“Like it or not, our lives are a testament to the power of God.”~TB
Long Story Short
Whether you follow Christ or not, our stories are the collective of what God built in this universe. As the creator, He breathed life into existence, carving out the episodic adventures we each call life. For those who humbly and honestly seek Him, your lives are a testament to His mighty righteousness and grace. For those that don’t, they are the testament of lessons to be learned from those narratives.
Stories of Old
Though we cannot see Him, if we look at the patterns of the righteous and wicked, there are undeniable correlations stemming all the way back from Adam and Eve. The thoughts and the deeds of the righteous are identifiable and consistent. The thoughts and the deeds of the wicked are just as identifiable and consistent. Human error befalls us all which is why repentance and turning from our sinful nature is a must. We all would do well to read the Word, learn from our ancestors and glean the examples from our parents to see God’s handiwork at work.
Which testament are you; righteous or wicked?
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1The following message came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah. This was also the eighteenth year of the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar.
2Jerusalem was then under siege from the Babylonian army, and Jeremiah was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guard in the royal palace.
3King Zedekiah had put him there, asking why he kept giving this prophecy: “This is what the LORD says: ‘I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will take it.
4King Zedekiah will be captured by the Babylonians and taken to meet the king of Babylon face to face.
5He will take Zedekiah to Babylon, and I will deal with him there,’ says the LORD . ‘If you fight against the Babylonians, you will never succeed.’”
6At that time the LORD sent me a message. He said,
7“Your cousin Hanamel son of Shallum will come and say to you, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth. By law you have the right to buy it before it is offered to anyone else.’”
8Then, just as the LORD had said he would, my cousin Hanamel came and visited me in the prison. He said, “Please buy my field at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. By law you have the right to buy it before it is offered to anyone else, so buy it for yourself.” Then I knew that the message I had heard was from the LORD .
9So I bought the field at Anathoth, paying Hanamel seventeen pieces of silver for it.
10I signed and sealed the deed of purchase before witnesses, weighed out the silver, and paid him.
11Then I took the sealed deed and an unsealed copy of the deed, which contained the terms and conditions of the purchase,
12and I handed them to Baruch son of Neriah and grandson of Mahseiah. I did all this in the presence of my cousin Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the deed, and all the men of Judah who were there in the courtyard of the guardhouse.
13Then I said to Baruch as they all listened,
14“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Take both this sealed deed and the unsealed copy, and put them into a pottery jar to preserve them for a long time.’
15For this is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Someday people will again own property here in this land and will buy and sell houses and vineyards and fields.’”
16Then after I had given the papers to Baruch, I prayed to the LORD :
17“O Sovereign LORD ! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!
18You show unfailing love to thousands, but you also bring the consequences of one generation’s sin upon the next. You are the great and powerful God, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies.
19You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve.
20You performed miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt—things still remembered to this day! And you have continued to do great miracles in Israel and all around the world. You have made your name famous to this day.
21“You brought Israel out of Egypt with mighty signs and wonders, with a strong hand and powerful arm, and with overwhelming terror.
22You gave the people of Israel this land that you had promised their ancestors long before—a land flowing with milk and honey.
23Our ancestors came and conquered it and lived in it, but they refused to obey you or follow your word. They have not done anything you commanded. That is why you have sent this terrible disaster upon them.
24“See how the siege ramps have been built against the city walls! Through war, famine, and disease, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, who will conquer it. Everything has happened just as you said.
25And yet, O Sovereign LORD, you have told me to buy the field—paying good money for it before these witnesses—even though the city will soon be handed over to the Babylonians.”
26Then this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD :
27“I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?
28Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I will hand this city over to the Babylonians and to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and he will capture it.
29The Babylonians outside the walls will come in and set fire to the city. They will burn down all these houses where the people provoked my anger by burning incense to Baal on the rooftops and by pouring out liquid offerings to other gods.
30Israel and Judah have done nothing but wrong since their earliest days. They have infuriated me with all their evil deeds,” says the LORD .
31“From the time this city was built until now, it has done nothing but anger me, so I am determined to get rid of it.
