"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" They Led Him Away (27:1-2) by Mark Copeland



 They Led Him Away (27:1-2)


1. In the night and morning prior to His crucifixion, the Son of God
   suffered many ignobilities...
   a. Illegal trials held during the night
   b. Shuffled back and forth before different authorities
   c. Falsely accused, mocked, and physically abused

2. There is a phrase used several times that may be used to summarize
   this ill treatment...
   a. That phrase is "they led Him away"
   b. It (or a variation) is found eight times - Mt 26:57; 27:2,31; Mk
      15:1,16; Lk 23:26; Jn 18:13; 19:16

3. Being led around like this was in fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy:

          "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter..." - Isa 53:7

[To remind us of the things Jesus suffered in our stead and for our
sins, let's review how Jesus was led around during that fateful night
and the morning that followed...]


      1. John records this meeting in his gospel - Jn 18:12-14
      2. Annas had been high priest, but was deposed in 15 A.D. by Roman authorities
      3. He continued to exercise considerable influence, as he was
         still viewed by the Jews as a high priest - Lk 3:2
      4. After Pentecost he was involved in the questioning of Peter
         and John - Ac 4:6

      1. Jesus was asked about His disciples and His doctrine - Jn 18: 19-21
      2. Jesus was struck by one of the officers - Jn 18:22-23
      3. At this point, Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas - Jn 18:24

[As we return to the gospel of Matthew, we read of how...]


      1. It was Caiaphas who with others plotted the arrest and death
         of Jesus - Mt 26:3-5
      2. He also was involved in the later questioning of Peter and John - Ac 4:6

      1. Jesus faced an assembly of scribes and elders - Mt 26:57
         a. This was an illegal assembly of the Sanhedrin (high council of the Jews)
         b. It was illegal for taking place at night
      2. False witnesses were finally found - Mt 26:59-61
      3. Jesus first kept silent, then told them of His coming in judgment - Mt 26:62-64
      4. In anger Caiaphas tears his clothes, and accuses Jesus of blasphemy - Mt 26:65
      5. Jesus is pronounced worthy of death - Mt 26:66
      6. He is spat in the face, beaten, slapped, and mocked as the Messiah - Mt 26:67-68

[Meanwhile, Peter is denying Jesus three times in the courtyard (Mt 26:
69-75).  With the dawn of morning, the chief priests and elders decide
to put Jesus to death (Mt 27:1).  To do this...]


      1. To whom Jesus was bound and delivered - Mt 27:2
      2. He governed Judea from 26-36 A.D.
      3. He did much to anger the Jews - cf. Lk 13:1
      4. But without his approval, the Jews could not execute Jesus

      1. Jesus was asked if He was the king of the Jews - Mt 27:11
         a. Because Jesus was accused of forbidding to pay taxes and
            claiming to be a king - cf. Lk 23:1-2
         b. Jesus did not reply to the accusations of the Jews - Mt 27:12-14
         c. But He did converse with Pilate about the nature of His kingdom - Jn 18:33-38
      2. Pilate found no fault in Him - cf. Lk 23:4
      3. But Jesus was accused further of stirring up people throughout
         all Judea, beginning from Galilee - cf. Lk 23:5

[With the mention of Galilee, Pilate thought he had a way to pawn Jesus
off on to someone else (Lk 23:6-7).  And from Luke's account we learn that...]


      1. This was Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great
         a. His father was the Herod who massacred the infants - Mt 2: 16-18
         b. Antipas was the one who beheaded John the Baptist - Mt 14: 1-12
         c. He was tetrarch over Galilee and Perea from 4 B.C.-39 A.D. - Lk 3:1
      2. Herod was glad to see Jesus - Lk 23:8
         a. He had heard many things about Jesus - cf. Lk 9:7-9
         b. He hoped to see some miracle done by Jesus

      1. Jesus was questioned, but answered Herod nothing - Lk 23:9
      2. Jesus was vehemently accused by the chief priests and scribes - Lk 23:10
      3. Jesus was treated with contempt and mocked by Herod and his soldiers - Lk 23:11

[Arrayed in a gorgeous robe mocking His claim to be King, Jesus was
then sent back to Pilate (Lk 23:11-12).  And so...]


      1. Using the custom of releasing one prisoner during the feast
         - Mt 27:15; Jn 18:38-39
         a. Offering a choice between Jesus and Barabbas - Mt 27:16-18
         b. The latter a notorious prisoner, who was a robber, rebel
            and murderer - Mk 15:7
      2. Encouraged by his wife to have nothing to do with Jesus - Mt  27:19

      1. The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude to ask
         for Barabbas and to have Jesus crucified - Mt 27:20-23
      2. Bowing to the multitude, Pilate succumbed to their wishes - Mt 27:24-25
      3. Jesus was then scourged - Mt 27:26

[At this point Pilate delivered Jesus to be crucified (Mt 27:26).  But
before Jesus was taken to the place called Golgotha...]


