Lessons from the Bible

I’ve read through the Bible several times.  I’ve read the entire King James Bible, the New American Standard Bible, and the New International Version.  On my latest trip through all 66 books of the Bible, I decided to make a note of exactly what the key lessons are for each book.  Obviously, this is one man’s opinion based on a straight read without any help from theologians or Bible commentaries.  My goal was to simply write down what I was hearing in my head after reading each book.  What I’ve ended up with is probably the quickest way to travel through the whole Bible.  Admittedly, there is very little detail here, very few Bible verses are cited, and there is very little scholarly analysis.  What follows is my personal reaction to the text on this particular reading.  My prayer is that this will inspire you to undertake your own reading and develop your own set of notes based on the voice of God speaking to you as you read.  I believe strongly in the value of reading the Bible along with a well-qualified teacher; however, I also believe strongly in the value of reading through the Bible alone with God.

I have also included links to The Bible Project page for each book for further study.

 Old Testament

Genesis

God has a plan.  This world is full of deception.  God selects people to bless.  When you are chosen by God you will be tested – you will struggle with God – ultimately you will be rewarded.

Exodus

God’s plan is to be carried out by selected people.  God’s power is awesome.  Some will turn against God even after seeing a demonstration of His power.  Even believers will turn against God when things are going wrong in their life.  God’s judgment often carries the punishment of death.  God has specific expectations of those who believe in Him.  God’s plan is meticulous and needs to be followed precisely.  God becomes angry when things other than Him are worshiped.  God requires you give Him your absolute best.

Leviticus

It takes an enormous amount of effort to be holy like God.  To have fellowship with God, you must be set apart from unbelievers.  If you disobey God’s law in any way, you will die.  God expects us to protect each other from disease.  God wants us to understand fully that life is in the blood.  Believers should look after the poor.  If you are hostile toward God, He will be hostile toward you.  Follow God’s law and you will be rewarded.

Numbers

God selects people to lead.  God gives clear direction to those he has chosen.  God expects for us all to give our best. Believers should keep their eye on God and follow Him.  Believers should accept what God has given them in life.  People are prone to forget God when the road gets rough.  Interfering with God’s work is deadly. Those who devote their lives to God are blessed.  When you are chosen by God, others will know it.  People tend to forget God when tempted with sexual desire.  The consequences for turning against God cannot be avoided.  You do well to focus clearly on God’s instruction.

Deuteronomy  

God expects you to fight for your reward.  When you receive a reward, stay focused on God and do not forget where your reward came from.  Look back on your life and consider what God has done for you.  Teach your children about what God has done so they will understand.  It’s easy to follow false gods and/or false teachers in this world.  This world was designed to test and humble us before the Lord.  If you turn away from God you will be disciplined by God.  God wants those things that are evil destroyed.  God will take from the possessions of the evil and give them to the righteous.  We are to take care of church leaders and each other.  Political leaders should follow God and remain humble.  Once you know God and have been rewarded by Him, turning against Him is very dangerous.   Most people will turn away from God once they are prosperous and have spent too much time away from Him.  Witchcraft and sorcery are to be avoided and are an evil that should be purged from a believer’s life.  Continually consider what God wants from you and God’s instruction.  If the Bible is available to you, there is no excuse for not seeking to know God.

Joshua

When the Lord is with you there will be victory, but if you turn against the Lord you will have great trouble in your life and eventually die.  God has the power to stop the sun and the moon on your behalf.  Evil is in this world and will corrupt believers if they are not careful.  It is impossible for anyone other than God to destroy all evil.  Never forget what God has done in your life.  Faith, Trust in the Lord, Courage, and Obedience brings victory and blessing.

Judges

If you do not purge all evil from your life, you’re asking for trouble.  Those who have not directly seen the miracles of God have a hard time following Him.  Evil is left to test believers.  Without Godly leaders, people turn away from God.  When people turn away from God, evil leaders will emerge.  Those who devote themselves to the Lord will have victory.  Great men of God can be taken down by their lust for women.  Fallen men of God can find their way back to God’s favor.  When there is no Godly leader, believers will become lost.  When there is no Godly leader, believers will turn on each other.  Do not let sin reign in your body.  Let God be your king.

Ruth

No matter how bad things look, God can always turn them around.

1 Samuel

People have a hard time following an invisible God.  Even the sons of Godly men turn away from God.  These people are more likely to seek a political solution rather than seek the path of God.  It is evil to seek out the wisdom of men over the wisdom of God.  God anoints certain men.  To obey God is better than over-zealousness.  God anoints some people simply to make examples of them later when they become full of themselves and seek to please people rather than please God.  God will eventually knock these men down and replace them with His true followers.  When God is with you no one can stand against you.  When a previously anointed leader loses favor with God, he will hate those who are still in God’s favor – he will eventually hate God and turn to evil.  God uses the evil of some to strengthen the righteousness of others.  When evil does not provide, fallen men will try to return to the Lord but there is no going back.  Those anointed by the Lord who are true to Him will be protected.  When you turn against the Lord you will eventually die.

2 Samuel

God’s plan for you will require hard work and you will have to fight for your reward.  If you remain humble before the Lord you will be blessed.  Even if you have been chosen by the Lord you will still need to fight many battles.  Be satisfied with what the Lord provides.  The battle for the kingdom of God will be hard fought – many will fight and many will die.  God will bless those who obey Him and punish those who turn astray.

1 Kings

Requests made to God for others are well received; even more so when the request is for the ability to help many.  First we must fight to purge evil from our lives then we should build a temple in our body, mind, and spirit dedicated to the Lord.  Many years of great blessing can cause a man of God to lose sight of the Lord and succumb to the evils of seductive women.  When you turn from God and follow other gods, God will punish you.  God provides people with a blessing and then backs off to allow them room to prove themselves or fall victim to evil.  God lets people go astray for a good long time before intervening.  Godly men are sent by God to point the way for the lost.  God allows division among His people as a test and a tool to serve his purpose.

2 Kings

God can send people to earth to do all manner of miracles. God sometimes allows evil to take root and then attacks that evil to make a bold statement.  God allows people to fall victim to evil.  People tend to forget what God has done for them and manufacture their own gods that are not so demanding.  Some people worship both their own gods and the Lord, but that is evil.  Even when overwhelming forces stand against you, God can turn things around in your favor.  People have a tendency to forget what God has done for them and to give in to evil; this will eventually lead to destruction.

1 Chronicles

The Israelites kept meticulous records leaving little doubt that the Bible is an accurate account of actual events.  Satan influences us to do evil and God allows this as a test and a tool for growth or discipline.  King David plays a pivotal role in God’s plan; Jesus will be a descendant of David.   While David made mistakes in his life, God continued to exalt him because his heart was always focused on the Lord.

2 Chronicles

When you obey God, you will prosper.  When you turn against God and worship other gods, you will be punished.  If you humble yourself before the Lord as a result of your punishment, God may find favor with you again.  Following God will always be a struggle; you have to focus on the Lord and worship in His power not your own.  Sin resides in the hearts of man and must be washed away by turning toward God.

Ezra

God’s punishment for disobedience can sometimes take a very long time.  After punishment, God will provide you with a new beginning.  The Israelites kept meticulous records that compel the reader to believe this is an actual account of historical events.

Nehemiah

When working together, people of God can accomplish great things.  The words of the Lord should be explained to people by men of God appointed to this task.  The events of the Old Testament must be studied and remembered.  God’s people need to stand together and support each other in worship to the Lord.  The Israelites kept meticulous records that compel the reader to trust the Bible as being an accurate historical record.  The greatest time of joy is when the people of God are worshiping the Lord together.  Satan will always be around to pull people away from God.

Esther

God is working around us all the time and events that seem unrelated can, in the end, serve God’s plan.

Job

God may punish godly men and he also allows Satan to test godly men with punishment.  In all things, God is in control.  The fear of the Lord = Wisdom.  Turning away from evil = Understanding (28:28). Humans have no right to question what God has done or allowed to happen through Satan’s hand.  It is all part of God’s plan which we may not be able to understand.  Difficult times for Godly people are a tool for spiritual growth.

Psalms

Worship the Lord through prayer.  Thank the Lord through prayer.  Petition the Lord through prayer.  The power of the wicked will eventually be broken and they will be destroyed.  The Lord upholds and protects the righteous.

Proverbs

Wise choices = Honesty, Self-Control, Concern for Others, Careful Choices, Patience.  Think before you speak.  Don’t be lazy. Remain faithful.  Look out for those who may deceive you.  Remain humble.  Work hard.  Avoid evil.  Seek righteousness.  Following the path toward righteousness will bring prosperity.  Following an evil path will ultimately bring destruction and death.  Crave wisdom.

Ecclesiastes

Focus your life on God.  Everything else, good or bad, is meaningless.  You are but a tiny part of God’s great plan.  Trust God and enjoy your life.

Song of Songs

Passionate love between a man and a woman is a gift from God.

Isaiah

If you disobey God and therefore turn against Him, He will be angry and discipline will follow.  The “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” will come and reign on David’s throne establishing justice and righteousness forever.  God will ultimately right all the wrongs and destroy Satan.  Prophecy fulfilled long ago demonstrates the validity of the prophecy fulfilled by Jesus and of the events yet to come.  Total destruction of the earth is coming followed by God’s reign in Jerusalem.  There is only one God and those who worship idols will come to ruin.  Troubles sent by, or allowed by God, are a test of obedience.  Isaiah 53 describes in detail the sacrifice Jesus will make for our sins, hundreds of years before the events take place.  There will be a new heaven and a new earth.

Jeremiah

Worshiping other gods, whatever they may be, pushes the one true God further away.  If you turn away from false idols and back to God, He will receive you with love.  You must return to God with your whole heart, not just your words.  People have a tendency to fashion their own God and discount the instruction of the one true God.  Because of this, there is judgment and punishment.  God seeks kindness, justice and righteousness.  The evil in the world is a tool God is using to make the righteous strong.  The Lord’s judgment and punishment can be very harsh, but it can be stopped by a repentant heart that turns fully toward God.  Be careful not to follow those who falsely claim to be speaking for God.  After discipline, God provides a new beginning with great reward for those who remain obedient.  God will remember his promises and his judgment.  His instruction never changes – reward for obedience and judgment and punishment for disobedience.  Listen carefully to men of God who speak directly from the Word of God.  Some people continue to prosper for a long time with their back turned away from God, but eventually judgment will come.  The fate of all nations is in God’s hand – God has a purpose for every event in history.  There will always be people and nations that turn away from God and there will always be people and nations that seek God’s will.  All this has been designed by God to build up, develop, and teach his followers and prepare them for their eternal reward.

