12/18/19

"THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES" Counsel For Better Living (7:1-14) by Mark Copeland



 "THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES"

 Counsel For Better Living (7:1-14)

INTRODUCTION

1. In the first six chapters the Preacher has shared with us...
   a. His search for meaning - 1:1-2:24
   b. His observations during the course of his search - 3:1-6:12

2. He has repeated his conclusions time and again...
   a. Life "under the sun" is vanity - 1:2,14; 2:11
   b. Yet there is good that one can do, provided one is blessed by God
      - 2:24-26; 5:18-20

3. In relating the experiences of his search and observations, he 
   shared counsel for living life "under the sun"; for example...
   a. The value of friendship - 4:9-12
   b. The proper way to approach God in worship - 5:1

4. In the remaining six chapters the Preacher continues to share his counsel...
   a. Through a mixture of proverbs and narration
      1) Imparting wisdom designed to make the most of life "under the sun"
      2) I.e., while life under the sun is "vanity", how then should we live?
   b. There is a wealth of wisdom found in these chapters
      1) Too much to cover in detail in this series
      2) We will simply survey the Preacher's counsel as we make our
         way through the book

[With that in mind, let's take a look at 7:1-14, in which we find a
series of comparisons (note the frequent use of "better"). For example,
the Preacher would have us understand that...]

I. HONOR IS BETTER THAN LUXURY (7:1a)

   A. "A GOOD NAME IS BETTER THAN PRECIOUS OINTMENT"
      1. Here the Preacher is extolling the value of a good reputation
         - cf. Pr 22:1
      2. The precious ointment is representative of luxury

   B. WHY THIS IS SO...
      1. We have already seen the vanity of wealth
         a. We may leave it for someone who is foolish - 2:18-19
         b. Unless God give us the ability to enjoy it, it is all for naught - 6:1-2
      2  A good reputation finds honor before God and men, and benefits
         us after death!
         a. Just as it did with the "elders" of the Old Testament- He 11:2,39
         b. Especially if our "names" are written in heaven! - Lk 10:20; Php 4:3

[So in what time we have in this life, it is better spent making a good
name for ourselves, than accumulating wealth! Next, the Preacher shares
what may be a shocking revelation to some...]

II. YOUR DEATHDAY IS BETTER THAN YOUR BIRTHDAY (7:1b)

   A. "THE DAY OF DEATH THAN THE DAY OF ONE'S BIRTH"
      1. The day of one's death is better than the day in which they were born
      2. Of course, this assumes one has first made a good name for themselves!

   B. HOW THIS IS SO...
      1. The day of one's birth is the beginning of many sorrows
         a. As Job observed, and even cursed the day of his birth - cf.Job 14:1; 3:1-3
         b. As did Jeremiah - Jer 20:14-18
      2. But for the righteous, the day of one's death is the beginning
         of eternal bliss!
         a. They enter into peace and rest - Isa 57:1-2
         b. They go to be with the Lord - Php 1:21-22
         c. They are blessed to be at rest from their labors - Re 14:13

[Speaking of the day of one's death leads naturally to the next bit of
counsel from the Preacher...]

III. A FUNERAL IS BETTER THAN A PARTY (7:2-6)

   A. "BETTER TO GO TO THE HOUSE OF MOURNING THAN TO GO TO THE HOUSE
      OF FEASTING"
      1. Everybody loves a party, but everybody needs to attend a funeral!
      2. Why?  The Preacher tells us why...
         a. "For that is the end of all men"
            1) Life "under the sun" is not forever
            2) We must all die and face what follows next - cf. He 9:27
         b. "And the living will take it to heart"
            1) A funeral reminds us of the brevity of life and the eventuality of death
            2) A funeral forces us to face reality and encourages us to prepare for it

   B. "SORROW IS BETTER THAN LAUGHTER"
      1. The Preacher explains further why it is good to attend a funeral
      2. Laughter may have its place, but sorrow is superior to making
         the heart better - cf. He 12:11
         a. Laughter provides a temporary reprieve from the burdens of life
         b. But sorrow, especially at a funeral, encourages us to make
            positive changes
      3. For this reason, the wise person will be found often in the
         funeral parlor, while the fool would rather spend time at a party

   C. "IT IS BETTER TO HEAR THE REBUKE OF THE WISE THAN...TO HEAR THE
      SONG OF FOOLS"
      1. At a funeral, one is likely to hear the rebuke of the wise; at
         a party, the song of fools
      2. But the laughter of fools is like the crackling of thorns in a
         fire, and is vanity
         a. Thorns make a lot of noise
         b. But they burn quickly, provide little heat, and are 
            therefore of little value
         -- So also the laughter and songs of the foolish

[Why the Preacher inserted the proverb of verse 7, I am not sure, 
though the point is well taken. However, the next comparison states that...]
 
IV. THE END IS BETTER THAN THE BEGINNING (7:8)

   A. THIS IS SIMILAR TO WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN...
      1. That the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth - 7:1
      2. But the principle has application to more than just one's overall life

   B. HOW THIS IS SO...
      1. Many projects start with good intentions, but are not 
         completed; it is when they are finished that we can truly look
         back with satisfaction
      2. Many things begin with grief and difficulty, only to end in
         joy and peace- cf. Ps 126:5-6

[Our primary concern should be how things will turn out in the end,
rather than how they may look at the beginning.  To help us keep 
focused on the end, it is good to remember that...]