      1. Roman soldiers, who likely had little love for any Jew
      2. Who took Jesus into the Praetorium (the barracks in the
         governor's house) - Mt 27:27
      3. Surrounding Jesus with the whole garrison of soldiers - Mt 27:27

      1. Jesus was stripped and clothed with a scarlet robe - Mt 27:28
      2. A twisted crown of thorns was placed on His head, and a reed
         in His right hand - Mt 27:29a
      3. The soldiers bowed the knee and mocked Him as King of the Jews - Mt 27:29b
      4. They spat on Him, and struck Him on the head with the reed  - Mt 27:30
      5. When they were finished mocking Him...
         a. The soldiers took off the robe and put His own clothes on Him - Mt 27:31a
         b. The soldiers led Him away to be crucified - Mt 27:31b


1. Up to this point, the Son of God had been...
   a. Struck by officers of the high priest
   b. Spat in the face, beaten, slapped, and mocked as the Messiah by
      the chief priests
   c. Falsely accused by the chief priests and scribes before Pilate and Herod
   d. Treated with contempt and mocked by Herod and his soldiers
   e. Scourged by Pilate, mocked, spat upon and beaten by his soldiers
   -- And then they "led Him away to be crucified", to face the cross of Calvary

2. Why did Jesus allow Himself to be so led...?
   a. At any time He could have called for twelve legions of angels  cf. Mt 26:53
   b. "They Led Him Away" only because He allowed them to do so!
   c. Jesus understood that all this was necessary to fulfill Scripture
      - cf. Mt 26:54; Lk 24:44-47

And the purpose of the Scripture was that Jesus would die for our sins
(Isa 53:5).  As expressed beautifully in the song "Ten Thousand Angels"
by Ray Overholt:
                   They bound the hands of Jesus
                      In the garden where He prayed;
                      They led Him through the streets in shame.
                   They spat upon the Savior
                      So pure and free from sin;
                      They said "Crucify Him, He's to blame."
                   Upon His precious head
                      They placed a crown of thorns;
                      They laughed and said, "Behold the King."
                   They struck Him and they cursed Him
                      And mocked His holy name.
                      All alone He suffered everything.
                   He could have called ten thousand angels
                      To destroy the world
                      And set Him free.
                   He could have called ten thousand angels
                      But He died alone
                      For you and me.

He died alone for you and me...will we not heed and obey His message of
repentance and remission of sins first proclaimed in Jerusalem? - cf.
Lk 24:46-47; Ac 2:36-38 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The World Before Sin by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



The World Before Sin

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Imagine living in a world that is free from sin. It is a world where there are no murderers or thieves. It is a place free from racism and war, and from divorce and physical abuse. In this world, there is no strife, hatred, or jealousy. It is a place void of all pain and suffering. You would never be scared, because in this world there is nothing to fear. It is perfect. You live in complete harmony with every creature around you. You love every person you meet (and they love you!). And, most important, you have a perfect relationship with God.

Although you may think that such a world never existed, or that such perfection will be known only in heaven, the truth is, at one time Adam and Eve lived in such a paradise. According to the last verse in Genesis chapter one, after God finished His six-day creation (which included the making of Adam and Eve) He “saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Before sin entered the world, Adam and Eve lived in complete harmony with nature, with themselves, and with God.

Instead of living in a world where animals are scared of humans, and where humans are afraid of various animals, Adam lived in harmony with all of God’s creatures. In fact, on the very day he was created, God brought the cattle, birds, and beasts of the field to Adam to be named. The animals were not frightened of Adam, and Adam was not scared of the animals. They lived in perfect harmony. [The Bible indicates it was not until after the Flood that the animals began to fear man (Genesis 9:2-3).]

Rather than having to work a “cursed” earth full of “thorns and thistles” (Genesis 3:17-19), Adam and Eve simply picked and gathered the fruit that God freely gave them in the Garden of Eden. And, as long as Adam and Eve ate of the tree of life that was in the middle of the garden, they would live forever (read Genesis 3:22). It seems that if Adam and Eve had remained in a sinless state, having access to this tree of life, they would have stayed in perfect health—being free from the diseases that claim the lives of so many people today.

Aside from all of these blessings, the most wonderful thing about the world before sin was that Adam and Eve lived in complete harmony with God. There was no sin separating them from their Creator. It was a perfect relationship. Blood sacrifices were not offered, and forgiveness of sins was not needed. Truly, before the fall of man, a kind of paradise existed on Earth.

Even though the sin of man brought a tragic end to the earthly paradise once known by Adam and Eve, God graciously has promised that He will give an eternal life (in a heavenly paradise) to everyone who responds, in faith through obedience, to the good news of Jesus Christ (Titus 3:7; 1 John 5:11-13; Acts 2:38).

The Unique Church by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



The Unique Church

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

On Thursday night, April 21, 1938, in a public discussion in Little Rock, Arkansas, before an immediate crowd of 1,000 people and a radio audience of thousands more, N.B. Hardeman engaged the famed debater Ben Bogard on the subject: “The Establishment of the Church.” On that occasion, Hardeman articulated an extremely significant truth about the church of Christ when he stated: “The kingdom, friends, has always existed.… It existed in Purpose, in the mind of God; it existed next in Promise, as delivered unto the patriarchs, and it existed in Prophecy; and then it existed in Preparation; and last of all, when the New Testament went into effect, it existed in Perfection” (1938, p. 178, italics in orig.). More than sixty years have come and gone since that insightful observation. But it remains an accurate expression of biblical truth. Before Adam and Eve inhabited the Garden of Eden together; before the skies, seas, and land were populated by birds, fish, and animals; before the Sun, Moon, and stars were situated in the Universe; and before our planet Earth was but a dark, watery, formless mass—God purposed to bring into being the church of Christ.

Indeed, Scripture describes this divine intention as “eternal.” Central to the great purposes of God from eternity has been, not only the sending of His Son as an atonement for sin, but the creation of the church of Christ—the blood-bought body of Jesus and living organism of the redeemed. Listen to Paul’s affirmation: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11). It is difficult for human beings to fathom “eternal.” There are times when the notion of “everlasting” is abbreviated—like Jonah 2:6 where Jonah said he was in the fish’s stomach “forever.” It must have seemed like it to him. So the word can be used in an abbreviated way. In Philemon 15, Paul said Onesimus would be with Philemon aionion—“forever when he returns to you.” But the context limits the meaning to just until he dies.

