Does the Bible teach total abstinence or moderation?


The Nugget:

Proverbs 20:1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.


My Comment:

Proverbs 20:1 is a verse that I must have noticed upon my first serious reading of the Bible. I remember that I wrote this verse in full at the top of an assignment for my electrical class when I attended Cass Technical High School. My teacher was very displeased that I pointed out that verse to him that way. I, in turn, was very displeased that he spent the whole hour telling the class about how wonderful tasting various kinds of alcoholic beverages were. I did not think then, and I do not think now, that such a discussion was appropriate in a high school class.

But addressing the question: Does the Bible teach total abstinence or moderation? Here is a lesson on how to find the answer in the Bible. My findings will not agree with the findings of some Bible scholars and commentators, but I believe my findings are the result of a more accurate and comprehensive study of the subject.

Looking at the cross references I have given for Proverbs 20:1 in my resource, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, I see now immediately that I need to add more references and links to additional notes and references in the New Testament.

The Bible is very clear, when studied more accurately, that God requires total abstinence.

Here is a note from 1 Kings 20:16,

1Ki 20:16  And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.

the thirty and two. Note (from the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, not in the Comprehensive Bible): The Syrians, the besiegers, had their directions from a drunken king, who gave orders over his cups while he was drinking at noon. Drunkenness is a sin which is most detestable in all, but more so in a king than in a private individual, inasmuch as the greater weight a man’s situation carries, whether from accumulated riches, family connections, hereditary authority, or invested command, so is the influence which his vices must have on those around him. Perhaps it may be said, from past experience, that drunkenness, which is a most heinous sin in the sight of God, may be charged on those who indulge only now and then in that which may eventually lead them into drunkenness; for they shut their eyes against the most palpable facts, and rather than give up the paltry gratification of a debauch, involve thousands by their example to positive harm. Benhadad’s drunkenness was the forerunner of his fall. Belshazzar also, we read, drank wine with his princes, his wives, and his concubines, and praised the gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stone: and in the same hour came forth the finger of a man’s hand and wrote his doom on the plaster of the wall. Those who fancy themselves perfectly secure, and above the possibility of falling, are commonly nearest their destruction: there is always an Ahab ready to take advantage of and improve the self-imposed imbecility. Isa_54:15.

My Subject Index also gives references to Jeremiah 35:14 and Ephesians 5:18 for the topic “Abstinence, total, from alcoholic beverage, commended.

The notes given at Ephesians 5:18 are most important:

Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

excess. or, debauchery. Gr. asōtia (S# G810), properly unsavedness, that is, (by implication) profligacy: elsewhere rendered riot (Strong). or, in which it is unsaving (LNT). Unsaving translates asōtia. The a negates the meaning of the word it prefixes, sōtia, which comes from the verb sōzō, to save, the word used to express being saved from sin. So any form of drinking is a departure from safety, and to become drunk is an unsaving experience filled with multiple negatives. Friberg says on this term: “…strictly, the disposition of an asōtos (having no hope of safety); the act of one who has abandoned himself to reckless immoral behavior…” (The Greek has been transliterated). To drink then is not a matter of excess, or discipline, or moderation, but of abstinence. The context speaks of—works of darkness, wake up, carefully walk, evil days, the will of the Lord; thus only abstinence fits the context (cf. 1Ti 3:2; 1Ti 3:11; Tit 2:2) [LNT, fn t]. 1Sa 25:36, Pro 23:30, Pro 7:11; Pro 25:16, Hos 7:5, *Mat 23:25, Luk 15:13, Tit 1:6 g. **1Pe 4:3; **1Pe 4:4 g.


Since I devised the Subject Index I have learned that the Bible actually teaches “Total abstinence from alcoholic beverages required.”

The Bible says don’t be drunk, not that you can’t drink. Does the Bible contradict itself?

I ran across this question when I was virtually required to go to a bar with fellow workers for an evening meal. I ordered milk, not wine or beer. That brought on this very question, and more questions besides!

I know many say what these questioners suggest, but their opinion is entirely mistaken.

Earlier this year I read a book I learned that I had in my Logos Bible software titled Bible Wines. It fully proves from Scripture that total abstinence is required in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Dr. Malcolm Lavender is the person who taught me what was going on in the Greek text of the New Testament, and the subject of total abstinence is affirmed in notes at Ephesians 5:18 as well as at 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:11, and Titus 2:2.

Here is the Titus 2:2 note:

Titus 2:2  That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.

sober. or, vigilant. or, to be without wine (LNT). Gr. nēphalios (S# G3524), sober, that is, (figuratively) circumspect (Strong). Without wine from nēphalios, meaning abstinence from wine or alcohol. Friberg says “…strictly holding no wine, without wine; of persons sober…abstinent.” Cf. Eph 5:18; 1Ti 3:2; 1Ti 3:11. These passages are normally translated that the use of alcoholic beverages in moderate drinking is acceptable. But moderate drinking does not accord with the meaning of this word as used in the New Testament, or with circumspect living as a Christian. Circumspect from Latin: circum, round + specio, to look; hence, to look around and consider the outcome of an act, end result, example, etc. (LNT, fn c). Tit 2:4, 5, 6, Gen 9:21, *1Co 15:34, Eph 5:18 note, *1Th 5:6; *1Th 5:8, 1Ti 3:2 g, 1Ti 3:11 g. +1Pe 1:13; 1Pe 4:7; *1Pe 5:8 g.


Many will ask, if this is the case, why did Jesus turn the water into wine?


First, it must be understood that there are two kinds of wines in the Bible:

Jesus turned the water into non-intoxicating wine. This is made clear by the exegesis given in the book, Bible Wines:

“Let one thing more be now proved, and the whole case is too clear for question. Were the ancients in the habit of preserving and using as such, free from fermentation, this juice of the grape which they called wine?

“Beyond all doubt, they were. The evidence is to be found in almost any classical authority. So say Plato, Columella, Pliny, Aristotle. So indicate Horace, Homer, Plutarch.

“Some of these ancient writers give in detail the very processes of boiling, filtering, and sulphurization by which the wines were preserved from fermentation.

“Anthon, in his Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities; Archbishop Potter, in his Grecian Antiquities; Smith, in his Dictionary of the Bible; and many other competent scholars, confirm and support this position.

“Moses Stuart, that prince of philologists, says, ‘Facts show that the ancients not only preserved their wines unfermented, but regarded it as of a higher flavor and finer quality than fermented wine.’ There is no ancient custom with a better amount and character of proof than this.

“There were, therefore, two kinds of wine in ancient use. The one was sweet, pleasant, refreshing, unfermented; the other was exciting, inflaming, intoxicating. How natural, now, to say of the one, ‘A blessing is in it—it maketh glad the heart’! How natural to say of the other, ‘Deceit is in it—it bringeth woe and sorrow’!

“There is no difficulty now in the reconciliation of Scripture with Scripture. The Bible is not a wholesale endorsement of the use of the alcoholic cup. It puts no weapon into the hands of the drinkers and venders of strong drink. And the binding obligations of the law of love in its application to the wine question may be pressed home upon the conscience and the heart, unweakened by any opposing plea of divine precept or example.” (Patton, W. (2004). Bible Wines (pp. 108-109). Redding, CA: Pleasant Places).