V. PATIENCE IS BETTER THAN PRIDE (7:8-9)

   A. "THE PATIENT IN SPIRIT IS BETTER THAN THE PROUD IN SPIRIT"
      1. Pride is evil, and is of the world - cf. Mk 7:21-23; 1Jn 2:16
      2. Patience is a virtue to be pursued by the man of God - cf. 1Ti 6:11; Tit 2:2

   B. WHY PATIENCE IS BETTER THAN PRIDE...
      1. Pride leads to contention and destruction - Pr 13:10; 16:18
      2. Pride leads to anger, which resides in the heart of the foolish - 7:9
      3. Patience, on the other hand, is indicative of wisdom and
         necessary to salvation - Pr 14:29; Ro 2:7; He 10:36

[Another gem of wisdom that leads to better living is understanding that...]

VI. THE PRESENT IS BETTER THAN THE PAST (7:10)

   A. WE ARE NOT TO SAY "WHY WERE THE FORMER DAYS BETTER?"
      1. People often reminisce about "the good old days"
      2. They often bemoan that things were better then than now

   B. WHY ONE IS NOT WISE IN THINKING THIS...
      1. Memory has a way of forgetting bad things in the past
      2. Even if one experiences trials in the present, there is cause
         for rejoicing - Jm 1:2-4
      3. We may neglect opportunities for much good in the present by
         dwelling on the past

[Speaking of wisdom itself, the Preacher tells us that...]

VII. WISDOM IS BETTER THAN WEALTH (7:11-12)

   A. WEALTH HAS ITS ADVANTAGES...
      1. Money can serve as a defense in life - 7:12; Pr 10:15
      2. Money can attract many friends - Pr 14:20

   B. HOW WISDOM IS BETTER...
      1. Riches do not profit one in a day of wrath - Pr 11:4
         a. The presence of wealth often makes things worse
         b. As when marriages and business partners fight over who gets
            the money
      2. Wisdom gives life to those who have it - 7:12
         a. Wisdom will make the best use of one's wealth as a defense
         b. Wisdom will help one weather the storms of wrath

[Finally, the Preacher gives the following counsel for a better 
life...]

VIII. RESIGNATION IS BETTER THAN INDIGNATION (7:13-14)

   A. THERE ARE SOME THINGS WE CANNOT CHANGE...
      1. God has His purpose, which we cannot change - 7:13;Isa 43:13; Dan 4:35
      2. His purpose allows for both days of prosperity and adversity- 7:14

   B. WE NEED TO DEAL WITH THIS IN THE BEST WAY...
      1. Enjoy the days of prosperity
      2. In days of adversity, consider what lessons might be learned
      3. It does no good to get angry about things we cannot change
      -- As we saw earlier, there is both a time to weep and a time to laugh - 3:4

CONCLUSION

1. What has the Preacher taught us?  Simply that...
   a. Honor is better than luxury
   b. Your deathday is better than your birthday
   c. A funeral is better than a party
   d. The end is better than the beginning
   e. Patience is better than pride
   f. The present is better than the past
   g. Wisdom is better than wealth
   h. Resignation is better than indignation

2. If any of this sounds foreign to our thinking, bear in mind that it
   comes from one...
   a. Who experienced everything life has to offer
   b. Who found life "under the sun" lacking
   c. Who offers counsel from the perspective of wisdom and inspiration
   d. Who provides this counsel that we might make the best use of our
      time "under the sun"

Are we willing to accept his counsel and benefit from it, or will we
learn the hard way, and often only too late to do much about it?  "He
who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

In our next study, we shall consider his counsel regarding "a balanced
life"...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Flood and Mosaic Authorship by Eric Lyons, M.Min.