But when we speak of deity (e.g., Psalm 90:1-2) or the church, we are talking about everlasting, eternal, forever. Hebrews 12:28 asserts confidently: “Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which...” will someday end? No! Rather, “a kingdom that is unshakable,” destined to be around forever—an eternal institution. No wonder Daniel was informed: “The saints of the most high shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever” (Daniel 7:18). With that grand purpose in mind, God gradually began foreshadowing through promise and prophecy the eventual accomplishment of that purpose.

Some 750 years before Christ came to Earth, Isaiah announced the eventual establishment of the “Lord’s house” in the “last days” in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-4). At about the same time, Micah enunciated essentially the same facts (Micah 4:1-3). Some 500 years before Christ, Daniel declared to a pagan king that during the days of the Roman kings, the God of heaven would set up a kingdom that would never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44). He also stated that the “Son of man” would pass through the clouds, come to the ancient of days, and be given an indestructible kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14). Thus, the church, which existed initially in purpose in the mind of God, now existed in promise and prophecy in the utterances of His spokesmen.

With the appearance of John the baptizer and Jesus on the Earth, the church of Christ entered a new phase of existence. Now, more than ever before, the kingdom was presented with a sense of immediacy, nearness, and urgent expectation. Now, God’s emissaries actively prepared for its imminent appearance. John exclaimed: “[T]he kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus echoed His harbinger with precisely the same point: “[T]he kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). As John made preparations for the Lord (Matthew 3:3; 11:10; Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1), so the Lord made preparations for the kingdom. He announced His intention personally to establish His church (Matthew 16:18). He declared that it would occur during the lifetime of His earthly contemporaries (Mark 9:1).

Just prior to His departure from Earth, Jesus further noted that the apostles would be witnesses of His death and resurrection, and would preach repentance and remission of sins in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. He would even send the promise of the Father upon them, which would entail being “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:46-49). This power was to be equated with Holy Spirit immersion (Acts 1:4-5,8).

Now that the kingdom had existed in purpose, promise, and prophecy, and in preparation, the time had come for the church to come forth in perfection. After urging the apostles to “tarry in Jerusalem,” Jesus ascended into a cloud and was ushered into heaven. The apostles returned to Jerusalem and for ten days awaited the fulfillment of the Savior’s words.

Then it happened. With stunning splendor, after centuries of eager anticipation (1 Peter 1:10-12), God poured out His Spirit upon the Twelve on the first Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2). This miraculous outpouring enabled these one dozen “ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20) to present a stirring defense of Christ’s resurrection, convicting some in the audience with the guilt of the crucifixion. Peter then simultaneously detailed the conditions of forgiveness and the terms of entrance into the kingdom of Christ. These terms consisted of being pricked in the heart, repenting of sins, and being immersed in water (Acts 2:37-38).

The church of Christ was now perfected into existence on the Earth, consisting of approximately 3,000 members—all of Jewish descent. From this moment forward, the kingdom of Christ on the Earth was a reality. To its Jewish citizenry, were added the first Gentile converts in Acts 10, when those of the household of Cornelius obeyed the same terms of entrance that their Jewish counterparts had obeyed some ten to fifteen years earlier. By the cross, Christ had made “in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body” (Ephesians 2:15-16).

This “one body” is totally unique, and is unlike any other entity on the face of the Earth. She is distinguished by several unique and exclusive characteristics:

First, she wears the name of her head, owner, and savior—Christ (Daniel 7:14; Matthew 16:18; Romans 16:16; Ephesians 1:23; 4:12; Revelation 11:15). Her members wear the divinely bestowed name of “Christian” (Isaiah 62:1-2; Acts 11:26; 1 Peter 4:16).

Second, her organization was arranged by God to consist of Jesus as head, elders/pastors/bishops as the earthly overseers or managers, deacons as the designated workers/ministers, evangelists as the proclaimers of the good news, teachers as instructors in the faith, and all the other members, who are active in serving the Lord (Acts 6:1-3; 14:23; 20:17,28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

Third, her unique mission consists of bringing glory to God (1 Corinthians 6:20). As Peter explained: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11). This task is accomplished by disseminating the Gospel of Christ to the human race (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; Acts 8:4; Romans 10:14; Philippians 2:15-16; Hebrews 5:12-14); by endeavoring to keep Christians faithful (Romans 14:19; 15:1-3; Ephesians 4:12; Jude 20-24); and by manifesting a benevolent lifestyle (Matthew 25:31-46; Galatians 6:10; James 2:1-17). In short, every member of the church is to strive for complete conformity to the will of Christ (Matthew 22:37-38; 2 Corinthians 5:9; 10:5; Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Fourth, her entrance requirements are unlike any other entity on the face of the Earth. The individual who is struck with the heinousness of sin, recognizing the purpose of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice through His death upon the cross, comes to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and the New Testament as the only authentic expression of His will. This belief leads him to repent of his sins, to orally confess Jesus as the Christ, and to be baptized in water, with the understanding that as he rises from the waters of baptism, he is forgiven of sin and added to the church by Christ (Mark 16:16; Hebrews 11:6; Acts 2:38,47; Romans 6:1-6; 10:9-10). These terms of entrance were given by Jesus to the apostles, who declared them on the occasion of the establishment of the church (Matthew 16:19; Acts 2).

