1/24/20

"THE BOOK OF DANIEL" The Vision Of The Seventy Weeks (9:20-27) by Mark Copeland



"THE BOOK OF DANIEL"

The Vision Of The Seventy Weeks (9:20-27)

INTRODUCTION

1. We come now to one of the most difficult passages of the Old Testament...
   a. Commonly called "The Vision Of The Seventy Weeks" - Dan 9:20-27
   b. Edward J. Young describes it as "one of the most difficult in all
      the OT, and the interpretations which have been offered are almost legion."
   c. Stuart says that "it would require a volume of considerable
      magnitude even to give a history of the ever-varying and
      contradictory opinions that have been offered"
 
2. With such a difficult passage before us, we should ...
   a. Approach it with humility, and not dogmatically
   b. Not draw conclusions that would contradict clear teachings of Scripture

[We begin our study with verse 20, in which Daniel first describes...]

I. THE ARRIVAL OF GABRIEL

   A. AT THE TIME OF EVENING OFFERING...
      1. Even as Daniel was confessing his sin and the sin of his
         people, and making supplication for the holy mountain of God
         (i.e., Jerusalem) - Dan 9:20-21
      2. This was the same person seen in the vision at the beginning- cf. Dan 8:16

   B. TO GIVE DANIEL SKILL TO UNDERSTAND...
      1. Commanded to do so even at the beginning of Daniel's prayer
         - Dan 9:22-23
      2. For Daniel was "greatly beloved" - cf. Dan 10:11,19

[And so Gabriel, who provided explanation to Daniel regarding the
vision of the ram and the goat (Dan 8:16), now proceeds to give
details concerning...]

II. THE VISION OF THE SEVENTY WEEKS

   A. A GENERAL STATEMENT OF WHAT IS TO OCCUR...
      1. 70 "weeks" are determined for Daniel's people (Israel) and his
         holy city (Jerusalem) - Dan 9:24
         a. The word "weeks" in Hebrew is actually "sevens" (i.e., 70 "sevens")
         b. Most agree it likely refers to "weeks", but weeks of what?
            1) Weeks of days?
               a) Then it would be 490 days
               b) Few believe this to be the case, and so most all
                  figuratize this passage to some extent
            2) Weeks of years (i.e., each day representing a year)?
               a) Then it would be 490 years
               b) But the Jews used a lunar calendar (360 days/yr), so
                  it would be 483 years according to our calendar)
               c) Many suggest this to be the answer, but it is not without difficulty
            3) Of some complete, yet non-specific period of time?
               a) Then it may just refer to seventy complete periods of time
               b) And each week may not be equivalent in time (i.e.,
                  one "week" may be longer than other "weeks")
      2. This period of time will be for the fulfillment of six things,
         each apparently related to the work of the coming Messiah
         a. To finish the transgression
            1) The marginal reading has "restrain" for "finish"
            2) The idea is that Messiah would provide a restraining
               power and influence which would check the progress of sin (Barnes)
               - cf. Ac 3:25-26
         b. To make an end of sins
            1) The marginal reading has "to seal up" for "make an end"
            2) The idea is that sins will be sealed up, or closed, or
               hidden, so that they will not be seen, or will not
               develop themselves (Barnes) - cf. Ac 3:19
         c. To make reconciliation for iniquity
            1) Literally, to cover iniquity
            2) How this would be done is not stated here, but cf. Isa 53:5-6,10-12
         -- Note:  The first three things relate to our Lord's work of
            dealing with the problem of sin, how sin would 
            "restrained", "sealed up", and "covered over"
         d. To bring in everlasting righteousness
            1) Literally, to cause to come
            2) To provide a way by which a man could become righteous
               and holy - cf. Ro 3:21-26; 2Co 5:21
         e. To seal up the vision and the prophecy
            1) To complete, to finish, meaning the prophecies would be
               fulfilled (Barnes)
            2) Young suggests that it is referring to OT prophecies,
               especially those related to the work of the Messiah
               making an end of sin - cf. Lk 24:44-47
         f. To anoint the Most Holy
            1) Barnes opines that the Most Holy refers to the temple in Jerusalem
            2) And that the anointing of the temple refers to the
               presence of the Messiah in the temple - cf. Mal 3:1-2;Mt 12:6
            3) Especially regarding the presence of the Lord in the
               temple during His final week - cf. Mt 21:1-16
            4) Some believe it may refer to the baptism of Jesus when
               the Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove - Mt 3:16-17

   B. A SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION OF HOW THIS WOULD OCCUR...
      1. There shall be 7 weeks and 62 weeks - Dan 9:25
         a. Beginning with the command to restore and build Jerusalem,
            until Messiah the prince (the street and the wall shall be
            built, even in troublesome times)
         b. At least three possible decrees may serve as the "terminus
            pro quo" (starting point) of the 70 "weeks"
            1) The decree of Cyrus (539-538 BC) - cf. Ezr 1:1-4
               a) To rebuild the temple (and the city, cf. Isa 44:26-28; 45:13)
               b) If one starts here, then the 70 weeks could not be
                  490 literal years, for that would place the end of
                  the 70 weeks around 55 B.C. (much too early)
               c) The appeal of using this decree as the starting point
                  1] It is the most well-known decree regarding the restoration of Israel
                  2] It was given about the time Daniel received his
                     vision of the 70 weeks
               -- This decree is preferred by many who do not hold to a
                  literal 490 years (Young, Harkrider, McGuiggan)
            2) The decree of Artaxerxes (457 BC) - cf. Ezr 7:13-14
               a) For Ezra to restore the Law and its worship
               b) Starting here, 490 Julian years would end the 70weeks around 33 A.D.
               c) But 490 lunar years end the 70 weeks around 26 A.D.
                  (seven years too early)
               -- This decree is preferred by some amillenialists who
                  hold to a literal 490 years, but not lunar years
                  (Haley's Bible Handbook)
            3) The second decree of Artaxerxes (445-444 BC) - cf. Neh
               a) For Nehemiah to build the city
               b) Starting here, 490 lunar years end the 70 weeks around 38 A.D.
               c) This would place the start of the 70th week near the
                  beginning of Jesus' public ministry (ca. 30 A.D.)
               d) There are problems with the first 7 weeks ending
                  around 396 B.C., which some contend is too late for
                  the restoration of the city
            -- Premillenialists prefer to start with this decree, but
               so do some amillenialists such as Albert Barnes
         c. Each starting date has its problems, but I lean towards
            Barnes' choice of the second decree of Artaxerxes in 445
            B.C. as the terminus a quo for this prophecy
            1) The 7 and 62 "weeks" is the period of time from the
               decree until "Messiah the Prince"
            2) Barnes has this period ending with the baptism of Jesus
               and the beginning of His public ministry
      2. After the 62 weeks, certain events will occur - Dan 9:26-27
         a. Messiah will be cut off, but not for Himself
            1) This refers to the death of Christ
            2) Whose death occurs midway during the 70th week (see below)
         b. People of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city
            and the sanctuary
            1) The end of it shall be with a flood; until the end of
               the war, desolations are determined
               a) The people are generally accepted to be the Romans,
                  who destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70
               b) The "prince" is thought to be either Titus, the Roman
                  general, or perhaps referring to Jesus Himself (with
                  the Roman army as the instrument of God's judgment
                  upon Jerusalem)
            2) Many contend that the destruction must fall within the 70th week
               a) However, Young and Barnes argue that such is not
                  necessarily required by the text
               b) The desolation to befall Jerusalem may be the
                  consequence of events during the 70th week, and not
                  fall within the period of the 70th week
         c. For 1 week, he shall confirm a covenant with many
            1) "He" refers to Jesus (Barnes)
            2) "Confirm a covenant" describes the work done by Jesus
               and His apostles in Israel, before and immediately after
               His death (Barnes)
               a) His earthly ministry lasted about 3 and half years
               b) The gospel was preached only to Jews for 3-4 years
                  after Pentecost
         d. In the middle of the week he shall bring an end to
            sacrifice and offering
            1) This refers to Jesus who was cut off, but not for Himself (Barnes)
            2) Through His death, He brought the need for sacrifices to
               an end - He 10:12-18
         e. The abomination and desolation to come - Dan 9:27
            1) Alluding to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70
            2) Jesus referred to this in Mt 24:15
            3) Again, this desolation may be the consequence of what
               occurred in the 70th week, even though it occurred after
               the 70th week
            4) But if required to occur during the 70th week, then the
               70th week must extend beyond A.D. 70 (Harkrider, McGuiggan)