Wedding-Wine at Cana

John 2:1–11: The distinguishing fact is that Christ turned the water into wine. The Greek word is oinos; and it is claimed that therefore the wine was alcoholic and intoxicating. But as oinos is a generic word, and, as such, includes all kinds of wine and all stages of the juice of the grape, and sometimes the clusters and even the vine, it is begging the whole question to assert that it was intoxicating. As the narrative is silent on this point, the character of the wine can only be determined by the attendant circumstances – by the occasion, the material used, the person making the wine, and the moral influence of the  miracle.

The occasion was a wedding convocation. The material was water – the same element which the clouds pour down, which the vine draws up from the earth by its roots, and in its passage to the clusters changes into juice. The operator was Jesus Christ, the same who, in the beginning, fixed that law by which the vine takes up water and converts it into pure, unfermented juice.

The wine provided by the family was used up, and the mother of Jesus informed him of that fact. He directed that the six water-pots be filled with water. This being done, he commanded to draw and hand it to the master of the feast. He pronounced it wine – good wine.

The moral influence of the miracle will be determined by the character of the wine. It is pertinent to ask, Is it not derogatory to the character of Christ and the teachings of the Bible to suppose that he exerted his miraculous power to produce, according to Alvord, 126, and according to Smith, at least 60 gallons of intoxicating wine? – wine which inspiration had denounced as “a mocker,” as “biting like a serpent,” and “stinging like an adder,” as “the poison of dragons,” “the cruel venom of asps,” and which the Holy Ghost had selected as the emblem of the wrath of God Almighty? Is it probable that he gave that to the guests after they had used the wine provided by the host, and which, it is claimed, was intoxicating?

But wherein was the miracle? We read in Matthew 15:34 that Christ fed four thousand persons, and In Mark 4:38 that he fed five thousand persons, in each case upon a few loaves and fishes, taking up seven and twelve baskets of fragments. In these cases, Christ did instantly what, by the laws of nature which he had ordained, it would have taken months to grow and ripen into wheat. So in the case of the wine, Christ, by supernatural and superhuman rapidity, produced that marvelous conversion of water into the “pure blood of the grape” which, by his own established law of nature, takes place annually through a series of months, as the vine draws up the water from the earth, and transmutes it into the pure and unfermented juice found in the rich, ripe clusters on the vine.

In Psalm 104:14–15, we read: “That he may bring forth food out of the earth, and wine that maketh glad the heart of man.” Here the juice of the grape which is produced out of the earth is called wine. This wine was made by the direct law of God – that law by which the vine draws water from the earth and transmutes it into pure juice in the clusters.

I am happy to state that this is not a modern interpretation, forced out by the pressure of the wine question, but was also entertained by the early fathers.

St. Augustine, born A.D. 354, thus explains this miracle: “For he on that marriage-day made wine in the six jars which he ordered to be filled with water – he who now makes it every year in the vines; for, as what the servants had poured into the water jars was turned into wine by the power of the Lord, so, also, that which the clouds pour forth is turned into wine by the power of the self-same Lord. But we cease to wonder at what is done every year; its very frequency makes astonishment to fail.” – Bible Commentary p. 305.

Chrysostom, born A.D. 344, says: “Now, indeed, making plain that it is he who changes into wine the water in the vines and the rain drawn up by the roots. He produced instantly at the wedding-feast that which is formed in the plant during a long course of time.” – Bible Commentary, p. 305.

Dr. Joseph Hall, Bishop of Norwich, England, in 1600, says: “What doeth he in the ordinary way of nature but turn the watery juice that arises up from the root into wine? He will only do this, now suddenly and at once, which he does usually by sensible degrees” – Bible Commentary, p. 305.

The critical Dr. Trench, now Archbishop of Dublin says: “He who each year prepares the wine in the grape, causing it to drink up and swell with the moisture of earth and heaven, to transmute this into its own nobler juices, concentrated all those slower processes now into the act of a single moment, and accomplished in an instant what ordinarily he does not accomplish but in months.” – Bible Commentary, p. 305.

We have the highest authority that alcohol is not found in any living thing, and is not a process of life. Sir Humphry Davy says of alcohol: “It has never been found ready formed in plants.”

Count Chaptal, the eminent French chemist, says: “Nature  never forms spirituous liquors; she rots the grape upon the branch, but it is art which converts the juice into (alcoholic) wine.”

Dr. Henry Monroe, in his Lecture on Alcohol, says: “Alcohol is nowhere to be found in any produce of nature; was never created by God; but is essentially an artificial thing prepared by man through the destructive process of fermentation.”

Professor Liebig says: “It is contrary to all sober rules of research to regard the vital process of an animal or a plant as the cause of fermentation. The opinion that they take any share in the morbid process must be rejected as an hypothesis destitute of all support. In all fungi, analysis has detected the presence of sugar, which during the vital process is not resolved into alcohol and carbonic acid, but after their death. It is the very reverse of the vital process to which this effect must be ascribed. Fermentation, putrefaction, and decay are processes of decomposition.” See notes on 1 Timothy 4:4.

Can it be seriously entertained that Christ should, by his miraculous power, make alcohol, an article abundantly proved not to be found in all the ranges of his creation? Can it be believed that he, by making alcohol, sanctions the making of it and the giving of it to his creatures, when he, better than all others, knew that it, in the past, had been the cause of the temporal and eternal ruin of myriads, and which, in all the ages to come, would plunge myriads upon myriads into the depths of eternal damnation?

The Rev. Dr. Jacobus says: “All who know of the wines then used, well understand the unfermented juice of the grape. The present wines of Jerusalem and Lebanon, as we tasted them, were commonly boiled and sweet, without intoxicating qualities, such as we here get in liquors called wines. The boiling prevents fermentation. Those were esteemed the best wines which were least strong.” – Comments on John 2:1–11.

This festive occasion furnishes no sanction for the use of the alcoholic wines of commerce at weddings at the present time, much less for the use of them on other occasions.[1]


So why does the Bible say to have a little wine to keep the infirmities away?

Here is the full answer from the book Bible Wines, pages 93-94:

Not given to wine. – The Greek is mee-paromon: mee, a negative particle, not; paroinon, compounded of para, a preposition governing the genitive (of, from, on the part of), the dative (at, by, near, with), the accusative (together, with, to, towards, by, near, at, next to); and oinos, wine. Literally, not at, by, near, or with wine. This looks considerably like total abstinence. It applies equally to private habits and public conduct. Notice the careful steps of the progress. He must be neephalion, abstinent, sober in body, that he may be sophrona, sound in mind, and that his influence may be unimpaired, meeparion, not with or near wine. We find in this passage no  countenance for the moderate use of intoxicating wine, but the reverse, the obligation to abstain totally.

“Not given to wine” is certainly a very liberal translation, and shows how the usages of the day unconsciously influenced the translators. “The ancient paroinos was a man accustomed to attend drinking-parties.” Thus the Christian minister is required not only to be personally sober, but also to withhold his presence and sanction from those assemblies where alcoholic drinks are used, endangering the sobriety of himself and others.

