Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Book of Esther
Chapter 1:17-18, 20, 22

Today Brethren, we start a new study.


This is taken from its principal character, a Jewish maiden became queen of a Persian King. To explain the origin of the feast of Purim work of providence for God's people. The events narrated are thought to have occurred about 56 years after the first return of Zerubbabel in 536 B. C. The King then would be Xerxes the Great, and the drunken feast may have been preparatory to the invasion of Greece in the third year of his reign.Connection with Other Books. There is no connection between Esther and the other books of the Bible. While it is a story of the time when the Jews were returning to Jerusalem, and very likely should come between the first and second return, and, therefore, between the sixth and seventh chapters of Ezra, the incident stands alone. Without it we would lose much of our knowledge of that period.

17 For the act of the Queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their own eyes, and shall say, The King Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the Queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.
18 So shall the Princesses of Persia and Media this day say unto all the King’s Princes, when they hear of the act of the Queen: thus shall there be much despitefulness and wrath.
20 And when the decree of the King which shall be made, shall be published throughout all his kingdom (though it be great) all the women shall give their husbands honor, both great and small.

22 For he sent letters into all the provinces of the King, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should [a]bear rule in his own house, and that he should publish it in the language of that same people.

Related Scripture

Verse 17 – Ephesians 5:33

Verse 20 – 1 Peter 3:1
Verse 22 – Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Timothy 2:12
The decree was not unnecessary. The undue influence of women in domestic, and even in public, matters is a feature of the ancient Persian monarchy. Atossa completely ruled Darius. Xerxes himself was, in his later years, shamefully subject to Amestris. The example of the court would naturally infect the people. The decree therefore would be a protest, even if [it were], ineffectual.” Albert Barnes Commentary of the Bible

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 16:15-16, 20

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.
16 He that shall believe and be baptized, shall be saved: but he that will not believe, shall be damned.
20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere. And the Lord wrought with them, and confirmed the word with signs that followed. Amen.


The Apostles are appointed, and their office is limited unto them, which is to preach that which they heard of him, and to minister the Sacraments, which Christ hath instituted, having besides power to do miracles. Not to the Jews only, nor in Judea only, but to all men, and everywhere: and so must all the Apostles do. To wit, the doctrine: therefore doctrine must go before, and signs must follow after.
Source - GNV Translation Ed. 1599 – Study notes

An army chaplain once said to the Duke of Wellington, ‘Do you think that it is of any use our taking the gospel to the hill tribes in India? Will they ever receive it?’ The duke replied, ‘What are your marching orders?’ That was the only answer he gave. Stern disciplinarian as that great soldier was, he only wanted marching orders, and he obeyed; and he meant that every soldier of the cross must obey the marching orders of Christ, his great Commander. I do want you all to feel that it is not the end, though it may be the beginning, of Christian life to come and hear sermons. Scatter as widely as ever you can the blessing which you get for yourself; the moment you find the light, and realize that the world is in the dark, run away with your match, and lend somebody else a light” - Spurgeon

This ends our study of the Gospel According to Mark Chapters one through sixteen.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 16:9-14

9 And when Jesus was risen again, early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils:
10 And she went and told them that had been with him, which mourned and wept.
11 And when they heard that he was alive, and had appeared to her, they believed it not.
12 ¶ After that, he appeared unto two of them in another form, as they walked and went into the country.
13 And they went and told it to the remnant, neither believed they them.
14 Finally, he appeared unto the eleven as they sat together, and reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him, being risen up again.

Perhaps it is not so amazing that they did not at first believe. Place yourselves in their shoes at the time. Even though they themselves, had witness the raising of the dead on a few occasions, (the most notable being Lazarus), they could not bring their faith to believe that He that raised others, would Himself be raised.

Verse 9 - Christ himself appeareth to Mary Magdalene to upbraid the disciples’ incredulity.
Verse 12 - Christ appeareth to two other disciples, and at length to the eleven.
Verse 14 - The Evangelist considered not the order of the time, but the course of his history, which he divided into three parts: The first showeth how he appeared to the women, the second, to his Disciples, the third, to his Apostles, and therefore he saith, Finally.

Better news cannot be brought to disciples in tears, than to tell them of Christ's resurrection. And we should study to comfort disciples that are mourners, by telling them whatever we have seen of Christ. It was a wise providence that the proofs of Christ's resurrection were given gradually, and admitted cautiously, that the assurance with which the apostles preached this doctrine afterwards might the more satisfy. Yet how slowly do we admit the consolations which the word of God holds forth! Therefore while Christ comforts his people, he often sees it needful to rebuke and correct them for hardness of heart in distrusting his promise, as well as in not obeying his holy precepts.” - Matthew Henry Theologian

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 15:33-47

33 Now when the sixth hour was come, darkness arose over all the land until the ninth hour.
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama-sabachthani? which is by interpretation, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elijah.
36 And one ran, and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let him alone: let us see if Elijah will come, and take him down.
37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
38 And the veil of the Temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom.
39 Now when the Centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he thus crying gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
40 There were also women which beheld afar off, among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less, and of Joses, and Salome,
41 Which also when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him, and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
42 And now when the night was come (because it was the day of the preparation that is before the Sabbath)
43 Joseph of Arimathea, an honorable counselor, which also looked for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and asked the body of Jesus.
44 And Pilate marveled, if he were already dead, and called unto him the Centurion, and asked of him whether he had been any while dead.
45 And when he knew the truth of the Centurion, he gave the body to Joseph:
46 Who bought a linen cloth, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulcher:
47 And Mary Magdalene, and Mary Joses’ mother, beheld where he should be laid.