CONCLUSION

1. Such a brief look at this difficult passage will naturally raise
   many questions, which are beyond the scope of our study

2. For more detailed study, one might consider the following
   commentaries which provide several alternative views...
   a. Commentary on Daniel, Albert Barnes
   b. The Prophecy of Daniel, Edward J. Young
   c. Commentary on Revelation, Robert F. Harkrider
   d. The Book Of Daniel, Jim McGuiggan
   e. Exposition Of Daniel, H. C. Leupold
   -- Each of these examine the passage from the amillenial
      perspective, which finds no place for the "gap theory" favored by
      dispensational premillenialists

While the passage is admittedly difficult, let's not lose sight of the
wonderful promises concerning the Messiah's work related to sin and
righteousness.  For Jesus through His death has truly brought an end to
the consequences of sin and introduced everlasting righteousness!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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"Radical" Distortion of the Scriptures by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.



"Radical" Distortion of the Scriptures
by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


The As Good As New version of the Bible, translated by former Baptist minister John Henson, and subtitled “A Radical Retelling of the Scriptures,” was released in June 2004 by an English group of self-confessed radicals who call themselves “One.” As Good As New might have gone largely unnoticed by the religious community, had England’s archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams (the leader of the Anglican church) not given the translation his enthusiastic stamp of approval (see “New Bible Translation...,” 2004). A press release from “Ekklesia,” a London-based theological think tank that supports the “One” translation, revealed the following:
The translation by John Henson from the organization “One” aims at a “new, fresh and adventurous” translation of the early Christian scriptures. It is designed both for mature Christians and for those who have limited experience of traditional Christianity or “may have found it a barrier to an appreciation of Jesus” (“The One Translation,” 2004).
However, it is apparent that Henson’s focus was not on giving his readers an accurate translation, but on making his radical readers feel comfortable, even if it compromises the real meaning of the Scriptures. One retailer wrote of As Good As New:
It also follows the cultural translation, where for instance “demon possession” becomes what it is as understood today, “mental illness.” It follows “contextual translation,” following the sense over longer sections. It is also “inclusive,” following the principles which Jesus adopted in relation to his culture. It is women, gay, and sinner friendly. Other radical departures reflect the need to demythologize in order to translate adequately into our own culture. For instance “Kingdom of God” thus becomes “God’s New World” (“A Radical and Readable...,” 2004).
The archbishop has praised Henson for replacing “the stale, the technical, the unconsciously exclusive words and policies” of the Bible, with modern phrasing (not to mention modern teachings, which differ from the plain teaching of the original Bible authors) [“New Bible Translation...,” 2004]. Few have a problem with those who merely want the Bible to be understandable (though it certainly is understandable in more traditional versions), but after considering the lengths to which Henson went to morph the Bible into something he considers “readable,” reasonable readers will reject it. Keep in mind that a “community” of random religionists, who happened to take interest in Henson’s translation process, provided contributions to this work. Apparently, the group of contributors in translation was not composed strictly of Greek or Hebrew scholars, but of “whoever” happened to contribute.
Henson and company have not given readers merely an English “translation” from the original Bible languages. (As Good As New is a translation only in the sense that “One” calls it a translation. Henson did not seem concerned about the actual original words themselves [see “The One Translation,” 2004], but only the “sense” of various collections of those words, so “paraphrase” would better describe what “One” has produced.) In short, Henson has attempted to rewrite the Bible.
For example, in an attempt to include only what “One” deems to be “the selection of books which were held in the highest esteem by the early Church in the first two centuries,” the book of Revelation has been excluded, and has been replaced by the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas (“A Radical and Readable...”, 2004). In their efforts to eliminate all “big words” from scripture, this vaguely defined group of translators has given modern nicknames to many of the Bible’s characters. For example, the apostle Peter is “Rocky,” Mary Magdalene is “Maggie,” John the Baptizer is “John the Dipper,” Aaron’s name is shortened to “Ron,” and Nicodemus becomes, simply, “Nick.”
“One” has subverted plain Bible texts in order to make the Gospel more politically correct. According to London Times religious correspondent Ruth Gledhill, “Instead of condemning fornicators, adulterers, and ‘abusers of themselves with mankind’ [as Paul did, through inspiration, when he wrote 1 Corinthians 6:9—CC], the new version of Paul’s first letter to Corinth has Paul advising Christians not to go without sex for too long, in case they get ‘frustrated’ ” (as quoted in “New Bible Translation...,” 2004). Instead of properly translating Paul’s command (recorded in 1 Corinthians 7:1-2) that, to avoid fornication, every man should have his own wife, and every woman should have her own husband, As Good As New has Paul writing: “My advice is for everyone to have a regular partner” (quoted in “New Bible Translation,” 2004).
The perversion does not stop there. “Heaven” becomes, in the new translation, “a world without time and space.” “Parables” are called “riddles.” In an effort to find favor with women, the contributors to As Good As New chose to render “Son of Man,” a title Jesus often called Himself, as “The Complete Person,” and “Father,” one of God’s scriptural titles, as “All Loving God.” Also in order to please women, Jesus is not called the “Son of God,” but rather “God’s Likeness.”
Such perversion is what one might expect from an organization that lists in its top five priorities, not to teach or defend the truth, but to “challenge oppression, injustice, exclusion and discrimination,” to “accept one another, valuing their diversity and experience” (“Who We Are,” 2003). Members of “One” commit themselves to accepting one another “in Christ,” to “support actively those doing Christ’s work inside or outside this institutional church,” and to combating “poverty, racism, and oppression through social and political action” (“Who We Are,” 2003, emp. added). One does not have to examine much of the “One’s” published material before he realizes that the primary purpose of the group is not to teach people how to be saved, but rather to push a leftist agenda down the throats of religious people. For “One,” a major step toward accomplishing that purpose would be widespread acceptance of As Good As New.
Accordingly, archbishop Williams hopes the new translation will spread “in epidemic profusion through religious and irreligious alike.” However, reasonable people will realize what As Good As New is: a twisted perversion of the Holy Scriptures. Henson, Williams, and the members of “One” and “Ekklesia” should fear for their souls, because they not only are teaching things that are contrary to plain Bible teaching (even though they do so by attempting to deceive people into thinking just the opposite), but also promoting exactly what the inspired apostle John forbade: “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him he plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).
The truth is that we can know, without a doubt, what books belong in the Bible (see A.P. Staff, 2003) and that the Bible is understandable. Because of the work of respected Greek and Hebrew scholars, we can understand, in English, just what God wants us to know. For example, the King James Version is on a 12th grade reading level, the New American Standard Bible is on a 10th or 11th grade level, and the New King James Version on an 8th or 9th grade level (“English Bible Translation...,” 2004; “Reading Levels of Various...,” n.d.). Religious people do not need a dangerous distortion of the Bible in order to overcome a perceived problem in comprehending the Gospel. People have been reading, understanding, and obeying the Bible for almost 2,000 years, with no help from John Henson or his makeshift group of translators.