That both Paul and Timothy understood that total abstinence was an essential qualification for the Christian pastor, is evident from the compliance of Timothy. In this same letter, v. 23, Paul advises Timothy, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” The fact is plain that Timothy, in strict accordance with the direction, “not given to wine,” that is, not with or near wine, was a total abstainer. The recommendation to “use a little wine” is exceptional, and strictly medicinal. As there existed in the Roman Empire, in which Timothy traveled, a variety of wines, differing from each other in character, we cannot decide, ex cathedra, that it was alcoholic wine that Paul recommended. Pliny, Columella, Philo, and others state that many of the wines of their day produced “headaches, dropsy, madness, and stomach complaints.” – Nott Lond. Ed. p. 96. We can hardly believe that Paul recommended these. Yet these strikingly designate the effects of alcoholic wines. The same writers tell us that wines destitute of ail strength were exceedingly wholesome and useful to the body, salubre corporis. Pliny mentions a wine in good repute, aduminon – that is, without power, without strength. He particularly states that the wines most adapted to the sick are “Utilissimum vinum omnibus sacco viribus fractis,” which the alcoholic wine men translate, “For all the sick, wine is most useful when its forces have been broken by the strainer.” We do not object to this rendering, since the wine must be harmless when its forces, which is alcohol, are broken. The Latin word fractis is from frango, to break in pieces, to dash in pieces, which indicates the thoroughness of the work  done by the “sacco,” strainer or filter. That the force which the filter breaks is fermentation, is evident from the next sentence of Pliny. (See item “Filtration,” on page 33.) Horace, lib. i. ode 17, speaks of the innocentis Lesbii, innocent Lesbian, which Professor C. Smart renders “unintoxicating.” The Delphin Notes to Horace say, “The ancients filtered their wines repeatedly before they could have fermented. And thus the faeces which nourish the strength of the wine being taken away, they rendered the wine itself more liquid, weaker, lighter, sweeter, and more pleasant to drink.”

Again, Horace tells his friend Maecenas to drink an hundred glasses, without fear of intoxication. (See previous page in this volume.)

Athenaeus says of the sweet Lesbian, “Let him take sweet wine (glukus), either mixed with water or warmed, especially that called protropos, as being very good for the stomach.” – Nott, Lond. Ed. p. 96, and Bib. Com. 374.

Protropos was, according to Pliny, “Mustum quad sponte profluit antequam uvoe calcentur.” “The must which flows spontaneously from the grapes.” – Nott, Lond. Ed. p. 80.

Donnegan defines it, “Wine flowing from the grapes before pressure.”

Smith’s Greek and Roman Antiquities, “That which flowed from the clusters, in consequence of their pressure upon each other, to which the inhabitants of Mytelene gave the name protropos.”

Why not treat Paul with common politeness, not to say honesty, and, as he so emphatically required that a bishop should “not be with or near wine,” believe that when he recommended Timothy to “use a little wine” medicinally, he had reference to such wine as Pliny says was “most useful for the sick,” whose “forces have been broken by the strainer,” or filter? As the recommendation was not for gratification, but for medicine, to Timothy personally, a sick man, and only a little at that, it gives no more countenance for the beverage use of wine for any one, and especially for those in health, than does the prescription of castor-oil by the physician for the beverage use of that article.

The case of Timothy, a total abstainer, illustrates and enforces the inspired declaration that a bishop must be vigilant, that is, abstinent; sober, that is, sound in mind; and not given to wine, that is, not with or near wine If all who are now in the sacred office would follow literally and faithfully the requirements which Paul lays down, “NOT WITH OR NEAR WINE,” the number of total abstainers would be greatly increased, the cause of temperance would be essentially promoted, and the good of the community permanently secured; for, according to Paul, total abstinence is an indispensable qualification for a pastor.[2]


[1] Patton, W. (2004). Bible Wines (pp. 74–77). Redding, CA: Pleasant Places.

[2] Patton, W. (2004). Bible Wines (pp. 92–95). Redding, CA: Pleasant Places.

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Daily Bible Nugget #595, Luke 1:44

The Nugget:

Luke 1:44  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

My Comment:

In response to recent reports that many Christians believe that the Bible is ambiguous about the issue of abortion, I believe it is timely for me to share the notes I prepared on this subject for my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and my expansion of that resource titled The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.

Pastors, Sunday school teachers, and just so-called regular Christians must learn then share the truth of what the Bible actually teaches.

Just because the term “abortion” does not appear in the Bible text (though it does as a marginal reading at Job 3:16), we can more fully discern what the Bible teaches when we carefully make use of the rule of Bible interpretation I call “the rule of necessary inference” (see the October, 2010 Archives listed at the right of this screen for the full list of my 24 “Rules of Interpretation” for further study of Biblical hermeneutics, the rules of Bible Interpretation).

Apparently, some have introduced the Hebrew word “nephesh” into the discussion to support the right to abortion. This, too, is a gross error of interpretation and understanding. I have placed a full analysis of the meaning of “nephesh” in the NTSK and the UCRT starting at Genesis 2:7 under the key word “soul.”

Here are my notes as presented in my resource, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, for Luke 1:44,

Luke 1:44

the babe. Gr. brephos (S# G1025, Luk 1:41). Note particularly that brephos is used here for the unborn child in the womb, and the same word is used for the child out of the womb in Luke 2:12; Luke 2:16. Other terms in Scripture used of unborn children, OT and NT, similarly are used of the person out of the womb. See Luke 1:36, “conceived a son,” Gr. uios (S# G5207); see also Luke 1:31; the same term is used of Jesus as a young adult at His baptism at Luke 3:22, “Thou art my beloved son.” See Gen 25:22, children, Hebrew ben (S# H1121), more often used of a child already born (Gen 9:19; Gen 17:25). See Job 3:3, man child, Hebrew geber (S# H1397), used for men as Exo 10:11, See Job 3:16, infants, Hebrew olel (S# H5768), in reference to unborn children, used elsewhere for children who have been born, as Lam 4:4, Thus the Biblical writers, writing by divine inspiration, make no distinction in terminology between children who are yet unborn and those who have been born. Thus God sees the unborn individual not merely as a fetus or tissue, but as a unique person, made in the image of God. +Luk 1:41.

leaped. Luk 1:41, Luk 6:23.

for joy. Scripture says much that bears upon the issue of abortion:

(1) Note that Scripture here attributes emotion to an unborn child.

(2) The fetus is formed by God, Job 31:15 mg. Jer 1:5.

(3) God planned the life before it took form, Jer 1:5.

(4) God delivers new life from the womb, Psa 71:6, Gal 1:15, 16.

(5) Note the despondent wish for spontaneous abortion during a period of depression, Jer 20:17.

(6) An untimely birth preferable to living and dying in disrepute, Ecc 6:3.

(7) The majesty and marvel of life, Psa 139:14, 15, 16.

(8) Life is sacred and precious, Gen 9:6.

(9) Jesus warned not to offend one of these little ones, Mat 18:6.

(10) Christ’s concern and care seen in his blessing little ones, Luk 18:15, 16, 17.

(11) Children are given by God, Gen 33:5; Gen 48:9, Jos 24:3, +*Psa 113:9; +*Psa 127:3, Isa 8:18.

