The Fallacy of Preaching Pascal by AP Staff




The Fallacy of Preaching Pascal

by  AP Staff

Preachers and authors in the religious community sometimes commit inadvertent fallacies in what they teach and write. These can stem from a lack of understanding of vital fields, such as biblical languages, church and secular history, psychology, and philosophy. While some of these fallacies are harmless, others can do more damage to a person’s soul through their inaccuracies than if nothing had been said at all. One such fallacy is that of mistakenly “preaching Pascal.”

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a French scientist, mathematician, and philosopher. He was a brilliant young man whose father educated him, and who published his first work, an essay on geometry, at the tender age of sixteen. He continued to publish works in the fields of science and mathematics, but he died before publishing his most important philosophical works: Pensées and De l’Esprit Géométrique. Theologically, Pascal was a Jansenist—i.e., a member of a group within the Catholic Church that followed the views of Cornelius Jansen—and spent much of his time refuting the Jesuits. Pensées [Thoughts] is the title posthumously given to a series of notes that Pascal originally intended to publish under the title Apologie de la religion chrétienne [Apology for the Christian Religion] (Popkin, 1967, 6:51-52). It was in these notes that Pascal’s now-famous “wager” was constructed. The wager, simply put, goes something like this:

  • If it is impossible for a person to believe with certainty that God exists, then that person should believe in God anyway—“just in case” He does exist.
  • If it turns out that God does exist, the believer “wins” the wager by receiving an eternal reward.
  • If it turns out that God does not exist, the person who believes has lost nothing (except perhaps some temporal pleasures, the loss of which is outweighed by freedom from the angst of unbelief).
  • If God does not exist, and a person does not believe, then he may gain some temporal pleasures.
  • If God exists, and a person does not believe, then that person is punished eternally for his unbelief.

Who never “loses” the wager? The believer. Why so? If God does exist, the believer “wins” by going to heaven. If God does not exist—the believer lives and dies, end of story—again, he has lost nothing (except a few finite pleasures). In both cases, the believer wins because he chose the “safe” thing to do.

But who loses 50% of the time? The unbeliever. If God exists, he “loses” by not believing, and therefore goes to hell. If God does not exist—the unbeliever lives and dies, end of story—he (like the believer) has lost nothing.

One of the two “gamblers” never loses; one loses half the time. Thus, Pascal concluded, it is safer to believe in God that not to believe. [Pascal continued in his reasoning by suggesting that if someone does not know how to believe, then he should follow the customs and rites of those who do believe—as if he himself were a believer. Eventually, then, according to Pascal, the person will become a believer (Pascal, 1995, pp. 121-125).]

  One believes One does not believe
God exists Eternal reward Eternal punishment
God does not exist Freedom from angst Temporal pleasures

Some ministers of the Gospel preach Pascal’s Wager in an effort to convert people, suggesting that belief in God makes more sense than non-belief because of the 50% risk that is involved if God does exist.

What does this show, and why is it wrong to use Pascal’s line of reasoning in the conversion of non-believers? First, preaching this seems to show a lack of faith on the part of the minister himself. If a preacher’s argument for the existence of God is based on a gamble—even if it is not his only argument for God—then he should re-examine his own beliefs and see if he has truly built his faith on the solid rock of the moral, cosmological, and teleological proofs for God, or if he has built his faith upon the sands of guesswork (Matthew 7:24-27). This is damaging to the congregation for which such a man preaches, because a solid congregation needs a solid man to preach solid truths, and believing in God just because it is “prudent” to do so, shows a lack of solidarity.

Moreover, what of the man who believes in God because of preaching Pascal’s Wager? Since “faith is the substance of things hoped for” and “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), a pseudo-belief in God based on statistical risk and/or wager produce a pseudo-Christian. Faith is based on knowledge and certainty, not on probabilities, and someone who believes based on a wager is someone who cannot possess true faith in God and His existence. Paul said that we will be “above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard” (Colossians 1:22b-23a). Pascal’s Wager does not produce a faith “grounded and steadfast,” because it does not build faith. However, faith in God is easy to build through other means, “because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20).

As Christians who are called to handle the Bible correctly (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17), let us not give in to philosophies that are not in keeping with God’s Word (Colossians 2:8). In our preaching, let us be honest with people and teach them to “hold fast” to faith and truth (1 Corinthians 15:1-2), and not let them be led into believing in God just because it makes the “best sense in a gamble.”


Pascal, Blaise (1995), Pensées, trans. A.J. Krailsheimer (New York: Penguin).

Popkin, Richard H. (1967), “Pascal, Blaise,” The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Paul Edwards (New York: MacMillan).

The Euthyphro Dilemma by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



The Euthyphro Dilemma

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.


 What do atheists mean when they speak of the “Euthyphro Dilemma” as a means to discredit theism?


The so-called Euthyphro Dilemma has its genesis in Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro in which Socrates and Euthyphro discuss the nature of piety: “Is the pious  loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” (2008). Over time, philosophers have sharpened the salient point of the dilemma by presenting it in a modified form. The world-renowned late atheist philosopher Antony G.N. Flew worded the argument this way: “Are the things which are good good because God approves of those things, or is it the case that God approves of those things which are good because they are good?” (Warren and Flew, 1977, p. 26). By this thorny contention, the atheist hopes to dismiss the notion of God by placing the theist in an untenable dilemma.

On the one hand, if an action is right simply because God approves it, then morality would be the product of the arbitrary will of God, which He could just as easily alter. Instead of saying that lying and murder are wrong, He could just as well have said they are right—and that divine intention would make them so. On the other hand, if God approves of an action because it is inherently good, then an objective standard exists outside of God that He merely acknowledges. Such a law would therefore be above and higher than God. By the Euthyphro Dilemma, atheists think they have demonstrated that good is either above or beneath God and thereby proof that God is not God (see Figure 1).