REFERENCES

“A Radical and Readable New Translation” (2004), John Hunt Publications, [On-line], URL: http://www.o-books.net/goodasnew.htm.
“English Bible Translation Comparison” (2004), International Bible Society, [On-line], URL: http://www.gospelcom.net/ibs/bibles/translations/index.php.
“New Bible Translation Promotes Fornication” (2004), [On-line], URL: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39114.
“Reading Levels of Various Bible Translations,” (n.d.), [On-line], URL: http://www.bridgebuilders.4mg.com/bibles_reading_levels.htm.
A.P. Staff (2003), “The Canon and Non-Canonical Writings,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1972.
“The One Translation” (2004), [On-line], URL: http://one.gn.apc.org/Translation.htm.
“Who We Are” (2004), The “One” Council, [On-line], URL: http://one.gn.apc.org/whoweare.htm.

"Not Under Bondage" by Dave Miller, Ph.D.





"Not Under Bondage"

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


“But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace” (1 Corinthians 7:15).
A current misconception with regard to divorce and remarriage is the notion that 1 Corinthians 7:15 is a “later revelation” that “modifies” or “clarifies” Matthew 19:9. It is argued that 1 Corinthians 7:15 permits the Christian, who is deserted by a non-Christian mate, to remarry on the sole ground of that desertion. On the other hand, it is suggested, Matthew 19:9 (which permits remarriage only on the ground of fornication) applies strictly to a Christian married to a Christian, and therefore is not to be considered applicable to the Christian who is married to a non-Christian. Several factors make this position untenable.
First, the context of Matthew 19 is divorce (Matthew 19:3), while the context of 1 Corinthians 7 is not divorce but the propriety of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1ff.). Jesus applied God’s original marriage law (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6) to the question of divorce and remarriage (Matthew 19:9). But Paul applied God’s marriage law to several different questions that related to celibacy and the legitimacy of marriage for widows/widowers, Christians/non-Christians, and singles.
Second, it is incorrect to hold that if 1 Corinthians 7:15 pertains to a Christian married to a non-Christian, then Matthew 19:9 must refer exclusively to a Christian married to a Christian. Matthew 19:9 was uttered in context to a group of Jews seeking an answer to their question concerning Jewish divorce (Matthew 19:3). Jesus gave them an answer that was intended for them, as well as for those who would live during the Christian age. He appealed to Genesis 2, which resides in a pre-Jewish context and clearly applies to all people—i.e., the totality of humanity. Genesis 2 is a human race context. It reveals God’s ideal will for human marriage for all of human history—pre-Mosaic, Mosaic, and Christian.
Though divorce and remarriage for reasons other than fornication was “permitted” (epetrepsen—Matthew 19:8, though not endorsed) during the Mosaic period, Jesus made clear that the Jews had strayed from the original ideal because of their hard hearts. He further emphasized (notice the use of de—“but” in Matthew 19:9) that the original marriage law, which permitted divorce and remarriage for fornication alone, would be reinstated and would be applicable to all persons during the Christian age. Prior to the cross, ignorance may have been “unattended to” (huperidon—Acts 17:30), that is, God did not have a universal law, like the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16), but with the ratification of the New Testament, all men everywhere are responsible and liable for conforming themselves to God’s universal laws of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. God’s original marriage law was, and is, addressed to all people (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6). Christ’s application to the question of divorce was implied in the original law, and is addressed to all people (Matthew 19:9). Paul’s application to questions of sex, celibacy, and non-Christian mates is addressed to all people (1 Corinthians 7). Scripture harmonizes beautifully, and God treats all impartially. Thus the phrase “to the rest” (1 Corinthians 7:12) cannot be referring uniquely or solely to non-Christian marriage relationships, since Jesus already referred to all marriages (whether Jew or non-Jew, Christian or non-Christian).
Third, 1 Corinthians 7 does not address different “classes” of marriagesThe Corinthian letter was written in response to correspondence previously sent to Paul by the Corinthians (cf. 1:11; 5:1; 7:1; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1). Thus, 1 Corinthians amounts to a point-by-point response to matters previously raised by the Corinthians themselves. When Paul referred to the general question of sexual activity/celibacy (7:1), he was alluding to the method by which he organized his remarks in direct response to questions asked by the Corinthians. Thus, “to the rest” (7:12) refers to the rest of the matters or questions about which the Corinthians specifically inquired (and to which Jesus did not make specific application while on Earth). These matters (not marriages) are easily discernible from what follows. The “rest” of the questions would have included the following:
  • Should a Christian male who has a non-Christian wife sever the relationship (vs. 12)?
  • Should a Christian female who has a non-Christian husband sever the relationship (vs. 13)?
  • Are Christians somehow ceremonially defiled or rendered unclean by such relationships (vs. 14)?
  • Are children born to such relationships ceremonially unclean (vs. 14)?
  • Is a Christian guilty of sin if their non-Christian mate severs the relationship (vs. 15-16)?
  • Does becoming a Christian mean that one should dissolve all conditions and relationships that were entered into before becoming a Christian (vss. 17-24)?
  • What should be the sexual and/or marital status of virgins and widows in light of the current period of distress (vss. 25-40)?
All of these questions may be answered in light of, and in harmony with, Jesus’ own remarks in Matthew 19. Jesus did not specifically make application to these unique instances (vs. 12—“to the rest speak I, not the Lord”). He did not address Himself to the application of God’s general marriage law to every specific situation (specifically to the spiritual status of a Christian married to a non-Christian). Yet, His teaching applies to every case of marriage on the question of divorce.
