"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Beatitudes - I (5:3-12) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                      The Beatitudes - I (5:3-12)


1. As we begin to take a closer look at "The Sermon On The Mount," we
   notice first that section known as "The Beatitudes" - Mt 3:3-12
   a. The word "beatitude" means "supreme blessedness or happiness"
   b. We find Jesus discussing the blessedness of those who possess
      certain qualities

2. It is as though Jesus was answering two questions people might have
   been asking:
   a. Who will be the citizens of "the kingdom of heaven"?
   b. What benefits do they receive?

3. My treatment of this passage will be somewhat different than normal
   a. Most examine each beatitude in detail before going on to the next
   b. But I will look at the entire section in an overall fashion twice
      1) Looking at it from two different perspectives
      2) Taking two lessons to do so

4. In this lesson, let's consider "The Beatitudes" from the viewpoint
   of the question:

                  "Who will be the citizens of the kingdom?"

[In other words, what is the character required of the citizens of the


      1. Only those who have all of the qualities described will truly
         be citizens of the kingdom
      2. For it should be evident that some may be...
         a. "Poor in spirit," but do not "hunger and thirst after 
         b. "Mournful," but are not "pure in heart"
         c. "Meek," but are not "peacemakers"
         d. "Persecuted," but not "for righteousness' sake"

      1. It takes all of these qualities, working in conjunction with
         one another
      2. In this the passage is similar to 2Pe 1:5-11
         a. Where various qualities are also listed
         b. Where each are needed in conjunction to one another ("add
            to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge...")
      3. Only then can one have "an entrance will be supplied to you
         abundantly into the everlasting kingdom"

[How the qualities are inter-related becomes apparent as we consider 


      1. "To be poor in spirit is to have a humble opinion of
         ourselves; to be sensible that we are sinners, and have no
         righteousness of our own; to be willing to be saved only by
         the rich grace and mercy of God" (Barnes)
      2. I.e., convicted of one's own spiritual poverty
         a. Exemplified by the tax collector in Lk 18:13
         b. Such people God will accept into His good favor - Isa 57:
            15; 66:1-2
      3. The opposite of "poor in spirit" would be "proud of heart,"
         and those who are such are more like:
         a. The Pharisee in Lk 18:9-14
         b. The Laodiceans in Re 3:17-19

   B. THEY "MOURN"...
      1. But do so in a specific sense:  over one's own spiritual 
         poverty, one' sinfulness
      2. Like David did after his adultery with Bathsheba - Ps 51:3-4
      3. Note the relationship between these first two characteristics
         a. Unless one is first "poor in spirit"
         b. They will not "mourn" over their spiritual poverty

   C. THEY ARE "MEEK"...
      1. This means gentle, easy to be entreated
         a. They would rather suffer injury than inflict it
         b. Not out of weakness, but out of humility, realizing one's
            own poverty of spirit, one's own sinfulness
      2. A good example of meekness is Moses
         a. He was certainly not a weak or timid man - Exo 32:19-20;
         b. But when personally attacked, he was very humble - Num 12:1-3

      1. They look for the righteousness which will meet:
         a. Their spiritual poverty
         b. Their mourning over the same
      2. To "hunger and thirst" suggests not a half-hearted search, but
         one exemplified by:
         a. David in Ps 42:1-2; 19:12-14
         b. Paul in Php 3:7-15a

      1. Loving towards those in misery (e.g., the "Good Samaritan")
      2. Possessing a forgiving spirit toward those who sin against
         them (Hendricksen)
         a. As Jesus had toward those crucifying Him - Lk 23:34
         b. As Stephen had toward those stoning him - Ac 7:60
      3. Jesus stressed this characteristic on several occasions...
         a. Later in this sermon, in teaching on prayer - Mt 6:14-15
         b. In His parable of "The Unforgiving Servant" - Mt 18:21-35
      4. This virtue grows "out of our personal experience of the mercy
         of God." (Lenski)

      1. Defined as "singleness of heart, the honesty which has no
         hidden motive, no selfish interest, and is true and open in
         all things." (Lenski)
      2. Refers to one who is sincere, honest, without hypocrisy
      3. That such a quality is necessary to see God, see Ps 24:3-4

      1. They devote their lives to making peace by following the
         Prince of Peace
         a. Making effort to be at peace with all men - Ro 12:18-21
         b. Helping others to be at peace with God by proclaiming the
            gospel of peace - cf. Ro 5:1; Ep 6:15
      2. "At peace with God and thus themselves filled with sweet
         peace, they live in peace, if possible, with all men and work
         to keep and to make peace where peace is threatened or lost.
         Theirs is the work of true Christians who follow in the
         footsteps of the Prince of Peace." (Lenski)

      1. "The tense and voice of the verb (passive perfect) may be
         regarded as permissive:
         a. "Who have allowed themselves to be persecuted, or have
            endured persecution"
         b. "The idea is that they did not flee from it but willingly
            submitted to when it came to them." (LENSKI)
      2. In what way, is explained in verse 11, and includes being:
         a. Reviled or reproached
         b. Persecuted
         c. Slandered falsely
            -- All for Jesus' sake
      3. That such persecution would often afflict those who are
         citizens of the kingdom, see Ac 14:21-22; Php 1:29-30; 2Ti 3:12


1. Such are the characteristics of those who will be citizens of the
   kingdom of heaven:
   a. They are poor in spirit (realizing their sinfulness)
   b. Thus they mourn (for their sins)
   c. Thus they are meek (gentle toward God and others)
   d. Thus they hunger and thirst for righteousness (which they 
      desperately need)
   e. Thus they are merciful (for they know they need mercy)
   f. Thus they are pure in heart (seeking to please God with 
      singleness of heart)
   g. Thus they are peacemakers (making peace with others, having found
      peace with God)
   h. Thus they are persecuted for the kingdom of heaven (misunderstood
      by the proud and arrogant who are still in their sins)
   -- Eight graces, all inter-related and working together to produce
      the right kind of character

2. Such is the character of the citizens of the kingdom of heaven...
   a. Involving eight graces, all inter-related
   b. Working together to produce the right kind of character

3. Is the kingdom of heaven worth whatever effort might be involved in
   developing this kind of  character?
   a. We shall see the answer to this question in our next study.
   b. As we view "The Beatitudes" from the viewpoint of another

         "What benefits do the citizens of the kingdom receive?"

But if you are poor in spirit, mourning for your sins, hungering for
the righteousness that God provides only in Christ, what are you 
waiting for?  As Ananias told Saul of Tarsus:

     "And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash
     away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." (Ac 22:16)

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Introduction To The Sermon On The Mount (5:1-2) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

            Introduction To The Sermon On The Mount (5:1-2)


1. In Matthew 5-7, we have recorded the most famous sermon that has
   ever been preached...
   a. Commonly referred to as "The Sermon On The Mount"
   b. It has touched more hearts, and in turn has sparked more sermons
      than any other

2. In Mt 5:1-2, the setting for the sermon is given...
   a. He saw the multitudes that were following Him - Mt 4:25
   b. He therefore ascended a mountain
      1) Many believe this refers to a natural amphitheater between the
         "Horns of Hattin", on a slope that arises above Capernaum
         (Believers' Study Bible)
      2) This may be the same occasion as "The Sermon On The Plain" 
         - cf. Lk 6:17-49
   c. When His disciples came to Him, He sat down and began to speak
      1) It was common to speak while sitting, rather than standing as
         we do today
      2) Cf. Mt 13:1-2; Jn 8:2

3. What is Jesus talking about in this sermon?
   a. What is the main "THEME?"
   b. What is the "CONTENT" of this sermon?

[In this study we shall introduce "The Sermon On The Mount" by seeking
to answer these two questions.  To begin, let's determine...]


      1. In Mt 3:1-3, we read of the preaching of John the Baptist
         a. Who was sent to prepare the way of the Lord
         b. The theme of his preaching concerned "the kingdom of 
      2. In Mt 4, we read of the beginning of Jesus' ministry
         a. After His temptation, Jesus preaches a message similar to
            John's - Mt 4:17
         b. His preaching in Galilee pertained to the "gospel of the
            kingdom" - Mt 4:23
      -- Could Jesus' theme be "the kingdom of heaven"?

      1. "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 5:3
      2. "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 5:10
      3. "...shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 5:19
      4. "...shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 5:19
      5. "...will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 5:20
      6. "Your kingdom come" - Mt 6:10
      7. "But seek first the kingdom of God" - Mt 6:33
      8. ". . . shall enter the kingdom of heaven" - Mt 7:21
      -- Isn't Jesus talking about "the kingdom of heaven"?