Figure 1:
The Euthyphro Dilemma

Figure 2: Reality

But this dilemma is impotent in that it fails to take into account the nature, being, and character of the perfect God of the Bible who is eternal and infinite in all of His attributes. Goodness, like all God’s other attributes, flows from His very being as the Ultimate Good (see Figure 2). Good is neither above nor below God (cf. Mark 10:18; 1 John 4:8; Psalm 33:5). God’s attributes and God’s will are inseparable. The alternatives posed by the atheist do not pose a proper dilemma.


Plato (2008), Euthyphro, trans. Benjamin Jowett, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1642/1642-h/1642-h.htm.

Warren, Thomas and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God (Ramer, TN: National Christian Press), info@nationalchristianpress.net.

The Eternality of God by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.



The Eternality of God

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

God alone is eternal. The Bible plainly asserts that God had no beginning, and that He will never end, or die—He possesses eternality. Consider Psalm 90:2: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Isaiah wrote: “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in a high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15; see Deuteronomy 33:27). The apostle John wrote: “Grace to you and peace from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come...” (Revelation 1:4, emp. added). In beautiful, poetic language, God said: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). It is difficult for finite, human minds to comprehend anyone Who possesses eternality, because every earthly person and thing known to us had a beginning, and has either died, ended, will die, or will end. To emphasize God’s majesty through His eternality, consider several items, which, though striking and awe-inspiring, are not eternal.

The Universe is not eternal. For many years, evolutionists attempted to prove that the Universe never had a beginning. For, they reasoned, if scientists were to arrive at the conclusion that the Universe had a beginning, they must turn to the next logical question: What caused the beginning of the Universe? Attempting to answer that question makes rationally thinking evolutionists uncomfortable. Of course, scientists have shown definitively that the Universe has not always existed, and that it will not exist forever. Because it exists, therefore, someone, or something must have always existed. Astronomer Robert Jastrow observed: “The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same: modern science denies an eternal existence to the Universe, either in the past or in the future.”1 In her book, The Fire in the Equations, award-winning science writer Kitty Ferguson wrote in agreement:

Our late twentieth-century picture of the universe is dramatically different from the picture our forebears had at the beginning of the century. Today it’s common knowledge that all the individual stars we see with the naked eye are only the stars of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and that the Milky Way is only one among many billions of galaxies. It’s also common knowledge that the universe isn’t eternal but had a beginning ten to twenty billion years ago, and that it is expanding.2

Furthermore, the First Law of Thermodynamics, which states that both matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed, precludes the idea of an eternal Universe. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that systems become more disorganized, rather than more organized, also establishes that the Universe had to have a starting point. Because matter exists, but has not always existed, then something or someone must have caused its beginning. Some have suggested that the Universe simply created itself. Sproul wrote:

For something to bring itself into being it must have the power of being within itself. It must at least have enough causal power to cause its own being. If it derives its being from some other source, then it clearly would not be either self-existent or self-created. It would be, plainly and simply, an effect. Of course, the problem is complicated by the other necessity we’ve labored so painstakingly to establish: It would have to have the causal power of being before it was. It would have to have the power of being before it had any being with which to exercise that power.3

Obviously, the idea that the Universe was, at one time, nonexistent, but then independently came into being, is contradictory.4 Creationists do not have to wonder about the start of the Universe; they understand that God is the cause, and the Universe is the effect. That event is recorded in the first few pages of the Bible (Genesis 1,2).

Humanity is not eternal in the same sense that God is eternal. Humans have immortal souls—souls that will never die (Romans 5:21; 6:22; Galatians 6:8), and bodies that will be resurrected and reunited with their souls (John 5:28-29). And, although humans can access eternal life (Matthew 25:46; 2 Corinthians 4:18), human beings are not eternal, because each human has a beginning. The beginning of humanity itself is described in Genesis 1-2. And, when the Earth ends (see 2 Peter 3:10-12), humanity on Earth will cease. The Greek word translated “eternal” in passages like Mark 10:17,30, Luke 18:18, and John 3:15 is aionios, a word that also is used to denote the eternality of God (Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 5:10). “Eternal,” then, has approximately three meanings in the New Testament: (1) without beginning (Romans 16:25; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2); (2) without beginning or end (Hebrews 9:14); and (3) without end (Matthew 25:46; 2 Corinthians 4:18; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).5 Humans are eternal in that their souls will never end, but only God possesses eternality in the first two senses of the word.

Why are humans instructed to live in view of, and prepare for, eternity? A few of the many reasons include: (1) Christians will live for a much longer time in heaven than they will on Earth (Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:17); (2) dire consequences await those who refuse to prepare for eternity in this life (Matthew 9:44-48; Matthew 23:33; Luke 13:28; John 5:29); (3) and there are great blessings associated with eternal life (Matthew 8:11; Hebrews 9:24; 1 Peter 1:4, 3:22; Revelation 21:2,3, 22).

Marriage is not eternal. Some religious people teach that marriages will endure throughout eternity. For example, James Duke, representing the Mormon religion, wrote:

Latter-day Saints believe that life is more secure and more joyous when it is experienced in the sacred relationships of the eternal family. Those who maintain such worthy relationships on earth will live as families in the Celestial Kingdom following the resurrection. Thus, a person who lives a righteous life in mortality and who has entered into an eternal marriage may look forward to an association in the postmortal world with a worthy spouse, and with those who were earthly children, fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters.6

Jesus, however, said that, after they are resurrected, no one will be married or given in marriage (Matthew 22:30). Marriage has been created by God, Who is eternal, for the enjoyment and benefit of mortal men, but the institution of marriage will end when Earth ends (Genesis 2:24; Proverbs 18:22; Hebrews 13:4).