Lamentations

God’s judgment is strong and complete; nevertheless, there is hope for those who repent and turn their hearts fully back toward the Lord.

Ezekiel

God gives fair warning before He executes judgment.  God only executes stern judgment on those whose evil deeds have earned such punishment.  We should be fully aware of the miraculous nature of the one true God.  People will claim to speak for God who are actually only speaking for themselves.  Worshiping false idols will bring judgment and punishment.  All prosperity comes from God.  People have a tendency to believe they have created their own success and fail to give God credit.  This path takes people further and further away from God and grows into greater and greater sin.  Eventually this will lead to judgment and punishment.  God will allow you to go off in the wrong direction for a long time, all the time reminding you of the right way to go; then one day, he will execute judgment against you in the hope that you will turn back toward Him.  All the fulfilled prophecy found in the book of Ezekiel validates the yet to be fulfilled prophecy of the new temple that will be the Lord’s home forever in the city named “The Lord is There”

Daniel

God is able to make miraculous things happen for those who trust in Him.  God despises arrogance.  Those who achieve great things should acknowledge God as the source.  God is able to rescue those who trust in him in miraculous ways.  At some point in the future an evil ruler will take over the earth and oppress all those who follow the Lord.  Eventually this evil ruler will be destroyed by God and God’s kingdom will be established forever.  The many detailed fulfilled prophecies of Daniel validate his prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled.  When God’s kingdom is established on earth, the dead will rise.  The righteous will go on to eternal life and the wicked will go on to everlasting contempt.

Hosea

God wants to have a loving relationship with us, not a master and slave relationship.  Loving other things more than God will cause Him to turn against you.  Punishment follows disobedience, but God will receive you again if you humble yourself before Him.  God can be a great asset in your life or a powerful obstacle – it’s your choice.

Joel

The Day of The Lord is coming when all the wicked will be destroyed and God will establish his kingdom on earth.  Those who seek God will be saved from destruction and go on to eternal life with God.

Amos

If God provides for you and you take credit for your prosperity rather than praising God for your good fortune, or if you accept what God has given you but then turn your back on Him – you can expect judgment and punishment to follow.  Seek good and not evil to stay in the Lord’s favor.  After your punishment, God may give you another chance to do what is right.

Obadiah

If you become an enemy of God, expect to be dealt with harshly and completely.

Jonah

God shows ordinary people miraculous things to convince them to act on His behalf.  God is concerned about ordinary people and will punish their evil ways and grant them mercy if they turn away from evil and seek to know God.

Micah

God may seem far away now, but He will return and establish His kingdom in Jerusalem.  For now, the Lord desires for us to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with Him.

Nahum 

The Lord does not tolerate the worship of false gods and will not leave the guilty unpunished.  The Lord is good and cares for those who trust in Him but when you plot evil against the Lord, you will be destroyed.

Habakkuk

The ways of the Lord are not always clearly understood, but you can be sure His righteousness will prevail.

Zephaniah

The Lord’s wrath will be overwhelming and complete.  Eventually He will restore His chosen people to eternal blessing in Jerusalem.

Haggai

When you are doing well, you should concern yourself with making sure the house of God is equal to His glory.  Keep in mind that good health is not contagious, but disease can infect others.  Keep the house of God healthy so that it does not become infected.

Zechariah

The Lord will one day remove all sin from those who seek to worship him in obedience.  At some point God will push Satan aside and all thieves and liars will be destroyed.   Wickedness will be banished.  God is going to return and dwell in Jerusalem.  All of God’s chosen people will be brought together where they will live securely.  The Lord will return to Jerusalem and all of God’s chosen people who previously turned against Him will realize their enormous mistake.  All of the false idols and prophets will be removed from Jerusalem.  At some point, an enormous battle will rage against Jerusalem.  God will return and stand on the Mount of Olives and it will split in half leaving a valley for those in Jerusalem to escape.  The Lord will destroy all the enemies of Jerusalem.  The Lord will reign as king over the whole earth.

Malachi 

Always give God your absolute best.  Be aware of those who twist and manipulate the Word of God.  Remain faithful to the Lord by remaining faithful to your spouse.  The Lord will one day return to judge the wicked.  Give willingly of your income to the Lord and you will be blessed.  God has His reasons for allowing evildoers to sometimes prosper and His wisdom should not be questioned.  Those who trust in the Lord will be protected.  In the end there will be a clear distinction between the righteous and the wicked.  The Day of The Lord is coming when all the evildoers will be destroyed and the righteous will live in peace.

New Testament

My notes on the Gospels and the book of Acts continue to point out key lessons learned but also include what I felt were important events that shaped and informed those lessons.

Matthew

Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph, conceived by the Holy Spirit of God.  The birth of Jesus was recognized as the fulfillment of prophecy regarding the Messiah.  Mary and Joseph had to hide Jesus because King Herod wanted to kill him.

John the Baptist baptized Jesus and the Heavens opened, the Holy Spirit came down into Jesus, and then God announced Jesus as His Son.  Jesus fasted in the wilderness 40 days and was tempted by Satan but was smarter than the devil.

Jesus preached repentance and about the coming kingdom of heaven.  Jesus began gathering His disciples and healing the sick.  Jesus taught His disciples that he came to fulfill the law not to abolish it and went on to tell them how the law is perfected.  Jesus taught forgiveness, to do good deeds in private, to pray in private, to fast in private, that material possessions and money are of little value, and that greater reward can be found in serving God.  He went on to teach we should not judge others and to do to others what you would have them do to you, which actually sums up the law altogether.  Jesus warned against false teachers and said you could tell them by their deeds.  He taught that wise men follow his teaching.

Jesus continued to heal many.  He was able to calm the wind.  He was able to cast out demons.  He spent time with sinners because they are the ones in need.  He brought the dead back to life.  He returned sight to the blind.  He gave his twelve disciples authority to drive out evil spirits, disease, sickness, and raise the dead.

The religious leaders tried to discredit Jesus and his disciples.  Jesus taught that those who follow his teaching will be rewarded and those who do not will be disowned by God.  Jesus condemned those who did not repent after seeing his miracles.  The religious leaders plotted to kill Jesus, accusing him of doing miracles through the power of Satan.

Jesus taught in parables so that only those who were worthy could understand.  Jesus warned that in the end-times people who have been placed here by Satan will be burned up and those who belong to God will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.  On two occasions Jesus fed thousands with only a few loaves of bread and a few fish.  Jesus was able to walk on water.

The religious leaders argued with Jesus but he was able to prove them to be hypocrites.  Jesus told his disciples he is the Son of God and that he will be killed in Jerusalem but would be brought back to life.  Jesus took three of his disciples on a mountain where he spoke with Moses and Elijah in their presence and where they heard the voice of God acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus taught humbleness and forgiveness.  Jesus continued to heal many.  He taught that married couples should stay together, that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the innocence of children, he taught the importance of the commandments of God, and he taught that wealth is a great hindrance to entry into heaven.  Jesus told his disciples they would sit with him on judgment day.  He taught that the rewards in heaven will be generous.  He again told his disciples he would be flogged and crucified but would be brought back to life on the third day.

In line with the prophecy, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as great crowds came to see him.  Jesus removed the money changers from the temple court and began healing people.  The religious leaders confronted Jesus again.  Again he demonstrated them to be hypocrites.  They plotted to have him arrested.  Jesus went on to teach about the kingdom of heaven.  The religious leaders tried to trap him with words but were again exposed as hypocrites.

Jesus told his disciples that in their eternal life they will be like angels in heaven.  Jesus taught that the most important commandments are to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor.  He taught that all the commandments depend on these two.  In his final assault against the religious leaders, Jesus built a case against them as hypocrites and condemned them to hell.

Jesus told his disciples that the temple will one day be destroyed completely.  The disciples asked when the end times would come and Jesus warned them of false prophets and false messiahs to come.  He told them that when they see the Antichrist standing in the Holy place, the end is upon them.  He went on to say there will be days of great distress and then he will return.  Jesus emphasized the importance of always being ready because you never really know when the end will come.  He told them it was important to make good use of all the talents and gifts given to them by God to prove themselves worthy in the end.  Jesus made the point that serving the needy was like serving him and not serving the needy was like turning your back on God.  In the end, those found worthy will go on to eternal life and those who do not serve Jesus will receive eternal punishment.

Again the religious leaders plotted to have Jesus arrested and killed.  One of the disciples of Jesus, Judas, betrayed him and sold information about his whereabouts to the religious leaders.  At a Passover meal with his disciples, Jesus announced he knew he had been betrayed.  He also told his disciples his shed blood would be for the forgiveness of sins.

Jesus spent time in prayer before he was captured by the religious leaders and the elders, who had help from Judas.  Once Jesus was arrested, his disciples deserted him, afraid for their own lives.  The religious leaders tried to bring false charges against Jesus to have him killed but were unable.  Finally they asked him if he is the Son of God and when he acknowledged that fact, they claimed blasphemy and the crowd turned against Jesus, spit in his face and began to slap and punch him.  The disciples keep their distance to protect their own lives.

The religious leaders and elders took Jesus to Pilate the governor to have him crucified.  When Judas found out, he killed himself in shame.  Pilate presented the charges against Jesus but Jesus did not answer him.  Pilate did not see any reason to have Jesus crucified but allowed the crowd to decide his fate.  The crowd voted to have Jesus crucified and Pilate had him flogged and handed him over for crucifixion.  The governor’s soldiers mocked and tortured Jesus before taking him out to be crucified.

After Jesus was crucified, while he hung on the cross, the religious leaders, elders, people in the crowd, and the soldiers mocked Jesus.