(12) Christ esteemed children highly, Mat 19:14.

(13) Maternal love is normal, Gen 21:16, Exo 2:3. Logically, abortion does violence to maternal love.

(14) If a woman injures a man’s secret parts, her hand was to be cut off, Deut 25:11. If a man injured a pregnant woman, and (a) caused premature birth, but infant and mother otherwise were uninjured, he shall be punished by fine, Exo 21:22; (b) if the mother or child are injured or die, a corresponding severity of punishment, including the death penalty, was prescribed, Exo 21:23, 24, 25. Thus abortion, even accidentally induced, required the death penalty, thus God’s law affords legal protection of the unborn child.

(15) The supreme value of the individual utterly argues against any possible contrary justification for an abortion, Mat 10:31; Mat 16:26, Mar 8:36, 37. Luk 12:7.

(16) If God was utterly opposed to, and displeased with the religious sacrifice of children to Molech (+2Ki 21:6), the burning of which had never been commanded, authorized, or even entered into God’s mind (Jer 7:31), how much more must God be displeased with the destruction of the helpless unborn in the name of granting women the right to choice over their own bodies.

(17) God sets great value on a child. Our response to a child is our response to God, Mat 18:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Jas 1:27.

(18) Conception, development in the womb, and birth are mentioned together at Hos 9:11. God has his hand in each of these stages of development, as the references show. Thus, it is unscriptural to suggest that the unborn child is not yet a person.

(19) The unborn child responds to external stimuli, can hear, for the “babe leaped in her womb,” Luk 1:41; Luk 1:44.

(20) Abortion constitutes injustice to the weak and helpless, and places one under God’s curse, not his blessing, Deut 27:17; Deut 27:19.

(21) We are not to despise one of these little ones, Mat 18:10.

(22) The virgin birth and incarnation began at the moment of the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, Luk 1:35. Isa 49:1.

(23) Bible writers speak of themselves as persons before they were born, Psa 139:13, 14, 15,  16; Isa 49:1; Jer 1:5,

(24) Unborn children are spoken of as dying in the womb, therefore they must be alive before birth; thus life begins at conception, not birth, Job 10:18, 19; Jer 20:15, 16, 17, 18.

(25) The fact that the word “abortion” does not occur in the Bible (but see Job 3:16) has no bearing upon the issue. “Cannibalism” is not mentioned by that term in the Bible either, and so for a host of other concepts such as millennium, rapture, second coming, trinity, infant baptism, believer’s baptism, original sin, using musical instruments in New Testament worship. There is no express command or example for New Testament believers to tithe. There is no express command to worship God on Sunday, or to observe Sunday as the Sabbath. There is no express command or example in the New Testament of the baptism of adult believers that come from Christian homes. There appears to be no express command or incontrovertible example of the precise mode (i.e. immersion, pouring, or sprinkling) of Christian baptism in the New Testament. Neither is there command or example authorizing women to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. There is no express example or command authorizing the taking of the Lord’s supper in the morning! The virgin birth is not mentioned in the Gospel of Mark. Repentance is not mentioned in the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John says nothing about Christ having cast out devils. We must use extreme caution whenever we base an argument on the alleged silence of Scripture (see 1Ch 16:42 note). Though abortion is not mentioned by name in Scripture, a prayerful and submissive, careful examination of the passages adduced above should lead to the firm conviction that abortion is not in harmony with the will of God at any time, for any reason. Yet, should a woman seek and obtain an abortion, she has not committed the unforgivable sin (Mat 12:31 note). God in his mercy is able to forgive even this sin, and welcome the truly repentant sinner to his fold (Joh 6:37, 2Co 7:10). Psa 8:2, Joh 3:29.

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Daily Bible Nugget #594, Mark 1:15

The Nugget:

Mar 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

My Comment:

The very first words of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded by Mark in his Gospel were the commands to repent and believe the Gospel.

Paul cautions (in 2 Corinthians 7:10) that we must exercise true, not false repentance. True repentance comes from the heart and results in permanent change in character wrought by the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. False repentance is a temporary sorrow or regret for mistakes or sins committed without a full commitment to totally abandon and forsake those sins and behaviors. It is most important to seek God and follow His will so that He may grant you genuine repentance unto life.

2Co 7:10  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Jesus repeated the warning that repentance is necessary if we would not perish (Luke 13:3, 5):

Luk 13:3  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Luk 13:5  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Jesus set forth an example of a person who really did repent in Luke 18:13,

Luk 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

“Publicans” were a very despised bunch in the time of Jesus. They were people who had sold themselves out to Rome and served as tax collectors. Jesus explained that this publican’s prayer was answered, but the prayer of the Pharisee,

Luk 18:11  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

was not heard or answered. It was the publican not the Pharisee who displayed the proper heart attitude in prayer that resulted in God graciously answering his prayer:

Luk 18:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

For further deeper study on the subject of repentance see the following notes and cross references given for Mark 1:15 in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. WARNING: As always, this is not a generic Bible study. My intention is to present truth, not Pablum. If you are not willing to conform your belief system to the Word of God accurately set forth and taught, then don’t bother to dig deeper into the Bible. But if you really want the truth, then follow through with the following study:

Mark 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Mark 1:15

The time. or, season. Dan 2:44; $Dan 9:22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, Luk 3:15; %Luk 21:8, Joh 7:8, +Rom 5:6, *Gal 4:4, *Eph 1:10.

kingdom of God. Mar 4:11; Mar 4:26; Mar 4:30; Mar 9:1; Mar 9:47; *Mar 10:14; *Mar 10:15; *Mar 10:23, 24, 25; *Mar 12:34; **Mar 14:25; Mar 15:43, Mat 3:2 note. %+Mat 4:17; Mat 10:7; +*Mat 12:28; Mat 16:28, +Luk 4:43; Luk 9:2; Luk 10:9; Luk 10:11; Luk 11:20; Luk 16:16; +*Luk 17:21; **Luk 19:11; Luk 21:31, +Joh 3:3, +Act 1:3.

at hand. or, has drawn near. Isa 56:1, +Mat 3:2; Mat 4:17; Mat 10:7; Mat 12:28; %+*Mat 21:43, Gal 4:4.

repent. Here, Jesus gives two imperatives: metanoeite, you must repent, and pisteuete, you must believe. The use of the imperative mood in Scripture affirms man’s obligation and ability to respond to his Creator in order to be saved. It also shows a conditional aspect—one may or may not respond. The imperative mood is of such a nature—a command or entreaty—that it addresses the volition or will, and not simply the reason. The nature of the imperative, then, expresses an appeal from one will to another in a summons to action: Peter was saying, “You must repent…” (Act 2:38); Paul and Silas said, “You must believe…” (Act 16:31); Paul said, “You must allow yourselves to be reconciled to God!” (2Co 5:20); Jesus said, “You must repent and must believe in the Gospel” (Mar 1:15).