Verse 33 - The strangeness of the wonder, is so much the more set forth in that, that at the feast of the Passover, and in the full moon, when the Sun shined over all the rest of the world and at midday that corner of the world, wherein so wicked an act was committed, was overcovered with most gross darkness.
Verse 38 - By renting of the veil of the Temple, and by the testimony wrung out of them which murdered him, he showeth evidently unto the rest of his enemies which are as yet obstinate, and mock at him, that he shall be known out of hand to be conqueror and Lord of all. (a)

'This rending of the veil signified that the whole of the Jewish dispensation, with its rites and ceremonies, was now unfolded by Christ; and that thenceforth the middle wall of partition was broken down, so that now, not the Jews only, but the Gentiles also might draw nigh by the blood of Christ. It further signified that the way to heaven was laid open by our Lord's death. 'When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.'The veil signified that heaven was closed to all, until Christ by his death rent this veil in twain, and laid open the way.
Pulpit Commentary

At the same instant that Jesus died, the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. This spake terror to the unbelieving Jews, and was a sign of the destruction of their church and nation. It speaks comfort to all believing Christians, for it signified the laying open a new and living way into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. The confidence with which Christ had openly addressed God as his Father, and committed his soul into his hands, seems greatly to have affected the centurion. Right views of Christ crucified will reconcile the believer to the thought of death; he longs to behold, love, and praise, as he ought, that Saviour who was wounded and pierced to save him from the wrath to come.”
Matthew Henry - Theologian

(a) – One might also say, that this likewise was significant in that the veil separated the temple into to portions. The people, and the priests. It was known as the Holy of Holies. Thus when torn, the people, were now able to approach God Himself, instead of having a human intercessor, they now had a high priest in Christ. (Read Hebrews 2:17, 3:1, 4:14-15, 7:27, 9:11) “Having laid the foundation, that is to say, declared and proved both the natures of one selfsame Christ, he giveth him three offices, to wit, the office of a Prophet, king, and Priest, of the doctrine of the Gospel which we profess.” - GNV Notes

Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit
  Abridged from the Rev. Matthew Henry
Edited by R.P. Woitowitz Sr.
A meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4
Published by the American Tract Society


There is in it the credit of beauty. The beauty of a thing consists in the symmetry, harmony, and agreeableness of all the parts: now what is meekness but the soul's agreement with itself? It is the joint concurrence of all the affections to the universal peace and quiet of the soul, every one regularly acting in its own place and order, and so contributing to the common good. Next to the beauty of holiness, which is the soul's agreement with God, is the beauty of meekness, which is the soul's agreement with itself. "Behold how good and how pleasant a thing it is" for the powers of the soul thus to "dwell together in unity;" the reason knowing how to rule, and the affections at the same time knowing how to obey. Exorbitant passion is a discord in the soul; it is like a tumor in the face which spoils the beauty of it: meekness scatters the humor, binds down the swelling, and so prevents the deformity and preserves the beauty. This is one instance of the comeliness of grace, "through my comeliness," says God to Israel, "which I had put upon thee." [Read Ezekiel 16:14]. It puts a charming loveliness and amiableness upon the soul, which renders it acceptable to all who know what true worth and beauty is. He that in righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, that is, in Christian meekness and quietness of spirit, "serveth Christ, is acceptable to God and approved of men." [Read Romans 14:18]. And to whom else can we wish to recommend ourselves.

Solomon, a very competent judge of beauty, has determined that it is "a man's wisdom" that "makes his face to shine;" [Read Ecclesiastes 8:1], and doubtless the meekness of wisdom contributes as much as any one branch of it to this lustre. We read in Scripture of three whose faces shone remarkably, and they were all eminent for meekness. The face of Moses shone, and he was the meekest of all the men on earth. The face of Stephen shone, and he it was who, in the midst of a shower of stones, so meekly submitted, and prayed for his persecutors. The face of our Lord Jesus shone in his transfiguration, and he was the great pattern of meekness. It is a sweet and pleasing air which this grace puts upon the countenance, while it keeps the soul in tune, and frees it from those jarring discords which are the certain effect of an ungoverned passion.

There is in it the credit of an ornament. The apostle speaks of it as "an adorning" [Read 1 Peter 3:4], much more excellent and valuable than gold, pearls, or the most costly array. It is an adorning to the soul, the principal, the immortal part of the man. That outward adorning does but deck and beautify the body, which at the best is but a sister to the worms, and will ere long be a feast for them; but this is the ornament of the soul, by which we are allied to the invisible world: it is an adorning that recommends us to God, which is in his sight "of great price." Ornaments go by estimation: now we may be sure the judgment of God is right and unerring. Every thing is indeed as it is with God: those are righteous indeed, that are righteous before God; and that is an ornament indeed, which he calls and counts so. It is an ornament of God's own making. Is the soul thus decked? It is he that has decked it. By his Spirit he hath garnished the heavens, and by the same Spirit has he garnished the meek and quiet soul. It is an ornament of his accepting; it must needs be so, if it be of his own working; for to him who has this ornament, more adorning shall be given. He has promised that he will "beautify the meek with salvation;" [Read Psalm 149:4], and if the garments of salvation will not beautify, what will? The robes of glory will be the everlasting ornaments of meek and quiet spirits. This meekness is an ornament that, like the Israelites' clothes in the wilderness, never waxes old, nor will ever go out of fashion while right reason and religion have place in the world: all the wise and good will reckon those best dressed that put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and walk with him in the white of meekness and innocency. Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these lilies of the vallies, though lilies among thorns.[Read Matthew 6:29; Luke 12:27].

