Deuteronomy 18:9-12 [Moses, speaking to the children of Israel]:
"When thou art [you are] come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee [Canaan], thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations [wicked practices] of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that
maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire [in a religious rite involving Moloch, the fire-god*; e.g., sacrificing children to idols],
or that useth divination [a fortune teller],
or an observer of times [an astrologer or stargazer (someone who looks to the stars for guidance); e.g., checking your horoscope],
or an enchanter [a magician],
or a witch [a woman (female) with magic powers],
Or a charmer [someone who uses the power of enchantment; e.g., a snake charmer],
or a consulter with familiar spirits [a person who speaks to demons],
or a wizard [a man (male) with magic powers],
or a necromancer [someone who communicates with the dead].
For all that do these things are an abomination [an object of extreme hatred] unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them [the nations that do these things] out from before thee [you]."
*Here's how John Gill explained what "There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire" means: "To Moloch, which was a sort of lustration [ceremonial purification] by fire, two fires being made, and the child led by a priest between them, and which was an initiation of him into the religion of that deity, and devoting him to it; so Jarchi says, this is the service of Moloch, making piles of fire here and there (on this side and on that), and causing (the children) to pass between them both. Besides this they used to burn them with fire to this deity, perhaps after the performance of this ceremony."
2 Corinthians 11:3 [the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church]: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent [under the control of Satan (the devil)] beguiled [tricked, deceived] Eve through his subtilty [slyness, cunning], so your minds should be corrupted [your thoughts should be perverted] from the simplicity that is in Christ."
In other words, Paul doesn't want us to be misled by false teachers into thinking that salvation is hard, as (for example) when people are told that they need to add works (doing something good) to faith (simply believing the gospel) in order to get saved and stay saved.
Hebrews 9:22: "And almost all things [in the Jewish tabernacle or temple service] are by the law [of Moses] purged [cleansed, purified] with blood; and without shedding of blood [of animals in the Old Testament, and of Jesus in the New Testament] is no remission [or forgiveness, of sins]."
2 Timothy 4:2-4 [the apostle Paul's advice to Timothy, a minister of the gospel]:
Verse 2: "Preach the word [of God]; be instant in season, out of season [be ready to 'preach the gospel' at all times; i.e., take every opportunity to tell others how to be saved, whether the situation makes it easy or hard to do so]; reprove [gently correct errors], rebuke [criticize sharply if necessary], exhort [attempt to convince or persuade people to obey God] with all longsuffering [patience] and doctrine [teaching, instruction]."
Verses 3-4: "For the time will come when they will not endure [withstand, put up with] sound doctrine; but after their own lusts [desires] shall they heap [gather] to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."[*]
*In other words, verses 3-4 tell us that someday, people will reject godly pastors (those who preach truth from the Bible) and instead will seek preachers and teachers more to their liking (such as false teachers), who "tickle their ears" (tell them what they want to hear, are comfortable to be around), corrupt the plan of salvation, don't preach on sin, etc.
James 1:22: "But be ye doers of the word [of God (the Bible); i.e., be obedient to God's word, as recorded in the Bible], and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves [misleading yourselves]."
2 Timothy 3:14-15 [the apostle Paul, addressing Timothy in a letter]: "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of [hold fast to the doctrines, or truths, contained in the Bible], knowing of whom thou hast learned them [your mother]; And that from a child [ever since you were a very young child] thou hast known the holy scriptures [in Timothy's case, the Old Testament, as the New Testament had not yet been written], which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
1 Peter 2:11 [the apostle Peter, in a letter to born-again Christians]: "Dearly beloved, I beseech [call upon, appeal to, beg] you as strangers and pilgrims [as travelers on earth, since your true home is in heaven], abstain [keep yourself] from fleshly lusts [things like pornography, greed, pride, etc.], which war against the soul [corrupt your mind (conscience, understanding, memory, judgment, imagination) and harden your heart];"
James 1:17: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above [everything good is from God], and cometh down [to us] from the Father of lights [God], with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning[*]."
