June 30, 2013 Bible Reading

June 30

Reading for Today:

1 Chronicles 23:1–25:31

Psalm 78:40-55

Proverbs 20:3

Acts 9:22-43

Notes:

1 Chronicles 25:1- the captains of the army. David relied on his mighty men for help (11:10). Asaph…Heman…Jeduthun. David’s 3 chief ministers of music (6:31–48). prophesy. This is not necessarily to be taken in a revelatory sense, but rather in the sense of proclamation and exhortation through the lyrics of their music (25:2, 3). Prophesying is not necessarily predicting the future or even speaking direct revelation. It is proclaiming truth (v. 5) to people (1 Cor. 14:3), and music is a vehicle for such proclamation in praise (v. 3). David and the leaders selected those most capable (v. 7) of leading the people to worship God through their music.

Psalm 78:41- limited the Holy One. The Israelites did this by doubting God’s power.

Psalm 78:42- did not remember His power. The generations of Israelites which left Egypt and eventually died in the wilderness were characterized by ignoring God’s previous acts of power and faithfulness. The following verses (vv. 42–55) rehearse the plagues and miracles of the Exodus from Egypt, which marvelously demonstrated God’s omnipotence and covenant love.

Acts 9:30- Caesarea. An important port city on the Mediterranean located 30 miles north of Joppa. As the capital of the Roman province of Judea and the home of the Roman procurator, it served as the headquarters of a large Roman garrison. sent him out to Tarsus. Paul disappeared from prominent ministry for several years, although he possibly founded some churches around Syria and Cilicia (15:23; Gal. 1:21).

DAY 30: How were the duties of the temple divided up?

Administrative Duties

Supervisors–1 Chronicles 23:4, 5

Bailiffs–1 Chronicles 23:4, 5

Judges–1 Chronicles 23:4, 5

Public administrators–1 Chronicles 26:29, 30

Ministerial Duties

Priests–1 Chronicles 24:1, 2

Prophets–1 Chronicles 25:1

Assistants for sacrifices–1 Chronicles 23:29–31

Assistants for purification ceremonies–1 Chronicles 23:27, 28

Service Duties

Bakers of the Bread of the Presence–1 Chronicles 23:29

Those who checked the weights and measures–1 Chronicles 23:29

Custodians–1 Chronicles 23:28

Financial Duties

Those who cared for the treasury–1 Chronicles 26:20

Those who cared for dedicated items–1 Chronicles 26:26–28

Artistic Duties

Musicians–1 Chronicles 25:6

Singers–1 Chronicles 25:7

Protective Duties

Temple guards–1 Chronicles 23:5

Guards for the gates and storehouses–1 Chronicles 26:12–18

Individual Assignments

Recording secretary–1 Chronicles 24:6

Chaplain to the king–1 Chronicles 25:4

Private prophet to the king–1 Chronicles 25:2

Captain of the guard–1 Chronicles 26:1

Chief officer of the treasury–1 Chronicles 26:23, 24

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Sacrificial Faith on Display

Sacrificial Faith on Display

[COLOR=Red]”In the same way was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works, when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:25-26).

It’s understandable that James would use Abraham as an illustration of living faith–especially to his predominately Jewish readers. Rahab, however, is a different story. She was a Gentile, a prostitute, a liar, and lived in the pagan city of Jericho. How could such a person illustrate true faith?

Rahab knew very little about the true God but what she knew, she believed, and what she believed, she acted on. She believed that God had led His people out of Egypt and defeated the Amorite kings (Josh. 2:9-10). She openly confessed that the Lord “is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (v. 11). Her faith was vindicated when she aided the Hebrew spies who entered Jericho just prior to Joshua’s invasion.

Both Abraham and Rahab valued their faith in God above all else. Both were willing to sacrifice what mattered most to them: for Abraham it was Isaac; for Rahab it was her own life. Their obedience in the face of such great sacrifice proved the genuineness of their faith.

James calls each of us to examine ourselves to be sure we have a living faith. The acid test is whether your faith produces obedience. No matter what you claim, if righteousness doesn’t characterize your life, your faith is dead, not living. James likened that kind of faith to hypocrites who offer pious words to the needy but refuse to meet their needs; to demons, who believe the truth about God but are eternally lost; and to a lifeless, useless corpse. Those are strong analogies, but God does not want you to be deceived about the quality of your own faith.

I pray that you are rejoicing in the confidence that your faith is genuine. God bless you as you live each day in His wonderful grace.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask God for the grace and courage to face any sacrifice necessary as you live out your faith.

For Further Study:

Read Joshua 2:1-24; 6:1-27; and Matthew 1:1-5.