[Both the setting and His repeated use a particular phrase should lead
us to conclude that the "theme" of Jesus' sermon on the mount is:


With this in mind, let's briefly consider the "content" of the sermon
as I offer the following outline...]


      1. Their character and blessedness - Mt 5:3-12
         a. Qualities to be found in those who will be citizens of this
         b. The blessings enjoyed by these citizens
      2. Their relation to the world - Mt 5:13-16
         a. They are the salt of the earth
         b. They are the light of the world

      1. In contrast to the "traditional interpretations and
         applications" of the Law - Mt 5:17-48
         a. Jesus has not come to destroy or show disrespect to the Law
            1) It will not pass away until it is fulfilled
            2) Those who violate it teach contrary to it (while it
               exists) will be least in the kingdom
         b. Jesus does require that the righteousness of those in the
            kingdom exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and 
         c. He illustrates by a series of contrasts concerning:
            1) Murder and anger
            2) Adultery
            3) Divorce
            4) The swearing of oaths
            5) The taking of revenge
            6) The treatment of enemies
            -- In each case His teaching is consistent with the Law,
               but not the traditional interpretations and applications
               of the Law
      2. With respect to man's relation to God - Mt 6:1-33
         a. Charitable deeds
         b. Prayer
         c. Fasting
         d. Materialism
         e. Anxiety
      3. With respect to man's relation to man - Mt 7:1-12
         a. Judging others
         b. Asking, seeking, knocking
         c. The golden rule
      1. The "beginning" of the way - Mt 7:13-14
         a. It will be narrow and difficult
         b. Not many will find it
      2. The "progress" along the way - Mt 7:15-20
         a. Beware of false prophets who are wolves in sheep's clothing
         b. You will know them by their fruits
      3. The "end" of the way - Mt 7:21-27
         a. In which "sayers" will be contrasted with "doers"
         b. In which "hearers" will be contrasted with "doers"


1. In view of its content, we can appreciate why this sermon has been
   a. The Magna Carta of His Kingdom
   b. The Manifesto of the King

2. Our next study will begin a look at the sermon in closer detail...
   a. With the first of two lessons on "The Beatitudes" - Mt 5:3-12
   b. In which we examine the character and blessedness of those who
      are citizens of the kingdom of heaven

Have you responded to the exhortation to enter the kingdom?  Remember
the words of our Lord to Nicodemus...

   Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
   unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

   Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old?
   Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"

   Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is 
   born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

                                         (Jn 3:3-5)

Have you been born again of water and the Spirit?  - cf. Mk 16:16; Ac
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Hosanna! by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

It was the final week of Jesus’ life on Earth. He had set His face to go to Jerusalem for some time (Luke 9:51). As He and His disciples were approaching Jerusalem, He instructed two of them to stop off at Bethphage—a tiny village about one-half mile east of Jerusalem on the south slope of the Mount of Olives. They were told they would find a female donkey and her foal that they were to untie and bring to the Savior. When questioned about their action, they were to assure the questioners that the Lord had temporary need of them, with the implication being that the owner—no doubt a disciple himself, or at least sympathetic to Christ—would give his consent.
Upon their return from this assignment, the disciples placed their outer cloaks (worn over their tunics or shirts) on the unbroken, saddleless colt, implying royal honor, even as in the case of Jehu’s elevation to kingship in 2 Kings 9:13. With Jesus seated on the colt, they continued their approach to Jerusalem, and were met by a considerable multitude of Jewish pilgrims who had come to observe the Passover. They had heard of His approach, and went out to give Him escort. The inspired writers inform us that this circumstance was a direct fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy—specifically, Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9: “Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The crowd of enthused worshippers commenced to litter the roadway with tree branches and articles of clothing, and to wave the branches of palm trees. To Jews, palm branches symbolized rejoicing and victory (Leviticus 23:40). The great multitude of Revelation 7:9 uttered praise and adoration to God and the Lamb, while holding palm branches in their hands.
Notice what some members of the crowd shouted: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” What an incredible scene! The entire scenario fills us with wonder and a sense of awe. But what does it mean? Why did this event occur? Why did Jesus even participate in a so-called “triumphal entry”? What is with the crowds? Why did they come forth and hail our Lord as if they were convinced that He was the Son of God, especially in view of the fact that in just four days they would turn on Him and clamor for His execution?
Two textual indicators help us to size up the situation. First, the people were curious about Christ’s ability to perform signs. John informs us that many people had been informed of the raising of Lazarus from the dead, and the crowds were still buzzing about that (John 12:18). But keep in mind that most people ultimately did not view the miracles of Jesus as proof of His divine identity (and therefore their need to bow before Him in obedient submission). Rather, they saw Him as a curiosity—someone Who could offer them physical advantages. Remember the comment Jesus made to the crowd whom He fed miraculously with a few loaves and fish? “You seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26). In other words, just like people today, they were after the thrill, the excitement, and the materialistic possibilities—not the spiritual, eternal riches.
Second, it is clear that most of the Jews of Jesus’ day were looking for a physical king. The people of Jesus’ day were restless and waiting. They were looking and expecting. They were yearning and hoping for someone to change their oppressed condition. The foreign invader—the mighty Roman—had entered their land and subjugated them to foreign rule. What a degrading, humiliating situation! The average Jew hated the Roman invader, and saw him as low-class, pagan trash. Jews constantly were looking for every possible opportunity to antagonize their Roman oppressors with ultimate hopes of driving them from Palestine. These nationalistic hopes and expectations were centered on the Messiah predicted by the Old Testament prophets.
But a major misconception dominated the Jewish mentality: they were certain that the long-awaited Messiah would come in the form of a worldly, militaristic king Who would sit on an earthly throne—the throne of David—and reign in Jerusalem over a renewed Davidic kingdom. Even the apostles were infected with this materialistic understanding of the kingdom of Christ—as is evident in such incidents as Peter’s attempt to defend Christ with a sword (John 18:10), and the disciples’ question just prior to Christ’s ascension, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). On one occasion, the crowd even tried to take Jesus forcibly and make Him a king (John 6:15). Notice—in the four accounts of this triumphal entry—the terminology of the crowd in alluding to Jesus: “son of David”; “kingdom of our father David”; and “king of Israel.” These appellations show they were looking for a physical kingdom.
What was the significance of the expressions shouted by the crowd? What did they mean by their use of the term “hosanna”? These Jewish pilgrims simply were alluding to Psalm 118:25-26, which was a customary psalm to recite at the Feast of Tabernacles and other Jewish festivals. “Hosanna” is two words in the Hebrew—hoshea-na. “Hoshea” is an imperative meaning “Save!” “Na” is a particle of entreaty tacked on to the imperative, meaning “I pray” or “I plead.” So it roughly means, “please save.” In the context of the psalm, “hosanna” is a cry for help, a supplicatory plea for God to extend salvation. “In the highest” means in the highest degree or heavens. They were calling for salvation from the ultimate source—Heaven itself. “Hosanna” seems to have evolved through the centuries to the point that, by Jesus’ day, it was more of an exclamation of joy—a shout of praise and acclaim. People probably so use it today. But notice carefully its true biblical import.
Here is Jesus, sandwiched within a throng of people offering an imploring cry to God to bring to reality the salvation expected at the coming of the Messianic King. Though they conceptualize a physical kingdom, here is Jesus, fulfilling the kingly prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 in a joyous, triumphant setting reminiscent of the Feast of Tabernacles, with palm and willow branches waving and littering the pathway. The scene evoked, from those who were present, an exclamation appropriate to that occasion. But in the process, they were, in fact, unwittingly greeting the true King David and Messiah! Here was the King of kings, and Lord of lords—and they did not even grasp it! Here was the One Who could bestow upon them a salvation far beyond what David or any human king could offer. “Hosanna in the highest” actually refers to the fact that Jesus was the King who was about to bring salvation to the people from Heaven—not the ridding of the Romans from their land, but the eradication of sin from their lives, making it possible for them to enter the kingdom that cannot be shaken and that will last eternally (Hebrews 12:28; Revelation 11:15). Only deity can save in the true sense (Psalm 3:8; Isaiah 43:11; Jeremiah 3:23; Hosea 13:4).
Notice, then, the following observations and lessons to be gleaned from this biblical account:
First, perhaps the central purpose of the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem was to demonstrate Jesus’ approach to His coronation—which was heavenly rather than earthly. People constantly look in all the wrong places for the fulfillment of their dreams and wishes. They thought they wanted an earthly king to give them physical, psychological, and emotional relief. But they did not need that! What they needed was a divine king who could give them spiritual and eternal relief from the true hardship of life—sin.
The Jews had gone through this once before—in 1 Samuel 8. They thought they needed an earthly king then, too. But they did not—God was their king. Here they are again seeking earthly salvation, when the One Who could give them eternal salvation was in their very midst. Earthly kings fail and fade. Jesus was about to experience the ultimate death of human history, and then to rise victoriously from the dead and to ascend into Heaven itself in order to sit down upon His throne to rule and reign over a kingdom that would last throughout time—throughout all of world history—at which time He would turn the kingdom over to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24).
Second, notice the sharp contrast between the triumphal entry of King Jesus and the triumphal entries of worldly rulers. The Romans were well known for their triumphs. A Roman triumph consisted of the conqueror returning from his victorious campaigns to Rome, where he was greeted by throngs of grateful citizens. The road was strewn with flowers. Trumpet blasts heralded his procession through the city. He rode in a magnificent, gilded chariot pulled by four white horses. He wore a royal, purple robe, laced with gold and hung by jeweled shoulder clasps. He held an ivory scepter in his hand, and wore a laurel crown on his head. He was surrounded by lictors and slaves who lined the street with golden bowls of rare perfumes that were burned to fill the air with fragrance. On his way to the Senate, he would pause to offer a sacrifice to the gods, consisting of a splendid horned bull.
But look at Jesus! He was surrounded by crowds that did not even comprehend the true significance of the occasion, and that soon would clamor for His blood. He was seated on a donkey—a symbol of peace, unlike the horse and chariot, which are symbols of war. There was nothing degrading about riding on a donkey, but it signified his meekness, humility, and nonviolent intentions. There were no trumpet blasts, no flowers on the pathway, no incense fragrance filling the air. The only sacrifice was the one that He Himself soon would make in behalf of others.
If you had been a Roman bystander observing this incident, you surely would have considered this entrance to be somewhat cheap, second-rate, and even laughable. It lacked the pomp and circumstance so typical of human invention. Surely you have noticed the element within churches of Christ in our day that is attempting to refurbish worship and doctrine. Some wish to include solos, choirs, and worship teams who use microphones and electronic synthesizers to “enhance” the song service. They want to lift up their arms and sway to the music. They want to choreograph dramatic performances, and even incorporate orchestral and instrumental music. Can we not see that such self-centered, self-serving activity does not represent or please God? God’s handling of the promotion and propagation of His will lacks the hype, the bells and whistles, the smoke and mirrors, and the theatrics of humanly instigated religion. God does not approve of “showbiz religion” or “Hollywood hallelujahs” (Matthew 23:5-7; Mark 5:15). Our culture is entertainment oriented and emotion driven. Hence, the tinsel and glitter associated with physical stimulation and fleshly pleasure in the world has made its way into many congregations, and Christians are falling prey to the false notion that “God is pleased when we’re pleased.” But Jesus’ words in Matthew 15:9 still ring relevant today: “In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
Third, do we understand the genuine joy, the happiness, and the gladness that is ours in Christ? When we sing “hosanna,” we ought to be conscious of the fact that we have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus in the waters of baptism. His triumphal entry into heaven has paved the way for us! Salvation is available to us! The cry, the earnest plea for God to save us, is realized in the person of Jesus Christ our Savior, Who gave Himself on our behalf and extends perfect peace and complete satisfaction to us if we will but obey the Gospel plan of salvation and live the Christian life.
I wonder how many people were in the multitude that escorted Jesus into Jerusalem? Scores? Hundreds? But we know for a fact that all of that seemingly genuine religious expression was short lived, if not fake. The people were just going through the motions. They must have felt extremely religious and right with God. But human feelings never have been a trustworthy barometer of one’s spiritual status.
Are you a Christian? Have you submitted yourself to the specific prerequisites enjoined upon us before we can receive the atoning benefit of Christ’s blood? Have you confessed your faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 8:24; Romans 10:9-10)? Have you repented of your sins, and turned to God Almighty (Acts 26:20; Luke 13:3)? Have you scripturally acknowledged the Lordship of Jesus in your life by implementing your penitent trust in the waters of baptism (Acts 2:38)? Do not be influenced by family or friends. You must make the decision on your own, and refrain from being influenced by the opinions of mere humans. When the Pharisees heard the crowd referring to Jesus as the King Who comes in the name of the Lord, when they heard the cries of “hosanna to the son of David,” they called to Jesus from the crowd and urged Him to rebuke the people for making such statements. Jesus responded, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). Oh yes, you and I must render submission to the King of kings, even if everyone else forsakes Him.
As a Christian, are you merely going through the motions? Do you worship sincerely? Do you seek to serve other people every day? Do you strive to eliminate from your mind and life those things that are unbecoming of a child of God? Do you know that as Jesus drew near to the city of Jerusalem, with all of those people expressing apparent recognition of His person, He began to weep over the city’s inhabitants because He knew they just did not understand. He offered them forgiveness, blessing, and peace, but their failure to embrace and practice genuine Bible religion meant He would give them instead judgment, wrath, and destruction. May none of us fall short of His intention for us, and may we be willing to do what it takes. May we sing with genuineness the words of Carl Tuttle:
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest;
Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest;
Lord, we lift up Your name,
With hearts full of praise;
Be exalted, O Lord my God,
Hosanna in the highest.