Fifth, her instruction manual is likewise exclusive and unique. The Bible, consisting of both Old and New Testaments, constitutes her one and only authentic and authoritative guide (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11; 2 Peter 3:16). These 66 books, written by some 40 men over a period of 1,600 years, are actually the product of the Holy Spirit, Who empowered the writers to pen only what God wanted written (2 Samuel 23:2; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2 Peter 1:20-21). The Bible is thus verbally inspired of God, inerrant, and all-sufficient.

Many other characteristics of the church of Christ could be cited. But these five are sufficient to show that the church is easily identifiable and not to be confused with any other religious group. It was inevitable that people would deviate from the simple guidelines given in Scripture (1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Peter 2:1-2). The result has been the formulation of unbiblical doctrines, unscriptural practices, and unauthorized churches (Matthew 15:9,13; 2 John 9-11).

The Scriptures make clear that God never has and never will sanction such a state of affairs. The only hope of any individual is to be in the one true church living faithfully to God’s desires. Many in our day are working overtime to obscure and blur the distinction between the New Testament church and the manmade, counterfeit churches that exist in abundance. They seem oblivious to the fact that no denominations are ever found in the Bible. Many people do not seem even to be aware of the fact that the Bible describes a single church—Christ’s church.

Yet anyone who cares to consult the inspired guidebook can see that the church described in the Bible is easily identifiable today. The matter may be easily determined upon the basis of two criteria. First, can one know how to become a Christian? If so, then the church can be identified, i.e., those who have obeyed the one and only Gospel plan of salvation. Second, can one know how to live the Christian life faithfully and obediently before God? If so, one can identify those who continue to constitute the saved body, the church.

In light of these simple truths, no legitimate claim may be made by denominational bodies to consider themselves as churches of Christ. The pluralistic mindset that has permeated our thinking has prodded us to be more accepting of other viewpoints and to “lighten up” in our opposition to false religion. For some years now, we have been goaded and prodded into feeling guilty about claiming certainty about anything, let alone biblical truth. But the truth continues to be that denominations are manmade divisions, unmitigated departures from the faith.

Denominationalism is about the best thing Satan has come up with to subvert the truth of the Bible and to bring otherwise religious people under his influence. The world religions, as well as those who embrace humanistic philosophies like atheism, by definition, have rejected the one true God and have capitulated to Satan. So where do you suppose Satan is going to focus the brunt of his assault upon the Earth? The more he is able to muddy the waters and to obscure the certainty of the truth, the more chance he has of luring people into his clutches.

We are at a moment in history when Satan is making great inroads into the church, and scoring impressive victories against the cause of Christ. As the book of Judges records a cyclical pattern among God’s people of apostasy, punishment, repentance, faithfulness, and then back into apostasy, we are at the point in history where apostasy holds sway. This periodic purging process seems to be an inevitable recurrence. What God would have us to do is to stand confidently and courageously upon His will, unmoved and unintimidated by the overwhelming forces that pressure us to succumb. In this fashion, the justice of God will be made evident at the Judgment and, in the meantime, impetus is given to the redeemed to strengthen themselves in the struggle to stay loyal to the Master. Every possible soul must be “snatched out of the fire” (Jude 23).

While the Lord would have us to demonstrate concern and compassion for the lost denominational world, He also would have us exercise discretion in the extent to which we fellowship and affiliate with such groups. Regardless of the fashionable sentiments prevalent among some in our day, the Bible still delineates God’s disapproval of the righteous associating with error and false religion. When we become proud of our ability to mingle with denominationalism—manifesting acceptance and tolerance of their unbiblical beliefs—we are guilty of the very attitude that Paul condemned in 1 Corinthians 5:2, that Jesus condemned in Revelation 2:15-16, and that John condemned in 2 John 11.

We need to return to the Old Testament, and learn afresh the lessons that Israel failed repeatedly to learn. We need to stand at Elijah’s side and breath deeply his spirit of confrontation as he boldly distinguished between true and false religion (1 Kings 18:17-40). We need to follow Phinehas into the tent and learn to identify with his jealous intolerance of disobedience and defiance to the will of God (Numbers 25:1-15). We need to step across the line to stand at Moses’ side and witness the calm fury with which he sought to expunge sin (Exodus 32:25-28). We need to identify ourselves with the young king Josiah and feel the same sense of horror and tearful concern as we watch him burn, break, desecrate, destroy, cut down, stamp, and slay everything and everyone who represented unauthorized religious practice (2 Kings 22 and 23).

Perhaps once we have honestly filled our minds with these inspired accounts, and allowed these truths to penetrate and permeate our being, we will possess the proper frame of mind to view denominationalism, and all other alternatives to the one church, in the same way that God views them. Maybe then we will perceive counterfeit churches and rival religions with the depth of righteous anger and displeasure that God perceives them. Until then, we will be gripped by an unconcerned, blasé, live-and-let-live mentality that will allow Satan to proceed with his subversion of humanity. If we do not stand up and proclaim the distinctiveness of the one true church of Christ, nobody else will, and we will lose our souls along with them. If Noah had not been comfortable with standing in a minute minority in an effort to stem the tide, the tide would have swept him away in the Flood along with the rest.

Do you love the church for which Jesus shed His blood? Do you? Do you love the body of Christ deeply enough to temper your concern for the lost with a righteous regard for the purity and loyalty of that body? Rather than obscure the reality and identity of the unique church of Christ, we would do well to take note of the clearly defined borders of the kingdom, that we might be able to give our attention to bringing in those on the outside. Fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness is not the answer; teaching and exposing them is (Ephesians 5:11).

If we would truly fathom that the church of Christ is distinctive, exclusive, and unique; if we would truly view fraternization with the denominations as traitorous; if we would love the genuine body of Christ with the same fervency and jealousy with which Jesus loves her; then we would be in a position to proclaim with Paul: “Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end” (Ephesians 3:21).