The same ornament which is recommended to wives, is by the same apostle recommended to us all. "Yea, all of you be subject one to another:" that explains what meekness is; it is that mutual yielding which we owe one to another, for edification and in the fear of God. This seems to be a hard saying; how shall we digest it? an impracticable duty; how shall we conquer it? Why, it follows, "Be clothed with humility." Which implies, [first], the fixedness of this grace: we must gird it fast to us, and not leave it to hang loose, so as to be snatched away by every temptation: watchfulness and resolution in the strength of Christ must tie the knot upon our graces, and make them as the girdle that cleaves to a man's loins. [Second], the comeliness and ornament of it; put it on as a knot of ribbons, as an ornament to the soul: such is the meekness of wisdom; it gives to the head an ornament of grace, and, which is more, a crown of glory. (See Proverbs 1:9; 6:9).

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 15:27-31

27 They crucified also with him two thieves, the one on the right hand, and the other on his left.
28 Thus the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was counted among the wicked.
29 And they that went by, railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Hey, thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three days,
30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
31 Likewise also even the high Priests mocking, said among themselves with the Scribes, He saved other men, himself he cannot save.

Related Scripture:
Verse 28 – Isaiah 53:12


We read above how our Savior was mocked during His crucifixion, little did they realize that His death was the saving grace for all mankind.

The chief priests and the scribes are more bitter than the people. In fact they had all along endeavored to rouse the bad passions of the people against our Lord. And now they take advantage of this his present degraded condition to renew the old charge that his miracles of healing had been wrought by Beelzebub, because, if they had been wrought by God, God would have interposed in this his sore extremity and have set him free. He saved others. They cannot deny this fact. But they now try to turn this fact against him, by alleging that he who pretended to work miracles upon others, wrought them, not by the finger of God, but by Beelzebub, seeing that, if they had been wrought by a Divine power, the same power would now be exercised for his deliverance. They desired to take advantage of this public opportunity of exposing him as an impostor, and so they hoped to get rid of him, and at the same time to blot the very name of Christianity from out of the earth.” - Pulpit Commentary

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Gospel According to Matthew
Chapter 24:12
Special Commentary

12 And because iniquity shall be increased, the love of many shall be cold.

Let us reflect a minute on what earlier in this Gospel, that is chapter twenty two, when Christ is queried as to what is the greatest commandments. To which He replies, to love God and to love one another. And yet, we see anger, vileness, hatred, animosity, envy, and other things that do not reflect the righteousness of God, towards each other. We've likewise seen a turning away from His precepts and wisdom, and in its stead have replaced it with worldly wisdom. Friends, this should not be so.

If we ask ourselves honestly, how did this happen, we must first examine the fact that we, as a people have turned away from our Creator. We have rejected His love for us, and replaced it with a love for each of us, that is to say; the individual. How can with love others, if we cannot love God first?

I can only speak upon what I see.

“By the abounding of iniquity here, we may either understand the rage, and malice, and cruelty of the enemies of the gospel; or the apostasy of such as are professors. Both these are great temptations, and though they will not extinguish that holy fire which God hath kindled in good souls, yet they have oft times a very ill influence upon them, to abate of their former warmth in the ways of God. Or if we understand it of love to brethren, the apostasy of professors much cools the Christian, not knowing who they may trust and confide in as sincere. If by the abounding of iniquity we understand the abounding of profaneness in the general, (which always also aboundeth most in times of persecution), that also hath no small influence upon Christians’ warmth in their profession, to cool and abate it.”
Matthew Pool's Bible Commentary

Either the malice and wickedness of outrageous persecutors, which should greatly increase; or the treachery and hatred of the apostates; or the errors and heresies of false teachers; or the wickedness that prevailed in the lives and conversations of some, that were called Christians: for each of these seem to be hinted at in the context, and may be all included, as making up the abounding iniquity here spoken of; the consequence of which would be, the love of many shall wax cold. This would be the case of many, but not of all; for in the midst of this abounding iniquity, there were some, the ardour of whose love to Christ, to his Gospel, and to the saints, did not abate: but then there were many, whose zeal for Christ, through the violence of persecution, was greatly damped; and through the treachery of false brethren, were shy of the saints themselves, not knowing who to trust; and through the principles of the false teachers, the power of godliness, and the vital heat of religion, were almost lost; and through a love of the world, and of carnal ease and pleasure, love to the saints was grown very chill, and greatly left; as the instances of Demas, and those that forsook the Apostle Paul, at his first answer before Nero, show. This might be true of such, who were real believers in Christ; who might fall under great decays, through the prevalence of iniquity; since it does not say their love shall be lost, but wax cold.”
John Gill – Theologian

Lawlessness. No word could more fitly represent [the present times]; of the many; the greater part ...who would be found in the Church of Christ; perhaps, also, the greater part of the nation as such. This was the natural result of the condition of things implied in the “lawlessness.” The tendency of all such times, as seen in the histories of famines, and pestilences, and revolutions, is to intensify selfishness, both in the more excusable form of self-preservation, and in the darker form of self-aggrandizement.”
J.C. Ellicott - Theologian

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 15:17-20

17 And clad him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
18 And began to salute him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews.
19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and spat upon him, and bowed the knees, and did him reverence.
20 And when they had mocked him, they took the purple off him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.