When Jesus died on the cross, there was an earthquake and the tombs of many holy people broke open and the dead were brought back to life.  The soldiers at that point realized Jesus was in fact the Son of God.

Jesus was taken off the cross and buried in a tomb provided by a rich man who was a follower of Jesus.  A large stone was placed in front of the tomb, it was sealed, and guards were posted to make sure no one entered the tomb.

On the third day, the angel of the Lord caused another earthquake and the tomb was opened turning the guards white and looking as if they were dead.  Two women who had come to see the tomb were directed inside by the angel of the Lord to find the tomb empty.  They were told that Jesus was on his way to Galilee to see his disciples.  The two women went to tell the disciples Jesus is coming and on their way encountered Jesus and talked with him.  Finally, the disciples met with Jesus on the mountain in Galilee as he told them he would.  Jesus told his disciples to make disciples of all the nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Mark

John the Baptist announced the coming of the Son of God, fulfilling the prophecy from the book of Isaiah.  John was baptizing people with water and saying that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was baptized by John and the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit descended onto Jesus, and the voice of God announced Jesus to be his son.

Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and was tempted by Satan.  Angels attended Jesus and Satan was out-smarted by him.  John the Baptist was put into prison and Jesus began preaching repentance and the coming kingdom of heaven.  Jesus began collecting his disciples.  He taught with authority unlike other teachers.  He was able to cast out demons and heal the sick.  People began coming to him from everywhere for healing.  The religious leaders objected to the authoritative way Jesus taught and Jesus implied to them that the miracles he performed proved his authority.  The religious leaders also questioned Jesus about his activities on the Sabbath and he told them he is Lord of the Sabbath.  The religious leaders didn’t like this answer and plotted to kill him.

Jesus continued preaching to large crowds and healed many.  He appointed twelve disciples and gave them authority to drive out demons and preach.  The religious leaders were saying that Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Satan.  Jesus responded to them by pointing out that Satan would not cast out Satan.

Jesus taught in parables and told his disciples this was so that only those worthy to hear would understand.  Jesus further demonstrated his power by making the wind stop blowing while in a boat on a lake.  He also continued to cast out demons, and heal, and demonstrated he could raise the dead.

Jesus began to teach in the synagogue and people were amazed by his teaching.  Some from his hometown were skeptical because they knew him as an ordinary boy and now they had a hard time believing in his miracles.  Because the people in his hometown had so little faith, he was not able to do many miracles there.  He continued to teach elsewhere and sent his disciples out to teach and cast out demons as well.  When a large crowd came to hear him teach far from town, Jesus had his disciples feed thousands with only a few loaves of bread and a few fish. Later the disciples were rowing a boat in a heavy wind on the lake and Jesus walked across the water to join them and stopped the wind.  He continued to teach and heal large crowds.

Jesus was again confronted by the religious leaders for not following their religious practices, but told them what people do is not as important as what is in their heart and called them hypocrites for acting one way but thinking a different way in their hearts.

Jesus continued to heal allowing the mute to speak, and the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and people were amazed.  Again Jesus was preaching to thousands and had his disciples feed all of them with only a few loaves of bread and a few fish and all were satisfied.

The disciples accepted Jesus as the Messiah and he told them that he would suffer many things by the elders and religious leaders.  He went on to tell them that he would be killed and come back to life after three days.  Jesus made the point to his disciples and the crowd he was teaching that there is nothing more important than following him.

Jesus took three of his disciples on a mountain where Moses and Elijah appeared and the voice of God acknowledged Jesus as the Son of God.

When the disciples had difficulty removing a demon from a boy, Jesus took over and finished the task, saying that a special prayer was required.  Jesus spent more time teaching his disciples that the innocence of children was equal to him and that he was equal to God.  He also taught them that it is better to get rid of anything that is moving them away from God than to keep that thing and end up in hell.

Jesus continued to teach. Large crowds and the religious leaders came to test him with words but he was able to correct their misconceptions.  Then a man asked how he might gain eternal life and Jesus told him to follow the commandments.  When the man said he had followed the commandments since childhood, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and become one of his followers, but the man was not willing because he was very rich.  Jesus then made the point to his disciples how wealth makes it very difficult to enter the kingdom of heaven.  He further made the point that all things are possible with God.

Again Jesus reminded his disciples that when they go into Jerusalem he would be flogged and killed but would rise again on the third day.  Jesus went on to teach them that it is better to be a servant than a lord and pointed out that he came to serve by giving his life for the sins of others.

Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt with crowds worshiping him and preparing the way before him.  He entered the temple and drove out those who were buying and selling.  The religious leaders again plotted to kill him because they were jealous of his power.  Jesus taught his disciples the importance of faith and how complete faith can make anything happen.

The religious leaders confronted Jesus again and Jesus used a parable that mocked them.  They looked for a way to have him arrested, but they were afraid of the crowd so they went away.  Later they tried to trick him with words but Jesus was able to demonstrate their misconceptions again.  Jesus made the point that when the dead are raised in heaven they will be like angels; then he was asked which is the most important commandment.  Jesus responded by saying loving God with all your heart and loving your neighbor are the greatest commandments.  With this they stopped questioning him because there was no argument to this answer.

Jesus continued to teach again claiming to be the Son of God and telling his disciples that a poor woman giving only a few pennies to the temple treasury was giving more than the rich who were giving large amounts.  Then Jesus told his disciples that one day the temple would be totally destroyed.

The disciples questioned Jesus about the end times.  He warned them that there would be false messiahs, and there would be war and earthquakes, famines, and the gospel had to be preached to all the nations.  He told them that when they see the antichrist standing where he does not belong, the end is near and these will be days of great distress.  Then the sun will be darkened followed by Jesus returning with his angels to gather his elect.  Jesus made the point that no one but God knows when the end will come, but you must remain ready at all times.

The religious leaders were still plotting to have Jesus arrested and killed.  One of the disciples of Jesus, Judas, betrayed him by taking money from the religious leaders to help them arrest him.  During a Passover dinner with his disciples, Jesus announced he was aware that one would betray him.  Jesus told the disciples they would turn away from him after his death but they did not believe him.

After the Passover, Jesus went off to Gethsemane to pray to God because he was deeply distressed about what was soon to happen.  Then he went with the disciples to the place where Judas told the religious leaders they could find him and arrest him.  Once arrested, the disciples did flee fearing for their own lives.

The religious leaders tried to bring false charges against Jesus but could not.  Jesus remained silent throughout the proceeding.  Then they asked Jesus if he was the Messiah and Jesus acknowledged that he was.  The high priest called this blasphemy and Jesus was blindfolded, struck with fists, spit on, and the guards beat him.

They then brought Jesus to the governor, Pilate, and presented their accusations, but Jesus did not respond.   Pilate did not see a reason to crucify Jesus, but wanting to please the crowd, so he gave them the choice.  They shouted for Jesus to be crucified.  Jesus was flogged and handed over to be crucified.

The guards mocked Jesus and beat him before leading him out to be crucified.  They hung him on a cross with a sign that read:  The King of the Jews.  He was crucified between two other men.  The religious leaders and many others mocked Jesus as he hung on the cross.  At noon, darkness came over the area for three hours and then Jesus died.  A wealthy man provided Jesus with a tomb where he could be placed and a large stone was rolled in front of the tomb.

Two women went on the third day to visit the tomb and were surprised to find the tomb open and a young man dressed in white standing inside.  He told the women Jesus has risen and is on his way to Galilee.  The women went off to tell the disciples.  These women later saw the risen Jesus and he appeared to the disciples telling them to preach the gospel to all the world.  Jesus then went up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God.

Luke

John the Baptist was brought up by God to turn the people’s hearts back to God so that they would be prepared to meet Jesus.  Mary was told by an angel of God that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit and his name would be Jesus and he would sit on the throne of David and his kingdom would never end.  When John was born, he immediately displayed miraculous behavior.   His father proclaimed he would give the people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.

Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census and Jesus was born there.  An angel of the Lord appeared to some shepherds and told them the Messiah was born and they went to see him and then they told others.  A man named Simeon was told by the Holy Spirit that he would see the Messiah before he died, and when he saw Jesus he announced him to be the Messiah.  Also a prophet named Anna acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah.

Jesus grew up in Nazareth with Joseph and Mary and displayed great wisdom.  When he was twelve, he sat with the teachers in the temple and was able to show them great wisdom and understanding.

Years later John the Baptist went out preaching repentance.  Some thought John may be the Messiah but John told them he is only baptizing with water and that the Messiah will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  Jesus was baptized by John and the Holy Spirit descended on him and the voice of God came from heaven announcing Jesus as God’s Son.

Jesus fasted in the wilderness for 40 days and during that time was tempted by the devil but the devil did not have an impact on him.  He then came back to Galilee and continued teaching in synagogues to great praise.  In a synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus announced he had fulfilled the prophecy from the book of Isaiah concerning the coming Messiah.   This being his hometown, the people remembered him as an ordinary citizen and rejected him as a prophet.  They tried to kill him for blasphemy but he miraculously escaped.  He went to Capernaum and taught and they were amazed by his authority and his ability to cast out demons and heal the sick.

Teaching near a lake, Jesus went out with the fishermen who were not able to catch any fish and miraculously assisted them in catching so much fish their boats were beginning to sink.  More and more people heard about his power and he continued healing many.

The religious leaders heard Jesus tell one man his sins were forgiven and accused him of blasphemy.  Jesus told the religious leaders the miracles he was performing demonstrated he had the authority to forgive sin.  The religious leaders also complained about Jesus eating with sinners and he told them the sinners are the ones who most need him.

The religious leaders questioned Jesus about his activities on the Sabbath and he answered them by saying he is Lord of the Sabbath.  After Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, the religious leaders were furious because they believed the people are not supposed to do any work on that day, so they plotted ways to get rid of Jesus.

Jesus continued to teach with his twelve disciples.  He taught that those who are struggling in this world are more likely to be blessed in the eternal life to come.  He taught the importance of forgiveness.  He taught to be merciful and to love your enemies.  He taught not to judge or condemn and to give generously.  He taught that you will know a man’s heart by the things he does with his life.  He also taught the importance of following his teaching above all else.