From Nonlife to Nonlife by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


From Nonlife to Nonlife

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


Organic evolution is based on the concept of something inorganic and nonliving becoming organic and living. Do the actual scientific data support such a concept?


How did life arise from nonliving chemicals? This is the most fundamental, yet sketchiest chapter of evolutionary theory.
One proposal is to start with seemingly lifelike chemicals. This is the approach taken by Julius Rebek and his coworkers (Hong, et al., 1992; Feng, et al., 1992). Like DNA, Rebek’s chemicals can make copies of themselves (i.e., replicate). Further, Rebek can make more efficient replicators by subjecting them to ultraviolet radiation. These new varieties outproduce other forms, eventually dominating their test-tube world. Supposedly, these chemicals could provide the missing link between nonlife and life.
Yet, the gap remains because Rebek’s system contains little information (see Hurst and Dawkins, 1992, 357:199). Life is defined by a set of elegant instructions recorded on the DNA molecule, and there is more to life than replication.
Another proposal tries to circumvent the famous chicken-and-egg problem of chemical evolution by starting with RNA. If we think of DNA as the “brain,” then RNA is the “nervous system” carrying the message of protein formation to the rest of the cell. However, the whole process involves crucial enzymes (specialized proteins). So which came first, the protein or the DNA?
The answer, many evolutionists believe, lies in the discovery that a special part of RNA can act like an enzyme. This means it can carry information and do various jobs within the cell. If this is the case, then perhaps evolution worked both ways, turning RNA into DNA for better information storage, and into specialized enzymes for more efficient copying. Last year, the proponents of this RNA world received a boost from the work of Beaudry and Joyce (1992) who used selection and mutations to make a more efficient RNA enzyme.
Some journalists and scientists have made extraordinary claims about this new research. First, they described the techniques and chemical processes in evolutionary terms such as “selection” and “mutation.” One newspaper article hailed Beaudry and Joyce’s work as the “first complete laboratory demonstration of evolution” (Graham, 1992). Second, they believe the experiments show that “darwinian selection is universal for all lifes” (Hurst and Dawkins, 1992, 357:198), not just for “life as we know it.” And third, because this research has a practical application in biotechnology, they wish to promote evolution as a fundamental tool of science, and not a mere theory.
However, using terms such as selection, mutation, and evolution does not explain the origin of life. These experiments entail a great deal of design and technical innovation. The human experimenters are forcing or directing “evolution” to achieve goals they have set (Culotta, 1992). As Leslie Orgel noted, to really show how life could have evolved, we need to start with something that does not require the “intervention of organic chemists” (1992, 358:207).
Further, this research may come closer to Darwin’s arguments than they would really like. By showing that man can use artificial selection to change species dramatically, even within recorded history, Darwin hoped to establish his case for long-term, large-scale evolution by natural selection (1859, pp. 133,153). But this analogy breaks down because artificial selection, by definition, involves human intelligence. The same is true for this recent research. We are seeing nothing more than high-tech horse breeding. Actually, we may be seeing less, because the experiments do not deal with life at all. If anything, they resemble Edison’s efforts to find a better filament for his electric light bulb.
What we must emphasize is that an evolutionist can invent any theory about the origin of life, no matter how implausible it may sound. He might succeed in modeling that theory in the laboratory. However, a model is not necessarily the same as reality; he has not proved that life evolved in that way. Ultimately, all he would have displayed is his God-given intellectual and physical abilities.