Is this not what we see today? People, lovers of themselves and all things that go against God's righteousness. They that would pay false homage to Him. Those who mock God lift themselves up thinking that they themselves are gods. They believe the first lie of Satan who when he spoke to Eve suggested that she and Adam would be as god Himself. Read Galatians 6:7

Christ met death in its greatest terror. It was the death of the vilest malefactors. Thus the cross and the shame are put together. God having been dishonoured by the sin of man, Christ made satisfaction by submitting to the greatest disgrace human nature could be loaded with. It was a cursed death; thus it was branded by the Jewish law, (See Deuteronomy 21:23). The Roman soldiers mocked our Lord Jesus as a King; thus in the high priest's hall the servants had mocked him as a Prophet and Saviour. Shall a purple or scarlet robe be matter of pride to a Christian, which was matter of reproach and shame to Christ? He wore the crown of thorns which we deserved, that we might wear the crown of glory which he merited. We were by sin liable to everlasting shame and contempt; to deliver us, our Lord Jesus submitted to shame and contempt. He was led forth with the workers of iniquity, though he did no sin. The sufferings of the meek and holy Redeemer, are ever a source of instruction to the believer, of which, in his best hours, he cannot be weary. Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I, a vile sinner, fret or repine? Shall I indulge anger, or utter reproaches and threats because of troubles and injuries?”
Matthew Henry – Theologian

"Worshipped him - Mocked him with the appearance' of homage. The word "worship' here denotes only the respect and honor shown to princes and kings. It does not refer to any "religious" homage. They regarded him as foolishly and madly claiming to be a king - not as claiming to be divine.”
Barnes' notes on the Bible

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 14:66-72

66 And as Peter was beneath in the hall, there came one of the maids of the high Priest.
67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked on him, and said, Thou wast also with Jesus of Nazareth.
68 But he denied it, saying, I know him not, neither wot I what thou sayest. Then he went out into the porch, and the cock crew.
69 Then a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.
70 But he denied it again: and anon after, they that stood by, said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art of Galilee, and thy speech is like.
71 And he began to curse, and swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
72 Then the second time the cock crew, and Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice, and weighing that with himself, he wept.

And when he thought thereon; on the words of Christ, and on his sin in denying him, and on the aggravated circumstances of it. The Arabic version renders it, "he turned himself to weep"; he turned away from the company, he threw himself out of it, and got out of doors as fast as he could, and broke out into a violent fit of weeping. The Syriac, Persic, and Vulgate Latin versions, render it, "he began to weep"; this phrase is omitted in the Ethiopic version: some choose to render it, "he looked upon him", that is, on Christ: as Christ looked upon him; which produced true evangelical repentance in him, so Peter looked upon his dear Lord with concern, whom he so had shamefully denied; he looked upon him and mourned, he looked upon him with an eye of faith, and sorrowed for his sin after a godly sort: but the true sense of the word is, 'he covered himself'; he cast his garment over his head, he veiled himself as mourners did, who covered their heads, and their faces, and even their lips.

So Maimonides from whence, says he, is uncovering the head, forbidden a mourner? For, lo! it is said to (See Ezekiel 24:17 ) , "cover not thy lips" at all, for the rest of mourners are obliged to the covering of the head; the linen cloth, or veil, with which he covers his head, he covers with a part of it, a little over his mouth; as it is said, ( See Leviticus 13:45 ), 'He shall put a covering upon his upper lip': and Onkelos paraphrases it, 'as a mourner he shall cover himself'.

And thus Peter, through shame, and as a token of sorrow and mourning for his sin, threw his garment over him: and he wept; as Matthew says, 'bitterly': being fully convinced of his sin, and heartily sorry lot it.” - John Gill - Theologian

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit
  Abridged from the Rev. Matthew Henry
Edited by R.P. Woitowitz Sr.
A meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4
Published by the American Tract Society


The very opening of this cause, one would think, were enough to carry it; and the explaining of the nature of meekness and quietness should suffice to recommend it to us. Such an amiable sweetness does there appear in it upon the very first view, that if we look upon its beauty, we cannot but be enamored with it. But because of the opposition of our corrupt hearts to this, as well as the other graces of the Holy Spirit, I shall endeavor more particularly to show the excellency of it, that we may be brought, if possible, to be in love with it, and to submit our souls to its charming power.

It is said, that a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. (See Proverbs 17:27). Tremellius translates it, “he is of a cool spirit;” put them together and they teach us that a cool spirit is an excellent spirit, and that he is a man of understanding who is governed by such a spirit. The Scriptures tell us—what need we more?—That it is in the sight of God of great price, and we may be sure that is precious indeed which is so in God's sight: that is good, very good, which he pronounces so; for his judgment is according to truth, and sooner or later he will bring all the world to be of his mind; for as he has decided it, so shall our doom be, and, he will be "justified when he speaketh, and clear when he judgeth.” [Read Matthew 12:37; Romans 3:4]. The excellency of a meek and quiet spirit will appear, if we consider the credit of it, and the comfort of it—the present profit there is by it, and
the preparedness there is in it for future blessings.

