Sunday, October 1, 2017


Jack Davis

Abigail made such a marvelous prophetic statement, that began to speak to my heart a message on life in I Samuel 25:28-30. “I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling. And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee…”.

Abigail said this after hearing of the ill-treatment her husband Nabal (fool) had given to David and his men. David and his men had been a wall of protection to Nabal’s shepherds and his sheep out in the wilds. They deserved some provisions in appreciation of their valuable service. Well, it seems that David had decided to go take his payment out of Nabal’s hide so to speak, when Abigail met them as a peacemaker and intercessor. She knew that David had been anointed to reign. She, no doubt, had heard that a lion and a bear and Goliath could not kill him. She evidently knew that he often escaped the attempts of  Saul to take his life.

Thank God for the bundle of life. The great king of Egypt could not slay the baby Moses. Neither could Herod take the life of baby Jesus, nor the Jews or Pilate get rid of Him as a young man. He laid His life down for us. Praise God for the record of the two witnesses of Rev. 11. The beast of the bottomless pit shall not be able to kill them until they have finished their testimony. Are we not kept by the power of God? “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name … Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies … O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved” Ps. 103:1,4; 66:8,9.

Oh yes, He powerfully holds those He has redeemed -Jn. 10:28-29. Those that have been reconciled by His death are saved by His life – Rom. 5:9-10. We, who were by nature children of wrath and appointed unto death and judgment, are alive forevermore, because Jesus came and gave His life a ransom. He, tasting death for every man, has met for us our appointment with wrath, death and judgment – Heb. 8:26-28. I enjoy considering the way Paul expressed the bundle of life into which we have been brought. “For God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” – I Thess. 5:9-10.

Abigail successfully entreated David to not take revenge, even though Nabal had rudely refused David’s reasonable request. It was good for Abigail that David took advice from this woman. He accepted it with the attitude that only divine wisdom can give. James 3:17, “The wisdom from above is easy to be intreated.” David even acknowledged that God had sent her. Abigail had brought provisions to David and his men to sustain them. Shortly thereafter Nabal died. Later we read that David sent and communed with Abigail and she became his wife. We, like Abigail, have heard of Jesus and believed the true report. We know that He is destined to reign. We also know of His rejection and ill-treatment. We are drawn to Him by love’s strong cord and gladly bow to Him, He has also sent and communed with us. Praise God we have the joyous privilege of being bound with Him in the bundle of life.

Abigail’s name has been given to mean “Father of joy; source or cause of joy.” As in the Hebrew things seem to be worded backward, may we not read it “joy of the Father?” When we think of Jesus being the Father’s delight even before the foundation of the world, we realize what gives the Father the greatest joy. As we let Him be our source of joy, we become a cause of joy to the Father. How wonderfully blessed we are when we find in him, who is the resurrection and the life, our joy of life and living. He, who for the “joy set before him endured the cross” – Heb. 12:2. Since He has risen again for our justification, we joy in God through Him – Rom. 5:11. We are blessed to realize “joy unspeakable and full of glory,” out of faith in and love for Jesus – I Pet. 1:8. The apostle Paul spoke of some of the Lord’s precious jewels as “his joy and crown of rejoicing” – I Thess. 2:19-20; Phil. 4:1.

The bundle of life considered in New Testament terms answer for us questions about life. What is you  life? With this question I think of life’s substance. James suggests that our earthly existence is as “a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” – James 4:14. Paul preaching at Athens, “Jesus and the resurrection,” spoke of God that made the world, giving “to all life, and breath, and all things.” He also said, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being,” but we, by faith, find Jesus Christ to be our source of real life – Gal. 2:20. He is the one that gives to our lives a better and an enduring substance.  There is the saying that “life is what you make it,” but for us the best life is what we let Him make it.

Where is your life? Here I think of life’s security. Jesus said, “because I live, ye shall live also.” What promise can give us a greater sense of security than to know that Our “life is hid with Christ in God.”