Implicit to these inescapable imperatives laid upon mankind by Jesus is His understanding of the following:

(1) That man has a will, and if he has a will, it is necessarily free;

(2) That man is not passive in terms of the necessity to act;

(3) That man is active in his salvation;

(4) That man is not brought to salvation by irresistible grace in a state of total inability, to believe only after saved (cf. Jud 1:4 and note) [LNT, fn j]. Mar 6:12, Mat 3:2; Mat 4:17; Mat 11:20; Mat 21:31, 32, +Luk 5:32; +**Luk 13:3; +**Luk 13:5; Luk 15:7; Luk 15:10; Luk 24:47, +*Act 2:36, 37, 38; Act 5:31; Act 20:21, +*2Ti 2:25; +*2Ti 2:26.

believe. *Mar 16:16, **Gen 15:6, +*2Ch 20:20, **Act 16:30; **Act 16:31; Act 19:4; Act 20:21, Rom 4:24; Rom 16:26, Gal 3:6, Heb 6:1.

the gospel. Luk 2:10, Rom 1:9, **1Co 15:1, 2, 3, 4, 2Co 8:18; 2Co 10:14, Gal 3:8, 1Th 3:2.


As always, should you have any questions, or should you happen to disagree with what I have written, feel free to leave a comment in the comment box below.

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Anton Chekhov’s short story “The Bet” and the impact of Bible reading

Teaching great literature is very hazardous should you focus on the details, like theme and climax.

“The Bet” is the story of a banker and a lawyer who made a mutual bet. The lawyer said he could stay in solitary confinement for fifteen years to show the sincerity of his convictions about capital punishment. The banker offered him two million should he succeed in voluntarily remaining in solitary confinement for that long.

The lawyer would be provided a musical instrument. He could have any books to read that he wished. But he could not venture out of his dwelling place until the full 15 years transpired.

The lawyer used his time well. He read widely and deeply and even mastered several languages.

“Later on, after the tenth year, the lawyer sat immovable before his table and read only the New Testament. The banker found it strange that a man who in four years had mastered six hundred erudite volumes should have spent nearly a year in reading one book, easy to understand and by no means thick. The New Testament was then replaced by the history of religions and theology.”

My students found it hard to grasp that this paragraph provides the reason for why the lawyer left his confinement a few minutes early so as not to receive the financial reward for having remained confined for 15 years.

Three students even went to my department head and complained that I was trying to force my religion upon them. My department head asked them, “What religion do you think Mr. Smith is?” The students, devout Roman Catholics from a just-closed Catholic school for girls, answered confidently, “Roman Catholic.” My department head smiled and remarked, if that is your conviction about Mr. Smith, I for one know you are wrong!

My department head was my English teacher when I was in the tenth grade. She observed that I often carried my Bible to school. She said, when I was in her class, that she believed I would become a pastor. She said that to prepare me to that end, she would enroll me in the debate and discussion class the following year. I did well in debate, and with my debate partner, we together won the regional championship in debate. I went on to debate when I was in college at Bob Jones University, where I was on the winning debate team for the men’s championship my senior year.

Now you know part of the “rest of the story.”

Just as the lawyer’s life was entirely changed by reading the New Testament for a bit less than a year, so my life was changed after reading the New Testament from August to November of 1953.

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How to work around my controversial notes when teaching the Bible

A reader here submitted a most important question. I thought it would be helpful to share this where more will see it. I do not have any YouTube videos, but I hope what I write will be just as clear.

The Question:

This might sound like silly, but I am no scholar, and never been to seminary school.

Today, I ordered this book “Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible” Illuminating God’s Word Verse-By-Verse, but just found this website and realized that I don’t have the latest work being “The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury”.

So with that in mind, I wanted to ask, do you have any YouTube videos on just doing a basic tutorial example on a uncontroversial topic/verse from beginning to end on using this resource, “The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury”?

Where I can find more understanding information on how this resource is put together? For example, I want to ensure I could explain it to someone why I used this resource in my future bible studies, and how it works so that one might not think this resource is biased in anyway whatever on any controversial topics, one topic example being tongues.



My Answer:

You came to the right place to get an answer to your question since I am the one who created these resources.

To study a subject like “tongues,” begin at any verse in the Bible that pertains to the subject.

I just did a search in e-Sword using the King James Version for the word “tongues.” Of more than 30 references that appeared, I selected Acts 2:4 

At Acts 2:4 I quickly scanned through the references given for the key words “began to speak” and made note of the single + sign given for Mark 16:17. The symbol “+” means “find more here.”

Act 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

began to speak. Act 2:11, *Act 10:46; *Act 10:47; *Act 19:5; *Act 19:6, Psa 68:18, Isa 28:11, +Mar 16:17, Joh 14:12, *1Co 12:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; *1Co 12:28, 29, 30, 31; +*1Co 13:1; +*1Co 13:8; 1Co 14:5, 6; 1Co 14:18; 1Co 14:21, 22, 23; 1Co 14:39.

Going to Mark 16:17 I focused on the cross references for the key words “shall speak.” The references given there lead to significant verses in the Bible about “tongues” and “speaking in tongues.” You will note that among the verses listed under Mark 16:17 are those recording Paul’s teaching about tongues: Paul said that he spoke in tongues “more than ye all,” and cautioned them “forbid not to speak in tongues.”

Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

shall speak. Joe 2:28, 29, *Act 2:4-11; *Act 2:33; Act 10:46; *Act 19:6, **1Co 12:10; **1Co 12:28; **1Co 12:30; *1Co 13:1; *1Co 13:8; 1Co 14:2; 1Co 14:5, 6-27; 1Co 14:39.

The first reference given at Mark 16:17 in this reference set shows that speaking in tongues is the subject of Bible prophecy (Joel 2:2829). The second reference given is Acts 2:4-11 shows how the prediction was fulfilled in history, and so forth. And so it is possible to work directly through the passages listed to get a non-controversial presentation from the Bible itself about what the Bible explicitly says about this spiritual gift.

I prepared the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury on purpose in a manner to present the evidence both for and against many different doctrinal positions. I did that so that anyone who desires to study the Bible more deeply can see the evidence for alternate viewpoints and come to a sound conclusion after prayer for guidance and insight coupled with careful, thorough study. The Holy Spirit is promised to guide us, but we must take care to do our homework very carefully.

On the other hand, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible has almost no notes, just cross references. Even so, I have seen objections on line to the few outlines I retained.

Most users of all three of my cross reference titles are very pleased at the effort I made to provide more cross references and helpful notes.

Most of the notes I have provided were in response to questions my high school Sunday school class raised as we studied the Bible together, or questions raised by students who attended the Bible Discussion Club at Cass Technical High School in Detroit. Further questions were asked by students in my college and career Sunday school classes in both Detroit, Michigan and Gainesville, Florida.

So, to anyone who might not like my answers, blame my Sunday school classes and the students in my Bible Discussion Club for asking such good questions! They demanded that I include the answers to their questions, even when the subjects might be controversial for some.

Feel free to ask more questions that you might have.

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Daily Bible Nugget #593, Proverbs 25:26

The Nugget:

Pro 25:26  A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring. (KJV)

Pro 25:26  Like a muddied spring and a polluted well, so is a righteous person who gives in to a wicked person. (GW)

Pro 25:26 A spring troubled, and a fountain corrupt, Is the righteous falling before the wicked. (Young’s Literal Translation)

Pro 25:26 When a good person gives in to the wicked, it’s like dumping garbage in a stream of clear water. (CEV)

My Comment:

In the secular press the past two weeks has been a horrible story of the moral failing of what should have been a righteous person, a person who is in the public view as president of a fine Christian university.