*In the last part of the verse, the apostle compares God's nature to that of the sun when the earth revolves around it. In other words, the sun seems to change on a daily basis, but God never does. For example, depending on how close our planet is to the sun, the sun will appear to rise or set, we will experience day or night (light or dark), seasons will change along with the weather (hot or cold temperatures), we'll see shadows, etc.
James 4:13-15: "Go to now [hear this], ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue [stay] there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain [make money, accumulate possessions, etc.]: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow [what shall happen tomorrow]. For what is your life? It is even a vapour [similar to gas or moisture floating in the air (mist, steam, smoke, etc.)], that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say [instead, you should say], If the Lord will [if it is God's will], we shall live, and do this, or that."
Mark 5:24-34 - Jesus Heals the Woman With the "Issue of Blood"
Verse 24: "And Jesus went with him [with Jairus (one of the rulers of the synagogue), to heal his young daughter, who was dying]; and much [many] people followed him, and thronged [crowded around] him."
Verses 25-29: "And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years [i.e., her monthly period had flowed continuously during that time], And had suffered many things of many physicians [i.e., she had taken lots of medicine that the doctors prescribed and tried remedies they had suggested in an attempt to cure her], and had spent all [the money] that she had, and was nothing bettered [didn't get better], but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press [crowd] behind [him], and touched his garment. For she said [to herself (she thought)], If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole [healed]. And straightway [immediately] the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague."
Verses 30-34: "And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue [healing power] had gone out of him, turned him about in the press [turned around], and said, Who touched my clothes [i.e., who did it intentionally (on purpose)]? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee [pressing against you], and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole [continue to remain cured] of thy plague [disease]."
Psalm 145:18-19: "The LORD is nigh [near] unto all them that call upon him [in prayer], to all that call upon him in truth [sincerely]. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them [from danger here on earth, and from hell when they die]."
Galatians 6:10: "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith [i.e., born-again Christians]."
Romans 10:12 [the apostle Paul, on the subject of justification (how sinners become righteous before God)]: "For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [gentile, or non-Jew]: for the same Lord [Jesus Christ] over all [people] is rich [in mercy] unto all that call upon him [(in prayer) for salvation]."
Galatians 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is [the Holy Spirit working within a Christian results in] love [for God and people], joy, peace, longsuffering [having patience in difficult times], gentleness [being polite, having a pleasant disposition], goodness [good works, doing nice things for others], faith [in God, and faithfulness to man (being true to our word, keeping promises)], Meekness [having a mild temper, not seeking revenge when someone offends or hurts us], temperance [self-control]: against such [things] there is no law [i.e., no law will condemn us]."
Acts 16:25-34 - The Night the Jailer and His Family Got Saved
[Paul and Silas had been arrested and bound in a dungeon for casting out a demon]
Verses 25-26: "And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the [other] prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great [very strong, massive] earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed [loosened, untied]."
Verses 27-31: "And the keeper of the prison [the jailer] awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled [run away]. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he [the jailer] called for a light [probably a torch], and sprang in [rushed in], and came trembling, and fell down [as an act of honor and respect] before Paul and Silas, And brought them out [of the inner prison], and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on [trust in] the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved [from the consequences of sin], and thy house [and your household, or family; i.e., you will be saved from hell, and so will everyone in your family who also believes]."
Verses 32-33: "And they [Paul and Silas] spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house [i.e., they preached the gospel to the jailer and his family (told them about Jesus and how to be saved)]. And he [the jailer] took them [Paul and Silas--to a place with water] the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes [cleansed the blood from the wounds that resulted from beatings they had received in prison]; and was baptized, he and all his [all of his family members who were saved], straightway [immediately]."
Verse 34: "And when he [the jailer] had brought them [Paul and Silas] into his house, he set meat before them [gave them something to eat], and rejoiced [was filled with joy], believing in God with all his house [because he and his family believed and were saved]."
Matthew 4:1-4 [following Jesus' baptism]: "Then was Jesus led up of [by] the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil [who was trying to get him to sin]. And when he [Jesus] had fasted [gone without food] forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred [hungry]. And when the tempter [Satan] came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made [into] bread. But he [Jesus] answered and said, It is written [in Deuteronomy 8:3], Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
Following Jesus' example in the above verses, the best way to fight against Satan is by quoting from God's word (the Bible).
In addition, the verse quoted from Deuteronomy, which refers to the time that God fed the Israelites with manna (angels' food) for 40 years while they wandered in the wilderness, shows that sometimes he uses other things besides bread to sustain his people and provide nourishment for them.
Proverbs 1:10-19 [written by King Solomon]:
Verses 10-14: "My son, if sinners entice thee [lure you into a life of crime, tempt you to join them in doing bad things, try to persuade you to become a member of a gang, etc.], consent thou not [don't say yes]. If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood [let us ambush, rob, and murder people], let us lurk privily [hide, wait in secret] for the innocent [travelers, etc.] without cause [reason]: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave [let us destroy them suddenly]; and whole, as those that go down into the pit [Sheol--the underworld, or abode of the dead; i.e., leave no clues behind, so we won't get caught]: We shall find all precious substance [valuables], we shall fill our houses with spoil [stolen goods, loot]: Cast in thy lot among us [join us]; let us all have one purse [we'll share the wealth equally]:"
Verses 15-19: "My son, walk not thou in the way with them [don't associate with them]; refrain [restrain, keep] thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste [hasten, hurry] to shed blood. Surely in vain [without success] the net is spread in the sight of any bird. And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives [i.e., someday they'll pay the price for their actions]. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain [covetous]; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof."
Note: As you probably know by now, I like the commentaries on Proverbs by Pastor Jim Delany of Salem Bible Church. If you want to read his commentaries on the above verses, here are the links: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch1_html/Prov.1.10.htm,
Galatians 2:21 [the apostle Paul, in his letter to the churches of Galatia]: "I do not frustrate [abolish, reject, make invalid] the grace [unmerited (undeserved) favor] of God: for if righteousness [justification, salvation] come by the law [comes to us because we obey ceremonial and/or moral laws, such as the Ten Commandments; e.g., if we can earn it by doing good works], then [Jesus] Christ is dead in vain [died needlessly, for no reason]."
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 [the apostle Paul, in a letter written to the Corinthian church,
14 years after he was caught up to the third heaven (the dwelling place of God)]:
Verse 7: "And lest I should be exalted above measure [so that I won't be filled with pride] through the abundance of the revelations [because of all the things that I saw and heard in heaven], there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan [an angel (demon, or devil) sent from Satan] to buffet [attack] me, lest I should be exalted above measure."
Verses 8-9: "For this thing [the thorn in the flesh] I besought [urgently requested, begged] the Lord [Jesus Christ] thrice [three times], that it might depart [be taken away] from me. And he [Jesus] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory [take pleasure] in my infirmities [physical and/or mental weaknesses (diseases, afflictions, etc.)], [so] that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
Verse 10: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities [my weaknesses], in reproaches [contempt and scorn (criticism and disrespect) from others], in necessities [my wants and needs], in persecutions, in distresses [difficulties I encounter] for Christ's sake [on behalf of the gospel]: for when I [through my own efforts] am weak [without strength], then [with God's help] am I strong [and able to endure all things]."
[Note: Albert Barnes has some excellent examples of God's reasons for not answering our prayers in his commentary on verse 9. If you want to read it, click on the link (www.godvine.com/bible/2-corinthians/12-9) and scroll down to "Barnes' Notes." You can go forward or backward from there to read the other verses.]
Galatians 3:13: "[Jesus] Christ hath redeemed us [set us free] from the curse of the law [the results of disobeying God's law; i.e., being tormented forever in the lake of fire], being made a curse for us [by dying on the cross to pay for our sins]: for it is written [in the Bible], Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree [in this case, refers to Jesus' crucifixion]:"
John 10:27-28 [Jesus, the 'good shepherd,' speaking to the Jews in the temple at Jerusalem]: "My sheep [born-again Christians] hear my voice [hear and obey my commandments], and I know them, and they follow me [follow my leadership or guidance]: And I give unto them eternal life [in heaven]; and they shall never perish [be sent to hell], neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand [remove them from my protection]."
Romans 14:12: "So then every one of us shall give account of himself [give a report of, or relate in detail, everything that we thought, said, and did during our lives (or after we got saved, if we're born-again Christians)] to God [the Son (Jesus Christ) in heaven--born-again Christians, at the Judgment Seat of Christ; everyone else, at the Great White Throne Judgment]."
Isaiah 26:3 [part of a song in the Bible about God; thou and thee refer to God]: "Thou wilt [will] keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on [fixed on, focused on, supported by] thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning [of time] God created the heaven and the earth [i.e., he made them out of nothing]."
Matthew 18:6 [Jesus, comparing Christians to little children]: "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me [i.e., whoever shall cause born-again Christians to sin, etc.], it were better for him that a millstone [one of a pair of large, heavy, circular stones used for grinding grain] were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
Proverbs 19:17: "He that hath pity upon [has compassion for and shows kindness to] the poor lendeth unto the LORD [makes a loan to God]; and that which he hath given [to poor people--money, food, clothing, etc.] will he [God] pay him again [pay him back or reward him for, either now or when he gets to heaven]."
Note: Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch19_html/Prov.19.17.htm.
Proverbs 21:1: "The king's heart [everything that a ruler does, good and evil] is in the hand of [under the control of] the LORD, as the rivers of water [can be forced to flow in a different direction]: he [God] turneth it [the king's heart] whithersoever [wherever] he will."
Note: Pastor Delany has written another outstanding commentary on a verse in Proverbs. To read it, click here: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch21_html/Prov.21.1.htm.
Joshua 1:8 [referring to the Bible]: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
In other words, you should study and obey God's word (the Bible) if you want to be successful in life.
Matthew 6:25-33 [Jesus, speaking to his disciples during the sermon on the mount]:
Verse 25: "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life [don't worry about the necessities of life], what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat [food], and the body than raiment [clothing]?"
Verse 26: "Behold [look at, observe] the fowls of the air [the birds]: for they sow not [they don't plant seeds], neither do they reap [harvest crops], nor gather [the crops] into barns; yet your heavenly Father [God] feedeth [feeds] them. Are ye not much better [more important] than they [are]?"
Verse 27: "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit [the length of a forearm--about 18 inches] unto his stature [height*]?"
Verses 28-30: "And why take ye thought for [why do you worry about] raiment [clothing]? Consider the lilies of the field [e.g., wildflowers], how they grow; they toil not [don't work], neither do they spin [make yarn or thread by twisting fibers of wool, cotton, etc.]: And yet I say unto you, That even [King] Solomon in all his glory [while wearing his finest royal robes] was not arrayed [dressed] like one of these [beautiful flowers]. Wherefore, if God so clothe [dress] the grass of the field, which to day is [alive and growing], and to morrow is cast [thrown] into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
Verses 31-33: "Therefore take no thought [don't worry about the future], saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal [with what] shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles [non-Jews] seek:) for your heavenly Father [God] knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God [heaven], and his [God's] righteousness [in other words, you must be saved, or 'born again']; and all these things shall be added unto you."
*According to some commentaries, stature can also mean age in the Bible, so if that applies to this verse, it means there is nothing that man can do to increase the length of his life.
Proverbs 21:9: "It is better to dwell [live (alone; be by yourself)] in a corner of the housetop [roof*], than with a brawling [arguing, fighting, nagging] woman in a wide [very large] house."
*Houses had flat roofs in Bible times.
Note: Salem Bible Church has an excellent commentary on this verse. If you want to read it, here's the link: www.salembible.org/biblestudies/proverbs_notes/ch21_html/Prov.21.9.htm.
Romans 13:1-2: "Let every soul [living person] be subject unto [submit to, obey] the higher powers [rulers and government leaders]. For there is no power [no government office or leader] but of God [except by his permission]: the powers that be [rulers and government leaders] are ordained of [appointed or ordered by] God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power [refuses to obey the law, tries to overthrow the government, etc.], resisteth [resists, opposes] the ordinance of God [what and whom he has put in place]: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation [shall be punished]."