Beaudry, Amber A. and Gerald F. Joyce (1992), “Directed Evolution of an RNA Enzyme,” Science, 257:635-641, July 31.
Culotta, Elizabeth (1992), “Forcing the Evolution of an RNA Enzyme in the Test Tube,” Science, 257:613, July 31.
Darwin, Charles (1859), The Origin of Species (New York: Avenel Books, 1979 reprint of the 1968 Penguin edition).
Feng, Qing, Tae Kyo Park and Julius Rebek, Jr. (1992), “Crossover Reactions Between Synthetic Replicators Yield Active and Inactive Recombinants,” Science, 256:1179-1180, May 22.
Graham, David (1992), “Evolution in the Lab at Scripps,” San Diego-Union Tribune, July 31, pp. A1-A2, July 31.
Hong, Jong-In, Qing Feng, Vincent Rotello and Julius Rebek, Jr. (1992), “Competition, Cooperation, and Mutation: Improving a Synthetic Replicator by Light Irradiation,” Science, 255:848-850, February 14.
Hurst, Lawrence D. and Richard Dawkins (1992), “Life in a Test Tube,” Nature, 357:198-199, May 21.

Do We Die to Sin Before Baptism or In Baptism? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Do We Die to Sin Before Baptism or In Baptism?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Do we die to sin before baptism or in baptism?


Sometimes this question is asked in an effort to discount the divinely ordained necessity of baptism for the remission of sins. The claim is made that if a person “dies to sin” before baptism, then that person is saved before baptism since “he who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:7). In truth, however, the expression found in Romans 6:6 (“our old man was crucified”) refers to the biblical doctrine of repentance—the “change of mind” that must occur within a person prior to baptism. Another metaphor used in Scripture to refer to the same change is seen in Hebrews 10:22 in the phrase “having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” Since one cannot literally sprinkle anything on one’s heart/mind, this is a figurative expression that refers to a person changing his attitude about sin—cleansing his mind concerning the desire to practice sin. Hence, a person must “die to sin” in the sense that he has changed his thinking about sin and disobedience, making a mental commitment to cease sin. He dies to the love and practice of sin. As Paul explained to the Galatians: “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24).
Observe, however, that while a person dies to sin at that moment in his own mind, he is not forgiven of sin by God at that point. Forgiveness occurs in the mind of God when the penitent believer allows himself to be lowered into the watery grave of baptism. That is the moment we contact the blood of Christ which was shed in Christ’s death. Hence, Romans 6:3-4 explains that when we are baptized in water, we are baptized into Christ’s death—the contact point for forgiveness. Being “buried with Him through baptism into death” is the point at which we are cleansed of sin, thus enabling us to “walk in newness of life.” According to the sequence stipulated in the passage, we cannot have “newness of life” until after we come up out of the waters of baptism. While many within Christendom have come to reject the role of water in God’s scheme of redemption, the New Testament repeatedly affirms it (e.g., John 3:5,23; Acts 8:36,38-39; 10:47; Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 3:20-21). [NOTE: For a comparison of Romans 6 to the parallel teaching of Colossians 2 and 3, see: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1232&topic=379.]

Can We Prove Jesus Was a Real Person? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Can We Prove Jesus Was a Real Person?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

You may find this surprising, but there are many people in the world today who actually think that Jesus is nothing more than a fantasy figure that various secret societies created 2,000 years ago. Allegedly, His name belongs in the same fictional writings that contain such fairy-tale characters as Peter Pan, Hercules, and Snow White and the seven dwarfs. Gerald Massey, in his book, Gnostic and Historic Christianity, has “informed” us that “[w]hether considered as the God made human, or as man made divine, this character [Jesus—EL] never existed as a person” (1985, p. 22). Skeptics like Massey, Acharya (1999), and others believe that Christians have been deceived into thinking that there really was a man named Jesus, when, in fact, He never lived.
How do those of us who believe in the historicity of Jesus Christ respond to such allegations? Can we really know that there was a sinless, miracle-working, death-defying man named Jesus who lived upon the Earth approximately 2,000 years ago, or have we accepted His existence blindly?
Even though the New Testament proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus actually lived, it is by no means the only historical evidence available. Around the year A.D. 94, a Jewish historian by the name of Josephus mentioned Jesus’ name twice in his book, Antiquities of the Jews. In section 18 of that work, Josephus wrote: “And there arose about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed we should call him a man; for he was a doer of marvelous deeds, a teacher of men who receive the truth with pleasure” (emp. added). Then, in section 20, Josephus documented how a man named Ananus brought before the Sanhedrin “a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others” (emp. added).
About 20 years later, Tacitus, a Roman historian, wrote a book surveying the history of Rome. In it he described how Nero (the Roman emperor) “punished with every refinement the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were popularly called).” He went on to write that “their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius’ reign by the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilatus” (Annals 15:44, emp. added). Even though Tacitus, Josephus, and other historians from the first and second centuries A.D. were not followers of Christ, they did have something to say about Him—and they even verified that Jesus was a real person Who was so famous that He even attracted the attention of the Roman emperor himself!
Another obvious reason to believe that Jesus was a real person is because our entire dating method is based upon His existence. The letters “B.C.” stand for “before Christ,” and the letters “A.D.” (standing for Anno Domini) mean “in the year of the Lord.” So when a history teacher speaks of Alexander the Great ruling much of the world in 330 B.C., he or she is admitting that Alexander lived about 330 years before Jesus was born.
Even though this is only a sampling of the evidence relating to the man known as Jesus, it is enough to prove that He was a real person, and not just some imaginary character. We do not accept His existence blindly—it is a historical fact!


Josephus, Flavius (1957 reprint), The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus, trans. William Whitson (Philadelphia, PA: John Whitson).
Massey, Gerald (1985), Gnostic and Historic Christianity (Edmond, WA: Holmes Publishing Group).
Acharya, S. (1999), The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press).
Tacitus, Cornelius P. (1952 reprint), The Annals and the Histories, trans. Michael Grant (Chicago, IL: William Benton), Great Books of the Western World Series.

Big Bang Collides with Scientific Evidence by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Big Bang Collides with Scientific Evidence

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Popular media outlets delight in talking about the Big Bang as if it is a scientifically proven event that can be documented and studied. In fact, it is discussed in such matter-of-fact terms that few who read the “latest news” about the Big Bang would ever realize that not only has science never verified that it happened, but legitimate science has shown that it could not have happened (see Lyons, 2007; Thompson, et al., 2003).
A recent article posted on Yahoo! provides an excellent example of the kind of scientific misrepresentation that runs rampant in the popular media. In the article, the author Maggie Fox bases the entire thrust of the report on the assumption that the Big Bang occurred, with no scientific evidence to validate that assumption. Then she writes as if scientists know exactly what happened during the Big Bang, an event that only happened in the imaginations of the scientists. For instance, Fox noted that scientists have “created the hottest temperature ever in the lab—4 trillion degrees Celsius—hot enough to break matter down into the kind of soup that existed microseconds after the birth of the universe” (2010, emp. added).
The scientific fact here is simply that matter was heated to four trillion degrees Celsius, assuming we are able to measure heat that high. The erroneous interpretation of that fact is that this heated material can tell us something about what happened “microseconds after the birth of the Universe.” Modern science cannot tell us how the Universe came into existence, unless it assumes the Big Bang took place (even though said explosion is a scientific impossibility). It is ironic that for many years, Bishop Ussher’s biblical chronology was ridiculed because he stated that the world started precisely on Sunday, October 23rd, 4004 B.C. (“Bishop Ussher...,” n.d.), and yet Big Bang proponents insist that they know exactly what happened microseconds after the birth of the Universe. [NOTE: Ussher’s chronology is used only to show the inconsistency of Big Bang advocates, not because it is believed that his chronology is correct.]
Figure 1
Artist’s concept of crucial periods in the development of the Universe according to Big Bang inflationary cosmology
This latest “Big Bang” research stems from experiments done by using the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in New York to force gold ions together. What was the multimillion-dollar RHIC designed to do? According to Steven Vigdor of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, the collider was built “to create matter at temperatures first encountered in the early universe” (as quoted in Fox, 2010). Notice again the backwards nature of this research. The collider was not designed to manifest evidence that the Big Bang occurred, but instead was designed based on the false assumption that it did, and all the “evidence” is then interpreted in a Big Bang framework.
This bias in favor of the Big Bang is clearly evident throughout Fox’s article (and most modern cosmological research). In fact, Fox matter-of-factly wrote: “Something happened in the milliseconds after the Big Bang to create an imbalance in favor of matter over anti-matter. If there had not been this disparity, matter and anti-matter would have simply reacted to create a universe of pure energy” (2010, emp. added). Fox is referring to the fact that any time lab scientists have been able to change energy into matter, that matter always appears paired with its anti-matter particle. As Williams and Hartnett explain:
Just as energy can produce matter by this quantum pair production method, so when the matter and antimatter particles come together again they annihilate one another and revert back to energy. This has profound and unwelcome implications for big-bang theory, because our universe is made of ordinary matter, not equal amounts of matter and antimatter.... Since our universe consists only of matter (as far as we can tell—though there are probably small amounts of matter/antimatter pairs associated with localized high-energy events), it is a reasonable conclusion that our universe could not have been produced by quantum pair production. This is one of those situations where the evidence refutes the paradigm but supporters of the paradigm see it only as an unsolved problem (2005, p. 126, emp. added).
When Fox says “something happened,” and “if there had not been this disparity,” what she means is that the Big Bang theory is not a scientific possibility without some unknown force or situation that would favor matter over antimatter. And since she and her fellow Big Bang enthusiasts begin by assuming that the Big Bang actually happened, the scientific evidence that precludes it as a possibility is brushed aside, and a mysterious “something” is conjured out of the cosmological magic hat to provide the Big Bang with supernatural powers that can circumvent all known natural laws.