Consider how creditable a meek and quiet spirit is. Credit or reputation all desire, though few consider aright what it is, or what is the right way of obtaining it; and particularly it is little believed what a great deal of true honor there is in the grace of meekness, and what a sure and ready way mild and quiet souls take to gain the approval of their Master, and of all their fellow-servants who love him and are like him.[Read 1 Peter 3:4]

There is in it the credit of a victory. What a great figure do the names of high and mighty conquerors make in the records of fame! How are their conduct, their valor and success cried up and celebrated! But if we will believe the word of truth, and pass a judgment upon things according to it, "he that is slow to anger, is better than the mighty; [Read Proverbs 16:32; James 1:19], and he that ruleth his spirit, than he that taketh a city." Behold, a greater than Alexander or Caesar is here; the former of whom, some think, lost more true honor by yielding to his own ungoverned anger, than he got by all his conquests. No triumphant chariot so easy, so safe, so truly glorious, as that in which the meek and quiet soul rides over all the provocations of an injurious world with a gracious unconcernedness, no train so splendid, so noble, as that train of comforts and graces which attend this chariot. The conquest of an unruly passion is more honorable than that of an unruly people, for it requires more true courage. It is easier to kill an enemy without, which may be done at a blow, than to chain up and govern an enemy within, which requires a constant, even steady hand, and a long and regular management. It was more to the honor of David to yield himself conquered by Abigail's persuasions, than to have made himself a conqueror over Nabal and all his house. [Read 1 Samuel 25:34]. A rational victory must needs be allowed more honorable to a rational creature than a brutal one. This is a cheap, safe, and unbloody conquest, that does nobody any harm; no lives, no treasures are sacrificed to it; the glory of these triumphs are not stained, as others generally are, with funerals. Every battle of the warrior, says the prophet, "is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood;" but this victory shall be obtained by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts. Nay, in meek and quiet suffering we are "more than conquerors," through Christ that loved us: conquerors with little loss, we lose nothing but the gratifying of a base lust; conquerors with great gain, the spoils we divide are very rich—the favor of God, the comforts of the Spirit, the foretastes of everlasting pleasures; these are more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey. We are more than conquerors; that is, triumphers: we live a life of victory; every day is a day of triumph to the meek and quiet soul. [Read Romans 8:31-39]

Meekness is a victory over ourselves and the rebellious lusts in our own bosoms; it is the quieting of intestine broils, the stilling of an insurrection at home, which is often harder than to resist a foreign invasion. It is an effectual victory over those that injure us, and make themselves enemies to us, and is often a means of winning their hearts. The law of meekness is, If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, not only give him drink—which is an act of charity—but drink to him, in token of friendship and true love and reconciliation; and in so doing thou shalt "heap coals of fire upon his head," not to consume him, but to melt and soften him, that he may be cast into a new mould; and thus, while the angry and revengeful man, that will bear down all before him with a high hand, is overcome of evil, the patient and forgiving overcome evil with good; and forasmuch as their "ways please the Lord, he makes even their enemies to be at peace with them." Nay, meekness is a victory over Satan, the greatest enemy of all; and what conquest can be more honorable than this? It is written for caution to us all, and it reflects honor on those who through grace overcome, that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world." [Read Ephesians 6:12]. The magnifying of the adversary, magnifies the victory over him: such as these are the meek man's vanquished enemies; the spoils of these are the trophies of his victory. It is the design of the devil, that great deceiver and destroyer of souls, that is baffled; it is his attempt that is defeated, his assault that is repulsed, by our meekness and quietness. Our Lord Jesus was more admired for controlling and commanding the unclean spirits, than for any other cures which he wrought. Unruly passions are unclean spirits, legions of which some souls are possessed with, and desperate, outrageous work they make; the soul becomes like that miserable creature that cried and cut himself, (SeeMark 5:5); or that, who was so often cast into the fire, and into the waters. (See Mark 9:22). The meek and quiet soul is, through grace, a conqueror over these enemies; their fiery darts are quenched by the shield of faith; Satan is in some measure trodden under his feet; and the victory will be complete shortly, when "he that overcometh" shall sit down with Christ upon his throne, even as he overcame, and is set down with the Father upon his throne, where he still appears in the emblem of his meekness, "a Lamb as it had been slain." And upon Mount Zion, at the head of his heavenly hosts, he appears also as a Lamb. (Revelation 14:1). Such is the honor meekness has in those higher regions.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 14:38

38 Watch ye, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is ready, but the flesh is weak.


If we recall in the preceding verses, (29 and 31), Simon Peter, vehemently says that he shall not stumble, and yet, herein above he and the other disciples are found asleep. Truly, their spirits were indeed willing, but the flesh was unable to keep up with the spirit.