32“The sins of Israel and Judah—the sins of the people of Jerusalem, the kings, the officials, the priests, and the prophets—have stirred up my anger.
33My people have turned their backs on me and have refused to return. Even though I diligently taught them, they would not receive instruction or obey.
34They have set up their abominable idols right in my own Temple, defiling it.
35They have built pagan shrines to Baal in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing. What an incredible evil, causing Judah to sin so greatly!
36“Now I want to say something more about this city. You have been saying, ‘It will fall to the king of Babylon through war, famine, and disease.’ But this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says:
37I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety.
38They will be my people, and I will be their God.
39And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.
40And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.
41I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.
42“This is what the LORD says: Just as I have brought all these calamities on them, so I will do all the good I have promised them.
43Fields will again be bought and sold in this land about which you now say, ‘It has been ravaged by the Babylonians, a desolate land where people and animals have all disappeared.’
44Yes, fields will once again be bought and sold—deeds signed and sealed and witnessed—in the land of Benjamin and here in Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the hill country, in the foothills of Judah and in the Negev, too. For someday I will restore prosperity to them. I, the LORD, have spoken!”
“Whatever you ‘lose’ on your walk with God, you will receive way more in return.”~TB
Walking with Christ, you will lose things. Friends that you thought would be around forever, activities that gave you temporary pleasure, and a mindset that led you astray. In the beginning, this loss, this “sacrifice” seems punitive and unfair. The people and the activities that once orbited your life no longer hold the same influence or joy. In this stage, it can feel more like a punishment than a blessing, but in time, you will see the change in tide that will lead you to better things.
A relationship with Christ is the key to the self-imposed shackles that we place on ourselves. It’s funny, because some people will say that following God is restricting, but in reality, it’s actually quite liberating. You’re free to think objectively, not bowing down to the pressures of modern society. You know not to through away your hard-earned money on vanity and fruitless endeavors. You learn to love your neighbor as God loves you because you’ve experienced the Hand of God on your life. There is a freedom in Christ that is unlike any other, and if you take the time to study, listen, and learn it is way more than any man-made gift on this earth.
Are you way more interested in the truth or society’s shackles?
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1What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.
2In his wisdom, the LORD will send great disaster; he will not change his mind. He will rise against the wicked and against their helpers.
3For these Egyptians are mere humans, not God! Their horses are puny flesh, not mighty spirits! When the LORD raises his fist against them, those who help will stumble, and those being helped will fall. They will all fall down and die together.
4But this is what the LORD has told me: “When a strong young lion stands growling over a sheep it has killed, it is not frightened by the shouts and noise of a whole crowd of shepherds. In the same way, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will come down and fight on Mount Zion.
5The LORD of Heaven’s Armies will hover over Jerusalem and protect it like a bird protecting its nest. He will defend and save the city; he will pass over it and rescue it.”
6Though you are such wicked rebels, my people, come and return to the LORD .
7I know the glorious day will come when each of you will throw away the gold idols and silver images your sinful hands have made.
8“The Assyrians will be destroyed, but not by the swords of men. The sword of God will strike them, and they will panic and flee. The strong young Assyrians will be taken away as captives.
9Even the strongest will quake with terror, and princes will flee when they see your battle flags,” says the LORD, whose fire burns in Zion, whose flame blazes from Jerusalem
“Set your mind on God to experience His Truth” ~TB
Your mind is a gift or a curse– depending on how you use it. You can choose to fill it with God’s wisdom, live an obedient life, and be kind to your neighbors. Or, you can fill it with filth, walk around mindlessly, preferring destruction over peace. Sure, those seem drastically different, but the Truth is living in or out of God’s Will Isdrastically different. Do not be fooled by the external lives of others. Only God can truly examine one’s heart. Work on your mind and don’t fall prey to the fake minds around you.
When you set your mind, thoughts, and actions of God you rely on His strength and wisdom and not your own. The impossible becomes possible because you understand that you need Him in everything that you are and everything that you do. Allowing God to steer your mind sets you up for the peace and joy He graciously offers. It is a gift like no other and humans are unable to recreate such things. When you set your mind on the things of the flesh, you welcome confusion, stupor, and chaos. Friends, the human mind is incapable of such a Holy Mindset. Rely on Him.