How did Rahab protect the spies?

How did God bless Rahab?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

Those Who Are Saved Are Few

Those Who Are Saved Are Few

Posted on June 29, 2013

by Mike Ratliff

5 And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching. (Mark 6:5-6 NASB)

Some say that the number of true Christians is determined by how many are members of a certain religious group. Others say that this number is determined by how many have met a certain checklist of religious requirements. These and many other Christian apologists come up with their own requirements. Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to go by what our Lord taught instead? The issue with all of these determining lists of requirements is that they are based on human merit in one way or another. However the Word of God tells us clearly that NO ONE is saved according to this.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB)

In this singularly profound passage we have God’s own determining factors for our salvation. What are they? Christians are save by God’s grace through faith. Neither of these factors are of our own doing in any way whatsoever. Why? This is a gift of God. If it had anything to do with us then it would be the result of works in one way or another. Why? God did it this way so that no one may boast. Are you in Christ? If you are then you are in Him according to God’s Grace through faith as a gift of God. You did nothing to earn or deserve it…nothing! Before His crucifixion, our Lord was asked, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” (Luke 13:23) This question could have been prompted by the subsiding numbers of faithful followers after our Lord’s hard preaching in John 6:66. His message to the people was not one of easy-believism. Instead, it was becoming more and more demanding in a way to discourage the half-hearted. In Matthew 7:14 He stated, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” These facts could have prompted the question in Luke 13:23. What was our Lord’s response?

24 ”Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 ”Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26 ”Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27 and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ 28 ”In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. 29 ”And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. 30 ”And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.”(Luke 13:24-30 NASB)

ἀγωνίζεσθε εἰσελθεῖν διὰ τῆς στενῆς θύρας, ὅτι πολλοί, λέγω ὑμῖν, ζητήσουσιν εἰσελθεῖν καὶ οὐκ ἰσχύσουσιν. ἀφʼ οὗ ἂν ἐγερθῇ ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης καὶ ἀποκλείσῃ τὴν θύραν καὶ ἄρξησθε ἔξω ἑστάναι καὶ κρούειν τὴν θύραν λέγοντες· κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν, καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ ὑμῖν· οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς πόθεν ἐστέ. τότε ἄρξεσθε λέγειν· ἐφάγομεν ἐνώπιόν σου καὶ ἐπίομεν καὶ ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις ἡμῶν ἐδίδαξας· καὶ ἐρεῖ λέγων ὑμῖν· οὐκ οἶδα [ὑμᾶς] πόθεν ἐστέ· ἀπόστητε ἀπʼ ἐμοῦ πάντες ἐργάται ἀδικίας. ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμὸς καὶ ὁ βρυγμὸς τῶν ὀδόντων, *ὅταν ὄψησθε Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Ἰσαὰκ καὶ Ἰακὼβ καὶ πάντας τοὺς προφήτας ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ, ὑμᾶς δὲ ἐκβαλλομένους ἔξω. καὶ ἥξουσιν ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν καὶ δυσμῶν καὶ ἀπὸ βορρᾶ καὶ νότου καὶ ἀνακλιθήσονται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ. καὶ ἰδοὺ εἰσὶν ἔσχατοι οἳ ἔσονται πρῶτοι καὶ εἰσὶν πρῶτοι οἳ ἔσονται ἔσχατοι (Luke 13:24-30 NA28)

In v24 the NASB translates the verb ἀγωνίζεσθε as “strive.” This verb is in present tense, imperative mood, and active voice, therefore, this is a command to do something in the future which involves continuous or repeated action. This word defines action of contention or struggle for victory. Is our Lord contradicting what the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8,9? No! Salvation cannot be according to merit so this striving to enter the narrow door is not in any way a suggestion that salvation could be earned or deserved through it. So, what is our Lord telling us? Salvation is solely by grace, not by works. However, those who are saved because they are justified by faith must also strive to enter the narrow gate, which is very difficult. The entering it is not what saves them, but all who are truly saved must, nevertheless, enter this difficult way. This is another description of the cost of discipleship. Entering the narrow gate is difficult because of its high cost in terms of human pride, the demand of walking in repentance, and because to do so puts believers in opposition to the world and its ways. Therefore, what is our Lord commanding us to do? All genuine believers are commanded to undertake a life of walking in repentance as they submit to the Lordship of Christ in all parts of their lives. This is why this is difficult and why so few respond to the real Gospel. Oh, the easy-believism versions of the gospel may fill up church pews or church rolls or evangelism success stories, but if the demands of Christ’s narrow door is laid before them, only a few would be willing to undertake it. This is why He also said that only those who take up their crosses and follow Him are really His disciples (Matthew 16:24-27; Luke 9:23-26).