How sad the Saviour’s heart was under the olive trees the disciples could not know; but the sadness was deepened when, coming back to them for a moment, He found them so little like Himself as to be all asleep. A sin of infirmity, no doubt; but what a revelation of the infinite distance separating them from Him! This sleep could perhaps be explained, naturally enough, by reaction of mind after the tense excitement of the day—the passover and supper in the upper room, the long discourse, the wonderful prayer they heard Him offer, the hymn they had sung together, the walk in the darkness to the garden, and the slumberous murmurs of the night wind in the olive trees; and yet it takes us by surprise. We could have expected something better than this. The Master evidently expected something better too. Even His generous excuse for them does not hide His disappointment. Even the palliation that they were sleeping for sorrow' does not hide it either, for there is an accent of surprise in His words, 'Why sleep ye? Simon, sleepest thou?' The words are very sorrowful and touching. They show an ineffable depth of tenderness and compassion. He uttered no reproach, no sharp complaint, at their unseasonable slumber; but only, “What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” and He turned away all thought from Himself to them; and, for their own sakes, bade them “watch and pray,” for that their trial was at hand. In this we have a wonderful example of the love of Christ. How far otherwise we should act in such a case, we all well know. When any seem to us to be less keenly awake to the trial we may happen to be undergoing, we are above measure excited, as if some great wrong were done to us. There is nothing we resent so much as the collected manner of those who are about us in our afflictions. If they still seem the same when we are so changed—even if they can still be natural, feel common interests, and take their wonted rest, we feel exceedingly aggrieved, and almost forget our other trial, in the kindling of a sort of resentment.” - J.C. Ellicott - Theologian

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 14:27-31

27 Then Jesus said unto them, All ye shall be offended by me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.
28 But after that I am risen, I will go into Galilee before you.
29 And Peter said unto him, Although all men should be offended at thee, yet would not I.
30 Then Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, this day, even in this night before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.
31 But he said more earnestly, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee: likewise also said they all.

Verse 28:

“This he says for their comfort, that though he, their shepherd, should be apprehended, condemned, and crucified, should be smitten with death, and be laid in the grave, yet he should rise again; and though they should be scattered abroad, yet should be gathered together again by him, their good shepherd; who would after his resurrection, appear to them, be at the head of them, and go before them, as a shepherd goes before his sheep: for it follows, I will go before you into Galilee; the native place of most, if not all of them. The women [Read Matthew 28:1-10]that came to the sepulchre after Christ's resurrection, were bid, both by the angel, and Christ himself, to remind the disciples of, and ordered them to go into Galilee, where they might expect to see him: accordingly they did go thither, and saw and worshipped him.” - John Gill - Theologian

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 14:22-26

22 And as they did eat, Jesus took the bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it and gave it to them, and said, Take, eat, this is my body.
23 Also he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, gave it to them: and they all drank of it.
24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of that new Testament which is shed for many.
25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until that day, that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
26 And when they had sung a Psalm, they went out to the mount of Olives.
Related Scripture:

1 Corinthians 11:24

Verse 26 - This word “broken” noteth out unto us Christ his manner of death, for although his legs were not broken, as the thieves legs were, yet was his body very sore tormented, and torn, and bruised.

Christ minding forthwith to fulfill the promises of the old covenant, instituteth a new covenant with new figures. Mark saith, Had given thanks: and therefore blessing is not a consecrating, with a conjuring kind of murmuring and force of words: and yet the bread and the wine are changed, not in nature, but in quality, for they become undoubted tokens of the body and blood of Christ, not of their own nature or force of words, but by Christ his institution, which must be recited and laid forth, that faith may find what to lay hold on, both in the word and in the elements. This is a figurative speech, which is called Metonymy (a): that is to say, the putting of one name for another—so calling the bread his body, which is the sign and sacrament of his body: and yet notwithstanding, it is so a figurative and changed kind of speech, that the faithful do receive Christ indeed with all his gifts (though by a spiritual means) and become one with him. - Commentary GNV Translation

(a) - A trope in which one word is put for another that suggests it; as we say a man keeps a good instead of good provisions; We read Virgil, that is [in] his poems; a man has a warm heart, that is warm affections. - Webster's Dictionary Ed. 1917

Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Discourse On Meekness and Quietness of Spirit
  Abridged from the Rev. Matthew Henry
Edited by R.P. Woitowitz Sr.
A meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4
Published by the American Tract Society


Quietness is the evenness, the composure and the rest of the soul, which speaks both the nature and the excellency of the grace of meekness. The greatest comfort and happiness of man is sometimes set forth by quietness. That peace of conscience which Christ has left for a legacy to his disciples, that present sabbatism (a) of the soul which is an earnest of the rest that remains for the people of God, is called "quietness and assurance for ever," and is promised as the effect of righteousness. So graciously has God been pleased to intwine interests with us, as to enjoin the same thing as a duty which he proposes and promises as a privilege. Justly may we say that we serve a good Master, whose "yoke is easy:" it is not only easy, but sweet and gracious, so the word signifies; not only tolerable, but amiable and acceptable, [Read Matthew 11:30].Wisdom's ways are not only pleasant, but pleasantness itself, and all her paths are peace. [Read Job 12:12-13, 16]. It is the character of the Lord's people, both in respect to holiness and happiness, that, however they be branded as the troublers of Israel, they are "the quiet in the land." If every saint be made a spiritual prince, (See Revelation 1:6), having a dignity above others and a dominion over himself, surely he is like Seraiah, "a quiet prince." It is a reign with Christ, the transcendent Solomon, under the influence of whose golden sceptre there is "abundance of peace as long as the moon endures," yea, and longer, for "of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." Quietness is recommended as a grace which we should be endued with, and a duty which we should practice. In the midst of all the affronts and injuries that are or can be offered us, we must keep our spirits sedate and undisturbed, and evidence by a calm and even and regular behavior that they are so. This is quietness. Our Saviour has pronounced the blessing of adoption upon the peacemakers, (See Matthew 5:9); those that are for peace, as David professes himself to be, in opposition to those that delight in war. (See Psalm 120:7). Now, if charity be for peace-making, surely this "charity begins at home,"(b) and is for making peace there in the first place. Peace in our own souls is some conformity to the example of the God of peace, who, though he does not always give peace on this earth, yet evermore "makes peace in his own high places." This some think is the primary intention of that peace-making on which Christ commands the blessing: it is to have strong and hearty affections to peace, to be peaceably-minded. In a word, quietness of spirit is the soul's stillness and silence from intending provocation to any, or resenting provocation from any with whom we have to do.