The Flood and Mosaic Authorship

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


In a special 2004 collector’s edition of U.S. News and World Report concerning “Mysteries of the Bible,” freelance writer Michelle Andrews penned an article titled “Author, Author?,” in which she attempted to enlighten her readers on who did not write the Pentateuch. For those familiar with the Documentary Hypothesis (the theory that the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy were not penned by Moses, but by multiple authors centuries later), Andrews’ material is nothing new. As she rightly pointed out, the theory (which she supports) has been actively taught by various Bible critics and “scholars” for more than 150 years. Her purpose, it seems, was simply to ensure that U.S. News’ readership was educated on this matter. Apparently, we can't have Americans in the twenty-first century still thinking that the Pentateuch was written by a man named Moses in 1500 B.C. (regardless of what Jesus taught; see John 5:46-47).
What compelling evidence did Ms. Andrews cite as proof that numerous authors wrote these books hundreds, or perhaps even one thousand, years after Moses lived? Her most explosive “proof,” and the “evidence" on which she spent more time than anything else, is the fact that… “there are two versions of the story of Noah and the flood” (2004a, p. 28). Allegedly,
In one version, God tells Noah to bring seven pairs of clean animals (meaning suitable for sacrifice) and one pair of unclean animals, while in the other he tells Noah to bring just one pair of each type of animal….
In one story, Noah releases a raven to search for land; in the other, he releases a dove. The flood lasts for 40 days and 40 nights in one version, but for a whopping 370 days and nights in the other. The two versions are cleverly interwoven in Genesis so that they appear as one story, albeit with a few contradictions (pp. 28-29).
Sadly, a large number of Americans turn to secular major news magazines such as TimeNewsweek, and U.S. News and World Report for their “daily devotionals,” rather than to the Bible, where they could read the real, unadulterated message from God (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The fact is, Michelle Andrews incorrectly represented God’s Word (which is nothing new for anti-Christian news outlets in twenty-first-century America). In all three of the examples she cited from Genesis 6-8 regarding the Noahic Flood, Andrews failed to realize that supplementation is an acceptable, reasonable explanation to the alleged difficulties and contradictions she assumes are present.
First, the statements concerning how many animals were to be taken on the ark are neither contradictory nor proof that two or more authors wrote the book of Genesis. There is no reason why God could not have told Noah to take two of every kind of animal on the ark (Genesis 6:19-20), and then supplement this command only four verses later by telling him to take “seven each of every clean animal” (Genesis 7:2-3). If a farmer told his son to take two of every kind of animal on his farm to the state fair, and then instructed him to take several extra chickens and two extra pigs for a barbecue, would anyone accuse the farmer of contradicting himself? Certainly not! In the book of Genesis, God merely supplemented His original instruction, informing Noah in a more detailed manner to take more of the clean animals. It was necessary for Noah to take additional clean animals because, upon his departure from the ark after the Flood, he “built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the alter” (Genesis 8:20, emp. added). If Noah had taken only two clean animals from which to choose when sacrificing to God after departing the ark, then he would have driven the various kinds of clean beasts and birds into extinction by sacrificing one of each pair. Thus, after God told Noah to take two of every kind of animal into the ark, He then instructed him to take extras of the clean animals. Similar to how Genesis 2 supplements Genesis 1 by giving a more detailed account of the Creation, the first portion of Genesis 7 merely supplements the end of the preceding chapter, “containing several particulars of a minute description which were not embraced in the general directions first given to Noah” (Jamieson, et al., 1997).
Michelle Andrews’ second criticism of the Flood account, concerning whether Noah sent out a raven or a dove from the ark, is answered just as easily as her first proposed difficulty. This example is neither proof that two authors wrote the account, nor that the account is contradictory. Rather, Noah did just what the text said that he did: he sent out a raven, first (Genesis 8:7), and then, on three different occasions, he sent out a dove (Genesis 8:8-12).
Andrews’ final alleged proof that the Flood account is really “two versions…cleverly interwoven in Genesis so that they appear as one story, albeit with a few contradictions” (pp. 28-29) centers on the duration of the Flood. Supposedly, “[t]he flood lasts for 40 days and 40 nights in one version, but for a whopping 370 days and nights in the other” (p. 28). What is the answer? The elementary explanation to this alleged conundrum, which Andrews had the audacity to set before her readers without telling them the true story, is that God caused it “to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:4), but the land was still covered with water, and Noah was not allowed out of the ark, for another 331 days (Genesis 7:24; 8:5-16). There is a difference between how long it rained on the Earth, and how long the floodwaters actually remained upon the Earth.
It is sad that writers such as Michelle Andrews are more concerned about propagating an old, worn-out theory (using false statements and deception) than they are about honestly presenting the truths of the Bible. It seems that a person cannot be considered a “Bible scholar” in the twenty-first century unless he or she is willing and able to twist the Scriptures so that they say, not the obvious, but the ridiculous. Even my four-year-old son can understand the difference between it raining on the Earth for forty days, and the floodwaters being on the Earth for a much longer time than that. People like Michelle Andrews, a freelance writer who specializes in health care, should stick to writing about things like “The Secret to Great Arms” (n.d.) or “Staking Out Safe Entrees” (2004b), and leave the Bible alone—at least until she is willing to look at it with an open mind.

REFERENCES

Andrews, Michelle (no date), “The Secret to Great Arms,” [On-line], URL: http://www.lifetimetv.com/reallife/df/features/arms.html.
Andrews, Michelle (2004a), “Author, Author?” U.S. News & World Report—Special Collector’s Edition, released in the fall of 2004, pp. 28-29.
Andrews, Michelle (2004b), “Staking Out Safe Entrees,” U.S. News & World Report, February 2, pp. 57-58.
Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

The Five Manifestations of Natural Phenomena by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.





The Five Manifestations of Natural Phenomena

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


For over a century, scientists have recognized that all natural phenomena in the Universe can ultimately be divided into interactions between five basic, fundamental “manifestations.” In 1882, staunch evolutionist Herbert Spencer, an English philosopher, biologist, and sociologist who was a prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era, recognized “likenesses and unlikenesses among phenomena…, which are segregated into manifestations…, and then into space and timematter and motion and force…” (Soylent Communications, 2011, emp. added). In First Principles, under the chapter heading, “Space, Time, Matter, Motion, and Force,” he wrote, “These modes of cohesion under which manifestations are invariably presented, and therefore invariably represented, we call…Space and Time,…Matter and Motion [action—JM]” (1882, 1:171, emp. added). “Though Space, Time, Matter, and Motion, are apparently all necessary data of intelligence, yet a psychological analysis…shows us that these are either built up of, or abstracted from, experiences of Force” (p. 169). So, time, force, action, space, and matter are the five manifestations of all scientific phenomena.
This truth—fundamental to understanding science—was articulated by an agnostic in the 19th century, and yet these fundamental principles were articulated in the very first verse of the Bible millennia ago. “In the beginning [time], God [force] created [action] the heavens [space] and the Earth [matter].” It is truly amazing that a renowned apostle of agnosticism would be the one to verbally articulate this discovery from science—a discovery which gives significant weight to the contention that one can know there is a God and that the Bible is His inspired Word. And further, it is notably ironic that the very man from whom Charles Darwin took the phrase, “survival of the fittest” (Spencer, 1864, 2:444), would be the man that unknowingly found evidence specifically supporting the inspiration of Genesis chapter one—the very chapter of the Bible that relates the truth about man’s origin. Acts 14:17 rightly says, “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good…” (emp. added).

