12/27/19

"THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES" The Preacher's Advice To The Young (11:9-12:7)


"THE BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES"

The Preacher's Advice To The Young (11:9-12:7)

INTRODUCTION

1. As a result of his search for meaning in life "under the sun"...
   a. The Preacher's concluded that "all is vanity" - e.g., 1:2,14; 2:1,11
   b. Even one who lives many joyful years can still anticipate days of
      darkness - 11:8

2. While life "under the sun" (viewed purely from an earthly perspective)
     is vanity...
   a. That does not mean one should simply give up in despair
   b. Throughout, the Preacher has counseled his readers to enjoy what
      good God has given one - e.g., 2:24; 3:12,13,22; 5:18-20; 7:14; 9:7-10

3. The lessons gleaned through the Preacher's own experience need to be
   learned by everyone, especially the young, otherwise they may...
   a. Waste years running after things that really don't satisfy
   b. Miss out on the true enjoyment of life available to them in their youth

[To make sure that young people do not miss the lessons he has learned,
the Preacher directs his attention towards them as he prepares to draw
his book to a close.  In 11:9-12:7, we find "The Preacher's Advice To
The Young", the first of which is...]

I. REJOICE IN YOUR YOUTH (11:9)

   A. GOD WANTS YOU TO HAVE A GOOD TIME...
      1. He wants you to be joyful, to do things that are pleasing
      2. Just as the Preacher had counseled earlier - 9:7-10
      -- Therefore take advantage of the youthful capacity to enjoy life!

   B. DON'T LOSE SIGHT OF THE JUDGMENT...
      1. You will have to give an account for what you do
      2. God will judge both the righteous and the wicked - cf. 3:17;12:14
      -- Therefore be selective in what you do to have fun!

[God has created man with the energy to enjoy life, especially when we
are young.  As long as that energy is directed in the right channels,
youth is to be a time of great joy!  Along the same vein, the Preacher
advises the young to...]

II. REMOVE SORROW AND EVIL FROM YOUR YOUTH (11:10)

   A. REMOVE SORROW FROM YOUR HEART...
      1. Sorrow deprives one of the joy they should have in their youth
      2. Enough sorrow comes without our help...make sure that we do
         does not add to it through youthful indiscretions (which leads
         to the next point)

   B. REMOVE EVIL FROM YOUR FLESH...
      1. Youthful indiscretions contribute to much sorrow
         a. Such as the wrong kind of companions - e.g., Pr 1:10-19
         b. Such as succumbing to the enticements of the wicked - e.g.,Pr 5:1-14
      2. Childhood and youth are fleeting...don't waste them on things
         that only bring much grief and sorrow in life

[Youth, while short, can be a wonderful time of life.  The key is to
heed the next admonition, which has already been alluded in references
concerning the judgment, and that is to...]

III. REMEMBER GOD IN YOUR YOUTH (12:1)

   A. SERVING GOD IS NOT JUST FOR THE ELDERLY...
      1. Great men of God served Him from their youth (e.g., Joseph,
         Samuel, David, Solomon, Josiah, Daniel)
      2. Jesus provided the proper example as well - Lk 2:41-52
      3. Timothy, who had known the Scriptures from childhood, was to
         be an example to others - cf. 2Ti 3:15; 1Ti 4:12

   B. SERVING GOD WILL HELP YOU MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES...
      1. Even as it helped Joseph - e.g., Gen 39:7-12
      2. And as it helped Daniel - e.g., Dan 1:8

[Serving God in your youth will help avoid many of the things that
bring sorrow, and prepare you for the "days of darkness" (11:8) that
will come.  This leads us to the final point in "The Preacher's Advice
To The Young"...]

IV. REFLECT UPON WHAT IS COMING (12:1-7)

   A. DIFFICULT DAYS ARE AHEAD...
      1. Presuming you live long enough
      2. As already stated, these days will be many - 11:8
         a. They will be days in which little pleasure will be found - 12:1
         b. The darkening of the lights of heaven denoting a time of
            affliction and sadness (Barnes) - 12:2

   B. A TIME WHERE AGE AND DEATH CATCHES UP TO US...
      1. The Preacher uses various figures to depict the body in old
         age and death - 12:3-7
      2. What the figures of verses 3-6 possibly represent:
         a. The keepers of the house tremble (the arms weaken)
         b. The strong men bow down (the legs become frail) 
         c. The grinders cease because they are few (the teeth fall out)
         d. Those that look through the windows grow dim (the eyes lose
            their sight)
         e. The doors are shut in the streets (the ears become hard of
            hearing)
         f. The sound of the grinding is low (the mouth and speech
            become unintelligible)
         g. When one rises up at the sound of a bird 
             (the elderly easily awakened)
         h. And all the daughters of music are brought low (the voice
            no longer able to produce music)
         i. They are afraid of height (their fear of falling)
         j. And of terrors in the way (no longer feeling invincible)
         k. When the almond tree blossoms (the wakefulness of old age
            setting in)
         l. The grasshopper is a burden (an old man, bowed like the
            insect, able to move only with some difficulty)
         m. And desire fails (fleshly desires wane)
         n. For man goes to his eternal home, And the mourners go about
            the streets (an obvious reference to death)
         o. The remaining figures, alluding to decay of the body
            1) Before the silver cord (the spinal cord) is loosed 
            2) The golden bowl (the skull) is broken 
            3) The pitcher (the heart) shattered at the fountain 
            4) The wheel (the pelvis) broken at the well 
      3. Finally, the body returns to the dust, and the spirit returns
         to God - 12:7
      -- The purpose of such a description is not to depress the young,
         but to instill the proper degree of sobriety (seriousness), a
         trait becoming the young - cf. Tit 2:6

CONCLUSION

1. The challenges our youth face are great...
   a. The temptations before them are many
   b. The allurements of the world promise much, but deliver little
   c. The young are very susceptible to depression and despair
   -- In a world in which life "under the sun" is vanity, they need all
      the help they can get

2. There is much in life that can be enjoyed, provided one heeds the
   Preacher's admonition:
   a. Rejoice in our youth
   b. Remove sorrow and evil
   c. Remember God in your youth
   d. Reflect upon the days ahead

As the apostle Paul wrote to Christians in Galatia, which certainly
applies to the young:

   "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows,
   that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the
   flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the
   Spirit reap everlasting life.  And let us not grow weary while
   doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose
   heart."  (Ga 6:7-9)

Do we wish to reap everlasting life?  Then let us sow to the Spirit by
walking after the Spirit (cf. Ga 5:16-23) and allowing the fruit of the
Spirit in our lives to produce the good things that we shall reap!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

eXTReMe Tracker 

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).

The Nazareth House by Dewayne Bryant, Ph.D.



The Nazareth House

by Dewayne Bryant, Ph.D.