Jesus continued to heal the sick and even raise the dead.  When questioned about John the Baptist, Jesus told the people that John fulfilled the prophecy that said a messenger would come to prepare the way for him.

While eating with the religious leaders, Jesus allowed a woman who lived a sinful life to wash his feet and this disturbed the religious leaders and even the disciples of Jesus.  Jesus said that her demonstration of honest love was reason to forgive her sins.   The people nearby began to wonder on what authority Jesus could forgive sins.

Jesus began teaching in parables and his disciples asked why.  Jesus told them so that only those worthy of hearing could understand.  Later, the disciples and Jesus took a boat to cross a lake and a great wind came up while Jesus was sleeping.  When the disciples woke Jesus, he immediately calmed the wind and rebuked them for having little faith.

When Jesus and his disciples arrived in Gerasenes they came on a man greatly possessed by demons and Jesus was able to cast them out, but this made the people of the town frightened of Jesus, so he and his disciples left.  They went elsewhere and Jesus continued to heal and raise the dead.  Jesus then gave his twelve disciples the power to heal and drive out demons and sent them out to preach on their own.

When the disciples returned, they went out with Jesus to preach to a large crowd.  Seeing that the crowd was hungry, Jesus had the disciples feed them miraculously with only a few loaves of bread and a few fish that ended up satisfying thousands.

The disciples acknowledge to Jesus that they believed him to be the Messiah.  Then he told them that he would have to die but that he would come back to life on the third day.  Jesus made it clear that to be his disciple they had to give of themselves fully and completely.

Jesus took three of his disciples to a mountain to pray and there they encountered Moses and Elijah speaking to Jesus in a glorious light.  Then a cloud appeared and the voice of God announced that Jesus is the Son of God.

When they returned from the mountain, Jesus removed a demon from a child that the disciples were unable to help.  When Jesus realized that the disciples were arguing about which of them is the greatest, he taught them that they must have a true servant’s spirit to be great.  Later, when some of the people were rejecting Jesus, the disciples wanted to destroy them, but Jesus rebuked them.

Jesus appointed seventy-two additional disciples and sent them out to towns to preach, heal, and cast out demons.  When they returned with a good report, Jesus told them he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven and that he has given them power over the enemy.  He also told them that no one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son.

A man came to Jesus and questioned him about the commandments.  Jesus told him he was correct in seeking to love the Lord with all his heart and to love his neighbor as himself.  Jesus also taught the man that a neighbor is one who shows mercy to another.

Jesus taught the disciples to pray in a simple way, not overtly.  He also taught them to ask for what they wanted and it would be given to them.  When Jesus was driving out demons, some thought he was doing so by the power of Satan, but Jesus told them Satan would not cast out Satan so he must be of God.

Jesus continued to teach to large crowds, telling them that they are blessed when they hear his message and obey it.  He taught that the eye is the lamp of the body and that when your eyes are healthy your whole body is full of light.  Jesus was again challenged by the religious leaders and he spent a good deal of time calling them out as hypocrites.  He then continued to teach that God is watching over us and we need not concern ourselves with possessions in this world but with following God so as to have treasure in heaven.  He made clear the importance of always being ready because you never know when Jesus will return.

Jesus continued to teach and heal and the religious leaders continued to try to catch him doing something wrong.  They tried to challenge him regarding healing on the Sabbath but he was able to show them to be hypocrites.  He taught that the way into the kingdom of God is a narrow door and many will not make it inside.  Jesus also taught that those who have little now will have a lot in the kingdom of God and those who have a lot will have little.  Jesus made the point that you have to give away everything to truly follow him.

The religious leaders questioned Jesus about him spending time with sinners and Jesus taught them in parables about why the sinners are the ones who need him the most.  Jesus also taught his disciples that riches in this world mean nothing in the world to come.  He went on to tell them that you cannot love God and money.  He also taught the importance of repentance, forgiveness, and faith.

When the religious leaders asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus told them the elements of the kingdom of God are already here on earth.  He went on to tell them on that day many would be taken away.  He said whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.

Jesus taught his disciples to never give up because God will absolutely come through for them.  He also taught that the outward appearance of righteousness means nothing compared to the righteousness in one’s heart.  He also taught that you must receive the kingdom of God like a child.  He then told a rich man that following the commandments wasn’t enough; he also had to give up his wealth to get into the kingdom of God.

Jesus told his twelve disciples that they were going to Jerusalem where he would be mocked, flogged, and killed; but he would rise again on the third day.  The disciples did not fully understand what Jesus was telling them.  Crowds continued to come out for Jesus as he made his way to Jerusalem and he continued to heal the sick.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt as the disciples joyfully praised him.  Jesus wept over Jerusalem because many did not recognize him as the Son of God.  He drove out those who were using the temple as a marketplace and began teaching.  The religious leaders did not like him and were plotting how they might kill him.

Jesus was confronted by the religious leaders regarding his authority to teach in the temple and he used parables to demonstrate their hypocrisy.  The religious leaders were insulted and looked for a way to have Jesus arrested but were afraid of the crowd that was supporting Jesus.  The religious leaders sent spies to try to catch him with difficult questions but they failed.  Jesus made the point to all the people that the religious leaders like their lofty status and would be punished for their self-serving nature.

Jesus taught that those who have little and still give to the temple are far more worthy than those who have a lot and give a lot.  He also told his disciples that the temple would one day be completely destroyed.  When his disciples ask him about the end times, Jesus told them that they would be persecuted in his name, and that false Messiahs would appear along with wars and earthquakes.  He told them that Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies right before the end.   Jesus told the disciples that in the end times there would be evidence in the sun, moon and stars, and that nations will be in anguish; then Jesus will return in a cloud with power and great glory.

Jesus continued to teach in the temple day after day.  The religious leaders continued to be troubled by Jesus and wanted to find a way to get rid of him.  Satan entered one of the disciples, Judas, and caused him to make a deal with the religious leaders to receive payment for delivering Jesus into their hands.  At the Passover meal Jesus had with his twelve disciples, he told them he knew one of them would betray him.

The disciples began to discuss who would betray Jesus and which of them was the greatest, but Jesus made the point that the most subservient would be considered the greatest.  Then Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray and was in great anguish regarding his coming death and humiliation.  Then he went with his disciples to the place where Judas planned to betray him.  Jesus did not allow his disciples to fight his arrest and went with the religious leaders willingly.

Peter the disciple denied knowing Jesus as Jesus said he would.  Peter was afraid for his own life.  The men guarding Jesus mocked him and beat him.  When he was brought before the council of elders, Jesus acknowledged being the Son of God and they immediately wanted to take him to the governor, Pilate.

Pilate, asked Jesus if he was the king of the Jews and Jesus told him, “You have said so”  Not finding any reason to charge Jesus, Pilate sent him to King Herod, but Jesus would not speak with Herod so the king sent him back to Pilate who said Jesus had done nothing to deserve death.  There was an angry crowd that was against Jesus and they wanted him crucified.  Pilate gave in to the crowd and surrendered Jesus to their will.  A large crowd of believers and unbelievers followed Jesus as he was led away to be crucified.

Jesus was crucified between two criminals.  The soldiers and others mocked Jesus as he hung on the cross.  One of the criminals mocked Jesus but the other acknowledged Jesus had done nothing wrong and Jesus told that man he would be in paradise with Jesus.

At noon, darkness came over the land for three hours and Jesus died on the cross.  A rich man who was a follower of Jesus provided a tomb for Jesus to be buried in. On the third day, two women went to the tomb to bring spices but found the tomb open and empty.  Two men in gleaming clothes of light told the two women Jesus was alive just as he had told them he would be.

The two women went and told the disciples they had seen the empty tomb and had been visited by two angels who told them Jesus was alive but the disciples did not believe them.  Later, when Jesus presented himself to the disciples, they still had a hard time believing even though he showed them his wounds from the crucifixion.    Then Jesus opened their minds so they could understand what had happened.  He told them they would be clothed with power from on high; then he was taken up to heaven.  The disciples worshiped Jesus and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.

John

Jesus is also known as the Word and was with God from the beginning.  God is light and darkness cannot overcome him. God is the creator of all things.  John the Baptist came to testify that God, who is light, is coming into the world.  All who receive him become children of God.  John testified that Jesus is God in the flesh.  When the religious leaders questioned John the Baptist he told them he is not the Messiah but is preparing the way for the Messiah.  Jesus came and was baptized by John.  The Holy Spirit came down from heaven into Jesus and this is how John knew this was God’s Chosen One.

Jesus began gathering his disciples.  Jesus attended a wedding with his disciples and when they ran out of wine Jesus turned ordinary water into wine.  Some-time later Jesus went to the temple courts and found people selling various things there.  He got angry and threw them all out telling them to stop turning his Father’s house into a market.  When asked what authority he had to do this, Jesus told them if you destroy the temple he would rebuild it in three days.  He was actually speaking about his own body that would later be killed and brought back to life in three days.

Jesus encountered a religious leader named Nicodemus who acknowledged Jesus was a teacher sent by God.  Jesus told Nicodemus that no one can see the kingdom unless they are born again.  Jesus went on to explain you must be born of the Spirit.  Jesus also told Nicodemus that he had been sent by God to give eternal life to anyone who believed in him.  He also said that anyone who does not believe in him would be condemned.  Jesus taught that he is light and those who love darkness do evil.

Jesus went with his disciples to the Judean countryside and Jesus was baptizing people there along with John the Baptist who was on the other side of the river.  When John was asked about Jesus he replied that those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life and those who reject him will not see life and God’s wrath will be on them.

Jesus went on to Samaria where he encountered a woman at a well and asked her for a drink.  The woman was a Samaritan and normally Jews didn’t associate with Samaritans so she was curious to know why Jesus asked her for a drink.  Jesus told her that he could give her living water and she would never be thirsty again because she would have eternal life.  Because Jesus knew intimate details about her life, she realized he was a prophet and questioned him further.  Then Jesus told her he was the Messiah and she went off to tell others.  Many Samaritans came to believe in Jesus because of what the woman told them and they listened to his teaching and realized he was the Savior of the world.