Fourth, the specific context of 1 Corinthians 7:15 relates to the person who becomes a Christian, but whose mate does not. The unbeliever now finds himself married to a different person (in the sense that his mate underwent a total change and began to live a completely different lifestyle). The unbeliever demands that his mate make a choice: “either give up Christ or I’m leaving!” Yet to live in marriage with an unbeliever, who threatens departure if the believer does not capitulate to the unbeliever (i.e., compromise Christian responsibility or neglect divinely ordained duty), is to be involved in slavery (i.e., “bondage”). But neither at the time the marriage was contracted, nor at the present time (the force of the perfect indicative passive in Greek), has the Christian been under that kind of bondage. God never intended nor approved a view that regards marriage as slavery. Christians are slaves only to God—never to men or mates (Matthew 23:10; Romans 6:22; Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:24; Philemon 16; 1 Corinthians 7:15). So Paul was saying that although a believer is married to an unbeliever (and continues to be so), the believer is not to compromise his or her discipleship. To do so, at the insistence of the unbelieving mate, would constitute slavery that was never God’s intention for marriage.
To suggest that dedoulotai (“bondage”) refers to the marriage bond is to maintain that in some sense (or in some cases) the marriage bond is to be viewed as a state of slaveryBut God does not want us to view our marital unions as slave relationships in which we are “under bondage.” We may be “bound” (1 Corinthians 7:27,39; Romans 7:2), but we are not “enslaved” (1 Corinthians 7:15). So Paul was not commenting on the status of a believer’s marital relationship (i.e., whether bound or loosed). Rather, he was commenting on the status of a believer’s spiritual relationship as a Christian in the context of marital discord that is initiated by the non-Christian mate. Paul was answering the question: “How does being married to a non-Christian affect my status as a Christian if he or she threatens to leave?” He was not answering the question: “How does being married to a non-Christian affect my status as a husband/wife (and the potential for remarriage) when the non-Christian departs?” Jesus already answered that question in Matthew 19:9—divorce and remarriage is permitted only upon the basis of sexual unfaithfulness. Paul, too, spoke more directly to this question earlier in the chapter when he ruled out remarriage: “Let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband” (vss. 10-11).
To summarize: although God’s marriage law is stringent (for everybody), and although God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), nevertheless, there are times when an unbelieving mate actually will force the believer to make a choice between Christ and the unbelieving mate. To choose the mate over Christ would be slavery (i.e., “bondage”). Yet, the believer is not now, and never has been, in such enslavement. Thus, the believer must let the unbeliever exit the relationship in peace. The believer must “let him depart”—in the sense that the believer must not seek to prevent his departure by compromising his loyalty to Christ. Of course, the Christian would continue to hold out hope that the marriage could be saved. If, however, the non-Christian forms a sexual union outside of marriage with another, the Christian is permitted the right to exercise the injunction of Matthew 19:9 by putting away the non-Christian on the sole grounds of fornication, and may then marry another eligible person.
One final factor needs to be addressed. Verses 17-24 cannot be requiring an individual to remain in whatever marital state that person is in at the time of conversion. Paul used the examples of slavery and circumcision to show that merely because a person becomes a Christian, he or she is not absolved of pre-Christian circumstances. If a person is a slave prior to baptism, that person will continue to be a slave after baptism, and should not think that becoming a Christian gives one the right to shirk legal status as a slave. This is why Paul instructed Onesimus to return to his position of servitude (Philemon 12). Thus Paul was encouraging the person who becomes a Christian, but whose mate does not become a Christian, to remain in that marriage rather than think that becoming a Christian somehow gives him or her the right to sever the relationship with the non-Christian mate. Being married to a non-Christian mate is not sinful in and of itself (see Miller, 2002).
Paul was not placing his stamp of approval upon relationships, practices, and conditions that were sinful prior to baptism; nor was he encouraging Christians to remain in those relationships. Such would contradict what he later told the Corinthians concerning unequal yokes (2 Corinthians 6:17) and repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-10). Rather, he was referring to relationships and conditions that were not sinful prior to baptism, and was telling Christians that they still had the same obligation to conduct themselves appropriately (i.e., according to God’s laws) within those situations, now that they were Christians. Such instructions apply to any relationship, practice, or condition that was not sinful (i.e., in violation of Christ’s laws) prior to baptism. But it does not apply to any practice or relationship that was sinful prior to baptism (i.e., adultery, homosexuality, evil business practices, etc.; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
May God grant us the humility and determination to conform our lives to His will concerning marriage—no matter how narrow it may seem (Matthew 7:14). May the church of our day be spared any further harm that comes from the promotion of false theories and doctrines that are calculated to re-define God’s will as “wide” and “broad” (Matthew 7:13). May we truly seek to please, not men, but God (Galatians 1:10).
REFERENCES
Miller, Dave (2002), “Be Not Unequally Yoked,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1802.