The news media is often slanted toward the left and far left, but I suspect that there may be a factual basis behind this unfortunate news.

Our task as Christians is to live a life that is irreproachable before the world. Dr. Bob Jones, Senior, used to speak of our responsibility to be “show window material” for our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is always best to live a life of holiness that will always honor the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the “Proverbs and Quotations” I often shared with my public school students said something to the effect that we should live our life in such a manner that if anyone accuses us of wrongdoing no one will believe them.

The Bible instructs us:

1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Here are the notes and cross references for Proverbs 25:26 as given in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury: 

Proverbs 25:26

righteous. Pro 10:11, Gen 4:8, 1Sa 22:14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 2Ch 24:21, 22, *Mat 23:34, 35, 36, 37; Mat 26:69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74; Mat 27:21, *Act 7:52, 1Th 2:15, Rev 17:6.

falling down. Charles Bridges comments in this place, Satan thus makes more effective use of God’s people than of his own. The gross wickedness of the ungodly passes in silence. But he makes the neighbourhood ring with the failings of Christian professors. Godly consistency so grates upon the conscience of the world, that at any breach of it they clap their hands with Satanic joy; to see the Lord “wounded in the house of his friends” (Zec 13:6). Gen 12:18, 19, 20; Gen 20:10; Gen 26:10, 2Sa 11:2; 2Sa 12:14; 2Sa 13:11, 12, 13, 14; 2Sa 16:22, 1Ki 11:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 2Ki 18:5, 6; 2Ki 18:13, 14, 15, 16; 2Ki 23:13, %*Gal 2:4; %*Gal 2:5; %*Gal 2:11, 12, 13, 14, Col 4:14, *2Ti 4:10, Phm 1:24.

before the wicked. **2Sa 12:14, *Psa 39:1, Col 4:5.

troubled. Est 3:15, Eze 32:2; Eze 34:18, 19.

fountain. Heb. mayan, +Gen 7:11 (*S# H4599). Gen 26:18, 19, 20, 21, 22, Deut 8:7, Jos 15:18, 19, 2Ki 2:21, 22, Mat 5:13, 14, 15, 16, Jas 2:11, 12.

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Daily Bible Nugget #592, Micah 5:5

The Nugget:

Mic 5:5  And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men.

My Comment:

This passage very likely has reference to the Antichrist. In my Bible study tool, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, I list the titles of the Antichrist as I have found them in the Bible as I prepared the over 900,000 cross references for this resource:

when the Assyrian. This is a title of the Antichrist, who will come from the same general geographical territory (Dan 11:40 note). Thus the Antichrist does not come from Rome or anywhere in Europe. +*Isa 7:14; +*Isa 7:20; Isa 8:7, 8, 9, 10; **Isa 10:12; **Isa 10:24; Isa 14:25; *Isa 30:31; **Isa 31:8; **Isa 31:9; Isa 37:31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36; Isa 65:8, 9, Jer 33:15-26, Zec 10:11, In Scripture the Antichrist is given the following titles:

(1) The Adversary, Psa 74:8, 9, 10.
(2) The Angel of the Bottomless Pit (?), Rev 9:11.
(3) The Antichrist, 1Jn 2:22.
(4) The Abomination of Desolation, Mat 24:15.
(5) The Assyrian, Mic 5:5, See also Isa 10:24; Isa 14:25; Isa 30:31; Isa 31:8.
(6) The beast, Dan 7:11, Rev 11:7; Rev 13:1.
(7) The bloody and deceitful man, Psa 5:6.
(8) The Branch of the Terrible Ones, Isa 25:5.
(9) The Desolator, Dan 9:27.
(10) The disperser, Nah 2:1 mg, literally “the hammer.”
(11) The Enemy, Psa 55:3.
(12) The extortioner, Isa 16:4.
(13) The fierce king, Isa 19:4, Compare Dan 8:23.
(14) The foolish shepherd, Zec 11:15.
(15) Gog, Eze 38:2, 3.
(16) A Grecian, Zec 9:13, Joel 3:6.
(17) The head, Psa 83:2, Hab 3:13.
(18) The Hypocrite, Job 34:30.
(19) The idol shepherd, Zec 11:17.
(20) The king, Dan 11:36.
(21) The king of Babylon, Isa 14:4, Jer 51:31.
(22) The king of fierce countenance, Dan 8:23.
(23) The king of the north, Dan 11:40.
(24) The king of Sheshach, Jer 25:26.
(25) The Lawless One, 2Th 2:8.
(26) The little horn, +Dan 7:8; +Dan 7:24, Dan 8:9; Dan 8:23.
(27) The man of the earth, Psa 10:18.
(28) The man of sin, 2Th 2:3.
(29) The mighty and strong one, Isa 28:2; Isa 10:34.
(30) The Mighty Man, Psa 52:1.
(31) The mighty one of the heathen, Eze 33:11.
(32) The Nail, Isa 22:25.
(33) The One Coming in His Own Name, Joh 5:43.
(34) The oppressor, Isa 51:13; Psa 72:4.
(35) The prince that shall come, Dan 9:26, 27.
(36) The Profane Wicked Prince of Israel, Eze 21:25, 26, 27.
(37) The son of perdition, 2Th 2:3.
(38) The spoiler, Isa 16:4, Jer 6:26.
(39) The Sun of the Morning, Isa 14:12.
(40) The Vile Person, Dan 11:21.
(41) The Violent Man, Psa 140:1.
(42) That wicked, 2Th 2:8.
(43) The wicked, Psa 9:5; Psa 9:17.
(44) The wicked counselor, Nah 1:11.
(45) The Wicked One, Psa 10:2, 3, 4.
(46) The Willful King, Dan 11:36.

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Daily Bible Nugget #591, 1 Timothy 4:12 Part 7

The Nugget:

1Ti 4:12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (KJV)

1Ti 4:12 Let no one make little of you because you are young, but be an example to the church in word, in behaviour, in love, in faith, in holy living. (BBE, Bible in Basic English)

1Ti 4:12 Let, no one, despise, thy youth, but, an ensample, become thou of the faithful, – in discourse, in behaviour, in love, in faith, in chastity. (EB, Emphasized Bible by Rotherham)

My Comment:

The sixth quality Paul encourages in Timothy is the quality of purity. Note that the three English translations cited above translate the underlying Greek word as purityholy living, and chastity.

This is a most important character trait and lifestyle. This lifestyle trait is widely violated in today’s culture. But we as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ do not set our standard by what the current world culture favors.

The best interpreter of Scripture is the Scripture itself. The Bible explains itself and is in no need of an official interpreter in the form of a self-proclaimed teaching authority claimed exclusively by or for a particular church or religious group. Bible cross references presented below will surely explain and amplify what the Word of God means by purity.