The word has something in it of metaphor, which admirably illustrates the grace of meekness.

We must be quiet as the air is quiet from winds. Disorderly passions are like stormy winds in the soul, [Read James 1:6] they toss and hurry it, and often strand or overset it; they move it "as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind;" it is the prophet's comparison, and is an apt emblem of a man in passion. Now meekness restrains these winds, says to them, Peace, be still, and so preserves a calm in the soul, and makes it conformable to Him who has the winds in his hands, and is herein to be praised that even the stormy winds fulfill his word. A brisk gale is often useful, especially to the ship of desire, as the Hebrew phrase is in (See Job 9:26); so there should be in the soul such a warmth and vigor as will help to speed us to the desired harbor. It is not well to lie wind-bound in dulness and indifference; but tempests are perilous, yea, though the wind be in the right point. So are strong passions, even in good men; they both hinder the voyage and hazard the ship. Such a quickness as consists with quietness is what we should all labor after, and meekness will contribute very much towards it; it will silence the noise, control the force, moderate the impetus, and correct undue and disorderly transports. What manner of grace is this, that even the winds and the sea obey it! If we will but use the authority God has given us over our own hearts, we may keep the winds of passion under the command of religion and reason; and then the soul is quiet, the sun shines, all is pleasant, serene, and smiling, and the man sleeps sweetly and safely on the lee-side. We make our voyage among rocks and quicksands, but if the weather be calm, we can the better steer so as to avoid them, and by a due care and temper strike the mean between extremes; whereas he that suffers these winds of passion to get head, and spreads a large sail before them, while he shuns one rock, splits upon another, and is in danger of being drowned in destruction and perdition by many foolish and hurtful lusts, especially those whence wars and fightings come. (c)

We must be quiet as the sea is quiet from waves. The wicked, whose sin and punishment both lie in the unruliness of their own souls, and the violence and disorder of their own passions [Read Proverbs 10:23], which perhaps will not be the least of their eternal torments, are compared to "the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt;" that is, they are uneasy to themselves and to all about them, "raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame;" their hard speeches which they speak against God and dignities and things which they know not, their great swelling words and mockings, (See Jude 13, 18), these are the shame they foam out. Now meekness is a grace of the Spirit, that moves upon the face of the waters and quiets them, smooths the ruffled sea and stills the noise of it; it casts forth none of the mire and dirt of passion. The waves mount not up to heaven in proud and vainglorious boasting; they go not down to the depths to scrape up vile and scurrilous language: there is no reeling to and fro, as men overcome with drink or with their own passion; there is none of that transport which brings them to their wits' end; but "they are glad because they are quiet; so he bringeth them to their desired haven." This calmness and evenness of spirit makes our passage over the sea of this world safe and pleasant, quick and speedy towards the desired harbor, and is amiable and exemplary in the eyes of others.

We must be quiet as the land is quiet from war. It was the observable felicity of Asa's reign[Read 2 Chronicles 14:2-6], that "in his days the land was quiet." In the preceding reigns there was no peace to him that went out, or to him that came in; but now the rumors and alarms of war were stilled, and the people delivered from the noise of archers at the place of drawing waters, as when the land had rest in Deborah's time. Such a quietness there should be in the soul, and such a quietness there will be where meekness sways the sceptre. A soul inflamed with wrath and passion upon all occasions, is like a kingdom embroiled in war, in a civil war, subject to continual frights and losses and perils; deaths and terrors in their most horrid shapes walk triumphantly, sleep is disturbed, families broken, friends suspected, enemies feared, laws silenced, commerce ruined, business neglected, cities wasted: such heaps upon heaps does ungoverned anger lay, when it is let loose in the soul. But meekness makes these wars to cease, breaks the bow, cuts the spear, sheathes the sword, and in the midst of a contentious world preserves the soul from being the seat of war, and makes peace in her borders. The rest of the soul is not disturbed, its comforts not plundered, its government not disordered; the laws of religion and reason rule, and not the sword; neither its communion with God nor with the saints interrupted; no breaking in of temptation, no going out of corruption, no complaining in the streets; no occasion given, no occasion taken, to complain. Happy is the soul that is in such a case. The words of such wise men are heard in quiet, more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools, and this "wisdom is better than weapons of war." This is the quietness we should every one of us labor after; and it is what we might attain to, if we would but more support and exercise the authority of our graces, and guide and control the power of our passions.