Is your mind set on God or do you have a fleshly mindset?
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1Praise the LORD ! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD ? Who can ever praise him enough?
3There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.
4Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me.
5Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage.
6Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!
7Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the LORD ’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.
8Even so, he saved them— to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.
9He commanded the Red Sea to dry up. He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
10So he rescued them from their enemies and redeemed them from their foes.
11Then the water returned and covered their enemies; not one of them survived.
12Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise.
13Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel!
14In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.
15So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it.
16The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and envious of Aaron, the LORD ’s holy priest.
17Because of this, the earth opened up; it swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and the other rebels.
18Fire fell upon their followers; a flame consumed the wicked.
19The people made a calf at Mount Sinai ; they bowed before an image made of gold.
20They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.
21They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt—
22such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.
23So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the LORD and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.
24The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
25Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD .
26Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.
28Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
29They angered the LORD with all these things, so a plague broke out among them.
30But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped.
31So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time.
32At Meribah, too, they angered the LORD, causing Moses serious trouble.
33They made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly.
34Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the LORD had commanded them.
35Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs.
36They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall.
37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.
38They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder.
39They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the LORD ’s sight.
40That is why the LORD ’s anger burned against his people, and he abhorred his own special possession.
41He handed them over to pagan nations, and they were ruled by those who hated them.
42Their enemies crushed them and brought them under their cruel power.
43Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
44Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries.
45He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love.
46He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness.
47Save us, O LORD our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.
48Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD !
“Be a trendsetter who is fundamental, morally, and ethically sound to be a leader, doing all the goodyou can for God, not for self-pity, fake piety, greed or ill-gotten gain.”~ Jon Barnes
What a treat it is to see young people learn from the next generation to improve their piety to God, their family, health, and spiritual growth.Money is a good tool, but it does not measure the success with the quality of love God has given you to share with others.Sharing this love to your enemies and people you do not like is also your job in your faith.Only the people receiving this love can validate your honest efforts and pure intentions, as a gift from God.Otherwise, your gift of love is fake and you will be retested over and over again to endure the same pain you refuse to give up and let go of.
You are simply the faithful, honest messenger of love sent to do an important job for humanity with your own family first. Don’t follow the ways of wicked people in their private path of destruction and self-hate.Forgive, forget, learn and follow the pleasant path of doing the right things so that you can sleep peacefully at night with a clear conscience, smiling all day.If you are frowning all day, something is wrong with you!
Keep your message of hope, love, integrity, respect, and honesty wrapped around your neck so that you don’t forget your calling.Be who you are in God and live well.Your message will speak for itself in your actions of love and character.The motives that are in your mind will play out on stage as life unfolds each day.Live the trend that you set with God or you will fall back into your old dumb habits.
Are you going in the opposite direction of God with your daily trends or did you pass the test today?
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Ahaz Rules in Judah
16 Ahaz son of Jotham began to rule over Judah in the seventeenth year of King Pekah’s reign in Israel.2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done.3 Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire.[a] In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites.4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree.
5 Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel came up to attack Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him.6 At that time the king of Edom[b] recovered the town of Elath for Edom.[c] He drove out the people of Judah and sent Edomites[d] to live there, as they do to this day.
7 King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria with this message: “I am your servant and your vassal.[e] Come up and rescue me from the attacking armies of Aram and Israel.”8 Then Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Temple of the Lord and the palace treasury and sent it as a payment to the Assyrian king.9 So the king of Assyria attacked the Aramean capital of Damascus and led its population away as captives, resettling them in Kir. He also killed King Rezin.
10 King Ahaz then went to Damascus to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. While he was there, he took special note of the altar. Then he sent a model of the altar to Uriah the priest, along with its design in full detail.11 Uriah followed the king’s instructions and built an altar just like it, and it was ready before the king returned from Damascus.12 When the king returned, he inspected the altar and made offerings on it.13 He presented a burnt offering and a grain offering, he poured out a liquid offering, and he sprinkled the blood of peace offerings on the altar.