Click image for larger picture.
Alleged Origin of the Universe
Graphic representation of the alleged evolutionary origin of the Universe, from the Big Bang to the present, including the initial expansion phase, the production of matter, and galaxy formation. Courtesy of Center for European Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland.
With the creation of more and more particle colliders around the world, rest assured that Fox’s article will not be the last praising the Big Bang as the point of origin of our Universe. It is equally true that, due to the false assumption that the Big Bang actually occurred, those articles will be plagued with similar scientific misrepresentations, overstatements, and misinterpretations of data. What is really colliding in much of this type of research is not sub-atomic particles, but prejudiced Big Bang bias with honest scientific inquiry. The light generated from such collisions is enough to illuminate the words of Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” if the modern scientific community would simply open its eyes to the truth.


“Bishop Ussher Dates the World at 4004 BC” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm.
Fox, Maggie (2010), “Hottest Temperature Ever Heads Science to Big Bang,” [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100215/sc_nm/us_physics_temperature;_ylt= Ai_Sl2CSFy5ElWLiiswfVH.s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFpaHY1YmNuBHBvcwMzOARzZWMD YWNjb3JkaW9uX21vc3RfcG9wdWxhcgRzbGsDaG90dGVzdHRlbXBl.
Lyons, Eric (2007), “The Big Fizzle: Admissions from an Astrophysicist,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3393.
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub and B. May (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique,” Reason & Revelation, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2635.
Williams, Alex and John Hartnett (2005), Dismantling the Big Bang: God’s Universe Rediscovered (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).

Does God Love Homosexuals? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Does God Love Homosexuals?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

It is virtually impossible these days to watch the news, surf the Net, or get on Facebook and Twitter without hearing something about homosexuality. Presently, in Alabama, there is major row about same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court is slated to rule on the subject in the coming months. It is often the case that those who call themselves Christians say mean-spirited, hateful things about homosexuals. And it is often the case that homosexuals falsely accuse all Christians who oppose homosexuality of being homophobes.
How can we engage this subject and offer a reasonable approach to both sides of the issue? First, we must insist that Christians should behave in a way that represents the spirit of Christ. Simply because a person calls himself or herself a Christian does not mean that his/her views actually represent Christ and His teachings in the New Testament. Second, just because a person is offended by a statement does not mean the statement is mean-spirited or hateful.
With these ideas in mind, it would be helpful to establish a foundational truth from the Bible. God is love and He wants everyone to be saved. Any person who has read through the Bible understands that one of its greatest themes is love. The Bible also explains that God showed His love to us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:6-8 states:
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In one of the most well-known “love” verses in the Bible, Jesus said: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God’s love for the lost world was shown before the lost believed in Jesus. John further explained this situation when he wrote: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). From these verses it is clear that God loves lost sinners, and proved that love by sending Jesus. God loves all people, even though people are sinners.
God’s love for sinners extends to all types of sins. God loves murderers. God loves thieves. God loves hypocrites. God loves those who are apathetic to His Word. God loves child abusers. God loves those who curse. God loves self-righteous people. God loves you, and He loves me. Now, when we look to the Bible, we can see that homosexuality is a sin. There is only one relationship in which God approves of sexual activity and that is between one man and one woman in a committed, covenant marriage (see Butt, 2012). If the idea that homosexuality is a sin comes across as offensive, there is simply nothing a Christian can say or do to change that.
In light of the fact that homosexuality is a sin, what is God’s attitude toward those who practice it? The answer to that was shown in Jesus’ death on the cross. Sin breaks God’s heart, because He loves all humans that He created (John 3:16). God wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and He insists that sinners, for their own sake, need to turn away from their sins and come to Him (Acts 2:38). God loves those who practice homosexuality just as much as He loves those who misrepresent His teaching with mean-spirited, hateful language.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, we read a list of terms that describe sinful behavior that will keep people from being saved. Idolatry is on the list, as well as drunkenness and thievery. In addition, various sexual sins are listed, including those who engage in sex before marriage, those who have sex with people who are not their spouses, and those who practice homosexuality. All of these actions are sinful. At the end of the section, in verse 11, Paul explained to the Corinthians that they used to be involved in those practices. He wrote: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” The Corinthians admitted they were sinning, changed their sinful ways, and turned to the God Who loves them and died for them. God requires this repentance from everyone.
In light of the fact that God loves all sinners, including those who practice homosexuality, it is clear that Christians should have the same attitude as God. Christians who are following the example of their Lord Jesus Christ love homosexuals and want what is the very best for them. Loving Christians point out that homosexuality is a sin— not to be homophobic or mean-spirited— but because each and every soul is important. They do not want anyone to be lost. If homosexuality is a sin, and a person will be lost if he or she does not repent, then the only loving course of action is to kindly and gently explain this fact in the hopes that those who are sinning will repent and get to live forever in heaven with their God and Creator.
So, when we ask the very relevant question, “Does God love homosexuals?” we need to understand it is virtually the same question as “Does God love hypocrites?” or “Does God love those who look at pornography?” or “Does God love those who are mean-spirited?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes.” And God put an exclamation point on His answer in the form of Jesus dying on the cross to save the sinners that He loves, as long as they will repent and turn to Him.


Butt, Kyle (2012), “‘Jesus Didn’t Condemn Homosexuality,’” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1627&topic=36.

Was Jesus' Tomb Open or Closed? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Was Jesus' Tomb Open or Closed?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

According to Mark, Luke, and John, by the time Mary Magdalene and the other women reached the sepulcher of Jesus on the first day of the week after Christ’s crucifixion, the great stone covering the entrance to His tomb already had rolled away (16:4; 24:2; 20:1). Matthew, on the other hand, mentions the rolling away of the stone after writing that the women “came to see the tomb.” In fact, at first glance it seems that Matthew 28:1-6 indicates several significant things took place in the presence of the women.
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
How is this passage explained in light of the fact that the other gospel writers clearly affirmed that the great stone blocking the entrance to the tomb had rolled away before the women arrived?
The explanation to this “problem” is that the events recorded in Matthew 28:1-6 were not written chronologically. Matthew did not intend for his readers to conclude from this section of Scripture that the women actually saw the stone roll away from the door of Jesus’ sepulcher. On the contrary, verse 6 implies “Christ was already risen; and therefore the earthquake and its accompaniments must have taken place at an earlier point of time, to which the sacred writer returns back in his narration” (Robinson, 1993, p. 17). Verses 2-4 serve more as a footnote to the reader (explaining events that took place prior to the women’s arrival), and are in no way an indication that Matthew believed the women arrived at the tomb while it still was closed.
The simple fact is, Bible writers did not always record information in a strictly chronological sequence. The first book of the Bible contains several examples where events are recorded more topically than chronologically. Genesis 2:5-25 does not pick up where Genesis 1 left off, rather it provides more detailed information about some of the events mentioned in chapter one. Some of the things recorded in Genesis 10 occurred after the incident involving the tower of Babel (recorded in chapter 11). And a number of the events in Genesis 38 involving Judah and Tamar occurred while the things recorded in chapters 39ff. took place. Similar to a teacher who is telling her class a story, and inserts information into it about something the main character did in the past or will do in the future, Bible writers occasionally “jump” ahead of themselves by inserting pertinent parenthetical material.
As a person studies the narrative technique of Matthew (and other Bible writers), he quickly realizes that the writer of first gospel sometimes arranged his account in topical order rather than in a strictly chronological order. Matthew 28:1-6 is just one example. (For another example of where Matthew arranged his narrative topically, see “Of Times and Figs.”)
Robinson, Edward (1993), “The Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 150:9-34, January, first published in 1845.
A.P. Staff (2002), “Of Times and Figs,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/587.

