“Now Concerning Spiritual Gifts…” (Part 5 of 6)1 Corinthians 12:1-11
How would you respond if someone offered you a “prophetic word”? You might be at a loss if you’re not sure what that means. Find out what the gift of prophecy is and how it relates to biblical truth. That’s our focus on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.
Are You Taking Advantage of Him?
I in them.John 17:23
If this is the union between our souls and the person of our Lord, how deep and broad is the channel of our communion! This is no narrow channel through which a threadlike stream may wind its way; it is a river of amazing depth and breadth, along whose glorious length a ponderous volume of living water may roll its floods. Consider how He has set before us an open door; let us not be slow to enter.
This city of communion has many pearly gates, every gate is made of one pearl, and each gate is thrown open wide so that we may enter, assured of welcome. If there were but one small loophole through which to talk with Jesus, it would be a high privilege to thrust a word of fellowship through the narrow door; how much we are blessed in having so large an entrance! If the Lord Jesus were far away from us, with many a stormy sea between, we would long to send a messenger to Him to carry Him our love and bring us tidings from His Father’s house; but consider His kindness—He has built His house next—door to ours. More than that, He lives with us and makes His home in our poor humble hearts, so He may have continual fellowship with us.
O how foolish must we be if we do not live in constant communion with Him. When the road is long and dangerous and difficult, it is no surprise that friends seldom meet each other; but when they live together, shall Jonathan forget his David? A wife may, when her husband is on a journey, spend many days without conversing with him, but she could never endure to be separated from him if she knew him to be in one of the rooms of her own house. Why, believer, do you not sit at His banquet of wine? Seek your Lord, for He is near; embrace Him, for He is your Brother. Hold Him fast, for He is your Husband; and press Him to your heart, for He is your kith and kin.
C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.
Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.
Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, Good News Publishers.
1Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw one of the daughters of the Philistines. 2Then he came up and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah. Now get her for me as my wife.” 3But his father and mother said to him, “Is there not a woman among the daughters of your relatives, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” But Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, for she is right in my eyes.”
4His father and mother did not know that it was from the Lord, for he was seeking an opportunity against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines ruled over Israel.
5Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah, and they came to the vineyards of Timnah. And behold, a young lion came toward him roaring. 6Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and although he had nothing in his hand, he tore the lion in pieces as one tears a young goat. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she was right in Samson's eyes.
8After some days he returned to take her. And he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and behold, there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. 9He scraped it out into his hands and went on, eating as he went. And he came to his father and mother and gave some to them, and they ate. But he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey from the carcass of the lion.
10His father went down to the woman, and Samson prepared a feast there, for so the young men used to do. 11As soon as the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12And Samson said to them, “Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can tell me what it is, within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes, 13but if you cannot tell me what it is, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothes.” And they said to him, “Put your riddle, that we may hear it.” 14And he said to them,
“Out of the eater came something to eat.
Out of the strong came something sweet.”
And in three days they could not solve the riddle.
15On the fourth1 day they said to Samson's wife, “Entice your husband to tell us what the riddle is, lest we burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?” 16And Samson's wife wept over him and said, “You only hate me; you do not love me. You have put a riddle to my people, and you have not told me what it is.” And he said to her, “Behold, I have not told my father nor my mother, and shall I tell you?” 17She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted, and on the seventh day he told her, because she pressed him hard. Then she told the riddle to her people. 18And the men of the city said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,
“What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?”
And he said to them,
“If you had not plowed with my heifer,
you would not have found out my riddle.”
19And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. 20And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.
Paul in Corinth
1After this Paul1 left Athens and went to Corinth. 2And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. And he went to see them, 3and because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade. 4And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.
5When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. 6And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. 8Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized. 9And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, 10for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews2 made a united attack on Paul and brought him before the tribunal, 13saying, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or vicious crime, O Jews, I would have reason to accept your complaint. 15But since it is a matter of questions about words and names and your own law, see to it yourselves. I refuse to be a judge of these things.” 16And he drove them from the tribunal. 17And they all seized Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him in front of the tribunal. But Gallio paid no attention to any of this.
Paul Returns to Antioch
18After this, Paul stayed many days longer and then took leave of the brothers3 and set sail for Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had cut his hair, for he was under a vow. 19And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20When they asked him to stay for a longer period, he declined. 21But on taking leave of them he said, “I will return to you if God wills,” and he set sail from Ephesus.
22When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch. 23After spending some time there, he departed and went from one place to the next through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
Apollos Speaks Boldly in Ephesus
24Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit,4 he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. 27And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, 28for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.
The Yoke of Nebuchadnezzar
1In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah1 the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord. 2Thus the Lord said to me: “Make yourself straps and yoke-bars, and put them on your neck. 3Send word2 to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the sons of Ammon, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon by the hand of the envoys who have come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4Give them this charge for their masters: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: This is what you shall say to your masters: 5“It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me. 6Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. 7All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes. Then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave.
8“‘“But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, declares the Lord, until I have consumed it by his hand. 9So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your fortune-tellers, or your sorcerers, who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’ 10For it is a lie that they are prophesying to you, with the result that you will be removed far from your land, and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11But any nation that will bring its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will leave on its own land, to work it and dwell there, declares the Lord.”’”
12To Zedekiah king of Judah I spoke in like manner: “Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people and live. 13Why will you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as the Lord has spoken concerning any nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are saying to you, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon,’ for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. 15I have not sent them, declares the Lord, but they are prophesying falsely in my name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.”
16Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, “Thus says the Lord: Do not listen to the words of your prophets who are prophesying to you, saying, ‘Behold, the vessels of the Lord's house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon,’ for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you. 17Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city become a desolation? 18If they are prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, then let them intercede with the Lord of hosts, that the vessels that are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem may not go to Babylon. 19For thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, the sea, the stands, and the rest of the vessels that are left in this city, 20which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take away, when he took into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem—21thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of the Lord, in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem: 22They shall be carried to Babylon and remain there until the day when I visit them, declares the Lord. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.”
Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple
1And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
Signs of the Close of the Age
3And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
The Abomination of Desolation
14“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
The Coming of the Son of Man
24“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
No One Knows That Day or Hour
32“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard, keep awake.1 For you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants2 in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows,3 or in the morning—36lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
Get the Program, Devotional, and Bible Reading Plan delivered daily right to your inbox.