Who is your life? I think here of life’s sustenance. Rejoicing with joy we read in Col. 3, that “when Christ who is our life, shall appear,” we shall appear with Him in glory, but what keeps us going spiritually in the meantime? Is it not His living in us? Oh, yes, He is indeed the bread of life, and we have the privilege and need to feed on Him daily  – Jn. 6:35. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins … Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ …” – Eph. 2:1,5. What a mighty work God has wrought, in providing that all who trust in Him be brought into this bundle of life. What a marvelous change God has made and we enjoy by faith in Him. We who were spiritually dead, are now alive forevermore. Verses two and three of Ephesians two describe the condition and conduct of those spiritually dead. How could a dead man earn any favour from God? We could not contact, communicate, or claim any relationship in acceptance with God. We were like Nabal; our foolish heart was darkened. What a change! We may now walk in newness of LIFE. In God’s purpose, Jesus is to be our object of living – II Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 14:7-9. He is, when we find life’s satisfaction and security in Him – Heb. 13:5-6.

SUBMISSION of life: “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” – Phill. 1:20-21. We seem to have expressed here, the life of one completely submitted, totally committed hence entirely consumed of the Lord. What higher standard for victorious living could there be? He who said, “follow me as I follow Christ,” wrote, “For me to live is Christ.” This is descriptive of the life of a real winner. This can only be said of one who truly lets Christ do the living.

SUMMIT OF LIFE: The highest attainments and greatest achievements of life are everlasting. He has purposed to bring those bound with Him in the bundle of life to an everlasting throne. “They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” – Rom. 5:17. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him” – James 1:12. “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” – Rev. 2:10. Glory to  God, Hallelujah!


Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas

God’s word in Old Testament times had much to say about “sacrificing.” The word “sacrifice” in the Hebrew language means “to kill, to offer or slay- a sacrificial present, something brought near the altar, or to bestow a donation, gift, or present.” Bible characters such as Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob all brought blood sacrifices to the Lord to express their gratitude or to simply worship Him or invoke Him to forgive sin.

To Moses God gave the order of the sacrifices which Israel was to observe beginning with the Passover Lamb in Exodus 12:5. The children of Israel had been held in bondage as slaves in Egypt for over 400 years. On the night of their deliverance by God, who appointed Moses to lead them out, God instructed them to sacrifice a lamb for each household. The explicit instructions given in Exodus 12:1-13 are summarized in this: On the 10th day of Abib (April) of the Jewish calendar, each family was to take a lamb of the first year, without blemish according to the number of souls in each household. This lamb was to be kept up in a pen and scrutinized for any flaw for four days, as the sacrifice had to be perfect before God. On the night God would pour out His wrath on the Egyptians, Israel would roast the lamb and sprinkle the blood upon the doorposts of their houses and on the tops of the door frames, and this would secure them when God passed over Egypt to judge and kill each firstborn child, Israel would be kept safe because of the blood. In verse 13, God says to them, “...when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”

In Leviticus after Israel was delivered from bondage into the wilderness God spoke to them and told them of His order of sacrifice for their sins. All these offerings are wondrous pictures of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins. There are five offerings: the burnt offering, which was the highest type of offering, was a voluntary offering, and is the greatest example of Christ’s offering. Being a voluntary offering, speaks of Christ’s willingness to do His Father’s will, regardless of the suffering it entailed. The bullock was the greatest type of voluntary offering any of the people could bring. This animal meant so much to a family: their beast of burden, plowing and pulling and many other tasks that only this great beast could do. Christ was the faithful ox of God. He was always willingly doing the Father’s will.

The other offerings announced by God for Israel in the book of Leviticus were the Meal offering, Peace offering, Trespass offering, and Sin offering. These all portray Christ’s death for us in some particular way. For example Christ gave up all He had with the Father to become the Sin offering to atone for our sin. The word “sacrifice” means - The act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else more important. The Hebrew word used for sacrifice means, “A forfeiture, giving up, relinquishment, surrender or loss.” In Philippians 2:5-8, we read of the seven steps downward Christ willingly took to become our Saviour. Read these steps there, and see what Christ gave up for our salvation. He gave up all this glory to save us and was perfectly obedient to His Father’s will. Hebrews 10:7 says, “Then said I (Christ Jesus), Lo I come to do thy will, O God.” In verses 10,12, &14 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Christ once for all. But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. For by one offering He hath perfected (completed, consecrated, finished) forever them that are sanctified (set apart to God, to make holy).” II Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He hath made him, Who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

