11/27/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Numbers, the most boring book?


Numbers, the most boring book?

We call a thing boring if it doesn’t hold our attention. A thing doesn’t hold our attention when it doesn’t reward our investment or, at least, when it is less rewarding than other things that are going on at the same time. Some literature is like that. Some biblical literature is like that. The book of Numbers is a bit like that, with its reams of names that are hard to pronounce and lots of laws that mean nothing to a modern reader. Even if the names were easy to pronounce, we don’t know the people and so they hold no interest for us. It’s like reading a telephone book. Much of the information in the book of Numbers was out of date even for ancient Israel once they entered the land of Canaan and what wasn’t out of date would have meant little to a generation that had never experienced the various stations in the Wilderness wandering.

As a novel a book like Numbers wouldn’t sell. As a history book it wouldn’t be readable and would lack all kinds of things that a history book calls for. As a tour guide it would be tossed aside and as a sheer information source it would be as useful as a 1950’s bus schedule. How did a book like that get into the Bible? How did it remain there all these centuries? The answer’s complex and ranges from saying that God wanted it there to saying it is an integral piece of a larger whole to saying it has riches that a modern reader with a short and limited attention span has no interest in.

And it doesn’t help English readers to notice that the book is named Numbers (the Greek is Arithmoi). Unless you’re an accountant or a mathematician you—.
The Hebrew name is Bamidbar ("in the wilderness") and the Hebrew name is more appropriate. For it’s when we remember that the events all take place in the wilderness that our appreciation of what happens there is sharpened.

One of the appropriate criticisms I’ve heard of a lot of writing is that it leaves nothing to the imagination. The reader must be told every single thought in a character’s mind and detailed explanations or descriptions must be offered for every scene. I suspect that hurts our capacity to read and imagine. We’re supposed to use our imagination in reading the Bible and our imagination is nowhere more fruitful than when reading a book like Numbers (Bamidbar).

With only a little imagination we can imagine Abraham and Sarah standing on a high hill somewhere, looking down on the assembled and organized nation and remembering the call of God. A man old in body and his wife unable to have children and yet this vast family below them is their family.

With only a little imagination as we look at the nation encamped below we can imagine a series of circles within circles (or squares within squares). In the center is the sovereign and holy Lord who is exalted above all, encircled by priests who no longer are numbered with the tribes of Israel but who in standing between God and the people protect the people from the wrath of God. And priests who "protect" God from the profanation of the people who would tend to become too familiar with him. Familiarity may not breed contempt but it can weaken one’s sense of awe.

With only a little imagination we can see God at the physical center of the entire encampment and nation and by that we’re told that that is the place he not only deserves but the place Israel must acknowledge him to deserve. If they do not, they are in mortal danger from many destructive inner enemies.

With only a little imagination we can read the names and divisions in the book of Numbers and see the army of the living God. We’ve seen epic movies like Spartacus or Braveheart or The Gladiator and were awed by the size and power and unity of the divisions. It draws the reader or viewer into that world of purpose and mission and they become part of that enterprise. In the New Testament the Hebrew writer does that very thing (and more) when he reminds the believers what they had become part of (see 12:22-24). There’s something about that that gives us added strength and assurance. Knowing that we’re standing and marching shoulder to shoulder with a vast company of others and that we all have a single purpose and destiny gives us a strong sense of belonging. To know that others are "laying their lives on the line" give us the courage to do the same.

With only a little imagination we can guess at how astonished we would be to see such a thriving multitude of living, worshipping people surviving—and more than mere "surviving"—in such an impossible environment. We’d note the chaos of the wilderness and the harmony of the encamped or marching people. The very "impossibility" of it would make us wonder at how they could be there and thrive there; we would wonder how it was accomplished and how they came to be there and that would lead us to the larger Story. And if God can gather and sustain a nation in the chaos of the Sinai wilderness maybe he can gather and sustain a nation in the chaos of the nations.

Bamidbar (Numbers) is about a people that forgot both the power and faithfulness of their God. They forgot that he created wilderness and that he was the Lord of it (he turned Egypt into a wilderness—see Exodus chapters 7—11). They forgot that it was his faithfulness to his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that led him to deliver Israel from oppression in Egypt. [Contrast 22:6 with Genesis 12:3.]

