"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Introduction




1. "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God"...
   a. So begins the Gospel according to Mark - Mk 1:1
   b. The shortest of the four gospels, likely the first one written
   c. Often overlooked because of the gospels of Matthew and Luke

2. Yet the Believer's Bible Commentary notes that because of its brevity...
   a. Mark's gospel is an ideal introduction to the Christian faith
   b. In mission fields it is often the first book translated into a new language

[Who was Mark?  What makes his gospel unique?  Let's start with...]


   A. JOHN MARK...
      1. Who apparently came from a wealthy family
         a. His mother was Mary, who had a large house in Jerusalem - Ac 12:12
            1) Some speculate the Last Supper took place in her home (RWP)
            2) Also that Mark may have been the young man who fled naked - Mk 14:51-52
         b. His cousin was Barnabas, a Levite from Cyprus - Ac 4:36-37; Col 4:10
      2. Who traveled with Paul and Barnabas
         a. Starting out on their first missionary journey, but turned back - Ac 13:5,13
         b. Which caused trouble between Paul and Barnabas - Ac 15:36-41
         c. He later became a fellow laborer and comfort to Paul - Phe 1:24; Col 4:10-11
         d. In Paul's final words, Mark proved "useful to me for ministry" - 2Ti 4:11
      3. Who also accompanied Peter
         a. Who called him "his son" (his convert?) - 1Pe 5:13
         b. Who was in "Babylon" (possibly Rome) at the time
      4. Traditions outside the Bible state:
         a. Mark was an interpreter for Peter - Papias, 130 A.D.
         b. Mark composed his gospel mostly from Peter's memoirs - Justin Martyr, 150 A.D.
         c. Mark went to Alexandria in Egypt where he died in 64 A.D.
      -- The early and unanimous opinion is that John Mark wrote this gospel

   B. BEFORE 64 A.D....
      1. Certainly so, if written by one who died in 64 A.D.
      2. Barnes suggests between 56 and 63 A.D.
      3. Some scholars date the book in the early 50's
      -- A plausible date would 57-59 A.D. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

[Now for some information about Mark's gospel in particular...]


      1. Written to Gentiles, perhaps Christians in Rome (BKC); note the following:
         a. Jewish customs are explained - e.g., Mk 7:3-4
         b. Aramaic expresses are translated into Greek - e.g., Mk 3:17; 5:41; 7:11
         c. Roman reckoning of time is used - e.g., Mk 6:48; 13:35
         d. Only Mark identifies Simon of Cyrene as the father of Rufus - cf. Mk 15:21; Ro 16:13
         e. Few OT quotations are used
      2. The focus appears to be on Jesus as the Perfect Servant (BBC)
         a. Mark emphasizes the deeds of the Lord more than His words
         b. He records nineteen miracles, but only four parables
         c. The deeds of one who "did not come to be served, but to serve" - Mk 10:45
      -- Thus one could say that the theme is:  "Jesus, Servant of Man"

      1. The preparation for Jesus' ministry - Mk 1:2-13
      2. His ministry in Galilee - Mk 1:14-9:50
      3. His journey to Jerusalem - Mk 10:1-52
      4. His ministry in Jerusalem - Mk 11:1-13:37
      5. His suffering and death in Jerusalem - Mk 14:1-15:47
      6. His resurrection and appearances - Mk 16:1-13
      7. His great commission and continued work from heaven - Mk 16: 14-20
      -- Jesus came from heaven to serve, and returned to heaven to  serve!

[Perhaps of further interest are some...]


      1. Probably the first one written
      2. All but 31 verses are quoted in the other gospels
      3. Leading many to conclude that Matthew and Luke based their gospels on Mark

      1. The shortest of the four gospels
      2. Luke has 1151 verses, Matthew 1071, John 879, Mark 661
      3. Mark's entire gospel can be read aloud in 1.5 hours

      1. Over 40 times he uses a word translated "straightway" or "immediately"
      2. Two-thirds of the verses begin with "and"
      3. The present tense is used frequently (e.g., they come...He says...He sends...)

      1. Mark presents "lively little touches" not found in the other gospels - Hendriksen
      2. "...he wrote with all the graphic distinctiveness and vividness of an eyewitness - Erdman
      3. It may have been Peter's reminiscences, or perhaps his own, that account for such details

      1. It opens with "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ..." - Mk 1:1
      2. It closes with "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" - Mk 16:15


1. What Mark accomplished with his gospel in the first century was significant...
   a. He left a record of the gospel preached by Peter
   b. Which emphasized the things that Jesus did - cf. Ac 10:36-39
   c. That stressed the servitude of Jesus as the Son of Man - cf. Mk 10:45

2. It can serve an important purpose for us today, reminding us...
   a. That Jesus came to serve, and continues to serve - cf. He 7:25
   b. That Christian discipleship likewise involves service - cf. Ga 5:13

3. Mark's own life was one of early failure, redeemed by later devotion (Erdman)...
   a. He got off to a rocky start in his service for the gospel of Christ
   b. But he persevered and proved to Paul that he was "useful...for ministry"

May his gospel of Jesus Christ, who came to serve, inspire us to become
servants who are also:

   "useful for the Master, prepared for every good work" - 2Ti 2:21   
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Were All Men Vegetarians before the Flood? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



Were All Men Vegetarians before the Flood?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

After the creation of man and land animals on day six of the Creation week, God instructed Adam saying, “I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food” (Genesis 1:29). There is no record of God telling Adam and Eve that they could butcher cows or smoke chickens, but He did authorize them to eat the seeds and fruits of plants and trees. In the very next chapter of Genesis, it is recorded where God told Adam that he could eat “of every tree of the garden” (except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—2:16-17). Notice that nothing is said here about animals—only vegetation. Then again, in Genesis 3, when God sentenced Adam and Eve to a life outside of the Garden of Eden, He said: “And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground” (3:18-19). Three times in the first three chapters of the Bible, God instructed man regarding his diet. Each time, the Bible records only where God permitted man to eat vegetation (some of which could be made into bread—3:19). The Bible nowhere mentions man receiving permission from God to eat any kind of animal until after the Flood. It was then that God said:

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs (Genesis 9:1-3, emp. added).