14 Then King Ahaz removed the old bronze altar from its place in front of the Lord’s Temple, between the entrance and the new altar, and placed it on the north side of the new altar.15 He told Uriah the priest, “Use the new altar[f] for the morning sacrifices of burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and grain offering, and the burnt offerings of all the people, as well as their grain offerings and liquid offerings. Sprinkle the blood from all the burnt offerings and sacrifices on the new altar. The bronze altar will be for my personal use only.”16 Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz commanded him.
17 Then the king removed the side panels and basins from the portable water carts. He also removed the great bronze basin called the Sea from the backs of the bronze oxen and placed it on the stone pavement.18 In deference to the king of Assyria, he also removed the canopy that had been constructed inside the palace for use on the Sabbath day,[g] as well as the king’s outer entrance to the Temple of the Lord.
19 The rest of the events in Ahaz’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.20 When Ahaz died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.
“Good Things happen when you work on your job and not get easily distracted on other people’s business and problems.” ~ Jon Barnes
You can offer solutions to people who are interested in the truth of your good work, but you can’t make people eat right, exercise, sleep and maintain their bodies. They have to do this work for themselves.
The evidence of practical solutions working in the lives of people becomes obvious, as they raise their kids with the same mind set, work ethics, and morals. Use these Good Things to build your family brand and band a better bond of love that is surrounded by God’s protection, grace, mercy, and blessings.
Interested parties should apply at the repentance desk office and speak to the Holy Spirit to confirm your appointed visit, orientation, bible study class, reading, praying, fasting, and working in the fields. Selected candidates will be paid eternally well for their services. Interested parties need only apply in person.
Do you agree with the working conditions and terms or are you hell bound?
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Plans for the Incense Altar
30 “Then make another altar of acacia wood for burning incense.2 Make it 18 inches square and 36 inches high,[a] with horns at the corners carved from the same piece of wood as the altar itself.3 Overlay the top, sides, and horns of the altar with pure gold, and run a gold molding around the entire altar.4 Make two gold rings, and attach them on opposite sides of the altar below the gold molding to hold the carrying poles.5 Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.6 Place the incense altar just outside the inner curtain that shields the Ark of the Covenant,[b] in front of the Ark’s cover—the place of atonement—that covers the tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant.[c] I will meet with you there.
7 “Every morning when Aaron maintains the lamps, he must burn fragrant incense on the altar.8 And each evening when he lights the lamps, he must again burn incense in the Lord’s presence. This must be done from generation to generation.9 Do not offer any unholy incense on this altar, or any burnt offerings, grain offerings, or liquid offerings.
10 “Once a year Aaron must purify[d] the altar by smearing its horns with blood from the offering made to purify the people from their sin. This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the Lord’s most holy altar.”
Money for the Tabernacle
11 Then the Lord said to Moses,12 “Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the Lord. Then no plague will strike the people as you count them.13 Each person who is counted must give a small piece of silver as a sacred offering to the Lord. (This payment is half a shekel,[e] based on the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs.)14 All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this sacred offering to the Lord.15 When this offering is given to the Lord to purify your lives, making you right with him,[f] the rich must not give more than the specified amount, and the poor must not give less.16 Receive this ransom money from the Israelites, and use it for the care of the Tabernacle.[g] It will bring the Israelites to the Lord’s attention, and it will purify your lives.”
Plans for the Washbasin
17 Then the Lord said to Moses,18 “Make a bronze washbasin with a bronze stand. Place it between the Tabernacle and the altar, and fill it with water.19 Aaron and his sons will wash their hands and feet there.20 They must wash with water whenever they go into the Tabernacle to appear before the Lord and when they approach the altar to burn up their special gifts to the Lord—or they will die!21 They must always wash their hands and feet, or they will die. This is a permanent law for Aaron and his descendants, to be observed from generation to generation.”