REFERENCES

Soylent Communications (2011), “Herbert Spencer,” NNDB: Tracking the Entire World, http://www.nndb.com/people/013/000094728/.
Spencer, Herbert (1882), First Principles: A System of Synthetic Philosophy (New York: D. Appleton and Company), fourth edition.
Spencer, Herbert (1864), Principles of Biology: A System of Synthetic Philosophy (London: Williams and Norgate).

The Finger of God by Dave Miller, Ph.D.




The Finger of God

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Skeptics have railed against the Bible on account of its allusions to God’s body parts. For example, the Bible speaks of the arm of God (Job 40:9), the hand of God (Job 19:21), the face of God (Job 13:24), the eyes of God (Deuteronomy 11:12), the ears of God (Psalm 130:2), the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3), the voice of God (Job 40:9), and even the “finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). Attentive Bible students are aware that all such references are simply accommodative language—anthropomorphisms (man forms)—in which the Scriptures provide humans with a reference point for relating to God’s activity. The Bible clearly teaches that God is spirit—not physical (John 4:24). He does not possess physical mass. Jesus Himself stated, “a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50). It is difficult for humans to conceptualize an infinite, eternal Being Who is not composed of physical matter, since humans are subject to space and time, and experience existence in a setting that is preeminently material. Nevertheless, while we may have difficulty fully understanding the nature of a nonphysical Being, the concept itself is neither self-contradictory nor incoherent.
For example, when Moses and Aaron unleashed the plagues by the power of God upon Pharaoh and the Egyptian population, Pharaoh’s magicians concluded: “This is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:19). They simply meant that the plague was God’s doing—that the affliction was the result of God’s power. In like manner, the Bible states that the original Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses on two tablets of stone were “written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18; cf. Deuteronomy 9:10). In other words, God authored them and supernaturally placed them in writing on the stone tablets. Another sample of this type of figurative speech is seen in the declaration of the psalmist regarding God’s creative activity: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4, emp. added). Obviously, God does not have fleshly fingers, nor would He find it necessary to use them if He had them. Being the ultimate Mind, He can bring into existence ex nihilo (out of nothing) whatever He chooses by simply willing it into existence.
This same figure of speech is seen in the New Testament as well. Jesus stated: “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20, emp. added). He simply meant that His actions were by divine agency. Observe the alternate wording of a parallel passage where, in place of the “finger of God,” the text has the “Spirit of God”: “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28). It is evident that “finger” simply refers to deity (whether the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit) manifesting His presence and power in a time-space continuum.
Those scholars who have devoted their lives to studying dead languages, discovering their linguistic intricacies, figurative features, and idiomatic expressions, have long recognized this particular figure. For example, E.W. Bullinger, who published a monumental volume in the nineteenth century titled Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (1898), labeled this linguistic attribute “anthropopatheia” or “condescension,” which he identified as “the ascription of human passions, actions, or attributes to God” (p. 871). He devoted several pages to illustrating this figure of speech (pp. 871-897). In his specific remarks regarding the “finger” of God, he wrote: “A Finger is attributed to God, to denote the putting forth of His formative power, and the direct and immediate act of God” (p. 881). John Haley, who in 1874 produced the respected and scholarly reference work Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, defended the “immateriality” of God on the grounds that all such anthropomorphic passages “are simply bold figures and startling hyperboles in which the Orientals are wont to indulge” (p. 63). He identified the expression “finger of God” as referring to God’s “direct agency.”
The Bible has been the target of a myriad of attacks by skeptics for over 2,000 years. It will undoubtedly continue to be so. No other book in all of human history has been the object of such sustained, frenzied, and antagonistic scrutiny. For the honest, unbiased investigator, the Bible’s supernatural attributes continue to validate its authenticity.

REFERENCES

Bullinger, E.W. (1898), Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1968 reprint).
Haley, John W. (1977 reprint), Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