Angels are not eternal. Here, we refer to spiritual messengers, and not humans (on occasion, human messengers are also called “angels” in the Bible).7 Angels, like humans, are created beings. Paul wrote: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers” (Colossians 1:16). Nehemiah 9:6 reads: “You along are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the Earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You” (emp. added; see Genesis 2:1; Exodus 20:11). Job 38:1-7 makes it clear that angels were eyewitnesses to the creation of the Universe, so we are left to wonder if the angels were created during the Creation week, or at some earlier time. Respected Bible scholar Herbert Lockyer commented:

The heavens include all that are in them created by God, and among these must be the angels (Genesis 2:1). Among the hosts of heaven the angels are the principal part. They are expressly called “the heavenly host” and “the armies of heaven” (Luke 2:13).8

We cannot be certain when the angels were created, but we do know that no other being beside God is eternal in the fullest sense of the word.9

The devil is not eternal. Deity is eternal in the fullest sense (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 102:27), but Satan does not possess the qualities of Deity. Thompson commented:

Scripture affirms: “Greater is he [God] that is in you than he [Satan] that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). When he sought to “sift” the apostles as wheat, he first had to “ask for them” (Luke 22:31). Satan is not omnipresent. His position as “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) was “delivered unto him” (Luke 4:6). When he eventually is cast permanently into his place of eternal torment, the devil will be powerless to resist (Revelation 20:10).10

Wayne Jackson noted:

…[S]ince the devil is not of the nature of deity, it is obvious that he is a created being, for all things and beings (outside the class of deity) are the result of creation—“for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers” (Col. 1:16); this would include Satan as he originally was.11

While it is true that Satan will exist forever, it is obviously also true that he had a beginning. Genesis 1:31 reveals that all things which were created were, originally, “very good.” God did not create Satan to be humankind’s evil adversary; rather, Satan made the choice to become evil, and to work to convince others, both spiritual and human beings, to do wrong. Both Old and New Testament passages imply that Satan, at some point before he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, led a revolt, the result of which was the ejection of Satan and “his” angels from heaven (Job 4:18; Matthew 25:41; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). There is every reason to believe that angels still have the ability to choose to do evil. Lloyd Ecrement observed: “They, therefore, have the ability to choose good or evil. It is possible, but certainly not necessary, for them to sin. If they choose evil rather than good, that is no reflection upon their Creator, but simply a rebellion against Him—they abuse the powers of reason and a free will given to them by God.”12 Little is known about why Satan chose to do evil initially, but it is easier to surmise why he chose to become the archenemy of God and man: he had once inhabited glory with God, but had been cast out.13


If a man composed a work in which he considered every temporal item, the work would be enormous, because the number of the things that will, at some point, cease to exist, is inestimable. However, there is only One Who possesses eternality. We should be impressed and thankful that our Creator is ageless, timeless, uninterrupted, and perpetual, not only in His existence, but in His personality and attributes. The truth of His message, like His very personage, never will change (Mark 13:31).


1 Robert Jastrowt (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton), p. 30, emp. added.

2 Kitty Ferguson (1994), The Fire in the Equations: Science, Religion, and the Search for God (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), p. 89, emp. added.

3 R.C. Sproul (1994), Not a Chance (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), pp. 179-180.

4 Jeff Miller (2013), “ Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2786&topic=336.

5 See William Arndt and F.W. Gingrich (1974 reprint), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), pp. 27-28; Gerhard Kittel, ed. (1981 reprint), Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 1:208; A.T. Robertson (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament In Light of Historical Research, (Nashville, TN: Broadman), p. 272.

6 James Duke (1992), “Eternal Marriage,” http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/basic/family/marriage/eternal_eom.htm, emp. added.

7 See Haggai 1:13; Alden Bass and Bert Thompson (2001), “When Did God Create Angels?” /rr/rr2001/r&r0106b.htm, 2001.

8 Herbert W. Lockyer (1995), All the Angels in the Bible (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson), p. 14, emp. in orig.

9 See Bass and Thompson, 2001.

10 Bert Thompson (2001 reprint), “Satan—His Origin and Mission,” (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), p. 4-5.

11 Wayne Jackson (1980), “Satan,” Great Doctrines of the Bible, ed. M.H. Tucker (Knoxville, TN: East Tennessee School of Preaching), p. 78, emp. and parenthetical in orig.

12 Lloyd Ecrement (1961), Man, the Bible, and Destiny (Grand Rapids, MI; Eerdmans), p. 33.

13 See Wayne Jackson (2004), “Spiritual Warfare Is Real, Difficult, and Dangerous,” http://www.christiancourier.com/penpoints/spiritualWarfare.htm; Thompson, pp. 7-8.

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Crucifixion Of Jesus (15:21-32) by Mark Copeland



 The Crucifixion Of Jesus (15:21-32)


1. Thus far in Mark’s account of the passion of Christ, we have seen...
   a. The agonizing prayer in the garden of Gethsemane - Mk 14:32-42
   b. The betrayal of Judas and arrest in the garden - Mk 14:43-50
   c. The beating and mocking at Caiaphas’ house - Mk 14:65
   d. The denial by Peter - Mk 14:66-72
   e. The scourging, beating, and mocking by Roman soldiers - Mk 15:15-20

2. By this time Jesus would have been physically exhausted...
   a. Awake for more than 24 hours
   b. Suffering from the beatings and scourging already inflicted

[But the worse was yet to come; condemned to death by crucifixion, the
Roman soldiers led him to the place where He would be crucified (Mk15:20). 
 With the aid of Mark’s text, let us follow Him...]