In v25 our Lord uses the analogy of the master of the house rising and closing the door. Those who believed they were “in Christ” on their own terms were left outside. The genuine believers have already entered by this very narrow door while those not wanting to undertake a life of repentance and submission to the Lordship of Christ are outside knocking on the door to be let in. What was the response of the master? ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then those left outside will respond, “We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.” Of course, this is an analogy of the judgment when many will protest that they deserve entrance into heaven (cf. Matthew 7:21-23), but they are not our Lord’s disciples. They proved this by not entering by the narrow door. All of our Lord’s genuine believers do strive to enter by the narrow door. They may struggle mightily, but because they are the children of God, He gives them grace and the helper so that they are able. On the other hand, those religious people who are not sheep of our Lord’s hand will demand entrance based on their own merit, but they will be told, “‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’” No relationship ever existed between them and our Lord. They may have thought that there was because of their religiosity, but He will be emphatic in sending them to that place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So, according to our Lord’s response, are there only a few saved? If it is determined by some apologists that salvation is based on something other than what is clearly taught in scripture then those they represent are not genuine Christians. Those who take up their crosses, deny themselves, follow Jesus and enter by the narrow door prove they are authentic Christians as they live their lives as living sacrifices before the face of God.

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 NASB)

This passage is a wonderful example of what this crucified life is all about. I pray that all reading this will submit themselves to the Lordship of Christ, take up their own crosses and follow the Lord through His narrow door.

Soli Deo Gloria!

http://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/those-who-are-saved-are-few/

June 29, 2013 Bible Reading

June 29

Reading for Today:

1 Chronicles 21:1–22:19

Psalm 78:34-39

Proverbs 20:1-2

Acts 9:1-21

Notes:

1 Chronicles 21:1- Satan…moved. Second Samuel 24:1 reports that it was God who moved David. This apparent discrepancy is resolved by understanding that God sovereignly and permissively uses Satan to achieve His purposes. God uses Satan to judge sinners (Mark 4:15; 2 Cor. 4:4), to refine saints (Job 1:8–2:10; Luke 22:31, 32), to discipline those in the church (1 Cor. 5:1–5; 1 Tim. 1:20), and to further purify obedient believers (2 Cor. 12:7–10). Neither God nor Satan forced David to sin (James 1:13–15), but God allowed Satan to tempt David and he chose to sin. The sin surfaced his proud heart and God dealt with him for it. number Israel. David’s census brought tragedy because, unlike the census in Moses’ time (Num. 1; 2) which God had commanded, this census by David was to gratify his pride in the great strength of his army and consequent military power. He was also putting more trust in his forces than in his God. He was taking credit for his victories by the building of his great army. This angered God, who moved Satan to bring the sin to a head.

1 Chronicles 22:5- young. Solomon was born early in David’s reign (ca. 1000–990 B.C.) and was at this time 20 to 30 years of age. The magnificent and complex challenge of building such a monumental edifice with all its elements required an experienced leader for preparation. magnificent. David understood that the temple needed to reflect on earth something of God’s heavenly majesty, so he devoted himself to the collection of the plans and materials, tapping the vast amount of spoils from people he had conquered and cities he had sacked (vv. 14–16).

1 Chronicles 22:11–13- David’s spiritual charge to Solomon resembles the Lord’s exhortation to Joshua (Josh. 1:6–9). Solomon asked God for and received the very wisdom and understanding his father, David, desired for him (2 Chr. 1:7–12; 1 Kin. 3:3–14). He learned the value of such spiritual counsel and passed it on in Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13.

1 Chronicles 22:14– one hundred thousand…gold. Assuming a talent weighed about 75 pounds, this would be approximately 3,750 tons, a staggering amount of gold. one million. This would be approximately 37,500 tons of silver.

Proverbs 20:1- Wine…strong drink. This begins a new theme of temperance (23:20, 21, 29–35; 31:4, 5). Wine was grape juice mixed with water to dilute it, but strong drink was unmixed. While the use of these beverages is not specifically condemned (Deut. 14:26), being intoxicated always is (Is. 28:7). Rulers were not to drink, so their judgment would not be clouded nor their behavior less than exemplary (31:4, 5). mocker…brawler. “Mocker” is the same word as “scoffer” in 19:25, 29; a brawler is violent, loud, and uncontrolled. Both words describe the personality of the drunkard.

DAY 29: How did the apostle Paul come to faith in Jesus Christ?