"Calling on the Name of the Lord" by Eric Lyons, M.Min.





"Calling on the Name of the Lord"

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Considering how many people within “Christendom” teach that an individual can be saved merely by professing a belief in Christ, it is not surprising that skeptics claim that the Bible contradicts itself in this regard. Although Peter and Paul declared, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13; cf. Joel 2:32), skeptics quickly remind their readers that Jesus once stated: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21; cf. Luke 6:46). Allegedly, Matthew 7:21 clashes with such passages as Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 (see Morgan, 2003; Wells, 2001). Since many professed Christians seem to equate “calling on the name of the Lord” with the idea of saying to Jesus, “Lord, save me,” Bible critics feel even more justified in their pronouncement of “conflicting testimonies.” How can certain professed followers of Christ claim that they were saved by simply “calling out to Christ,” when Christ Himself proclaimed that a mere calling upon Him would not save a person?
The key to correctly understanding the phrase “calling on the name of the Lord” is to recognize that more is involved in this action than a mere verbal petition directed toward God. The “call” mentioned in Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13, and Acts 22:16 (where Paul was “calling on the name of the Lord”), is not equated with the “call” (“Lord, Lord”) Jesus spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:21).
First, it is appropriate to mention that even in modern times, to “call on” someone frequently means more than simply making a request for something. When a doctor goes to the hospital to “call on” some of his patients, he does not merely walk into the room and say, “I just wanted to come by and say, ‘Hello.’ I wish you the best. Now pay me.” On the contrary, he involves himself in a service. He examines the patient, listens to the patient’s concerns, gives further instructions regarding the patient’s hopeful recovery, and then oftentimes prescribes medication. All of these elements may be involved in a doctor “calling upon” a patient. In the mid-twentieth century, it was common for young men to “call on” young ladies. Again, this expression meant something different than just “making a request” (Brown, 1976, p. 5).
Second, when an individual takes the time to study how the expression “calling on God” is used throughout Scripture, the only reasonable conclusion to draw is that, just as similar phrases sometimes have a deeper meaning in modern America, the expression “calling on God” often had a deeper meaning in Bible times. Take, for instance, Paul’s statement recorded in Acts 25:11: “I appeal unto Caesar.” The word “appeal” (epikaloumai) is the same word translated “call” (or “calling”) in Acts 2:21, 22:16, and Romans 10:13. But, Paul was not simply saying, “I’m calling on Caesar to save me.” As James Bales noted:
Paul, in appealing to Caesar, was claiming the right of a Roman citizen to have his case judged by Caesar. He was asking that his case be transferred to Caesar’s court and that Caesar hear and pass judgment on his case. In so doing, he indicated that he was resting his case on Caesar’s judgment. In order for this to be done Paul had to submit to whatever was necessary in order for his case to be brought before Caesar. He had to submit to the Roman soldiers who conveyed him to Rome. He had to submit to whatever formalities or procedure Caesar demanded of those who came before him. All of this was involved in his appeal to Caesar (1960, pp. 81-82, emp. added).
Paul’s “calling” to Caesar involved his submission to him. “That, in a nutshell,” wrote T. Pierce Brown, “is what ‘calling on the Lord’ involves”—obedience (1976, p. 5). It is not a mere verbal recognition of God, or a verbal petition to Him. Those whom Paul (before his conversion to Christ) sought to bind in Damascus—Christians who were described as people “who call on Your [Jehovah’s] name”—were not people who only prayed to God, but those who were serving the Lord, and who, by their obedience, were submitting themselves to His authority (cf. Matthew 28:18). Interestingly, Zephaniah 3:9 links one’s “calling” with his “service”: “For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord” (emp. added). When a person submits to the will of God, he accurately can be described as “calling on the Lord.” Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 (among other passages) do not contradict Matthew 7:21, because to “call on the Lord” entails more than just pleading for salvation; it involves submitting to God’s will. According to Colossians 3:17, every single act a Christian performs (in word or deed) should be carried out by Christ’s authority. For a non-Christian receiving salvation, this is no different. In order to obtain salvation, a person must submit to the Lord’s authority. This is what the passages in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 are teaching; it is up to us to go elsewhere in the New Testament to learn how to call upon the name of the Lord.
After Peter quoted the prophecy of Joel and told those in Jerusalem on Pentecost that “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21), he told them how to go about “calling on the name of the Lord.” The people in the audience in Acts 2 did not understand Peter’s quotation of Joel to mean that an alien sinner must pray to God for salvation. [Their question in Acts 2:37 (“Men and brethren, what shall we do?”) indicates such.] Furthermore, when Peter responded to their question and told them what to do to be saved, he did not say, “I’ve already told you what to do. You can be saved by petitioning God for salvation through prayer. Just call on His name.” On the contrary, Peter had to explain to them what it meant to “call on the name of the Lord.” Instead of repeating this statement when the crowd sought further guidance from the apostles, Peter commanded them, saying, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (2:38). Notice the parallel between Acts 2:21 and 2:38:
Acts 2:21WhoeverCallsOn the name of the LordShall be saved
Acts 2:38Everyone of youRepent and be baptizedIn the name of Jesus ChristFor the remission of sins
Peter’s non-Christian listeners learned that “calling on the name of the Lord for salvation” was equal to obeying the Gospel, which approximately 3,000 did that very day by repenting of their sins and being baptized into Christ (2:38,41).
But what about Romans 10:13? What is the “call” mentioned in this verse? Notice Romans 10:11-15:
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” (emp. added).
Although this passage does not define precisely what is meant by one “calling on the name of the Lord,” it does indicate that an alien sinner cannot “call” until after he has heard the Word of God and believed it. Such was meant by Paul’s rhetorical questions: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” Paul’s statements in this passage are consistent with Peter’s proclamations in Acts 2. It was only after the crowd on Pentecost believed in the resurrected Christ Whom Peter preached (as is evident by their being “cut to the heart” and their subsequent question, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”) that Peter told them how to call on the name of the Lord and be saved (2:38).
Perhaps the clearest description of what it means for an alien sinner to “call on the name of the Lord” is found in Acts 22. As the apostle Paul addressed the mob in Jerusalem, he spoke of his encounter with the Lord, Whom he asked, “What shall I do?” (22:10; cf. 9:6). The answer Jesus gave Him at that time was not “call on the name of the Lord.” Instead, Jesus instructed him to “arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do” (22:10). Paul (or Saul—Acts 13:9) demonstrated his belief in Jesus as he went into the city and waited for further instructions. In Acts 9, we learn that during the next three days, while waiting to meet with Ananias, Paul fasted and prayed (vss. 9,11). Although some today might consider what Paul was doing at this point as “calling on the name of the Lord,” Ananias, God’s chosen messenger to Paul, did not think so. He did not tell Paul, “I see you have already called on God. Your sins are forgiven.” After three days of fasting and praying, Paul still was lost in his sins. Even though he obviously believed at this point, and had prayed to God, he had yet to “call on the name of the Lord” for salvation. When Ananias finally came to Paul, he told him: “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (22:16). Ananias knew that Paul had not yet “called on the name of the Lord,” just as Peter knew that those on Pentecost had not done so before his command to “repent and be baptized.” Thus, Ananias instructed Paul to “be baptized, and wash away your sins.” The participle phrase, “calling on the name of the Lord,” describes what Paul was doing when he was baptized for the remission of his sins. Every non-Christian who desires to “call on the name of the Lord” to be saved, does so, not simply by saying, “Lord, Lord” (cf. Matthew 7:21), or just by wording a prayer to God (e.g., Paul—Acts 9; 22; cf. Romans 10:13-14), but by obeying God’s instructions to “repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins” (Acts 2:38).
This is not to say that repentance and baptism have always been (or are always today) synonymous with “calling on the name of the Lord.” Abraham was not baptized when he “called upon the name of the Lord” (Genesis 12:8; cf. 4:26), because baptism was not demanded of God before New Testament times. And, as I mentioned earlier, when the New Testament describes people who are already Christians as “calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 9:14,21; 1 Corinthians 1:2), it certainly does not mean that Christians continually were being baptized for the remission of their sins after having been baptized to become a Christian (cf. 1 John 1:5-10). Depending on when and where the phrase is used, “calling on the name of the Lord” includes: (1) obedience to the gospel plan of salvation; (2) worshiping God; and (3) faithful service to the Lord (Bates, 1979, p. 5). However, it never is used in the sense that all the alien sinner must do in order to be saved is to cry out and say, “Lord, Lord, save me.”
Thus, the skeptic’s allegation that Matthew 7:21 contradicts Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 is unsubstantiated. And, the professed Christian who teaches that all one must do to be saved is just say the sinner’s prayer, is in error.

REFERENCES

Bales, James (1960), The Hub of the Bible—Or—Acts Two Analyzed (Shreveport, LA: Lambert Book House).
Bates, Bobby (1979), “Whosoever Shall Call Upon the Name of the Lord Shall be Saved,” Firm Foundation, 96:5, March 20.
Brown, T. Pierce (1976), “Calling on His Name,” Firm Foundation, 93:5, July 20.
Morgan, Donald (2003), “Biblical Inconsistencies,” [On-line], URL: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/inconsistencies.shtml.
Wells, Steve (2001), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, [On-line], URL: http://www.Skepticsannotatedbible.com.