Just as God had authorized mankind to eat “green herbs” many centuries earlier, after the Flood, God gave His permission for mankind to eat “all things”—including all animals that move on the Earth and swim in the sea. [NOTE: It appears that laws regarding the eating of clean and unclean animals were not given until the Law of Moses (Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14:3-21). Although a difference was made between clean and unclean animals prior to the Flood (cf. Genesis 7:2-3), this distinction seems to have applied only to the matter of which animals were suitable for sacrifice, not for consumption (cf. Genesis 8:20).]

To answer the question, “Were all men prior to the Flood vegetarians?,” one merely can conclude that the Bible reveals God giving instructions only regarding the eating of food made from vegetation prior to the Deluge. God’s Word is conspicuously silent regarding the eating of animals. However, just because God apparently did not authorize man to eat animal flesh before the Flood, does not mean that mankind abided by this regulation. It seems likely that there were some people who went beyond what God allowed, and ate various kinds of animals anyway. It is not difficult to imagine those living just prior to the Flood, whose every thought was evil continually (Genesis 6:5), leaning over a sacrificial sheep, smelling the sweet aroma, and taking a bite out of the lamb’s leg (cf. 1 Samuel 2:12-17).

Some have asked why Adam’s son Abel raised flocks, if he and his descendants were supposed to be vegetarians? Although the Bible does not say exactly why Abel was a “keeper of sheep” (Genesis 4:2), most likely it was because by raising sheep, Abel could provide clothing for himself and others, as well as provide animals that people could get from him to sacrifice to Jehovah. One thing we can know assuredly is that before the Flood, we never read of God granting permission to humans to eat animal flesh. Yet, at least three times prior to the Flood the Bible mentions God authorizing the fruit of the Earth for man’s consumption. Furthermore, Genesis 9:2-3 stresses that after the Flood a vastly different relationship existed between animals and humans. Animals developed a fear of humans, and humanity was permitted to use the flesh of animals for food, “even as the green herbs” were permitted since the beginning of the Creation (9:3; 1:29).

Wearing Gold and Braided Hair? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



Wearing Gold and Braided Hair?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Most people who have read the Bible have at least been mildly perplexed after reading 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:3-4. These two portions of Scripture read as follows:

…in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

Do not let your adornment be that outward adorning of arranging the hair, of wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God (1 Peter 3:3-4).

At first glance, these two passages seem to set down strict commandments that women should wear no gold jewelry, and should never braid their hair. However, when these verses are taken in their proper context, and are compared with other verses in the Bible, their seemingly strict prohibitions of gold and braids become more lenient in one sense, and ironically, more strict in another.

When the apostle Paul wrote to the young preacher Timothy, he gave the young man several instructions about how certain groups of people ought to conduct themselves in public worship assemblies. In 1 Timothy chapter 2:9, Paul offered some guidelines for how women ought to dress. Paul said that women should wear “modest” apparel. The Greek word for modest is kosmioi, which means “respectable, honorable, or modest” (Arndt, 1958, p. 445). This word basically entails all apparel that does not call undue attention to the wearer through show of flesh or through gaudiness. The type of apparel is defined by the phrase, “with propriety and moderation.” Then, Paul described the converse of “modest” by mentioning three things that many first-century women were using to draw undue attention to themselves: braided hair, gold, and costly clothing.

In the first century, many women were plaiting elaborate hair designs that would take hours to “construct” and weave. One writer, in describing such first-century hair designs, wrote:

Talk about high maintenance! During the late first century, the Flavian style of Julia, daughter of Titus fashioned the court with curls arranged on crescent-shaped wire frames. The back hair was divided into sections, braided, then curled. Sometimes the hair was coiled without braiding (see Roman…, 2002).

Apparently, some women were turning the worship assemblies into fashion shows, attempting to “one-up” their contemporaries with flashy, expensive clothes and costly gold jewelry. Instead of this gaudiness, Paul instructed the women to adorn themselves in that “which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”

In this passage, we see a literary construction that is common in the Biblethe comparison and substitution of one less desirable thing for another more profitable thing. In this particular case, the gaudy clothes were to be rejected in favor of good works and modest clothes. Jesus used a similar construction in John 6:27, when He stated, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you…” At first glance, this statement from Jesus seems to be saying that a person should not work for physical food. However, we know that is not the intended meaning, because 2 Thessalonians 3:10 plainly says, “if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” What, then, was Jesus’ point? He simply was saying that spiritual food is more important than physical food, and as such, should be given a higher priority.