Jesus continued to Cana in Galilee where he encountered a man who said his son was dying.  Jesus told the man his son would not die and when the man returned home he discovered this to be true.  Jesus went on into Jerusalem and healed a man on the Sabbath.  The religious leaders questioned the man regarding who healed him on the Sabbath, and when he told them it was Jesus they accused him of breaking God’s law by working on the Sabbath.  Jesus answered them by telling them he is the Son of God and that made them even more angry and they wanted to kill him for being blasphemous.

Jesus went on to tell the religious leaders that he was able to heal and raise people from the dead because he is the Son of God.  He also told them that God has entrusted the Son with judgment.  He continued to tell them that a day would come when all the dead will rise and those who believe in him will have eternal life and those who do not believe will be condemned.  Jesus attacked the religious leaders for studying the Scriptures but failing to recognize the Son of God standing before them.  He told them God is not in their heart.

When preaching to a large crowd, Jesus was miraculously able to feed thousands with only a few loaves of bread and a few fish.  Later, the disciples began to cross the sea to Capernaum in a boat, and when they were three or four miles out, the wind came up and they saw Jesus walking on the water toward them.  The moment Jesus arrived at the boat it was miraculously transported to its destination.

Jesus taught at Capernaum that he is the bread of life and that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.  Those who did not understand his message went away but the true believers continued as his disciples.  Jesus also acknowledged that one of his twelve disciples would betray him.

The disciples encouraged Jesus to go into Judea for the feast of the Jews, but Jesus told them to go without him because his time had not yet come.  The disciples went and Jesus followed them in secret.  In the middle of the feast, Jesus went into the temple and began teaching.  Jesus taught that everything he was teaching was directly from God.  The religious leaders wanted to capture him but many in the crowd believed in Jesus so they did nothing.

On another day, Jesus went back to teach in the temple.  The religious leaders brought a woman accused of adultery before Jesus to test him.  They said that she should be stoned to death.  Jesus answered them by saying whoever is without sin should throw the first stone.  With that, everyone walked away, because no one is without sin.  Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more.

Jesus continued to teach, claiming to be the light of the world and that those who follow him would not walk in darkness.  He made clear that everything he taught was directly from God, his Father, and not his own doing.  He told the religious leaders who were trying to condemn him that they are from this world and he is from above, and that because they did not believe in him, and the things his Father sent him to teach, their father is the devil.  Jesus finished by saying that he was in existence before Abraham was born and this caused the religious leaders to pick up stones to throw at him but he miraculously slipped away from them.

On the Sabbath, Jesus returned sight to a man who had been blind since birth.  The religious leaders said that Jesus was not from God because he did these things on the Sabbath but others said he must be from God because of the amazing things he was doing.  Jesus told the religious leaders that because they do not acknowledge him as the Son of God, their sin remains.

Jesus taught that he is the good shepherd and his sheep know him and will follow him.  He also said he has other sheep from another fold and he will bring them together into one flock.  Jesus said he would lay down his life for his sheep.  The religious leaders were saying Jesus is a demon and insane, but he answered them by saying his miracles demonstrated he was the Son of God.  Jesus said the religious leaders did not believe because they were not his sheep.  He also told them that he was one with his father.  The religious leaders were then ready to stone him for saying he is equal to God, but he was able to miraculously slip away.

The brother of one of the followers of Jesus, a man named Lazarus, was sick and dying.  When Jesus heard this he was far away and had to travel to Judea, where the religious leaders wanted to kill him; and his disciples warned him of the dangers, but Jesus was not concerned.  When Jesus arrived, he discovered Lazarus had been dead in a tomb for four days; nevertheless, Jesus went to the tomb and brought Lazarus back to life.

The religious leaders heard about Lazarus and again plotted to have Jesus killed because they were afraid everyone would believe in him and that would cause the Romans to come and take away their nation.  From this point forward, Jesus tried to remain in the wilderness with his disciples to be safe.

Jesus went to the home of Lazarus six days before the Passover and a large crowd came both to see Jesus and Lazarus the man he raised from the dead.  The religious leaders were planning to put Lazarus to death also because he was helping to bring people to believe in Jesus.  The next day, when Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, those who believed in Jesus crowded the streets before him and laid palm branches in his path and worshiped him as he passed riding on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy from the book of Isaiah.  This outpouring of support for Jesus only troubled the religious leaders more.

Jesus told the crowd his hour had come and that those who believed in him would have eternal life. And Jesus prayed to his father for strength and the voice of God was heard like thunder by the crowd.  Jesus told them the ruler of this world (the devil) would be cast out and that he would be lifted up.  Jesus told them to believe in him so that they could walk in his light.  Many did believe, even some of the religious leaders believed, but some were not confessing in him because they did not want to be put out of the synagogue, because they enjoyed the approval of men more than the approval of God.  Jesus again made the point that believing in him is the same as believing in God, because he is the Son of God and is doing exactly what God tells him to do.

Jesus had Passover dinner with his disciples and took this opportunity to wash their feet to demonstrate the true servant’s spirit that he was teaching them as being the essence of his instruction.  He then told them that he knew one of them would betray him but he did not say which one.  Satan then entered Judas and he immediately got up to leave and Jesus told him to do his work quickly.  The other disciples did not realize Judas would betray Jesus.  Jesus then commanded the disciples to love one another in the same way he loved them.

He went on to teach the disciples that he was going to a place to prepare a dwelling for them and that he will one day return to bring them to that place.  He again made the point that he and the father are one and the same.  He also told them that the Holy Spirit would come and reside inside them to give them help after he leaves.

Jesus told his disciples to continue to follow his teachings so that they would produce good fruit centered on love.  Jesus made the point that there is no greater love than when a man gives up his life for another.  This is the kind of love Jesus wanted his disciples to have for others.  He went on to tell them this world would hate them because they are no longer of this world.

Jesus went on to tell his disciples that he was on his way to be with God but the Holy Spirit would come to guide them after he is gone.  He told them to ask God for anything in his name and it would be granted to them.  The disciples did not fully understand exactly what was to happen to Jesus at this time, but they believed completely he was from God.

Jesus prayed to his father that all who believe in him should have eternal life and become one with him and the Father.  Jesus asked God not to remove the disciples from the world but to protect them from the evil one.  He also requested that they be filled with the love of God.

Jesus went with his disciples to a garden where they often would meet and it was there that Judas brought the religious leaders to arrest Jesus.  The disciple Peter tried to stop the arrest with his sword but Jesus told him to put his sword away because God the Father had ordained what was to come.  Jesus was taken to be questioned by the religious leaders.  Jesus told them he had nothing to hide and had not said anything wrong.

Jesus was then taken to the governor, Pilate, who questioned him about being the king of the Jews.  Jesus told Pilate he is a king but his kingdom is not of this world.  Pilate told the religious leaders he could find no guilt in Jesus and asked if he should be released, but the religious leaders didn’t want him released – they wanted him crucified.

Pilate questioned Jesus again and Jesus told him that God had delivered him into this situation and Pilate actually had no authority over him.  Pilate again told the religious leaders he could find no guilt in Jesus, but they still wanted to crucify him.  Not wanting to cause a riot, Pilate gave Jesus over to the religious leaders to be crucified.

The guards mocked and beat Jesus before taking him out to be crucified.  He was crucified between two other men, one on each side.  At one point, Jesus said, “It is finished” and died.  The religious leaders wanted to take the bodies down.  They broke the legs of the other two men first but not the legs of Jesus.  A soldier pierced Jesus in the side and blood and water came out.  A wealthy follower of Jesus, named Joseph, allowed Jesus to be buried in his tomb.

On the third day, one of the followers of Jesus, Mary, went to the tomb and found the stone taken away and the tomb empty.  She ran and told the disciples and some of them came and saw the empty tomb also.  The disciples went away and left Mary alone at the tomb.  Two angels appeared in the tomb first and then Jesus appeared to her and told her not to cry.  Mary then ran to tell the disciples Jesus is alive.

Jesus later appeared to the disciples and showed them the wounds from the crucifixion.  Jesus then breathed on them so that they could receive the Holy Spirit and gave them authority to forgive sins.  Jesus continued to appear to the disciples over several days.  One day he found them in a boat coming back from fishing without a catch.  Jesus told them to cast their net again and they were barely able to pull it into the boat because it was so full.  Then Jesus built a fire and ate with his disciples.

John concludes this book saying there are many other things Jesus did that are too numerous to be contained in a single book.

Acts 

Jesus remained with his disciples for 40 days after he came back to life.  He told them they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit in a few days.  Then, before their eyes, he was taken up to heaven.  Two men in white clothing standing nearby told them Jesus would return one day in exactly the same way.  Then they returned to Jerusalem and because Judas was no longer part of the twelve disciples, they drew lots to replace him and the lot fell to Matthias.

On the day of Pentecost, the disciples were all together when a violent wind from heaven filled the house they were in.  They saw what looked like tongues of fire that came to rest on each of them and all were filled with the Holy Spirit and could speak in different languages.   There were people from many different areas in Jerusalem at that time and they were amazed to hear the disciples declaring the wonders of God in their native language.

Peter preached to the crowd that this was part of the prophecy found in the book of Joel regarding the Holy Spirit.  He then told them the man they crucified was sent by God and came back to life to be with God in heaven.  Then he preached repentance and salvation from sin through Jesus Christ.  On that day three thousand new followers were added.  These followers helped each other, ate together, worshiped together and continued to grow in number daily.

One day Peter and John came upon a man who was lame from birth and they healed him.  Everyone around was amazed and Peter told them this is not their work but power gained by faith in Jesus Christ.  Peter then reminded the crowd of all the prophecy that predicted the coming Messiah and urged them to repent, turn to God, and receive salvation from their sins.  Their numbers grew to about five thousand.

When the religious leaders found out what Peter and John were preaching they arrested them and brought them up for judgment.  Peter and John told the religious leaders they were acting on behalf of Jesus and that their works are from God.  Wanting to keep more people from joining their following, the religious leaders told Peter and John to stop preaching, but they said they could not stop following God’s direction.  The religious leaders could not deny the miraculous nature of the healing and decided to let Peter and John go without punishment.