      1. Jesus started out bearing His cross - cf. Jn 19:17
         a. Likely the wooden crosspiece (patibulum), weighing 30-40 pounds
         b. But it proved too much for Him
      2. Simon of Cyrene compelled to bear it for Him - Mk 15:21
         a. Mark identifies him as the father of Alexander and Rufus
         b. The latter possibly known to the church in Rome - cf. Ro 16:13

      1. A place near (outside) the city - cf. Jn 19:20
      2. Golgotha a modified transliteration of the Aramaic word for "skull" - Mk 15:22
      3. Calvary comes from the Latin word for "skull" - cf. Lk 23:33

      1. A narcotic drink was sometimes offered to criminals to deaden
         the pain of crucifixion
      2. Jesus was offered such a drink, but refused - Mk 15:23
      3. Perhaps choosing to experience the ordeal of crucifixion with His full senses

[Next we read of...]


      1. "They crucified Him" - Mk 15:24,25
      2. Amazingly restrained, as are the other gospel writers! -  
             Mt 27:35; Lk 23:33; Jn 19:18
      3. Especially when it was "the cruelest and most hideous punishment possible" 
           - Cicero

      1. Simon is ordered to place the cross beam on the ground, and
         Jesus is quickly thrown backwards with His shoulders against
         the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front
         of the wrist. He drives the heavy, square, wrought-iron nail
         through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moves to
         the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to
         pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and
         movement. The cross beam is then lifted in place at the top of
         the vertical beam The left foot is pressed backward against
         the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail
         is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees
         moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly
         sags down with more weight on the nails and the wrists,
         excruciating, fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the
         arms to explode in the brain--the nails in the wrists are
         putting pressure on the median nerves.
      2. As he pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment,
         He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again
         there is searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves
         between the metatarsal bones of the feet. At this point,
         another phenomenon occurs. As the arms fatigue, great waves of
         cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep,
         relentless throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the
         inability to push Himself upward. Air can be drawn into the
         lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in
         order to get even one small breath. Finally carbon dioxide
         builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps
         partially subside. Spasmodically He is able to push Himself
         upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.
      3. Hours of this limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending
         cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as
         tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down
         against the rough timber. Then another agony begins. A deep
         crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills
         with serum and begins to compress the heart. It is now almost
         over--the loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level--
         the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick,
         sluggish blood into the tissues--the tortured lungs are making
         a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The body of
         Jesus is now in extremis, and He can feel the chill of death
         creeping through His tissues His mission of atonement has been
         completed. Finally He can allow His body to die. - C. Truman
         Davis, "The Crucifixion of Jesus. The Passion of Christ from a
         Medical Point of View," Arizona Medicine 22, no. 3 March 1965:
         186-87, as quoted in The Expositor's Bible Commentary Vol. 8,
         ed. by Frank Gaebelein ([1984] pp. 779-80.

[Even the doctor’s description cannot adequately express what suffering
Jesus endured on the cross for our sins.  Before we close, let’s
summarize what else is revealed surrounding the crucifixion...]


      1. When they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots - Mk 15:24
      2. As foretold by David - Ps 22:18

   B. THE TIME...
      1. Mark says it was the "third hour" - Mk 15:25
      2. This would be 9am in the morning

      1. Pilate had the charge or accusation made against Jesus posted on the cross
      2. It was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin - Jn 19:20
      3. Each of the gospel writers record the inscription slightly different
         a. Mark:  "The King of the Jews" - Mk 15:26
         b. Matthew:  "This is Jesus the King of the Jews" - Mt 27:37
         c. Luke:  "This is the King of the Jews" - Lk 23:38
         d. John:  "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" - Jn 19:20
      4. Reconciling the apparent discrepancy
         a. The full inscription may have been "This is Jesus of
            Nazareth the King of the Jews"
         b. Written in three languages, it may have been abbreviated,
            and each gospel writer simply chose that which reflected
            his purpose in his gospel

      1. Two robbers were crucified with Jesus - Mk 15:27-28
      2. Possibly co-insurrectionists with Barabbas who had been released

      1. Those who passed by, with the false charge made against him -
         Mk 15:29; 14:57-58
      2. The chief priests and scribes, taunting Jesus to make them believe - Mk 15:31-32
      3. Even the two thieves, though one later recanted - Mk 15:32; cf. Lk 23:39-43


1. Thus begins the six hours that will result in the death of Jesus...
   a. An excruciating death in of itself
   b. Made worse by the beatings and scourging, the mocking before and during

2. What can we learn from this terrible event...?
   a. The terribleness of the guilt of sin - Ro 3:23; 6:23
   b. The greatness of God's love for man - Ro 5:6-9; 1Jn 4:9-10
   c. The inspiration of Jesus' sacrifice - 1Pe 2:21-25

In our next lesson, we shall consider Jesus’ death and burial that
followed this terrible crucifixion.  But as you reflect on what Jesus’
endured, have you considered what you should do...? - cf. Ac 2:36-41    
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Turning Trials Into Triumphs by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Turning Trials Into Triumphs

Sometime ago there was an article in USA Today entitled “Bad Times Spawn Great Start Up.” It documented some notable successes that have been generated out of the ashes of economic downturns.  Sixteen of the thirty corporations in the Dow Jones industrial average trace their origin to a time of recession.  Walt Disney lost an acting job as a movie extra and started his famous cartoon company in a garage during tough times between 1923-1934.  William Hewlett and David Packard teamed up in Silicon Valley in 1938 during the Great Depression.  And the world’s richest man, Bill Gates, dropped out of college during the recession of 1975 and began Microsoft.