SMEAGOL VERSUS GOLLUM by Jim McGuiggian


http://theabidingword.com/logos/index.html

SMEAGOL VERSUS GOLLUM

You’ll remember in the screen adaptation of The Fellowship of the Rings the scenes that show a renewed Gollum in a wrestle with the other side of Gollum—something I experienced this very day when I was out for a walk and found myself shouting at myself in stern rebuke.
A fear-filled Sam didn’t trust Gollum and had no sympathy for him. As Kenny pointed out to me, Gollum and Frodo were both ring-bearers and both had suffered greatly as a result of it so Frodo saw Gollum from a different perspective than the loyal-to-Frodo Sam did or could. Frodo had compassion on the ring-tormented Gollum who had been seduced into evil that led him to murder and to the worship of the evil power of the ring. Frodo says to Sam:
  1. Why do you put him down all the time?
  2. There’s nothing left in him but lies and deceit.
  3. You have no idea what it [the ring] did to him; what it’s still doing to him. I want to help him, Sam.
  4. Why?
  5. Because I have to believe he can come back.
  6. You can’t save him Mr. Frodo.
A rope was put around Gollum’s neck to control him, it tormented him, Frodo removed it and Gollum is softened toward Frodo.
When Gollum warns of danger Sam, in savage distrust wants Gollum driven off but Frodo says, “He has been true to his word.” Gollum is thrilled with the faith expressed in him and begins to see Frodo (“the master”) in a different light.
In another scene Frodo speaks gently to Gollum, “Who are you?” and the answer comes:
“Gollum, Gollum.”
Gandalf told me that you were one of the River Folk. You were not so far from a Hobbit, once, were you?! Gandalf told me your life was a sad story. (Gollum is sad, as if reminiscing; like a traveler far from home.)
Your name was Smeagol.” (Gollum slowly raises his head, eyes widening.)
  1. What did you call me?
  2. That was your name once, wasn’t it? A long time ago?
  3. My name! [whispering as if remembering with awe] My name…(hesitatingly and then with a faint smile), “Smeagol.” Compassion, confessed brotherhood and a gentle reminder of a happy life before the loss of innocence, was working a marvelous change in him and he begins to act that way.
Then there are the scenes when the evil side of Gollum begins to dialogue with the newly awakened Smeagol side that now seeks to believe in and serve “the master” in the mission to destroy the ring of evil.
  1. Wicked hobbits,   (says Gollum)
  2. Not the master (says Smeagol)
  3. They will cheat you, hurt you, lies… 
  4. The master’s my friend.
  5. You don’t have any friends. No one likes you
  6. (holding is ears) Not listening, Not listening.
  7. You’re a liar, a thief…a murderer.  
  8. (greatly distressed) No, go away!
  9. (Scoffing) Go away? 
  10. I hate you, I hate you, (holds head, agonized)
  11. Where would you be without me? Gollum, Gollum; It was me, I saved us. We survived because of me..”
  12. Not anymore!
  13. What did you say?
  14. Master looks after us now. We don’t need you.
  15. What?
  16. Leave now and never come back.
  17. No.
  18. Leave now and never come back. (again, stronger): Leave now and never come back!
  19. Gollum vanishes and Smeagol is startled and then to his better self he says, We told him to go away and way he goes. (He begins to whirl and dance) shouting  SMEAGOL IS FREE!
Then as Tolkien told it, Sam misinterprets Smeagol/Gollum and drives him off, back into the world of evil and torment and ultimate loss. When Tolkien finished writing that section, Kenny informed me, Tolkien confessed that he wept!
(Holy Father, somewhere down in so many of us is Gollum and Smeagol. Sometimes just by compassion and long patience Smeagol longs to emerge and be free. Many of us are able to look back on those who in the image of your Holy Son took the rope off our necks and credited us with an honest attempt at keeping our words and they called us by another name, a name we would have forgotten if they hadn’t told us of our past before our loss of innocence. Some of those we well remember and consciously thank you for and there are many who treated us that way when we weren’t able to recognize it and we thank you for them too. Give us a sense of brother and sisterhood, grant us a compassionate spirit and the awareness that we are all ring-bearers. Give us Sam’s love for and loyalty to the Frodos in life and their commission but deliver us we pray from an excess of zeal for the divine purpose that would blind us to the truth that that purpose includes compassion on Smeagols that sometime sit alone in the darkness fighting the darker side of themselves and who without help will be overcome by what they love but hate. We so need your help here that we might be wise as well as empathetic and patient. This prayer in Jesus Christ.)

ACTS 2:38 FICTIONALIZED BY STEVE FINNELL



ACTS 2:38 FICTIONALIZED BY 

STEVE FINNELL


Why do men fictionalize Scriptures rather than reading them and believing them? I will let you reach your own conclusion as to the answer. What is is purpose of water baptism according to Acts 2:38?

FOUR TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE ACTS 2:38
1. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and each of you bebaptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (New American Standard Bible)

2. Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible New International Version 1983)

3. Acts 2:38 The Peter said unto them,Let each of of you repent and be immersed, in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to the remission of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ) The Better Version of the New Testament by Chester Estes)

4. Acts 2:38 Peter told them, "You must repent and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, so that you may have your sins forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (The New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips)

THE FOLLOWING ARE FICTIONALIZED VERSIONS OF ACTS 2:38

1. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized because your sins have already been forgiven. (Fictional Account)

2. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized as a testimony of your faith. (Invented Version)

3. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized as an act of obedience. (Fantasy Translation)

4. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized because you were forgiven the minute you believed. (The Version of Unfounded Truth)

5. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized with Holy Spirit baptism; because water baptism is not a New Covenant requirement. (The Version of Spurious and Erroneous Quotes)

6. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, for the forgiveness of sins; but water baptism is optional, because the thief on the cross was not baptized in water. (The Counterfeit Version of Truth)

7. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Rent and be baptized in order to join denomination of your choice. (The Creed Bible By Men)

8. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized as a symbolic jester, pointing to the fact that your sins were forgiven when you said "The Sinner's Prayer." ( The Book of Stuff Men made-up)

9. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized to indicate the outward sign of the forgiveness you received the very minute you believed. ( The Fabricated Book of Fantasy Verses)

10. Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent and have your committed sins forgiven by faith only. And then be baptized to be forgiven of the sin Adam committed. (The Denominational Revision of Fictional Truth)   

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THE QUESTION IS WHY DO CERTAIN DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES FICTIONALIZE BIBLICAL TRUTH? THE BIGGER QUESTION IS WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE FICTIONALIZED DOCTRINE RATHER THAN BIBLICAL TRUTH?