All the believers were of one heart and mind and shared all their possessions.  The disciples also known as apostles, continued to preach the resurrection of Jesus and salvation from sin.  Followers were selling their land and giving the money to the church.  A man named Ananias, sold his property and gave the money to the apostles but kept a portion of the money for himself.  When the apostles confronted Ananias about lying to them about how much money he received from the sale, Ananias fell down and died.  Then his wife was brought in and asked if they had given all the money from the sale and she lied as well.  The apostles made it clear she was not lying to them, but to God, and she fell down and died.

The apostles continued to perform many signs and wonders and they were highly regarded by the people.  The religious leaders were filled with jealousy and arrested the apostles and put them in jail, but an angel came in the night and released them.  The next day they went back to preaching in the temple courts.

When the religious leaders found out the apostles had escaped and were preaching again they brought them in for judgment.  They told the apostles to stop preaching, but the apostles said they could not stop doing God’s work and pointed out that the religious leaders were the ones who crucified Jesus.  This made the religious leaders furious but they were afraid to put them to death because they had so many followers.

One religious leader, made the point that if the apostles power is of human origin they will eventually fade away; but if they are not, then the religious leaders will be fighting God.  So they decided to flog them and send them back out to fail or succeed.  The apostles continued to proclaim the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

The apostles appointed Stephen to minister to a specific group of people and he performed great wonders and signs in the name of Jesus, but there was an opposition that stood up against Stephen, and brought false charges of blasphemy against him.  When Stephen was brought before the religious leaders they could see that his face was like that of an angel.  They asked him if the charges were true.

Stephen answered by recounting the entire old testament starting with Abraham and continuing to Solomon’s building of the temple of God.  He then pointed out that these religious leaders that were judging him were the ones who killed Jesus Christ the Messiah.  This enraged them and they dragged him out and stoned him to death.

One of the religious leaders named, Saul, approved of Stephen’s killing and a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem began.  Saul dragged off both men and women to prison.  All the followers other than the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

Philip went to Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah and the crowds were filled with joy over the signs he performed.  Many were baptized and followed Philip everywhere as he preached.  When the apostles heard this, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.  The new believers had not received the Holy Spirit, so Peter and John laid hands on them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit.  Peter and John then returned to Jerusalem.  Philip went on to save and baptize an Ethiopian man and then traveled about preaching in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

The religious leaders sent Saul out to Damascus to arrest any who were followers of Jesus but on the way he encountered a bright light from heaven.  Saul fell to the ground and heard Jesus speak to him and tell him to go to Damascus and see a man named Ananias.  The men Saul was traveling with heard the voice also but didn’t know where it came from.  The light blinded Saul and the men with him had to lead him to Ananias for his sight to be restored.

Ananias was told by the Lord to seek out Saul and restore his sight because God had selected him to proclaim the name of Jesus.  Ananias restored Saul’s sight and he was baptized and began preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.  Saul’s power grew as he continued to prove to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah.  Because of his successful preaching there were some who wanted to kill Saul, so he escaped from Damascus during the night.

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, there were many who remembered him as an enemy of the followers of Christ but when the apostles learned about his encounter with Jesus he became one of them and began preaching in Jerusalem.  Again, some who were against the followers of Jesus grew angry with Saul and wanted to kill him.

The church continued to grow in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria and the apostles continued performing signs and wonders.  At one point, in Joppa, Peter brought a woman who died, named Tabitha, back to life.  This became well known in Joppa and many more believed.

A man name Cornelius, a centurion in the Italian Regiment, was devoted to God and one day he saw a vision of an angel that told him to send men to Joppa to find and bring back Peter.  The next day, Peter was praying and had a vision that he did not immediately understand but later realized it was God telling him that not only Jews were to receive salvation but also  Gentiles.  The men Cornelius sent found Peter and took him back with them.  Cornelius was not a Jew and this is when Peter realized his vision from God was to preach to Cornelius.

Peter preached the message of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ and Cornelius and those with him listening were overcome by the Holy Spirit and began speaking in various languages.  Having already been baptized by the Holy Spirit, Peter also baptized them with water and they became part of the family of believers.

When the apostles heard that Peter had preached the word of God to those who were not Jews they were concerned until Peter explained he did so at God’s direction.  Soon the other apostles were also preaching to non-Jews and many were being brought to Christ.  Barnabas and Saul went to Antioch and they taught great numbers of people.  Believers were first called Christians in Antioch.

King Herod intended to persecute the Christian believers and had James the brother of John killed.  Many Jews approved of this treatment and Herod continued by arresting Peter and placing him in prison, but an angel of the Lord rescued Peter and took him out of the prison to safety.  When Herod found out Peter escaped, he had the guards who were supposed to be watching him killed.  Later, Herod was making a public address and refused to give praise to God and was struck down by an angel of the lord and he died.

Saul and Barnabas traveled along with John as their helper to several places to preach.  In Paphos, Saul, who is also called Paul, confronted a sorcerer who was stirring up trouble against them and Paul used his power to strike the sorcerer blind.  This work amazed some and caused them to believe.

Paul and Barnabas went on to Pisidian Antioch and John returned to Jerusalem.  Paul was asked to teach in the synagogue and delivered an account from the Old Testament that traced the ancestry of Jesus and the prophecy about his coming.  He went on to describe the ministry of Jesus and salvation of sin through his death and resurrection.  The people were so impressed they invited Paul and Barnabas back the following week for more teaching about Jesus.  The following week most of the city came out to hear Paul teach.  This made the Jewish leaders extremely jealous and they began to challenge what Paul was teaching.

Paul announced that because some of the Jews were not accepting their teaching they would focus their work on the Gentiles.  This honored the Gentiles and many received salvation.  Because of the Jewish dissent, Paul and Barnabas had to leave that area and go elsewhere.

Paul and Barnabas preached in the synagogue at Iconium and many Jews and Greeks believed.  Some of the Jews who did not believe stirred up trouble and organized both Jews and Gentiles against Paul and Barnabas so they left and went to other towns preaching the gospel.

In Lystra, Paul healed a man who was lame. The crowd was amazed and wanted to bring sacrifices to Paul and Baranabas, and therefore had to be taught this was not necessary.  Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowd against Paul and dragged him out of the city and stoned him, leaving him for dead.  The disciples gathered around him and he was able to get up and go back to the city, but the next day they left to preach elsewhere.

Paul and Barnabas returned to Lystra, Iconium to strengthen the disciples there; then they traveled on to other places, appointing elders at each church.  Finally, they returned to Antioch where they stayed for a long time with the disciples.

Some people came from Judea to Antioch and were teaching that Gentile believers had to be circumcised like the Jews to be saved. Paul, Barnabas, Peter and some others then made a trip to Jerusalem to discuss this matter with the apostles and elders. Peter made the point that salvation was through the grace of God and nothing else was needed.  Barnabas and Paul told how the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit.  Then James quoted the prophets saying that all mankind would seek the Lord.

The apostles and elders of the church in Jerusalem then drafted a letter that offered guidelines for Gentiles from the law of Moses but did not include circumcision.  Paul and Barnabas took this message back to Antioch and the people there were encouraged by the message.

Some-time later, Paul and Barnabas decided to go back to the churches they had visited to see how they were doing.  Paul went with Silas, and Barnabas went in another direction with Mark.

Paul came to Lystra where a disciple named Timothy joined him and together they traveled from town to town preaching the gospel.  The churches were strengthened and grew in faith and numbers.  They continued to travel but the Holy Spirit kept them from going into Asia.  Then Paul felt called by God to go to Macedonia, so they did.  A woman of God named Lydia invited them to stay at her home.

When they were at a place of prayer, a female slave known for fortune-telling began following them and was constantly calling attention to them.  Paul became annoyed by the woman and caused her spirit of fortune-telling to leave her.  Her owners were angry because they used her to make money so they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the authorities where a crowd joined in the attack.  Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison.

At midnight a violent earthquake broke open the prison, opened all the prison doors, and removed all the chains holding Paul and Silas.  The jailer was afraid he would be killed if the men got away and was ready to kill himself but Paul and Silas told him about Jesus and he was saved.  The jailer took Paul and Silas to his home, where he tended their wounds and fed them.  The jailer and all of his household were baptized.

The next day the magistrate ordered the jailer to release Paul and Silas; nevertheless, Paul and Silas made a point that they were Roman citizens and had been placed in prison without a trial, so they requested an escort out of town.  When the magistrate heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens he was concerned and sent an escort for them.

Paul and Silas spent some more time at Lydia’s house where they encouraged the other believers and then Paul continued his journey and preached in many places.  Sometimes he was challenged by opposing crowds and had to move on to stay safe.  He continued to preach salvation through Jesus Christ and repentance from following false idols.  Many were saved and those who already believed were encouraged by Paul’s preaching.

Paul helped believers receive the Holy Spirit in Ephesus and spoke in the synagogue there for three months.  When some publicly maligned him, he moved on.  God did extraordinary miracles through Paul and some were trying to copy him with poor results.  Later there was an uproar in Ephesus regarding Paul’s teaching and he wanted to go before the crowd but his disciples wouldn’t let him.  Finally a city clerk was able to disperse the crowd.  Then Paul went on to Macedonia.

Paul continued his journey to many cities preaching faith in Jesus Christ and performed signs and wonders.  Then Paul decided to return to Jerusalem.  In Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church and when they arrived he encouraged them to continue in their work and to watch for those who would try to disrupt their work.  He told them the Holy Spirit had warned him that prison and hardship awaited him and he said he may not see them again.  They all prayed and wept, not knowing what would happen to Paul.

On the way to Jerusalem, Paul made many stops to meet with believers and encourage them.  Some were concerned about him going to Jerusalem and warned him not to go, but Paul was determined.  When Paul arrived in Jerusalem he met with the believers and reported to them about all the Gentiles that had been saved.  The next day Paul went into the temple and there many Jews who were against his teaching began causing trouble and tried to kill him.  The Roman soldiers had to break up the riot and took Paul to be locked up, but he stopped them and asked for permission to speak to the crowd.

