From Mark Copeland.... "JESUS, THE WAY" Jesus, The Way To Forgiveness

                            "JESUS, THE WAY"

                     Jesus, The Way To Forgiveness


1. We have seen that Jesus is The Way to a better life, even here on

2. But much more importantly, Jesus is the way to forgiveness for our

[To understand why we need forgiveness and how Jesus provides the way to
forgiveness is the purpose of this lesson. It is important, then, that
we begin by properly defining sin...]


      1. That it is nothing more than a violation of human relationships
      2. That an action is sinful only if:
         a. It is frowned upon by society
         b. It violates their own conscience
         c. It is harmful to someone else
      3. This leads many to misunderstanding how the problem of sin can
         be corrected
         a. E.g., some believe that correcting sin involves nothing more
            than making things right with other people
         b. With this misconception, they think they are forgiven of all
            past actions if they simply change their behavior

      1. The Bible defines at least three different types of sin
         a. The direct violation of God's Law (sin of commission) 
            - 1Jn 3:4
         b. Failure to do what is right (sin of omission) - Jm 4:17
         c. Violating one's own conscience - Ro 14:23
      2. Sin is more than simply a violation of human relationships
         a. Though it often involves that
         b. It  is a serious matter that involves God and His Will for
      3. How serious is sin? Consider the consequences of sin...
         a. The wages of sin is death - Ro 6:23
         b. This death is one involving everlasting torment - Re 21:8;
            cf. 20:10

[Why is sin considered so bad that unforgiven sinners must experience
such torment? To understand why, we must appreciate...]


      1. God is supremely holy
         a. His holiness makes any truce with sin impossible
         b. Note what is written - Ps 5:4-6; Isa 59:1-2
      2. God is supremely just
         a. His justice demands sin be punished properly
         b. This helps to explain God's actions
            1) In the case of Nadab and Abihu - Lev 10:1-3
            2) In the case of Moses and Aaron - Num 20:12
      3. Since we saw that ultimate penalty for sin is eternal torment,
         this emphasizes:
         a. How holy God must be
         b. How terrible sin must be

      1. Sin places man in a terrible predicament
         a. For all have sinned - Ro 3:23
         b. And the very nature of God (both holy and just) demands:
            1) Separation of sinners from God
            2) Punishment for our sins
      2. Man is unable by himself to do anything
         a. There are no "works" that one can do to make himself
            innocent of the guilt of sin
            1) E.g., a man who commits murder is not made innocent of
               that crime by living the rest of his life by the law
            2) Yet many people think that they save themselves by
               balancing their good deeds against their sins
         b. Sin of any kind is so repulsive to God's holiness that His
            justice requires punishment
            1) Look again at the sins referred to earlier in Re 21:8
            2. Whether the sin is fear, lack of faith, lying, or murder,
               the "second death" is reserved for those who are guilty
            3) Even is you commit just one sin, the nature of sin in the
               sight of a holy God is such that you are as guilty as one
               who broke every law - Jm 2:10

[Since we all sin (Ro 3:23), it appears we are all doomed to suffer
God's justice! Is there any way that He can be both holy and just and
yet allow sinful man to be "reconciled" to Him? Yes...]


      1. God has provided Jesus as a "propitiation" for our sins 
         - 1Jn 4:10
         a. The word "propitiation" originally referred to an act or
            sacrifice that a man offered designed to appease a god
         b. As used in the Bible, it refers to that which God has done
            (not man)
         c. I.e., what man cannot do for himself, God has done!
      2. He has offered His Son Jesus on the cross as a means to appease
         His justice
         a. Such was foretold by Isaiah nearly 700 years earlier 
            - Isa 53:5-6,10-11
         b. Note that by the act of Christ's suffering the punishment
            due us for our own sins, we are forgiven of them - Isa 53:
            11; cf. also Ep 1:7
         c. Through Christ's death on the cross, we can come back to
            God, having been forgiven of our sins!
      3. In this way, God is able to:
         a. Preserve His holiness when we are in His presence (for our
            sins have been forgiven by the blood of Christ)
         b. Maintain His justice (for our sins have been properly
            punished by the death of Christ)
         c. All the while demonstrating His love, grace and mercy!
      4. And so, Jesus is The Way to forgiveness of sins, for He has
         been made a "propitiation" for our sins!

   [But how does one receive the wonderful blessing of having Jesus as
   the propitiation for our sins...?]

      1. After His death for our sins, and following His glorious
         resurrection from the dead, Jesus charged His apostles with the
         commission to spread the good news - Mk 16:15-16
      2. We read in Acts how this Great Commission was carried out
         a. In chapter two, we find Peter proclaiming the gospel for the
            first time
            1) After presenting evidence that Jesus has truly risen from
               the dead and ascended to the right hand of God, Peter
               comes to climax of his sermon - Ac 2:36
            2) Evidently many people believed what Peter said - Ac 2:37
               a) "What shall we do?", they cried
               b) What can anyone do, who has realized that they are in
                  need of salvation?
            3) What Peter told them is what we should tell anyone today
               - Ac 2:38
            4) Peter told those believed that they needed to repent and
               be baptized
         b. Likewise, in the case of the conversion of Saul (Paul)
            1) Who had seen Jesus on the road to Damascus
            2) Yet after praying and fasting for three days was told to
               be baptized - Ac 22:16
      3. Just as Jesus commanded in Mark 16:16...
         a. When someone wanted to be saved through the blood of Jesus
         b. They were told to be baptized for the remission
            (forgiveness) of their sins upon their believing in Jesus
            and repenting of their sins
         c. Faith (which includes confessing Jesus as Lord, Ro 10:9-10),
            repentance and baptism were the conditions by which one
            could receive Jesus and enjoy the forgiveness of sins!
      4. Receive Jesus in baptism?
         a. Yes, note carefully what Paul wrote to the Galatians 
            - Ga 3:27
            1) "as many of you" (no more and no less)
            2) "as have been baptized into Christ" (as Jesus, Peter,
               etc., commanded)
            3) "have put on Christ" (have received Jesus and all the
               blessings He offers).
         b. Thus, in obedience to the Lord in faith, repentance and
            baptism, we can receive the wonderful grace of God, who
            offered Jesus for our sins! - cf. He 5:9