He Who Sleeps in Harvest by B. Johnson



He Who Sleeps in Harvest

“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame” (Pro 10:4-5).
Even on a literal level, we see that the son of the husbandman is expected to enter into labor with others, and to reap where they have sown. For him to sleep when the harvest lies ready for the sickle is the most extreme laziness and indeed a great shame to his father.
A similar passage dealing with the harvest of souls is found in 1 Corinthians. Paul says, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Cor 3:6-9).
We all have a job to do, and certainly we do not want to be a shame to our heavenly Father, the husbandman of souls. Our part may be to water or to glean where others have sewn, but the Lord will still require that “harvest” at our hand. Remember that the fields are white unto harvest and we must not deal with a slack hand (John 4:35). Why? Because “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Beth Johnson
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The King James Version.

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading for December 18 & 19 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for December 18 & 19


World  English Bible


Dec. 18
Amos 5-9

Amo 5:1 Listen to this word which I take up for a lamentation over you, O house of Israel.
Amo 5:2 "The virgin of Israel has fallen; She shall rise no more. She is cast down on her land; there is no one to raise her up."
Amo 5:3 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: "The city that went forth a thousand shall have a hundred left, and that which went forth one hundred shall have ten left to the house of Israel."
Amo 5:4 For thus says Yahweh to the house of Israel: "Seek me, and you will live;
Amo 5:5 but don't seek Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and don't pass to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nothing.
Amo 5:6 Seek Yahweh, and you will live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and it devour, and there be no one to quench it in Bethel.
Amo 5:7 You who turn justice to wormwood, and cast down righteousness to the earth:
Amo 5:8 seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night; who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth, Yahweh is his name,
Amo 5:9 who brings sudden destruction on the strong, so that destruction comes on the fortress.
Amo 5:10 They hate him who reproves in the gate, and they abhor him who speaks blamelessly.
Amo 5:11 Forasmuch therefore as you trample on the poor, and take taxes from him of wheat: You have built houses of cut stone, but you will not dwell in them. You have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.
Amo 5:12 For I know how many your offenses, and how great are your sins-- you who afflict the just, who take a bribe, and who turn aside the needy in the courts.
Amo 5:13 Therefore a prudent person keeps silent in such a time, for it is an evil time.
Amo 5:14 Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so Yahweh, the God of Armies, will be with you, as you say.
Amo 5:15 Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the courts. It may be that Yahweh, the God of Armies, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph."
Amo 5:16 Therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Armies, the Lord: "Wailing will be in all the broad ways; and they will say in all the streets, 'Alas! Alas!' and they will call the farmer to mourning, and those who are skillful in lamentation to wailing.
Amo 5:17 In all vineyards there will be wailing; for I will pass through the midst of you," says Yahweh.
Amo 5:18 "Woe to you who desire the day of Yahweh! Why do you long for the day of Yahweh? It is darkness, and not light.
Amo 5:19 As if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; Or he went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a snake bit him.
Amo 5:20 Won't the day of Yahweh be darkness, and not light? Even very dark, and no brightness in it?
Amo 5:21 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I can't stand your solemn assemblies.
Amo 5:22 Yes, though you offer me your burnt offerings and meal offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat animals.
Amo 5:23 Take away from me the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
Amo 5:24 But let justice roll on like rivers, and righteousness like a mighty stream.
Amo 5:25 "Did you bring to me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, house of Israel?
Amo 5:26 You also carried the tent of your king and the shrine of your images, the star of your god, which you made for yourselves.
Amo 5:27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus," says Yahweh, whose name is the God of Armies.

Amo 6:1 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and to those who are secure on the mountain of Samaria, the notable men of the chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel come!
Amo 6:2 Go to Calneh, and see; and from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. are they better than these kingdoms? or is their border greater than your border?
Amo 6:3 Those who put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
Amo 6:4 Who lie on beds of ivory, and stretch themselves on their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;
Amo 6:5 who strum on the strings of a harp; who invent for themselves instruments of music, like David;
Amo 6:6 who drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the best oils; but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
Amo 6:7 Therefore they will now go captive with the first who go captive; and the feasting and lounging will end.
Amo 6:8 "The Lord Yahweh has sworn by himself," says Yahweh, the God of Armies: "I abhor the pride of Jacob, and detest his fortresses. Therefore I will deliver up the city with all that is in it.
Amo 6:9 It will happen, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.
Amo 6:10 "When a man's relative carries him, even he who burns him, to bring bodies out of the house, and asks him who is in the innermost parts of the house, 'Is there yet any with you?' And he says, 'No;' then he will say, 'Hush! Indeed we must not mention the name of Yahweh.'
Amo 6:11 "For, behold, Yahweh commands, and the great house will be smashed to pieces, and the little house into bits.
Amo 6:12 Do horses run on the rocky crags? Does one plow there with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison, and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness;
Amo 6:13 you who rejoice in a thing of nothing, who say, 'Haven't we taken for ourselves horns by our own strength?'
Amo 6:14 For, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, house of Israel," says Yahweh, the God of Armies; "and they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of the Arabah."

Amo 7:1 Thus the Lord Yahweh showed me: and behold, he formed locusts in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and behold, it was the latter growth after the king's harvest.
Amo 7:2 It happened that, when they made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, "Lord Yahweh, forgive, I beg you! How could Jacob stand? For he is small."
Amo 7:3 Yahweh relented concerning this. "It shall not be," says Yahweh.
Amo 7:4 Thus the Lord Yahweh showed me and behold, the Lord Yahweh called for judgment by fire; and it dried up the great deep, and would have devoured the land.
Amo 7:5 Then I said, "Lord Yahweh, stop, I beg you! How could Jacob stand? For he is small."
Amo 7:6 Yahweh relented concerning this. "This also shall not be," says the Lord Yahweh.
Amo 7:7 Thus he showed me and behold, the Lord stood beside a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand.
Amo 7:8 Yahweh said to me, "Amos, what do you see?" I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold, I will set a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel. I will not again pass by them any more.
Amo 7:9 The high places of Isaac will be desolate, the sanctuaries of Israel will be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword."
Amo 7:10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words.
Amo 7:11 For Amos says, 'Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land.' "
Amo 7:12 Amaziah also said to Amos, "You seer, go, flee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:
Amo 7:13 but don't prophesy again any more at Bethel; for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a royal house!"
Amo 7:14 Then Amos answered Amaziah, "I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdsman, and a farmer of sycamore figs;
Amo 7:15 and Yahweh took me from following the flock, and Yahweh said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'
Amo 7:16 Now therefore listen to the word of Yahweh: 'You say, Don't prophesy against Israel, and don't preach against the house of Isaac.'
Amo 7:17 Therefore thus says Yahweh: 'Your wife shall be a prostitute in the city, and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword, and your land shall be divided by line; and you yourself shall die in a land that is unclean, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land.' "

Amo 8:1 Thus the Lord Yahweh showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit.
Amo 8:2 He said, "Amos, what do you see?" I said, "A basket of summer fruit." Then Yahweh said to me, "The end has come on my people Israel. I will not again pass by them any more.
Amo 8:3 The songs of the temple will be wailings in that day," says the Lord Yahweh. "The dead bodies will be many. In every place they will throw them out with silence.
Amo 8:4 Hear this, you who desire to swallow up the needy, and cause the poor of the land to fail,
Amo 8:5 Saying, 'When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may market wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel large, and dealing falsely with balances of deceit;
Amo 8:6 that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes, and sell the sweepings with the wheat?' "
Amo 8:7 Yahweh has sworn by the pride of Jacob, "Surely I will never forget any of their works.
Amo 8:8 Won't the land tremble for this, and everyone mourn who dwells in it? Yes, it will rise up wholly like the River; and it will be stirred up and sink again, like the River of Egypt.
Amo 8:9 It will happen in that day," says the Lord Yahweh, "that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.
Amo 8:10 I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will make you wear sackcloth on all your bodies, and baldness on every head. I will make it like the mourning for an only son, and its end like a bitter day.
Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come," says the Lord Yahweh, "that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Yahweh.
Amo 8:12 They will wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east; they will run back and forth to seek the word of Yahweh, and will not find it.
Amo 8:13 In that day the beautiful virgins and the young men will faint for thirst.
Amo 8:14 Those who swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, 'As your god, Dan, lives;' and, 'As the way of Beersheba lives;' they will fall, and never rise up again."

Amo 9:1 I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said, "Strike the tops of the pillars, that the thresholds may shake; and break them in pieces on the head of all of them; and I will kill the last of them with the sword: there shall not one of them flee away, and there shall not one of them escape.
Amo 9:2 Though they dig into Sheol, there my hand will take them; and though they climb up to heaven, there I will bring them down.
Amo 9:3 Though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out there; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it will bite them.
Amo 9:4 Though they go into captivity before their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it will kill them. I will set my eyes on them for evil, and not for good.
Amo 9:5 For the Lord, Yahweh of Armies, is he who touches the land and it melts, and all who dwell in it will mourn; and it will rise up wholly like the River, and will sink again, like the River of Egypt.
Amo 9:6 It is he who builds his chambers in the heavens, and has founded his vault on the earth; he who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth; Yahweh is his name.
Amo 9:7 Are you not like the children of the Ethiopians to me, children of Israel?" says Yahweh. "Haven't I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?
Amo 9:8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord Yahweh are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the surface of the earth; except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob," says Yahweh.
Amo 9:9 "For, behold, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all the nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet not the least kernel will fall on the earth.
Amo 9:10 All the sinners of my people will die by the sword, who say, 'Evil won't overtake nor meet us.'
Amo 9:11 In that day I will raise up the tent of David who is fallen, and close up its breaches, and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old;
Amo 9:12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations who are called by my name," says Yahweh who does this.
Amo 9:13 "Behold, the days come," says Yahweh, "that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the one treading grapes him who sows seed; and sweet wine will drip from the mountains, and flow from the hills.
Amo 9:14 I will bring my people Israel back from captivity, and they will rebuild the ruined cities, and inhabit them; and they will plant vineyards, and drink wine from them. They shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
Amo 9:15 I will plant them on their land, and they will no more be plucked up out of their land which I have given them," says Yahweh your God.

Dec. 19
Obadiah

Oba 1:1 The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord Yahweh says about Edom. We have heard news from Yahweh, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, saying, "Arise, and let's rise up against her in battle.
Oba 1:2 Behold, I have made you small among the nations. You are greatly despised.
Oba 1:3 The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high, who says in his heart, 'Who will bring me down to the ground?'
Oba 1:4 Though you mount on high as the eagle, and though your nest is set among the stars, I will bring you down from there," says Yahweh.
Oba 1:5 "If thieves came to you, if robbers by night--oh, what disaster awaits you--wouldn't they only steal until they had enough? If grape pickers came to you, wouldn't they leave some gleaning grapes?
Oba 1:6 How Esau will be ransacked! How his hidden treasures are sought out!
Oba 1:7 All the men of your alliance have brought you on your way, even to the border. The men who were at peace with you have deceived you, and prevailed against you. Friends who eat your bread lay a snare under you. There is no understanding in him."
Oba 1:8 "Won't I in that day," says Yahweh, "destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mountain of Esau?
Oba 1:9 Your mighty men, Teman, will be dismayed, to the end that everyone may be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter.
Oba 1:10 For the violence done to your brother Jacob, shame will cover you, and you will be cut off forever.
Oba 1:11 In the day that you stood on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots for Jerusalem, even you were like one of them.
Oba 1:12 But don't look down on your brother in the day of his disaster, and don't rejoice over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction. Don't speak proudly in the day of distress.
Oba 1:13 Don't enter into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity. Don't look down on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither seize their wealth on the day of their calamity.
Oba 1:14 Don't stand in the crossroads to cut off those of his who escape. Don't deliver up those of his who remain in the day of distress.
Oba 1:15 For the day of Yahweh is near all the nations! As you have done, it will be done to you. Your deeds will return upon your own head.
Oba 1:16 For as you have drunk on my holy mountain, so will all the nations drink continually. Yes, they will drink, swallow down, and will be as though they had not been.
Oba 1:17 But in Mount Zion, there will be those who escape, and it will be holy. The house of Jacob will possess their possessions.
Oba 1:18 The house of Jacob will be a fire, the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble. They will burn among them, and devour them. There will not be any remaining to the house of Esau." Indeed, Yahweh has spoken.
Oba 1:19 Those of the South will possess the mountain of Esau, and those of the lowland, the Philistines. They will possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria. Benjamin will possess Gilead.
Oba 1:20 The captives of this army of the children of Israel, who are among the Canaanites, will possess even to Zarephath; and the captives of Jerusalem, who are in Sepharad, will possess the cities of the Negev.
Oba 1:21 Saviors will go up on Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau, and the kingdom will be Yahweh's.

Dec. 18
Jude

Jud 1:1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:
Jud 1:2 Mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied.
Jud 1:3 Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I was constrained to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who didn't believe.
Jud 1:6 Angels who didn't keep their first domain, but deserted their own dwelling place, he has kept in everlasting bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8 Yet in like manner these also in their dreaming defile the flesh, despise authority, and slander celestial beings.
Jud 1:9 But Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him an abusive condemnation, but said, "May the Lord rebuke you!"
Jud 1:10 But these speak evil of whatever things they don't know. What they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason, they are destroyed in these things.
Jud 1:11 Woe to them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in Korah's rebellion.
Jud 1:12 These are hidden rocky reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you, shepherds who without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
Jud 1:13 wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
Jud 1:14 About these also Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones,
Jud 1:15 to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their works of ungodliness which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Jud 1:16 These are murmurers and complainers, walking after their lusts (and their mouth speaks proud things), showing respect of persons to gain advantage.
Jud 1:17 But you, beloved, remember the words which have been spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:18 They said to you that "In the last time there will be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts."
Jud 1:19 These are they who cause divisions, and are sensual, not having the Spirit.
Jud 1:20 But you, beloved, keep building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
Jud 1:22 On some have compassion, making a distinction,
Jud 1:23 and some save, snatching them out of the fire with fear, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.
Jud 1:24 Now to him who is able to keep them from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory in great joy,
Jud 1:25 to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

Dec. 19
Revelation 1

Rev 1:1 This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John,
Rev 1:2 who testified to God's word, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is at hand.
Rev 1:4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne;
Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood;
Rev 1:6 and he made us to be a Kingdom, priests to his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Rev 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.
Rev 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
Rev 1:9 I John, your brother and partner with you in oppression, Kingdom, and perseverance in Christ Jesus, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God's Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet
Rev 1:11 saying, "What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea."
Rev 1:12 I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands.
Rev 1:13 And among the lampstands was one like a son of man, clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest.
Rev 1:14 His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire.
Rev 1:15 His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters.
Rev 1:16 He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest.
Rev 1:17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me, saying, "Don't be afraid. I am the first and the last,
Rev 1:18 and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.
Rev 1:19 Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will happen hereafter;
Rev 1:20 the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands. The seven stars are the angels of the seven assemblies. The seven lampstands are seven assemblies.