Yes, good things can come from troublesome times.  This is a Bible principle.  The book of James tells us how to do it.  If we are to grow, mature and become complete in Christ it is necessary to triumph over trials. 

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”  (Jas 1:2-5).

There are four key words that will determine our success in turning trials into triumphs. 

(1) COUNT.  It begins with a joyful attitude in spite of the trial. “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials.”  Really?  Yes!  “Outlook determines outcome and attitude determines action,” wrote commentator Warren Weirsbe.  It is not what happens to you, it is what happens in you that counts.  In Choose Your Attitude Change your Life, Robert Jeffers wrote, “We can choose to allow life’s circumstances either to strengthen us or to destroy us.  The determining factor is our attitude.”

(2) KNOW. You need an understanding mind.  What do Christians know that makes trials easier?  We know that faith is always tested. The father of Faith, Abraham, teaches us that lesson.  But remember God tests us to bring out the best, the devil tests us to bring out the worse.  We know that trials work for the believer, not against him (Rom. 8:28).   And we know that trials can help us to mature, grow stronger and be more Christ like.

(3) LET.  A surrendered will is necessary.  God cannot construct our character without our cooperation.  According to Ephesians 2:8-10 the work of God is three-fold.  There is a work God does for us, which is salvation.  There is the work God does in us, which is sanctification.  And there is the work God does through us which is service.  But God cannot work against our will.  He cannot work on us, in us, or through us without our consent.  We must let Him.

(4) ASK.  If we are to turn trials into triumphs, we must have a believing heart.  James said to ask in Faith.  We cannot doubt.  In James 4:3 he tells us to ask with the right motive.  In James 5:16 we are commanded to ask fervently.  All of this demonstrates a heart that is trusting in God, even when times are tough.

A joyful attitude.  An understanding mind.  A surrendered will.  And a believing heart. There is much wisdom in these four imperatives.  They will aid you along with God’s grace in turning your trials into triumphs.





Apostolic succession and modern-day apostles. Is this fact or fiction? Apostolic succession is supposedly the method where the ministry of the church of Christ is passed from the apostles by continuous succession.

In order to have apostolic succession there must of necessity be modern-day apostles. There is no Biblical evidence of the existence of modern-day apostles or apostolic succession.


2 Corinthians 12:12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles.

There are no men today who are duplicating the signs of the apostles.

Acts 2:Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.

Is everyone today feeling a sense of awe by the so-called modern-day apostles? I do not think so.

Acts 9:36-41 Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha.....37 And it happened at that time she fell sick and died;.....40 But Peter sent them and knelt down and prayed, turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling the saints and widows presented her alive.

If there are true apostles today why are they not going to funeral homes bringing the dead back to life? Why? Because there are no modern-day apostles and there is no apostolic succession.

Signs, wonders, and miracles were performed by the apostle to prove they were representing Jesus the Son of God. They were to establish the church. The church has been established. We have the completed Bible. We do not need  new revelation.



Learning Contentment by Sandra F. Cobble



Learning Contentment

Your world has fallen apart. Remembering Paul's words, "I have learned in whatever state I am therewith to be content" (Phil.4:11), you have tried to accept the situation. Being a faithful Christian, you believe that "Godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim. 6:6). And now you feel even further discouraged. For somehow you do not feel any real contentment.

Usually we think of contentment merely as a passive state of willingness to "put up with" whatever state we are in. But is that the Biblical concept of contentment? Let us take a closer look.

First let us examine the definition. The word "contentment" used in 1 Timothy 6:6 comes from the Greek ward autarkeia which Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon defines as "a perfect condition of life, in which no aid or support is needed." The word originates from two words: autos meaning "self" and arkeo meaning "to be possessed of unfailing strength; to be strong, to suffice, to be enough (as against any danger: hence to defend, ward off)." But definitions do not heal wounds.

So, let us examine what it means to us. It means that we have within ourselves, BY GOD'S GRACE AND POWER, sufficiency to carry on "independently of external circumstances" as Thayer puts it. It means that we have sufficient strength, ability, power to do whatever needs to be done. We CAN face life with all its heartaches with courage and determination! We DO have what it takes! But how do we develop and use the power that is within us?

The first step in using this power is to analyze the situation and to pinpoint the real problem in YOUR life. If you could have altered the circumstances, you probably would have already done so. The real problem is no longer the situation itself but how you feel and react to it. For example, I was rejected and unloved for many years. I could not and cannot alter those circumstances. The real problem for me now is that any mention of the past may trigger old feelings of being rejected and unloved and cause me to feel that way again. Another example: someone you love may have left the faith. You did all within your power to prevent it. But now a real problem in your life may be that you feel that you have failed in some way and may have a guilt complex.

The next step is to plan your strategy and set a course of action. In my case I told one of our elders exactly what had been the circumstances and suggested a possible course of action which involved deliberately coming in contact with a person who reminded me of one who had mistreated me. For one who feels guilty because he blames himself for the failure of another, a possible course of action might involve reading some sound material on the limits of one's responsibility. No matter how badly you may have failed in YOUR responsibility, any person who has turned from God made his OWN decision to do that and you are not responsible for THAT failure.

Finally, put your plan into action! It is not enough to merely think of a way to overcome problems. You have to put your thoughts into action. I went into the same Bible class as the person who reminded me of the past. Since I made sure the elders knew of my psychological problem, it gave them the opportunity to take special care to make me feel accepted and loved in the family of God.

The one who has a guilt-complex because he feels that he is partly to blame for someone leaving the faith (or failing in any other way) needs to take whatever action is necessary to correct his own mistakes. For example, if you were not faithful in church attendance and you feel that others may be weak because they followed your example, set it right. But then follow Paul's example and admonition in Philippians 3:13, "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press on toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Put your plan into action! Get your mind right. Get your life right. Then get on with God's business.