Hardeman, N.B. and Ben M. Bogard (1938), The Hardeman-Bogard Debate (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

The Thief on the Cross by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



The Thief on the Cross

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Legion are those who dismiss water baptism as prerequisite to salvation on the grounds that “the thief on the cross was not baptized.” The thought is that since the thief was suspended on the cross when Jesus said to him, “Today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), he was being pronounced as saved by Christ without being required to be baptized. As one well-known preacher put it, “There was no water within 10 miles of the cross.” Please give consideration to two important observations.

First, the thief may well have been baptized prior to being placed on the cross. Considerable scriptural evidence points to this conclusion (Matthew 3:5-6; Mark 1:4-5; Luke 3:21; 7:29-30). If he was, in fact, baptized, he would have been baptized with the baptism administered by John the baptizer. John’s baptism was temporary (i.e., in force only during his personal ministry, terminating at the death of Christ). However, even John’s baptism was “for the remission of sins” (Mark 1:4) and, hence, essential for salvation for those to whom it was addressed. John’s baptism, like the one administered by Jesus while He was on Earth (John 3:22,26; 4:1-2), was unique and temporary. It was addressed only to Jews, and only to the Jews who populated the vicinity of Jerusalem and Judea. It was designed to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of the Messiah. But John’s baptism must not be confused with New Testament baptism that is addressed to everybody, and that did not take effect until after the cross of Christ. If the thief was a Jew, and if he already had submitted to John’s baptism, there would have been no need for him to be re-baptized. He simply would have needed to repent of his post-baptism thievery and acknowledge his sins—which the text plainly indicates that he did.

Second, and most important, the real issue pertains to an extremely crucial feature of Bible interpretation. This hermeneutical feature is so critical that, if a person does not grasp it, his effort to sort out Bible teaching, in order to arrive at correct conclusions, will be inevitably hampered. This principle was spotlighted by Paul when he wrote to Timothy and told him he must “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). In other words, if one simply takes the entire Bible—all 66 books—and treats them as if everything that is said applies directly and equally to everyone, his effort to be in harmony with God’s Word will be hopeless and futile. For example, if a person turned to Genesis 6 and read where God instructed Noah to build a boat, if he did not study enough to determine whether such instruction applied to himself, he would end up building his own boat—the entire time thinking that God wanted him to do so! The Bible is literally filled with commands, instructions, and requirements that were not intended to be duplicated by people living today. Does God forbid you and me from eating a certain fruit (Genesis 2:17; 3:3)? Are we to refrain from boiling a baby goat in its mother’s milk (Exodus 23:19)? Does God want you and me to offer our son as a burnt offering (Genesis 22:2)? Are we commanded to load up and leave our homeland (Genesis 12:1)? Moving to the New Testament, does God want you to sell everything you have and give it to the poor (Matthew 19:21)? Does God expect you to leave everything, quit your job, and devote yourself full time to spiritual pursuits (Matthew 4:20; 19:27; Mark 10:28; Luke 5:28)? Does God intend for you to “desire spiritual gifts” (1 Corinthians 14:1), i.e., seek to possess miraculous abilities? The point is that the entire Bible applies to the entire human race. However, careful and diligent study is necessary to determine how it applies. We must understand the biblical distinction between the application of the principles of the Bible and the specific details.

Here, then, is the central point as it pertains to the relevance of the thief on the cross: Beginning at Creation, all humans were amenable to the laws of God that were given to them at that time. Bible students typically call this period of time the Patriarchal Dispensation. During this period, which lasted from Creation to roughly the time of the cross, non-Jews were subject to a body of legislation passed down by God through the fathers of family clans (cf. Hebrews 11:1). In approximately 1,500 B.C., God removed the genetic descendants of Abraham from Egyptian bondage, took them out into the Sinai desert, and gave them their own law code (the Law of Moses). Jews were subject to that body of legal information from that time until it, too, was terminated at the cross of Christ. The following passages substantiate these assertions: Matthew 27:51; Romans 2:12-16; Galatians 3:7-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 2:11-17. The book of Hebrews addresses this subject extensively. To get to the heart of the matter quickly, read especially Hebrews 9:15-17. When one “correctly handles the Word of truth,” one sees that the Bible teaches that when Christ died on the cross, Mosaic law came to an end, and patriarchal law shortly thereafter. At that point, all humans on the planet became amenable to the law of Christ (cf. Galatians 6:2). The law of Christ consists strictly of information that is intended to be in effect after the death of Christ. It includes some of the things that Jesus and His disciples taught while He was still on Earth. But as regards the specifics of salvation, one must go to Acts 2 and the rest of the New Testament (especially the book of Acts) in order to determine what one must do today to be saved. Beginning in Acts 2, the new covenant of Christ took effect, and every single individual who responded correctly to the preaching of the gospel was baptized in water in order to be forgiven of sin by the blood of Christ. Every detail of an individual’s conversion is not always mentioned, but a perusal of the book of Acts demonstrates decisively that water immersion was a prerequisite to forgiveness, along with faith, repentance, and confession of the deity of Christ (Acts 2:38,41; 8:12,13,16,36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16).

The thief was not subject to the New Testament command to be baptized into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3-4), just as Moses, Abraham, and David were not amenable to it. They all lived prior to the cross under different law codes. They could not have been baptized into Christ’s death—because He had not yet died! The establishment of the church of Christ and the launching of the Christian religion did not occur until after Christ’s death, on the day of Pentecost in the year A.D. 30 in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 2). An honest and accurate appraisal of the biblical data forces us to conclude that the thief on the cross is not an appropriate example of how people are to be saved this side of the cross.