What do the Scriptures tell us about Satan? by Roy Davison


What do the Scriptures tell us about Satan?
Jesus sent Paul to the people and to the nations: “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith” in Christ (Acts 26:18).

Who is Satan? What is the extent and nature of his power? Who has conquered Satan, and how can people turn from the power of Satan to God?

Who is Satan?
In Revelation we are told: “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).

Our knowledge of the heavenly realm is limited to what God has revealed. We are told that Satan led a rebellion against God. Pride was his downfall. An elder is not to be a novice, “lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6).

It is the ultimate arrogance to suppose that a rebellion against God could succeed. Yet, billions today follow Satan's example. They live in rebellion to God.

What is the extent of Satan's power?

According to John, “The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Thus, Satan has much power.

Many do not believe that he exits. Others think that only those who commit terrible atrocities are under the power of Satan. But John says that the whole world is in the wicked one!

What is the nature of Satan's power?

The devil uses deception to rule the world. Jesus said that the devil “does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44 RSV).

Satan is called “the tempter” (1 Thessalonians 3:5). He cannot force people to sin, but he tempts them by false claims that rebellion against God would bring greater pleasure, less pain or some advantage. Satan tempted Eve by telling her that she would be like God if she disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-5).

Satan appeals to people's desires. “Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:13, 14).

When people decide to sin, they voluntarily join Satan's rebellion and extend his power. They also distance themselves from the fellowship of God. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).

Jesus came to conquer Satan.
“Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:31, 32).
Referring to the Holy Spirit, Jesus said: “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:8-11).

Jesus came to rescue us from the power of Satan. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14, 15).

Satan is a killer. Jesus said: “He was a murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). Satan brought death into the world by deceiving Eve. He encouraged her to disobey God and told her she would not die (Genesis 3:4). How could she be so foolish? Yet, we all follow Eve's example, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

Jesus came to rescue us by depriving the devil of his deadly power. He accomplished this by bearing the punishment for our sins, He “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus says in Revelation: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:18). Through His resurrection, Christ conquered death. He has the keys to our grave. This is good news! This is the gospel!

Recently I learned the location of the grave of my maternal grandparents, Charles and Pearl Kincaid. I hope to obtain a picture of the plaque on their grave.

They were dedicated Christians. Although I do not remember them because I was small when they passed away, they had a great impact on my life. Their influence led to my parents becoming Christians.

When we walk through a graveyard, the stones are silent. The inscriptions show the person's name, the date of his birth and the date of his death.

In the fall, when the trees are wearing their most colorful garments, we like to go for a brief holiday across the border in the hills of Germany. While driving around admiring the beauty of God's creation, we have at times stopped to visit a graveyard. The cemeteries are beautiful, usually on the side of a hill. In the fall, flowers are placed on the graves in remembrance of family members who have passed on.

Walking from gravestone to gravestone, we sometimes noticed that a child had lived only a few months, or that a whole family had died on the same day, or that someone had lived a full life of eighty or ninety years. Now they all are silent in the grave, and one day soon we will be with them, unless the Lord returns before we die. We never know which day will be our last.

Death is the power of Satan. After Adam and Eve had to leave Eden, everyone dies because everyone sins (Romans 5:12).

Yet, something within us objects to death. God has placed eternity in man's heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). People we know and love ought not to die! And God has provided a way that we can live on with Him forever. Death and sin give Satan his power, but Jesus has conquered sin and death and Satan.

How can someone turn from the power of Satan to God?

Salvation from the power of Satan is offered to all. After His resurrection, Jesus told His followers: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15, 16). “And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).

When someone does not desire, however, when his heart is not right, Satan can prevent him from believing. Jesus explained the parable of the sower: “The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Luke 8:11, 12). ... “But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15).

Paul says: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).

But when we are willing, when we hear the word with good and noble hearts, when we believe and are baptized, we are saved by God: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13, 14).

John heard praise in heaven for Christ's victory over Satan: “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death” (Revelation 12:10, 11).

Paul explains: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1, 2).

But Satan does not give up easily.

He tries to bring us back under his power. Paul was concerned about the Corinthians: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). He had similar fears about the welfare of the Thessalonians: “For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain” (1 Thessalonians 3:5).

Peter warns: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8, 9).

James gives this admonition: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

God has given us the weapons we need to resist the devil: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:10-18).

What have we learned about Satan?

Mankind is in the clutches of the wicked one, who deceives the whole world. His power is the destructive power of sin and death.

Christ came to set us free from the power of Satan by suffering the penalty for our sins so we can be forgiven. This good news is preached to all.

He who believes and is baptized will be saved by God who transfers him from the power of darkness into the kingdom of His Son. Satan still assails us, but God gives us the weapons we need to resist him and remain faithful.

In conclusion, a blessing from Romans 16:20 - “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”

Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading November 18, 19, 20 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading November 18, 19, 20 

(World English Bible)

Nov. 18
Jeremiah 22-25

Jer 22:1 Thus said Yahweh: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word,
Jer 22:2 Say, Hear the word of Yahweh, king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter in by these gates.
Jer 22:3 Thus says Yahweh: Execute you justice and righteousness, and deliver him who is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence, to the foreigner, the fatherless, nor the widow; neither shed innocent blood in this place.
Jer 22:4 For if you do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.
Jer 22:5 But if you will not hear these words, I swear by myself, says Yahweh, that this house shall become a desolation.
Jer 22:6 For thus says Yahweh concerning the house of the king of Judah: You are Gilead to me, and the head of Lebanon; yet surely I will make you a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.
Jer 22:7 I will prepare destroyers against you, everyone with his weapons; and they shall cut down your choice cedars, and cast them into the fire.
Jer 22:8 Many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor, Why has Yahweh done thus to this great city?
Jer 22:9 Then they shall answer, Because they forsook the covenant of Yahweh their God, and worshiped other gods, and served them.
Jer 22:10 Don't you weep for the dead, neither bemoan him; but weep sore for him who goes away; for he shall return no more, nor see his native country.
Jer 22:11 For thus says Yahweh touching Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and who went forth out of this place: He shall not return there any more.
Jer 22:12 But in the place where they have led him captive, there shall he die, and he shall see this land no more.
Jer 22:13 Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by injustice; who uses his neighbor's service without wages, and doesn't give him his hire;
Jer 22:14 who says, I will build me a wide house and spacious chambers, and cuts him out windows; and it is ceiling with cedar, and painted with vermilion.
Jer 22:15 Shall you reign, because you strive to excel in cedar? Didn't your father eat and drink, and do justice and righteousness? then it was well with him.
Jer 22:16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Wasn't this to know me? says Yahweh.
Jer 22:17 But your eyes and your heart are not but for your covetousness, and for shedding innocent blood, and for oppression, and for violence, to do it.
Jer 22:18 Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! They shall not lament for him, saying Ah lord! or, Ah his glory!
Jer 22:19 He shall be buried with the burial of a donkey, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.
Jer 22:20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry; and lift up your voice in Bashan, and cry from Abarim; for all your lovers are destroyed.
Jer 22:21 I spoke to you in your prosperity; but you said, I will not hear. This has been your manner from your youth, that you didn't obey my voice.
Jer 22:22 The wind shall feed all your shepherds, and your lovers shall go into captivity: surely then you will be ashamed and confounded for all your wickedness.
Jer 22:23 Inhabitant of Lebanon, who makes your nest in the cedars, how greatly to be pitied you will be when pangs come on you, the pain as of a woman in travail!
Jer 22:24 As I live, says Yahweh, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet on my right hand, yet would I pluck you there;
Jer 22:25 and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of them of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans.
Jer 22:26 I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country, where you were not born; and there you will die.
Jer 22:27 But to the land whereunto their soul longs to return, there shall they not return.
Jer 22:28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken vessel? is he a vessel in which none delights? why are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into the land which they don't know?
Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of Yahweh.
Jer 22:30 Thus says Yahweh, Write you this man childless, a man who shall not prosper in his days; for no more shall a man of his seed prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling in Judah.