Bamidbar (Numbers) is about a generation that was too afraid and too tired and too trustless to follow the dream (the promise) and reap the benefits.

Bamidbar (Numbers) is about a generation that prized basic essentials in slavery greater than freedom and hope through hard times. [See 11:4-6 and 33 where they desired Egypt again for its meat and got its plagues. See too 16:13 where they called Egypt a land flowing with milk and honey. Contast this with Exodus 3:8.]

Bamidbar (Numbers) cures us of our over-eager tendency to side with sinners against God. In this way it exposes our own (perhaps) subconscious tendency to murmur that things aren’t going as we would like them. We note their wilderness conditions and "understand" too easily Israel’s complaining; we feel sorry for Moses that he didn’t get into Canaan; we’re inclined to think God was harsh in excluding that entire generation, including more than 14,000 in the Korah rebellion and 24,000 at Peor (25:9). But Bamidbar (Numbers) while it is pervaded with grace as the ground for Israel’s very existence has little time for excusing constant and trustless moaning against God and his ways and the flagrant rebellion that such a spirit often leads to.

Bamidbar (Numbers) is about the importance of God-appointed leaders. Leaders are to understand that they represent God and must honor him before the people (see 20:1-12, 24 and 27:13). Leadership must not be seized or sought out of jealousy or discontent with the way things are going (see 12:1-15 and 16:1-50 and especially 17:5,10 and "grumbling"). When God appointed leaders the people were expected to obey them (27:12-22 and 17:5).

Bamidbar (Numbers) is about various forms of legislation that shaped and enabled Israel as a single people to express its faith. Bamidbar (Numbers) concerns itself with Israel proclaiming in act and structure what it believes and not just how "nice" they are. The book says there is more to being God’s people than being nice and kind and upright. God’s people is to be a community of witness to whom the Lord is, to what he has done, is doing and will do. By living in the structured way they did the entire nation proclaimed a single faith. Ordinances and ritual have power that mustn’t be belittled or dismissed. There must be devoted hearts and individual commitment but the people of God must not be splintered into thousands of individual free-standing units. Ordinances and structures help to see that that doesn’t occur and that God’s people offer a united witness to the world.

We don't have to pretend that everything in the book of Numbers makes exciting reading to recognize that there's more in there than easily bored people are able to see. Maybe the problem isn't with the book. Didn't one man look at a masterpiece and say, "I don't see anything in that"? And didn't someone beside him say, "And don't you wish you could?"

Joseph of Arimathea and the Great Stone by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=3504

Joseph of Arimathea and the Great Stone

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Recently, a gentleman contacted our offices questioning some of the events surrounding the burial of Christ. He specifically wanted to know about the likelihood of Joseph of Arimathea being able to roll “a great stone” (Matthew 27:60) against the entrance of the tomb. A person can understand how one man could transport the body of Jesus, wrap it in linen, and lay it in a tomb (27:59-60), but how could one man roll a “very large” (Mark 16:4) stone over the opening of the tomb of Jesus?
First, one should keep in mind that Joseph was very familiar with this tomb. He was the owner of it and also the one who had hewn the tomb out of the rock (Matthew 27:60; cf. Isaiah 53:9). It could be that he had made provision so that a large stone could easily be set against the entrance of the tomb (even by one man), yet when set in place, it might be extremely difficult to remove (even for several men). If the entrance of the tomb, for example, was at a lower elevation, and the large stone was on an incline, temporarily held in place by smaller stones and/or by a slight indentation in the ground, Joseph might easily have been able to roll the stone against the entrance by himself.
Second, and more importantly, Joseph was not by himself. Although Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not mention anyone else helping Joseph roll the stone against the tomb’s entrance, they also do not expressly state or imply that he was alone. In fact, John records that Nicodemus helped Joseph prepare Jesus’ body for burial, and afterwards “they laid Jesus” in the tomb (John 19:42, emp. added). In truth, since none of the gospel writers indicates that only one or two men buried Jesus, an untold number of people (e.g., Joseph’s servants) may have helped Joseph and Nicodemus roll the “great stone” against the entrance of Jesus’ tomb.
It is imperative for Bible students and skeptics to keep in mind as they read through Scripture, and especially the gospel accounts, that silence does not negate supplementation. Just because the synoptic writers were silent about Nicodemus helping Joseph bury Jesus, does not mean Nicodemus could not have helped Joseph or that John was mistaken. Furthermore, simply because the gospel writers were silent about others (such as servants that a “rich man” like Joseph probably had—Matthew 27:57) who might have helped Joseph and Nicodemus roll the large stone over the entrance of the tomb, does not mean there were not any. In short, nothing in the gospel accounts concerning Joseph of Arimathea or the great stone that covered the entrance of Jesus’ tomb is impossible or discrepant.

From Mark Copeland... The Family Of Jesus (Mark 3:20-21)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                     The Family Of Jesus (3:20-21)

INTRODUCTION

1. The ministry of Jesus in Galilee certainly drew the attention of
   many...
   a. Multitudes followed Him everywhere - Mk 3:7-8
   b. Jesus' very life was endangered by the crowds - Mk 3:9-10
   c. The house where he stayed was besieged - Mk 3:19b-20

2. It also drew the attention of His physical family...
   a. Who were concerned about what they heard - Mk 3:21a
   b. Who sought to take Him into custody - Mk 3:21b
   c. For they even questioned His sanity - Mk 3:21c

[The reaction of His family is interesting, somewhat understandable.
Before we consider their reaction, and how they later responded to
Jesus, let's review what is revealed in the Scriptures about...]

I. THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY

   A. HIS PARENTS...
      1. Mary - His birth mother
         a. A virgin until Jesus was born - Mt 1:18-25; Lk 1:26-38
         b. Visited her cousin Elizabeth - Lk 1:39-56
         c. Gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem - Lk 2:1:19
         d. Took Jesus to Jerusalem when He was 12 - Lk 2:48-51
         e. Present with Jesus at a marriage in Cana - Jn 2:1-10
         f. Sought Jesus when He was teaching - Mt 12:46; Mk 3:31; Lk 8:19
         g. Present at the cross, committed to John's care - Jn 19:27
         h. With the disciples in Jerusalem following the ascension - Ac 1:14
      2. Joseph - His adoptive father
         a. Descendant of David - Mt 1:1-16
         b. Took Mary as wife, did not know her until Jesus was born
            - Mt 1:18-25
         c. From Nazareth, enrolled at Bethlehem - Lk 2:1-5
         d. Presented Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem, returned to
            Nazareth - Lk 2:22-30
         e. Fled to Egypt, later re-settled in Nazareth - Mt 2:13-15,
            19-23
         f. Took Jesus to Jerusalem when He was 12 - Lk 2:48-51
         g. Supposed father of Jesus, a carpenter - Mt 13:55; Lk 3:23;
            4:22; Jn 1:45; 6:42
      -- Jesus was blessed to be born of a virtuous woman, and raised by
         a just man

   B. HIS SIBLINGS...
      1. Brothers - James, Joses, Simon, Judas
         a. All four mentioned by name on one occasion - Mk 6:3; Mt 13:55
         b. They accompanied Jesus and His mother from Cana to Capernaum
            - Jn 2:11-12
         c. Later, with Mary they sought to see Jesus - Mk 3:31; Mt 12:46; Lk 8:19-20
      2. Sisters - Mary, Salome
         a. There were at least two sisters - Mt 13:56; Mk 6:3
         b. No names are given in the Scriptures
         c. Later Christian literature gives the names Mary and Salome
            - Protevangelium of James 19:3-20:4; Gospel of Philip 59:
            6-11; Epiphanius, Pan. 78.8.1; 78.9.6
      -- Jesus was blessed to have a number of half-siblings

[Some believe these "brothers" and "sisters" were actually step-siblings
or cousins, that His mother Mary remained a virgin all her life.  In any
case, let's now direct our attention to...]

II. THE MISGIVINGS IN HIS FAMILY

   A. BEFORE HIS RESURRECTION...
      1. Some thought He was crazy - Mk 3:21
         a. They thought "He is out of His mind"
         b. They endeavored to take custody of Him
      2. His brothers did not believe in Him - Jn 7:3-5
         a. They taunted Him to prove Himself
         b. To show Himself openly to the world
      -- When their brother claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God,
         who can blame them?

   B. AFTER HIS RESURRECTION...
      1. Jesus appeared to James - 1Co 15:8
      2. His brothers became His disciples - Ac 1:14
      3. James
         a. Became identified as "the Lord's brother", a pillar in the
            church, likely author of the epistle of James - Ac 12:17;
            15:13; 21:18; Ga 1:19; 2:19; Jm 1:1
         b. Martyred by being thrown from the pinnacle of the temple
            - Josephus, Eusebius
      4. Joses - little known, evidently became a traveling missionary
         - 1Co 9:5
      5. Simon - little known, likewise a traveling missionary - 1Co 9:5
      6. Judas - believed to be the author of the epistle of Jude - Ju
         1:1
      -- Jesus' resurrection from the dead overcame any misgivings by
         His brothers

CONCLUSION

1. The initial unbelief of some members of His family is
   understandable...
   a. Mary never doubted, for she alone really knew the truth about
      Jesus' birth
   b. But the doubt of His brothers was a normal reaction to His
      outlandish claims

2. Their initial unbelief and eventual faith can be thought-provoking...
   a. They did not believe despite the miracles of His ministry (why
      not?)
   b. Yet they later chose to follow His apostles and suffer for His
      cause (how come?)

3. The transformation in the skeptical members of Jesus' family is
   easily understood...
   a. If in fact Jesus did rise from the dead and appear to them
      afterward!
   b. Thus "The Family Of Jesus" serves as a powerful testimony to the
      resurrection of Jesus!

One last thought:  if Jesus was not truly born of a virgin, what kind of
mother would let her son suffer like Jesus did on the cross and not say
a word?  A simple admission that Joseph (or someone else) was the father
of Jesus, and He could have come down from that cross.  Her silence
speaks volumes...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The Apostles Of Christ (Mark 3:13-19)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                    The Apostles Of Christ (3:13-19)

INTRODUCTION

1. Important to the ministry of Jesus was the appointment and training
   of His apostles...
   a. Men who would follow Him and continue His work after His death
   b. Men who themselves would experience great suffering and martyrdom

2. In our text (Mk 3:13-19), we read of their appointment...
   a. To be with Him and later sent out to preach, heal, and cast out
      demons
   b. Luke tells us that the selection was proceeded by a night of
      prayer - Lk 6:12

[In another lesson (on Mt 10:1-4), attention is given to the identity
and history of each man.  In this lesson, I wish to focus on their
overall ministry for Christ and the world.  To wit, they served as...]

I. WITNESSES FOR THE RESURRECTION

   A. THEY WERE EYEWITNESSES OF JESUS' RESURRECTION...
      1. Jesus had shown Himself alive through various proofs - Ac 1:1-3
      2. Jesus commissioned them to testify concerning Him - Ac 1:8
      3. Peter explained that the apostles were to be witnesses for the
         resurrection - Ac 1:21-22
      4. Thus they testified again and again - Ac 2:32; 3:15; 4:33;
         5:30-32; 10:39-41; 13:29-31

   B. OFFERING A SOLID BASIS FOR OUR FAITH...
      1. Jesus expected us to believe in Him through their word - Jn 17:20
         a. Apart from their gospels and epistles, we know little of
            Jesus
         b. They tell us of His life, miracles, and resurrection
      2. The manner of their lives and death give credibility to their
         testimony
         a. They suffered greatly for their faith - 1Co 4:9-13; 2 Co 11:23-28
         b. All but John suffered martyrdom

[The apostles served the important role of providing reliable testimony
that Jesus arose from the dead, so that our faith in Him might rest on a
solid basis!  They also served as...]

II. AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST

   A. REPRESENTATIVES WITH A MESSAGE...
      1. Sent out to preach the gospel to every person - Mk 16:15-16
      2. Given a "ministry of reconciliation" - 2Co 5:18-19
      3. Proclaiming that message as Christ's ambassadors - 2Co 5:20-21
      4. Even when they were bound in prison - Ep 6:19-20

   B. TELLING THE STORY OF SALVATION...
      1. Pleading with all to be reconciled to God - 2Co 5:20
      2. Pleading as co-workers with Christ, not to receive the grace of
         God in vain - 2Co 6:1
      3. Warning of the danger of refusing Christ and His message - He 12:
         25-29
      4. Warning of what will happen to those who obey not the gospel
         - 2Th 1:7-9

[The apostles as ambassadors of Christ revealed the good news of
salvation to the world.  Have we accepted their message in faithful
obedience?  But consider also their role as...]

III. TEACHERS FOR THE DISCIPLES

   A. CONTINUING THE WORK BEGUN BY JESUS...
      1. Jesus did not reveal all things during His earthly ministry
         - Jn 16:12
      2. The Holy Spirit would reveal all the truth to the apostles - Jn 16:13-14
      3. The Holy Spirit would remind them of things Jesus said - Jn 14:
         25-26
      4. This was part of the Great Commission given to them - Mt 28:
         19-20
      5. Declaring the whole counsel of God - Ac 20:27
      6. Teaching all things that pertain to life and godliness - 2 Pe 1:3

   B. BECOMING THE AUTHORITY FOR THE CHURCH...
      1. Continuing steadfastly in their doctrine - Ac 2:42
      2. Receiving their words as the word of God - 1Th 2:13
      3. Accepting what they wrote as the commandments of the Lord
         - 1Co 14:37
      4. Rejecting them is thus paramount to rejecting Christ - 1Th 4:
         1-2,8; cf. Lk 10:16

[Through His apostles, Jesus continues to instruct His church as we
continue steadfastly in their teachings!  Finally, the importance of the
apostles is seen by their role in the...]

IV. FOUNDATION FOR THE CHURCH

   A. TOGETHER WITH CHRIST...
      1. The church is built on Christ, as the chief cornerstone - Ac 4:
         10-12; 1Co 3:11
      2. But the apostles are also part of the foundation of the
         spiritual building - Ep 2:19-22
      3. Their names are even depicted as written on the foundation for
         the New Jerusalem, which is the Lamb's bride (the church) - Re 21:9-10,14

   B. SERVING AS THE BASIS OF...
      1. Our faith, through their eyewitness testimony - 2Pe 1:16-18
      2. Our doctrine, through their teaching - Ac 2:42
      3. Our hope, through their message - Ep 3:5-6

CONCLUSION

1. The world owes a great debt to the apostles of Jesus Christ...
   a. Without whom they would know little of Jesus of Nazareth
   b. Without whom they would have little reason to believe in Him

2. As disciples of Christ, let us be sure to give them the honor and
   respect that is their due...
   a. By continuing steadfastly in their doctrine
   b. By respecting the authority of their doctrine

Indeed, the moment we begin to drift away from the apostles of Jesus
Christ, we begin to drift away from that great salvation made possible
by Him...! - cf. He 2:1-4

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Three Responses To Jesus (Mark 3:7-12)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   Three Responses To Jesus (3:7-12)

INTRODUCTION

1. Our text describes the ongoing impact of Jesus' Galilean ministry...
   a. Great multitudes followed Jesus and His disciples - Mk 3:7-9
   b. They were drawn by His ability to heal the sick and cast out
      demons - Mk 3:10-12

2. Reflecting on this passage, I observed three distinct classes of
   individuals...
   a. The disciples of Jesus - Mk 3:7,9
   b. The great multitude - Mk 3:7-10
   c. The unclean spirits - Mk 3:11-12

[Upon further reflection, it occurred to me that these three distinct
classes illustrate "Three Responses To Jesus", and that everyone
responds to Jesus in one of three ways.  First, you have...]

I. THE COMMITTED

   A. LIKE THE DISCIPLES...
      1. Which included men like Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Levi
         (Matthew)
      2. Who answered the call to follow Jesus - cf. Mk 1:16-20; 2:14
      3. Who offered their service in whatever way He asked
         a. As when Jesus asked them to prepare a boat - cf. Mk 3:9
         b. As when Jesus would later send them out to preach - cf. Mk 3:13,14

   B. THE COMMITTED TODAY...
      1. Would include those who make up the Lord's church
      2. Who heed Jesus' call to discipleship - cf. Mt 28:19-20
      3. Who offer their energy and resources to the spread of Christ's
         kingdom
         a. By developing a Christ-like character - cf. 2Pe 1:5-11
         b. By developing a Christ-like service - cf. 1Pe 4:10-11

[Just as there committed followers of Jesus then, so there are today.
But there was another group of responders, those we might describe
as...]

II. THE CURIOUS

   A. LIKE THE MULTITUDE...
      1. Which included those looking to be healed, or perhaps just to
         see a miracle
      2. Though following Jesus from place to place, they were not true
         disciples
      3. But those seeking some sort of personal satisfaction, whom
         Jesus often drove away
         a. As when they followed Him after He fed the 5000 - cf. Jn 6:
            24-27
         b. As when He challenged them with the call to true
            discipleship - cf. Lk 14:25-27
      4. Of course, some would eventually take up the challenge and
         become true disciples

   B. THE CURIOUS TODAY...
      1. Would include those who may visit churches, even regularly
      2. But they are like "tire kickers"; they never fully commit
         themselves
      3. Perhaps they attend just to appease their conscience
         a. But they never obey the gospel - cf. Mk 16:15-16
         b. They just put it off, like the Athenians and Felix  - cf. Ac 17:32; 24:24-27
      4. Hopefully, one who is curious will eventually take the step to
         follow Jesus completely

[Finally, there are those whose response to Jesus is entirely negative,
whom we can categorize as...]

III. THE CONDEMNED

   A. LIKE THE UNCLEAN SPIRITS...
      1. Unclean spirits were demons, whose origin is uncertain
         (possibly fallen angels)
      2. They knew who Jesus was - cf. Mk 3:11
      3. They knew that torment awaited them - cf. Mt 8:29; also 2 Pe 2:4; Jude 1:6
      4. Yet they showed no desire to repent of their evil ways

   B. THE CONDEMNED TODAY...
      1. Would include those who persist in sin and refuse to repent
         - cf. He 10:26a
      2. For whom there is no forgiveness while they remain in that
         state - cf. He 10:26b-31
      3. Who often think lightly of sin, and mock those trying to do
         good - cf. 1Pe 4:3-4
      4. Yet they will one day have to answer, even confess Jesus - cf.
         1Pe 4:5; Php 2:9-11

CONCLUSION

1. Dear friend, in which group would you place yourself in your response
   to Jesus...?
   a. Are you among the committed - a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ?
   b. Are you among the curious - interested, but have not yet made the
      decision?
   c. Are you among the condemned - determined to resist God and refuse
      to follow Jesus?

2. One day, we will either be in the group of the committed or the
   condemned...
   a. The time for curiosity will be over
   b. We will either be saved or lost forever
   c. Today is time to make your choice!

As Paul wrote in his second epistle to the Corinthians:

   We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to
   receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: "IN AN ACCEPTABLE
   TIME I HAVE HEARD YOU, AND IN THE DAY OF SALVATION I HAVE HELPED
   YOU." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of
   salvation.
                                                       - 2Co 6:1-2

Receive God's grace by obeying the gospel of Christ, and join ranks with
those who are committed to following Jesus and serving Him through time
and eternity...! - cf. Tit 3:4-8

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading November 27



Bible Reading  

November 27

The World English Bible


Nov. 27
Ezekiel 1-4
Eze 1:1 Now it happened in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.
Eze 1:2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity,
Eze 1:3 the word of Yahweh came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of Yahweh was there on him.
Eze 1:4 I looked, and behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with flashing lightning, and a brightness around it, and out of its midst as it were glowing metal, out of the midst of the fire.
Eze 1:5 Out of its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. This was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.
Eze 1:6 Everyone had four faces, and each one of them had four wings.
Eze 1:7 Their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like burnished brass.
Eze 1:8 They had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings thus:
Eze 1:9 their wings were joined one to another; they didn't turn when they went; each one went straight forward.
Eze 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four had also the face of an eagle.
Eze 1:11 Their faces and their wings were separate above; two wings of each one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies.
Eze 1:12 Each one went straight forward: where the spirit was to go, they went; they didn't turn when they went.
Eze 1:13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: the fire went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
Eze 1:14 The living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
Eze 1:15 Now as I saw the living creatures, behold, one wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces of it.
Eze 1:16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like a beryl: and they four had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel.
Eze 1:17 When they went, they went in their four directions: they didn't turn when they went.
Eze 1:18 As for their rims, they were high and dreadful; and they four had their rims full of eyes all around.
Eze 1:19 When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
Eze 1:20 Wherever the spirit was to go, they went; there was the spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
Eze 1:21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up beside them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
Eze 1:22 Over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of an expanse, like the awesome crystal to look on, stretched forth over their heads above.
Eze 1:23 Under the expanse were their wings straight, the one toward the other: each one had two which covered on this side, and every one had two which covered on that side, their bodies.
Eze 1:24 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of an army: when they stood, they let down their wings.
Eze 1:25 There was a voice above the expanse that was over their heads: when they stood, they let down their wings.
Eze 1:26 Above the expanse that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and on the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man on it above.
Eze 1:27 I saw as it were glowing metal, as the appearance of fire within it all around, from the appearance of his waist and upward; and from the appearance of his waist and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.
Eze 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Yahweh. When I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of one that spoke.
Eze 2:1 He said to me, Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.
Eze 2:2 The Spirit entered into me when he spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard him who spoke to me.
Eze 2:3 He said to me, Son of man, I send you to the children of Israel, to nations that are rebellious, which have rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me even to this very day.
Eze 2:4 The children are impudent and stiff-hearted: I am sending you to them; and you shall tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 2:5 They, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house), yet shall know that there has been a prophet among them.
Eze 2:6 You, son of man, don't be afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you, and you do dwell among scorpions: don't be afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
Eze 2:7 You shall speak my words to them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear; for they are most rebellious.
Eze 2:8 But you, son of man, hear what I tell you; don't be you rebellious like that rebellious house: open your mouth, and eat that which I give you.
Eze 2:9 When I looked, behold, a hand was put forth to me; and, behold, a scroll of a book was therein;
Eze 2:10 He spread it before me: and it was written within and without; and there were written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
Eze 3:1 He said to me, Son of man, eat that which you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.
Eze 3:2 So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat the scroll.
Eze 3:3 He said to me, Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this scroll that I give you. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
Eze 3:4 He said to me, Son of man, go, get you to the house of Israel, and speak with my words to them.
Eze 3:5 For you are not sent to a people of a strange speech and of a hard language, but to the house of Israel;
Eze 3:6 not to many peoples of a strange speech and of a hard language, whose words you can not understand. Surely, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you.
Eze 3:7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you; for they will not listen to me: for all the house of Israel are of hard forehead and of a stiff heart.
Eze 3:8 Behold, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your forehead hard against their foreheads.
Eze 3:9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made your forehead: don't be afraid of them, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.
Eze 3:10 Moreover he said to me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears.
Eze 3:11 Go, get you to them of the captivity, to the children of your people, and speak to them, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.
Eze 3:12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me the voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of Yahweh from his place.
Eze 3:13 I heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, even the noise of a great rushing.
Eze 3:14 So the Spirit lifted me up, and took me away; and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; and the hand of Yahweh was strong on me.
Eze 3:15 Then I came to them of the captivity at Tel Aviv, that lived by the river Chebar, and to where they lived; and I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.
Eze 3:16 It happened at the end of seven days, that the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 3:17 Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
Eze 3:18 When I tell the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.
Eze 3:19 Yet if you warn the wicked, and he doesn't turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
Eze 3:20 Again, when a righteous man does turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at your hand.
Eze 3:21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and you have delivered your soul.
Eze 3:22 The hand of Yahweh was there on me; and he said to me, Arise, go forth into the plain, and I will there talk with you.
Eze 3:23 Then I arose, and went forth into the plain: and behold, the glory of Yahweh stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face.
Eze 3:24 Then the Spirit entered into me, and set me on my feet; and he spoke with me, and said to me, Go, shut yourself within your house.
Eze 3:25 But you, son of man, behold, they shall lay bands on you, and shall bind you with them, and you shall not go out among them:
Eze 3:26 and I will make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, that you shall be mute, and shall not be to them a reprover; for they are a rebellious house.
Eze 3:27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: He who hears, let him hear; and he who forbears, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.
Eze 4:1 You also, son of man, take a tile, and lay it before you, and portray on it a city, even Jerusalem:
Eze 4:2 and lay siege against it, and build forts against it, and cast up a mound against it; set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it all around.
Eze 4:3 Take for yourself an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between you and the city: and set your face toward it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
Eze 4:4 Moreover lie you on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; according to the number of the days that you shall lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity.
Eze 4:5 For I have appointed the years of their iniquity to be to you a number of days, even three hundred ninety days: so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
Eze 4:6 Again, when you have accomplished these, you shall lie on your right side, and shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah: forty days, each day for a year, have I appointed it to you.
Eze 4:7 You shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm uncovered; and you shall prophesy against it.
Eze 4:8 Behold, I lay bands on you, and you shall not turn you from one side to the other, until you have accomplished the days of your siege.
Eze 4:9 Take for yourself also wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make you bread of it; according to the number of the days that you shall lie on your side, even three hundred ninety days, you shall eat of it.
Eze 4:10 Your food which you shall eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time you shall eat it.
Eze 4:11 You shall drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin: from time to time you shall drink.
Eze 4:12 You shall eat it as barley cakes, and you shall bake it in their sight with dung that comes out of man.
Eze 4:13 Yahweh said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them.
Eze 4:14 Then said I, Ah Lord Yahweh! behold, my soul has not been polluted; for from my youth up even until now have I not eaten of that which dies of itself, or is torn of animals; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth.
Eze 4:15 Then he said to me, Behold, I have given you cow's dung for man's dung, and you shall prepare your bread thereon.
Eze 4:16 Moreover he said to me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with fearfulness; and they shall drink water by measure, and in dismay:
Eze 4:17 that they may want bread and water, and be dismayed one with another, and pine away in their iniquity.

 
Nov. 27
Hebrews 13

Heb 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.
Heb 13:2 Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.
Heb 13:3 Remember those who are in bonds, as bound with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you are also in the body.
Heb 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the bed be undefiled: but God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers.
Heb 13:5 Be free from the love of money, content with such things as you have, for he has said, "I will in no way leave you, neither will I in any way forsake you."
Heb 13:6 So that with good courage we say, "The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
Heb 13:7 Remember your leaders, men who spoke to you the word of God, and considering the results of their conduct, imitate their faith.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Heb 13:9 Don't be carried away by various and strange teachings, for it is good that the heart be established by grace, not by food, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited.
Heb 13:10 We have an altar from which those who serve the holy tabernacle have no right to eat.
Heb 13:11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside of the camp.
Heb 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people through his own blood, suffered outside of the gate.
Heb 13:13 Let us therefore go out to him outside of the camp, bearing his reproach.
Heb 13:14 For we don't have here an enduring city, but we seek that which is to come.
Heb 13:15 Through him, then, let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which proclaim allegiance to his name.
Heb 13:16 But don't forget to be doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Heb 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch on behalf of your souls, as those who will give account, that they may do this with joy, and not with groaning, for that would be unprofitable for you.
Heb 13:18 Pray for us, for we are persuaded that we have a good conscience, desiring to live honorably in all things.
Heb 13:19 I strongly urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you sooner.
Heb 13:20 Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, our Lord Jesus,
Heb 13:21 make you complete in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Heb 13:22 But I exhort you, brothers, endure the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words.
Heb 13:23 Know that our brother Timothy has been freed, with whom, if he comes shortly, I will see you.
Heb 13:24 Greet all of your leaders and all the saints. The Italians greet you.
Heb 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.