Another instance of a similar situation is found in 1 Corinthians 11:34. In this chapter, the apostle Paul had been reprimanding the Christians in Corinth for abusing the Lord’s Supper. The rich brethren were bringing lots of food and drink, and were eating their fill, while the poor brethren were not getting enough to eat. Paul explained to the Christians that the Lord’s Supper was not designed to be a feast to fill the belly, but a memorial to commemorate the death of the Lord. In verse 34, he wrote: “But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment.” Once again, taken in its most literal sense, this verse would demand that every person who is hungry should eat at home—not in a restaurant, at a friend’s house, or outside. Of course, that was not Paul’s intention at all. He simply wanted the Christians to eat to fill their stomachs at some other time than during the memorial feast of the Lord’s Supper.

After considering these examples, let us now look back to Paul’s instruction to Timothy concerning women’s apparel. If we were to take the passage in its most literal reading, then women should not wear braided hair, any gold, or any costly clothing. However, how much would an article of clothing have to cost in order to be “costly?” Many of the clothes we wear in the United States would cost a person in a third world country an entire year’s salary (Jackson, 2000). Should our women come to worship in burlap sacks and cardboard flip-flops? To ask is to answer. In fact, in 1 Peter 3:3-4, the parallel passage to 1 Timothy 2:9-10, the actual Greek text omits the word “fine” before “apparel” so that it actually says that a woman’s beauty should not come from “putting on apparel.” Yet, taken in its most literal sense, this particular sentence would delight those of the nudist persuasion, and confound the most astute Christians.

Summing up the meaning of these two passages, we see that Paul and Peter were not forbidding a woman from wearing a golden wedding band or having her hair modestly braided. They were, however, instructing the women to concentrate on good works and a right attitude instead of trying to impress others with immodest clothes that were inappropriate or excessively gaudy.

Therefore, these verses are more lenient than their strictly literal sound, in the sense that they do not forbid all wearing of gold, clothes, or braiding of the hair. They are more stringent, however, in the fact that some things not specifically mentioned by the writers would be prohibited. For instance, a woman could not wear thousands of dollars worth of platinum jewelry, and then contend that the verses never mention platinum. Nor could a Christian woman strut into an assembly wearing multiple carats of diamonds worth tens of thousands of dollars, and argue that diamonds are not mentioned in the text. The verses echo the sentiment of Christ, when He scolded the Pharisees for cleansing “the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25).

[As an endnote, the modest-apparel criteria were not specifically addressed to the first-century men, because they apparently did not have a problem with this. However, in any situation where men might have a problem with such, the same rules certainly would apply to them as well.]


Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition revised.

Jackson, Wayne (2000), What About Braided Hair? [On-line], URLhttps://www.christiancourier.com/articles/206-what-about-braided-hair.

Roman Hairstyles (2002), [On-line], URL: http://oldworld.sjsu.edu/ancientrome/living/fashion/hair02.htm.

Way Out of Context: "Thou Shalt Not Kill"--Go Vegetarian by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



Way Out of Context: "Thou Shalt Not Kill"--Go Vegetarian

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Driving down one of the main thoroughfares in Montgomery, Alabama, the other day, a large billboard caught my eye. On the left side of the advertisement, there was a picture of a huge man who had white hair, a long white beard, and who was wearing a white robe. In his right hand, he was holding what looked like a walking staff, and his left hand, he held what appeared to be a large sprig of celery. Big, bold letters on the right side of the sign read, “Thou shalt not kill,” and underneath this quote from the Old Testament was the imperative “Go vegetarian.”

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against being a vegetarian, and certainly would not fault anyone for being one. However, it is a grotesque miscarriage of God’s Word to rip a verse out of context and use it to justify or condemn a practice that is not even addressed in the text. Throughout the Old Testament, it is clear the commandment not to kill did not apply to animals, but only to the unlawful murder of humans. In Genesis 9:1-6, God directly said to Noah and his sons that they could eat “every moving thing that lives.” In that passage, however, he made it clear that the human life was different than animal life. In verse six, he stated: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man.”

To imply that God’s commandment, “thou shalt not kill” (found in Exodus 20:13), applies to animals is further shown to be ridiculous when one realizes that God Himself sent quail for the Israelites to eat (Exodus 16:8,13), and He also commanded the Israelites to kill and eat lambs during the Passover feast. Concerning the Passover lamb, Moses wrote: “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…. Then the whole assembly of the congregation shall kill it at twilight. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire...” (Exodus 12:5,7,8). Obviously, God’s injunction not to kill did not extend to any animal, but only to humans.

The New Testament explicitly documents the fact that certain “religious” people would attempt to forbid the eating of certain foods. Paul wrote to Timothy:

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:1,3-5).

To take “thou shalt not kill” out of context and apply it to animal life aligns the person who does such with those who Paul said would “depart from the faith.” Furthermore, it strikes at the very heart of God’s insistence that He created man in His own image, unlike any other creature, endowing only man with an immortal soul. Whichever vegetarian group sponsored that billboard, certainly has not spoken from God that which is right (Job 42:7).

And, by the way, some would classify celery (a plant) as a “living organism.” If “thou shalt not kill” applies to all life, wouldn’t the man on the billboard who was holding a decapitated sprig of celery be guilty of killing a living thing? And would those who sponsored this billboard therefore suggest that the Bible condemns killing mosquitoes, roaches, or fire ants? Once a Bible verse is taken out of its proper context, and is used improperly to either justify or condemn something, where does such a practice stop?

“With this Ring, I thee Lease….” by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



“With this Ring, I thee Lease….”


(Based on the number of hits, this post was the 4th most popular in 2013)

Picture this scene.

After a lovely dinner, under a full moon, Joshua gets down on one knee, opens a box with a sparkling diamond ring, hands it to Jessica and says, “Honey, I’d love to lease you…”

That doesn’t sound very romantic! Lease you?  Not marry you?  Well, not if Florida attorney, Paul Rampell has his way. 