Jer 23:1 Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says Yahweh.
Jer 23:2 Therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them; behold, I will visit on you the evil of your doings, says Yahweh.
Jer 23:3 I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
Jer 23:4 I will set up shepherds over them, who shall feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be lacking, says Yahweh.
Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will raise to David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name by which he shall be called: Yahweh our righteousness.
Jer 23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that they shall no more say, As Yahweh lives, who brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
Jer 23:8 but, As Yahweh lives, who brought up and who led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries where I had driven them. They shall dwell in their own land.
Jer 23:9 Concerning the prophets. My heart within me is broken, all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine has overcome, because of Yahweh, and because of his holy words.
Jer 23:10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourns; the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right;
Jer 23:11 for both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in my house have I found their wickedness, says Yahweh.
Jer 23:12 Therefore their way shall be to them as slippery places in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein; for I will bring evil on them, even the year of their visitation, says Yahweh.
Jer 23:13 I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
Jer 23:14 In the prophets of Jerusalem also I have seen a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that none does return from his wickedness: they are all of them become to me as Sodom, and its inhabitants as Gomorrah.
Jer 23:15 Therefore thus says Yahweh of Armies concerning the prophets: Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem is ungodliness gone forth into all the land.
Jer 23:16 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, Don't listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you: they teach you vanity; they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of Yahweh.
Jer 23:17 They say continually to those who despise me, Yahweh has said, You shall have peace; and to everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart they say, No evil shall come on you.
Jer 23:18 For who has stood in the council of Yahweh, that he should perceive and hear his word? who has marked my word, and heard it?
Jer 23:19 Behold, the storm of Yahweh, even his wrath, is gone forth, yes, a whirling storm: it shall burst on the head of the wicked.
Jer 23:20 The anger of Yahweh shall not return, until he has executed, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days you shall understand it perfectly.
Jer 23:21 I sent not these prophets, yet they ran: I didn't speak to them, yet they prophesied.
Jer 23:22 But if they had stood in my council, then had they caused my people to hear my words, and had turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
Jer 23:23 Am I a God at hand, says Yahweh, and not a God afar off?
Jer 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him? says Yahweh. Don't I fill heaven and earth? says Yahweh.
Jer 23:25 I have heard what the prophets have said, who prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
Jer 23:26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, even the prophets of the deceit of their own heart?
Jer 23:27 who think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers forgot my name for Baal.
Jer 23:28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the straw to the wheat? says Yahweh.
Jer 23:29 Isn't my word like fire? says Yahweh; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
Jer 23:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says Yahweh, who steal my words everyone from his neighbor.
Jer 23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, says Yahweh, who use their tongues, and say, He says.
Jer 23:32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says Yahweh, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their vain boasting: yet I didn't send them, nor commanded them; neither do they profit this people at all, says Yahweh.
Jer 23:33 When this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask you, saying, What is the burden of Yahweh? then you shall tell them, What burden! I will cast you off, says Yahweh.
Jer 23:34 As for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, who shall say, The burden of Yahweh, I will even punish that man and his house.
Jer 23:35 You shall say everyone to his neighbor, and everyone to his brother, What has Yahweh answered? and, What has Yahweh spoken?
Jer 23:36 You shall mention the burden of Yahweh no more: for every man's own word shall be his burden; for you have perverted the words of the living God, of Yahweh of Armies our God.
Jer 23:37 You shall say to the prophet, What has Yahweh answered you? and, What has Yahweh spoken?
Jer 23:38 But if you say, The burden of Yahweh; therefore thus says Yahweh: Because you say this word, The burden of Yahweh, and I have sent to you, saying, You shall not say, The burden of Yahweh;
Jer 23:39 therefore, behold, I will utterly forget you, and I will cast you off, and the city that I gave to you and to your fathers, away from my presence:
Jer 23:40 and I will bring an everlasting reproach on you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

Jer 24:1 Yahweh showed me, and behold, two baskets of figs set before the temple of Yahweh, after that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the craftsmen and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
Jer 24:2 One basket had very good figs, like the figs that are first-ripe; and the other basket had very bad figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.
Jer 24:3 Then said Yahweh to me, What see you, Jeremiah? I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the bad, very bad, that can't be eaten, they are so bad.
Jer 24:4 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Jer 24:5 Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so will I regard the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans, for good.
Jer 24:6 For I will set my eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.
Jer 24:7 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Yahweh: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
Jer 24:8 As the bad figs, which can't be eaten, they are so bad, surely thus says Yahweh, So will I give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt,
Jer 24:9 I will even give them up to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth for evil; to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places where I shall drive them.
Jer 24:10 I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, until they be consumed from off the land that I gave to them and to their fathers.

Jer 25:1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (the same was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon),
Jer 25:2 which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying:
Jer 25:3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years, the word of Yahweh has come to me, and I have spoken to you, rising up early and speaking; but you have not listened.
Jer 25:4 Yahweh has sent to you all his servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them (but you have not listened, nor inclined your ear to hear)
Jer 25:5 saying, Return now everyone from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that Yahweh has given to you and to your fathers, from of old and even forevermore;
Jer 25:6 and don't go after other gods to serve them or worship them, and don't provoke me to anger with the work of your hands; and I will do you no harm.
Jer 25:7 Yet you have not listened to me, says Yahweh; that you may provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own hurt.
Jer 25:8 Therefore thus says Yahweh of Armies: Because you have not heard my words,
Jer 25:9 behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, says Yahweh, and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against its inhabitants, and against all these nations around; and I will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and a hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Jer 25:10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the lamp.
Jer 25:11 This whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
Jer 25:12 It shall happen, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, says Yahweh, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it desolate forever.
Jer 25:13 I will bring on that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations.
Jer 25:14 For many nations and great kings shall make bondservants of them, even of them; and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the work of their hands.
Jer 25:15 For thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, to me: take this cup of the wine of wrath at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it.
Jer 25:16 They shall drink, and reel back and forth, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.
Jer 25:17 Then took I the cup at Yahweh's hand, and made all the nations to drink, to whom Yahweh had sent me:
Jer 25:18 to wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and its kings, and its princes, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, a hissing, and a curse, as it is this day;
Jer 25:19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;
Jer 25:20 and all the mixed people, and all the kings of the land of the Uz, and all the kings of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Gaza, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod;
Jer 25:21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon;
Jer 25:22 and all the kings of Tyre, and all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the isle which is beyond the sea;
Jer 25:23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all who have the corners of their hair cut off;
Jer 25:24 and all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed people who dwell in the wilderness;
Jer 25:25 and all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes;
Jer 25:26 and all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the world, which are on the surface of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.
Jer 25:27 You shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Drink you, and be drunken, and spew, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.
Jer 25:28 It shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at your hand to drink, then you shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh of Armies: You shall surely drink.
Jer 25:29 For, behold, I begin to work evil at the city which is called by my name; and should you be utterly unpunished? You shall not be unpunished; for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth, says Yahweh of Armies.
Jer 25:30 Therefore prophesy you against them all these words, and tell them, Yahweh will roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he will mightily roar against his fold; he will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.
Jer 25:31 A noise shall come even to the end of the earth; for Yahweh has a controversy with the nations; he will enter into judgment with all flesh: as for the wicked, he will give them to the sword, says Yahweh.
Jer 25:32 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great storm shall be raised up from the uttermost parts of the earth.
Jer 25:33 The slain of Yahweh shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground.
Jer 25:34 Wail, you shepherds, and cry; and wallow in ashes, you principal of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are fully come, and you shall fall like a goodly vessel.
Jer 25:35 The shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.
Jer 25:36 A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and the wailing of the principal of the flock! for Yahweh lays waste their pasture.
Jer 25:37 The peaceable folds are brought to silence because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.
Jer 25:38 He has left his covert, as the lion; for their land is become an astonishment because of the fierceness of the oppressing sword, and because of his fierce anger.