In conclusion, contentment is a learned response. Because you have learned the promises of God and then have RESPONDED to those promises in faith, you have developed contentment. Paul said, "I have learned ...to be content." And the process of learning may be long and difficult. But the result: that "perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed" will be well worth the effort! This does not suggest or imply that one does not need aid or support from God, but only that GOD HAS ALREADY PROVIDED IT and what we need to do is to accept it! Because when one HAS CONTENTMENT -- "sufficient strength, ability, power to do whatever needs to be done" -- one may BE CONTENT -- "satisfied with his condition"!

Sandra F. Cobble

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for May 24 and 25 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for May 24 and 25

World  English  Bible

May 24

Judges 5, 6

Jdg 5:1 Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,

Jdg 5:2 Because the leaders took the lead in Israel, because the people offered themselves willingly, be blessed, Yahweh!

Jdg 5:3 Hear, you kings! Give ear, you princes! I, even I, will sing to Yahweh. I will sing praise to Yahweh, the God of Israel.

Jdg 5:4 Yahweh, when you went forth out of Seir, when you marched out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, the sky also dropped. Yes, the clouds dropped water.

Jdg 5:5 The mountains quaked at the presence of Yahweh, even Sinai, at the presence of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

Jdg 5:6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied. The travelers walked through byways.

Jdg 5:7 The rulers ceased in Israel. They ceased until I, Deborah, arose; Until I arose a mother in Israel.

Jdg 5:8 They chose new gods. Then war was in the gates. Was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?

Jdg 5:9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel, who offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless Yahweh!

Jdg 5:10 Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys, you who sit on rich carpets, and you who walk by the way.

Jdg 5:11 Far from the noise of archers, in the places of drawing water, there they will rehearse the righteous acts of Yahweh, Even the righteous acts of his rule in Israel. Then the people of Yahweh went down to the gates.

Jdg 5:12 Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, utter a song! Arise, Barak, and lead away your captives, you son of Abinoam.

Jdg 5:13 Then a remnant of the nobles and the people came down. Yahweh came down for me against the mighty.

Jdg 5:14 Those whose root is in Amalek came out of Ephraim, after you, Benjamin, among your peoples. Governors come down out of Machir. Those who handle the marshal's staff came out of Zebulun.

Jdg 5:15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah. As was Issachar, so was Barak. They rushed into the valley at his feet. By the watercourses of Reuben, there were great resolves of heart.

Jdg 5:16 Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the whistling for the flocks? At the watercourses of Reuben There were great searchings of heart.

Jdg 5:17 Gilead lived beyond the Jordan. Why did Dan remain in ships? Asher sat still at the haven of the sea, and lived by his creeks.

Jdg 5:18 Zebulun was a people that jeopardized their lives to the deaths; Naphtali also, on the high places of the field.

Jdg 5:19 The kings came and fought, then the kings of Canaan fought at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo. They took no plunder of silver.

Jdg 5:20 From the sky the stars fought. From their courses, they fought against Sisera.

Jdg 5:21 The river Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. My soul, march on with strength.

Jdg 5:22 Then the horse hoofs stamped because of the prancings, the prancings of their strong ones.

Jdg 5:23 Curse Meroz, said the angel of Yahweh. Curse bitterly its inhabitants, because they didn't come to help Yahweh, to help Yahweh against the mighty.

Jdg 5:24 Jael shall be blessed above women, the wife of Heber the Kenite; blessed shall she be above women in the tent.

Jdg 5:25 He asked for water. She gave him milk. She brought him butter in a lordly dish.

Jdg 5:26 She put her hand to the tent peg, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer. With the hammer she struck Sisera. She struck through his head. Yes, she pierced and struck through his temples.

Jdg 5:27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay. At her feet he bowed, he fell. Where he bowed, there he fell down dead.

Jdg 5:28 Through the window she looked out, and cried: Sisera's mother looked through the lattice. Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why do the wheels of his chariots wait?

Jdg 5:29 Her wise ladies answered her, Yes, she returned answer to herself,

Jdg 5:30 Have they not found, have they not divided the spoil? A lady, two ladies to every man; to Sisera a spoil of dyed garments, A spoil of dyed garments embroidered, Of dyed garments embroidered on both sides, on the necks of the spoil?

Jdg 5:31 So let all your enemies perish, Yahweh, but let those who love him be as the sun when it rises forth in its strength. The land had rest forty years.

Jdg 6:1 The children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: and Yahweh delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

Jdg 6:2 The hand of Midian prevailed against Israel; and because of Midian the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and the caves, and the strongholds.

Jdg 6:3 So it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east; they came up against them;

Jdg 6:4 and they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, until you come to Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor donkey.

Jdg 6:5 For they came up with their livestock and their tents; they came in as locusts for multitude; both they and their camels were without number: and they came into the land to destroy it.

Jdg 6:6 Israel was brought very low because of Midian; and the children of Israel cried to Yahweh.

Jdg 6:7 It happened, when the children of Israel cried to Yahweh because of Midian,

Jdg 6:8 that Yahweh sent a prophet to the children of Israel: and he said to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;

Jdg 6:9 and I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land;

Jdg 6:10 and I said to you, I am Yahweh your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you have not listened to my voice.

Jdg 6:11 The angel of Yahweh came, and sat under the oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained to Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

Jdg 6:12 The angel of Yahweh appeared to him, and said to him, Yahweh is with you, you mighty man of valor.

Jdg 6:13 Gideon said to him, Oh, my lord, if Yahweh is with us, why then has all this happened to us? and where are all his wondrous works which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not Yahweh bring us up from Egypt? but now Yahweh has cast us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian.

Jdg 6:14 Yahweh looked at him, and said, Go in this your might, and save Israel from the hand of Midian: have not I sent you?

Jdg 6:15 He said to him, Oh, Lord, with which shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house.

Jdg 6:16 Yahweh said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall strike the Midianites as one man.

Jdg 6:17 He said to him, If now I have found favor in your sight, then show me a sign that it is you who talk with me.

Jdg 6:18 Please don't go away, until I come to you, and bring out my present, and lay it before you. He said, I will wait until you come again.

Jdg 6:19 Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of meal: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out to him under the oak, and presented it.

Jdg 6:20 The angel of God said to him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth. He did so.

Jdg 6:21 Then the angel of Yahweh put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there went up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and the angel of Yahweh departed out of his sight.

Jdg 6:22 Gideon saw that he was the angel of Yahweh; and Gideon said, Alas, Lord Yahweh! because I have seen the angel of Yahweh face to face.

Jdg 6:23 Yahweh said to him, Peace be to you; don't be afraid: you shall not die.

Jdg 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there to Yahweh, and called it Yahweh is Peace: to this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Jdg 6:25 It happened the same night, that Yahweh said to him, Take your father's bull, even the second bull seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that is by it;

Jdg 6:26 and build an altar to Yahweh your God on the top of this stronghold, in the orderly manner, and take the second bull, and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.

Jdg 6:27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as Yahweh had spoken to him: and it happened, because he feared his father's household and the men of the city, so that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

Jdg 6:28 When the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah was cut down that was by it, and the second bull was offered on the altar that was built.

Jdg 6:29 They said one to another, Who has done this thing? When they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash has done this thing.

Jdg 6:30 Then the men of the city said to Joash, Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has broken down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the Asherah that was by it.

Jdg 6:31 Joash said to all who stood against him, Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? he who will contend for him, let him be put to death while it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him contend for himself, because one has broken down his altar.

Jdg 6:32 Therefore on that day he named him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal contend against him, because he has broken down his altar.

Jdg 6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east assembled themselves together; and they passed over, and encamped in the valley of Jezreel.

Jdg 6:34 But the Spirit of Yahweh came on Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him.

Jdg 6:35 He sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; and they also were gathered together after him: and he sent messengers to Asher, and to Zebulun, and to Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.

Jdg 6:36 Gideon said to God, If you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken,

Jdg 6:37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry on all the ground, then shall I know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you have spoken.

Jdg 6:38 It was so; for he rose up early on the next day, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.

Jdg 6:39 Gideon said to God, Don't let your anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once: Please let me make a trial just this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground let there be dew.

Jdg 6:40 God did so that night: for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. 


May 25

Judges 7, 8

Jdg 7:1 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people who were with him, rose up early, and encamped beside the spring of Harod: and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

Jdg 7:2 Yahweh said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hand, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, My own hand has saved me.

Jdg 7:3 Now therefore proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead. There returned of the people twenty-two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

Jdg 7:4 Yahweh said to Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down to the water, and I will try them for you there: and it shall be, that of whom I tell you, This shall go with you, the same shall go with you; and of whoever I tell you, This shall not go with you, the same shall not go.

Jdg 7:5 So he brought down the people to the water: and Yahweh said to Gideon, Everyone who laps of the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set him by himself; likewise everyone who bows down on his knees to drink.

Jdg 7:6 The number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down on their knees to drink water.

Jdg 7:7 Yahweh said to Gideon, By the three hundred men who lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand; and let all the people go every man to his place.

Jdg 7:8 So the people took food in their hand, and their trumpets; and he sent all the men of Israel every man to his tent, but retained the three hundred men: and the camp of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

Jdg 7:9 It happened the same night, that Yahweh said to him, Arise, go down into the camp; for I have delivered it into your hand.

Jdg 7:10 But if you fear to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp:

Jdg 7:11 and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your will hands be strengthened to go down into the camp. Then went he down with Purah his servant to the outermost part of the armed men who were in the camp.

Jdg 7:12 The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand which is on the seashore for multitude.

Jdg 7:13 When Gideon had come, behold, there was a man telling a dream to his fellow; and he said, Behold, I dreamed a dream; and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came to the tent, and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down, so that the tent lay flat.

Jdg 7:14 His fellow answered, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: into his hand God has delivered Midian, and all the army.

Jdg 7:15 It was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and its interpretation, that he worshiped; and he returned into the camp of Israel, and said, Arise; for Yahweh has delivered into your hand the army of Midian.

Jdg 7:16 He divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put into the hands of all of them trumpets, and empty pitchers, with torches within the pitchers.

Jdg 7:17 He said to them, Look on me, and do likewise: and behold, when I come to the outermost part of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so you shall do.

Jdg 7:18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, For Yahweh and for Gideon.

Jdg 7:19 So Gideon, and the hundred men who were with him, came to the outermost part of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch, when they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and broke in pieces the pitchers that were in their hands.

Jdg 7:20 The three companies blew the trumpets, and broke the pitchers, and held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands with which to blow; and they cried, The sword of Yahweh and of Gideon.

Jdg 7:21 They stood every man in his place around the camp; and all the army ran; and they shouted, and put them to flight.

Jdg 7:22 They blew the three hundred trumpets, and Yahweh set every man's sword against his fellow, and against all the army; and the army fled as far as Beth Shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

Jdg 7:23 The men of Israel were gathered together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after Midian.

Jdg 7:24 Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim, saying, Come down against Midian, and take before them the waters, as far as Beth Barah, even the Jordan. So all the men of Ephraim were gathered together, and took the waters as far as Beth Barah, even the Jordan.

Jdg 7:25 They took the two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they killed at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian: and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon beyond the Jordan.