Christmas and Easter are the two times of the year when the thoughts of the world are most centered on the person of Jesus Christ. They also attract the unwanted attention of critics and skeptics who work to overturn the biblical portrait of Christ, who offer revisions and new interpretations of the biblical text. It is not difficult to find a documentary claiming Jesus was nothing more than a quirky rabbi, a family man, or a first-century magician. Most recently, Bart Ehrman published his book Jesus, Interrupted in 2009, another in a long line of popular works that criticizes the text of the New Testament (cf. Bryant, 2010, 30[1]:5-7).
On December 21, 2009, archaeologists announced they had uncovered an ancient house in Nazareth dating to the New Testament period. The house, quite small in comparison to modern homes, consists of two rooms and a courtyard totaling about 900 square feet of space, although excavation could uncover additional rooms. Excavation is difficult, particularly since modern structures sit directly on top of much of the ancient site. Pottery from the location shows that a relatively poor Jewish family occupied the residence.
Scholars are quick to point out that the house did not belong to Jesus and His family. It is often impossible to identify the names of the residents of a particular house in antiquity, and this one is no exception. Still, scholars suggest that it may have been a place that Jesus knew. Yardena Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority, notes, “This may well have been a place that Jesus and his contemporaries were familiar with,” adding, “A young Jesus may have played around the house with his cousins and friends. It’s a logical suggestion” (Bazar, 2009).
The location of Nazareth has long been known, in part by the tombs that existed outside the city dating to roughly the New Testament period. It was within a walking distance of three to four miles from Sepphoris, where Joseph may have worked as a builder (Greek tekton; Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). Some have also suggested that Jesus may have followed in Joseph’s footsteps. Participating in a trade that involved strenuous work with wood and heavy stone probably provided Jesus with considerable physical resilience. Just before His crucifixion, already suffering from exhaustion after an illegal, night-long trial and blood loss from His vicious treatment, Jesus was able to withstand a Roman scourging. The scourge claimed the lives of many of the condemned before the Roman authorities had a chance to crucify them.
Absent from the discussion involving the house in Nazareth is any talk of Jesus’ status as a mythological creation of the early church. Alexandre, as well as other archaeologists commenting in news reports, simply assume the existence of Jesus. This is fully in line with virtually all scholars and historians. Nearly all experts who study ancient history believe Jesus existed, with only the rare exception. Robert Price, a member of the Jesus Seminar, is one of the few scholars who has dismissed Jesus as a historical figure. His peers have roundly criticized his beliefs. One such example is the recently published The Historical Jesus: Five Views. In this volume, the contributors weigh Price’s arguments and find them wanting (Beilby and Eddy, 2009, pp. 84-103)—not surprising, since the Bible does not betray any of the characteristics of ancient mythology (Oswalt, 1996, p. 548).
The discovery of the house has not escaped the notice of critics, who commented on the discovery almost immediately. Comments posted on Richard Dawkins’ Web site (www.richarddawkins.net), as well as the Web site for Sam Harris’ The Reason Project (www.reasonproject.org) are revealing. That the find would elicit any discussion on discussion forums is surprising, since the discovery is not connected explicitly to Jesus. Yet it seems that any mention of Jesus in the media is enough for the militant atheists to release the hounds of frenzied dissent. In one post after another, forum participants downplay the Nazareth house as evidence of Jesus’ life. No reputable archaeologists are making such a claim, however, and the life of Jesus is well-attested in a variety of ancient sources. Such a small discovery unleashed such illogicality from those who claim to prize logic and reason most.

REFERENCES

Bazar, Emily (2009), “Israel: First Jesus-era House Found in Nazareth,” USA Today, December 21, http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-12-21-jesus-house-nazareth_N.htm?csp=34.
Beilby, James K. and Paul Rhodes Eddy, ed. (2009), The Historical Jesus: Five Views (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic).
Bryant, Dewayne (2010), “Jesus, Rudely Interrupted,” http://apologeticspress.org/articles/240291.
Oswalt, John N. (1996), “Myth,” Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).


The Nature of Bible Inspiration by Dave Miller, Ph.D.




