1/31/20

"THE BOOK OF DANIEL" The Vision Of The Time Of The End - III (11:36-12:13) by Mark Copeland


"THE BOOK OF DANIEL"

The Vision Of The Time Of The End - III (11:36-12:13)

INTRODUCTION

1. We have been studying the final vision recorded in the book of Daniel...
   a. Depicting what will affect Daniel's people (i.e., Israel) - Dan 10:14
   b. Describing events "in the latter days, for the vision refers to
      many days yet to come" - Dan 10:14
   c. Its words were closed and sealed "till the time of the end" - Dan 12:9
   -- For such reasons this vision has been called "The Vision Of The
      Time Of The End"

2. In the introductory remarks of the vision, there is a glimpse of
   spiritual warfare...
   a. Angelic forces withstanding each other - Dan 10:13a,20
   b. Angelic forces helping each other - Dan 10:13b,21; 11:1
   -- Such forces affecting the nations of Persia and Greece

3. As the vision unfolds, a series of future conflicts involving nations is described...
   a. Between the Persians and the Greeks - Dan 11:2-4
   b. Between kings of the South (Egypt) and kings of the North (Syria)
      - Dan 11:5-35
      1) In this conflict, Israel would be caught in the middle
      2) Israel would suffer extreme blasphemies by one Syrian king
         (Antiochus Epiphanes)

4. Beginning with Dan 11:36, there is a large diversity of opinion...
   a. Regarding the identity of the king described in Dan 11:36-45
   b. The time in which events described in Dan 11:36-12:13 would be fulfilled

[As with any difficult portion of Scripture, especially one involving
prophecy, dogmatism should be avoided.  In this study, our final one in
this series of lessons on the Book of Daniel, I shall offer what I
believe is a plausible explanation of the text...]

I. THE IDENTITY OF THE KING AND HIS TIMES

   A. THREE DIFFERENT VIEWS...
      1. The king is Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria
         a. The vile and blasphemous ruler described in Dan 11:21-35
         b. The time of his persecution would therefore be 169-167 B.C.
         c. The time of the Maccabean revolt
         -- This view is espoused by Albert Barnes in his commentary
      2. The king represents the Roman emperors
         a. Who persecuted Christians in the early years of the church
         b. The time of this persecution would therefore be 60-313 A.D.
         -- This view is proposed by Robert Harkrider in his workbook
      3. The king represents the Anti-Christ
         a. A future ruler still to come
         b. The time of this persecution would be shortly before the
            return of Christ
         -- This view is held by pre-millennialists, but also by some
            amillennialists (e.g., Edward Young)

   B. ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES SEEMS A LIKELY CHOICE...
      1. The allusion in previous verses is undoubtedly to Antiochus Epiphanes
      2. There is no indication in the prophetic narrative of any change; notice...
         a. "Then the king shall do..." - Dan 11:36
         b. "At the time of the end the king of South shall attack
            him..." - Dan 11:40
         c. "At that time Michael..." - Dan 12:1
         d. "And at that time your people shall be delivered..." - Dan 12:1
      3. A sudden transition, with no given indication, is not in
         accordance with what is usually found in prophetic writings (Barnes)
      4. The word "king" is never applied to Antichrist (if there in
         fact be "the Antichrist", as the Bible speaks of many
         antichrists - 1Jn 2:18,22; 4:3; 2Jn 7)
      5. The description that follows can easily be applied to the
         person and times of Antiochus Epiphanes

[This is not imply there is no difficulty with applying this passage to
Antiochus Epiphanes and his times, but I believe it possesses fewer
difficulties than alternative views.  Now let's consider what is
described to come...]

II. THE EVENTS AT "THE TIME OF THE END"

   A. THE BLASPHEMY OF THIS KING...
      1. He shall magnify himself above every god - Dan 11:36-37
         a. Speaking blasphemies against the God of gods
         b. Prospering till the wrath that has been determined is done
            (suggesting that this was allowed by God as part of divine
            judgment against Israel) - cf. Dan 11:35; as with the case
            of Assyria and Israel, Isa 10:5-12
         c. He shall not regard the god of his fathers, nor the desire
            of women, nor any god
      2. He shall honor a god of fortresses - Dan 11:38-39
         a. A god which his fathers did not know (some suggest the
            Roman god Mars, or Jupiter)
         b. He shall act against the strongest fortresses with this
            foreign god, rule over many and divide the land for gain
      -- In his commentary, Albert Barnes explains how this could apply
         to Antiochus

   B. THE CONQUESTS AND END OF THIS KING...
      1. The king of the South (Egypt) shall attack him - Dan 11:40
         a. Note that this will occur "at the time of the end"
         b. This may help pinpoint the meaning of the "latter days" of Dan 10:14
      2. The king of the North (Antiochus Epiphanes) will respond and
         overwhelm the countries - Dan 11:40-43
         a. Entering the "Glorious Land" (Israel)
         b. Overthrowing many, while Edom, Moab and Ammon will escape
         c. Egypt will not escape, even Libyans and Ethiopians will submit
      3. He shall come to his end - Dan 11:44-45
         a. News from the east and north will trouble him (from Persia)
         b. He shall proceed to destroy and annihilate many, planting
            his tents between the seas and the glorious holy mountain
            (Mt. Zion, Jerusalem?)
         c. Yet he shall come to his end, no one helping him (Antiochus
            died in 163 B.C. of a terrible disease)
      -- Again, Barnes relates in detail how these events could refer to Antiochus

   C. THE ULTIMATE VICTORY OF DANIEL'S PEOPLE...
      1. To occur "at that time" - Dan 12:1
         a. To be assisted by "Michael...the great prince who stands
            watch over the sons of your people" - cf. Dan 10:13,21
         b. In a time of a trouble not seen before
         c. Deliverance of Daniel's people "at that time"
            1) I.e., the time just previously described 
            2) I.e., the time of the conflict involving Antiochus Epiphanes
      2. Many who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake - Dan 12:2
         a. Some to everlasting life
         b. Some to shame and everlasting contempt
         -- Note that this is not likely the physical resurrection of
            the dead, for then "all" (not "many") shall be raised - Jn 5:28,29
      3. Those who will shine at this time - Dan 12:3
         a. The wise will shine like the brightness of the firmament
         b. Those who turn many to righteousness will shine like the
            stars forever and ever
      -- Using the figure of the resurrection, this may depict the
         Maccabean revolt when the Jews came out of caves and mountain
         hideouts to resist Antiochus - cf. Dan 11:33-35

   D. FINAL INSTRUCTIONS AND ANSWERS GIVEN TO DANIEL...
      1. Shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end- Dan 12:4
         a. Perhaps what is meant is to stop writing, and secure what
            he has written
         b. Compare this with Dan 8:17,19,26
            1) Both visions (Dan 8, 10-12) were to be sealed up
            2) Both pertained to many days in the future
            3) Yet both visions were fulfilled within 200-400 years
         c. Contrast this with Rev 22:10
            1) The vision of the Revelation was not to be sealed, for
               the time was at hand
            2) How then the explanation of some that the events of
               Revelation have yet to begin, nearly 2000 years later?
      2. Two final questions answered
         a. One question overheard by Daniel - Dan 12:5-7
            1) Daniel saw two others, one on each side of a river bank
            2) One asked the man clothed in linen (cf. Dan 10:5-6)
               above the river:  "How long shall the fulfillment of
               these wonders be?"
            3) The answer: "...a time, times, and half a time; and when
               the power of the holy people has been completely
               shattered, all these things shall be finished."
               a) The "time, times, and half a time" (3 and a half
                  years, 42 months, 1260 days) is commonly used to
                  describe a definite, marked, period of tribulation 
                  - cf. Dan 7:25; Re 11:2,3; 12:6,13-14; 13:5
               b) When the persecution has accomplished its purpose,
                  then the things described will take place
         b. The question asked by Daniel - Dan 12:8-13
            1) Not understanding, Daniel asks:  "...what shall be the
               end of these things?"
            2) Daniel is first told:
               a) To go, for the words are closed and sealed till the
                  time of the end
               b) That many shall be purified, and the wise shall
                  understand - cf. Dan 11:33-35
               c) That the wicked shall do wickedly, and not understand- cf. Dan 11:32
               d) That there will be a period of "1290 days" beginning
                  from:
                  1/ The time the daily sacrifice is taken away - cf. Dan 11:31
                  2/ The abomination of desolation is set up - cf. Dan 11:31
               e) Those who wait and come to "1335 days" will be blessed
               -- Whether literal or figurative, these numbered days
                  appear to apply to the period of the Antiochian
                  persecution(ca. 168 B.C.)
            3) Daniel is then told:
               a) To go his way till the end
               b) For he shall rest and arise to his inheritance at the end of the days
               -- This "end" or "end of the days" may refer to the
                  actual resurrection on the day of Judgment, not "the
                  time of the end" spoken of throughout this vision

CONCLUSION

1. We have seen that "The Vision Of The Time Of The End" describes
   events that would...
   a  Affect Daniel's people (i.e., Israel) - Dan 10:14
   b. Take place "in the latter days, for the vision refers to many
      days yet to come" - Dan 10:14
   c. Occur in "the time of the end" - Dan 11:35,40; 12:4,9

2. From the context, "the time of the end" likely refers to the closing
   days of God's dealings with Israel as His covenant nation; i.e.,...
   a. The inter-testamental period between Malachi and Matthew
   b. The period involving the Greek-Persian and Egyptian-Syrian conflicts
   -- Which is how the phrase is used in "The Vision Of The Ram and The
      Goat" that depicts many of the same events - cf. Dan 8:1-27 (esp. 17,26)
                  
3. As we conclude our study of the Book of Daniel, we have found it to
   be a book that...
   a. Strengthens faith in God and His Word through its fulfilled prophecies
      1) Describing the rise and fall of world empires - Dan 2,4-5
      2) Foretelling the establishment of God's everlasting kingdom - Dan 2,7,9
      3) Depicting the events to befall the people of Israel - Dan 8,9, 10-12
   b. Inspires faithfulness to God through its examples of dedicated
      faith and service
      1) Of Daniel - Dan 1,6
      2) Of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego - Dan 3

While there is certainly much in this book that challenges our
understanding, may we never neglect to mine its spiritual treasures
preserved for the people of God:

   "For whatever things were written before were written for our
   learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the
   Scriptures might have hope." - Ro 15:4


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“Jesus Didn’t Condemn Homosexuality” by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



“Jesus Didn’t Condemn Homosexuality”

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


By and large, the American culture is aggressively promoting the sinful lifestyle of homosexuality. In the midst of such pressure, many people who call themselves Christians are caving in and accepting this perverted lifestyle in spite of God’s clear teachings against it (Butt, 2003). A few years ago, the country singer Carrie Underwood stated that her Christian faith led her to support gay marriage (Nilles, 2012). In truth, the life and teachings of Jesus Christ could never be accurately understood to lead a person to conclude that homosexual marriage is moral (Miller and Harrub, 2004).
One of the most common arguments made in support of homosexuality is that Jesus Christ did not explicitly condemn the practice. Supposedly, since Jesus never stated specifically: “Homosexuality is a sin,” then His failure to denounce the lifestyle can be interpreted to mean that He approved of it. This reasoning is riddled with error.
First, Jesus explained to His followers that He did not have time to teach them everything they needed to know. He told them that the Holy Spirit would bring to their remembrance all that He had taught, and would include additional teaching that He had not had time to cover. He told His disciples: “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” (John 16:12-13). When we look to the inspired writings of the New Testament, we see the authors boldly and specifically condemning the practice based on the revelation they received from the Holy Spirit (Miller and Harrub, 2004). Thus, it is wrong to suggest that only the “words in red” are Jesus’ teachings. On the contrary, He foretold that more teaching would be done after His return to heaven due to the fact that the apostles “could not bear” all of it at the time.
Second, even if Jesus did not explicitly condemn the practice (though He actually did, as will be noted later), that certainly could not be used as evidence that He condoned the practice. For instance, where does Jesus explicitly state that bestiality is wrong? Where in the New Testament does Jesus state that polygamy is wrong? Where are the “words in red” that specifically condemn pedophilia? Are we to suppose that the Son of God condoned using crystal meth because there is not an explicit statement from Jesus’ mouth that says “do not smoke crystal meth?” The idea that silence from Jesus on a subject means He approved of or condoned the practice cannot be substantiated.
Finally, it must be considered that Jesus did, in fact, speak against homosexuality. On numerous occasions, Jesus condemned the sins of adultery (Matthew 19:18), sexual immorality (Matthew 19:9) and fornication (Matthew 15:19). These terms describe any type of sexual intercourse that is not within the confines of a marriage ordained by God. Jesus then proceeded to define exactly what God views as a morally permissible marriage. He stated:
Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate (Matthew 19:4-6).
By defining marriage as between one male and one female, Jesus effectively condemned all other arrangements, including but not limited to one man and two women, one woman and two men, three men and one woman, three men and three women, one man and one man, one woman and one animal, etc. You can see the overwhelming logic of such. For Jesus to have to explicitly condemn every assortment of genders and numbers would be absurd. When He defined marriage between one man and one woman, He clearly showed that such an arrangement is the only one authorized by God.
Several years ago a man named Cory Moore “legally married his 2004 Cherry ES-335” Gibson guitar (“Man Marries Guitar,” 2007). He said: “The day I got her, I just knew she was the one…. I know it seems weird, but I really love her—like, really love her, with all my heart. I just wanted to make it official” (2007). Are we to conclude that because Jesus never specifically condemned a man marrying his guitar then the Son of God approved of such? To ask is to answer. In 2006, 41-year-old Sharon Tendler married a dolphin (“Woman Marries Dolphin,” 2006). Jesus never said one word explicitly about refraining from marrying a dolphin. Does that mean His “silence” should be viewed as approval? Not in any way.
Homosexuality is a sin. It always has been, and it always will be. The inspired New Testament writers repeatedly teach that to be the case. Jesus explained that the Holy Spirit would bring to the inspired writers information that they could not handle at the time of His departing. In addition, Jesus did explicitly define marriage as being between one man and one woman. The ruse to suggest that Jesus approves of homosexuality because He never expressly condemned it cannot be sustained logically, nor can it be defended on any type of moral grounds. The person who presumes to claim to be a Christian, and yet supports homosexuality, misunderstands the teachings of Christ and needs to repent and stop approving of a perverted, destructive practice that Jesus condemns (Matthew 19:1-9).

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2003), “Homosexuality—Sin, or Cultural Bad Habit?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=7&article=1239.
“Man Marries Guitar” (2007), http://www.messandnoise.com/discussions/865688.
Miller, Dave and Brad Harrub (2004), “An Investigation of the Biblical Evidence Against Homosexuality,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=557.
Nilles, Billy (2012), “Carrie Underwood Reveals She Supports Gay Marriage,” http://www.hollywoodlife.com/2012/06/11/carrie-underwood-supports-gay-marriage-christian/.
“Woman Marries Dolphin” (2006), http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/woman-marries-dolphin/2006/01/01/1136050339590.html.

“I, Not the Lord, Say...” by Eric Lyons, M.Min.





“I, Not the Lord, Say...”

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Q.

What did the apostle Paul mean by the statement, “But to the rest I, not the Lord, say...” (1 Corinthians 7:12)? Does this phrase indicate that what Paul subsequently wrote was uninspired?

A.

Considering how many times Paul claimed to write and preach by inspiration of God, it is irresponsible to conclude that he was denying inspiration when addressing marriages between Christians and non-Christians (1 Corinthians 7:12-16). Earlier in this letter, Paul noted that while in Corinth, his preaching was “not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (2:4-5). Paul contrasted human wisdom with the wisdom and power of God, and declared that he had the latter. Later, in this same epistle, Paul wrote: “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” (14:37, emp. added; cf. 7:40). Paul also claimed inspiration in his other epistles (Galatians 1:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:8,15). Even Peter alluded to Paul’s writings as being a part of Scripture, and thus inspired (2 Peter 3:15-16).
When Paul wrote that he (rather than the Lord) was addressing a particular marriage relationship, he did not mean that he was speaking without authority from God. He simply meant that he was making application of marital truths that the Lord did not specifically expound upon while on Earth. Jesus most certainly was the Master Teacher (cf. Matthew 7:28-29; John 7:46), but He obviously did not specifically address every subject under the Sun. Thankfully, through His inspired apostles and prophets, more specific truths and applications eventually were revealed. Christians have every reason to believe that such truths originated with “the Spirit of truth,” Who guided Paul and the rest of the Bible writers “into all truth” (John 16:13).

“Hell” is Back In the News by Eric Lyons, M.Min.





“Hell” is Back In the News

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


In their book Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Beliefs, George Gallup, Jr. and D. Michael Lindsay reported that a Gallup poll taken in May 1997 showed that only 56% of Americans held a firm conviction in the existence of hell (1999, p. 30). One reason that a growing number of Americans disbelieve in the reality of hell is likely due to its virtual disappearance from our vocabulary. Non-Christians basically use it only as a profane expression. Christians rarely address the subject in their discussions. Sermons on the subject of hell have been in decline for years. One denominational “pastor” was quoted in U.S. News & World Report a few years back, saying: “My congregation would be stunned to hear a sermon on hell” (“Revisiting...,” 1991, 110[11]:60). I once heard the late evangelist Wendell Winkler tell about preaching in a meeting in Oklahoma. After preaching a lesson on hell, the local preacher, who had been in that city for 22 years, told Winkler that in those 22 years, the church there had held 44 gospel meetings (two per year). During those meetings, a total of 527 sermons had been preached. Wendell Winkler’s lesson was said to be the first one on the subject of hell that they had ever heard in those meetings.
Preaching about eternal hell appears to be so rare that when a notable religious leader addresses the issue, it draws attention even from many major media outlets. Recently, Pope Benedict XVI, in a speech delivered outside of Rome, stressed that the impenitent risk “eternal damnation.” Hell “really exists,” he said, “and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more” (as quoted in Owen, 2007). FOX News, the Boston HeraldTimes Online, and the Melbourne Herald Sun are only a few of the media elites who carried this story. “The pope really believes in an eternal hell.”
Warning others about the judgment to come is not popular. Teaching in the streets and churches about an eternal hell is as sparse as rain in the Sahara. Although the papacy itself is unscriptural (see Pinedo, 2005), Christians can appreciate the fact that Benedict XVI would address such a politically incorrect subject. Truly, it is high past time for faithful Christians around the world to get back to teaching a truth that Jesus and the Bible writers repeatedly taught: hell is real and eternal (Matthew 5:22; 25:41,46; Mark 9:43; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

REFERENCES

Gallup, George Jr. and Michael Lindsay (1999), Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Beliefs (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing).
Owen, Richard (2007), “The Fires of Hell are Real and Eternal, Pope Warns,” TimesOnline, March 27, [On-line], URL: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article1572646.ece.
Pinedo, Moises (2005), “The Pope, the Papacy, and the Bible,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2724.
“Revisiting the Abyss,” (1991), U.S. News & World Report, 110[11]:60, March 25.

NO RESURRECTION & THE CROSS IS NONSENSE! by Jim McGuiggan



NO RESURRECTION & THE CROSS IS NONSENSE!

Paul said the cross was an offense to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. But there was good reason for Jews to take offense. And there was good reason for Greeks (Gentiles) to think it nonsense IF…….
There is no way to make the crucifixion of Jesus Christ into (saving) power or wisdom! The Jews were promised deliverance and their Messiah ended up hung by the powers that held Israel captive. The rational and practical thinkers saw another hanging of another young man—an event like thousands of other events, dictated by the powerful; an event that might or might not have happened. This event had no cosmic value—it was just another death like a million others!
There is no gospel in the hanging of that young man if there was no resurrection! And since there was no resurrection it was just another of the countless illustrations that the legionnaires or the jackbooted, the spear or the gun, the arrows or the nukes have the power. You can’t get wisdom and power from the Roman killing of a young man who claimed to be the one who would deliver his people from Rome (and more). The cross is an offense precisely because the one who was hung is said to be the LORD! He cannot be the Lord if death ends Him! It makes no manner of sense!  If He was the Lord then the cross couldn’t have happened! That’s what Peter said in Matthew 16. And he was wrong—dead wrong!
Unless the hanging death of that young man is inseparably linked to the resurrection of that young man we cannot understand it as some divine way of dealing with humanity! Only the resurrection to deathless life can defeat Death! Only the resurrection to deathless life can lead us to look at the young man hanging there and invest His death with “deeper magic.” When Paul calls it God’s (saving) power he is speaking of it with the resurrection in mind precisely because without the resurrection it is not wisdom or power! Without the resurrection ”we have nothing to believe and we have nothing to preach” (1 Corinthians 15:14-19). Without the resurrection the apostles are liars when they said God raised Him!  If Jesus remains dead, our hope is fatuous, our sins weren’t dealt with, of all people we are most miserable because we have been duped worse than all others and all our beloved ones who died trusting Christ have perished and all hope dies with physical death. If Christ is still dead and has been dead for 2,000 years then the cross was precisely what everyone thought it was—another pathetic failure.
Without the resurrection the claim of salvation through His death is sheer nonsense! Paul was right in saying the cross was the “deep magic” of a redeeming God but only if he believed in the resurrection of Jesus. The cross did not show God as faithful to His promises and purposes, the cross did not bring salvation without the resurrection! The jeering crowds and the shouted scorn made perfect sense! This was “weakness” and “failure” and they were right to reject Him unless there was the resurrection that transformed what was transparent weakness and not power into the way God dealt with Sin & Death. (Jesus Himself said people were to reject false Messiahs.) If Jesus didn’t rise deathless He was just another liar like Theudas of Galilee!
Jesus’ resurrection was not a resurrection that led to a few more years of life before that young man got to be old and finally died as everyone else grew old and feeble and dead (as Lazaruses’ was—John 12:1, 9). That kind of “resurrection”—however it might have come about—is no defeat of Death; it is/would be only some bizarre postponement. And if Death still reigns so does Sin because Sin reigns through death (Romans 5:21) and the sting of Death is Sin (1 Corinthians 15:56) and the wages of Sin is Death (Romans 6:23).
Paul says the truth didn’t come by wise men and their reasoning. “Eye hasn’t seen nor has ear heard nor has it entered into the heart of man” (1 Corinthians 2:9 and context, 6—16) is a denial that humans could have come up with the “deep magic”. The only way what happened in the person of the crucified Jesus could be grasped as what it truly was, was by Christ’s resurrection to Death-killing life. The realities (His life, death and resurrection) preceded the words (gospel) that were based on those realities. The gospel committed to the chosen witnesses made the realities known and that gospeling therefore made known the powerful redeeming God’s truth and so was the medium through which salvation came to all (1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 10;14-17). Without the resurrection there was no gospel; the words have no power in themselves. They only have power if indeed the resurrection truly happened and Sin and Death were thus conquered.
The cross is only power and wisdom if the resurrection tells us that! Once the resurrection is known and embraced to be true THEN the cross is seen for what it is—God entering into the world in weakness and vulnerability (Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 13:4; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:43, 45) with a redeeming purpose because He had promised (Romans 1:1-4, 16). And He didn’t fail (Colossians 2:15)! But we only know all that because Jesus rose everlastingly triumphant over Sin & Death.
The resurrection enables us to make of the cross what it really was—The sovereign God and our Father entering with us into the realm of creaturely weakness to deliver us from weakness and Sin and Death (Romans 8:1-4; 1 Corinthians 15:50). Without the resurrection that could not be known. No wishing, no shrewd talk, no philosophy or argument, no tender whispered words could make anything of it but nonsense. The world with all its wisdom (and there are wise men and women in the world) just can’t make sense of it. It still remains impossible to make the crucifixion anything other than sheer foolishness and another exhibition of fleshly powerlessness unless God raised Jesus from the dead! He not only died in the flesh, He died to it and rose in glory so that we who bore the image of the one from dust would bear the image of the one from heaven (1 Corinthians 15:47-49).
We MUST keep the cross at the center of God’s dealing with humanity’s desperate plight but we mustn’t stop at the cross! The Gospels all go their own way in dealing with the life of Christ until the crucifixion but they all end, not with the cross, but with the resurrection. Christ died 2,000 years ago but He hasn’t been dead since—He’s alive! And those who teach us must make that clear! Paul’s constant message was “the sufferings of Christ and the glory that follows” (Romans 4:25; 8:34; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Acts 26:22-23; see also 1 Peter 1:11, 21; 3:21). In Romans 5:10 Paul says we are reconciled to God by His Son’s death and “much more having been reconciled we shall be saved by His life.” (His resurrection—Philippians 3:20-21.) See Romans 8:17 and 8:29 and our conformity to our Lord!God deliver us from ending the gospel proclamation with the (saving) death of our Lord Jesus Christ. The cross was the glorious door to the everlastingly glorious resurrection (read John 10:17 carefully). God is about LIFE!

THERE ARE WORKS THAT SAVE! BY STEVE FINNELL




THERE ARE WORKS THAT SAVE!  BY STEVE FINNELL


Are there works that are essential to salvation? Yes, absolutely, the work of believing and the work of water baptism are essential for salvation.

BELIEVING

John 6:27-29 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal. 28 Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him who He sent."

Believing is a work that saves. Believing is essential to salvation.

WATER BAPTISM

Colossians 2:12-13 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions.

God does the work when we submit to believers baptism in water. Yes, water baptism is God's work not man's work.

1 Peter 3:20-21 ...safely through the water. 21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you ---not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience---through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

God does the work in water baptism. Man does no work at all.

Man is saved by works. Man's work is to believe in Jesus the Christ.

God's work is in water baptism when He forgives believers of their sins.

Jesus made it very clear when He said "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved..."(Mark 16:16)

Being obedient to God by believing and submitting to water baptism is not earning salvation. It is not a meritorious work.

THE WORKS THAT DO NOT SAVE

1. The works of the Law of Moses.
2. The works of good deeds.
3. The works of keeping man-made traditions.
4. The works of righteous acts.

How much are you worth? by Roy Davison



How much are you worth?

Value can be measured in different ways.
Add up the value of your possessions, subtract what you owe, and you have your financial worth. If you owe more than you possess, you are insolvent.
According to Forbes, Bill Gates was worth 56 billion dollars in 2011. How much are you worth?
There is also potential value. If you can earn €1200 a month with a secondary school diploma and €2400 a month with a specialized degree, your degree is worth €575,000 over a 40-year period.
There is also lost value. If your education enables you to earn €2000 per month and you conduct a business that earns €1000 a month, your business costs you €12,000 per year.
There is also spiritual value. Jesus said: “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). The poorest faithful Christian in India is richer spiritually than Bill Gates who is an agnostic.
How much are we worth spiritually?
Without God's help, we are bankrupt! Worse than that, we are bondservants of the devil. Have you seen one of those spooky films where someone sells his soul to the devil? Did you think: How could he do such a thing?
Yet Jesus said: “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34). Through sin we are in the clutches of the devil.
One way value is determined is by the amount someone is willing to pay for something. A beautiful, delicate object that required many hours of skilled labor to make, might be sold at auction for practically nothing, if no one present values it. At the same auction, an old faded letter might be sold for a large sum if it was written by someone famous.
By this standard, you are worth a lot! God was willing to pay an extremely high price to buy you free from slavery to sin. How did God buy us and what was the price?
Peter explains: “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:17-19).
By sinning, we have rebelled against God, and we deserve to die. But Jesus died in our place, to pay the penalty for our sin, so we might go free. You are worth so much to God that He sent His son to set you free.
The church is the assembly of those who have been bought free from bondage to sin. Paul told the Ephesian elders: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28).
In the first instance, we belong to God because He created us. Then, after we chose the wrong path and allowed ourselves to be taken hostage, He also paid our ransom. As redeemed servants of God we ought to live the way He wants us to live rather than according to our own desires. To the glory of God we should keep ourselves pure.
Paul commands: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
In our so-called modern age everyone is encouraged to live the way he wants to live. The result is a sinful flood of lawlessness and immorality. Young people are fooled into thinking they can have free sexual relations without harmful physical, social and spiritual consequences. People live together without being married. Driven by egoism they do not want long-term obligations. They want to be free to walk away if difficulties arise, or just if they want to. They think they can violate moral standards without disadvantages.
A sea of misery and grief is the result. When people think they are smarter than God, it always turns out bad, because God's moral standards are for the well-being of man and society, and for the well-being of children.
The marriage relationship is holy. “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). By having a sexual relationship outside of marriage, one sins not only against the other person and against God, but also against his own body. He desecrates himself, he makes himself unclean, he defiles his own body.
In his argumentation against immorality, Paul tells the Christian that he is a temple of God's Spirit, that he belongs to God, and therefore must shun immorality. Someone who has been immoral must repent. From Christ he can receive forgiveness and cleansing, and the strength to keep himself pure.
Since we are worth so much to God that He bought us free from slavery to sin, we ought to dedicate our lives in service to God. Paul writes: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1, 2).
Peter writes: “Conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1 Peter 1:17). Our time belongs to God, not just some of it, but all of it. Do we spend our days and hours in service to man and to the glory of God? Or have we been duped by the world into thinking that our time is our own to use however we want?
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15, 16). “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4:5).
In the original language “redeeming the time” is literally 'buying up the opportunity', which means that we may not waste our time and possibilities, but must make good use of them.
We are not our own. A high price was paid for us, the precious blood of Christ. We should use our resources dynamically to serve God. Our time, money and talents should be placed at God's disposal. We have responsibilities to God, to the church, to our family and to all men, because we belong to Christ.
We must, of course, spend time earning a living and taking care of the daily responsibilities of life. But if our lives are dedicated to God, because we know that we belong to Him, everything we do is sanctified, and He has promised to provide. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). “You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men” (1 Corinthians 7:23).
Although the sacrifice of Christ is sufficient to redeem all men from bondage to sin, one must obey the gospel to be saved. God invites us to participate in this gift of grace through repentance and baptism.
Paul explains that after baptism we are no longer slaves of sin: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin” (Romans 6:3-6).
You are worth so much that Christ died for you. Through baptism you can participate in His sacrificial death and be freed from slavery to sin.
Paul continues: “For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:7-11).
Even when we were mired in sin, God valued us so much that He gave His Son to set us free. How much greater is our worth now that we are “alive to God in Christ.”
In gratitude we turn away from sin and submit to the will of God. Paul explains further: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:12-14).
This grace may not be misused: “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:15).
If Christians continue in sin, they fall back into the service of Satan: “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).
We must be truly thankful that we have been redeemed by God, and show our gratitude by doing good: “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17, 18).
Our spiritual worth, our spiritual wealth, is a gift of God's grace that is bestowed at baptism. We were slaves of sin. Now we are slaves of righteousness. Thus, we ought to walk in the way of righteousness, not in the way of sin.
Paul continues: “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:19-23).
How much are you worth? Your financial worth is of little importance. What is your spiritual worth?
Without Christ you are bankrupt, a beggarly slave of sin. The devil promises freedom, but gives slavery to corruption (2 Peter 2:19).
If you are a Christian, you have “the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). Your worth is greater than that of the wealthiest man in the world. In Christ “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7). Amen.
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

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

Bible Reading for January 31- February 2 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for January 31- February 2

World  English  Bible


Jan. 31
Genesis 31

Gen 31:1 He heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob has taken away all that was our father's. From that which was our father's, has he gotten all this wealth."
Gen 31:2 Jacob saw the expression on Laban's face, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.
Gen 31:3 Yahweh said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers, and to your relatives, and I will be with you."
Gen 31:4 Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field to his flock,
Gen 31:5 and said to them, "I see the expression on your father's face, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father has been with me.
Gen 31:6 You know that I have served your father with all of my strength.
Gen 31:7 Your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times, but God didn't allow him to hurt me.
Gen 31:8 If he said this, 'The speckled will be your wages,' then all the flock bore speckled. If he said this, 'The streaked will be your wages,' then all the flock bore streaked.
Gen 31:9 Thus God has taken away your father's livestock, and given them to me.
Gen 31:10 It happened during mating season that I lifted up my eyes, and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which leaped on the flock were streaked, speckled, and grizzled.
Gen 31:11 The angel of God said to me in the dream, 'Jacob,' and I said, 'Here I am.'
Gen 31:12 He said, 'Now lift up your eyes, and behold, all the male goats which leap on the flock are streaked, speckled, and grizzled, for I have seen all that Laban does to you.
Gen 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you vowed a vow to me. Now arise, get out from this land, and return to the land of your birth.' "
Gen 31:14 Rachel and Leah answered him, "Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house?
Gen 31:15 Aren't we accounted by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also quite devoured our money.
Gen 31:16 For all the riches which God has taken away from our father, that is ours and our children's. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do."
Gen 31:17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels,
Gen 31:18 and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan.
Gen 31:19 Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep: and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father's.
Gen 31:20 Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he didn't tell him that he was running away.
Gen 31:21 So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.
Gen 31:22 Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled.
Gen 31:23 He took his relatives with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead.
Gen 31:24 God came to Laban, the Syrian, in a dream of the night, and said to him, "Take heed to yourself that you don't speak to Jacob either good or bad."
Gen 31:25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain, and Laban with his relatives encamped in the mountain of Gilead.
Gen 31:26 Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword?
Gen 31:27 Why did you flee secretly, and deceive me, and didn't tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp;
Gen 31:28 and didn't allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now have you done foolishly.
Gen 31:29 It is in the power of my hand to hurt you, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, 'Take heed to yourself that you don't speak to Jacob either good or bad.'
Gen 31:30 Now, you want to be gone, because you greatly longed for your father's house, but why have you stolen my gods?"
Gen 31:31 Jacob answered Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I said, 'Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.'
Gen 31:32 Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. Before our relatives, discern what is yours with me, and take it." For Jacob didn't know that Rachel had stolen them.
Gen 31:33 Laban went into Jacob's tent, into Leah's tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he didn't find them. He went out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.
Gen 31:34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them in the camel's saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt about all the tent, but didn't find them.
Gen 31:35 She said to her father, "Don't let my lord be angry that I can't rise up before you; for the manner of women is on me." He searched, but didn't find the teraphim.
Gen 31:36 Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, "What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued after me?
Gen 31:37 Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.
Gen 31:38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven't eaten the rams of your flocks.
Gen 31:39 That which was torn of animals, I didn't bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.
Gen 31:40 This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes.
Gen 31:41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times.
Gen 31:42 Unless the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night."
Gen 31:43 Laban answered Jacob, "The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine: and what can I do this day to these my daughters, or to their children whom they have borne?
Gen 31:44 Now come, let us make a covenant, you and I; and let it be for a witness between me and you."
Gen 31:45 Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
Gen 31:46 Jacob said to his relatives, "Gather stones." They took stones, and made a heap. They ate there by the heap.
Gen 31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed.
Gen 31:48 Laban said, "This heap is witness between me and you this day." Therefore it was named Galeed
Gen 31:49 and Mizpah, for he said, "Yahweh watch between me and you, when we are absent one from another.
Gen 31:50 If you afflict my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, no man is with us; behold, God is witness between me and you."
Gen 31:51 Laban said to Jacob, "See this heap, and see the pillar, which I have set between me and you.
Gen 31:52 May this heap be a witness, and the pillar be a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and that you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, for harm.
Gen 31:53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us." Then Jacob swore by the fear of his father, Isaac.
Gen 31:54 Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his relatives to eat bread. They ate bread, and stayed all night in the mountain.
Gen 31:55 Early in the morning, Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. Laban departed and returned to his place.

Feb. 1

Genesis 32

Gen 32:1 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.
Gen 32:2 When he saw them, Jacob said, "This is God's army." He called the name of that place Mahanaim.
Gen 32:3 Jacob sent messengers in front of him to Esau, his brother, to the land of Seir, the field of Edom.
Gen 32:4 He commanded them, saying, "This is what you shall tell my lord, Esau: 'This is what your servant, Jacob, says. I have lived as a foreigner with Laban, and stayed until now.
Gen 32:5 I have cattle, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find favor in your sight.' "
Gen 32:6 The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, "We came to your brother Esau. Not only that, but he comes to meet you, and four hundred men with him."
Gen 32:7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and was distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks, and the herds, and the camels, into two companies;
Gen 32:8 and he said, "If Esau comes to the one company, and strikes it, then the company which is left will escape."
Gen 32:9 Jacob said, "God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, Yahweh, who said to me, 'Return to your country, and to your relatives, and I will do you good,'
Gen 32:10 I am not worthy of the least of all the loving kindnesses, and of all the truth, which you have shown to your servant; for with just my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I have become two companies.
Gen 32:11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he come and strike me, and the mothers with the children.
Gen 32:12 You said, 'I will surely do you good, and make your seed as the sand of the sea, which can't be numbered because there are so many.' "
Gen 32:13 He lodged there that night, and took from that which he had with him, a present for Esau, his brother:
Gen 32:14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams,
Gen 32:15 thirty milk camels and their colts, forty cows, ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals.
Gen 32:16 He delivered them into the hands of his servants, every herd by itself, and said to his servants, "Pass over before me, and put a space between herd and herd."
Gen 32:17 He commanded the foremost, saying, "When Esau, my brother, meets you, and asks you, saying, 'Whose are you? Where are you going? Whose are these before you?'
Gen 32:18 Then you shall say, 'They are your servant, Jacob's. It is a present sent to my lord, Esau. Behold, he also is behind us.' "
Gen 32:19 He commanded also the second, and the third, and all that followed the herds, saying, "This is how you shall speak to Esau, when you find him.
Gen 32:20 You shall say, 'Not only that, but behold, your servant, Jacob, is behind us.' " For, he said, "I will appease him with the present that goes before me, and afterward I will see his face. Perhaps he will accept me."
Gen 32:21 So the present passed over before him, and he himself lodged that night in the camp.
Gen 32:22 He rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two handmaids, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford of the Jabbok.
Gen 32:23 He took them, and sent them over the stream, and sent over that which he had.
Gen 32:24 Jacob was left alone, and wrestled with a man there until the breaking of the day.
Gen 32:25 When he saw that he didn't prevail against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh, and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was strained, as he wrestled.
Gen 32:26 The man said, "Let me go, for the day breaks." Jacob said, "I won't let you go, unless you bless me."
Gen 32:27 He said to him, "What is your name?" He said, "Jacob."
Gen 32:28 He said, "Your name will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have fought with God and with men, and have prevailed."
Gen 32:29 Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." He said, "Why is it that you ask what my name is?" He blessed him there.
Gen 32:30 Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for, he said, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."
Gen 32:31 The sun rose on him as he passed over Peniel, and he limped because of his thigh.
Gen 32:32 Therefore the children of Israel don't eat the sinew of the hip, which is on the hollow of the thigh, to this day, because he touched the hollow of Jacob's thigh in the sinew of the hip.

Feb. 2
Genesis 33

Gen 33:1 Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau was coming, and with him four hundred men. He divided the children between Leah, Rachel, and the two handmaids.
Gen 33:2 He put the handmaids and their children in front, Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph at the rear.
Gen 33:3 He himself passed over in front of them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.
Gen 33:4 Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, fell on his neck, kissed him, and they wept.
Gen 33:5 He lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, "Who are these with you?" He said, "The children whom God has graciously given your servant."
Gen 33:6 Then the handmaids came near with their children, and they bowed themselves.
Gen 33:7 Leah also and her children came near, and bowed themselves. After them, Joseph came near with Rachel, and they bowed themselves.
Gen 33:8 Esau said, "What do you mean by all this company which I met?" Jacob said, "To find favor in the sight of my lord."
Gen 33:9 Esau said, "I have enough, my brother; let that which you have be yours."
Gen 33:10 Jacob said, "Please, no, if I have now found favor in your sight, then receive my present at my hand, because I have seen your face, as one sees the face of God, and you were pleased with me.
Gen 33:11 Please take the gift that I brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough." He urged him, and he took it.
Gen 33:12 Esau said, "Let us take our journey, and let us go, and I will go before you."
Gen 33:13 Jacob said to him, "My lord knows that the children are tender, and that the flocks and herds with me have their young, and if they overdrive them one day, all the flocks will die.
Gen 33:14 Please let my lord pass over before his servant, and I will lead on gently, according to the pace of the livestock that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord to Seir."
Gen 33:15 Esau said, "Let me now leave with you some of the folk who are with me." He said, "Why? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord."
Gen 33:16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir.
Gen 33:17 Jacob traveled to Succoth, built himself a house, and made shelters for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
Gen 33:18 Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan Aram; and encamped before the city.
Gen 33:19 He bought the parcel of ground where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for one hundred pieces of money.
Gen 33:20 He erected an altar there, and called it El Elohe Israel.

Jan. 31
Matthew 16

Mat 16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven.
Mat 16:2 But he answered them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.'
Mat 16:3 In the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you can't discern the signs of the times!
Mat 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and there will be no sign given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah." He left them, and departed.
Mat 16:5 The disciples came to the other side and had forgotten to take bread.
Mat 16:6 Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Mat 16:7 They reasoned among themselves, saying, "We brought no bread."
Mat 16:8 Jesus, perceiving it, said, "Why do you reason among yourselves, you of little faith, 'because you have brought no bread?'
Mat 16:9 Don't you yet perceive, neither remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
Mat 16:10 Nor the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
Mat 16:11 How is it that you don't perceive that I didn't speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Mat 16:12 Then they understood that he didn't tell them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Mat 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
Mat 16:14 They said, "Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
Mat 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Mat 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Mat 16:17 Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven."
Mat 16:20 Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he is Jesus the Christ.
Mat 16:21 From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
Mat 16:22 Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you."
Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men."
Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
Mat 16:26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?
Mat 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds.
Mat 16:28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom." 

Feb. 1
Matthew 16

Mat 16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven.
Mat 16:2 But he answered them, "When it is evening, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.'
Mat 16:3 In the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but you can't discern the signs of the times!
Mat 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and there will be no sign given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah." He left them, and departed.
Mat 16:5 The disciples came to the other side and had forgotten to take bread.
Mat 16:6 Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Mat 16:7 They reasoned among themselves, saying, "We brought no bread."
Mat 16:8 Jesus, perceiving it, said, "Why do you reason among yourselves, you of little faith, 'because you have brought no bread?'
Mat 16:9 Don't you yet perceive, neither remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
Mat 16:10 Nor the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up?
Mat 16:11 How is it that you don't perceive that I didn't speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Mat 16:12 Then they understood that he didn't tell them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Mat 16:13 Now when Jesus came into the parts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
Mat 16:14 They said, "Some say John the Baptizer, some, Elijah, and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."
Mat 16:15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Mat 16:16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Mat 16:17 Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 I also tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my assembly, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
Mat 16:19 I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven."
Mat 16:20 Then he commanded the disciples that they should tell no one that he is Jesus the Christ.
Mat 16:21 From that time, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.
Mat 16:22 Peter took him aside, and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord! This will never be done to you."
Mat 16:23 But he turned, and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men."
Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
Mat 16:26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?
Mat 16:27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to everyone according to his deeds.
Mat 16:28 Most certainly I tell you, there are some standing here who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom."

Feb. 2
Matthew 17

Mat 17:1 After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves.
Mat 17:2 He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light.
Mat 17:3 Behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him.
Mat 17:4 Peter answered, and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, let's make three tents here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
Mat 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him."
Mat 17:6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were very afraid.
Mat 17:7 Jesus came and touched them and said, "Get up, and don't be afraid."
Mat 17:8 Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone.
Mat 17:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Don't tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."
Mat 17:10 His disciples asked him, saying, "Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
Mat 17:11 Jesus answered them, "Elijah indeed comes first, and will restore all things,
Mat 17:12 but I tell you that Elijah has come already, and they didn't recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted to. Even so the Son of Man will also suffer by them."
Mat 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptizer.
Mat 17:14 When they came to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him, saying,
Mat 17:15 "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water.
Mat 17:16 So I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him."
Mat 17:17 Jesus answered, "Faithless and perverse generation! How long will I be with you? How long will I bear with you? Bring him here to me."
Mat 17:18 Jesus rebuked him, the demon went out of him, and the boy was cured from that hour.
Mat 17:19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately, and said, "Why weren't we able to cast it out?"
Mat 17:20 He said to them, "Because of your unbelief. For most certainly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
Mat 17:21 But this kind doesn't go out except by prayer and fasting."
Mat 17:22 While they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about to be delivered up into the hands of men,
Mat 17:23 and they will kill him, and the third day he will be raised up." They were exceedingly sorry.
Mat 17:24 When they had come to Capernaum, those who collected the didrachma coins came to Peter, and said, "Doesn't your teacher pay the didrachma?"
Mat 17:25 He said, "Yes." When he came into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth receive toll or tribute? From their children, or from strangers?"
Mat 17:26 Peter said to him, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Therefore the children are exempt.
Mat 17:27 But, lest we cause them to stumble, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up. When you have opened its mouth, you will find a stater coin. Take that, and give it to them for me and you."