Recently in a Washington Post op-ed piece Rampell argued that the “til death do you part” of marriage should be abandoned as outdated.  Olsolete. And antiquated.  Rather he suggested marriage should be a “wedlease” in which couples agree to stay together for a specified period of time.   Rampell says,  “Why don’t we borrow from real estate and create a marital lease?  Instead of wedlock, a wedlease.” Here’s how he says it would work.

“Two people commit themselves to marriage for a period of years — one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes. It could end up lasting a lifetime if the relationship is good and worth continuing. But if the relationship is bad, the couple could go their separate ways at the end of the term. The messiness of divorce is avoided and the end can be as simple as vacating a rental unit.” 

Incredible!  In my life time we’ve gone from Holy Wedlock to  free love, to shacking-up, to no-fault divorce, to same-sex marriage, and now “wedlease.”  Is this moving too fast for you?  Is this about the dumbest idea you’ve ever heard?

Here’s a few things wrong this ridiculous idea from a Bible perspective.

(1) Marriage was God’s ideaNot man’s.  The Creator put the “Holy” into wedlock and joined their first couple in the garden of Eden.  Jesus said,

“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  (Matt 19:4-5).

(2) Marriage is about people, not property.   People have feelings. Affections.  Emotions. People hurt.  Suffer.  Cry. Experience pain, anguish and disappointment.  Does anyone think ending a relationship is a simple as “vacating a rental unit.”  The Bible describes marriage as two people “becoming one flesh”–the most intimate of all relationships.

(3) Marriage is about commitment.  Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9).  The prophet Malachi said that “God hates divorce” (Mal 2:16).  You can’t “try” to be committed!  You either are.  Or you aren’t.  Marriage is a life long commitment.  Not a term contract!

(4) Marriage is a covenant relationship.  The Bible speaks of marriage as a very serious manner.  It is more than just a social contract.  And it is certainly not a term lease!  Marriage is a divine covenant between three parties.  You.  Your spouse.  And God.  (Mal. 2:14-15). It is a holy covenant.  One of faithfulness. Fidelity. And life-long trust.  Violating that covenant is a spiritual breach.

(5) Marriage is a relationship that depicts Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22-33).  The church is the “bride” of Christ.  He loves her.  He gave Himself for her.  His relationship with her is holy, hallowed and sanctified.  It is special.  Unique.  Matchless.  Marriage is not to be cheapened by ten-year term!  It should reflect the glory and grandeur of Christ’s love for the church.

On a personal note, it was 45 years ago tomorrow, that Norma Jean and I vowed our faithfulness to each other for “as long as you shall live.”  I’m glad we did. I’m glad it wasn’t a “wedlease.”  She might not have renewed it!

We realized a long time ago that marriage takes work.  Requires effort.  Demands commitment.  A couple of weeks ago I wrote about that.

Wedlease?  It’s not only a silly idea.  It won’t work.  It will hinder relationships.  Further undermine the moral fabric of our country.  And dishonors God.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





Denominations are not formed because there is disagreement over the color of the carpeting in the church building. Denominations are established in order to teach doctrine contrary to the apostles doctrine. (Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching....)

Do denominations teach how to become saved according to the apostles doctrine? What are their basic teachings about forgiveness from sin and being added to the body of Christ?

Denomination teach various and sundry ways to be forgiven from sin.

The apostles did not teach multiple ways of salvation.

Can anyone name a denomination that believes only adult believers who have believed for the forgiveness of sins, who has been immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins, repented for the forgiveness of sins, and have confessed Jesus as the Christ for the forgiveness of sins, have been saved from the penalty of sin? 

What is not the apostles doctrine?
1. Saved by grace alone.
2. Saved by faith only.
3. Saved by water baptism only.
4. Saved as a non-believing infant who has been baptized.
5. Saved as a non-believing adult.
6. Saved by repentance alone.
7. Saved by confessing Jesus as Lord and Christ alone.

This is the apostles doctrine.
1. Faith--John 3:16
2. Confession--Romans 10:9-10
3. Repentance--Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19
4. Immersion in Water-- Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38. Acts 22:16, 

The Holy Spirit by J.C. Bailey



The Holy Spirit

This is a subject of much controversy both in the church and out of the church. I hope we can add something to the educational process, that we might better understand the work of the Holy Spirit. We are instructed to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3). God does something we cannot do. The next verse tells us that there is one Spirit (Eph. 4:4). The Bible reveals that the Spirit is a person, not an influence. It is true that he may influence people but he is a person: "Howbeit when he the Spirit of truth is come...." (John 16:13); "But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things" (John 14:26). So this person is to teach the apostles all things and then through their words we will have unity. He is the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). We are sanctified in the truth and God's word is truth (John 17:17). Truth is always in harmony with truth. Therefore the Holy Spirit will not guide, or instruct us, into something contrary to the word. That the teachings of the apostles were the words of the Holy Spirit is made evident in this passage: "Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe in me through their word: that all may be one, even as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou didst send me" (John 17:20-21).

The apostles did not interpret the Spirit to us. They did not tell us what the Spirit meant. They told us what the Holy Spirit said, "But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things which were freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth, combining spiritual things with spiritual words (I Cor. 2:12-13). We read again: "For no prophecy ever came by will of man; but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). We are told that we need the Holy Spirit to interpret the Bible to us. If the Holy Spirit did not tell us what He meant the first time then how would we know that he was telling us the truth the second time? In the Bible there is oneness but when men begin to interpret the Bible we have confusion.