The Nature of Bible Inspiration


by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



What does it mean to say: “The Bible is inspired”? Answers to this question are legion (cf. “Theories...,” 1864, 6:312-349). Some regard the Bible as “inspired” in the same way that great authors in history have risen above the average person in their literary pursuits, e.g., Homer, Shakespeare, Dickens, or Eliot. Others would say that the writers of the Bible were influenced by supernatural connections, but that their written records of those connections suffer from the same flaws that mere humans are prone to make. Many people fail to assess the Bible’s own claims regarding its inspiration. Before the Bible can be determined to be “inspired,” it is necessary to conceptualize the meaning and nature of that inspiration. The Bible literally is filled with descriptions of the essence of its own inspiration.
Paul boldly claimed, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Greek term underlying the word “inspiration” means “God-breathed” (Vincent, 1900, 4:317). Paul was affirming that Scripture, referring primarily  to the Old Testament, is the product of the breath of God. God actually breathed out the Scriptures. The Bible is God’s Word—not man’s—though He used man to produce them. Three verses later (4:2), Paul declared, “Therefore...preach the word...” Why? Because it is God’s Word. Just as surely as God’s breath brought the Universe into existence (Psalm 33:6), so the Bible is the result of God’s out-breathing.
Peter alluded to the momentous occasion of Christ’s transfiguration when God literally spoke from heaven directly to Peter, James, and John (2 Peter 1:19-21). God orally boomed forth His insistence that Jesus is His beloved Son, and human beings are commanded to listen to Him (Matthew 17:5). Peter then declared, “We also have the prophetic word made more sure,...knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.” Peter was saying that the Scriptures provided to us by the prophets are just as certain, and just as authoritative, as the voice of God that spoke on the mount of transfiguration.
Peter further explained that the prophetic word, meaning the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures, did not originate on its own, or in the minds of those who wrote them (the meaning of “private interpretation”). Scripture did not come from “the will of man.” Scripture was not the result of human research or human investigation into the nature of things. Scripture was not the product of its writers’ own thinking (Warfield, 1974, 3:1474). Where, then, did Scripture come from? Peter claimed, “but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” The word “moved” in the original language is the usual word for being “carried” or “brought” (Arndt and Gingrich, 1957, pp. 862-863), hence, to be moved or under a moving influence (Perschbacher, 1990, p. 427). Peter was stating that the Holy Spirit, in essence, picked up the writers, the prophets, and brought them to the goal of His choosing (Warfield, 3:1475). That means that the Scriptures, though written by means of human instrumentality, were so superintended by God that the resulting writings are truly God’s.
This same Peter, while awaiting the coming of the Spirit in Acts 2 on Pentecost, stood up among fellow disciples and declared, “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas,” and then he quoted from the Psalms (Acts 1:16ff.). Peter affirmed that the Holy Spirit governed what David wrote, and the results of David’s writing therefore are designated as “Scripture.”
This same Peter, in 1 Peter 1:10-12, explained: (1) that the inspired spokesmen of the Old Testament did not always understand all the information given by God through them; (2) it was the Spirit of Christ that was operating upon them; (3) this same inspired information was being presented in Peter’s day by the apostles; and (4) the same Holy Spirit was directing their utterances. It is very important to note that Peter was claiming that inspired men had their own minds engaged as they produced inspired material, but the product was God’s, since they did not always grasp all of the significance of their own productions.
This same Peter, in 2 Peter 3:15-16, referred to “our beloved brother Paul” as having “written to you.” He then noted: “as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” Peter made clear three salient points: (1) Paul wrote epistles; (2) those epistles are classified with “the other Scriptures,” which means that Paul’s letters are Scripture every bit as much as the Old Testament and other New Testament writings; and (3) these writings are divinely authoritative, since to twist them is to invite “destruction”—an obvious reference to God’s disfavor and the spiritual/eternal harm that results from disobeying God’s words, not man’s words. Cornelius well-understood this principle, for when Peter came to his house, he stated: “Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God” (Acts 10:33, emp. added).
 While on Earth, Jesus demonstrated a high regard for Scripture, i.e., the Old Testament. On one occasion, He involved Himself in an interchange with some Jews who accused Him of blasphemy (John 10:33). He repelled the charge by quoting Psalm 82:6, referring to the passage as “law” (vs. 34). But how could Jesus refer to a psalm as “law,” since the Psalms were poetic wisdom literature and not a part of the Torah (the Pentateuch)? He referred to a psalm as “law” in the sense that the Psalms are part of Scripture. Jesus was thus ascribing legal authority to the entire corpus of Scripture (Warfield, 3:1475). He did the same thing in John 15:25. Likewise, Paul quoted from the Psalms, Isaiah, and Genesis and referred to each as “the Law” (1 Corinthians 14:21; Romans 3:19; Galatians 4:21).
After Jesus quoted from a psalm and called it “law,” He added, “and the Scripture cannot be broken” (vs. 35). Notice that He was equating “law” with “Scripture”—using the terms as synonyms. When He declared that “law,” or “Scripture,” “cannot be broken,” He was making the point that it is impossible for Scripture to be annulled, for its authority to be denied, or its truth to be withstood (Warfield, 3:1475). Jesus considered every part of Scripture, even its most casual phrases, to be the authoritative Word of God (p. 1476).
This attitude toward Scripture as an authoritative document is intimated by the customary formula: “It is written.” For example, when facing Satan, Jesus repelled his attacks all three times with a simple, “It is written,” which was sufficient to establish authoritative credibility (Matthew 4:4,7,10)—so much so that Satan attempted to copy Jesus in this respect (Matthew 4:6). After His resurrection, Jesus equated the entire Old Testament (i.e., the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms) with “Scripture,” and again noted “it is written” (Luke 24:44-46). He insisted very emphatically that “all things” in the Scriptures concerning Himself “must be fulfilled.” Earlier in the chapter, He equated “Moses and all the prophets” with “the Scriptures” (vss. 25-27).
No wonder Jesus would rebuke His religious challengers with such phrases as, “Have you not read even this Scripture?” (Mark 12:10; cf. Matthew 21:42); or, “You do err, not knowing the Scriptures” (Matthew 22:29); or, “if you had known what this means...” (Matthew 12:7); or, “Go and learn what this means...” (Mark 9:13). The underlying thought in such pronouncements is that God’s truth is found in Scripture, and if you are ignorant of the Scriptures, you are susceptible to error. Jesus therefore was affirming that God is the Author of Scripture.
Even the words of Scripture that do not constitute direct quotes of deity are, in fact, the words of God. For example, Jesus assigned the words of Genesis 2:24 to God as the author (Matthew 19:4-6). Yet, in the original setting of Genesis 2:24, no indication is given that God was the speaker. Rather, the words are simply narratorial comment written down by the human author—Moses. By Jesus attributing the words to God, He was making clear that the whole of Scripture was authored by God. That means that even the words of Satan, or the words of evil people, are the words of God—in the sense that God has given us an accurate report of what those people said. Paul treated the matter in the same way (1 Corinthians 6:16).
Over and over again, the apostles and writers of the New Testament did the same thing that Jesus did, i.e., they referred to Scripture in such a way that it was clear they considered it to be the authoritative, inspired words of God (e.g., Acts 8:35; 17:2; 18:28; 26:22; Romans 12:19; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; 1 Peter 1:16; James 2:8). Perhaps Luke well summarized the prevailing mindset of the Bible writers: “[T]hey received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). In other words, what Scripture says, God says.
Additional evidence of the Bible’s own view of itself is manifested in statements like, “For the Scripture says to Pharaoh” (Romans 9:17), or “And the Scripture...preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand” (Galatians 3:8). But Scripture did not speak to Pharaoh, and Scripture did not preach the Gospel to Abraham. Rather, God did! So the word of Scripture is the word of God! The inspired writers of the New Testament considered “God” and “Scripture” to be so closely linked that they could naturally speak of “Scripture” doing what Scripture records God as doing (Warfield, 3:1477).
It works the other way as well. God is said to say certain things that are, in their original setting, merely words of Scripture. For example, Hebrews 3:7 reads, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says...,” and Psalm 95:7 is then quoted. In Acts 4:25, God is said to have spoken, by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David, the words of Psalm 2:1. In Acts 13:34-35, God is represented as having stated the words of Isaiah 55:3 and Psalm 16:10. Yet, in both of these cases, the words attributed to God are not, in their original setting, specifically His words, but merely the words of Scripture itself. So the writers of the New Testament sometimes referred to the Scriptures as if they were God, and they sometimes referred to God as if He were Scripture. The Bible thus presents itself as the very words of God.
In Hebrews 1:5-13, the writer quoted seven Old Testament passages: Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14; Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 104:4; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 102:25-27; and Psalm 110:1. The Hebrews writer attributed each of these passages to God as the speaker. Yet in their original setting in the Old Testament, sometimes God is the speaker, while sometimes He is not the speaker, and is, in fact, being spoken to or spoken about. Why would the writer of Hebrews indiscriminately assign all of these passages to God? Because they all have in common the fact that they are the words of Scripture, and, as such, are the words of God.
The same is true with Romans 15:9-12 where Paul quoted from Psalm 18:49, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1, and Isaiah 11:10. The first one he introduced with the formula “as it is written”; the second one is introduced by “again he says”; the third with simply “again”; and the fourth is prefaced with “Isaiah says.” Yet, in the Old Testament setting, only in the Isaiah passage is specifically God talking—and Paul assigns those words to Isaiah. So “it is written,” “he says,” and “Isaiah says,” are all different ways of saying the same thing, i.e., “God says”! Sometimes the New Testament writers assigned Scripture to its human authors. Yet it is clear that when the writers said, “Moses said,” or “David said,” such was simply another way to say, “Scripture says,” which, again, was the same thing as saying “God says.”

VERBAL INSPIRATION

Notice that the inspiration that the Bible claims for itself is “verbal” inspiration, i.e., God’s superintendence extends even to the words of the writer. Paul based his argument on a plural noun, and insisted that God intended the word to be understood in its singular sense (Galatians 3:16). As noted previously, Jesus based an argument on the precise verbal form of Scripture (John 10:34). He based His point on a particular word in Matthew 22:43, on a particular tense in Matthew 22:32, and even on the letters and their minute strokes in Matthew 5:17-18. In the latter passage, Jesus said that Exodus 3:6 was spoken to the Sadducees with whom He was conversing—even though the original context of Exodus 3:6 has God speaking to Moses. That proves that Jesus expects all people on Earth to understand that the Bible is written to every single accountable human being, and that Scripture is intended to be authoritative for human living.
Paul also affirmed verbal inspiration in 1 Corinthians 2. He claimed that his speech and his preaching were not “words of human wisdom” (vs. 4). Rather, his words were “in demonstration of the Spirit.” He claimed that he and his fellow apostles were speaking the wisdom of God (vs. 7). He claimed that the things which they had been speaking were revealed to them by God through the Holy Spirit (vs. 10). Then he affirmed very clearly: “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches” (vs. 13). So inspiration involves the very words, and that makes it verbal inspiration.

NEW TESTAMENT INSPIRATION

Most of the passages examined thus far are New Testament references to the inspiration of the Old Testament. Liberal scholars have claimed that the New Testament does not make the claim of inspiration for itself. That claim is not true. As already noted, in 2 Peter 3:16, Peter classified Paul’s epistles as “Scripture,” and he affirmed that Paul’s writings carry such divine authority that those who twist them will be destroyed. It also was noted that Peter linked the apostles with the Old Testament prophets (1 Peter 1:10-12). And, as just seen, Paul made a comparable claim in 1 Corinthians 2.
As one reads the New Testament, it is clear that the writers made the extension of Old Testament inspiration to their own writings. They did not for a moment consider themselves—the ministers of the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:6)—to be less in possession of the Spirit of God than the ministers of the old covenant (Warfield, 3:1482). Jesus, without question, declared the impending inspiration of the authors of the New Testament. In Matthew 10:17-20, and the parallels in Mark 13:11 and Luke 12:12, Jesus explained to the apostles that the Holy Spirit would direct their verbal activities in terms of both how and what they spoke. He reiterated the same thing in Luke 21:12-15, urging them not to worry how to defend themselves when hauled before the authorities, since He would provide them with “a mouth and wisdom” that their adversaries would not be able to withstand. So Jesus pre-authenticated the teaching of the apostles, and insured respect for their authority.
Jesus directed several promises to the apostles in John chapters 14, 15, and 16. Allusion to just one of these will suffice. Jesus promised the apostles: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come” (John 16:12-13). Just prior to His ascension, Jesus promised to the apostles the impending baptism of the Holy Spirit, which would enable them to be Christ’s witnesses throughout the world (Acts 1:5,8). This promise commenced its fulfillment in Acts 2 when the apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit and empowered to preach the message God wanted preached.
Numerous passages indicate the fulfillment of these promises to the apostles to the extent that the words which they spoke were God’s words (Acts 4:8,31; 5:32; 15:8,27-28; 16:6-8). As already noted, Paul claimed direct guidance of the Holy Spirit for the words that he spoke (1 Corinthians 2). He did the same thing in Galatians 1:12. In Ephesians 3:1-5, he claimed that his message was made known to him “by revelation” (vs. 3), along with the other apostles and prophets (vs. 5). Other passages reflect the same point (1 Timothy 4:1; Galatians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Thessalonians 2:13). A good summary of Paul’s claims to inspiration is seen in his firm declaration: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). His inspiration extended to both his oral utterances as well as his writings (2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6,14; cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:2,15; Galatians 1:7-8). In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul quoted Luke 10:7 and referred to it as “Scripture.” So Luke’s Gospel record was already available and classified with the inspired canon of Scripture.

CONCLUSION

The unbiased individual can easily see that the Bible claims for itself the status of “inspiration,” having been breathed out by God Himself. That inspiration entailed such superintendence by God that even the words came under His influence. Thus the Bible is “verbally inspired.” This conclusion does not imply that the writers merely took “dictation.” Rather, the Bible indicates that God adapted His inspiring activity to the individual temperament, vocabulary, educational level, and stylistic idiosyncrasies of each writer. The Bible is “infallible” in that it is incapable of deceiving or misleading, and is therefore completely trustworthy and reliable. “Plenary” inspiration means that inspiration extends to all of its parts. Thus the Bible is fully inspired.
The Bible is also “inerrant,” that is, it is free of error. God used human beings to write the Bible, and in so doing, allowed them to leave their mark upon it, but without making any of the mistakes that human writings are prone to make. God made certain that the words produced by the human writers were free from the errors and mistakes characteristic of uninspired writers. This influence even extended to matters of science, geography, and history. Proof for the inspiration of the Bible is a separate and necessary inquiry. However, it is important that a person understand what the Bible means when it claims for itself “inspiration.”

REFERENCES

Arndt, William and F.W. Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
McGarvey, J. W. (1883), “Remarks on the Preceding Lectures,” The Missouri Christian Lectures (Rosemead, CA: Old Paths Book Club, 1955 reprint).
Perschbacher, Wesley J., ed. (1990), The New Analytical Greek Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
“Theories of the Inspiration of the Scriptures” (1864), American Presbyterian and Theological Review, 6:312-349, April.
Vincent, Marvin (1900), Word Studies in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1946 reprint).
Warfield, Benjamin (1974 reprint), “Inspiration,” ISBE, ed. James Orr  (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

HOEING COTTON WHEN HE COMES by Jim McGuiggan



HOEING COTTON WHEN HE COMES

Why should Israel have no God but Yahweh?
Because He commanded it. It was a non-negotiable demand from the Sovereign of the Universe.
Because He had earned the right to that position. Who else was worthy?
But despite His awesome power and majesty and despite the fact that He had earned their trust, Yahweh still put it to them in such a way that they were given the choice to say yes to His covenant offer and they did (20:19 and Deuteronomy 5:27).
Israel should have had no other God than Yahweh because they said they would! They gave their word!
In response to the majesty and awesome power of God, in response to His faithfulness and His gracious past rescue and future promises, they gave their word! And because they gave their word they should stick with it. To do that was to do what was right. They owed Him and they said they would pay. They didn’t bribe Him or He them; He hadn’t freed them from Pharaonic slavery to make them whimpering crawlers to Him. He called them openly and was willing to receive their heartfelt commitment (cf. Deuteronomy 5:27-28) even when He knew their limitations. And they gave it!
“Duty” has become a dirty word in some circles. In the religious realm it has had such a connection with legalism than one hardly dare mention the word without expecting a raking over the coals of criticism. “Never mind duty, let’s talk of grace.”
Because of the heresy of legalism a fine word, and a noble conception has been made an outlaw. Anyone who would make “duty” the ultimate motivation for the life of a disciple of God misses the mark and misses it by a long way, but anyone who has so “matured” as to dismiss duty has missed by a long way too.  It’s all right to recognize that we owe and because we owe we feel the debt and wish to respond in kind. We wish to earn nothing, for grace and our own evil have put that out of the question; but we don’t want teachers to rob us of the “hero in our soul;” we don’t want them to rob us of the deep sense of obligation we feel when we give our word; we don’t want them to steal from us that motivation which at some level of our lives and in some areas of living never vanishes—“I gave my word and therefore it is my duty.” No one will say that “duty” is the only or finest motivation for our behavior but we get weary when we hear people becoming too precise and too sophisticated when describing real humans. “If we were God we would do thus and so for thus and so reasons;” but we’re not God, we’re we and sometimes we act out of motivations which, while they aren’t the highest, they certainly aren’t evil. We need to stand in our place and do what we said we would do whether we have the consent of our emotions or not. A well-balanced black poet many years ago hit the target dead-center when he wrote this, disregarding harsh circumstances that some might use as an excuse for their not keeping their word to God:There’s a king and a captain high And He’s coming by and byAnd He’ll find me hoeing cotton when He comes.You can hear His legions charging in the regions of  the skyAnd He’ll find me hoeing cotton when He comes.There’s a man they thrust aside Who was tortured till He died,And He’ll find me hoeing cotton when He comes.He was hated and rejected He was scorned and crucifiedAnd He’ll find me hoeing cotton when He comes.He’ll be crowned by saints and angels when He comes.They’ll be shouting out Hosanna to the man that men deniedAnd I’ll kneel among my cotton when He comes.
 No one will gain our respect who while he rightly proclaims God’s full and free grace without apology he undermines what we feel in our bones is right: Love doesn’t despise the letter of the law—it fulfills it. So said the apostle of grace (Paul) in Romans 13:8-10 & 1 Corinthians 7:19.
 (I borrowed this from a book I wrote that hangs around the book of Exodus. HEADING HOME WITH GOD. If you’re interested in it you could purchase it via   rkretz@sunset.cc)

WOULD JESUS BE HIRED AS "PREACHER" IN YOUR CHURCH? BY STEVE FINNELL



WOULD JESUS BE HIRED AS "PREACHER" IN YOUR CHURCH? BY STEVE FINNELL


   WOULD THE PREACHING OF JESUS BE ACCEPTED IN  CONTEMPORARY CHURCHES? WOULD JESUS BE HIRED AT YOUR CHURCH? IF JESUS WERE TO BE HIRED WOULD HE THEN BE FIRED?


JESUS SAID: JOHN 8:24 'THEREFORE I SAID TO YOU THAT YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SINS; FOR UNLESS YOU BELIEVE THAT I AM HE, YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SINS."(NASB)

WOULD JOHN 8:24 BE DEEM TOO NEGATIVE AND UNLOVING TO BE PREACHED IN YOUR CHURCH?


JESUS SAID: JOHN 8:44 YOU ARE OF YOUR FATHER THE DEVIL, AND YOU WANT TO DO THE DESIRES OF YOUR FATHER. HE WAS A MURDERER FROM THE BEGINNING, AND DOES NOT STAND IN TRUTH BECAUSE THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM. WHENEVER HE SPEAKS FROM HIS OWN NATURE, FOR HE IS A LIAR AND THE FATHER OF LIES. (NASB)


IF JESUS WERE TO PREACH THAT THOSE WHO PERVERT THE GOSPEL TERMS FOR PARDON ARE LIARS, JUST LIKE THE DEVIL, WOULD HE BE FIRED BY YOUR CHURCH LEADERS?


Jesus said: Matthew 23:9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. (NASB)

If Jesus said to your congregation do not call anyone your spiritual father, would He be banished from preaching?

Jesus said: Matthew 15:3-9 And He answered and said to them, "Why do you transgress the commandments of God for the sake of your traditions?......9 ' But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men!" (NASB)

If Jesus were to tell your denomination to stop teaching from man-made creed books and other doctrines invented my men, would He be fired on the spot?

Jesus said: Matthew 24:10 At that time many will fall away....(NASB)
Revelation 3:1-5 .....5 He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life....(NASB)

If Jesus said, "Those Christians who do not repent will have their names erased from the book of life?" Would He retain His preaching position at your church?

 John 3:3-5 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."........ (NASB)

If Jesus were to say, "Being born of the waters of childbirth is being born the first time. Being born of the waters of baptism is being born again." Would Jesus be allowed to continue preaching at your church?


Could Jesus be hired to preach in your denomination?

Would Jesus be fired if He preached His truth at your church?

If Your Enemy’s Ox Goes Astray by B. Johnson



If Your Enemy’s Ox Goes Astray

“If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again” (Exodus 23:4).
The Old Testament Law was given to the Israelites as a nation for their government as well as for their spiritual training. On the surface it was merely a set of rules regulating the people as they lived among other such nations.
A man like King David might see the principles behind the laws and learn to have the heart of God while others merely observed the outward show and did not discern the justice, judgment and equity cloaked within.
Having studied the New Testament principles today makes it easier for us to see that much of the Levitical system had to do with a higher standard of living than just legalistic obedience. Such was the command to do good to their enemies by having compassion on the enemy’s animal that was in distress.
What New Testament command is there for us today concerning our enemies? How are we to do them good and why?
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” (Matt 5:43-47).
From this passage, what good works are we to do? Whether or not we like the idea, we can see that we are to love our enemies. We are to bless them that curse us and do good to them that hate us. Then as if that were not hard enough, we are told to pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us. Some would say this is impossible for humans to do.
Why should we do this? We want to be children of the Father (our Heavenly Father), and what is He like? He makes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and He sends the rain on the just and on the unjust.
What further reasoning is there for this action? If we love the ones who love us, what reward is there? Even the publicans do that much. If we salute our brethren (and friends), what do we do more than others in the world? Even the publicans do the same things. We must reach for a higher standard and learn to treat people like our Heavenly Father treats them. That truly is a good work.
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 27 - 29 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for December 27 - 29

World  English  Bible

Dec. 27
Zechariah 1-4

Zec 1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:2 "Yahweh was very displeased with your fathers.
Zec 1:3 Therefore tell them: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'Return to me,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'and I will return to you,' says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 1:4 Don't you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: Thus says Yahweh of Armies, 'Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;' but they did not hear, nor listen to me, says Yahweh.
Zec 1:5 Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?
Zec 1:6 But my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, didn't they overtake your fathers? "Then they repented and said, 'Just as Yahweh of Armies determined to do to us, according to our ways, and according to our practices, so he has dealt with us.' "
Zec 1:7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:8 "I had a vision in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in a ravine; and behind him there were red, brown, and white horses.
Zec 1:9 Then I asked, 'My lord, what are these?' " The angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what these are."
Zec 1:10 The man who stood among the myrtle trees answered, "They are the ones Yahweh has sent to go back and forth through the earth."
Zec 1:11 They reported to the angel of Yahweh who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked back and forth through the earth, and behold, all the earth is at rest and in peace."
Zec 1:12 Then the angel of Yahweh replied, "O Yahweh of Armies, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these seventy years?"
Zec 1:13 Yahweh answered the angel who talked with me with kind and comforting words.
Zec 1:14 So the angel who talked with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
Zec 1:15 I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, but they added to the calamity."
Zec 1:16 Therefore thus says Yahweh: "I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it," says Yahweh of Armies, "and a line shall be stretched forth over Jerusalem." '
Zec 1:17 "Proclaim further, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and Yahweh will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem." ' "
Zec 1:18 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four horns.
Zec 1:19 I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" He answered me, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."
Zec 1:20 Yahweh showed me four craftsmen.
Zec 1:21 Then I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He said, "These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it."

Zec 2:1 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand.
Zec 2:2 Then I asked, "Where are you going?" He said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its breadth and what is its length."
Zec 2:3 Behold, the angel who talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,
Zec 2:4 and said to him, "Run, speak to this young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it.
Zec 2:5 For I,' says Yahweh, 'will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.
Zec 2:6 Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,' says Yahweh; 'for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the sky,' says Yahweh.
Zec 2:7 'Come, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.'
Zec 2:8 For thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'For honor he has sent me to the nations which plundered you; for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.
Zec 2:9 For, behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they will be a spoil to those who served them; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me.
Zec 2:10 Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for, behold, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you,' says Yahweh.
Zec 2:11 Many nations shall join themselves to Yahweh in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you.
Zec 2:12 Yahweh will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
Zec 2:13 Be silent, all flesh, before Yahweh; for he has roused himself from his holy habitation!"

Zec 3:1 He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary.
Zec 3:2 Yahweh said to Satan, "Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Yes, Yahweh who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn't this a burning stick plucked out of the fire?"
Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel.
Zec 3:4 He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, "Take the filthy garments off of him." To him he said, "Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich clothing."
Zec 3:5 I said, "Let them set a clean turban on his head." So they set a clean turban on his head, and clothed him; and the angel of Yahweh was standing by.
Zec 3:6 The angel of Yahweh protested to Joshua, saying,
Zec 3:7 "Thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'If you will walk in my ways, and if you will follow my instructions, then you also shall judge my house, and shall also keep my courts, and I will give you a place of access among these who stand by.
Zec 3:8 Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men who are a sign: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant, the Branch.
Zec 3:9 For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave its engraving,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
Zec 3:10 In that day,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'you will invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.' "

Zec 4:1 The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.
Zec 4:2 He said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I have seen, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are on the top of it;
Zec 4:3 and two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side of it."
Zec 4:4 I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, "What are these, my lord?"
Zec 4:5 Then the angel who talked with me answered me, "Don't you know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, "This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 4:7 Who are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you are a plain; and he will bring out the capstone with shouts of 'Grace, grace, to it!' "
Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Zec 4:9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you.
Zec 4:10 Indeed, who despises the day of small things? For these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These are the eyes of Yahweh, which run back and forth through the whole earth."
Zec 4:11 Then I asked him, "What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on the left side of it?"
Zec 4:12 I asked him the second time, "What are these two olive branches, which are beside the two golden spouts, that pour the golden oil out of themselves?"
Zec 4:13 He answered me, "Don't you know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."
Zec 4:14 Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

Dec. 28
Zechariah 5-8

Zec 5:1 Then again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a flying scroll.
Zec 5:2 He said to me, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its breadth ten cubits."
Zec 5:3 Then he said to me, "This is the curse that goes out over the surface of the whole land; for everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it on the one side; and everyone who swears falsely shall be cut off according to it on the other side.
Zec 5:4 I will cause it to go out," says Yahweh of Armies, "and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him who swears falsely by my name; and it will remain in the midst of his house, and will destroy it with its timber and its stones."
Zec 5:5 Then the angel who talked with me came forward, and said to me, "Lift up now your eyes, and see what is this that is appearing."
Zec 5:6 I said, "What is it?" He said, "This is the ephah basket that is appearing." He said moreover, "This is their appearance in all the land
Zec 5:7 (and behold, a talent of lead was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting in the midst of the ephah basket."
Zec 5:8 He said, "This is Wickedness;" and he threw her down into the midst of the ephah basket; and he threw the weight of lead on its mouth.
Zec 5:9 Then lifted I up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there were two women, and the wind was in their wings. Now they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah basket between earth and the sky.
Zec 5:10 Then said I to the angel who talked with me, "Where are these carrying the ephah basket?"
Zec 5:11 He said to me, "To build her a house in the land of Shinar. When it is prepared, she will be set there in her own place."

Zec 6:1 Again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
Zec 6:2 In the first chariot were red horses; in the second chariot black horses;
Zec 6:3 in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot dappled horses, all of them powerful.
Zec 6:4 Then I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"
Zec 6:5 The angel answered me, "These are the four winds of the sky, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
Zec 6:6 The one with the black horses goes out toward the north country; and the white went out after them; and the dappled went forth toward the south country."
Zec 6:7 The strong went out, and sought to go that they might walk back and forth through the earth: and he said, "Go around and through the earth!" So they walked back and forth through the earth.
Zec 6:8 Then he called to me, and spoke to me, saying, "Behold, those who go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country."
Zec 6:9 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Zec 6:10 "Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah; and come the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have come from Babylon.
Zec 6:11 Yes, take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest;
Zec 6:12 and speak to him, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies, "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place; and he shall build the temple of Yahweh;
Zec 6:13 even he shall build the temple of Yahweh; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on his throne; and he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Zec 6:14 The crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of Yahweh.
Zec 6:15 Those who are far off shall come and build in the temple of Yahweh; and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen, if you will diligently obey the voice of Yahweh your God." ' "

Zec 7:1 It happened in the fourth year of king Darius that the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Chislev.
Zec 7:2 The people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech, and their men, to entreat Yahweh's favor,
Zec 7:3 and to speak to the priests of the house of Yahweh of Armies, and to the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?"
Zec 7:4 Then the word of Yahweh of Armies came to me, saying,
Zec 7:5 "Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month for these seventy years, did you at all fast to me, really to me?
Zec 7:6 When you eat, and when you drink, don't you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?
Zec 7:7 Aren't these the words which Yahweh proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and its cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?' "
Zec 7:8 The word of Yahweh came to Zechariah, saying,
Zec 7:9 "Thus has Yahweh of Armies spoken, saying, 'Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother.
Zec 7:10 Don't oppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the foreigner, nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart.'
Zec 7:11 But they refused to listen, and turned their backs, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear.
Zec 7:12 Yes, they made their hearts as hard as flint, lest they might hear the law, and the words which Yahweh of Armies had sent by his Spirit by the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 7:13 It has come to pass that, as he called, and they refused to listen, so they will call, and I will not listen," said Yahweh of Armies;
Zec 7:14 "but I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned: for they made the pleasant land desolate."

Zec 8:1 The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me.
Zec 8:2 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath."
Zec 8:3 Thus says Yahweh: "I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called 'The City of Truth;' and the mountain of Yahweh of Armies, 'The Holy Mountain.' "
Zec 8:4 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Old men and old women will again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
Zec 8:5 The streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in its streets."
Zec 8:6 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvelous in my eyes?" says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 8:7 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
Zec 8:8 and I will bring them, and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness."
Zec 8:9 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Let your hands be strong, you who hear in these days these words from the mouth of the prophets who were in the day that the foundation of the house of Yahweh of Armies was laid, even the temple, that it might be built.
Zec 8:10 For before those days there was no wages for man, nor any wages for an animal; neither was there any peace to him who went out or came in, because of the adversary. For I set all men everyone against his neighbor.
Zec 8:11 But now I will not be to the remnant of this people as in the former days," says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 8:12 "For the seed of peace and the vine will yield its fruit, and the ground will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things.
Zec 8:13 It shall come to pass that, as you were a curse among the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Don't be afraid. Let your hands be strong."
Zec 8:14 For thus says Yahweh of Armies: "As I thought to do evil to you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath," says Yahweh of Armies, "and I didn't repent;
Zec 8:15 so again have I thought in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Don't be afraid.
Zec 8:16 These are the things that you shall do: speak every man the truth with his neighbor. Execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates,
Zec 8:17 and let none of you devise evil in your hearts against his neighbor, and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate," says Yahweh.
Zec 8:18 The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me.
Zec 8:19 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "The fasts of the fourth fifth, seventh, and tenth months shall be for the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace."
Zec 8:20 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Many peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come;
Zec 8:21 and the inhabitants of one shall go to another, saying, 'Let us go speedily to entreat the favor of Yahweh, and to seek Yahweh of Armies. I will go also.'
Zec 8:22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations will come to seek Yahweh of Armies in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of Yahweh."
Zec 8:23 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "In those days, ten men will take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, they will take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, 'We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.' "

Dec. 29
Zechariah 9-12

Zec 9:1 An oracle. The word of Yahweh is against the land of Hadrach, and will rest upon Damascus; for the eye of man and of all the tribes of Israel is toward Yahweh;
Zec 9:2 and Hamath, also, which borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, because they are very wise.
Zec 9:3 Tyre built herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver like the dust, and fine gold like the mire of the streets.
Zec 9:4 Behold, the Lord will dispossess her, and he will strike her power in the sea; and she will be devoured with fire.
Zec 9:5 Ashkelon will see it, and fear; Gaza also, and will writhe in agony; as will Ekron, for her expectation will be disappointed; and the king will perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon will not be inhabited.
Zec 9:6 Foreigners will dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
Zec 9:7 I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth; and he also will be a remnant for our God; and he will be as a chieftain in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.
Zec 9:8 I will encamp around my house against the army, that none pass through or return; and no oppressor will pass through them any more: for now I have seen with my eyes.
Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zec 9:10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow will be cut off; and he will speak peace to the nations: and his dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Zec 9:11 As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I have set free your prisoners from the pit in which is no water.
Zec 9:12 Turn to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope! Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.
Zec 9:13 For indeed I bend Judah as a bow for me. I have filled the bow with Ephraim; and I will stir up your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and will make you like the sword of a mighty man.
Zec 9:14 Yahweh will be seen over them; and his arrow will go flash like lightning; and the Lord Yahweh will blow the trumpet, and will go with whirlwinds of the south.
Zec 9:15 Yahweh of Armies will defend them; and they will destroy and overcome with sling stones; and they will drink, and roar as through wine; and they will be filled like bowls, like the corners of the altar.
Zec 9:16 Yahweh their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they are like the jewels of a crown, lifted on high over his land.
Zec 9:17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! Grain will make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.

Zec 10:1 Ask of Yahweh rain in the spring time, Yahweh who makes storm clouds, and he gives rain showers to everyone for the plants in the field.
Zec 10:2 For the teraphim have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie; and they have told false dreams. They comfort in vain. Therefore they go their way like sheep. They are oppressed, because there is no shepherd.
Zec 10:3 My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the male goats; For Yahweh of Armies has visited his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as his majestic horse in the battle.
Zec 10:4 From him will come forth the cornerstone, from him the nail, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler together.
Zec 10:5 They shall be as mighty men, treading down muddy streets in the battle; and they shall fight, because Yahweh is with them; and the riders on horses will be confounded.
Zec 10:6 "I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them back; for I have mercy on them; and they will be as though I had not cast them off: for I am Yahweh their God, and I will hear them.
Zec 10:7 Ephraim will be like a mighty man, and their heart will rejoice as through wine; yes, their children will see it, and rejoice. Their heart will be glad in Yahweh.
Zec 10:8 I will signal for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them; and they will increase as they have increased.
Zec 10:9 I will sow them among the peoples; and they will remember me in far countries; and they will live with their children, and will return.
Zec 10:10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and there won't be room enough for them.
Zec 10:11 He will pass through the sea of affliction, and will strike the waves in the sea, and all the depths of the Nile will dry up; and the pride of Assyria will be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt will depart.
Zec 10:12 I will strengthen them in Yahweh; and they will walk up and down in his name," says Yahweh.

Zec 11:1 Open your doors, Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars.
Zec 11:2 Wail, fir tree, for the cedar has fallen, because the stately ones are destroyed. Wail, you oaks of Bashan, for the strong forest has come down.
Zec 11:3 A voice of the wailing of the shepherds! For their glory is destroyed: a voice of the roaring of young lions! For the pride of the Jordan is ruined.
Zec 11:4 Thus says Yahweh my God: "Feed the flock of slaughter.
Zec 11:5 Their buyers slaughter them, and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, 'Blessed be Yahweh, for I am rich;' and their own shepherds don't pity them.
Zec 11:6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land," says Yahweh; "but, behold, I will deliver the men everyone into his neighbor's hand, and into the hand of his king. They will strike the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them."
Zec 11:7 So I fed the flock of slaughter, especially the oppressed of the flock. I took for myself two staffs. The one I called "Favor," and the other I called "Union," and I fed the flock.
Zec 11:8 I cut off the three shepherds in one month; for my soul was weary of them, and their soul also loathed me.
Zec 11:9 Then I said, "I will not feed you. That which dies, let it die; and that which is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let those who are left eat each other's flesh."
Zec 11:10 I took my staff Favor, and cut it apart, that I might break my covenant that I had made with all the peoples.
Zec 11:11 It was broken in that day; and thus the poor of the flock that listened to me knew that it was the word of Yahweh.
Zec 11:12 I said to them, "If you think it best, give me my wages; and if not, keep them." So they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
Zec 11:13 Yahweh said to me, "Throw it to the potter, the handsome price that I was valued at by them!" I took the thirty pieces of silver, and threw them to the potter, in the house of Yahweh.
Zec 11:14 Then I cut apart my other staff, even Union, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
Zec 11:15 Yahweh said to me, "Take for yourself yet again the equipment of a foolish shepherd.
Zec 11:16 For, behold, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, who will not visit those who are cut off, neither will seek those who are scattered, nor heal that which is broken, nor feed that which is sound; but he will eat the flesh of the fat sheep, and will tear their hoofs in pieces.
Zec 11:17 Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock! The sword will be on his arm, and on his right eye. His arm will be completely withered, and his right eye will be totally blinded!"

Zec 12:1 An oracle. The word of Yahweh concerning Israel. Yahweh, who stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him says:
Zec 12:2 "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the surrounding peoples, and on Judah also will it be in the siege against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:3 It will happen in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples. All who burden themselves with it will be severely wounded, and all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against it.
Zec 12:4 In that day," says Yahweh, "I will strike every horse with terror, and his rider with madness; and I will open my eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.
Zec 12:5 The chieftains of Judah will say in their heart, 'The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Yahweh of Armies their God.'
Zec 12:6 In that day I will make the chieftains of Judah like a pan of fire among wood, and like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they will devour all the surrounding peoples, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem will yet again dwell in their own place, even in Jerusalem.
Zec 12:7 Yahweh also will save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem not be magnified above Judah.
Zec 12:8 In that day Yahweh will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He who is feeble among them at that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of Yahweh before them.
Zec 12:9 It will happen in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:10 I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn.
Zec 12:11 In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
Zec 12:12 The land will mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
Zec 12:13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart;
Zec 12:14 all the families who remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.


Dec. 27
Revelation 15, 16

Rev 15:1 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God's wrath is finished.
Rev 15:2 I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast, his image, and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
Rev 15:3 They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty! Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations.
Rev 15:4 Who wouldn't fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you only are holy. For all the nations will come and worship before you. For your righteous acts have been revealed."
Rev 15:5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.
Rev 15:6 The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out, clothed with pure, bright linen, and wearing golden sashes around their breasts.
Rev 15:7 One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.
Rev 15:8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power. No one was able to enter into the temple, until the seven plagues of the seven angels would be finished.

Rev 16:1 I heard a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth!"
Rev 16:2 The first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth, and it became a harmful and evil sore on the people who had the mark of the beast, and who worshiped his image.
Rev 16:3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man. Every living thing in the sea died.
Rev 16:4 The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
Rev 16:5 I heard the angel of the waters saying, "You are righteous, who are and who were, you Holy One, because you have judged these things.
Rev 16:6 For they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve this."
Rev 16:7 I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments."
Rev 16:8 The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given to him to scorch men with fire.
Rev 16:9 People were scorched with great heat, and people blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues. They didn't repent and give him glory.
Rev 16:10 The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was darkened. They gnawed their tongues because of the pain,
Rev 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores. They didn't repent of their works.
Rev 16:12 The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates. Its water was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrise.
Rev 16:13 I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs;
Rev 16:14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs; which go forth to the kings of the whole inhabited earth, to gather them together for the war of that great day of God, the Almighty.
Rev 16:15 "Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he doesn't walk naked, and they see his shame."
Rev 16:16 He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo.
Rev 16:17 The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came forth out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
Rev 16:18 There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.
Rev 16:19 The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 Great hailstones, about the weight of a talent, came down out of the sky on people. People blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for this plague is exceedingly severe.

Dec. 28
Revelation 17, 18

Rev 17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters,
Rev 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality, and those who dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her sexual immorality."
Rev 17:3 He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of the sexual immorality of the earth.
Rev 17:5 And on her forehead a name was written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
Rev 17:6 I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered with great amazement.
Rev 17:7 The angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
Rev 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go into destruction. Those who dwell on the earth and whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see that the beast was, and is not, and shall be present.
Rev 17:9 Here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.
Rev 17:10 They are seven kings. Five have fallen, the one is, the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must continue a little while.
Rev 17:11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goes to destruction.
Rev 17:12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour.
Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
Rev 17:14 These will war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. They also will overcome who are with him, called and chosen and faithful."
Rev 17:15 He said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.
Rev 17:16 The ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and will make her desolate, and will make her naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her utterly with fire.
Rev 17:17 For God has put in their hearts to do what he has in mind, and to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished.
Rev 17:18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."

Rev 18:1 After these things, I saw another angel coming down out of the sky, having great authority. The earth was illuminated with his glory.
Rev 18:2 He cried with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and she has become a habitation of demons, a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird!
Rev 18:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from the abundance of her luxury."
Rev 18:4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don't receive of her plagues,
Rev 18:5 for her sins have reached to the sky, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Rev 18:6 Return to her just as she returned, and repay her double as she did, and according to her works. In the cup which she mixed, mix to her double.
Rev 18:7 However much she glorified herself, and grew wanton, so much give her of torment and mourning. For she says in her heart, 'I sit a queen, and am no widow, and will in no way see mourning.'
Rev 18:8 Therefore in one day her plagues will come: death, mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire; for the Lord God who has judged her is strong.
Rev 18:9 The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning,
Rev 18:10 standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For your judgment has come in one hour.'
Rev 18:11 The merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise any more;
Rev 18:12 merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all expensive wood, every vessel of ivory, every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble;
Rev 18:13 and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people's bodies and souls.
Rev 18:14 The fruits which your soul lusted after have been lost to you, and all things that were dainty and sumptuous have perished from you, and you will find them no more at all.
Rev 18:15 The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, will stand far away for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning;
Rev 18:16 saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, she who was dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls!
Rev 18:17 For in an hour such great riches are made desolate.' Every shipmaster, and everyone who sails anywhere, and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood far away,
Rev 18:18 and cried out as they looked at the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like the great city?'
Rev 18:19 They cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had their ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her great wealth!' For in one hour is she made desolate.
Rev 18:20 "Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints, apostles, and prophets; for God has judged your judgment on her."
Rev 18:21 A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down, and will be found no more at all.
Rev 18:22 The voice of harpists, minstrels, flute players, and trumpeters will be heard no more at all in you. No craftsman, of whatever craft, will be found any more at all in you. The sound of a mill will be heard no more at all in you.
Rev 18:23 The light of a lamp will shine no more at all in you. The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will be heard no more at all in you; for your merchants were the princes of the earth; for with your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
Rev 18:24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on the earth."

Dec. 29
Revelation 19, 20

Rev 19:1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God:
Rev 19:2 for true and righteous are his judgments. For he has judged the great prostitute, who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and he has avenged the blood of his servants at her hand."
Rev 19:3 A second said, "Hallelujah! Her smoke goes up forever and ever."
Rev 19:4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying, "Amen! Hallelujah!"
Rev 19:5 A voice came forth from the throne, saying, "Give praise to our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, the small and the great!"
Rev 19:6 I heard something like the voice of a great multitude, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty thunders, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!
Rev 19:7 Let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let us give the glory to him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready."
Rev 19:8 It was given to her that she would array herself in bright, pure, fine linen: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Rev 19:9 He said to me, "Write, 'Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' " He said to me, "These are true words of God."
Rev 19:10 I fell down before his feet to worship him. He said to me, "Look! Don't do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy."
Rev 19:11 I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has names written and a name written which no one knows but he himself.
Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called "The Word of God."
Rev 19:14 The armies which are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in white, pure, fine linen.
Rev 19:15 Out of his mouth proceeds a sharp, double-edged sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He treads the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty.
Rev 19:16 He has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
Rev 19:17 I saw an angel standing in the sun. He cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the sky, "Come! Be gathered together to the great supper of God,
Rev 19:18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, and small and great."
Rev 19:19 I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army.
Rev 19:20 The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his sight, with which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
Rev 19:21 The rest were killed with the sword of him who sat on the horse, the sword which came forth out of his mouth. All the birds were filled with their flesh.

Rev 20:1 I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years were finished. After this, he must be freed for a short time.
Rev 20:4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn't worship the beast nor his image, and didn't receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Rev 20:5 The rest of the dead didn't live until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.
Rev 20:7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison,
Rev 20:8 and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
Rev 20:9 They went up over the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.
Rev 20:10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Rev 20:11 I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. There was found no place for them.
Rev 20:12 I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works.
Rev 20:14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
Rev 20:15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.