1. I leave with you the fact that Jesus is The Way to forgiveness...
   a. Indeed, He is the only way
   b. For God has offered no other way whereby we can be reconciled to
   c. As Jesus said:  "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one
      comes to the Father except through Me." - Jn 14:6
   d. No other way solves the dilemma between man's sin and the holiness
      and justice of God!

2. Have you accepted Jesus in the way He commanded and His apostles
   a. Have you trusted in Him for salvation (faith)?
   b. Have you made the decision to turn from your sins (repentance)?
   c. Have you been immersed for the forgiveness of your sins (baptism)?

If not, why not? Let Jesus be your way to forgiveness today!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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The New Testament: A Product of Man or God? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The New Testament: A Product of Man or God?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Skeptics frequently claim that the writers of the Bible such as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John “invented” moments in the life of Jesus. They question how the Gospel writers knew what Jesus thought and did when He was alone. How could Mark have known what Jesus prayed when He was alone in the Garden of Gethsemane? How did Matthew know what the devil said to Jesus when he tempted Him? Do such references reveal an inconsistency? Are these passages of dialogue in Scripture just reconstructions of the kind of thing a character might have said?
Our faith is not based upon what one might have said or what might be right. Our faith is based upon fact. Skeptics totally ignore the fact that the Bible writers were guided by the Holy Spirit. Before Jesus sent the apostles on the limited commission, He promised that the Holy Spirit would guide them supernaturally (Matthew 10:19-20). Later, as Jesus spoke to His apostles on the night of His betrayal, He said: “But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you” (John 14:26, emp. added). Shortly thereafter He promised them: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13, emp. added).
Not only did Jesus promise that the Holy Spirit would come upon the apostles, but the apostles themselves claimed to be guided by the Holy Spirit when they taught the gospel. On the Day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter claimed the apostles had received the promised Spirit (Acts 2:33; cf. John 16:13). When Paul wrote to the brethren of Galatia, he told them that his teachings came to him “through revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:12). To the Ephesian brethren, Paul wrote that God’s message was “revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (3:5, NKJV). These men did not “invent” stories and teachings about Jesus and the church. Neither did they have to rely on their own cognizance to remember the events that took place twenty or thirty years prior to their writing. The reason is because the Holy Spirit revealed the Truth to them.
One might wonder, further, how Mark’s Gospel account can be considered inspired if he was not an apostle. Part of the answer can be found in Ephesians 3:5 where Paul claimed that the Holy Spirit had been revealed to Christ’s “apostles and prophets.” How was the Spirit given to prophets like Mark, Luke, James, and Jude? How can we accept these books as the Word of God? Answer: The apostles could lay hands on individuals and impart to them certain miraculous gifts. One of these gifts was the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:10). Thus, in addition to apostles, there were prophets in the early church who were guided by the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:1; Ephesians 2:20; 3:5).
Other evidence that points to the Scriptures being the authoritative Word of God is the early recognition of the inspiration of the New Testament. In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter put Paul’s letters on a par with the Old Testament Scriptures when he compared them to “the rest of the Scriptures.” In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul quoted Luke 10:7 as “Scripture.” Within forty years after Paul had written his first epistle to the Corinthians, Clement of Rome wrote a letter to the Corinthian brethren, noting that apostle Paul wrote “under the inspiration of the Spirit” (The First Epistle of Clement, 47). Thus, the New Testament books were recognized as the inspired Word of God.
In short, none of the New Testament writers “invented” moments in the life of Jesus. Rather, just like the writers of the Old Testament, they were fully inspired by the Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Samuel 23:2, Acts 1:16, 2 Peter 1:20-21, 3:15-16, and John 16:13).

Seeing the Designer in Shrimp Vision by Kyle Butt, M.A.


Seeing the Designer in Shrimp Vision

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Humans have amazing eyesight. In fact, many camera companies have looked to the eye in an effort to glean useful information in developing better photographic and video technology. As effective as the human eye is, however, there are certain things it cannot do. One of those is to detect ultraviolet light. But researchers have recently discovered a creature with the amazing ability to detect ultraviolet light—the mantis shrimp.
Mantis shrimp are some of the most interesting creatures in the water. They have extremely powerful claws and lightening fast reflexes. But their ability to see ultraviolet light makes their eyesight one of the most remarkable abilities in the animal kingdom. Michael Bok, one of the researchers studying mantis shrimp vision stated: “The overall construction of the mantis shrimp’s visual system is just so unbelievably ridiculous, so this is just another piece of that tapestry” (Pappas, 2014). What makes their vision “unbelievably ridiculous” is that they have 12 photoreceptors in their eyes, while humans only have three (2014). Another interesting element to their vision is that the shrimp uses amino acids that act as sunscreen in their eyes to help them see ultraviolet light.
The design behind mantis shrimp vision, according to those doing the work on it, is “unbelievably ridiculous,” meaning of course that it is so advanced that it takes a team of researchers just to try to understand it, much less figure out a way to copy the technology. Those who contend that the mantis shrimp is a product of evolutionary changes that have taken place over millions of years cannot explain how such advanced capabilities could reside in the shrimp. No amount of mindless tinkering could produce such highly sensitive instruments as mantis shrimp eyes.
The most reasonable explanation for mantis shrimp vision is that an intelligent Creator, Who sees all things (including ultraviolet light), designed the shrimp and its complex eye. When brilliant human researchers come away from such “technology” in awe of the abilities of mantis shrimp vision, the obvious conclusion to draw is that the Designer of such vision possesses an intelligence far superior to that of the humans involved in the research. When the Proverbs writer stated: “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them” (Proverbs 20:12), that would certainly include a “seeing eye” that uses amino acids as sunscreen and 12 photoreceptors to see light that humans cannot.