The Anointing Oil
22 Then the Lord said to Moses,23 “Collect choice spices—12 1⁄2 pounds of pure myrrh, 6 1⁄4 pounds of fragrant cinnamon, 6 1⁄4 pounds of fragrant calamus,[h]24 and 12 1⁄2 pounds of cassia[i]—as measured by the weight of the sanctuary shekel. Also get one gallon of olive oil.[j]25 Like a skilled incense maker, blend these ingredients to make a holy anointing oil.26 Use this sacred oil to anoint the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant,27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and all its accessories, the incense altar,28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the washbasin with its stand.29 Consecrate them to make them absolutely holy. After this, whatever touches them will also become holy.
30 “Anoint Aaron and his sons also, consecrating them to serve me as priests.31 And say to the people of Israel, ‘This holy anointing oil is reserved for me from generation to generation.32 It must never be used to anoint anyone else, and you must never make any blend like it for yourselves. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy.33 Anyone who makes a blend like it or anoints someone other than a priest will be cut off from the community.’”
34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather fragrant spices—resin droplets, mollusk shell, and galbanum—and mix these fragrant spices with pure frankincense, weighed out in equal amounts.35 Using the usual techniques of the incense maker, blend the spices together and sprinkle them with salt to produce a pure and holy incense.36 Grind some of the mixture into a very fine powder and put it in front of the Ark of the Covenant,[k] where I will meet with you in the Tabernacle. You must treat this incense as most holy.37 Never use this formula to make this incense for yourselves. It is reserved for the Lord, and you must treat it as holy.38 Anyone who makes incense like this for personal use will be cut off from the community.”
“Adam and Eve were given eternal life, but disobeyed God, lied, ate the fruit and eventually died, which killed the Good Act of creation for mankind. Yet, God is clearly in Charge with an amazing Game Plan!” ~ Jon Barnes
The Death March 1
Since Adam and Eve listened to the devil and ate the fruit of Death, we all march to the Death Drum from their Disobedience. They had the perfect setup! Before the first child was born into existence, we managed to mess up the perfect paradise. Why do we enjoy talking to the devil and listening to his lies? Is life, the earth, the heavens, the truth and all it’s provisions and accommodations, so generously given to us by God, NOT good enough for us? Is the word choice a mental malfunction, mind game with pride that moves to overthrow and enslave, even God our Father, Creator? God is no fool and He is in complete control.
The Children of Hell
God’s gift of the perfect life was too great of a responsibility for us to handle and we failed the 1st test miserably. So God gave us about 10-20 thousand more years to figure things out and see if we could handle the honest truth of being responsible people. We Failed again and The Flood killed everything on the planet except what was in the ark with Moses. The hope was that we all would learn and pass on the stories to prevent future generations from becoming so wicked, evil, and nasty! No such luck, as many of us would rather ride the hi way to Hell than to obey God’s simple, honest truth of love. The Good Act 2 didn’t work either!
The Good Act 3
Since evil grew exponentially in society again, God had to take matters into His own hands and create a God Child, Jesus, to live a sinless life, educate, perform miracles, die on the cross, raise from the dead, walk around earth for months, preach and teach; before ascending into the Heaven right before everyone’s eyes. We now have The Good Act 3, The Father, The Son, And The Holy Spirit to help, lead, guide and direct us with connecting to God’s Truth and entering into Heaven by perfect choice. Provisions are set, yet many will place their bets on their own intellect and stupidity, bound sill for Hell! The best and last plan of God is in play. Three strikes you are out, Game Changer!
Are you Thankful that God spelled the entire story out for us to choose, follow, obey and Love God, living Eternally with Him or to Hate God and live Eternal Death in Hell with satan? Play Ball!
Enjoy Today’s Reading.
Acts 8New International Version (NIV)
8 And Saul approved of their killing him.
The Church Persecuted and Scattered
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him.3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison.
Philip in Samaria
4 Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.5 Philipwent down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said.7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.8 So there was great joy in that city.
Simon the Sorcerer
9 Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.”11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery.12 But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.13 Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit,16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
25 After they had further proclaimed the word of the Lord and testified about Jesus, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages.
Philip and the Ethiopian
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”[b]
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [c]38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.