God does not ask us to bring blood sacrifices now, but there are other sacrifices that He is well pleased with. Christ Jesus is truly our example of what sacrifice really means. Sacrifice is spelled “LOVE.” The Lord does not ask us to sacrifice anything to gain or keep our salvation, but He does ask us to sacrifice because of our love for Him and others. Romans 12:1-2 is one of the greatest texts that shows this, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”

One of the greatest examples of “sacrifice” besides Jesus Christ is Apostle Paul. He sacrificed his life to spread the gospel all over the known world. Philippians 2:17 says, “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith; I joy and rejoice with you all.” In II Cor. 11:23-33,+ Paul innumerated some of the sufferings he endured to sacrifice his life to preach the Gospel. In Philippians 2:25-30, Paul speaks about Epaphroditus who sacrificed so much for the Gospel’s sake. It says that he was burdened that the people of God in Philippi were so concerned, when they heard that he was ill. Verse 30 states, “Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his own life..,” Many today are called of the Lord to do the will of God even when it brings suffering and sorrow.

Other sacrifices the Lord is pleased with and asks of us are found in Hebrews 13:15, where it says, “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Psalms 141:1-2 says, “LORD, I cry unto thee; make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Psalms 107:21,22 says, “Oh that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” Note that this is a sacrifice. Often times we don’t feel like praising the Lord, but if we begin to praise Him, often victory will come into our hearts. If you can’t praise Him because you are in pain, or things are bad - Praise Him for Who He is and His faithfulness! Oh, let us praise the Lord continually for all His wondrous works He has done for us.

In Hebrews 13:16, Paul says, “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” The word “communicate” means in the Greek - “partnership or distribution.” The Amplified Version says, “Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are well-pleasing to God.” This is such a blessing in an assembly of believers - to share whatever we have to bless others. Right at this present time our people in the church who have vegetable gardens are sharing their produce with all the rest of us. This is just one example of what communicating means. In the early church Christians were suffering hunger and confiscation of their property by Rome, and persecution unto death. In many places of the world these very things are happening right now. When yielding to the Holy Spirit’s direction we may feel led to help those who are needy. Let us be willing to sacrifice in what ever way God leads us. But to do good and communicate forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Go For It

“Go for it”, they say. “Grab everything you can.” That is the way of this world. There is nothing inherently wrong with success in this world, but it is not lasting. There is however something worth ‘going for.’

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Paul lets us know what he is going for. To ‘apprehend’ means to take eagerly, to seize. Jesus has taken hold of your life for a purpose, and He wants you to seize on that same purpose. He wants us to lay hold of everything that He has made available to us. Earlier in the same chapter, Paul let’s us know that he counts all the things that the world considers important, as useless. These things were unimportant to Paul, because they would get in the way of getting all the Jesus had for him.

This message is not at all popular in the society we live in today. Even many Christians are not willing to give up any of their dreams for Jesus. There is a great fallacy that we can just put Jesus on the back burner, and still receive the best He has. The truth is that some of the things we wanted in our lives will have to be put aside if we are to go for God’s best.

I am not intending to discourage anyone from go after the things that they want in this life, but it is important to keep everything in it’s proper priority. If something in this life begins to distract us from seeking the Lord’s best, then that something should be considered to be worthless.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27

If we want to win the prize, we need to ‘go for it.’ The prize is worth giving our all for. It is worth giving up what ever gets in the way. Sometimes it is hard to see exactly what the benefit will be. We have to walk by faith. The worth is found in God’s Word. Attaining to some great thing in this world may have it’s moment, but it will pass. Satisfaction may be found in the riches and fame of this world, but it will pass. In eternity nothing of this world will exist, much less have any value.

If we are going to spend our time and energy going for something, let’s make it something lasting. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Gordon Crook


Pastor Debra Isenbletter
Christian Assembly, Springfield, Missouri

Ruth 4:13 – “So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bare a son.”

I have divided this verse into five wonderful portions: The Redemption; The Marriage; The Union; The Conception; The Fruit. There is an order and progression seen for each leads to the next event. Each of these reveals the Lord’s Provision and Purpose, here in this chapter it is seen in connection with Ruth but these same things are a picture of the Lord’s Purpose for our lives also. Jesus is our Boaz and we are His Ruth.