Pappas, Stephanie (2014), “Natural Sunscreen Explains Mantis Shrimp’s Amazing UV Vision,”LiveSciencehttp://news.yahoo.com/natural-sunscreen-explains-mantis-shrimps-amazing-uv-vision-200152964.html.

Evolution and Carbon-14 Dating by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Evolution and Carbon-14 Dating

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

According to evolutionary scientists, radiocarbon dating (also known as carbon-14 dating) is totally ineffective in measuring time when dealing with millions of years. In his 2000 book,Genes, People, and Languages, renowned Stanford University geneticist Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, in a discussion on the theory of human evolution, commented on radiocarbon dating, stating: “The most crucial dates in modern human evolution are unfortunately beyond the range of the radiocarbon method,which has a limit of about 40,000 years” (p. 61, emp. added). Staunch evolutionist Richard Dawkins also dealt with the limitations of radiocarbon dating a few years ago in his highly touted book, The Blind Watchmaker. He was even more critical of this dating method than was Cavalli-Sforza, saying:
Different kinds of radioactive decay-based geological stopwatches run at different rates. The radiocarbon stopwatch buzzes round at a great rate, so fast that, after some thousands of years, its spring is almost wound down and the watch is no longer reliable. It is useful for dating organic material on the archaeological/historical timescale where we are dealing in hundreds or a few thousands of years, but it is no good for the evolutionary timescale where we are dealing in millions of years (1986, p. 226 emp. added).
Both evolutionists and creationists stand in agreement that radiocarbon dating, which can be used only to date organic samples, is totally ineffective in measuring the alleged millions or billions of years of the evolutionary timetable. [In truth, even when dating things that are relatively young, carbon-14 dating is imperfect and based upon certain unprovable assumptions (see Major, 1993).] If radiocarbon dating can measure only items that are thousands of years old, why should evolutionists even consider using this dating method on anything that they already believe to be millions of years old? Creationists would like to see evolutionists apply this method to items believed to be millions of years old, because it might help convince evolutionists that coal, diamonds, fossils, etc. are not millions of years old, but only thousands of years old.
Consider that in recent years “readily detectable amounts of carbon-14” in materials evolutionists suppose are millions of years old “have been the rule rather than the exception” (DeYoung, 2005, p. 49). When geophysicist John Baumgardner and colleagues obtained 10 coal samples from the U.S. Department of Energy Coal Sample Bank, one of the leading radiocarbon laboratories in the world tested the samples for traces of carbon. The coal samples were analyzed using the modern accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) method. If the coal were really many millions of years old (as evolutionists suggest), no traces of carbon-14 should have been found. “[A]ny carbon-containing materials that are truly older than 100,000 years should be ‘carbon-14 dead’ with C-14 levels below detection limits” (DeYoung, p. 49). But, in fact, traces of carbon-14 were found. “[A] residue of carbon-14 atoms was found in all ten samples.... The amounts of C-14 in coal are found to average 0.25 percent of that in the atmosphere today” (DeYoung, p. 53). Diamonds assumed to be hundreds of millions of years old were also tested—12 in all. Once again, traces of C-14 were found in every sample (see DeYoung, pp. 45-62).
In June of 1990, Hugh Miller submitted two dinosaur bone fragments to the Department of Geosciences at the University in Tucson, Arizona for carbon-14 analysis. One fragment was from an unidentified dinosaur. The other was from an Allosaurus excavated by James Hall near Grand Junction, Colorado in 1989. Miller submitted the samples without disclosing the identity of the bones. (Had the scientists known the samples actually were from dinosaurs, they would not have bothered dating them, since it is assumed dinosaurs lived millions of years ago—outside the limits of radiocarbon dating.) Interestingly, the C-14 analysis indicated that the bones were from 10,000-16,000 years old—a far cry from their alleged 60-million-year-old age (see Dahmer, et al., 1990, pp. 371-374).
What is C-14 doing in coal, diamonds, and dinosaur fossils, if these objects are really many millions of years old? Richard Dawkins declared that C-14 dating “is useful for dating organic material on the archaeological/historical timescale where we are dealing in hundreds or a few thousands of years,” not millions of years (1986, p. 226, emp. added). Yet, “readily detectable amounts of carbon-14,” even in coal, diamonds, and various fossils, “have been the rule rather than the exception” in recent years (DeYoung, 2005, p. 49). Why? Evolutionists assert that the specimens in every case must have been contaminated by outside carbon. After all, everyone “knows” coal is millions of years old, right? Using C-14 dating on specimens already believed to be only hundreds or a few thousands of years old is considered acceptable. Scientists expect to find carbon in samples they perceive as young. But, if specimens believed to be millions of years old are tested (e.g., coal), and found to have carbon traces, then they “must” have been contaminated. Or so we are told.
Informed creation scientists, like members of the RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth) team, contend that the modern “AMS measurements carefully eliminate all possible sources of carbon contamination. These include any trace of C-14 which has possibly entered the samples in recent history, or C-14 introduction during sample preparation and analysis” (DeYoung, 2005, p. 50). Whereas “unexpected carbon-14 was initially assumed to be a result of contamination..., as this problem was aggressively explored, it was realized that most of the carbon-14 was inherent to the samples being measured” (p. 49).
The fact is, significant traces of carbon have been detected in samples that “should not” contain carbon. Since evolutionists are unwilling to adjust their million/billion-year timetable, they are forced to conclude that radiocarbon dating is always faulty when it comes up with young dates (measured in hundreds or thousands of years) for assumed old specimens (supposedly millions of years old). Do you see anything wrong with this picture? The fact is, coal, diamonds, and dinosaur fossils containing traces of carbon is no surprise. One would expect to find such if the biblical accounts of Creation and the Flood are true.