THE HOLY ONE & A BABY’S TOES by Jim McGuiggan



THE HOLY ONE & A BABY’S TOES

There are many biographies of Chesterton but the one I enjoyed most was by his friend Maisie Ward. I suppose that the majority of biographies these days works on being “realistic” and to some of those writers that means discussing at length “the warts”. I’m not utterly opposed to that. There is only one Jesus and the rest of us fall far short so if biographers do a thorough search on any of us they’ll find plenty of “warts” (and plenty of alleged warts as well, no doubt). Sometimes I think I can spot the relish with which some writers write to bring down “a god”. I think, for example, (though this is perhaps a bit harsh) I see it in Wilson’s biography of CS Lewis. Of course, I never thought Lewis was Jesus (nor did he!) so I “get it” when people show us some truths that make our heroes less than “Sir Galahads”.
I think “realism” is legitimate and important (unless we begin to worship it as at a shrine) and I think that writing or speaking that doesn’t at least take some account of truth that is less than pleasing to a subject’s friends or family isn’t helpful. But I can’t help thinking that covering a beloved’s wrong is a good thing and important. I think the same is true of one we esteem and are grateful to for many good reasons. But, understand, I do think that some things need to be dealt with openly and judiciously.  Sometimes and in certain situations the whistle should be blown!
But is there not a kind of spirit that can shape us and lead us into seeing (real!) evil or shabbiness or purposed violence and urges us to write or speak about it with a salivating fever and relish; urgently feeling the need to tear open the body of humanity to expose the seething wickedness that can be found there? Showing it in movies like Casino or The Good Fellas or newspapers and books that we’re well acquainted with? Yes, but we want realism!  I think that’s a good thing! I also think a very little of certain kinds of realism goes a long way. A lot of it is bound to generate contagious cynicism and gloom and smugness in the writers & speakers.
What kind of realism is it if a husband speaks lovely things of his wife but feels compelled by “honesty” to speak of really distasteful things he finds in her or thinks are in her?
I take seriously William Lyon Phelps’ remark on books. He said this: ”Zola was an artist of extraordinary energy, sincerity and honesty; but, after all, when he gazed upon a dunghill, he saw and described a dunghill. Rostand looked steadfastly at the same object and beheld the vision of Chanticleer.” Yes, I’m currently convinced there is a spirit abroad among us that leads us to “expose”. But I also know there are millions, whether Christian or non-Christians who take to heart this truth, “Love covers a multitude of sins.”
But I didn’t intend to go into all that. (There’s no cure for my lack of discipline I’m afraid.) I simply wanted to tell you (perhaps again) since it’s on my mind, that GK Chesterton in a little collection of his essays called, What’s Wrong With the World makes the claim that a major problem with it is that we have lost the sense of wonder. There is, he insisted, many wonderful things, we just don’t have the capacity to perceive them. Everything (pretty much) is reduced to materialism or rational explanation or economic or social worth. “What does it do? What difference does it make? What’s it worth?” All these asked in a severely pragmatic spirit. “Wonder?” Poof! It vanishes in a cloud of purple smoke or maybe more likely, it slowly withers in us. GK says that we (the world and all in it) have grown old and God has stayed young! God doesn’t make flowers en masse, He makes them one at a time (no doubt with speed passing the speed of light). He loves individual humans also. (I know this raises difficult questions. But not right now.)
He, like a little child isn’t bored with repetition. We acknowledge it (realistically) and adjust to it but He delights in it. Following Chesterton’s lead I’m looking forward to the day when I walk into a room and there’s a baby sitting on the floor with its eyes big and wide in amazement—it has just discovered the wonder of its toes (you’ve seen that, haven’t you!) and there beside the baby is God with His eyes wide open looking at the same thing. He’ll turn and say with excitement in His great voice, “Have you seen these?”
Reduce all we want; make Christmas nothing but a time of greed and capitalism and pain for many poor people, children and parents (sadly, there’s a great deal of that), but if that’s all we see and miss the wonder of the Christian faith and the incarnation of God we’ve been hurt and we have grown old while God remains ever young and ever joyful knowing where He’s going with all this.
(Holy Father, enable us to balance reality with wonder or at least enable us to seek to balance them! This prayer in the name of the ever-young Prince.)

BORN SINNER PROOF-TEXTS THAT DO NOT PROVE BY STEVE FINNELL



BORN SINNER PROOF-TEXTS THAT DO NOT PROVE BY STEVE FINNELL


There are a billion Catholics and tens of millions in other denominations that have concluded that all men are born sinners because they inherited Adam's sin and are born with a sin nature.

Born sinner proof-text. Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged  from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. (NKJV)

1. It assumes all men born, are wicked.

2. It treats figurative language as literal. To be literal, then, all the wicked babies in the delivery room of the hospital would be speaking lies at the time of their birth.

3. Point, they were not born astray. They went astray. Infants cannot go astray. Men must know right from wrong to go astray.

Born sinner proof-text. Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,  And in sin my mother conceived me. (NKJV)

Was David literally, saying he was born guilty of Adam's sin at birth? Was he saying he was conceived as a wicked sinner? Of course, not. Hyperbolic and figurative language can be confusing.

Psalm 51:1 .....Blot out my transgressions.(NKJV)

Davis asked God to blot out his transgressions. He did not ask God to blot out Adam's transgression.

Psalm 51:2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.(NKJV)

David ask God to wash him of his iniquity and his sin. He did not ask to be washed because he was guilty of Adam's sin at birth.

Psalm 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. (NKJV)

David did not acknowledge he was born guilty of Adam's transgression. He was concerned about the sins he committed.

Psalm 51:4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight--- That You may be found just when You speak And blameless when You judge. (NKJV)

David did not sin against God while he was still in the womb nor did he sin against God the minute he was born.

God did not give us the Doctrine of Original Sin, so where did it come from? You make the call.  

How Will We Be Known? by B. Johnson



How Will We Be Known?

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right” (Pro 20:11).
Whether a child or a man, we are known by our deeds. Obviously our deeds would include our words.
“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt 12:33-37).
Man’s heart may be known by his words. If a man’s words are honest/dishonest, kind/cruel, loving/hateful, we can know the man.
We can tell whether a child is honest or not in little things. “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:10-12).
One main exception to this rule is hypocrisy. “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1).
We must watch for men who hide their real thoughts. There are many Pharisees in the world today. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14). These men intentionally hide their real thoughts.
God fashions all hearts alike, and then considers what men do with those hearts. “The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works” (Ps 33:13-15).
The face of man shows what the heart is like . “As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man” (Prov 27:19).
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 January 24 - 26 by Gary Rose