Here are the references from my book, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury: 

in purity. Gr. hagneia (S# G47, only here and 1Ti 5:2), cleanliness (the quality), that is, (specifically) chastity (Strong). 1Ti 1:5; 1Ti 5:2; 1Ti 5:22, Psa 24:4; +*Psa 101:3; *Psa 119:9, Pro 15:26; Pro 20:11; Pro 21:8, Mic 6:11, +*Mat 5:8, 2Co 6:6, **Php 4:8, 1Th 4:3, 4, 5, 6 note. *Tit 1:8; *Tit 1:15, Jas 1:27; Jas 3:17; Jas 4:8, +*1Pe 1:22; 1Pe 3:2, *2Pe 3:1; *2Pe 3:14, *1Jn 3:3, *Jud 1:24.

On some viewing platforms the above cross references are live links. When your mouse or other pointing device hovers over the reference, the text of the referenced verse will appear in a little window so you can read it directly. For the benefit of those who do not have access to those live links on their device, I share the text of the above cross referenced passages with some additional comments of my own.

1 Timothy 1:5
5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
King James Version

5 You must teach people to have genuine love, as well as a good conscience and true faith. Contemporary English Version

1 Timothy 5:2
2  The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
King James Version

2 and treat older women as you would your own mother. Show the same respect to younger women that you would to your sister. Contemporary English Version

1 Timothy 5:2
2  older women as if they were your mothers, and younger women as if they were your sisters, while keeping yourself morally pure.
GOD’S WORD translation

All of us at all times must keep ourselves morally pure. Notice how Paul has stressed this repeatedly in his instructions to Timothy. Those instructions apply to us. Satan delights in causing and continuing the moral downfall of a Christian believer. Take great care to not let this happen to you. Do not continue in the sin of moral impurity or unchastity.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is most gracious to sinners. He forgives our sins. But sins leave their mark on our lives even when forgiven. I recall hearing and watching Dr. Bob Jones Senior relate the story of a young man who asked his father for help in overcoming the tendency to constantly fall into sin. They lived on a farm. The father suggested that his boy pound a nail into the barn door for each time he did something wrong. Soon the boy showed his dad how disappointed he was because the barn door was soon full of nails. The father suggested that his son pull out a nail each time he overcame the temptation and did right. Finally, after a few weeks went by, the son excitedly showed his father the barn door free of all those nails. The father congratulated the son for a job well done. Then the son looked at the door and remarked,”But Dad, the nail holes are still there.” The father reflected that even though our sins can be forgiven by God through our Lord Jesus Christ, some effects of those sins may remain.

1 Timothy 5:22
22  Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.
King James Version

1 Timothy 5:22
22  Don’t be in a hurry to place your hands on anyone to ordain him. Don’t participate in the sins of others. Keep yourself morally pure.
GOD’S WORD translation

22 Don’t be too quick to accept people into the service of the Lord by placing your hands on them. Don’t sin because others do, but stay close to God. CEV, Contemporary English Version

Psalms 24:4
4  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
King James Version

Psalms 101:3
3  I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
King James Version

We need to exercise great caution and wisdom about what we choose to watch. Temptation can enter our hearts and minds through the eye-gate, just as it first did for Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6). I have an interesting book from the field of psychology that describes an experiment that demonstrated that certain images, repeatedly seen, or certain actions, repeatedly done, actually bypass our moral judgment and cause us to let our guard down such that we can easily be led to do what we normally would never think of doing. That is why we must guard our hearts against such things.

Psalms 119:9
9  BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
King James Version

The way to keep our minds pure and our actions right is to focus our attention upon God’s Word in the Bible. Read it enough to make a difference in your life. At first, I suggest you concentrate on the New Testament. Read it through from start to finish several times. Read the Bible daily at least five days a week. I used to encourage my high school friends to read three chapters a day to keep the Devil away. Recent research confirms the value of the recommendation I made many years ago.

Proverbs 15:26
26  The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
King James Version

Proverbs 20:11
11  Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
King James Version

Proverbs 21:8
8  The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
King James Version

Micah 6:11
11  Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?
King James Version

Matthew 5:8
8  Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
King James Version

2 Corinthians 6:6
6  By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
King James Version

Philippians 4:8
8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
King James Version

Important advice of what to think about from the Apostle Paul.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-6
3  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4  That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5  Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6  That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
King James Version

Notes from The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury may help you to understand this passage better:

1 Thessalonians 4:4
should know. Gr. oida, Joh 8:55 note. 1Th 1:4, **Rom 6:19; +*Rom 12:1, *1Co 6:15; *1Co 6:18, 19, 20.
possess. Gr. ktaomai (S# G2932), to acquire, as money (Mat 10:9, Luk 18:12), lands (Act 1:18), political liberty (Act 22:28), or the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Act 8:20), as noted by Hogg and Vine, Comm. on Thessalonians, p. 116, Boyce W. Blackwelder points out that the present tense of this infinitive requires the meaning of “acquire;” if the perfect tense of the verb had been used, then the meaning of “possess” would be correct, but such is not the case here (Toward Understanding Thessalonians, p. 93). +Luk 21:19.
his vessel. FS46C, +Mat 8:6, Gr. skeuos, a vase or utensil, is used for the Hebrew klee, which has a wider meaning, instrument or weapon. See Hos 13:15 and 1Sa 21:3-6 (F/S 679). This may be a reference to himself, his body (1Sa 21:5, Rom 6:13, 1Co 9:27), or more likely, the reference is to acquiring his own wife (1Co 7:2), since one could hardly acquire himself. Rth 4:10, 1Sa 21:5, Est 2:12, +Hos 13:15 mg. *Act 9:15, Rom 9:21, 22, 23, **1Co 7:2, 2Co 4:7, 2Ti 2:20, 21, **1Pe 3:7.
in sanctification. +*1Th 4:3.
honour. +*Act 6:3, Rom 1:24, +*Php 4:8, +*Heb 13:4, 1Pe 3:7.