The Redemption: “So Boaz took Ruth,” The word “took” has several wonderful meanings!
The first meaning is “to buy” – This is her redemption. This is the beginning, it is the foundation, it is the basis for each wonderful blessing that follows. Boaz fulfilled his obligation as her “kinsman-redeemer,” and when we see this in connection with ourselves we see that we have been redeemed, and bought with a price (I Co 6:20; 7:23) and are no longer the servants of men. Jesus has fulfilled his obligation and satisfied God’s Law and God’s Justice fully and completely.

The second meaning for “took” is “to accept.” This is her espousal. Boaz can “accept” her into his household, she is his now. The espousal is made public and this “virtuous woman” (3:11) has been accepted by Boaz as the woman he will marry. This is a public declaration based upon his redemption and her acceptance of that redemption. The Apostle Paul has set before all who have been redeemed this next step that draws us closer in our relationship with our Lord. It is our espousal to Christ and Paul’s gospel will prepare us and present us as that “chaste virgin” (II Co 11:2), that “virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:11; Prov 31). By faith we know and believe that we are now “accepted in the beloved” (Eph 1:6). That word “accepted” comes from “charis” which is grace and it can mean “made for the pleasure of.” Brother A. S.  Copley translates this as “made lovely” in the beloved. What a wonderful testimony to the full provision of grace in our lives!

The third meaning for “took” is “to take away; to take up or to seize.” This is Resurrection and Translation! This meaning points to something that occurs quickly, to a moment, to a trumpet, to a change, to a resurrection. Paul describes this as a mystery, saying that not all die but all will be changed, this “mortal must put on immortality.” (I Co 15:51-53). Later Paul describes this great hope for believes, a hope for those who have died and are waiting for resurrection and to those that are waiting for translation. He describes the force and power of that moment, the descent of Christ, the shout, the voice, the trumpet, the resurrection of the dead and those that are caught up (I Th 4:16-17). The word “took” which means to be “taken away; or “seized,” describes this event and the power of the Lord as he catches up His saints. This must take place before the wedding. Boaz “took” Ruth and he did so beginning with her redemption, going on to her acceptance of him and by him and concluding with the last meaning. How wonderfully this pictures the events that will take place in our lives!

The Marriage: “and she was his wife.” This is the Wedding! The bridegroom has taken a bride, Jesus spoke several times of a wedding, of a bride and bridegroom. He said: “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom” (John 3:29). In Matthew 25 Jesus spoke of the ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, and there in the midst of that teaching is a wonderful statement, “Behold the bridegroom cometh” (Mat 25:6). There will be a wedding! John describes the marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:7-9) and the testimony concerning the one who is the bride, he says “his wife hath made herself ready” (Rev 19:7)! Ruth did this all through the book of Ruth, until the work was finished and Boaz took and made her his wife. We do this, it is the work of grace in our lives that prepares us and helps us prepare our wedding garments. John describes her garments: “And to her was granted (this is grace) that she should be arrayed in fine linen clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” (Rev 19:8). I can see in this description two garments, an outer garment that others can see and an inner garment that the Bridegroom sees. The outer garment is her sanctification: seen in the “fine linen clean (she is without spot or wrinkle – Eph 5:27) and white (radiant, magnificent – “changed into the same image from glory to glory” – II Co 3:18). The inner garment is her justification: it is the righteousness of Christ, who is “made unto us righteousness” (I Co 1:30) for we are the “righteousness of God in Him” (II Co 5:21). Her wedding garment is her beautiful testimony, for she though it is an outward garment, it reflects and inward beauty, for she is “all glorious within” (Ps 45:13-14).

The Union: “and when he went in unto her.” In this statement we have the marriage consummated. What this shows is the union of two, they have become one. Jesus spoke of this oneness. “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be perfect in one” (John 17:23) and Paul spoke of this oneness, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (I Co 6:17). Later he uses the marriage union to picture a great mystery, of Christ and His church. (Eph 5:30-32). Paul writes: “We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones …” – That is one union. Then Paul writes: “they two shall be one flesh.” – That is deeper union. The Marriage of Boaz and Ruth pictures this deeper union, that of Christ and His Bride.