The apostle Paul was originally named Saul, after the first king of Israel. He was born a Jew, studied in Jerusalem under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), and became a Pharisee (23:6).He was also a Roman citizen, a right he inherited from his father (22:8). Acts 9:1–19 records the external facts of his conversion (see also 22:1–22; 26:9–20). Philippians 3:1–14 records the internal spiritual conversion.

At the time of his conversion Saul was “still breathing threats and murder” against Christians (Acts 9:1; 1 Tim. 1:12, 13; 1 Cor. 15:9). He was in Damascus, the capital of Syria, which apparently had a large population of Jews, including Hellenist believers who fled Jerusalem to avoid persecution (Acts 9:2). He had letters authorizing him to seek out those “who were of the Way.” This description of Christianity, derived from Jesus’ description of Himself (John 14:6), appears several times in Acts (19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22).

The “light…from heaven” (v. 3) that struck him was the appearance of Jesus Christ in glory (22:6; 26:13) and was visible only to Saul (26:9).The voice that asked him, “Why are you persecuting Me?” was that of Jesus (v. 5). An inseparable union exists between Christ and His followers. Saul’s persecution represented a direct attack on Christ. Saul arose from that encounter, blinded by the light, and went in obedience to await the next step (v. 6).

Meanwhile, Ananias was being given divine instructions concerning Paul and Paul’s ministry. He is told that Saul is a “chosen vessel,” literally “a vessel of election” (v. 15). There was perfect continuity between Paul’s salvation and his service; God chose him to convey His grace to all men (Gal. 1:1; 1 Tim. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11). Paul used this same word 4 times (Rom. 9:21, 23; 2 Cor. 4:7; 2 Tim. 2:21). “Before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Paul began his ministry preaching to Jews (13:14; 14:1; 17:1, 10; 18:4; 19:8), but his primary calling was to Gentiles (Rom. 11:13; 15:16). God also called him to minister to kings such as Agrippa (25:23–26:32) and likely Caesar (25:10–12; 2 Tim. 4:16, 17).

Ananias went to Paul and “laying his hands on him,” he prayed for Paul’s healing and that he would “be filled with the Holy Spirit” (v. 17). He was then filled with the Spirit and empowered for service (2:4, 14; 4:8, 31; 6:5, 8).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Enjoying Friendship with God

Enjoying Friendship with God

[COLOR=Red]”Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone” (James 2:21-24).

Can you imagine life without friends–those precious people who love you despite your failings and who stand by you through joys and sorrows–those to whom you’ve committed yourself and whose companionship you treasure? They are without question one of God’s greatest gifts, yet there is an even greater gift: friendship with God Himself.

Jesus spoke of such a friendship in John 15:13-16, describing it as one of intimacy, mutual love, sacrifice, and commitment. In verse 14 He says, “You are My friends, if you do what I command you.” That’s the kind of friendship Abraham demonstrated when he obeyed God and prepared to offer Isaac as a sacrifice (Gen. 22:3-10). Isaac was the son through whom God’s covenant to Abraham would be fulfilled. Killing him would violate that covenant and call into question the character of God, whose Word forbids human sacrifice (Deut. 18:10). It took unquestioning trust for Abraham to obey God’s command. When he did, his faith was on display for all to see.

The Greek word translated “justified” in James 2:21 has two meanings: “to acquit” (treat as righteous) or “to vindicate” (demonstrate as righteous). James emphasized the second meaning. When Abraham believed God, he was justified by faith and acquitted of sin (Gen. 15:6). When he offered up Isaac, he was justified by works in that his faith was vindicated.

Faith is always the sole condition of salvation, but saving faith never stands alone–it is always accompanied by righteous works. That’s the test of true salvation and of friendship with God.

As a friend of God, treasure that relationship and be careful never to let sin rob you of its fullest joy.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Praise God for the privilege of being His friend.

For Further Study:

Read Genesis 22:1-19, noting the faith and obedience of Abraham.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Devotionals

Pope Francis has announced that he is moving towards giving sainthood

Pope Francis has announced that he is moving towards giving sainthood to the former Pope John Paul who in essence according to some was a false prophet preparing for the false church in the last days

June 28, 2013

The Vatican released a statement that the late Pope John Paul was being considered for sainthood. I spoke with broadcast partner Mike Gendron in Dallas, TX to find out the process for how the former Pope would qualify for sainthood and then I ask him was Pope John Paul qualified to be a saint.