1 Thessalonians 4:6
go beyond. A command not to go beyond the fixed limits of chastity established by God’s law. +*Exo 20:14; +*Exo 20:17, +**Lev 19:11; +**Lev 19:13, Deut 24:7; Deut 25:13, 14, 15, 16, *Pro 11:1; Pro 16:11; *Pro 20:14; *Pro 20:23; *Pro 28:24, Isa 5:7; Isa 59:4, 5, 6, 7, Jer 9:4, Eze 22:13; Eze 45:9-14, Amos 8:5, 6, Zep 3:5, +*Mal 3:5, **Mar 10:19, **1Co 6:7, 8, 9; 1Co 13:5, +*Eph 4:28, +*Jas 5:4.
defraud. or, oppress, or, overreach. Gr. pleonekteō [S# G4122: Rendered (1) make a gain: 2Co 12:17, 18, (2) defraud: 2Co 7:2, 1Th 4:6, (3) get an advantage: 2Co 2:11]. We are not to destroy the moral purity of fellow believers or anyone else to satisfy our own impure desires by stepping over the boundaries God has established. The practice of men having “live in” girlfriends, or women having “live in” boyfriends, is clearly and absolutely forbidden by this Scripture. Christian parents further have the responsibility to shield their children from exposure to amoral or non-Christian instruction in these matters contrary to the principles of the written word of God (Mat 18:6, 1Co 7:36, 37, 38, Eph 5:12) by whatever means are necessary (+*Act 5:29). T732, Gen 23:16; Gen 27:35; Gen 43:12, +**Exo 20:17, Lev 19:11; Lev 19:13; Lev 19:35; *Lev 25:14; *Lev 25:17, +*Deut 24:14; Deut 25:13, 14, 15; Deut 27:17, 1Sa 12:3, 4, +*Psa 12:5; Psa 82:2, Pro 11:1; +Pro 21:3 (T629). +Pro 22:22 (T636). Jer 7:6, +*Eze 16:49, Mic 2:2, Zep 3:1, +Mar 10:19, 1Co 6:8; 1Co 6:10, *+2Co 2:11 g. Eph 4:19 note. Jas 2:6.
his brother. Used of mankind in general by Paul only here. Deut 22:2, Rth 3:12, Mal 2:10, Mat 5:22; Mat 7:2, 3; Mat 18:15, 1Co 6:8.
in any matter. or, in the matter. Paul delicately has reference to the sexual sin mentioned in the immediate context; in particular, adultery and pre-marital sex, sins absolutely forbidden to Christian men and women. As the preceding reference passages show, the commandment “Defraud not” elsewhere has broader application. Deut 22:25, **2Sa 13:1-14, Act 15:20, 1Co 6:9; 1Co 6:18, 19; 1Co 7:1, 2; 1Co 13:5, 2Co 7:11, Eph 5:3; Eph 5:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
the avenger. +**Gen 6:13, Num 31:2, Deut 25:16; **+Deut 32:35, Jdg 15:6, Job 31:13, 14; Job 36:12, 13, 14 mg. Psa 94:1; Psa 140:12, +*Pro 22:22; +*Pro 22:23, Ecc 5:8, Isa 1:23, 24, Jer 51:56, *Rom 1:18; **+Rom 12:19; Rom 13:4 g. Eph 5:6, Col 3:6; Col 3:25, **2Th 1:8, +*Heb 13:4 note.
as we. Luk 12:5, Gal 5:21, Eph 4:17.
forewarned. Gr. proeipō (S# G4277). +1Th 3:4, Jer 42:19, Eze 3:19; Eze 3:21; **Eze 33:9, Act 1:16 g. Gal 5:21 g. Col 1:28.
testified. Gr. diamarturomai (S# G1263, Luk 16:28). 1Th 2:11, Amos 3:13, Zec 8:16, +Luk 16:28, Act 2:40, Gal 5:3, +Eph 4:17, Php 3:18, 1Ti 5:21, 2Ti 2:14; 2Ti 4:1, Heb 2:6 g. Rev 22:18.

Titus 1:8
8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
King James Version

Titus 1:15
15  Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
King James Version

James 1:27
27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
King James Version

1 Peter 1:22
22  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
King James Version

1 Peter 3:2
2  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
King James Version

2 Peter 3:1
1  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
King James Version

2 Peter 3:14
14  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
King James Version

Because we as Bible-believing Christians look forward to the return of Christ, we are to be diligent to live at all times in all places in a manner that we will not be embarrassed by what we are doing or how we are living should our Lord Jesus Christ suddenly appear.

1 John 3:3
3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
King James Version

Jude 1:24
24  Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
King James Version

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Daily Bible Nugget #590, 1 Timothy 4:12 Part 6

The Nugget:

1Ti 4:12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (KJV)

1Ti 4:12 Let no one look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in your speech, conduct, love, faithfulness, and purity. (NET)

My Comment:

Paul encouraged Timothy to be an example of the believers in faith or faithfulness. The underlying Greek word is also translated fidelity.

The lexicon in Strong’s Concordance for this word (G4102) gives the following information:

From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
Total KJV occurrences: 244
Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

Using the cross references given in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, much more that the Bible says related to this character trait and spiritual gift will be found:

in faith. 1Ti 6:11, *Gal 5:22; *Gal 5:23, Heb 10:22.

The above references are live links on some platforms. For those who cannot access the live links, here are the referenced texts with a few comments:

1 Timothy 6:11
11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
King James Version

At 1 Timothy 6:11 I have placed this information:

faith. Subjective sense, belief and trust in God and His promises. For the objective sense, the faith, what is believed in terms of the content of belief, see +Act 6:7; +1Ti 1:19; and especially 1Ti 6:10.

Galatians 5:22
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
King James Version

At Galatians 5:22 for the fruit of the Spirit called faith the following helpful references are given:

faith. or, fidelity. Gal 2:16, Mat 23:23, +*Luk 16:10, +*Act 6:3, Rom 3:3, 1Co 4:2; 1Co 13:7; 1Co 13:13, +*2Co 5:7, 2Th 3:2, 1Ti 3:11; +*1Ti 4:12; 1Ti 6:11, *Tit 2:10, 1Pe 5:12.

Of these references for faith at Galatians 5:22, I invite your attention to Luke 16:10,

Luke 16:10
10  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
King James Version

To which I would add a reference on the subject of faithfulness not given at any of the texts referred to:

Proverbs 20:6
6  Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
King James Version

The final reference to faith given at 1 Timothy 4:12 is Hebrews 10:22,

Hebrews 10:22
22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
King James Version

Giving more of the context for Hebrews 10:22,

Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Heb 10:21  And having an high priest over the house of God;
Heb 10:22  Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Heb 10:23  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

This verse (Hebrews 10:22) and its immediate context is packed with material to study further. But for those unwilling to learn anything new, avoid like the plague any further study of this verse using The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. I warned in the Preface that this Bible study tool is not generic. It contains notes filled with Bible evidence that shows some doctrinal positions held by many may just not be correct when the Bible is studied accurately.

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Daily Bible Nugget #589, 1 Timothy 4:12 Part 5

The Nugget:

1Ti 4:12  Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (KJV)

1Ti 4:12 let no one despise thy youth, but a pattern become thou of those believing in word, in behaviour, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity; (YLT, Young’s Literal Translation)

My Comment:

Paul encouraged Timothy to become a pattern or example of the believers in spirit.

Most modern translations drop or leave out “in spirit.” The Received Text and the Majority Text include in the Greek text the phrase “in spirit.” Dr. Malcolm Lavender, following the Majority Text, retains “in spirit” in his excellent Lavender’s New Testament. I prefer to follow the Received Text and the Majority Text here.

in spirit. Gr. pneuma, FS121A2, +Mat 5:3 note. +*Pro 4:23.

The word “spirit” involves a significant Figure of Speech here in 1 Timothy 4:12. I provided in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury the following explanation for this Figure of Speech at Matthew 5:3,

in spirit. FS121A2, Metonymy of the Cause, +Psa 51:10, “Spirit” (Gr. pneuma) put for character as being in itself invisible, and manifested only in one’s actions. Mat 11:29, Luk 9:55, Rom 8:15; Rom 8:15, 1Co 4:21, Gal 6:1, 1Ti 4:12, **2Ti 1:7, 1Pe 3:4, Rev 19:10.

If you read the above references where the same figure of speech involving the word “spirit” is found, you will easily catch on to the meaning in each place.

Your character is made known to others only by your actions. Take care at all times and in every way that your actions represent our Lord Jesus Christ well at all times.

Character is a matter of the heart. The single cross reference given is to  Proverbs 4:23,

Pro 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

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