When A Kiss Is More Than Just A Kiss by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



When A Kiss Is More Than Just A Kiss

Yesterday, I shared with my marriage class the 10 emotional needs from Dr. Willard Harley’s book HIS NEEDS HER NEEDS.  He says five are typically male needs and the other five are female needs. He writes that meeting theses needs will “affair proof your marriage.” He also affirms that when you discover your own needs and identify your mate’s needs that it will “deepen your love and desire for each other.”

So, last night I come home and find a face book notification from an old friend and former college room-mate, David Lewis, who by the way writes a great blog (http://themannaman.wordpress.com).  The post was from Jani Ortlund’s blog entitled “The Six Second Kiss.”  Here’s what she wrote. 

What can six seconds do for you? Woman to woman, let me encourage you that just six seconds a day can help safeguard your marriage.

How you say goodbye as you and your husband begin your day can help you build a lifelong romance.  Ray and I send each other off each morning with a six-second kiss, and after 39 years of marriage, I highly recommend it!

After years of a quick shout from somewhere near the back door, it started with “Goodbye, honey. See you tonight . . .” which left us both wanting more. It stopped when we decided that before we went out to face our day we would scout the other out, wrap each other up in a warm embrace, and begin our day with an intimate, very married, six-second kiss.

Try it. Tomorrow when you say goodbye, take your husband’s face in your hands. Look deeply into his eyes. Ask him to hold you for just six seconds. Tell him you love him. Admire him. Tell him you can’t wait until the day is done and you’ll have time together again, and then kiss him like you mean it.

Go ahead. Try it! Your young children will grow up feeling secure in the love between their parents. Your adolescents will blush, groan, and hope their friends don’t see you. Your teens will hope that someday they can build a marriage like their parents. And if there are no children around? Hmmmm, now there’s an interesting situation!  http://theresurgence.com/authors/ray-ortlund

I’m thinking that  following this advice meets two or three needs right away!  And maybe another one very soon!

One of the most common mistakes in marriage that keep couples from developing greater intimacy and deeper love is simply neglect.  Neglecting to talk.  Neglecting to do things together.  Neglecting show express admiration.  Neglecting to provide domestic support.  Neglecting to show affection!

Men, know that the #1 need for almost all women is affection.  I didn’t say “sex.”  I said affection.  Understanding this is part of what Peter implores in I Peter 3:7. “ Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way.”  Understanding.  One version translates this “knowledge.”  Another renders it “considerately.”

Women crave affection.  Holding hands. Flowers.  Gifts.  A phone call at work.  Making coffee for her in the morning.  A foot or back massage with no expectations!  Yes, and a kiss before leaving in the morning…even a six second one!

BTW, my friend, Dave, when he shared Jani’s blog  headed his Facebook post “Getting You Ready to Have a Great Monday!”  Hmmm, I’m thinking you’re right, bro. Dave!

(This post was the #1 post for most of the year, but finished just a few hits behind at #2)

Update:  Since this blog was written in 2o12, we are sad to report the Dave Lewis has passed away.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

THE MEANING OF "FOR"? by steve finnell



THE MEANING OF "FOR"? by steve finnell

Is the meaning of the preposition "for" difficult to understand? No, it is not. The preposition "for" is always forward looking. The purpose, action, and results of "for" always follow, they never look back.

Example: Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)

They were told to repent and be baptized "for" the remission of sins and they would also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

"For" does not mean repent because your sins have already been forgiven. Remission of sins follows repentance.

"For" does not mean be baptized because your sins have already been forgiven. Remission of sins follows baptism

"For" does not mean you have already received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The gift of the Holy Spirit follows repentance and baptism "for" the remission of sins.

If you take an aspirin "for" a headache it does not mean that you take an aspirin because your headache has already been cured. A cured headache follows taking the aspirin "for" a headache.

If  you are punished "for" a crime you committed, you are not punished before you committed the crime. Punished "for" follows the committed crime.

If you have heart surgery "for" a defective heart, your heart is not repaired before you have surgery. The heart repair follows surgery "for" a defective heart.

The meaning of "for" in Acts 2:38 is not a mystery. It means in order to receive remission of sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit you must repent and be immersed in water.

It takes a professional deceiver and a willing student to believe that "for" in Acts 2:38 actually means "because of".    

The Universal Priesthood of Believers by J.C. Bailey



The Universal Priesthood of Believers

To worship God is part of the very nature of man. Cain and Abel worshipped God. There is no tribe on earth so primitive that it does not worship a supreme Being. However, worship to God must be in accordance with God's will. While Cain and Abel both worshipped, Cain's worship was not acceptable for it was not offered by faith (Hebrews 11:4).

At Sinai God gave his law to Israel, "And Jehovah said unto Moses, Write thou these words for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with Jehovah forty days and forty nights, he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments" (Exodus 34:27-28).

The law was given to Israel. The priesthood was given to Aaron and his sons (Numbers 3:10). As Gentiles, we were left out: "Wherefore remember that once ye, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called circumcision, in the flesh, made by hands; that ye were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:11-12).

Salvation is only in Christ. We read in Acts 4:12: "And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved."

The priesthood, which was given to Aaron has been changed. Of necessity, the law was changed (Heb. 7:11-12). We are to worship God. Jesus said so (Matthew 4:10). All we do is to be done in the name of Christ (Acts 4:12). When we serve Christ, we do it in the church that He established (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 3:20-21).

Now note this. All Christians are priests unto God. "But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellences of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (I Peter 2:9).