The Conception: “the Lord gave her conception.” In this statement we see the result of that union, and it is only through this union that the Lord can make Ruth fruitful. The conception comes from the Lord and from the union of these two. In Moab Ruth must have been barren; she had no children from her first marriage. It is not until she makes the choices she does and separates herself from Moab and steps out in faith that the possibility of fruitfulness can take place. And it is the Lord who makes her fruitful, it is how He shows His approval. I think that her conception from the Lord can picture the fruitfulness of our lives. There are so many ways that we can “conceive” and bring forth fruit. There is the fruit that Jesus says glorifies the Father, and is proof of discipleship. (John 15:8). Paul says that the provision for our being able to bring forth fruit comes from our relationship with Christ, it is Christ in resurrection and our relationship to him that will bring forth “fruit unto God.” (Rom 7:4) It is this fruit that is holy fruit (Rom 6:22); it is “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22-23); it is fruit of righteousness (Phil 1:11); it is full fruitfulness, 100-fold fruitfulness (Mark 4:8). The blessing is seen, the fruitfulness is seen and it all comes from “the Lord,” it is based on His grace!

The Fruit: “and she bare a son.” Here is the culmination of that conception, it is a son. It is the continuance of a Promise that began in the Garden of Eden. Down through the years, God has been fulfilling this promise, through the union of two individuals. It is seen in God’s promise to Adam and Eve, His promise to Abraham, His renewal of that promise to Abraham’s descendents. God keeps His promises! Boaz kept the promise he made to Ruth, to “do all that thou requirest” (Ruth 3:11) and to the witnesses present at her redemption: “to raise up the name of the dead” (Ruth 4:10). In a sense this is resurrection fruit, fruit of the new creation. This “son” is the continuance of God’s great promise: It is the promise of a Son, a Seed, a King. From this child will come forth David! From David will come forth Christ, the Great Kinsman-Redeemer!
Continued next issue


Verta Giddings

Chapter 13:1-9 – Two Missionaries Sent

We read in Acts 11:19-26 where the church in Antioch (in Syria) was growing. Barnabas had gone to Tarsus to find Saul, and brought him back there. Now in Acts 13:1-2, we read that these two along with three others, called prophets and teachers, were fasting and praying. The Holy Ghost gave the word that they should separate Barnabas and Saul for the work for which they had already been called. Barnabas was a dedicated believer as you remember. The Lord had shown Saul that he would witness to Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel – Acts 9:15. The Lord did the calling, the others recognized the call, laid hands on them, and sent them forth, thus identifying with them – Acts 13:3. This is the way missionary work should be done. You can see how Acts 1:8 is being carried out. Philip went to Samaria, Peter to Caesarea, then those who were persecuted went to other areas, Antioch for example, now they would go to other parts of the earth.

Barnabas was from the country of Cyprus – Acts 4:36 – so it was not surprising that they headed in that direction. Seleucia was the seaport from which they sailed. Their first stop was Salamis – Acts 13:5 – where they preached in the synagogues. The reason for this is, they would find the Jews worshiping there. They wanted then to hear about the Lord Jesus. Notice John Mark was with them. He was the son of Mary, the sister of Barnabas - Acts 12:12; Col. 4:10.

Acts 13:6-13 gives the account of their work at Paphos, another city in Cyprus. They were definitely on enemy territory now. Here they met a false prophet, named Bar-jesus, also called Elymas. He was a Jew, but was a sorcerer, one into witchcraft. He was with a deputy, a government official, whose name was Sergius Paulus. This deputy called for Barnabas and Saul. He wanted to hear the Word of God. How thrilled these missionaries must have been to know that. The sorcerer had other ideas. He tried to turn this deputy from the faith. We don’t know what all he did to hinder him. Probably he was afraid of losing his power over Sergius Paulus. Saul got the victory over this evil one. By the power of the Holy Ghost, he spoke right to him, calling him a child of the devil and enemy of all righteousness. Paul (his name by which we will call him from now on) knew he had tried to keep the deputy from believing on Jesus. Paul said that the hand of the Lord was upon him and that he would be blind for a season. This happened immediately. He had to have someone lead him around.

What was the result? The deputy could see the real power of God at work. He believed the message Paul and Barnabas had been preaching. It says he was astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. The sorcerer’s natural eyes were blinded, but the deputy’s spiritual eyes were opened. He knew that all they were teaching was absolutely true. Just think, he was saved.