Bible Reading for January 24 - 26

World  English  Bible


Jan. 24
Genesis 24

Gen 24:1 Abraham was old, and well stricken in age. Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things.
Gen 24:2 Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please put your hand under my thigh.
Gen 24:3 I will make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live.
Gen 24:4 But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac."
Gen 24:5 The servant said to him, "What if the woman isn't willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?"
Gen 24:6 Abraham said to him, "Beware that you don't bring my son there again.
Gen 24:7 Yahweh, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, 'I will give this land to your seed.' He will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
Gen 24:8 If the woman isn't willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this my oath. Only you shall not bring my son there again."
Gen 24:9 The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
Gen 24:10 The servant took ten camels, of his master's camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master's with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.
Gen 24:11 He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water.
Gen 24:12 He said, "Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
Gen 24:13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.
Gen 24:14 Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, 'Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,' and she will say, 'Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,'--let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."
Gen 24:15 It happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher on her shoulder.
Gen 24:16 The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin, neither had any man known her. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came up.
Gen 24:17 The servant ran to meet her, and said, "Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher."
Gen 24:18 She said, "Drink, my lord." She hurried, and let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him drink.
Gen 24:19 When she had done giving him drink, she said, "I will also draw for your camels, until they have done drinking."
Gen 24:20 She hurried, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.
Gen 24:21 The man looked steadfastly at her, remaining silent, to know whether Yahweh had made his journey prosperous or not.
Gen 24:22 It happened, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold,
Gen 24:23 and said, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father's house for us to lodge in?"
Gen 24:24 She said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor."
Gen 24:25 She said moreover to him, "We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in."
Gen 24:26 The man bowed his head, and worshiped Yahweh.
Gen 24:27 He said, "Blessed be Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, Yahweh has led me in the way to the house of my master's relatives."
Gen 24:28 The young lady ran, and told her mother's house about these words.
Gen 24:29 Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring.
Gen 24:30 It happened, when he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, "This is what the man said to me," that he came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring.
Gen 24:31 He said, "Come in, you blessed of Yahweh. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels."
Gen 24:32 The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
Gen 24:33 Food was set before him to eat, but he said, "I will not eat until I have told my message." He said, "Speak on."
Gen 24:34 He said, "I am Abraham's servant.
Gen 24:35 Yahweh has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys.
Gen 24:36 Sarah, my master's wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him.
Gen 24:37 My master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,
Gen 24:38 but you shall go to my father's house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.'
Gen 24:39 I said to my master, 'What if the woman will not follow me?'
Gen 24:40 He said to me, 'Yahweh, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son of my relatives, and of my father's house.
Gen 24:41 Then will you be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don't give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.'
Gen 24:42 I came this day to the spring, and said, 'Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go--
Gen 24:43 behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes forth to draw, to whom I will say, "Give me, I pray you, a little water from your pitcher to drink,"
Gen 24:44 and she will tell me, "Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,"--let her be the woman whom Yahweh has appointed for my master's son.'
Gen 24:45 Before I had done speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, 'Please let me drink.'
Gen 24:46 She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.' So I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
Gen 24:47 I asked her, and said, 'Whose daughter are you?' She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.' I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands.
Gen 24:48 I bowed my head, and worshiped Yahweh, and blessed Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter for his son.
Gen 24:49 Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left."
Gen 24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, "The thing proceeds from Yahweh. We can't speak to you bad or good.
Gen 24:51 Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master's son's wife, as Yahweh has spoken."
Gen 24:52 It happened that when Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to Yahweh.
Gen 24:53 The servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and her mother.
Gen 24:54 They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. They rose up in the morning, and he said, "Send me away to my master."
Gen 24:55 Her brother and her mother said, "Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she will go."
Gen 24:56 He said to them, "Don't hinder me, seeing Yahweh has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master."
Gen 24:57 They said, "We will call the young lady, and ask her."
Gen 24:58 They called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She said, "I will go."
Gen 24:59 They sent away Rebekah, their sister, with her nurse, Abraham's servant, and his men.
Gen 24:60 They blessed Rebekah, and said to her, "Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your seed possess the gate of those who hate them."
Gen 24:61 Rebekah arose with her ladies. They rode on the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah, and went his way.
Gen 24:62 Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the land of the South.
Gen 24:63 Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening. He lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.
Gen 24:64 Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel.
Gen 24:65 She said to the servant, "Who is the man who is walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." She took her veil, and covered herself.
Gen 24:66 The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.
Gen 24:67 Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.

Jan. 25
Genesis 25

Gen 25:1 Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah.
Gen 25:2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.
Gen 25:3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba, and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim.
Gen 25:4 The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.
Gen 25:5 Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac,
Gen 25:6 but to the sons of Abraham's concubines, Abraham gave gifts. He sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, to the east country.
Gen 25:7 These are the days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived: one hundred seventy-five years.
Gen 25:8 Abraham gave up the spirit, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years, and was gathered to his people.
Gen 25:9 Isaac and Ishmael, his sons, buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron, the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre,
Gen 25:10 the field which Abraham purchased of the children of Heth. Abraham was buried there with Sarah, his wife.
Gen 25:11 It happened after the death of Abraham that God blessed Isaac, his son. Isaac lived by Beer Lahai Roi.
Gen 25:12 Now this is the history of the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bore to Abraham.
Gen 25:13 These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to the order of their birth: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,
Gen 25:14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa,
Gen 25:15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
Gen 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their villages, and by their encampments: twelve princes, according to their nations.
Gen 25:17 These are the years of the life of Ishmael: one hundred thirty-seven years. He gave up the spirit and died, and was gathered to his people.
Gen 25:18 They lived from Havilah to Shur that is before Egypt, as you go toward Assyria. He lived opposite all his relatives.
Gen 25:19 This is the history of the generations of Isaac, Abraham's son. Abraham became the father of Isaac.
Gen 25:20 Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Paddan Aram, the sister of Laban the Syrian, to be his wife.
Gen 25:21 Isaac entreated Yahweh for his wife, because she was barren. Yahweh was entreated by him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Gen 25:22 The children struggled together within her. She said, "If it be so, why do I live?" She went to inquire of Yahweh.
Gen 25:23 Yahweh said to her, Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples will be separated from your body. The one people will be stronger than the other people. The elder will serve the younger.
Gen 25:24 When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
Gen 25:25 The first came out red all over, like a hairy garment. They named him Esau.
Gen 25:26 After that, his brother came out, and his hand had hold on Esau's heel. He was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.
Gen 25:27 The boys grew. Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field. Jacob was a quiet man, living in tents.
Gen 25:28 Now Isaac loved Esau, because he ate his venison. Rebekah loved Jacob.
Gen 25:29 Jacob boiled stew. Esau came in from the field, and he was famished.
Gen 25:30 Esau said to Jacob, "Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am famished." Therefore his name was called Edom.
Gen 25:31 Jacob said, "First, sell me your birthright."
Gen 25:32 Esau said, "Behold, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?"
Gen 25:33 Jacob said, "Swear to me first." He swore to him. He sold his birthright to Jacob.
Gen 25:34 Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils. He ate and drank, rose up, and went his way. So Esau despised his birthright.

