

Psa 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the abundance of your house. You will make them drink of the river of your pleasures.

Psa 36:9 For with you is the spring of life. In your light shall we see light.

Psa 36:10 Oh continue your loving kindness to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.

Psa 36:11 Don't let the foot of pride come against me. Don't let the hand of the wicked drive me away.

Psa 36:12 There the workers of iniquity are fallen. They are thrust down, and shall not be able to rise.

Psa 37:1 Don't fret because of evildoers, neither be envious against those who work unrighteousness.

Psa 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither like the green herb.

Psa 37:3 Trust in Yahweh, and do good. Dwell in the land, and enjoy safe pasture.

Psa 37:4 Also delight yourself in Yahweh, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psa 37:5 Commit your way to Yahweh. Trust also in him, and he will do this:

Psa 37:6 he will make your righteousness go forth as the light, and your justice as the noon day sun.

Psa 37:7 Rest in Yahweh, and wait patiently for him. Don't fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who makes wicked plots happen.

Psa 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath. Don't fret, it leads only to evildoing.

Psa 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for Yahweh shall inherit the land.

Psa 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more. Yes, though you look for his place, he isn't there.

Psa 37:11 But the humble shall inherit the land, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Psa 37:12 The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth.

Psa 37:13 The Lord will laugh at him, for he sees that his day is coming.

Psa 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, to kill those who are upright in the way.

Psa 37:15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart. Their bows shall be broken.

Psa 37:16 Better is a little that the righteous has, than the abundance of many wicked.

Psa 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but Yahweh upholds the righteous.

Psa 37:18 Yahweh knows the days of the perfect. Their inheritance shall be forever.

Psa 37:19 They shall not be disappointed in the time of evil. In the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Psa 37:20 But the wicked shall perish. The enemies of Yahweh shall be like the beauty of the fields. They will vanish-- vanish like smoke.

Psa 37:21 The wicked borrow, and don't pay back, but the righteous give generously.

Psa 37:22 For such as are blessed by him shall inherit the land. Those who are cursed by him shall be cut off.

Psa 37:23 A man's goings are established by Yahweh. He delights in his way.

Psa 37:24 Though he stumble, he shall not fall, for Yahweh holds him up with his hand.

Psa 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his children begging for bread.

Psa 37:26 All day long he deals graciously, and lends. His seed is blessed.

Psa 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good. Live securely forever.

Psa 37:28 For Yahweh loves justice, and doesn't forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psa 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it forever.

Psa 37:30 The mouth of the righteous talks of wisdom. His tongue speaks justice.

Psa 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart. None of his steps shall slide.

Psa 37:32 The wicked watches the righteous, and seeks to kill him.

Psa 37:33 Yahweh will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

Psa 37:34 Wait for Yahweh, and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

Psa 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil.

Psa 37:36 But he passed away, and behold, he was not. Yes, I sought him, but he could not be found.

Psa 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and see the upright, for there is a future for the man of peace.

Psa 37:38 As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together. The future of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psa 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is from Yahweh. He is their stronghold in the time of trouble.

Psa 37:40 Yahweh helps them, and rescues them. He rescues them from the wicked, and saves them, Because they have taken refuge in him.

Psa 38:1 Yahweh, don't rebuke me in your wrath, neither chasten me in your hot displeasure.

Psa 38:2 For your arrows have pierced me, your hand presses hard on me.

Psa 38:3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation, neither is there any health in my bones because of my sin.

Psa 38:4 For my iniquities have gone over my head. As a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.

Psa 38:5 My wounds are loathsome and corrupt, because of my foolishness.

Psa 38:6 I am pained and bowed down greatly. I go mourning all day long.

Psa 38:7 For my waist is filled with burning. There is no soundness in my flesh.

Psa 38:8 I am faint and severely bruised. I have groaned by reason of the anguish of my heart.

Psa 38:9 Lord, all my desire is before you. My groaning is not hidden from you.

Psa 38:10 My heart throbs. My strength fails me. As for the light of my eyes, it has also left me.

Psa 38:11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my plague. My kinsmen stand far away.

Psa 38:12 They also who seek after my life lay snares. Those who seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and meditate deceits all day long.

Psa 38:13 But I, as a deaf man, don't hear. I am as a mute man who doesn't open his mouth.

Psa 38:14 Yes, I am as a man who doesn't hear, in whose mouth are no reproofs.

Psa 38:15 For in you, Yahweh, do I hope. You will answer, Lord my God.

Psa 38:16 For I said, "Don't let them gloat over me, or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips."

Psa 38:17 For I am ready to fall. My pain is continually before me.

Psa 38:18 For I will declare my iniquity. I will be sorry for my sin.

Psa 38:19 But my enemies are vigorous and many. Those who hate me without reason are numerous.

Psa 38:20 They who also render evil for good are adversaries to me, because I follow what is good.

Psa 38:21 Don't forsake me, Yahweh. My God, don't be far from me.

Psa 38:22 Hurry to help me, Lord, my salvation.

Psa 39:1 I said, "I will watch my ways, so that I don't sin with my tongue. I will keep my mouth with a bridle while the wicked is before me."

Psa 39:2 I was mute with silence. I held my peace, even from good. My sorrow was stirred.

Psa 39:3 My heart was hot within me. While I meditated, the fire burned: I spoke with my tongue:

Psa 39:4 "Yahweh, show me my end, what is the measure of my days. Let me know how frail I am.

Psa 39:5 Behold, you have made my days handbreadths. My lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely every man stands as a breath." Selah.

Psa 39:6 "Surely every man walks like a shadow. Surely they busy themselves in vain. He heaps up, and doesn't know who shall gather.

Psa 39:7 Now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in you.

Psa 39:8 Deliver me from all my transgressions. Don't make me the reproach of the foolish.

Psa 39:9 I was mute. I didn't open my mouth, because you did it.

Psa 39:10 Remove your scourge away from me. I am overcome by the blow of your hand.

Psa 39:11 When you rebuke and correct man for iniquity, You consume his wealth like a moth. Surely every man is but a breath." Selah.

Psa 39:12 "Hear my prayer, Yahweh, and give ear to my cry. Don't be silent at my tears. For I am a stranger with you, a foreigner, as all my fathers were.

Psa 39:13 Oh spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go away, and exist no more."

Sept. 5

Psalms 40-42

Psa 40:1 I waited patiently for Yahweh. He turned to me, and heard my cry.

Psa 40:2 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay. He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psa 40:3 He has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God. Many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in Yahweh.

Psa 40:4 Blessed is the man who makes Yahweh his trust, and doesn't respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Psa 40:5 Many, Yahweh, my God, are the wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are toward us. They can't be declared back to you. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

Psa 40:6 Sacrifice and offering you didn't desire. You have opened my ears. You have not required burnt offering and sin offering.

Psa 40:7 Then I said, "Behold, I have come. It is written about me in the book in the scroll.

Psa 40:8 I delight to do your will, my God. Yes, your law is within my heart."

Psa 40:9 I have proclaimed glad news of righteousness in the great assembly. Behold, I will not seal my lips, Yahweh, you know.

Psa 40:10 I have not hidden your righteousness within my heart. I have declared your faithfulness and your salvation. I have not concealed your loving kindness and your truth from the great assembly.

Psa 40:11 Don't withhold your tender mercies from me, Yahweh. Let your loving kindness and your truth continually preserve me.

Psa 40:12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me. My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up. They are more than the hairs of my head. My heart has failed me.

Psa 40:13 Be pleased, Yahweh, to deliver me. Hurry to help me, Yahweh.

Psa 40:14 Let them be disappointed and confounded together who seek after my soul to destroy it. Let them be turned backward and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt.

Psa 40:15 Let them be desolate by reason of their shame that tell me, "Aha! Aha!"

Psa 40:16 Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let such as love your salvation say continually, "Let Yahweh be exalted!"

Psa 40:17 But I am poor and needy. May the Lord think about me. You are my help and my deliverer. Don't delay, my God.

Psa 41:1 Blessed is he who considers the poor. Yahweh will deliver him in the day of evil.

Psa 41:2 Yahweh will preserve him, and keep him alive. He shall be blessed on the earth, and he will not surrender him to the will of his enemies.

Psa 41:3 Yahweh will sustain him on his sickbed, and restore him from his bed of illness.

Psa 41:4 I said, "Yahweh, have mercy on me! Heal me, for I have sinned against you."

Psa 41:5 My enemies speak evil against me: "When will he die, and his name perish?"

Psa 41:6 If he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood. His heart gathers iniquity to itself. When he goes abroad, he tells it.

Psa 41:7 All who hate me whisper together against me. They imagine the worst for me.

Psa 41:8 "An evil disease," they say, "has afflicted him. Now that he lies he shall rise up no more."

Psa 41:9 Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who ate bread with me, has lifted up his heel against me.

Psa 41:10 But you, Yahweh, have mercy on me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.