Mike Gendron: The process to become a saint in [COLOR=green]Catholicism includes inquiries into the person’s life, reputation, and activities and then a thorough examination of the person’s written and spoken words. So, this should disqualify John Paul when you consider that he publicly declared that Allah was the one true god, he praised Mohammed as a true prophet, he declared that Jesus is not necessary for salvation when he said, “All who seek God with a sincere heart including those who do not know Christ will enter God’s Kingdom”.[/COLOR]:dizzy:

He also embraced [COLOR=Green]Evolution. Regarding his moral character, he ordered bishops and cardinals to conceal and protect priests who sexually molested boys and then he decreed that the victims should be subject to excommunication if they divulge the identity of the offending priest. This is a look at John Paul’s life. If you look at that through the lens of Scripture, he would not be considered a saint but a false prophet who Catholics need to be warned about.[/COLOR]

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

The process to naming the former Pope John Paul as a saint is actually the pathway for the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

In Catholicism one becomes a saint by performing miracles. Jesus Christ in His Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24 said that deception would be the greatest sign indicating that we are living in the last days and His Second Coming is soon to take place. Matthew 24:4, 5, 11, and 24 talks about the deception that would happen and in verse 24 the deception would be communicated through signs, wonders, and miracles. That is what we see happening in the location where we see the false church will be setup in Rome, Italy.

This report is helping us to understand that we are quickly approaching the time when Bible prophecy will indeed be fulfilled.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/2013/06/pope-francis-has-announced-that-he-is.html

June 28, 2013 Bible Reading

June 28

Reading for Today:

1 Chronicles 19:1–20:8

Psalm 78:26-33

Proverbs 19:27-29

Acts 8:26-40

Notes:

1 Chronicles 20:1–3- The chronicler was not inspired by God to mention David’s sin with Bathsheba and subsequent sins recorded in 2 Samuel 11:2–12:23. The adultery and murder occurred at this time, while David stayed in Jerusalem instead of going to battle. The story was likely omitted because the book was written to focus on God’s permanent interest in His people, Israel, and the perpetuity of David’s kingdom.

1 Chronicles 20:4–8- See 2 Samuel 21:15–22.The chronicler chose not to write of some of the darker days in David’s reign, especially the revolt of David’s son Absalom, for the same reason the iniquity of the king with Bathsheba was left out. This section describes the defeat of 4 Philistine giants at the hands of David and his men. Though these events cannot be located chronologically with any certainty, the narratives of victory provide a fitting preface to David’s song of praise, which magnifies God’s deliverance (2 Sam. 22:1–51).

1 Chronicles 20:4- the giant. The Hebrew term is rapha. This was not the name of an individual, but a term used collectively for the Rephaim who inhabited the land of Canaan and were noted for their inordinate size (Gen. 15:19–21; Num. 13:33; Deut. 2:11; 3:11, 13). The term “Rephaim” was used of the people called the “Anakim” (Deut. 2:10, 11, 20, 21), distinguished for their size and strength. According to Joshua 11:21, 22, the “Anakim” were driven from the hill country of Israel and Judah, but remained in the Philistine cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. Though the Philistines had succumbed to the power of Israel’s army, the appearance of some great champion revived their courage and invited their hope for victory against the Israelite invaders.

DAY 28: How did Philip bring the gospel to the Ethiopian eunuch?

Philip, who had been involved with the evangelization of the Samaritans, was told by an angel of the Lord to go to an undisclosed location along the road that went down from Jerusalem to Gaza (Acts 8:26). Gaza was one of 5 chief cities of the Philistines. The original city was destroyed in the first century B.C. and a new city was built near the coast.

There Philip met an Ethiopian eunuch. Ethiopia in those days was a large kingdom located south of Egypt. A eunuch can refer to one who had been emasculated or generally, to a government official. It is likely he was both since Luke refers to him as a eunuch and as one who held a position of authority in the queen’s court—that of treasurer, much like a Minister of Finance or Secretary of the Treasury. As a physical eunuch, he would have been denied access to the temple (Deut. 23:1) and the opportunity to become a full proselyte to Judaism.

The eunuch was reading Isaiah (Acts 8:28). He knew the importance of seeking God through the Scripture. And the verses he was reading were found in Isaiah 53:7,8. The eunuch’s question to Philip was “of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” (v. 34). His confusion was understandable. Even the Jewish religious experts were divided on the meaning of this passage. Some believed the slaughtered sheep represented Israel, others thought Isaiah was referring to himself, and others thought the Messiah was Isaiah’s subject.

Philip preached Jesus to the eunuch, who immediately responded with the wish to be baptized. After the baptism, it says that “the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away” (v. 39). Elijah (1 Kin. 18:12; 2 Kin. 2:16) and Ezekiel (Ezek. 3:12, 14; 8:3) were also snatched away in a miraculous fashion. This was a powerful confirmation to the caravan that Philip was God’s representative.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible