by Al Maxey

Issue #522 ------- February 20, 2012
Leniency gives rise to the ultimately necessary exercise
of a degree of cruelty which could have been avoided by the
employment of an efficacious punishment at an earlier time.

Cardinal Richelieu {1585-1642}

Deliver Them Unto Satan
A Study of 1 Cor. 5:5 & 1 Tim. 1:20

The apostle Peter once declared that Paul's "letters contain some things that are hard to understand" (2 Peter 3:16). That would most certainly apply to a statement he made to the brethren in Corinth, and then again, some years later, to Timothy who was serving the Lord in Ephesus. On both occasions the apostle Paul spoke of individuals that were to be "delivered unto Satan." This is an action that has puzzled disciples for centuries, and has led to some fascinating speculation among biblical scholars. An elder in Florida recently wrote, "Al, I was just wondering: How do you turn someone over to Satan so that they may be saved? I have never seen this done 'in church,' and am curious as to what it entails? Any ideas?" This brother is not alone in his confusion on Paul's statement. Dr. Marvin Vincent, in his classic "Word Studies" in the Greek NT, characterized this action by Paul as being "very obscure and much controverted." Dr. A. T. Robertson concurs, stating that the apostle's action "is an obscure matter" [Word Pictures in the New Testament, e-Sword]. "What this sort of punishment was no man now living knows" [Adam Clarke, Clarke's Commentary, vol. 6, p. 589]. Even extra-biblical evidence is lacking with regard to delivering someone unto Satan, as "there is nothing of the kind referred to in the Jewish writings" [ibid]. "There is no proof that such a formula of excommunication existed either in the Synagogue or the early Church" [Dr. W. Robertson Nicoll, The Expositor's Greek Testament, vol. 2, p. 809]. Therefore, it will be difficult for any student of the Scriptures to be dogmatic about his or her understanding of these two passages, for that perception can never rise above mere speculation. That is not to say, however, that we can't learn some vital spiritual lessons from these two incidents.

We first encounter this statement by the apostle Paul in the fifth chapter of his first epistle to the brethren in the city of Corinth. It was Paul who initially brought the Good News to this city around 53 A.D. near the end of his second missionary journey (the account of which may be found in Acts 18:1-18). Apollos later came to Corinth and worked with the brethren there (Acts 18:27 - 19:1). Thus, Paul referred to himself as "your father through the gospel" (1 Cor. 4:15). "I planted, Apollos watered" (1 Cor. 3:6). "As a wise master-builder, I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it" (1 Cor. 3:10). Paul wrote this epistle from the city of Ephesus (1 Cor. 16:8), and most scholars place the time of writing during the latter months of 56 A.D. First Corinthians is an "occasional letter," which simply means that it was occasioned by certain events and circumstances that had arisen among the brethren, of which Paul had been made aware, that he felt compelled to deal with, even though he was physically absent from their midst. One of those situations is addressed very forcefully in the fifth chapter. "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife" (1 Cor. 5:1). Apparently, the congregation was not dealing with this situation as it should have, and Paul ordered, "Let him who has done this be removed from among you" (vs. 2). The entire chapter deals with this situation, and I would urge the reader to carefully consider the entirety of Paul's teaching there. However, the statement that concerns us here is -- "When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord" (vs. 4-5).

A number of questions immediately come to mind: How does one deliver another unto Satan? In what sense does Satan destroy this person's flesh, and how does this save his spirit? As previously noted, there has been significant speculation, and even heated debate, among scholars as to the significance, and current application (if any), of Paul's directive to the church in Corinth. This is compounded by the fact that a few years later he once again speaks of delivering men over to Satan. The second occasion is found in his first epistle to Timothy (one of his three "pastoral" letters). Paul most likely wrote this letter from the region of Macedonia sometime around mid-63 A.D., sending it to Timothy, his "true son in the faith" (1 Tim. 1:2), who was residing in Ephesus. In the course of this letter, Paul spoke of certain persons who had "made shipwreck of their faith, among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme" (1 Tim. 1:19-20). Again, we are faced with questions, such as: How does handing someone over to Satan teach them not to blaspheme? Even more basic: Are we to assume that Paul is suggesting that the afflictions of Satan are in some way potentially redemptive? Can delivering one to Satan actually result in salvation for the one thus delivered? If so, how?! These are difficult questions, yet there are some possible explanations, some of which are quite perceptive and practical, some of which are preposterous. We shall focus more on the former.

The phrase itself is somewhat interesting, and some find similar wording in the ancient writings of the pagan religions. Gustav Adolf Deissmann (1866-1937), a German theologian, perhaps best known for his work on the koine Greek of the NT writings, believed that the Greek word paradounai (1 Cor. 5:5 -- 2nd Aorist Active Infinitive = "to give over; deliver") was "a technical pagan term that is taken from the ritual of cursing and is here adopted by Paul," and that Paul simply "substituted Satan for the pagan demons" [R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul's First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians, p. 215]. Deissmann referred to a 4th century Greek papyrus in which was found: "Daemon of the dead ... I deliver unto thee _____ in order that ..." [ibid]. Certainly, the wording and the concept are similar, but that Paul was adopting and adapting some formal pagan "curse formula" is purely speculative, and there is no evidence to support such a theory, although as an educated man Paul may very well have known of such curses (after all, he was known to have quoted pagan poets on occasion; for example, he quotes from the Phaenomena of Aratus in Acts 17:28). Paul was also not unknown for his own anathemas (Reflections #516 -- A Curse upon the Unloving: The Great Anathema of 1 Cor. 16:22). Thus, this view should not simply be brushed aside, yet it should be considered with some degree of caution.

One of the most widely accepted views of Paul's statement in these two passages is that it was simply a rather poetic way of describing an act of church discipline sometimes known to us today as "disfellowship" or "excommunication." It was a formal expulsion of a person or persons from the community of believers, not only for the protection of the faithful, but also in the hope of bringing the faithless one(s) to repentance. Practicing discipline within the Family of God is a much needed, and oft neglected, activity, that, to be effective, must be effected with a certain spirit. I would strongly urge the reader, at this point in this study, to take a moment and review my study of this in Reflections #245 -- Divine Design for Discipline: Pondering the Purposes & Parameters of Punishment for the People of God. A basic grasp of this topic will prove helpful in seeking to understand why Paul would deliver someone unto Satan. That Paul refers to expulsion from the fellowship of the brethren seems also to be suggested by his statement in 1 Cor. 5:2, "Let him who has done this be removed from among you," and his closing statement, "Expel the wicked man from among you" (vs. 13). Their association with such a one was to be severely curtailed (vs. 9-11), which is the concept behind the practice of "disfellowship." Jesus states that when a sinner refuses to turn from his wicked ways, even after repeated attempts to bring him to repentance, then "let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Matt. 18:17, KJV). Thus, many see no "deeper meaning" in Paul's statement than that a person was to be removed from their midst in the hope that such an act of severing fellowship with him would result in his ultimate restoration to that sweet fellowship by means of his repentance (which may well have been the result in Corinth, if the person discussed in 2 Cor. 2:6f is the same man as discussed in 1 Cor. 5). There is no indication that the outcome was as positive for the two men mentioned in 1 Timothy (Hymenaeus and Alexander), though we certainly pray that it was.

"Beza, and the Latin fathers, suppose that this is only an expression of excommunication. They say that in the Scriptures there are but two kingdoms recognized -- the kingdom of God, or the church, and the kingdom of the world, which is regarded as under the control of Satan; and that to exclude a man from one is to subject him to the dominion of the other" [Albert Barnes, Barnes' Notes on the Bible, e-Sword]. "To expel is identical with handing over to Satan, for if a man no longer belongs to Christ, then he eo ipso belongs to Satan" [Lenski, p. 215]. Clearly, the idea of one being removed from among the body of believers is present in this statement, but most scholars feel there is something additional being suggested by Paul. "This is generally supposed to mean that Paul had excluded them from the church, but it has always seemed to me to mean more than this" [David Lipscomb, A Commentary on the NT Epistles, vol. 5, 1st Timothy, p. 135]. I would agree. Most later biblical scholars, as well as some of the earlier ones, believe the person so consigned to Satan was being sentenced to a host of extremely severe physical and mental afflictions, all of which would be inflicted by Satan himself upon these impenitent disciples. The hope of Paul, and the faithful, would be that such horrendous afflictions might cause the person to flee from Satan and return to Christ and the fellowship of His Flock (much as the prodigal son came to his senses and returned to the father's house -- Luke 15:11-32). By such afflictions upon the physical body (the flesh), blasphemers (like Hymenaeus and Alexander) would learn not to blaspheme (1 Tim. 1:20), and those like the immoral man in Corinth might suffer such infirmities that the desires of the fleshly nature would be destroyed, thus causing them to repent of their sins, return to the fold, and lay hold of that everlasting life graciously offered by the Father through the Son (1 Cor. 5:5).

We certainly know, from our study of Scripture, that Satan can and does (to the degree that God allows) inflict tremendous harm upon mankind. The book of Job reveals this quite dramatically. The apostle Paul referred to his "thorn in the flesh" [Reflections #254 -- A Thorn in the Flesh: Ascertaining Apostolic Affliction] as "a messenger of Satan" (2 Cor. 12:7). Jesus informed Simon Peter, "Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:31-32). In each of these cases, the sifting and afflicting of Satan ultimately proved beneficial to his victim, with each becoming stronger and more useful in service to the Lord, painful though that process was. Although this was certainly never Satan's intention (nor is it today), nevertheless it was evidently Paul's expectation that the same might be the outcome for those handed over to Satan by him and his fellow disciples. Unfortunately, not all who fall (or are delivered) into the clutches of Satan fare so well. Tragically, for many it becomes a death sentence, both physically and spiritually (as their afflictions do not bring them to repentance). Thus, for a disciple of Christ, such as the apostle Paul, to "deliver such a one unto Satan" shows that all other efforts to bring about repentance have failed, and the last resort is to turn such a one over to the one they have chosen to serve so that they might experience the full force of that choice. "Those who love the service and work of Satan are justly delivered over to the power of Satan" [Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, e-Sword]. "When God lets Satan have his way, He is said to 'deliver the sinner unto Satan.' ... Temporary affliction often leads to permanent salvation" [Jamieson, Fausset, Brown, Commentary Practical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, p. 1197].

Another twist on this, and one that is endorsed by a great many reputable biblical scholars, is that, in addition to the above, it is believed that the apostles had a special miraculous power bestowed by the Holy Spirit to inflict both physical suffering and death upon others in special circumstances. Just as they had the power to raise the dead and perform healings, so also did they have the power to destroy. Those who hold this view believe, therefore, that Paul, either in person or by extension (though not present in person, yet being present "in spirit"), afflicted the sinful man in Corinth and the two mentioned to Timothy with physical sufferings in the hope of bringing them to repentance. It is also believed that this power ended with the apostles. "Besides excommunication (of which the Corinthians themselves had the power), Paul delegates here to the Corinthian church his own special power as an apostle of inflicting corporeal disease or death in punishment for sin" [ibid]. It is asserted that the phrase "deliver over to Satan" is descriptive of this apostolic power, and that although Satan was the agent actually inflicting the harm, it was the apostle who "authorized" Satan to attack a disciple of Christ in this way. Dr. John Gill (1690-1771), in his "Exposition of the Entire Bible," discussed this "apostolical power Paul had of delivering the bodies of men into the hands of Satan, by him to be tortured and afflicted, in order to bring them to a sense of their sins, and as a chastisement and correction for them, and a token of God's displeasure at them."

"But an apostle, and only an apostle, seems to have possessed the awful powers of inflicting bodily suffering in the forms of disease and death" [Dr. Charles John Ellicott, Ellicott's Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 8, p. 184]. The Pulpit Commentary suggests that the phrase "deliver over to Satan" perhaps has reference "to bodily suffering or death, which the apostles in certain instances had the power of inflicting" [vol. 19, p. 183]. "It is a severe discipline of apostolic authority" [Dr. A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, e-Sword]. "There was evidently miraculous power evinced in this case, and that power has long since ceased in the church. ... But it is very evident from the Scriptures that the apostles were imbued with the power of inflicting diseases or bodily calamities for crimes" [Dr. Albert Barnes, Barnes' Notes on the Bible, e-Sword]. Two well-known examples of this power, it is asserted, would be: (1) Elymas the magician -- Paul rebuked him for his sinfulness and then struck him blind -- Acts 13:8-11, and (2) Ananias and Sapphira -- both of whom dropped dead at Peter's feet after he rebuked them for their sin -- Acts 5:1-11. However, there are other scholars, such as Lenski, who believe it to be absurd that the apostles would enlist the aid of Satan to help bring a sinner to repentance, and just as absurd that Satan would willingly aid them in doing so. Thus, there is significant debate over this theory.

The question that presents itself to us today is this -- was this "delivering unto Satan" of an especially hardened sinner something that only apostles were able to do (some type of special miraculous power), and thus no longer applicable today, or may we today still turn such a one over to Satan in the hope of achieving the same result: repentance and reformation? If one views this act as being the power to lift the restraints of Satan so that this evil being may unleash his full fury upon a fellow disciple, then I personally have difficulty believing you or I possess that authority. That said, I certainly believe we may remove such hardened, unrepentant sinners from our midst, and may even beseech the Lord to allow these persons to feel the fury of Satan's power against them as a result of their choice, in the hope that such affliction might bring them to their senses. When one willingly chooses to follow the world, rather than the Lord, and all efforts to reform them have failed, then we should "turn them over" to the consequences of that choice, and not seek to protect them from the evils that will befall them. By sheltering them (tolerating them in our midst), and continuing to support them as they continue in their sin, we only empower and enable them in that sin. We need to literally abandon them to the consequences of their choice; let them hit rock bottom (as the father did with his prodigal son in the parable); yet never cease praying for their return, welcoming them with loving arms when/if they turn again to the Lord. It is my belief that in some cases the best love is tough love! In some cases, the only thing that may possibly save a sinner is letting them go ... letting them "swill slop with the swine," so that they may experience the horrors of their choice. It is a painful action (for all concerned), but at times it may prove necessary to the ultimate salvation of the one we love. In this sense, therefore, I would say that we today may (and indeed should) still "deliver such a one unto Satan" so that he or she might, we hope and pray, ultimately come to repentance and reformation of character as a result of the afflictions suffered at the hands of the one they have chosen to serve, thus experiencing at the end of life's journey the joys of eternal salvation.

Special CD Offers
There are some very special
CD offers
for readers in 2012.

Down, But Not Out
A Study of Divorce & Remarriage
in Light of God's Healing Grace

(A 193 page book by Al Maxey)
Also Available on KINDLE

One Bread, One Body
An Examination of Eucharistic
Expectation, Evolution & Extremism

(A 230 page book by Al Maxey)
Also Available on KINDLE

Immersed By One Spirit
Rethinking the Purpose and Place of
Baptism in NT Theology and Practice

(A 304 page book by Al Maxey)

Readers' Reflections

From a Ph.D. in Texas:

Dear Brother Al, After reading and rereading your article "Drawing Lines of Fellowship," I believe that perhaps you are Dr. Leroy Garrett reincarnated. (LOL) Actually, that was a really good article by you. I doubt it will do much for people like Hugh Fulford, whom you mentioned in your previous article ("Sectarianism's C-ism Schism"), but it will strike a chord with those who are seeking to explore their beliefs further. I especially liked your sentence: "Fellowship is not based on uniformity of perception and practice, but union with a Person!" Being a psychologist by training, I can assure you that it is our perceptions which largely determine our reality. The reality for some is that they can only fellowship those whose perceptions match theirs! If those people could only come to understand that the Bible is not like a math book where everyone must agree that 2 + 2 = 4, they might actually begin to comprehend what you are teaching. Again, Al, that was a very good article!

From a D.Min. in Oklahoma:

Dear Bro. Al, I was very impressed with last week's Reflections ("Sectarianism's C-ism Schism"). It was clear, to the point, and encouraging for those who just want to be disciples of Jesus. I have said for some time that I am a "plain Jane" Christian -- I don't want to be a "Church of Christ" Christian, "Baptist" Christian, "Nazarene" Christian, or any kind of Christian other than simply a follower of Jesus the Christ of God. As usual, you presented the truth very clearly and made it easily understood. This week's Reflections ("Drawing Lines of Fellowship") is a superb follow-up to the previous article. Al, I can look back over 30+ years of preaching and teaching, and I feel sad for all the circles and lines that I have drawn. How arrogant, self-serving, and presumptuous for any person to do such a thing! In essence, what we do is usurp the authority of Jesus and His Father when we presume to set the parameters of fellowship rather than recognize the parameters that have already been set by them. May God help us to cease being so judgmental. Again, Al, I can't express strongly enough the deep respect I have for you and your courage to take a stand. I know only too well how lonely this can be at times!

From a Minister in Tennessee:

Dear Brother Al, Over the past several years I have made the journey from bondage under law into the freedom that Jesus offers. I have you to thank for part of this as your Reflections have forced me to reexamine my faith. I abandoned trying to "make a name" for myself among the conservative churches, and as a result have found my true calling to be reaching out to the lost and promoting unity among all believers. I never felt comfortable championing the "issues" in today's church, yet I had been told that this was what all "sound" preachers must do. Once I stopped preaching and teaching "issues," and started preaching and teaching Jesus, I felt like the duck who had been returned to the pond after a long, dry period of exile. I absolutely love telling others about God's grace and the love He has shown us through Jesus Christ. Thank you for your ministry, brother, and for all you do for the cause of Christ.

From a Reader in North Carolina:

Brother Al, I would like to obtain a copy of your book on marriage and divorce -- Down, But Not Out. Let me know where to send the check and I'll get it in the mail to you. I am a retired preacher, and a few months ago I was filling the pulpit in the absence of the regular preacher. In concluding my sermon on the many problems and hurts resulting from divorce, I stated that we in the church have often made divorce and remarriage an unpardonable sin, requiring people who have been divorced and remarried to divorce again before we will baptize them. I further stated that I would be willing to teach such a doctrine IF I could find a single example of the apostles ever requiring it, but since there was no such example or command, I was not willing to break up families over a matter of opinion based on inference. You would have thought I had said the resurrection of Jesus never occurred!! It quickly became obvious that we were no longer welcome in the congregation, so we are driving to a neighboring town to assemble for worship. I consider myself extremely conservative, and I often disagree with some of the ideas in your Reflections, but I really try to recognize the difference between my opinions and what the Scriptures actually say. Obviously, not everyone does!

From a Reader in Indiana:

Brother Al, I read with interest your most recent Reflections on drawing lines of fellowship, and am in agreement with what you said about some people's penchant for "whittling on God's end of the stick." But, that has always been the case with those faiths that tend toward fundamentalism -- whatever the "flavor." Years ago, a friend of mine, who had grown up in a very conservative faith-heritage (I think it was Baptist), told me that they taught that those in their church were the ONLY ones going to heaven. I just looked at her astounded. I thought WE owned that!! Keep up the good work, Al.

From a Reader in Texas:

Brother Al, Do I need to say, "You have mail"? I'll bet your inbox overfloweth again after these last two articles. Also, I agree with you 100%. When we draw lines in the sand because of the "sign out front," we only hurt ourselves. Leroy Garrett put a question to his readers in one of his newsletters a few years ago. It read something like this: "What would it be like if every Christian church in the world removed the 'name sign' from their building and replaced it with a sign that simply read 'Christians Meet Here'?" What an interesting thought! Grace and peace to you, brother.

From a Reader in Indiana:

Brother Al, I don't know if you remember me or not, but I contacted you a few years ago and you permitted me to use a copy of your manuscript for Down, But Not Out for teaching purposes. This was prior to you getting it published. I have since purchased a few copies of your book, and I want you to know that the material has been a real blessing! Thank you!

From a Reader in Tennessee:

Brother Al, Great article, as always! Thanks for such clear insight into the problem of exclusivism in Churches of Christ (oops, I used the big "C"). Your comment, "Fellowship is based on union with a Person, not uniformity ...", is so foundational to building a life devoid of adherence to denominational demands. I use the word "demands" because that is exactly what the patternists expect of disciples before they can be counted among the "faithful." It is "demanded" that they adhere to acappella music only, to the necessity of weekly Lord's Supper (and only on Sunday), to no role in the public assembly for women, and to a score of other equally non-biblical issues. Such demands belie our profession to be a "people of the Book." So, my good friend, I agree with you! I will let God draw the lines of fellowship, and I will rejoice in knowing that I have so many brothers and sisters in Christ outside of my Church of Christ group (which I dearly love) because these others share the same faith and relationship with the Lamb of God who died at Calvary for the sins of all people as I do.

From a Reader in Tennessee:

Brother Al, What an article!! I wish your article "Drawing Lines of Fellowship" could be read in every Church of Christ congregation this coming Sunday. It would certainly open some people's minds! I have a dear friend who believes that if every other church is not doing exactly what her congregation is doing, and in exactly the same way her congregation is doing it, then those other churches "have no hope." She says she believes in "unity." I told her that what she believes in is "uniformity," NOT unity. I love her, but actually feel sorry for her: her mind is so closed. I used to be there too. It took me about 12 years of study with three different Church of Christ ministers (one of them being Al Maxey) to lift my mind out of traditionalism. Today, I am free from that mindset. I thank God every day for people like you! God bless you, Al, and may He give you many more years in His service. God knows we need it.

From a Minister in California:

Brother Al, Outstanding piece about fellowship. It is my belief that those who feel compelled to pontificate about who is and who is not saved are driven by a "works" mentality. Their fear of "fellowshipping" someone who is unsaved, and thus being guilty of "sin by association," drives them to draw their lines tighter and tighter. One of my greatest discoveries ever was when I realized that it is God's business to draw those lines. What a relief. What a load lifted. It is so much easier to love people when I don't have to concern my little brain with being their judge and jury. Good stuff, brother! Roll on!

From a Minister in New Mexico:

Brother Al, All disciples of Christ are "in the same boat," even if we don't all agree with one another about what the Scriptures teach. We all miss the mark in one way or another. It is truly humbling to ask: Why do we think God might be more willing to forgive our errors than those of other disciples? If I believe His precious blood covers my sins, why should I think it won't cover the sins of those who don't agree with my understanding of His will? I'm confident His grace is sufficient for all of us! I appreciate you, brother!

From a Minister in [Unknown]:

Brother Al, Thank you for the excellent study "Drawing Lines of Fellowship." Much of it is what I have tried to convey in some 58 years of preaching. I am attaching a short study I did about ten years ago for your reading (if you have the time; I know how busy you must stay). It is titled "Understanding Fellowship." May the Lord bless your work.

From a Minister in Texas:

Brother Al, "Drawing Lines of Fellowship" was excellent. I think it was Carl Ketcherside who wrote that he had rather be found guilty of accepting one whom God had rejected, than to be found guilty of rejecting one whom God had accepted. Keep up the good work. By the way, I too preached and taught "Church of Christism" for more than forty years, until the Lord led me away from it.

From a Reader in Oklahoma:

Brother Al, Thank you for your insightful work and leadership! I'm posting a link to your article "Drawing Lines of Fellowship" on my Facebook page.

From a Reader in Florida:

Brother Al, AMEN! Our fellowship is based on shared life (trust in Christ), not shared light (doctrinal understanding). "Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God" (Romans 15:7).

From a Reader in Maryland:

Brother Al, I am sure that you will be castigated for implying there are actually Christians in other folds (but, didn't Christ imply there were other folds?). Just recently I have been thinking about Jonah (I heard Randy Harris preach about him). Jonah's conversion rate of Ninevites and sailors was quite impressive, although his heart was completely against them (in fact, he feared God would save them). Though laughable, the lesson taught by a study of Jonah is: quit throwing away those whom God has picked. I have met people in denominations other than my own tribe (I was raised in the Churches of Christ) that were better at living what Jesus wants than I am. So, I decided to quit deciding who is "Christian" enough to fellowship, and have chosen to let God decide that. Al, I appreciate your Reflections, and I know that you put a lot into them, and that you take a lot of criticism. I want to thank you for your effort, and I am grateful that you have big shoulders. I guess that's the combat soldier training in you coming out, right?! Love to you in Jesus!

From a Reader in Hawaii:

Dear Brother Al, Our minister shared something with me that few seem to agree with. Psalm 118:24 is commonly translated, "This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it." At the end of the sentence is the pronoun "it." This pronoun, in Hebrew, according to our minister, can be translated as either "it" or "him." Notice how this changes the verse if it is translated "him" instead of "it." What do you think?

If you would like to be removed from or added to this
mailing list, contact me and I will immediately comply.
If you are challenged by these Reflections, then feel
free to send them on to others and encourage them
to write for a free subscription. These articles may all
be purchased on CD. Check the ARCHIVES for
details and past issues of these weekly Reflections: