2/10/15

From Jim McGuiggan... How does the Spirit indwell?

How does the Spirit indwell?

A reader wonders in what way the Spirit indwells Christians. The scriptures explicitly say that the Spirit of God indwells Christians. Paul says we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6) and he insists that if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in us we can be sure we will be resurrected (Romans 8). Ephesians 2 tells us that God indwells us via the Spirit. That should settle the truth of the Spirit’s indwelling but it leaves other questions to be worked out.
In saying the Spirit is "in" us I don’t think we’re supposed to think he takes up (as it were) "bodily residence" in us. People live "in" houses. In saying this we mean that they take up room within the confines of the walls, as opposed to being outside. Is this how we’re supposed to think of the Spirit’s indwelling? Is the Spirit inside our bodies in the same way our heart and liver and brain are? That is, is he spatially located there? I don’t think so. I think the idea of his indwelling us is a relational notion rather than a spatial one. Christians are said to dwell in God and in Christ but I’m fairly sure that such texts aren’t talking about a spatial indwelling.
So what do phrases like "the Spirit dwells in you" mean? It’s clear that such phrases offer a network of truths and that no one proposal covers it all. His dwelling in the Tabernacle and the temple was no spatial reality—it was God making his fellowship and communion with Israel known. However we explain God’s presence in those sanctuaries we’d do well to remember that even the temple-builder Solomon acknowledged that God didn’t dwell in such buildings (1 Kings 8). Heaven couldn’t hold him, he confessed, so how could a puny little building. No, the Tabernacle and temple were houses God was prepared to "live in" to confirm his identification with Israel but not "bodily" or personally in a spatial sense in the way, someone like priests or Anna, for example, would do—see Luke 2:36,37). God would live among them, assuring them of his commitment, claiming the centre of their life and worship and being their guide to Canaan and their sustainer in Canaan. These and other truths would be the sort of thing that God’s "indwelling" would mean. If Israel gladly acknowledged that indwelling, it would shape them and draw them close to God and one another; thus there would be much wonderful "fruit" borne from it.
I would suppose the same is true of the NT temple (the church). I don’t think any member of the blessed Godhead takes up spatial residence in the bodies of Christians. I think we’re supposed to believe that God has entered into a peculiar relationship with Christians and that some of the proofs that that is true are the existence of our faith in Christ, the hunger for holiness, the glad hope for the future, the strength and comfort under present trouble, the assurance of sins forgiven and many other such realities.
Christ’s prays in John 17:21, "That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." 1 John 2:5 says that if we’re obedient to God we can be sure we are "in him". He goes on to say that anyone that says he or she lives "in him" must walk as Christ walked. 1 John 2:24 says that if the truth his readers have embraced remains in them that they will remain "in the Son and in the Father." There’s nothing spatial about any of these uses of "in". Often we hear that those who became saved were "baptized into Christ" (or his death, compare Romans 6:3-6, Galatians 3:27 and elsewhere). This isn’t the transfer of a body or a person into a new spatial location. It has all to do with a new relationship, a new devotion and commitment, a new centre of consciousness and trust. It isn’t as amazing that we would be glad to be part of that, it’s amazing that God would want to be part of such a transaction.
We often say to someone very dear to us (things like), "I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to have you in my life. You will be forever in my heart." None of this is spatial—it’s all profoundly relational. I judge that we should think in this direction when we think of the truth that the Spirit is "in" us and that the Father and the Son dwell "in" us through the Spirit (see John 14:23 and Ephesians 2:22).
So in what way does the Spirit dwell in us? I don’t think we should be thinking in literal terms of embodiment but in relational terms of dynamic and mutual reception, welcome, life-imparting and (in our case) of glad obedience. We "live in the Spirit" and we "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25). The reality expressed in terms of the Spirit’s "indwelling" is—as you would well know—so rich and multi-faceted that we simply keep uncovering more and more about it.
I’d like to return to the topic at another time and say something about the Spirit indwelling the individual and the church, the body of Christ. Click here.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

"Abstain From All Appearance of Evil" by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=437

"Abstain From All Appearance of Evil"

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

God chose to employ human language—words—to communicate His will to people. Even though this medium of conveyance is quite adequate to achieve such an objective, misunderstanding sometimes can occur. One example of confusion is seen in Paul’s admonition to the Thessalonian Christians: “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). This verse frequently is used to assert that Christians should avoid engaging in actions that appear to be improper or sinful—even though those actions may not actually be sinful. However, the 1611 translators of the King James Version were attempting to convey the idea that one should abstain from evil in whatever form it may appear. Newer translations help to clarify the underlying Greek text by translating the verse, “Abstain from every form of evil” (NKJV). The verse is banning the practice of sin/evil in whatever form it occurs—whether lying, stealing, murdering, etc.
Contextually, verses 19-22 of chapter five form a pericope that warned first-century Christians to refrain from stifling the expression of miraculous gifts—charismata (vss. 19-20). Christians were admonished to test the gifts of the Spirit for their authenticity so that they would hold to what was correct (vs. 21). As such, these verses are parallel to Ephesians 3:1-5, 4:30, Isaiah 63:10-12, and Psalm 78:40. These passages demonstrate that when individuals opposed or withstood God’s miraculously endowed representatives—by rejecting the word that those emissaries presented—they grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit in the sense that they rejected His instructions, refusing to accept the teaching that would enable them to gain God’s approval. The word “quench” (sbennumi) is used in the New Testament to refer to the act of extinguishing a literal fire. However, in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 it is used metaphorically, and spotlights the idea of suppression. One does not literally suppress or quench the Spirit. Rather, one suppresses the influence of the Spirit on one’s own life by resisting the Spirit’s teaching via Scripture. Specifically, in context, when Paul said to abstain from the appearance of evil, he was referring to abstaining from inauthentic admonitions from those who claimed to possess miraculous gifts.



From Mark Copeland... Baptism In The Preaching Of The Apostles

"BAPTISM"

Baptism In The Preaching Of The Apostles

INTRODUCTION

1. Shortly before He ascended into heaven, Jesus gave His apostles The
   Great Commission:

   And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been
   given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples
   of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
   the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things
   that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
   the end of the age." Amen. (Mt 28:18-20)

2. In the gospel of Mark, The Great Commission is worded in this way:

   And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel
   to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved;
   but he who does not believe will be condemned."  (Mk 16:15-16)

3. In both places we notice the mention of baptism...
   a. In Matthew, it is related to the process of making disciples
   b. In Mark, it is mentioned in connection with salvation
   -- Whatever the purpose of baptism, it must be important to Jesus,
      for He commanded it!

4. But one might ask...
   a. What is baptism?
      1) Is it pouring, sprinkling, or immersion?
      2) Is one baptized in water, or in the Spirit?
   b. What is the purpose of baptism?
      1) Is it for the remission of sins, or because our sins have 
         already been forgiven?
      2) Is it to be saved, or a public confession of faith having 
         already been saved?
   c. Who should be baptized?
      1) Should infants be baptized?
      2) Should just anyone be baptized?
   d. Is there ever a need to be "re-baptized"?
      1) What if I was baptized as an infant?
      2) What if I was baptized for the wrong reason?
      3) What if I have sinned greatly after being baptized?
   -- These and many other questions are often asked when the subject
      of baptism is raised

5. This series is devoted to answering these and other questions 
   related to baptism...
   a. Since it was commanded by Christ, it is certainly worthy of 
      careful consideration
   b. It is my intention to glean from the Bible what is actually
      taught on this subject
   c. It is my prayer that you will have the attitude of those in Berea
      - cf. Ac 17:11
      1) To receive the word with all readiness (i.e., listen carefully
         with a desire to at least understand, if at first you do not
         agree)
      2) To search the Scriptures (i.e., to read the Bible carefully to
         see if what I am saying is true)

[In this lesson, we will simply consider how the apostles carried out
The Commission Jesus gave them; i.e., to see what they said about 
baptism in their preaching.  We begin with...]

I. BAPTISM IN THE PREACHING OF PETER

   A. ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST...
      1. In the first gospel sermon, Peter commanded people to be 
         baptized "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
      2. Upon exhorting his audience to be saved, the response was for
         many to be baptized - Ac 2:41-41
      3. Does "for" mean "in order to" or "because of"?
         a. Note: We find the same grammatical construction in Mt 26:28
            1) Where Jesus said His blood would be shed for many "for
               the remission sins"
            2) Clearly Jesus meant "in order to" provide remission of
               sins, and not "because" remission of sins had already
               occurred
            3) With rare exception, the Greek word (eis) means "into,
               to, unto, for, toward"
         b. Note also: "be baptized" is joined by the conjunction "and"
            to the command "repent" - Ac 2:38
            1) Both are commanded "for the remission of sins"
            2) Just as people were commanded to repent "for" (in order
               to) the remission of sins...
            3) ...so they were commanded to be baptized "for" (in order
               to) the remission of sins

   B. AT THE HOUSE OF CORNELIUS...
      1. In the first gospel sermon to the Gentiles, Peter followed up
         by commanding his audience to be baptized - cf. Ac 10:44-48
      2. It is evident that what Peter commanded involved a baptism in
         water - Ac 10:47-48
      3. A future study will examine whether the people were saved when
         the Spirit fell upon them, or when they were baptized as 
         commanded by Peter

[At the very least, we can say that Peter's preaching was in harmony
with the statements of Jesus in the Great Commission:  Preach the 
gospel, command people to be baptized.  

So far the indication appears that it was a baptism in water, and done
for the remission of sins.  Let's consider now one who was not actually
an apostle, but certainly filled with the Spirit...]

II. BAPTISM IN THE PREACHING OF PHILIP

   A. TO THE SAMARITANS...
      1. Though not an apostle, Philip went to Samaria and "preached
         Christ" - Ac 8:5
      2. The response to such preaching:  "...when they believed Philip
         as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and
         the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized."
         - Ac 8:12

   B. TO THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH...
      1. To this very religious man, Philip "preached Jesus" - Ac 8:35
      2. Though we are not told the content of Philip's sermon, from 
         the eunuch's question we can deduce that it included baptism 
         - Ac 8:36-38

[Like Peter, Philip "preached Jesus" not only by telling people about
Jesus, but also what Jesus commanded.  Baptism was an immediate result
of such preaching.  Is this surprising in light of Jesus' statements in
Mt 28:19 and Mk 16:15-16?  Let's now consider...]

III. BAPTISM IN THE PREACHING OF PAUL

   A. IN THE CONVERSION OF LYDIA...
      1. We note that again baptism followed apostolic preaching 
         - Ac 16:13-15
      2. As evidence that she "gave heed" to the things spoken by Paul,
         she and her household were baptized!
      3. Notice also her comment in Ac 16:15
         a. How could Paul have judged her to be faithful to the Lord?
         b. By her response to the command of the Lord concerning 
            baptism!

   B. IN THE CONVERSION OF THE PHILIPPIAN JAILOR...
      1. Paul tells the jailor that he must believe on the Lord to be
         saved - Ac 16:30-31
      2. Paul went on to speak concerning the Word of the Lord to him
         and his family - Ac 16:32
      3. In response, they were immediately baptized! - Ac 16:33-34
         1) Evidently the word of the Lord stressed the need to be 
            baptized quickly
         2) In fact, in EVERY detailed example of conversion found in
            the Book of Acts, people were baptized after only one 
            lesson! (see chart below)

   C. IN THE CONVERSION OF PAUL HIMSELF...
      1. Paul recounts his own conversion to the Lord - Ac 22:10-16
         a. He describes how he was told to go to Damascus, for there
            he would be told "all things appointed for you to do"
            ("what you must do" - cf. Ac 9:6)
         b. One of the things he was told was to be baptized without
            delay - Ac 22:16
      2. He was told to baptized in order to "wash away your sins"
         a. NOTE WELL: Despite seeing the Lord on the road to Damascus,
            having spent three days fasting and praying (Ac 9:9-11), he
            was STILL IN HIS SINS!
            1) Seeing the Lord had not saved him
            2) Accepting Jesus as Lord (cf. Ac 22:10) had not saved him
            3) Praying and fasting for three days had not saved him
         b. Not until he was baptized were his sins "washed away"! 
            (exactly how we will examine later)

CONCLUSION

1. That baptism played a prominent role in apostolic preaching becomes
   evident when we compare what is revealed in the examples of 
   conversion...
   Mt 28:18-20          EXAMPLES OF CONVERSION          Mk 16:15-16

                       BELIEVED    REPENTED    CONFESSED   BAPTIZED

   PENTECOST                       Repented                Baptized
   Ac 2:14-41                       37-38                    38-41

   SAMARIA             Believed                            Baptized
   Ac 8:5-13              12                                 12,13

   ETHIOPIAN           Believed                Confessed   Baptized
   Ac 8:35-39            36-37                    37          38

   SAUL                                                    Baptized
   Ac 9,22,26                                                22:16

   CORNELIUS           Believed                            Baptized
   Ac 10:34-38            43                                  48

   LYDIA               Heeded                              Baptized
   Ac 16:13-15           14                                   15

   JAILOR              Believed                            Baptized
   Ac 16:30-34            31                                  33

2. In every case of conversion described in detail in the book of Acts,
   baptism is mentioned...
   a. Clearly it is was an important theme of apostolic preaching
   b. G. R. Beasley-Murray, a Baptist scholar, has observed:

      "Baptism is...a part of the proclamation of Christ. In an
      Apostolic sermon it comes as its logical conclusion."

        - G.R. Beasley-Murray, Baptism In The New Testament, Grand
          Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1962, p. 393)

3. And what should be proclaimed regarding baptism?  In this lesson we
   have seen...
   a. That it was commanded "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
   b. That it was done to "wash away sins" - Ac 22:16
   c. That it involved "water" - Ac 8:36-38; 10:48
   d. That it was done "immediately", with no delay even if after 
      midnight - Ac 16:25-33

4. This would certainly suggest that baptism is necessary for 
   salvation...
   a. But is this a fair conclusion drawn from the "preaching" of the
      apostles?
   b. Is this conclusion consistent with the "teaching" of the 
      apostles, as found in their epistles?

Our next lesson will examine what the apostles taught in their epistles
regarding baptism, as we continue to seek Bible answers to such
questions...


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From Gary... Bible Reading February 10


Bible Reading  

February 10

The World English Bible

Feb. 10
Genesis 41

Gen 41:1 It happened at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and behold, he stood by the river.
Gen 41:2 Behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, sleek and fat, and they fed in the marsh grass.
Gen 41:3 Behold, seven other cattle came up after them out of the river, ugly and thin, and stood by the other cattle on the brink of the river.
Gen 41:4 The ugly and thin cattle ate up the seven sleek and fat cattle. So Pharaoh awoke.
Gen 41:5 He slept and dreamed a second time: and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, healthy and good.
Gen 41:6 Behold, seven heads of grain, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them.
Gen 41:7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.
Gen 41:8 It happened in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all of Egypt's magicians and wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:9 Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, "I remember my faults today.
Gen 41:10 Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker.
Gen 41:11 We dreamed a dream in one night, I and he. We dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
Gen 41:12 There was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard, and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams. To each man according to his dream he interpreted.
Gen 41:13 It happened, as he interpreted to us, so it was: he restored me to my office, and he hanged him."
Gen 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothing, and came in to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."
Gen 41:16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It isn't in me. God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
Gen 41:17 Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, "In my dream, behold, I stood on the brink of the river:
Gen 41:18 and behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, fat and sleek. They fed in the marsh grass,
Gen 41:19 and behold, seven other cattle came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for ugliness.
Gen 41:20 The thin and ugly cattle ate up the first seven fat cattle,
Gen 41:21 and when they had eaten them up, it couldn't be known that they had eaten them, but they were still ugly, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
Gen 41:22 I saw in my dream, and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, full and good:
Gen 41:23 and behold, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them.
Gen 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me."
Gen 41:25 Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is one. What God is about to do he has declared to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:26 The seven good cattle are seven years; and the seven good heads of grain are seven years. The dream is one.
Gen 41:27 The seven thin and ugly cattle that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty heads of grain blasted with the east wind; they will be seven years of famine.
Gen 41:28 That is the thing which I spoke to Pharaoh. What God is about to do he has shown to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:30 There will arise after them seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land,
Gen 41:31 and the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it will be very grievous.
Gen 41:32 The dream was doubled to Pharaoh, because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Gen 41:33 "Now therefore let Pharaoh look for a discreet and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt's produce in the seven plenteous years.
Gen 41:35 Let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it.
Gen 41:36 The food will be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt; that the land not perish through the famine."
Gen 41:37 The thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
Gen 41:38 Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?"
Gen 41:39 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Because God has shown you all of this, there is none so discreet and wise as you.
Gen 41:40 You shall be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you."
Gen 41:41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt."
Gen 41:42 Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck,
Gen 41:43 and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. They cried before him, "Bow the knee!" He set him over all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt."
Gen 41:45 Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-Paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:47 In the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth abundantly.
Gen 41:48 He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was around every city, he laid up in the same.
Gen 41:49 Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number.
Gen 41:50 To Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him.
Gen 41:51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house."
Gen 41:52 The name of the second, he called Ephraim: "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
Gen 41:53 The seven years of plenty, that were in the land of Egypt, came to an end.
Gen 41:54 The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
Gen 41:55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do."
Gen 41:56 The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Joseph opened all the store houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt.

Gen 41:57 All countries came into Egypt, to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth.

 Feb. 10, 11
Matthew 21

Mat 21:1 When they drew near to Jerusalem, and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
Mat 21:2 saying to them, "Go into the village that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them, and bring them to me.
Mat 21:3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and immediately he will send them."
Mat 21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
Mat 21:5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, behold, your King comes to you, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
Mat 21:6 The disciples went, and did just as Jesus commanded them,
Mat 21:7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their clothes on them; and he sat on them.
Mat 21:8 A very great multitude spread their clothes on the road. Others cut branches from the trees, and spread them on the road.
Mat 21:9 The multitudes who went before him, and who followed kept shouting, "Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Mat 21:10 When he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?"
Mat 21:11 The multitudes said, "This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee."
Mat 21:12 Jesus entered into the temple of God, and drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money changers' tables and the seats of those who sold the doves.
Mat 21:13 He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers!"
Mat 21:14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.
Mat 21:15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children who were crying in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the son of David!" they were indignant,
Mat 21:16 and said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?" Jesus said to them, "Yes. Did you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing babies you have perfected praise?' "
Mat 21:17 He left them, and went out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.
Mat 21:18 Now in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry.
Mat 21:19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves. He said to it, "Let there be no fruit from you forever!" Immediately the fig tree withered away.
Mat 21:20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree immediately wither away?"
Mat 21:21 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, if you have faith, and don't doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you told this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it would be done.
Mat 21:22 All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
Mat 21:23 When he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?"
Mat 21:24 Jesus answered them, "I also will ask you one question, which if you tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mat 21:25 The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?" They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask us, 'Why then did you not believe him?'
Mat 21:26 But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude, for all hold John as a prophet."
Mat 21:27 They answered Jesus, and said, "We don't know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mat 21:28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, 'Son, go work today in my vineyard.'
Mat 21:29 He answered, 'I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind, and went.
Mat 21:30 He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, 'I go, sir,' but he didn't go.
Mat 21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of God before you.
Mat 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn't believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn't even repent afterward, that you might believe him.
Mat 21:33 "Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country.
Mat 21:34 When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit.
Mat 21:35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
Mat 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they treated them the same way.
Mat 21:37 But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
Mat 21:38 But the farmers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and seize his inheritance.'
Mat 21:39 So they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
Mat 21:40 When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?"
Mat 21:41 They told him, "He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers, who will give him the fruit in its season."
Mat 21:42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?'
Mat 21:43 "Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruit.
Mat 21:44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whoever it will fall, it will scatter him as dust."
Mat 21:45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke about them.
Mat 21:46 When they sought to seize him, they feared the multitudes, because they considered him to be a prophet. 

From Gary... In the year of freedom




As I sat here thinking, of thoughts that came to me,
I wondered what things would be like in two thousand ninety three.

Will humans still work at meaningless things or will they work at all?
I cannot say, I dare not say for humanity is in for a fall!

Will brother still hate brother and kill or maim or steal?
Will men still burn others in a cage for the sake of some ideal?

And what of freedom, hope and love, will they still exist?
Or, will the state prohibit them and banish them from our midst?

How bleak would this existence be, how devoid of all humanity,
but then a came once again and filled this heart with glee

For in the future, whatever the year may be,
Jesus, the Christ has paid the price and I am eternally free.

Psalm, 118 (WEB)

 5 Out of my distress, I called on Yah.
Yah answered me with freedom.