Cavalli-Sforza, Luigi (2000), Genes, Peoples, and Languages (New York: North Point Press).
Dahmer, Lionel, D. Kouznetsov, et al. (1990), “Report on Chemical Analysis and Further Dating of Dinosaur Bones and Dinosaur Petroglyphs,” Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Creationism, ed. Robert E. Walsh and Christopher L. Brooks (Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship).
Dawkins, Richard (1986), The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton).
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Major, Trevor (1993), “Dating in Archaeology: Radiocarbon & Tree-Ring Dating,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2019.

Noah Webster on Electing Political Leaders by Noah Webster


Noah Webster on Electing Political Leaders

by Noah Webster

[L]et it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or disregarded. If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands and elect bad men to make and administer the laws (1832, pp. 336-337, emp. added).


Webster, Noah (1832), History of the United States (New Haven, CT: Durrie & Peck).

Clean and Unclean Animals Before the Law of Moses? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Clean and Unclean Animals Before the Law of Moses?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

One particular allegation that skeptics have made for many years concerning the biblical account of Noah and the Flood is that “[c]lean and unclean animals were not delineated until the eleventh chapter of Leviticus…. There were no…clean/unclean animals in Noah’s time” (McKinsey, 1983, p. 1). Early America’s most outspoken critic of the Bible, Thomas Paine, remarked in a letter to the editor of a paper known as The Prospect, saying:
On the absurd story of Noah’s Flood, in Gen. 7, I send you the following: The second verse makes God to say unto Noah, “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female, and of every beast that are not clean, by two, the male and his female.”
Now, there was no such thing as beasts clean and unclean in the time of Noah…. The story, therefore, detects itself, because the inventor forgot himself, by making God make use of an expression that could not be used at the time. The blunder is of the same kind, as if a man in telling a story about America a hundred years ago, should quote an expression from Mr. Jefferson’s inaugural speech as if spoken by him at that time (1830, p. 371).
Supposedly, the biblical placement of instructions regarding clean and unclean animals in the time of Noah in the book of Genesis is anachronistic.
Skeptics apparently have refused to acknowledge that, though Moses made laws concerning clean and unclean animals at a much later time than the Flood, it does not mean that such rules concerning animals could not have existed prior to Moses—yes, even prior to the Flood. As commentator John Willis noted: “A law or a truth does not have to have its origin with a certain individual or religion to be a vital part of that religion or to be distinctive in that religion” (1979, p. 170). Jesus, for example, was not the first person to teach that man needs to love God with all of his heart (cf. Deuteronomy 6:5), or that man must love his neighbor (cf. Leviticus 19:18) and his enemies (cf. Exodus 23:4-5; Proverbs 25:21-22). Yet these teachings were central to Christ’s message (cf. Matthew 22:34-40; Matthew 5:43-48). Similarly, simply because God chose circumcision as a sign between Himself and Abraham’s descendants, does not necessarily mean that no male in the history of mankind had ever been circumcised before the circumcision of Abraham and his household (Genesis 17). What’s more, Moses wrote in the book of Leviticus years after Abraham lived: “If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised” (12:2-3, emp. added). Moses, however, was not prescribing a new law. On the contrary, he knew very well what was expected from God concerning the matter of circumcision, even before he included this sort of instruction as part of Mosaic Law (read Exodus 4:24-26).
For skeptics to allege that differentiation between clean and unclean animals was nonexistent prior to Moses is totally unsubstantiated. Mankind had been sacrificing animals since the fall of man (cf. Genesis 3:21). That God had given laws concerning animal sacrifices since the time of Cain and Abel is evident from the fact that the second son of Adam was able to offer an animal sacrifice “by faith” (Hebrews 11:4; Genesis 4:4). Since “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), Abel must have received revelation from God on how to offer acceptable animal sacrifices. Such revelation easily could have dealt with which sacrificial animals were acceptable (“clean”), and which were unacceptable (“unclean”). Furthermore, more than 400 hundred years before Moses gave the Israelites laws differentiating clean and unclean animals, God made a covenant with Abraham concerning the land that his descendants eventually would possess (Genesis 15). Part of the “sign” that Abraham was given at that time involved the killing of a heifer, a female goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon (Genesis 15:9). Interestingly, all of these animals were later considered clean under the Law of Moses (cf. Leviticus 1:2,10,14).
Without a doubt, the distinction between clean and unclean animals existed long before the Law of Moses was given. Although this distinction did not include all of the details and applications given by Moses (prior to the Flood the distinction seems only to have applied to the matter of animals suitable for sacrifice, not for consumption—cf. Genesis 9:2-3), animal sacrifice to God was practiced during the Patriarchal Age, and it is apparent that the faithful were able to distinguish between the clean and unclean. Noah certainly knew the difference.