It would be impossible for the Spirit to teach us something different from the word of God, or it is not the word of God that we have. For Truth cannot contradict Truth. Two and two are four. We never learn anything that contradicts that no matter how far we may go in mathematics. So He is the Spirit of Truth. The Bible is the Word of Truth. So they must be in harmony. To make this abundantly clear Jesus said, "It is the spirit that giveth life, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life" (John 6:63).

We are to keep the unity of the Spirit. The Bible says, there is one God. That we accept. There is one Lord Jesus Christ, that we accept. There is one Spirit. In theory we accept that, but in practice many reject it. The very same verse that says there is One Spirit says that there is One Body (Eph. 4:4). That body is the church but people who claim to be directly guided by the Holy Spirit say that the church consists of many bodies, that the church consists of the various religious bodies or at least certain people within the various religious bodies, that the church is not one body as the Bible teaches and hence the Holy Spirit teaches. The unity of the Holy Spirit has been destroyed and not enhanced as these people would like us to believe. This is one of the remarkable things about those who claim to be directly guided by the Spirit today: immediately they reject what the Holy Spirit said about one body, the church.

The Holy Spirit reveals the church as a glorious thing but those who claim today to be led by the Spirit reject the Bible concept of the church for a fragmented denominationalism. The Bible teaches that as a husband and wife are to live together in true fidelity, so Christ and the church are to live (Eph. 5:25- 26). Not only is there only one Spirit and one body (church) but there is only One Lord. The word Lord means ruler. When you have more than one church you have more than one ruler. Each church has its own system of government and its laws. Then every church with its own government also has its own faith. So the faith is fragmented. The Holy Spirit tells us that the faith was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). So anything newer than the New Testament is not the faith.

Then there is one baptism. As we have more Lords we have more bodies, we have more faiths and we have more baptisms. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit, by Peter, told them to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. The command is plain. We have no trouble understanding what it says but men have used barrels of ink and tons of paper trying to show that this did not mean exactly what it says. Why? The Lordship has been altered, the faith that has been added teaches something else besides the One Baptism that the Holy Spirit reveals (Acts 2:38). Note this significant statement. "They then that received his word were baptized and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41). So this is the one baptism. We hear the word of the Spirit as given on Pentecost and we obey it. God is over this plan and in this plan (Eph. 4:6).

But someone asks the question, "What about Holy Spirit baptism?" Let us see what the Bible tells us about this. In other words, we shall see what the Holy Spirit said about baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us the fulfillment of this promise. Here is the prophecy as made by John the Baptist: "I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear, he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire." Then John goes right on to tell us what the baptism of fire will be. It is unquenchable fire that shall burn up the chaff (Matthew 3:11-12).

After his resurrection Jesus tells us about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I want you to study with me very carefully: "The former treatise I made O Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach until the day in which he was received up after he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God, and being assembled together with them [notice that the antecedent to 'them' must be the apostles and only the apostles] he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard from me: For John indeed baptized with water but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts 1:1-5). So Jesus said that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was for the apostles and there was no promise that it would ever be given to any other person.

Now let us note carefully what happened: We quote from Acts 2: "And when the day of Pentecost was now come they [the apostles] were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as the rushing of a might wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues, parting asunder like as of fire, and it sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:1-4). When the Holy Spirit came the result was that these people spoke by the power of the Holy Spirit.

After explaining the purpose of the Spirit coming they then preached the gospel to these people. They told them of the miracles of Christ. Jesus did these things that we might be believers and be saved, not by any direct operation of the Holy Spirit, but by believing the miracles that Jesus worked. Let us read carefully: "Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of his disciples which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and believing might have life in his name" (John 20:30-31). So Peter by the Holy Spirit preached about the miracles of Jesus.

We are to be saved by our faith in the gospel: "And he said unto them, Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16). Paul told us that the gospel was the facts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-5). Peter ended the first part of his sermon with these words: "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye have crucified (Acts 2:36). This did not cause people to fall down on the floor. This caused people to ask a question. They believed the message that the Holy Spirit gave and this caused them to ask a question: "now when they heard this, they were pricked in the heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?" Peter was baptized in the Holy Spirit along with the rest of the apostles and here was the answer. He did not tell them to pray through. He did not tell them that since they had become believers, there was nothing for them to do. Listen to the answer of the Holy Spirit: "Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

He said that the gift of the Holy Spirit would be given to the people who were baptized for the remission of sins. Then we have it made more plain in Acts 5:32. Peter is talking: "and we are witnesses of these things: and so is the Holy Spirit whom God hath given to those who obey him." Here is a promise from the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey. We may not fully understand this but we can believe it and we can learn from the Scriptures something of this at least, if not everything.

As I write I have an electric light beside me. I do not know much about electricity but I can make much use of it. So the Christian has the indwelling of the Spirit and we can make use of it even if our knowledge is not perfect. The New Testament provides us with all that we need to know. Paul wrote to Timothy or rather the Holy Spirit wrote to Timothy and used Paul as his secretary. Here is what he had to say, "and that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make you wise unto salvation through the faith which is in Christ Jesus. Every scripture inspired of God is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work" (2 Tim. 3:15-17). So I can learn the word of God, I can believe the word of God and the Holy Spirit says I am completely furnished unto every good work.

However, we must realize that the mere learning of the Scripture is not enough. Christ by the Spirit, by faith, must dwell in the inner man. We read, "That he would grant you, according to the richness of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love..." (Eph. 3:16-17). So we are grounded by faith in Christ, the Spirit, dwells in the inner man.