Jdg 8:1 The men of Ephraim said to him, Why have you treated us this way, that you didn't call us, when you went to fight with Midian? They rebuked him sharply.

Jdg 8:2 He said to them, What have I now done in comparison with you? Isn't the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer?

Jdg 8:3 God has delivered into your hand the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison with you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.

Jdg 8:4 Gideon came to the Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men who were with him, faint, yet pursuing.

Jdg 8:5 He said to the men of Succoth, Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.

Jdg 8:6 The princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?

Jdg 8:7 Gideon said, Therefore when Yahweh has delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.

Jdg 8:8 He went up there to Penuel, and spoke to them in like manner; and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered.

Jdg 8:9 He spoke also to the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.

Jdg 8:10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their armies with them, about fifteen thousand men, all who were left of all the army of the children of the east; for there fell one hundred twenty thousand men who drew sword.

Jdg 8:11 Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and struck the army; for the army was secure.

Jdg 8:12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled; and he pursued after them; and he took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and confused all the army.

Jdg 8:13 Gideon the son of Joash returned from the battle from the ascent of Heres.

Jdg 8:14 He caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him: and he described for him the princes of Succoth, and its elders, seventy-seven men.

Jdg 8:15 He came to the men of Succoth, and said, See Zebah and Zalmunna, concerning whom you taunted me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are weary?

Jdg 8:16 He took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth.

Jdg 8:17 He broke down the tower of Penuel, and killed the men of the city.

Jdg 8:18 Then said he to Zebah and Zalmunna, What kind of men were they whom you killed at Tabor? They answered, They were like you. Each one resembled the children of a king.

Jdg 8:19 He said, They were my brothers, the sons of my mother: as Yahweh lives, if you had saved them alive, I would not kill you.

Jdg 8:20 He said to Jether his firstborn, Up, and kill them. But the youth didn't draw his sword; for he feared, because he was yet a youth.

Jdg 8:21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise and fall on us; for as the man is, so is his strength. Gideon arose, and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on their camels' necks.

Jdg 8:22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule over us, both you, and your son, and your son's son also; for you have saved us out of the hand of Midian.

Jdg 8:23 Gideon said to them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: Yahweh shall rule over you.

Jdg 8:24 Gideon said to them, I would make a request of you, that you would give me every man the earrings of his spoil. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.)

Jdg 8:25 They answered, We will willingly give them. They spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his spoil.

Jdg 8:26 The weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold, besides the crescents, and the pendants, and the purple clothing that was on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were about their camels' necks.

Jdg 8:27 Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel played the prostitute after it there; and it became a snare to Gideon, and to his house.

Jdg 8:28 So Midian was subdued before the children of Israel, and they lifted up their heads no more. The land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.

Jdg 8:29 Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house.

Jdg 8:30 Gideon had seventy sons conceived from his body; for he had many wives.

Jdg 8:31 His concubine who was in Shechem, she also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech.

Jdg 8:32 Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Jdg 8:33 It happened, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and played the prostitute after the Baals, and made Baal Berith their god.

Jdg 8:34 The children of Israel didn't remember Yahweh their God, who had delivered them out of the hand of all their enemies on every side;

Jdg 8:35 neither did they show kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shown to Israel. 


May 24, 25

John 5

Joh 5:1 After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Joh 5:2 Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, "Bethesda," having five porches.

Joh 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water;

Joh 5:4 for an angel of the Lord went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was made whole of whatever disease he had.

Joh 5:5 A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years.

Joh 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to be made well?"

Joh 5:7 The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I'm coming, another steps down before me."

Joh 5:8 Jesus said to him, "Arise, take up your mat, and walk."

Joh 5:9 Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.

Joh 5:10 So the Jews said to him who was cured, "It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat."

Joh 5:11 He answered them, "He who made me well, the same said to me, 'Take up your mat, and walk.' "

Joh 5:12 Then they asked him, "Who is the man who said to you, 'Take up your mat, and walk' ?"

Joh 5:13 But he who was healed didn't know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place.

Joh 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you."

Joh 5:15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Joh 5:16 For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath.

Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father is still working, so I am working, too."

Joh 5:18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Joh 5:19 Jesus therefore answered them, "Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise.

Joh 5:20 For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

Joh 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires.

Joh 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son,

Joh 5:23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn't honor the Son doesn't honor the Father who sent him.

Joh 5:24 "Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and doesn't come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Joh 5:25 Most certainly, I tell you, the hour comes, and now is, when the dead will hear the Son of God's voice; and those who hear will live.

Joh 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself.

Joh 5:27 He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man.

Joh 5:28 Don't marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice,

Joh 5:29 and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

Joh 5:30 I can of myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous; because I don't seek my own will, but the will of my Father who sent me.

Joh 5:31 "If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid.

Joh 5:32 It is another who testifies about me. I know that the testimony which he testifies about me is true.

Joh 5:33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth.

Joh 5:34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man. However, I say these things that you may be saved.

Joh 5:35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

Joh 5:36 But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John, for the works which the Father gave me to accomplish, the very works that I do, testify about me, that the Father has sent me.

Joh 5:37 The Father himself, who sent me, has testified about me. You have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form.

Joh 5:38 You don't have his word living in you; because you don't believe him whom he sent.

Joh 5:39 "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.

Joh 5:40 Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life.

Joh 5:41 I don't receive glory from men.

Joh 5:42 But I know you, that you don't have God's love in yourselves.

Joh 5:43 I have come in my Father's name, and you don't receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

Joh 5:44 How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don't seek the glory that comes from the only God?

Joh 5:45 "Don't think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you, even Moses, on whom you have set your hope.

Joh 5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote about me.

Joh 5:47 But if you don't believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"