McKinsey, Dennis (1983), “Commentary,” Biblical Errancy, pp. 1-2, December.
Willis, John T. (1979), Genesis (Austin, TX: Sweet).

From Jim McGuiggan... JESUS AND THE MOB


In John 7:49 there's this: "This rabble that does not know the law—they're accursed."   See.
You have that text and then you have this one, Matthew 14:14, "When he went ashore he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick."
There lies the difference between Jesus and the brass-necked leaders. It isn't the only difference and if you isolate it it's not even the main difference but it is a profound difference.
Jesus saw the mob and when he  saw them he  felt something and he  did something.
In a multitude of 5,000 plus (Matthew 14:21) there must have been a lot of mixed motives, promises unkept, grudges harboured, self-serving, uncleanness and cruelty. Surely there was and if it was there Christ could see it for he knew people. And yet, when he looked, "he had compassion on them and healed their sick." (Matthew 14:14 and 9:36)
Tell me how can I be holy as he is holy? Help me to lift up my eyes and see better, purer, cleaner things. But help me to be holy like him and still look on people with all the marks of unholiness written on their faces and see them as needy people. What a wonder he is that he can look on the sinful and feel what they feel and long to do them good. [Dear God, I need to know this truth is for me. It must be. I can't live withoout it.] 
There is a chasm fixed between us and Christ that we cannot bridge; his holiness simply out-distances our most fervent imaginings but is the chasm anywhere wider than it is at this point where he is able to look at sinners this way? It has nothing to do with miraculous power; it has nothing to do with his being able to feed thousands with little or nothing. It has all to do with his unutterable holiness looking on sinners and wanting to do them good, wanting to heal their sick, wanting to lift them out of their gloom and hurt.
So there he stands looking at them with those big eyes of his. Missing nothing! Seeing all! And while knowing and seeing all he feels his huge heart swelling with pity at these sheep without a shepherd. So he healed their sick. I don't doubt that some there looked at him, fevered and crippled children in their arms, chins stuck out in some desperate look of rebellion: "How can you see us like this and not do something about it?" I'm sure others showed their desperation with "please" written all over them. There they were, here we are with our awful needs stark and obvious to his holy eyes, masses of us clamouring for attention. People with little interest in him until our crying needs drive us out of ourselves and away from our useless schemes and shallow prayers. And still he  looks, and still he feels compassion and still he  offers rich, wise and desperately needed healing.
Holy Christ! Astonishing Christ who makes it forever clear that true holiness isn't a firewall against fellowship; who makes it forever clear that true holiness is love's raging fire that burns down all that would come between us and his Holy Father who  sees and  feels and does.
And is Matthew 9:36 and 14:14 written there to taunt us? Did that occasion and that crowd exhaust God's good will toward us in Jesus Christ? After that did God say goodbye to the human family? Was it only that crowd he saw as shepherdless sheep, harrassed and in awful need? No, it's written there so we'll know he won't forget us—he's committed to us all and one day all who care that he cares will eternally discover that Matthew's words were for them. Read them and laugh!
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Roy Davison... Does God Occupy the First Place in Our Lives?


Does God Occupy the First Place in Our Lives?