Jan. 26
Genesis 26

Gen 26:1 There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, to Gerar.
Gen 26:2 Yahweh appeared to him, and said, "Don't go down into Egypt. Live in the land I will tell you about.
Gen 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you. For to you, and to your seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.
Gen 26:4 I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and will give to your seed all these lands. In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed,
Gen 26:5 because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my requirements, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."
Gen 26:6 Isaac lived in Gerar.
Gen 26:7 The men of the place asked him about his wife. He said, "She is my sister," for he was afraid to say, "My wife," lest, he thought, "the men of the place might kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to look at."
Gen 26:8 It happened, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was caressing Rebekah, his wife.
Gen 26:9 Abimelech called Isaac, and said, "Behold, surely she is your wife. Why did you say, 'She is my sister?' " Isaac said to him, "Because I said, 'Lest I die because of her.' "
Gen 26:10 Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!"
Gen 26:11 Abimelech commanded all the people, saying, "He who touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death."
Gen 26:12 Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year one hundred times what he planted. Yahweh blessed him.
Gen 26:13 The man grew great, and grew more and more until he became very great.
Gen 26:14 He had possessions of flocks, possessions of herds, and a great household. The Philistines envied him.
Gen 26:15 Now all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped, and filled with earth.
Gen 26:16 Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go from us, for you are much mightier than we."
Gen 26:17 Isaac departed from there, encamped in the valley of Gerar, and lived there.
Gen 26:18 Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father. For the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham. He called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
Gen 26:19 Isaac's servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
Gen 26:20 The herdsmen of Gerar argued with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, "The water is ours." He called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him.
Gen 26:21 They dug another well, and they argued over that, also. He called its name Sitnah.
Gen 26:22 He left that place, and dug another well. They didn't argue over that one. He called it Rehoboth. He said, "For now Yahweh has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land."
Gen 26:23 He went up from there to Beersheba.
Gen 26:24 Yahweh appeared to him the same night, and said, "I am the God of Abraham your father. Don't be afraid, for I am with you, and will bless you, and multiply your seed for my servant Abraham's sake."
Gen 26:25 He built an altar there, and called on the name of Yahweh, and pitched his tent there. There Isaac's servants dug a well.
Gen 26:26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his army.
Gen 26:27 Isaac said to them, "Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and have sent me away from you?"
Gen 26:28 They said, "We saw plainly that Yahweh was with you. We said, 'Let there now be an oath between us, even between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you,
Gen 26:29 that you will do us no harm, as we have not touched you, and as we have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace.' You are now the blessed of Yahweh."
Gen 26:30 He made them a feast, and they ate and drank.
Gen 26:31 They rose up some time in the morning, and swore one to another. Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
Gen 26:32 It happened the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had dug, and said to him, "We have found water."
Gen 26:33 He called it Shibah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
Gen 26:34 When Esau was forty years old, he took as wife Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite.
Gen 26:35 They grieved Isaac's and Rebekah's spirits.

Jan. 24
Matthew 12

Mat 12:1 At that time, Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the grain fields. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.
Mat 12:2 But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, "Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath."
Mat 12:3 But he said to them, "Haven't you read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him;
Mat 12:4 how he entered into the house of God, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
Mat 12:5 Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless?
Mat 12:6 But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.
Mat 12:7 But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
Mat 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
Mat 12:9 He departed there, and went into their synagogue.
Mat 12:10 And behold there was a man with a withered hand. They asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?" that they might accuse him.
Mat 12:11 He said to them, "What man is there among you, who has one sheep, and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, won't he grab on to it, and lift it out?
Mat 12:12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day."
Mat 12:13 Then he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out; and it was restored whole, just like the other.
Mat 12:14 But the Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him.
Mat 12:15 Jesus, perceiving that, withdrew from there. Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all,
Mat 12:16 and commanded them that they should not make him known:
Mat 12:17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
Mat 12:18 "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit on him. He will proclaim justice to the nations.
Mat 12:19 He will not strive, nor shout; neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
Mat 12:20 He won't break a bruised reed. He won't quench a smoking flax, until he leads justice to victory.
Mat 12:21 In his name, the nations will hope."
Mat 12:22 Then one possessed by a demon, blind and mute, was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.
Mat 12:23 All the multitudes were amazed, and said, "Can this be the son of David?"
Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons."
Mat 12:25 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
Mat 12:26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
Mat 12:27 If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
Mat 12:28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
Mat 12:29 Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.
Mat 12:30 "He who is not with me is against me, and he who doesn't gather with me, scatters.
Mat 12:31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
Mat 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come.
Mat 12:33 "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit.
Mat 12:34 You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
Mat 12:35 The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things.
Mat 12:36 I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
Mat 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you."
Mat 12:39 But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Mat 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here.
Mat 12:42 The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.
Mat 12:43 But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and doesn't find it.
Mat 12:44 Then he says, 'I will return into my house from which I came out,' and when he has come back, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
Mat 12:45 Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation."
Mat 12:46 While he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to him.
Mat 12:47 One said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to you."
Mat 12:48 But he answered him who spoke to him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"
Mat 12:49 He stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers!
Mat 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother."

Jan. 25, 26
Matthew 13

Mat 13:1 On that day Jesus went out of the house, and sat by the seaside.
Mat 13:2 Great multitudes gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat, and sat, and all the multitude stood on the beach.
Mat 13:3 He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, "Behold, a farmer went out to sow.
Mat 13:4 As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and devoured them.
Mat 13:5 Others fell on rocky ground, where they didn't have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of earth.
Mat 13:6 When the sun had risen, they were scorched. Because they had no root, they withered away.
Mat 13:7 Others fell among thorns. The thorns grew up and choked them.
Mat 13:8 Others fell on good soil, and yielded fruit: some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.
Mat 13:9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Mat 13:10 The disciples came, and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"
Mat 13:11 He answered them, "To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.
Mat 13:12 For whoever has, to him will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever doesn't have, from him will be taken away even that which he has.
Mat 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they don't see, and hearing, they don't hear, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says, 'By hearing you will hear, and will in no way understand; Seeing you will see, and will in no way perceive:
Mat 13:15 for this people's heart has grown callous, their ears are dull of hearing, they have closed their eyes; or else perhaps they might perceive with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and should turn again; and I would heal them.'
Mat 13:16 "But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.
Mat 13:17 For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn't see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn't hear them.
Mat 13:18 "Hear, then, the parable of the farmer.
Mat 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom, and doesn't understand it, the evil one comes, and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside.
Mat 13:20 What was sown on the rocky places, this is he who hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it;
Mat 13:21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Mat 13:22 What was sown among the thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
Mat 13:23 What was sown on the good ground, this is he who hears the word, and understands it, who most certainly bears fruit, and brings forth, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty."
Mat 13:24 He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field,
Mat 13:25 but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat, and went away.
Mat 13:26 But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then the darnel weeds appeared also.
Mat 13:27 The servants of the householder came and said to him, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where did this darnel come from?'
Mat 13:28 "He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and gather them up?'
Mat 13:29 "But he said, 'No, lest perhaps while you gather up the darnel weeds, you root up the wheat with them.
Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest time I will tell the reapers, "First, gather up the darnel weeds, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn." ' "
Mat 13:31 He set another parable before them, saying, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field;
Mat 13:32 which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
Mat 13:33 He spoke another parable to them. "The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, until it was all leavened."
Mat 13:34 Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the multitudes; and without a parable, he didn't speak to them,
Mat 13:35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world."
Mat 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field."
Mat 13:37 He answered them, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
Mat 13:38 the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one.
Mat 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
Mat 13:40 As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age.
Mat 13:41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity,
Mat 13:42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:44 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.
Mat 13:45 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a merchant seeking fine pearls,
Mat 13:46 who having found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Mat 13:47 "Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet, that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind,
Mat 13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down, and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.
Mat 13:49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous,
Mat 13:50 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth."
Mat 13:51 Jesus said to them, "Have you understood all these things?" They answered him, "Yes, Lord."
Mat 13:52 He said to them, "Therefore, every scribe who has been made a disciple in the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings out of his treasure new and old things."
Mat 13:53 It happened that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed from there.
Mat 13:54 Coming into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55 Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother called Mary, and his brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas?
Mat 13:56 Aren't all of his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all of these things?"
Mat 13:57 They were offended by him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and in his own house."
Mat 13:58 He didn't do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.