This indwelling Spirit is something peculiar to the gospel. We have inspiration in the Old Testament. We have healing in the Old Testament. We had the miracles of creation and we have the miracles that Moses worked. We have miracles that were worked by the apostles during the personal ministry of Christ. But there was something beyond all this, for we learn in John 7:37-39: "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not glorified." So the gift of the Spirit was for Christians in a way that others did not receive it. We shall return to this in a moment but we must notice that the Spirit was not given to the world but to the believer: "even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him, for he abideth with you, and shall be in you" (John 14:17). The gospel is the power of God to save the believer (Rom. 1:16). Yet, the people of the world pray that the Holy Spirit will come in converting power to the sinner. Jesus said that the sinner cannot receive the Holy Spirit.

If we do not have the Spirit we cannot lose the Spirit. The Thessalonians were told not to quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19). Jude told us that some so sinned that they did not have the Spirit (Jude 19).

How do I know that I have the Spirit? Because I have the fruit of the Spirit? Paul tells us of the fight that goes on. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh and these are contrary to one another (Gal. 5:16-21). Then he says the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self control: against such there is no law (Gal 5:22-23). In order for the Spirit to abide, we must crucify the flesh with its passions (verse 24).

God operates according to law. Miracles were always an exception. He made Adam from dust. He made Eve from a rib and then natural law went into operation and all people come into the world through natural law. Moses turned water into blood. That was a miracle but by natural law in our bodies every day, water is turned into blood. If this were not so, man would soon perish from the earth. Jesus fed five thousand by a miracle. God feeds billions every day by natural law. God must put the life into every grain of wheat, or rice, or any other food. No man can do that. The light and heat of the sun is brought 93 million miles and is not expended. Man cannot do that. God sends the rain. No man can do that. So God's natural laws are far greater than any miracle but these miracles were done to show his power (Mk. 16:29-30; Heb. 2:3-4).

When the New Testament was complete the purpose of these signs was fulfilled. Paul was a great worker of miracles but they had fulfilled their purpose: He said tongues would cease and that prophecy would fail (I Cor. 13:8-9). John tells us that with Revelation, prophecy was complete (Rev. 22:18-19). Paul told Timothy to take some medicine for his sickness (1 Tim. 5:23). The old soldier, the man who had kept the faith, says that he left Trophimus at Miletus sick (2 Tim. 4:20). Even in the midst of His miracles Jesus said the sick need a doctor (Mk. 2:17). The miraculous does not change man. Balaam, the son of Beor, was a prophet but he loved the hire of wrong doing. Caiaphas was a prophet and told of the death of Christ but he was a wicked man. The Corinthian church had many miraculous gifts but the church had many sins. The indwelling Spirit which is the right of every baptized believer will lift up to the better plain. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:11). When the Spirit would come, Jesus said that from the believer would flow living water. The last invitation is to take freely of the water of life (Rev. 22:17).

J.C. Bailey (January 1986, Bengough, Saskatchewan)

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for October 23 - 25 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for October 23 - 25

World  English  Bible


Oct. 23

Ecclesiastes 11, 12

Ecc 11:1 Cast your bread on the waters; for you shall find it after many days.

Ecc 11:2 Give a portion to seven, yes, even to eight; for you don't know what evil will be on the earth.

Ecc 11:3 If the clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth; and if a tree falls toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falls, there shall it be.

Ecc 11:4 He who observes the wind won't sow; and he who regards the clouds won't reap.

Ecc 11:5 As you don't know what is the way of the wind, nor how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child; even so you don't know the work of God who does all.

Ecc 11:6 In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening don't withhold your hand; for you don't know which will prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both will be equally good.

Ecc 11:7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to see the sun.

Ecc 11:8 Yes, if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that comes is vanity.

Ecc 11:9 Rejoice, young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

Ecc 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Ecc 12:1 Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw near, when you will say, "I have no pleasure in them;"

Ecc 12:2 Before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain;

Ecc 12:3 in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look out of the windows are darkened,

Ecc 12:4 and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;

Ecc 12:5 yes, they shall be afraid of heights, and terrors will be in the way; and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goes to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Ecc 12:6 before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the spring, or the wheel broken at the cistern,

Ecc 12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Ecc 12:8 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher. All is vanity!

Ecc 12:9 Further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge. Yes, he pondered, sought out, and set in order many proverbs.

Ecc 12:10 The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written blamelessly, words of truth.

Ecc 12:11 The words of the wise are like goads; and like nails well fastened are words from the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

Ecc 12:12 Furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Ecc 12:13 This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.

Ecc 12:14 For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.

Oct. 24

Song of Solomon 1-4

Son 1:1 The Song of songs, which is Solomon's. Beloved

Son 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for your love is better than wine.

Son 1:3 Your oils have a pleasing fragrance. Your name is oil poured forth, therefore the virgins love you.

Son 1:4 Take me away with you. Let us hurry. The king has brought me into his chambers. Friends We will be glad and rejoice in you. We will praise your love more than wine! Beloved They are right to love you.

Son 1:5 I am dark, but lovely, you daughters of Jerusalem, like Kedar's tents, like Solomon's curtains.

Son 1:6 Don't stare at me because I am dark, because the sun has scorched me. My mother's sons were angry with me. They made me keeper of the vineyards. I haven't kept my own vineyard.

Son 1:7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you graze your flock, where you rest them at noon; For why should I be as one who is veiled beside the flocks of your companions? Lover

Son 1:8 If you don't know, most beautiful among women, follow the tracks of the sheep. Graze your young goats beside the shepherds' tents.

Son 1:9 I have compared you, my love, to a steed in Pharaoh's chariots.

Son 1:10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels.

Son 1:11 We will make you earrings of gold, with studs of silver. Beloved

Son 1:12 While the king sat at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance.

Son 1:13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh, that lies between my breasts.

Son 1:14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. Lover

Son 1:15 Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves. Beloved

Son 1:16 Behold, you are beautiful, my beloved, yes, pleasant; and our couch is verdant. Lover

Son 1:17 The beams of our house are cedars. Our rafters are firs. Beloved

Son 2:1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Lover

Son 2:2 As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. Beloved

Son 2:3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Son 2:4 He brought me to the banquet hall. His banner over me is love.

Son 2:5 Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples; For I am faint with love.

Son 2:6 His left hand is under my head. His right hand embraces me.

Son 2:7 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, or by the hinds of the field, that you not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires.

Son 2:8 The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping on the mountains, skipping on the hills.

Son 2:9 My beloved is like a roe or a young hart. Behold, he stands behind our wall! He looks in at the windows. He glances through the lattice.

Son 2:10 My beloved spoke, and said to me, "Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.

Son 2:11 For, behold, the winter is past. The rain is over and gone.

Son 2:12 The flowers appear on the earth. The time of the singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Son 2:13 The fig tree ripens her green figs. The vines are in blossom. They give forth their fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away." Lover

Son 2:14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, In the hiding places of the mountainside, Let me see your face. Let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.

Son 2:15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards; for our vineyards are in blossom. Beloved

Son 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his. He browses among the lilies.

Son 2:17 Until the day is cool, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be like a roe or a young hart on the mountains of Bether.

Son 3:1 By night on my bed, I sought him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but I didn't find him.

Son 3:2 I will get up now, and go about the city; in the streets and in the squares I will seek him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but I didn't find him.

Son 3:3 The watchmen who go about the city found me; "Have you seen him whom my soul loves?"

Son 3:4 I had scarcely passed from them, when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, into the chamber of her who conceived me.

Son 3:5 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, or by the hinds of the field, that you not stir up, nor awaken love, until it so desires.

Son 3:6 Who is this who comes up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all spices of the merchant?

Son 3:7 Behold, it is Solomon's carriage! Sixty mighty men are around it, of the mighty men of Israel.

Son 3:8 They all handle the sword, and are expert in war. Every man has his sword on his thigh, because of fear in the night.

Son 3:9 King Solomon made himself a carriage of the wood of Lebanon.

Son 3:10 He made its pillars of silver, its bottom of gold, its seat of purple, its midst being paved with love, from the daughters of Jerusalem.

Son 3:11 Go forth, you daughters of Zion, and see king Solomon, with the crown with which his mother has crowned him, in the day of his weddings, in the day of the gladness of his heart. Lover

Son 4:1 Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is as a flock of goats, that descend from Mount Gilead.

Son 4:2 Your teeth are like a newly shorn flock, which have come up from the washing, where every one of them has twins. None is bereaved among them.

Son 4:3 Your lips are like scarlet thread. Your mouth is lovely. Your temples are like a piece of a pomegranate behind your veil.

Son 4:4 Your neck is like David's tower built for an armory, whereon a thousand shields hang, all the shields of the mighty men.

Son 4:5 Your two breasts are like two fawns that are twins of a roe, which feed among the lilies.

Son 4:6 Until the day is cool, and the shadows flee away, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, to the hill of frankincense.

Son 4:7 You are all beautiful, my love. There is no spot in you.

Son 4:8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, with me from Lebanon. Look from the top of Amana, from the top of Senir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.

Son 4:9 You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride. You have ravished my heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck.

Son 4:10 How beautiful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine! The fragrance of your perfumes than all manner of spices!

Son 4:11 Your lips, my bride, drip like the honeycomb. Honey and milk are under your tongue. The smell of your garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

Son 4:12 A locked up garden is my sister, my bride; a locked up spring, a sealed fountain.

Son 4:13 Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates, with precious fruits: henna with spikenard plants,

Son 4:14 spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree; myrrh and aloes, with all the best spices,

Son 4:15 a fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, flowing streams from Lebanon. Beloved

Son 4:16 Awake, north wind; and come, you south! Blow on my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and taste his precious fruits. Lover 


Oct. 25

Song of Solomon 5, 6

Son 5:1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. Friends Eat, friends! Drink, yes, drink abundantly, beloved. Beloved

Son 5:2 I was asleep, but my heart was awake. It is the voice of my beloved who knocks: "Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled; for my head is filled with dew, and my hair with the dampness of the night."

Son 5:3 I have taken off my robe. Indeed, must I put it on? I have washed my feet. Indeed, must I soil them?

Son 5:4 My beloved thrust his hand in through the latch opening. My heart pounded for him.

Son 5:5 I rose up to open for my beloved. My hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock.

Son 5:6 I opened to my beloved; but my beloved left; and had gone away. My heart went out when he spoke. I looked for him, but I didn't find him. I called him, but he didn't answer.

Son 5:7 The watchmen who go about the city found me. They beat me. They bruised me. The keepers of the walls took my cloak away from me.

Son 5:8 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem, If you find my beloved, that you tell him that I am faint with love. Friends

Son 5:9 How is your beloved better than another beloved, you fairest among women? How is your beloved better than another beloved, that you do so adjure us? Beloved

Son 5:10 My beloved is white and ruddy. The best among ten thousand.