Paul was able to get the crowd’s attention and he told them his whole story, how he persecuted the believers and even watched as Stephen was stoned to death.  He went on to tell them about his encounter with Jesus and his transformation to a believer.  The crowd listened to him until he began to tell them about how he saved the Gentiles.  This enraged them again and they turned on him so the guards took him off to the barracks where they intended to flog him.  When Paul informed them he was a Roman citizen, they had to refrain from flogging him and treat him according to Roman law.

The next day they took Paul before the religious leaders for questioning.   Paul was treated rudely by the religious leaders and the crowd.  He made his case by reminding them he was once a Pharisee himself, and this only caused division among the various factions of religious leaders.  Afraid Paul would be harmed, the guards took him back to their barracks.  While there, the Lord came to Paul and told him he was also to testify regarding Jesus in Rome.

The next day some Jews plotted to kill Paul and when the Romans discovered the plot they moved Paul to Caesarea turning him over to Governor Felix for trial.  Paul was then kept under guard in Herod’s palace.

Five days later, Paul’s accusers arrived and a trial was held.  Paul was accused of being a troublemaker, but he responded by saying he was only preaching salvation through Jesus Christ.  Felix was aware of the Christian followers and decided to hold Paul and decide his case at a later time.  Paul was allowed the freedom to have visitors in prison and Felix spoke to him about faith in Jesus Christ.  He remained in prison for two years, and the then Governor Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus.

Three days after arriving, Festus went to Jerusalem and listened to the religious leaders charges against Paul.  The Jews wanted him to bring Paul back to Jerusalem because they still had plans to kill him, but Festus said he would hold court in Caesarea.  When they came before Festus, the religious leaders brought many charges against Paul but could not prove any of them.  Festus asked Paul if he was willing to go to Jerusalem to stand trial and Paul appealed to be brought before Caesar’s court.

A few days later, King Agrippa came to visit Festus and Paul was brought before the King by request.  Festus told King Agrippa he was not sure what to write to Caesar’s court in regard to this case and asked for King Agrippa’s help in specifying the charges against him.

King Agrippa allowed Paul to state his case and Paul detailed his life from the time he persecuted the believers to his encounter with Jesus, and his conversion to becoming a follower and a preacher of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Festus then called Paul insane, but Paul appealed to Agrippa because Paul knew King Agrippa was aware of the Christian beliefs, but Agrippa told Paul he was not ready to become a Christian himself.  Agrippa and Festus left the room and Agrippa said to Festus that Paul was not guilty of any crime deserving death or imprisonment but because he appealed to Caesar they had to continue holding him and later sent him to Rome.

Paul’s journey to Italy was long, and involved several ships.  At one point, Paul warned them against continuing the voyage because he believed the weather would overtake them, but they continued anyway.  Soon after, they were caught in a raging storm for several days and eventually went aground on a sandbar.  Some swam to shore and others found things to float on, and all on board made it to safety as God had told Paul would be the case.

Paul and the others discovered they were on the island of Malta and the islanders showed them kindness.  At one point Paul was bitten by a snake and the islanders thought he would die but when nothing happened to him they believed him to be a god.  Paul then spent time there healing the sick and the islanders honored him and those with him.  Finally they found a boat to continue their journey to Rome.

In Rome, believers greeted Paul and he was allowed to live by himself with a soldier to guard him.  Paul then stated his case before the local Jewish leaders and was given the opportunity to preach the gospel to them.  Some believed and others did not.  Paul was then allowed to stay in Rome without hindrance in his own rented house and proclaim the kingdom of God and salvation through Jesus Christ.  He remained there for two years.

Romans

God is revealed in His creation and those who turn away from him fall into wickedness.  Those who know God’s law have an extra responsibility to follow him.  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, between those who know the law and those who do not; all are saved from their sin by faith in Jesus Christ.  The law is not abolished by faith, but it becomes a partner with faith.  You cannot be saved by following the law, or doing good works; you can only be saved by faith, but following the law and doing good works is a natural outpouring of faith.

It is by the grace of God we are saved through our faith in Jesus Christ.  Sin came into the world by one man’s action, Adam, and through the obedience of one man, Jesus, we receive justification from sin.  The penalty for sin is death, but that is overcome by the sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross.  Before our salvation we were slaves to sin, and once we receive salvation through our faith in Jesus we become slaves to righteousness.  We should seek to serve righteousness rather than sin. We each have a sinful nature that seeks out sin, but the law points us toward God.

The law, and our good work, is powerless to save us from death.  Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can save us from the punishment of our sin.  The Holy Spirit helps believers focus on Godly things.  Those who continue to follow their sinful nature are focused on their sinful desires.  We may continue to struggle in our walk with the Lord, but in the end there will be reward if we remain faithful.

God has created people who will not follow him as a tool to help believers fully understand his power.  If there is no opposition, there is no way for God to show good and evil.  Those who followed the law without faith in God are an example of lost souls.  Abraham had faith before the law and was counted as righteous.

Jesus provides righteousness for everyone who believes.  Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  Jews who have not accepted the Messiah have been allowed to wander off into disobedience so that they may seek God’s mercy.  Arrogance has to be overcome.  There is nothing we can do in our own power to be saved.  We can only be saved by the grace and mercy of God.

Do not follow the evils of this world but seek the righteousness of God.  All believers have different talents and should use those talents to glorify God.   Hate what is evil and cling to what is good.  Overcome evil with good.

Those with political power have been put in place by God and should be given respect.  Treat everyone fairly.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love is the fulfillment of the law.

Not all believers worship God in the same way and each may have their own personal restrictions but this does not change their salvation received from their faith in Jesus Christ.  Don’t judge other believers because of their personal practices.  Those who have doubt are the ones who lack faith.  Everything that does not come from faith is sin.  The strong should bear the failings of the weak.  Fellowship with other believers is an important part of your faith.

1 Corinthians

Continue to follow Jesus Christ, not human teachers or preachers.  God is above all power, wisdom, and strength.  Those who do not believe cannot see or understand God’s wisdom.  Give glory to God for all things.  The Holy Spirit allows believers to understand the spiritual realities of God.

Be careful to avoid the foolishness of this world.  Seek those things that are above.  Your foundation is Jesus Christ and you should build on that, not the false wisdom of this world.  Every believer should conduct himself as a true servant of God.

Believers who are acting in an immoral way or with wickedness should be disciplined.  Believers should not be in disputes with one another outside of the church.  Disputes between believers should be settled within the body of Christ.  Believers should honor God with their bodies by refraining from immorality.

In marriage, the husband and wife should keep each other sexually satisfied to keep from looking with lust outside the marriage.  Being married makes it more difficult to focus on the Lord.  Don’t concern yourself with what you have in this world.  Accept what God has given you and be thankful.

There is only one God and he makes no restrictions on what you eat; however, if another believer has a weakness you should not stimulate that weakness by doing something in front of them that may cause them to stumble.

Those who preach the gospel should expect to reap a material reward for their work.  Those who preach for free willingly become slaves to those receiving the instruction and do so for the sake of the gospel.

Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.  Follow carefully the lessons you learn in the Bible.

God is the head over Christ, and Christ is the head over Man, and Man is the head over woman; nevertheless, man is born of woman, so man and woman are dependent on each other.

Everyone should examine themselves before eating from the Lord’s Table.  If you eat of the bread or drink of the cup in an unworthy manner, you sin against the body of Christ.

Believers each have different spiritual gifts.  Together believers make up the body of Christ.  The body of Christ is made up of many believers with many different gifts to make it complete.

Nothing is more important than love.  Love is even more important than faith.

Those who believe they have special knowledge from the Lord should be tested to make sure they are truly speaking a message from God.

Hold firmly to the gospel.  Christ died for our sins and was raised on the third day.  He then appeared to the apostles and later to more than five hundred others.  Like Christ, we will also be raised from the dead and receive an imperishable body like him.

Believers should give money to the church.  Fellowship with other believers is an important part of Christian faith.

2 Corinthians 

Fellowship with other believers is something that needs to be pursued.  Believers should be honest with each other and forgive transgressions with an open heart.  The law of Moses is the old covenant and salvation through Jesus Christ is the new covenant.  Some unbelievers have been blinded by the devil so they cannot see the light of the gospel.  Believers should not concern themselves with the things of this world but look forward to the eternal world to come.  Believers should no longer live for themselves but for Jesus Christ who died on their behalf.  Believers should be careful when building relationships that depend on unbelievers.  Loving correction produces positive change.   Believers should work together to support each other financially.  Giving to the church and those in need should be done with a cheerful heart.  Work done for God is done in His power, not your own.  Believers should be careful who they accept as an authority, because Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  Jesus says that his power is made perfect in weakness.  Those who are weak become strong in Christ.

Galatians

Believers should be careful not to be taken away from the gospel of Jesus Christ to follow other teachings.  No one is justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.  If you are justified by the law, then Christ died for nothing.  Believers should no longer live for themselves but for Christ who died on their behalf.  Abraham believed God, had faith, and it was credited to him as righteousness – before the law was given.  After the law was given, righteousness was found by following the law.  The law was a guardian until Christ gave his life for us.  Now, like Abraham, we are justified by faith if we believe in Jesus Christ.  Believers are no longer slaves to the law but are now God’s children who have inherited eternal life.  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.  The entire law is fulfilled when you love God with all your heart and when you love your neighbor as yourself.  Live your life by following the Holy Spirit inside you and you will be protected from the dangerous desires of this world.  Stay focused on love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Believers should support each other in keeping focused on the Holy Spirit.  Those who seek worldly favor over Godly favor, are doomed to destruction.

Ephesians

Jesus Christ is the head of the church.  Those who are not believers are following the devil who manipulates them.  Believers have been saved by the grace of God through their faith in Jesus Christ who made it possible for Jews and Gentiles to receive salvation and eternal life.  Believers are bonded together as the body of Christ and each has a part to play.  Believers mature in their faith by removing themselves from the world and seeking the things of God. Believers should be kind and compassionate to one another and forgive as Christ forgave them.  Believers should walk in the way of love and refrain from sexual immorality, impurity, or greed.  Wives of believers should submit to their husbands and husbands should love their wives in the same way Christ loves the church.  Children should obey their parents and honor them.  Fathers should not exasperate their children and should teach them about God.  When working for others, believers should work as though working for God.  Believers should combat the schemes of the devil with truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.  Believers should always be praying to God for themselves and for other believers.