Psa 41:11 By this I know that you delight in me, because my enemy doesn't triumph over me.

Psa 41:12 As for me, you uphold me in my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.

Psa 41:13 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, from everlasting and to everlasting! Amen and amen.

Psa 42:1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants after you, God.

Psa 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

Psa 42:3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually ask me, "Where is your God?"

Psa 42:4 These things I remember, and pour out my soul within me, how I used to go with the crowd, and led them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping a holy day.

Psa 42:5 Why are you in despair, my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God! For I shall still praise him for the saving help of his presence.

Psa 42:6 My God, my soul is in despair within me. Therefore I remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon, from the hill Mizar.

Psa 42:7 Deep calls to deep at the noise of your waterfalls. All your waves and your billows have swept over me.

Psa 42:8 Yahweh will command his loving kindness in the daytime. In the night his song shall be with me: a prayer to the God of my life.

Psa 42:9 I will ask God, my rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"

Psa 42:10 As with a sword in my bones, my adversaries reproach me, while they continually ask me, "Where is your God?"

Psa 42:11 Why are you in despair, my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God! For I shall still praise him, the saving help of my countenance, and my God.

Sept. 6

Psalms 43-45

Psa 43:1 Vindicate me, God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation. Oh, deliver me from deceitful and wicked men.

Psa 43:2 For you are the God of my strength. Why have you rejected me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

Psa 43:3 Oh, send out your light and your truth. Let them lead me. Let them bring me to your holy hill, To your tents.

Psa 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my exceeding joy. I will praise you on the harp, God, my God.

Psa 43:5 Why are you in despair, my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God! For I shall still praise him: my Savior, my helper, and my God.

Psa 44:1 We have heard with our ears, God; our fathers have told us, what work you did in their days, in the days of old.

Psa 44:2 You drove out the nations with your hand, but you planted them. You afflicted the peoples, but you spread them abroad.

Psa 44:3 For they didn't get the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your face, because you were favorable to them.

Psa 44:4 You are my King, God. Command victories for Jacob!

Psa 44:5 Through you, will we push down our adversaries. Through your name, will we tread them under who rise up against us.

Psa 44:6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

Psa 44:7 But you have saved us from our adversaries, and have shamed those who hate us.

Psa 44:8 In God we have made our boast all day long, we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah.

Psa 44:9 But now you rejected us, and brought us to dishonor, and don't go out with our armies.

Psa 44:10 You make us turn back from the adversary. Those who hate us take spoil for themselves.

Psa 44:11 You have made us like sheep for food, and have scattered us among the nations.

Psa 44:12 You sell your people for nothing, and have gained nothing from their sale.

Psa 44:13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors, a scoffing and a derision to those who are around us.

Psa 44:14 You make us a byword among the nations, a shaking of the head among the peoples.

Psa 44:15 All day long my dishonor is before me, and shame covers my face,

Psa 44:16 At the taunt of one who reproaches and verbally abuses, because of the enemy and the avenger.

Psa 44:17 All this has come on us, yet have we not forgotten you, Neither have we been false to your covenant.

Psa 44:18 Our heart has not turned back, neither have our steps strayed from your path,

Psa 44:19 Though you have crushed us in the haunt of jackals, and covered us with the shadow of death.

Psa 44:20 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or spread forth our hands to a strange god;

Psa 44:21 won't God search this out? For he knows the secrets of the heart.

Psa 44:22 Yes, for your sake we are killed all day long. We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.

Psa 44:23 Wake up! Why do you sleep, Lord? Arise! Don't reject us forever.

Psa 44:24 Why do you hide your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?

Psa 44:25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust. Our body cleaves to the earth.

Psa 44:26 Rise up to help us. Redeem us for your loving kindness' sake.

Psa 45:1 My heart overflows with a noble theme. I recite my verses for the king. My tongue is like the pen of a skillful writer.

Psa 45:2 You are the most excellent of the sons of men. Grace has anointed your lips, therefore God has blessed you forever.

Psa 45:3 Gird your sword on your thigh, mighty one: your splendor and your majesty.

Psa 45:4 In your majesty ride on victoriously on behalf of truth, humility, and righteousness. Let your right hand display awesome deeds.

Psa 45:5 Your arrows are sharp. The nations fall under you, with arrows in the heart of the king's enemies.

Psa 45:6 Your throne, God, is forever and ever. A scepter of equity is the scepter of your kingdom.

Psa 45:7 You have loved righteousness, and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

Psa 45:8 All your garments smell like myrrh, aloes, and cassia. Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad.

Psa 45:9 Kings' daughters are among your honorable women. At your right hand the queen stands in gold of Ophir.

Psa 45:10 Listen, daughter, consider, and turn your ear. Forget your own people, and also your father's house.

Psa 45:11 So the king will desire your beauty, honor him, for he is your lord.

Psa 45:12 The daughter of Tyre comes with a gift. The rich among the people entreat your favor.

Psa 45:13 The princess inside is all glorious. Her clothing is interwoven with gold.

Psa 45:14 She shall be led to the king in embroidered work. The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to you.

Psa 45:15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be led. They shall enter into the king's palace.

Psa 45:16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers. You shall make them princes in all the earth.

Psa 45:17 I will make your name to be remembered in all generations. Therefore the peoples shall give you thanks forever and ever. 


Sept. 4

Romans 16

Rom 16:1 I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the assembly that is at Cenchreae,

Rom 16:2 that you receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of the saints, and that you assist her in whatever matter she may need from you, for she herself also has been a helper of many, and of my own self.

Rom 16:3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,

Rom 16:4 who for my life, laid down their own necks; to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the assemblies of the Gentiles.

Rom 16:5 Greet the assembly that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ.

Rom 16:6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us.

Rom 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives and my fellow prisoners, who are notable among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Rom 16:8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord.

Rom 16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved.

Rom 16:10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.

Rom 16:11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet them of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord.

Rom 16:12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Greet Persis, the beloved, who labored much in the Lord.

Rom 16:13 Greet Rufus, the chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

Rom 16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them.

Rom 16:15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

Rom 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The assemblies of Christ greet you.

Rom 16:17 Now I beg you, brothers, look out for those who are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.

Rom 16:18 For those who are such don't serve our Lord, Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and flattering speech, they deceive the hearts of the innocent.

Rom 16:19 For your obedience has become known to all. I rejoice therefore over you. But I desire to have you wise in that which is good, but innocent in that which is evil.

Rom 16:20 And the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Rom 16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you, as do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives.

Rom 16:22 I, Tertius, who write the letter, greet you in the Lord.

Rom 16:23 Gaius, my host and host of the whole assembly, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, as does Quartus, the brother.

Rom 16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all! Amen.

Rom 16:25 Now to him who is able to establish you according to my Good News and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret through long ages,

Rom 16:26 but now is revealed, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known for obedience of faith to all the nations;

Rom 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever! Amen.

Sept. 5

1 Corinthians 1

1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

1Co 1:2 to the assembly of God which is at Corinth; those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours:

1Co 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Co 1:4 I always thank my God concerning you, for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus;

1Co 1:5 that in everything you were enriched in him, in all speech and all knowledge;

1Co 1:6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

1Co 1:7 so that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ;

1Co 1:8 who will also confirm you until the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Co 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

1Co 1:10 Now I beg you, brothers, through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

1Co 1:11 For it has been reported to me concerning you, my brothers, by those who are from Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you.

1Co 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you says, "I follow Paul," "I follow Apollos," "I follow Cephas," and, "I follow Christ."

1Co 1:13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?

1Co 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, except Crispus and Gaius,

1Co 1:15 so that no one should say that I had baptized you into my own name.

1Co 1:16 (I also baptized the household of Stephanas; besides them, I don't know whether I baptized any other.)

1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Good News--not in wisdom of words, so that the cross of Christ wouldn't be made void.

1Co 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.

1Co 1:19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing."

1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Hasn't God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

1Co 1:21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom didn't know God, it was God's good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe.

1Co 1:22 For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom,

1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks,

1Co 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1Co 1:26 For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble;

1Co 1:27 but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong;

1Co 1:28 and God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that are not, that he might bring to nothing the things that are:

1Co 1:29 that no flesh should boast before God.

1Co 1:30 But of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:

1Co 1:31 that, according as it is written, "He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord."

Sept. 6

1 Corinthians 2

1Co 2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I didn't come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.

1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1Co 2:3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.

1Co 2:4 My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,

1Co 2:5 that your faith wouldn't stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

1Co 2:6 We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing.

1Co 2:7 But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory,

1Co 2:8 which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory.

1Co 2:9 But as it is written, "Things which an eye didn't see, and an ear didn't hear, which didn't enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him."

1Co 2:10 But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

1Co 2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God's Spirit.

1Co 2:12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God.

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.

1Co 2:14 Now the natural man doesn't receive the things of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can't know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1Co 2:15 But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one.

1Co 2:16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he      should instruct him?" But we have Christ's mind.