We must be quiet as the child is quiet after weaning. It is the Psalmist's comparison: "I have behaved," or rather, I have composed, "and quieted myself as a child that is weaned of his mother; my soul is even as a weaned child." A child, while it is in the weaning, perhaps is a little cross and froward and troublesome for a time; but when it is perfectly weaned, how quickly does it accommodate itself to its new way of feeding. Thus a quiet soul, if provoked by the denial or loss of some earthly comfort or delight, quiets itself, and does not fret at it, nor perplex itself with anxious cares how to live without it, but composes itself to make the best of that which is. And this holy indifference to the delights of sense is, like the weaning of a child, a good step taken towards the perfect man, "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." A child newly weaned is free from all the uneasiness and disquietude of care and fear and anger and revenge: how undisturbed are its sleeps, and even in its dreams it looks pleasant and smiling. How easy its days; how quiet its nights. If put into a little pet now and then, how soon it is over, the provocation forgiven, the sense of it forgotten, and both buried in an innocent kiss. Thus, if ever we would enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must be converted from pride, envy, ambition, and strife for precedency, and must become like little children. So our Saviour has told us, who, even after his resurrection, is called "the holy child Jesus." And even when we have put away other childish things, yet still "in malice" we must be children. And as for the quarrels of others, a meek and quiet Christian endeavors to be as disinterested and as little engaged as a weaned child in the mother's arms, that is not capable of such angry resentments.

This is that meekness and quietness of spirit which is recommended to us: such a command and composure of the soul that it be not unhinged by any provocation whatsoever, but all its powers and faculties preserved in due temper for the just discharge of their respective offices. In a word, put off all wrath and anger and malice, those corrupted limbs of the old man; pluck up and cast away those roots of bitterness, and stand upon a constant guard against all the exorbitances of your own passion: then you will soon know, to your comfort, better than I can tell you, what it is to be of a meek and quiet spirit.

(a) Intermission of labor, as upon the Sabbath; rest
(b) Note – This isn't from the bible but it is so near to being so that it is reasonable to describe it as biblical. The notion that a man's family should be his foremost concern is expressed in 1 Timothy 5:8
(c) – We are herein reminded of the Savior's thoughts of building upon faith. If we fix our faith upon Him, and Him alone, we are, as He stated, like the man building his foundation, upon solid rock. Wherein, when storms to arise, He shall not be moved. To find peace in the storm, is likewise to finding the quality of meekness within.

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 14:6-9

6 But Jesus said, Let her alone: Why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and when ye will ye may do them good, but me ye shall not have always.
8 She hath done that she could: she came aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
9 Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done, shall be spoken of in remembrance of her. 
Most certainly it is commendable to do good to the poor, for so has God commanded. However, we should first and foremost seek to do well for our Savior and Lord Christ Jesus. With Him as the head in all our affairs, everything else falls into place. 

Did Christ pour out his soul unto death for us, and shall we think any thing too precious for him? Do we give him the precious ointment of our best affections? Let us love him with all the heart, though it is common for zeal and affection to be misunderstood and blamed; and remember that charity to the poor will not excuse any from particular acts of piety to the Lord Jesus. Christ commended this woman's pious attention to the notice of believers in all ages. Those who honour Christ he will honour. Covetousness was Judas' master lust, and that betrayed him to the sin of betraying his Master; the devil suited his temptation to that, and so conquered him. And see what wicked contrivances many have in their sinful pursuits; but what appears to forward their plans, will prove curses in the end.”
Matthew Henry - Theologian

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Gospel According to Mark
Chapter 13:32-37

32 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the Angels which are in heaven, neither the Son himself, but the Father.
33 Take heed: watch, and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
34 For the Son of man is as a man going into a strange country, and leaveth his house, and giveth authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commandeth the porter to watch.
35 Watch ye therefore, (for ye know not when the master of the house will come, at even, or at midnight, at the cock crowing, or in the dawning,)
36 Lest if he come suddenly, he should find you sleeping.
37 And those things that I say unto you, I say unto all men, Watch.

Verse 32 - The latter day is not curiously to be searched for which the Father alone knoweth: but let us rather take heed, that it come not upon us unaware. - Footnote GNV translation


Read the entire chapter of the Gospel According to Matthew Chapter 24, as there is more being said on this topic.

Now, the keys herein above are to take heed, that is to say, listen with attentiveness to these words, and be sure to act upon it. Let you not be unaware of what is to happen. Watch for the signs that will be available before the end times cometh. And most importantly, give yourselves over to prayer daily, that you will be found blameless and without spot. (Read 2 Peter 3:14; Revelation 14:5)

The addition to St. Matthew’s report is every way remarkable. It indicates the self-imposed limitation of the divine attributes which had belonged to our Lord as the eternal Son, and the acquiescence in a power and knowledge which, like that of the human nature which He assumed, were derived and therefore finite. Such a limitation is implied by St. Paul, when he says that our Lord “being in the form of God . . . made Himself of no reputation” (or better, emptied Himself), “and took upon Him the form of a servant.” (Read Philippians 2:6-7). It is clear that we cannot consistently take the word “knoweth” as having a different meaning in this clause from that which it bears in the others; and we must therefore reject all interpretations which explain away the force of the words as meaning only that the Son did not declare His knowledge of the time of the far-off event.” - JC Ellicott - Theologian