Philippians 

Believers should always conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, sharing in the Spirit with tenderness and compassion.  Believers should be of one mind, not selfish or vain, and full of love for each other.  Believers should be aware there are many enemies of the cross of Christ with their minds on earthly things and their destiny is destruction.  Believers await their Lord Jesus Christ and transformation to a glorious body like him.  Believers should rejoice in the Lord and not be anxious about their situation, but seek God’s help through prayer.  God’s peace can be attained by focusing the mind on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, and praiseworthy.

Colossians

All things were created through and for Jesus Christ and he is the head of the body, the church.  All treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ.  Believers should avoid those who teach the following of human tradition rather than Christ.  Believers should be aware of false teachers and false restrictions.  Believers should focus on heavenly things and avoid worldly things and let the peace of Christ rule in their hearts.  Always work at whatever you are doing with all your heart as though working for the Lord.

1 Thessalonians

Believers and teachers of believers should be diligent in supporting one another, loving one another, and strengthening one another.  According to the Lord’s word, the dead in Christ will be brought back to life when he returns, then those who are still alive will be brought together with the risen dead and Jesus in the clouds, and will then be with him forever.  We do not know when the Lord will come, so you need to always be ready.   Believers will be saved from wrath and be brought together with Jesus.  Always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.  Rejoice, pray, and give thanks in all circumstances, because it is God’s will.  Reject evil.  Love one another.

2 Thessalonians

Believers will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God.  God will justly pay back those who trouble believers and give relief to believers who have been troubled.  This will happen when Jesus returns in a blazing fire with his angels.  He will punish those who have turned their back on God.  That day will come after the antichrist proclaims himself to be God.  Jesus will overthrow the antichrist and destroy him completely and all will be condemned who have delighted in wickedness.  The Lord will protect believers from the devil.  Believers should work hard for the cause of the Gospel.

1 Timothy 

The law is good if used properly but the law is not for the righteous, it is for lawbreakers.  Women have a different role than men.  Authorities in the church should be above reproach, should train themselves to be godly and set an example for the believers.  The church should protect believers from false teachers.  Authorities in the church should offer correction with love and respect.  Widows who are in need should be looked out for by the church.  Elders who help in the church should be given great respect and treated fairly.  Those in the church should be content with godliness and not seek wealth because it is a dangerous trap.  Money is a tool used by the devil to turn people away from God. You avoid the devil by pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

2 Timothy 

If you have been called to serve God it is not because of anything you have done or accomplished, but is because it suits God’s purpose and grace.   Those who have given themselves over to service to God should be willing to suffer and struggle as required, knowing there will be a reward in heaven.  Teachers in the church should avoid arguments and quarreling, and should not be resentful but prepared to instruct.  Those who stay above worthless chatter remain useful to God.  Stand apart from the evil desires of this world by pursuing righteousness, faith, love and peace.   Call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  In the last days people will be turning from God in many different ways and these people should be avoided so that you are not pulled into their evil ways.  Some will appear to be in the pursuit of godliness but will never attain it.  Evildoers and impostors will deceive and be deceived.  To remain equipped for good-work, study the Scripture.  All Scripture is inspired by God and therefore of great value.  Teachers in the church should preach the word, be prepared always, correct, rebuke, and encourage, with great patience and careful instruction.  A time is coming when many will turn to other teachings, and myths.  The church should remain focused on the gospel, doing the work of an evangelist and conducting all the duties of ministry.

Titus

Leaders in the church must be blameless and disciplined and must hold firmly to the teachings of the gospel.  False teachers should be confronted and believers guided back to the truth.  Sound doctrine should be taught and believers should be guided toward righteousness.  Believers should be subject to those in charge and be obedient doing whatever is good.  Believers have been saved by the mercy of God and have been granted eternal life through Jesus Christ and should now seek to do what is good and avoid foolishness.

Philemon 

We are all accepted in Christ.

Hebrews 

Jesus Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being.  Jesus sits at the right hand of God and through him the universe was made.  Before Jesus, angels spoke for God but now Jesus is above the angels and the salvation he promised is confirmed by the signs, wonders, and various miracles, and by the Holy Spirit inside every believer.  Jesus was made perfect by God for the purpose of our salvation.  The death of Jesus broke the power over death held by the devil and frees believers from the slavery of the fear of death.  Because Jesus was fully human and therefore suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Believers should fix their thoughts on Jesus and hold firmly to their confidence and hope in him.  Encourage one another so that none will turn away from God.  The people of God will one day receive rest from all their work.  Believers should diligently seek that rest by holding firmly to their faith in Jesus Christ.  The word of God is a powerful tool used to move closer to God and will expose any weakness that believers need to correct.  Jesus is the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Believers should strive for maturity in their walk with the Lord.  It is impossible for those who were once believers and who have fallen away to be brought back to repentance.  It is important to stay focused on God, and through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Jesus has become the believer’s high priest forever.  Jesus is able to save those who come to God through him because he always lives to intercede for them.  Jesus has sacrificed for their sins once and for all on the Cross, and sits at the right hand of God.  The sanctuary of the Old Testament human priest was a copy and shadow of what is in heaven.  The ministry of Jesus is a new covenant established by God to permanently forgive the sins of believers.  In the old covenant, human priests provided redemption from sin by sprinkling the blood of calves in the sanctuary.  Jesus Christ entered heaven, the true sanctuary, with his own blood, to take away the sins of believers forever.

Believers should move closer to God knowing their salvation is secure, and support each other in worship and fellowship, helping each other avoid future sin.

Without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to God must have faith that he exists.  Throughout the Bible, over and over, time after time, from Abel to Abraham, from Noah to Joseph, there are numerous accounts of people acting by faith who were commended for doing so.  Believers should fix their eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.

Endure hardship as discipline.  God disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in his holiness.  God’s discipline will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who are trained by it.

Worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.  Love one another, show hospitality to strangers, remember those who are suffering for the church, honor marriage, do not love money, be content with what you have.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

James 

Difficult times produce perseverance and perseverance equals maturity.  If you seek wisdom, ask God and it will be given to you unless you have doubt.  God does not tempt anyone.  Your own evil desires tempt and give birth to sin and finally death.  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.  Do not merely listen to the word, but act on the instruction of the word.  Do not show favoritism to the rich over the poor.  If you break one of God’s laws you are guilty of breaking them all because you have become a lawbreaker in any case.  Faith without action is dead.  Faith and actions should work together.

Be careful what you say, your words can have a great impact.  Envy and selfish ambition comes from the devil.  Wisdom from heaven is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.   Peacemakers reap a harvest of righteousness.

Ask of God and you will receive unless you ask with the wrong motives.  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God.  Submit to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come near to God and he will come near to you.  Do not judge your neighbor.  Do not make plans beyond the will of God.  If anyone knows what is good and does not do it, they have sinned.

The rich should consider carefully how they spend their money.  Wait patiently for the Lord.  Do not swear.  Pray for the sick.  The prayer of a righteous person is powerful.  Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way saves them from death and covers over a multitude of sins.

1 Peter

Believers should remain holy and avoid the evil desires of this world, remaining certain of their salvation through Jesus Christ.  Consider carefully the teachings in the Bible and focus your mind on the sacrifice Jesus made for you on the Cross.  The beauty of a woman should come from the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit rather than adornments of the hair, clothing, or jewelry.  Husbands should treat their wives with respect.   Believers should be like-minded, sympathetic, and humble.

Believers should always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks to give the reason for the hope that is in them and should do so with gentleness and respect.  No longer live for earthly desires but live for the will of God.  If you suffer for being a Christian, count it as a blessing.  God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.  Resist the devil by standing firm in your faith.

2 Peter

God has given us everything we need to live a godly life.  Believers should make every effort to add to their faith goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.  Focus on the knowledge that salvation through Jesus Christ is real and that the prophecy of things to come found in the Bible is truly inspired by God.

There are false prophets that many will follow into depraved conduct.  God will rescue the godly but will hold the wicked accountable.  In the last days, there will be scoffers who mock the fact that people have been saying Jesus will return for hundreds of years.  Keep in mind, a thousand years is like one day to God.  He is not slow to keep his promise but patient to give everyone a chance to come to repentance.

The day of the Lord will come like a thief so be prepared at all times.  The earth will be destroyed and we will receive a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells.  Be on guard and grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 John 

The apostles were eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus Christ and knew him personally.  The teachings of the apostles are directly from God.  God is light and in him there is no darkness.  If you walk in the light you have fellowship with God; if you walk in darkness you do not.  We all have sin, and if you claim not to have sin, you deceive yourself.

Whoever says they know Jesus but does not follow his teaching is a liar.  If you follow the teachings of Jesus you know Jesus.  If anyone loves this world they do not love God.  Whoever does the will of God will live forever.  The antichrist is coming.  Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ, is an antichrist.

When Christ appears, believers will be like him and will see him as he is.  No one who lives in Jesus continues to sin.  Jesus appeared to destroy the devil’s work.  Anyone who does not love remains in death.  The command of God is to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another.  You know you have kept that command by the Holy Spirit inside you.

Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; but every spirit that does not, is the spirit of the antichrist.  Believers have overcome the antichrist because of the Holy Spirit living inside of them.  God so loved us that he sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.  Jesus was sacrificed on the Cross for us.  There is no greater love than this.  Above all else we should love one another.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God lives in them.

Jesus keeps believers safe from the evil one.  The whole world is under the control of the evil one.  Jesus has come so that we may know him and have eternal life.

2 John

Walk in love and stay away from deceivers who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.

3 John

Do not imitate what is evil but what is good.

Jude

Believers must contend for the faith.  Ungodly people will try to pervert the message with a license for immorality and a denial that Jesus Christ is our only Savior and Lord.

God has bound with everlasting chains the angels who did not keep their positions of authority and will keep them in darkness until his return.  The Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict the ungodly.

By building yourselves up in the faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, you keep yourself in God’s love and will be ready to receive mercy from Jesus Christ and eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt and save them from the coming fire.

To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord before all ages, now and forevermore!  Amen.

The book of Revelation

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