Christ is our high priest (Heb. 7:16-17). We are priests under Christ (Rev. 1:6). So, we see that all members of the church are priests unto God. Therefore, whenever a church is established, it should carry on the worship. As we can see in the New Testament church there is no clergy class, for all are priests unto God.

Baptisms can be performed by any baptized believer. The Lord's Supper, preaching, singing, all acts of worship belong to the church and not to a special class. The law that gave the priesthood to Aaron has been changed. Under Christ we are all priests unto God.

Wherever a church is started, members should be taught that they are God's priests and that worship can and must be carried on. Under the law there was a special priesthood. In the Protestant denominations there is a special priesthood borrowed from the Catholics. Under the New Testament all are priests unto God. There is no clergy class.

If this principle is recognized, the work will grow as it never grew before. The church must be taught the word, so when the church is scattered, they will go everywhere preaching the word (Acts 8:4).

The church will be known by its works of faith and labor of love (I Thess. 1:3).

Let every member of the church realize that he or she is a priest unto God. Let every congregation realize that they can and should carry on the worship of God.

"Unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen (Eph. 3:2l).

J. C. Bailey, 1992, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for October 2 - 4 by Gary Rose



Bible Reading for October 2 - 4

World  English  Bible

Oct. 2

Psalms 125-127

Psa 125:1 Those who trust in Yahweh are as Mount Zion, which can't be moved, but remains forever.

Psa 125:2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so Yahweh surrounds his people from this time forth and forevermore.

Psa 125:3 For the scepter of wickedness won't remain over the allotment of the righteous; so that the righteous won't use their hands to do evil.

Psa 125:4 Do good, Yahweh, to those who are good, to those who are upright in their hearts.

Psa 125:5 But as for those who turn aside to their crooked ways, Yahweh will lead them away with the workers of iniquity. Peace be on Israel.

Psa 126:1 When Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion, we were like those who dream.

Psa 126:2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, "Yahweh has done great things for them."

Psa 126:3 Yahweh has done great things for us, and we are glad.

Psa 126:4 Restore our fortunes again, Yahweh, like the streams in the Negev.

Psa 126:5 Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.

Psa 126:6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed for sowing, will certainly come again with joy, carrying his sheaves.

Psa 127:1 Unless Yahweh builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless Yahweh watches over the city, the watchman guards it in vain.

Psa 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to stay up late, eating the bread of toil; for he gives sleep to his loved ones.

Psa 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage of Yahweh. The fruit of the womb is his reward.

Psa 127:4 As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of youth.

Psa 127:5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. They won't be disappointed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Oct. 3

Psalms 128-130

Psa 128:1 Blessed is everyone who fears Yahweh, who walks in his ways.

Psa 128:2 For you will eat the labor of your hands. You will be happy, and it will be well with you.

Psa 128:3 Your wife will be as a fruitful vine, in the innermost parts of your house; your children like olive plants, around your table.

Psa 128:4 Behold, thus is the man blessed who fears Yahweh.

Psa 128:5 May Yahweh bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.

Psa 128:6 Yes, may you see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel.

Psa 129:1 Many times they have afflicted me from my youth up. Let Israel now say,

Psa 129:2 many times they have afflicted me from my youth up, yet they have not prevailed against me.

Psa 129:3 The plowers plowed on my back. They made their furrows long.

Psa 129:4 Yahweh is righteous. He has cut apart the cords of the wicked.

Psa 129:5 Let them be disappointed and turned backward, all those who hate Zion.

Psa 129:6 Let them be as the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up;

Psa 129:7 with which the reaper doesn't fill his hand, nor he who binds sheaves, his bosom.

Psa 129:8 Neither do those who go by say, "The blessing of Yahweh be on you. We bless you in the name of Yahweh."

Psa 130:1 Out of the depths I have cried to you, Yahweh.

Psa 130:2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my petitions.

Psa 130:3 If you, Yah, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?

Psa 130:4 But there is forgiveness with you, therefore you are feared.

Psa 130:5 I wait for Yahweh. My soul waits. I hope in his word.

Psa 130:6 My soul longs for the Lord more than watchmen long for the morning; more than watchmen for the morning.

Psa 130:7 Israel, hope in Yahweh, for with Yahweh there is loving kindness. With him is abundant redemption.

Psa 130:8 He will redeem Israel from all their sins.

Oct. 4

Psalms 131-134

Psa 131:1 Yahweh, my heart isn't haughty, nor my eyes lofty; nor do I concern myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me.

Psa 131:2 Surely I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Psa 131:3 Israel, hope in Yahweh, from this time forth and forevermore.

Psa 132:1 Yahweh, remember David and all his affliction,

Psa 132:2 how he swore to Yahweh, and vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob:

Psa 132:3 "Surely I will not come into the structure of my house, nor go up into my bed;

Psa 132:4 I will not give sleep to my eyes, or slumber to my eyelids;

Psa 132:5 until I find out a place for Yahweh, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."

Psa 132:6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah. We found it in the field of Jaar:

Psa 132:7 "We will go into his dwelling place. We will worship at his footstool.

Psa 132:8 Arise, Yahweh, into your resting place; you, and the ark of your strength.

Psa 132:9 Let your priest be clothed with righteousness. Let your saints shout for joy!"

Psa 132:10 For your servant David's sake, don't turn away the face of your anointed one.

Psa 132:11 Yahweh has sworn to David in truth. He will not turn from it: "I will set the fruit of your body on your throne.

Psa 132:12 If your children will keep my covenant, my testimony that I will teach them, their children also will sit on your throne forevermore."

Psa 132:13 For Yahweh has chosen Zion. He has desired it for his habitation.

Psa 132:14 "This is my resting place forever. Here I will live, for I have desired it.