Many times when people become interested in the gospel, there will be people around who would try to discourage those from believing. Sometimes boys and girls want to be saved, but other folks try to hinder them. These could be family, people in the neighbor- hood, in school, or just anybody. We must not listen to them. Then there are times when saved boys and girls can be hindered by those who try to keep them from coming to hear the Word of the Lord, like Sunday School, or church. Don’t even listen to the ones who try to keep you away from the Lord’s things. They are working against the Lord.

Verse 13 says that John Mark went back to Jerusalem. We aren’t sure why he became discouraged. Perhaps he was too young to go through all those hardships. Then again, he might not have been called to the work like Barnabas and Paul were. We will hear more about John Mark later.

It is interesting to see that now Saul the “asked for” became Paul “the little.” Saul is the Hebrew name, while Paul is the Roman name.


Earlene. Davis

Ephesians 5:29 – “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:” We do take care of our bodies, well, it is the only one we have. As we get older, we realize our body is aging. Our body is not what it use to be. Some things are more difficult to do and some things are no longer possible to do. The fact is, the body is on the way to the grave, that is unless we are translated. When we were young we didn’t think about one day we would grow old. We were strong and capable to do what we wanted to do. We read in Genesis 2:7, “the Lord God form man of the dust of the ground.” And in Genesis. 3:19, it says “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” That is a fact of our natural life. Hebrews 9:27, “it is appointed unto man once to die.” But we have HOPE.

I Peter 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Believers on the Lord Jesus Christ have a lively hope of being raised from the grave, and the basis or guarantee of our hope is the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

I Corinthians 15:20-22 - “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” God’s wonderful plan of salvation for man is all conclusive, a full salvation, redeemed body, soul & spirit (man’s three-fold being, I Thess. 5:3). When we pass from this life, our body goes to the grave, but our soul and spirit immediately goes to be with the Lord in heaven.

II Corinthians 5:6, 8 – “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: … We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” Paul desired to be with the Lord which he said was far better – Phil. 1:23. It is such a comfort to know when our believing love ones leave this earth, they are in heaven with the Lord and only knowing glory. But what about the body that is in the grave and our hope of being raised?

Romans 8:23,25 – “… even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for … the redemption of our body ...  we with patience wait for it.” The redemption of our body will be the completion of God salvation for which we long for and wait until then. Jesus said, In My Father’s house are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you … I will come again and receive you unto myself – Jn. 14:2-3. In I Corinthians 15:44 we read “It is sown (or buried) a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” What will that heavenly body be like?

I John. 3:2-3 – “… it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he (Christ) is pure.” We will have a glorified body like Christ’s. When He appeared to different ones after He was raised from the dead and had His glorified body. He bore the scars of His crucifixion – Jn. 20:27-29. In Lk. 24:39-43, He said, He had flesh and bones and He did eat before them. He walked and talked with the two on the road to Emmaus and later ate with them and then vanished out of their sight - Lk. 24:15-30. He also appeared standing in the disciples midst when the doors were locked & showed them His hands and His side – Jn. 20:19-20. They also witnessed Him going up, ascending into heaven and a cloud receiving Him out of their sight – Lk. 24:51 & Acts 1:9.

II Corinthians 5:1 – “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” We believe what God has said. We have an eternal house in heaven, our glorified body.
Vs. 2-3 – “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked” (without a body). That glorified body will clothe the spirit already in heaven. The body and spirit united.
V. 4 – “For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” The promise of full salvation completed at the coming of Jesus. The redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory – Eph. 1:14.

Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live” – Jn. 5:25. “Every one which believeth may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day” – Jn. 6:40. Also “he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” – Jn. 11:25.

The words of Paul, “Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you” – II Cor. 4:14 – And I Corinthians 15:51-52 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” If there will be a last trumpet, there is a first, and as we read in verse 23, every man in his own order. Vs 15:53-54 – “… when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

I Thessalonians 4:13 – “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” We have hope. Vs. 14-16 –”For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (or precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” Will He shout, “Come unto Me?” I don’t know, but I do know, we claim this hope by faith, just as we do all that is ours that God has provided through Jesus Christ. Vs. 17-18 – “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” AMEN!