Son 5:11 His head is like the purest gold. His hair is bushy, black as a raven.

Son 5:12 His eyes are like doves beside the water brooks, washed with milk, mounted like jewels.

Son 5:13 His cheeks are like a bed of spices with towers of perfumes. His lips are like lilies, dropping liquid myrrh.

Son 5:14 His hands are like rings of gold set with beryl. His body is like ivory work overlaid with sapphires.

Son 5:15 His legs are like pillars of marble set on sockets of fine gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.

Son 5:16 His mouth is sweetness; yes, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem. Friends

Son 6:1 Where has your beloved gone, you fairest among women? Where has your beloved turned, that we may seek him with you? Beloved

Son 6:2 My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.

Son 6:3 I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. He browses among the lilies,

Son 6:4 You are beautiful, my love, as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners.

Son 6:5 Turn away your eyes from me, for they have overcome me. Your hair is like a flock of goats, that lie along the side of Gilead.

Son 6:6 Your teeth are like a flock of ewes, which have come up from the washing; of which every one has twins; none is bereaved among them.

Son 6:7 Your temples are like a piece of a pomegranate behind your veil.

Son 6:8 There are sixty queens, eighty concubines, and virgins without number.

Son 6:9 My dove, my perfect one, is unique. She is her mother's only daughter. She is the favorite one of her who bore her. The daughters saw her, and called her blessed; the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

Son 6:10 Who is she who looks forth as the morning, beautiful as the moon, clear as the sun, and awesome as an army with banners?

Son 6:11 I went down into the nut tree grove, to see the green plants of the valley, to see whether the vine budded, and the pomegranates were in flower.

Son 6:12 Without realizing it, my desire set me with my royal people's chariots. Friends

Son 6:13 Return, return, Shulammite! Return, return, that we may gaze at you. Lover Why do you desire to gaze at the Shulammite, as at the dance of Mahanaim?

Oct. 23

Colossians 4

Col 4:1 Masters, give to your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Col 4:2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving;

Col 4:3 praying together for us also, that God may open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds;

Col 4:4 that I may reveal it as I ought to speak.

Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

Col 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Col 4:7 All my affairs will be made known to you by Tychicus, the beloved brother, faithful servant, and fellow bondservant in the Lord.

Col 4:8 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that he may know your circumstances and comfort your hearts,

Col 4:9 together with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will make known to you everything that is going on here.

Col 4:10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you received commandments, "if he comes to you, receive him"),

Col 4:11 and Jesus who is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These are my only fellow workers for the Kingdom of God, men who have been a comfort to me.

Col 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always striving for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

Col 4:13 For I testify about him, that he has great zeal for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for those in Hierapolis.

Col 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet you.

Col 4:15 Greet the brothers who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the assembly that is in his house.

Col 4:16 When this letter has been read among you, cause it to be read also in the assembly of the Laodiceans; and that you also read the letter from Laodicea.

Col 4:17 Tell Archippus, "Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it."

Col 4:18 The salutation of me, Paul, with my own hand: remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

Oct. 24

1 Thessalonians 1

1Th 1:1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, to the assembly of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Th 1:2 We always give thanks to God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers,

1Th 1:3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father.

1Th 1:4 We know, brothers loved by God, that you are chosen,

1Th 1:5 and that our Good News came to you not in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and with much assurance. You know what kind of men we showed ourselves to be among you for your sake.

1Th 1:6 You became imitators of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,

1Th 1:7 so that you became an example to all who believe in Macedonia and in Achaia.

1Th 1:8 For from you the word of the Lord has been declared, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone out; so that we need not to say anything.

1Th 1:9 For they themselves report concerning us what kind of a reception we had from you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God,

1Th 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead--Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Oct. 25

1 Thessalonians 2

1Th 2:1 For you yourselves know, brothers, our visit to you wasn't in vain,

1Th 2:2 but having suffered before and been shamefully treated, as you know, at Philippi, we grew bold in our God to tell you the Good News of God in much conflict.

1Th 2:3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deception.

1Th 2:4 But even as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, who tests our hearts.

1Th 2:5 For neither were we at any time found using words of flattery, as you know, nor a cloak of covetousness (God is witness),

1Th 2:6 nor seeking glory from men (neither from you nor from others), when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ.

1Th 2:7 But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother cherishes her own children.

1Th 2:8 Even so, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you, not the Good News of God only, but also our own souls, because you had become very dear to us.

1Th 2:9 For you remember, brothers, our labor and travail; for working night and day, that we might not burden any of you, we preached to you the Good News of God.

1Th 2:10 You are witnesses with God, how holy, righteously, and blamelessly we behaved ourselves toward you who believe.

1Th 2:11 As you know, we exhorted, comforted, and implored every one of you, as a father does his own children,

1Th 2:12 to the end that you should walk worthily of God, who calls you into his own Kingdom and glory.

1Th 2:13 For this cause we also thank God without ceasing, that, when you received from us the word of the message of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which also works in you who believe.

1Th 2:14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the assemblies of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus; for you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews;

1Th 2:15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and drove us out, and didn't please God, and are contrary to all men;

1Th 2:16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins always. But wrath has come on them to the uttermost.

1Th 2:17 But we, brothers, being bereaved of you for a short season, in presence, not in heart, tried even harder to see your face with great desire,

1Th 2:18 because we wanted to come to you--indeed, I, Paul, once and again--but Satan hindered us.

1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Isn't it even you, before our Lord Jesus at his coming?

1Th 2:20 For you are our glory and our joy.