Psa 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision. I will satisfy her poor with bread.

Psa 132:16 Her priests I will also clothe with salvation. Her saints will shout aloud for joy.

Psa 132:17 There I will make the horn of David to bud. I have ordained a lamp for my anointed.

Psa 132:18 I will clothe his enemies with shame, but on himself, his crown will be resplendent."

Psa 133:1 See how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity!

Psa 133:2 It is like the precious oil on the head, that ran down on the beard, even Aaron's beard; that came down on the edge of his robes;

Psa 133:3 like the dew of Hermon, that comes down on the hills of Zion: for there Yahweh gives the blessing, even life forevermore.

Psa 134:1 Look! Praise Yahweh, all you servants of Yahweh, who stand by night in Yahweh's house!

Psa 134:2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary. Praise Yahweh!

Psa 134:3 May Yahweh bless you from Zion; even he who made heaven and earth. 


Oct. 2

2 Corinthians 12

2Co 12:1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. For I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2Co 12:2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I don't know, or whether out of the body, I don't know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven.

2Co 12:3 I know such a man (whether in the body, or outside of the body, I don't know; God knows),

2Co 12:4 how he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

2Co 12:5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in my weaknesses.

2Co 12:6 For if I would desire to boast, I will not be foolish; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, so that no man may think more of me than that which he sees in me, or hears from me.

2Co 12:7 By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, that I should not be exalted excessively.

2Co 12:8 Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me.

2Co 12:9 He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest on me.

2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.

2Co 12:11 I have become foolish in boasting. You compelled me, for I ought to have been commended by you, for in nothing was I inferior to the very best apostles, though I am nothing.

2Co 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were worked among you in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty works.

2Co 12:13 For what is there in which you were made inferior to the rest of the assemblies, unless it is that I myself was not a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong.

2Co 12:14 Behold, this is the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I seek not your possessions, but you. For the children ought not to save up for the parents, but the parents for the children.

2Co 12:15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more abundantly, am I loved the less?

2Co 12:16 But be it so, I did not myself burden you. But, being crafty, I caught you with deception.

2Co 12:17 Did I take advantage of you by anyone of them whom I have sent to you?

2Co 12:18 I exhorted Titus, and I sent the brother with him. Did Titus take any advantage of you? Didn't we walk in the same spirit? Didn't we walk in the same steps?

2Co 12:19 Again, do you think that we are excusing ourselves to you? In the sight of God we speak in Christ. But all things, beloved, are for your edifying.

2Co 12:20 For I am afraid that by any means, when I come, I might find you not the way I want to, and that I might be found by you as you don't desire; that by any means there would be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, whisperings, proud thoughts, riots;

2Co 12:21 that again when I come my God would humble me before you, and I would mourn for many of those who have sinned before now, and not repented of the uncleanness and sexual immorality and lustfulness which they committed.

Oct. 3

2 Corinthians 13

2Co 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. "At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

2Co 13:2 I have said beforehand, and I do say beforehand, as when I was present the second time, so now, being absent, I write to those who have sinned before now, and to all the rest, that, if I come again, I will not spare;

2Co 13:3 seeing that you seek a proof of Christ who speaks in me; who toward you is not weak, but is powerful in you.

2Co 13:4 For he was crucified through weakness, yet he lives through the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we will live with him through the power of God toward you.

2Co 13:5 Test your own selves, whether you are in the faith. Test your own selves. Or don't you know as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified.

2Co 13:6 But I hope that you will know that we aren't disqualified.

2Co 13:7 Now I pray to God that you do no evil; not that we may appear approved, but that you may do that which is honorable, though we are as reprobate.

2Co 13:8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

2Co 13:9 For we rejoice when we are weak and you are strong. And this we also pray for, even your perfecting.

2Co 13:10 For this cause I write these things while absent, that I may not deal sharply when present, according to the authority which the Lord gave me for building up, and not for tearing down.

2Co 13:11 Finally, brothers, rejoice. Be perfected, be comforted, be of the same mind, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.

2Co 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

2Co 13:13 All the saints greet you.

2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

Oct. 4

Galatians 1

Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead),

Gal 1:2 and all the brothers who are with me, to the assemblies of Galatia:

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

Gal 1:4 who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father--

Gal 1:5 to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gal 1:6 I marvel that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different "good news";

Gal 1:7 and there isn't another "good news." Only there are some who trouble you, and want to pervert the Good News of Christ.

Gal 1:8 But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you any "good news" other than that which we preached to you, let him be cursed.

Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so I now say again: if any man preaches to you any "good news" other than that which you received, let him be cursed.

Gal 1:10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn't be a servant of Christ.

Gal 1:11 But I make known to you, brothers, concerning the Good News which was preached by me, that it is not according to man.

Gal 1:12 For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of Jesus Christ.

Gal 1:13 For you have heard of my way of living in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the assembly of God, and ravaged it.

Gal 1:14 I advanced in the Jews' religion beyond many of my own age among my countrymen, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.

Gal 1:15 But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me through his grace,

Gal 1:16 to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I didn't immediately confer with flesh and blood,

Gal 1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia. Then I returned to Damascus.

Gal 1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Peter, and stayed with him fifteen days.

Gal 1:19 But of the other apostles I saw no one, except James, the Lord's brother.

Gal 1:20 Now about the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I'm not lying.

Gal 1:21 Then I came to the regions of Syria and Cilicia.

Gal 1:22 I was still unknown by face to the assemblies of Judea which were in Christ,

Gal 1:23 but they only heard: "He who once persecuted us now preaches the faith that he once tried to destroy."

Gal 1:24 And they glorified God in me.