We need to ask ourselves this crucial question: Does God occupy the first place in my life?
As Creator, Sustainer and Source of all good, God deserves the first place in our lives.
Many are willing to serve God as long as it doesn’t cost them too much time or effort. They give God the crumbs of their lives, and - as far as they are concerned - He’ll just have to be satisfied with that. But He isn’t.
God never asks for more than we can give, but He does ask for the best we can give.
Under the old covenant, when people brought sacrifices to God, they were to offer Him only the very best. God did not accept a sacrifice that was second-rate or had flaws.
“When you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably? ... You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’ ... And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” (Malachi 1:8, 13). They kept the best for themselves and gave God what they wanted to be rid of anyway!
It was bad enough that they brought inferior offers, but they also complained: “What a drudgery!”
If serving God is a “weariness” to you, maybe you are just giving God the crumbs of your life, possibly from a sense of obligation or fear. But God is not pleased with scraps any more than you are. Giving God the plate-scrapings of your life can never bring the “joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
We must put God first in our hearts!
Jesus tells us: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37, 38).
When we give God the place of highest honor in our hearts, we will also put Him first in our lives. We will offer Him the very best we have. And we will find joy in serving the Lord, instead of experiencing it as drudgery.
We must love God even more than family and friends.
Jesus said: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37). 
Sometimes we are forced to choose between Christ and others. What if relatives or friends drop in as we are preparing to go to the assembly? Do we say: “We are going to worship God now. You are welcome to come along, or if you do not wish to do so, make yourself at home. We will be back in an hour or so.” Or do we think, “Too bad. Now I can’t go.”
How we react in such situations, shows who ranks highest in our hearts.
We must love God rather than the world.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
To love the world does not necessarily mean that we love bad things. It can simply be that we love the things of this world, that “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches” are choking the word (Matthew 13:22). 
Among other things, this means that our love for God must be greater than our love for ourselves and our own enjoyment.
What if there is an exceptional opportunity to serve the Lord on a day we were planning to do something for our own enjoyment? Do we say: “I’m thankful for this great opportunity to serve the Lord.” Or do we say: “You know, I really feel bad about it, but I have a previous appointment.”
Is our free time so filled with “enjoying ourselves” that we have little time left for the Lord? If so, we are just giving God the crumbs. We love ourselves with all our heart, not God. And God is not pleased.
What if someone we know is in the hospital, but visiting hours are the same time as one of our favorite TV programs? Do we say: “I’m going to visit him this evening. He might need cheering up.” Or do we think: “What a shame that visiting hours are at such an inconvenient time! I’ll try to visit him tomorrow, or maybe next week.”
How does our Bible study time compare with our entertainment time?
Once when visiting a congregation, a brother took me to meet another brother in the Lord. After we knocked, he came nervously to the door and said: “Come on in. We’re watching such and such on TV.”
So we sat for about an hour watching TV. Finally, the brother I was with said: “Well, it’s getting late. I guess we need to be going.” Our “host” looked away from the TV just long enough to say: “Glad you dropped in. Come back anytime.” He didn’t even go with us to the door.
What do you think of the spiritual condition of someone like that? 
That rest and recreation are needed, is not being denied. We are discussing priorities and the difference between self-love and love for God and fellow man.
Once when Jesus’ disciples had just returned from a preaching trip, He told them: “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).
Although they needed rest, as it turned out, something else became more important. “So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. But the multitudes saw them departing, and many knew Him and ran there on foot from all the cities. They arrived before them and came together to Him. And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things” (Mark 6:32-34).
Notice that Jesus was moved with compassion. He had intended to have some time alone with His disciples for rest. But because He loved His fellow men, He put their welfare above His own comfort. He is, of course, the perfect example of how a man ought to put God first in his life.
There is only one first place.
We cannot give God, plus something else, first place in our lives. That is not possible. Jesus said: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
If we think we can have two things in first place, we are deceiving ourselves. One or the other ultimately takes precedence in our lives.
Mammon is the god of money. We can’t serve God and money. Is serving God more important to you than earning money? The headache, or the fatigue, that keeps you from the assembly, would it also keep you from going to work? What if you are offered a job that pays much more money, but one that would keep you so busy you would have little time to serve the Lord?
How you make such decisions shows what is most important in your heart.
Are we like the little girl who received two coins, one for herself and one for the collection. After she accidentally dropped one of the coins down the storm drain, she said: “Oh no, there goes the Lord’s money!”
For God, lukewarm is not warm enough! 
“These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness the Beginning of the creation of God: ‘I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth’” (Revelation 3:14-16).
The danger of being lukewarm is that it is easy to believe you are all right. A lukewarm person thinks: “Well, at least I’m not cold.” But lukewarm isn’t warm enough for God. He will spew us out of His mouth unless we repent.
A Christian must be dedicated.
Being dedicated means to be fully committed.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). 
Christianity is not certain things you do, it is a way of doing everything. The Christian gives himself fully in service to God and his fellow man. God occupies the first place in his heart and in his actions.
Does this mean that we should be fanatics?
No. In Ecclesiastes 7:16 we are warned: “Do not be overly righteous, nor be overly wise: why should you destroy yourself?” 
There is a great difference between being fanatical and being dedicated. You want your family doctor to be dedicated, but not fanatical!
A fanatic is someone who has a blind, unreasoning and exaggerated zeal for something, accompanied by intolerance of others. Fanaticism is a form of arrogance. A fanatic exalts his own ideas, and will not even listen to the ideas of others.
A Christian must be patient, humble and caring. A fanatic is none of these. He is impatient, haughty and self-centered.
We must be dedicated, but not fanatical.
Christ expects us to be zealous in good works.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14).
Christ came to save us from sin. But it is not enough to avoid evil. We must be zealous in doing good.
Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
How do we put God first in our lives? 
Because of our devotion, we are steadfast in Christian activities: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Steadfast means resolute and unwavering.
To continue steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine we must both know the Scriptures and put them into practice. To continue steadfastly in fellowship we must attend the services of the church and seek fellowship with other Christians. Each Sunday we must feast at the table of the Lord. We must continue steadfastly in prayer. All these activities are involved in putting the Lord first in our lives.
We put God first by serving others. Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28). We want to be like Him. Jesus told His disciples: “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).
The church is one body with each member’s function contributing to the well-being of the whole. Depending on our ability, we can visit the sick, help the poor, teach the gospel, help maintain the meeting place, or through other good works exalt God by serving others.
Does God occupy the first place in our lives? Do we give Him our best? Do we put Him first in our heart? Is our love for Him greater than our love for any other person or any thing? Is our love for Him greater than our love for ourselves and our own enjoyment? Are we dedicated, and zealous in good works? Do we give ourselves fully in service to God and man? Let us give God the highest position in our lives. Amen.
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive

From Gary... Bible Reading December 3

Bible Reading  

December 3

The World English Bible

Dec. 3
Ezekiel 25-28

Eze 25:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 25:2 Son of man, set your face toward the children of Ammon, and prophesy against them:
Eze 25:3 and tell the children of Ammon, Hear the word of the Lord Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Because you said, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was made desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity:
Eze 25:4 therefore, behold, I will deliver you to the children of the east for a possession, and they shall set their encampments in you, and make their dwellings in you; they shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk.
Eze 25:5 I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the children of Ammon a resting place for flocks: and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 25:6 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have clapped your hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced with all the despite of your soul against the land of Israel;
Eze 25:7 therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand on you, and will deliver you for a spoil to the nations; and I will cut you off from the peoples, and I will cause you to perish out of the countries: I will destroy you; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 25:8 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because Moab and Seir say, Behold, the house of Judah is like all the nations;
Eze 25:9 therefore, behold, I will open the side of Moab from the cities, from his cities which are on his frontiers, the glory of the country, Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon, and Kiriathaim,
Eze 25:10 to the children of the east, to go against the children of Ammon; and I will give them for a possession, that the children of Ammon may not be remembered among the nations.
Eze 25:11 and I will execute judgments on Moab; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 25:12 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because Edom has dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended, and revenged himself on them;
Eze 25:13 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, I will stretch out my hand on Edom, and will cut off man and animal from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; even to Dedan shall they fall by the sword.
Eze 25:14 I will lay my vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel; and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath; and they shall know my vengeance, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 25:15 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because the Philistines have dealt by revenge, and have taken vengeance with despite of soul to destroy with perpetual enmity;
Eze 25:16 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I will stretch out my hand on the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites, and destroy the remnant of the sea coast.
Eze 25:17 I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes; and they shall know that I am Yahweh, when I shall lay my vengeance on them.
Eze 26:1 It happened in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 26:2 Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken: the gate of the peoples; she is turned to me; I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste:
Eze 26:3 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I am against you, Tyre, and will cause many nations to come up against you, as the sea causes its waves to come up.
Eze 26:4 They shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her a bare rock.
Eze 26:5 She shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea; for I have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh; and she shall become a spoil to the nations.
Eze 26:6 Her daughters who are in the field shall be slain with the sword: and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 26:7 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will bring on Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and a company, and much people.
Eze 26:8 He shall kill with the sword your daughters in the field; and he shall make forts against you, and cast up a mound against you, and raise up the buckler against you.
Eze 26:9 He shall set his battering engines against your walls, and with his axes he shall break down your towers.
Eze 26:10 By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover you: your walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wagons, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into your gates, as men enter into a city in which is made a breach.
Eze 26:11 With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all your streets; he shall kill your people with the sword; and the pillars of your strength shall go down to the ground.
Eze 26:12 They shall make a spoil of your riches, and make a prey of your merchandise; and they shall break down your walls, and destroy your pleasant houses; and they shall lay your stones and your timber and your dust in the midst of the waters.
Eze 26:13 I will cause the noise of your songs to cease; and the sound of your harps shall be no more heard.
Eze 26:14 I will make you a bare rock; you shall be a place for the spreading of nets; you shall be built no more: for I Yahweh have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 26:15 Thus says the Lord Yahweh to Tyre: shall not the islands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when the slaughter is made in the midst of you?
Eze 26:16 Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay aside their robes, and strip off their embroidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit on the ground, and shall tremble every moment, and be astonished at you.
Eze 26:17 They shall take up a lamentation over you, and tell you, How are you destroyed, who were inhabited by seafaring men, the renowned city, who was strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, who caused their terror to be on all who lived there!
Eze 26:18 Now shall the islands tremble in the day of your fall; yes, the islands that are in the sea shall be dismayed at your departure.
Eze 26:19 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: When I shall make you a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep on you, and the great waters shall cover you;
Eze 26:20 then will I bring you down with those who descend into the pit, to the people of old time, and will make you to dwell in the lower parts of the earth, in the places that are desolate of old, with those who go down to the pit, that you be not inhabited; and I will set glory in the land of the living:
Eze 26:21 I will make you a terror, and you shall no more have any being; though you are sought for, yet you will never be found again, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 27:1 The word of Yahweh came again to me, saying,
Eze 27:2 You, son of man, take up a lamentation over Tyre;
Eze 27:3 and tell Tyre, you who dwell at the entry of the sea, who are the merchant of the peoples to many islands, thus says the Lord Yahweh: You, Tyre, have said, I am perfect in beauty.
Eze 27:4 Your borders are in the heart of the seas; your builders have perfected your beauty.
Eze 27:5 They have made all your planks of fir trees from Senir; they have taken a cedar from Lebanon to make a mast for you.
Eze 27:6 Of the oaks of Bashan have they made your oars; they have made your benches of ivory inlaid in boxwood, from the islands of Kittim.
Eze 27:7 Of fine linen with embroidered work from Egypt was your sail, that it might be to you for a banner; blue and purple from the islands of Elishah was your awning.
Eze 27:8 The inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad were your rowers: your wise men, Tyre, were in you, they were your pilots.
Eze 27:9 The old men of Gebal and the wise men of it were in you your repairers of ship seams: all the ships of the sea with their mariners were in you to deal in your merchandise.
Eze 27:10 Persia and Lud and Put were in your army, your men of war: they hanged the shield and helmet in you; they set forth your comeliness.
Eze 27:11 The men of Arvad with your army were on your walls all around, and valorous men were in your towers; they hanged their shields on your walls all around; they have perfected your beauty.
Eze 27:12 Tarshish was your merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded for your wares.
Eze 27:13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech, they were your traffickers; they traded the persons of men and vessels of brass for your merchandise.
Eze 27:14 They of the house of Togarmah traded for your wares with horses and war horses and mules.
Eze 27:15 The men of Dedan were your traffickers; many islands were the market of your hand: they brought you in exchange horns of ivory and ebony.
Eze 27:16 Syria was your merchant by reason of the multitude of your handiworks: they traded for your wares with emeralds, purple, and embroidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and rubies.
Eze 27:17 Judah, and the land of Israel, they were your traffickers: they traded for your merchandise wheat of Minnith, and confections, and honey, and oil, and balm.
Eze 27:18 Damascus was your merchant for the multitude of your handiworks, by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches, with the wine of Helbon, and white wool.
Eze 27:19 Vedan and Javan traded with yarn for your wares: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were among your merchandise.
Eze 27:20 Dedan was your trafficker in precious cloths for riding.
Eze 27:21 Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they were the merchants of your hand; in lambs, and rams, and goats, in these were they your merchants.
Eze 27:22 The traffickers of Sheba and Raamah, they were your traffickers; they traded for your wares with the chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.
Eze 27:23 Haran and Canneh and Eden, the traffickers of Sheba, Asshur and Chilmad, were your traffickers.
Eze 27:24 These were your traffickers in choice wares, in wrappings of blue and embroidered work, and in chests of rich clothing, bound with cords and made of cedar, among your merchandise.
Eze 27:25 The ships of Tarshish were your caravans for your merchandise: and you were replenished, and made very glorious in the heart of the seas.
Eze 27:26 Your rowers have brought you into great waters: the east wind has broken you in the heart of the seas.
Eze 27:27 Your riches, and your wares, your merchandise, your mariners, and your pilots, your repairers of ship seams, and the dealers in your merchandise, and all your men of war, who are in you, with all your company which is in the midst of you, shall fall into the heart of the seas in the day of your ruin.
Eze 27:28 At the sound of the cry of your pilots the suburbs shall shake.
Eze 27:29 All who handled the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships; they shall stand on the land,
Eze 27:30 and shall cause their voice to be heard over you, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust on their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes:
Eze 27:31 and they shall make themselves bald for you, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for you in bitterness of soul with bitter mourning.
Eze 27:32 In their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for you, and lament over you, saying, Who is there like Tyre, like her who is brought to silence in the midst of the sea?
Eze 27:33 When your wares went forth out of the seas, you filled many peoples; you did enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of your riches and of your merchandise.
Eze 27:34 In the time that you were broken by the seas in the depths of the waters, your merchandise and all your company did fall in the midst of you.
Eze 27:35 All the inhabitants of the islands are astonished at you, and their kings are horribly afraid; they are troubled in their face.
Eze 27:36 The merchants among the peoples hiss at you; you are become a terror, and you shall nevermore have any being.
Eze 28:1 The word of Yahweh came again to me, saying,
Eze 28:2 Son of man, tell the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a god, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet you are man, and not God, though you did set your heart as the heart of God--
Eze 28:3 behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that is hidden from you;
Eze 28:4 by your wisdom and by your understanding you have gotten you riches, and have gotten gold and silver into your treasures;
Eze 28:5 by your great wisdom and by your traffic have you increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches--
Eze 28:6 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have set your heart as the heart of God,
Eze 28:7 therefore, behold, I will bring strangers on you, the terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and they shall defile your brightness.
Eze 28:8 They shall bring you down to the pit; and you shall die the death of those who are slain, in the heart of the seas.
Eze 28:9 Will you yet say before him who kills you, I am God? but you are man, and not God, in the hand of him who wounds you.
Eze 28:10 You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 28:11 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 28:12 Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and tell him, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.
Eze 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz, emerald, chrysolite, onyx, jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and beryl. Gold work of tambourines and of pipes was in you. In the day that you were created they were prepared.
Eze 28:14 You were the anointed cherub who covers: and I set you, so that you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
Eze 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you.
Eze 28:16 By the abundance of your traffic they filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I have cast you as profane out of the mountain of God; and I have destroyed you, covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
Eze 28:17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I have cast you to the ground; I have laid you before kings, that they may see you.
Eze 28:18 By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your traffic, you have profaned your sanctuaries; therefore have I brought forth a fire from the midst of you; it has devoured you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all those who see you.
Eze 28:19 All those who know you among the peoples shall be astonished at you: you are become a terror, and you shall nevermore have any being.
Eze 28:20 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 28:21 Son of man, set your face toward Sidon, and prophesy against it,
Eze 28:22 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Sidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of you; and they shall know that I am Yahweh, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.
Eze 28:23 For I will send pestilence into her, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall fall in the midst of her, with the sword on her on every side; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 28:24 There shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Israel, nor a hurting thorn of any that are around them, that did despite to them; and they shall know that I am the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 28:25 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then shall they dwell in their own land which I gave to my servant Jacob.

Eze 28:26 They shall dwell securely therein; yes, they shall build houses, and plant vineyards, and shall dwell securely, when I have executed judgments on all those who do them despite all around them; and they shall know that I am Yahweh their God.

 Dec. 3
1 Peter 1

1Pe 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones who are living as foreigners in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1Pe 1:4 to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that doesn't fade away, reserved in Heaven for you,
1Pe 1:5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1Pe 1:6 Wherein you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been put to grief in various trials,
1Pe 1:7 that the proof of your faith, which is more precious than gold that perishes even though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ--
1Pe 1:8 whom not having known you love; in whom, though now you don't see him, yet believing, you rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory--
1Pe 1:9 receiving the result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
1Pe 1:11 searching for who or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that would follow them.
1Pe 1:12 To them it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to you, they ministered these things, which now have been announced to you through those who preached the Good News to you by the Holy Spirit sent out from heaven; which things angels desire to look into.
1Pe 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, be sober and set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ--
1Pe 1:14 as children of obedience, not conforming yourselves according to your former lusts as in your ignorance,
1Pe 1:15 but just as he who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all of your behavior;
1Pe 1:16 because it is written, "You shall be holy; for I am holy."
1Pe 1:17 If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each man's work, pass the time of your living as foreigners here in reverent fear:
1Pe 1:18 knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers,
1Pe 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ;
1Pe 1:20 who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake,
1Pe 1:21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God.
1Pe 1:22 Seeing you have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth through the Spirit in sincere brotherly affection, love one another from the heart fervently:
1Pe 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which lives and remains forever.
1Pe 1:24 For, "All flesh is like grass, and all of man's glory like the flower in the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls;
1Pe 1:25 but the Lord's word endures forever." This is the word of Good News which was preached to you.