Nov. 19
Jeremiah 26-29

Jer 26:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word from Yahweh, saying,
Jer 26:2 Thus says Yahweh: Stand in the court of Yahweh's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in Yahweh's house, all the words that I command you to speak to them; don't diminish a word.
Jer 26:3 It may be they will listen, and turn every man from his evil way; that I may repent me of the evil which I purpose to do to them because of the evil of their doings.
Jer 26:4 You shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
Jer 26:5 to listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send to you, even rising up early and sending them, but you have not listened;
Jer 26:6 then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
Jer 26:7 The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of Yahweh.
Jer 26:8 It happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that Yahweh had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold on him, saying, You shall surely die.
Jer 26:9 Why have you prophesied in the name of Yahweh, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant? All the people were gathered to Jeremiah in the house of Yahweh.
Jer 26:10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of Yahweh; and they sat in the entry of the new gate of Yahweh's house.
Jer 26:11 Then spoke the priests and the prophets to the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy of death; for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.
Jer 26:12 Then spoke Jeremiah to all the princes and to all the people, saying, Yahweh sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard.
Jer 26:13 Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of Yahweh your God; and Yahweh will repent him of the evil that he has pronounced against you.
Jer 26:14 But as for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as is good and right in your eyes.
Jer 26:15 Only know for certain that, if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city, and on its inhabitants; for of a truth Yahweh has sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.
Jer 26:16 Then said the princes and all the people to the priests and to the prophets: This man is not worthy of death; for he has spoken to us in the name of Yahweh our God.
Jer 26:17 Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying,
Jer 26:18 Micah the Morashtite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.
Jer 26:19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Didn't he fear Yahweh, and entreat the favor of Yahweh, and Yahweh relented of the disaster which he had pronounced against them? Thus should we commit great evil against our own souls.
Jer 26:20 There was also a man who prophesied in the name of Yahweh, Uriah the son of Shemaiah of Kiriath Jearim; and he prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah:
Jer 26:21 and when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Uriah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt:
Jer 26:22 and Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him, into Egypt;
Jer 26:23 and they fetched forth Uriah out of Egypt, and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
Jer 26:24 But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.

Jer 27:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,
Jer 27:2 Thus says Yahweh to me: Make bonds and bars, and put them on your neck;
Jer 27:3 and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the children of Ammon, and to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah;
Jer 27:4 and give them a command to their masters, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, You shall tell your masters:
Jer 27:5 I have made the earth, the men and the animals that are on the surface of the earth, by my great power and by my outstretched arm; and I give it to whom it seems right to me.
Jer 27:6 Now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the animals of the field also have I given him to serve him.
Jer 27:7 All the nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the time of his own land come: and then many nations and great kings shall make him their bondservant.
Jer 27:8 It shall happen, that the nation and the kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, says Yahweh, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Jer 27:9 But as for you, don't you listen to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreams, nor to your soothsayers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon:
Jer 27:10 for they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land, and that I should drive you out, and you should perish.
Jer 27:11 But the nation that shall bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, that nation will I let remain in their own land, says Yahweh; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
Jer 27:12 I spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
Jer 27:13 Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as Yahweh has spoken concerning the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
Jer 27:14 Don't listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon; for they prophesy a lie to you.
Jer 27:15 For I have not sent them, says Yahweh, but they prophesy falsely in my name; that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you, and the prophets who prophesy to you.
Jer 27:16 Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Don't listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, Behold, the vessels of Yahweh's house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon; for they prophesy a lie to you.
Jer 27:17 Don't listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: why should this city become a desolation?
Jer 27:18 But if they be prophets, and if the word of Yahweh be with them, let them now make intercession to Yahweh of Armies, that the vessels which are left in the house of Yahweh, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, don't go to Babylon.
Jer 27:19 For thus says Yahweh of Armies concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that are left in this city,
Jer 27:20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon didn't take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;
Jer 27:21 yes, thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of Yahweh, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem:
Jer 27:22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be, until the day that I visit them, says Yahweh; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.

Jer 28:1 It happened the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet, who was of Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of Yahweh, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,
Jer 28:2 Thus speaks Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jer 28:3 Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of Yahweh's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried to Babylon:
Jer 28:4 and I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, who went to Babylon, says Yahweh; for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jer 28:5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of Yahweh,
Jer 28:6 even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: Yahweh do so; Yahweh perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring again the vessels of Yahweh's house, and all them of the captivity, from Babylon to this place.
Jer 28:7 Nevertheless hear you now this word that I speak in your ears, and in the ears of all the people:
Jer 28:8 The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.
Jer 28:9 The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet shall happen, then shall the prophet be known, that Yahweh has truly sent him.
Jer 28:10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the bar from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and broke it.
Jer 28:11 Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations. The prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Jer 28:12 Then the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the bar from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 28:13 Go, and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus says Yahweh: You have broken the bars of wood; but you have made in their place bars of iron.
Jer 28:14 For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the animals of the field also.
Jer 28:15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah: Yahweh has not sent you; but you make this people to trust in a lie.
Jer 28:16 Therefore thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will send you away from off the surface of the earth: this year you shall die, because you have spoken rebellion against Yahweh.
Jer 28:17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Jer 29:1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the residue of the elders of the captivity, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon,
Jer 29:2 (after that Jeconiah the king, and the queen mother, and the eunuchs, and the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem),
Jer 29:3 by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), saying,
Jer 29:4 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, to all the captivity, whom I have caused to be carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon:
Jer 29:5 Build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
Jer 29:6 Take wives, and father sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply you there, and don't be diminished.
Jer 29:7 Seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to Yahweh for it; for in its peace you shall have peace.
Jer 29:8 For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Don't let your prophets who are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you; neither listen you to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.
Jer 29:9 For they prophesy falsely to you in my name: I have not sent them, says Yahweh.
Jer 29:10 For thus says Yahweh, After seventy years are accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.
Jer 29:12 You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Jer 29:13 You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
Jer 29:14 I will be found by you, says Yahweh, and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, says Yahweh; and I will bring you again to the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive.
Jer 29:15 Because you have said, Yahweh has raised us up prophets in Babylon;
Jer 29:16 thus says Yahweh concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who haven't gone forth with you into captivity;
Jer 29:17 thus says Yahweh of Armies; Behold, I will send on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that can't be eaten, they are so bad.
Jer 29:18 I will pursue after them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth, to be an object of horror, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations where I have driven them;
Jer 29:19 because they have not listened to my words, says Yahweh, with which I sent to them my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear, says Yahweh.
Jer 29:20 Hear you therefore the word of Yahweh, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.
Jer 29:21 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall kill them before your eyes;
Jer 29:22 and of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captives of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, Yahweh make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;
Jer 29:23 because they have worked folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken words in my name falsely, which I didn't command them; and I am he who knows, and am witness, says Yahweh.
Jer 29:24 Concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite you shall speak, saying,
Jer 29:25 Thus speaks Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, saying, Because you have sent letters in your own name to all the people who are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying,
Jer 29:26 Yahweh has made you priest in the place of Jehoiada the priest, that there may be officers in the house of Yahweh, for every man who is mad, and makes himself a prophet, that you should put him in the stocks and in shackles.
Jer 29:27 Now therefore, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who makes himself a prophet to you,
Jer 29:28 because he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, The captivity is long: build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them?
Jer 29:29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
Jer 29:30 Then came the word of Yahweh to Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 29:31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus says Yahweh concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I didn't send him, and he has caused you to trust in a lie;
Jer 29:32 therefore thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed; he shall not have a man to dwell among this people, neither shall he see the good that I will do to my people, says Yahweh, because he has spoken rebellion against Yahweh.

Nov. 20
Jeremiah 30-33

Jer 30:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,
Jer 30:2 Thus speaks Yahweh, the God of Israel, saying, Write you all the words that I have spoken to you in a book.
Jer 30:3 For, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will turn again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, says Yahweh; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
Jer 30:4 These are the words that Yahweh spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah.
Jer 30:5 For thus says Yahweh: We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.
Jer 30:6 Ask now, and see whether a man does travail with child: why do I see every man with his hands on his waist, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.
Jer 30:8 It shall come to pass in that day, says Yahweh of Armies, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and will burst your bonds; and strangers shall no more make him their bondservant;
Jer 30:9 but they shall serve Yahweh their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them.
Jer 30:10 Therefore don't you be afraid, O Jacob my servant, says Yahweh; neither be dismayed, Israel: for, behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be quiet and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.
Jer 30:11 For I am with you, says Yahweh, to save you: for I will make a full end of all the nations where I have scattered you, but I will not make a full end of you; but I will correct you in measure, and will in no way leave you unpunished.
Jer 30:12 For thus says Yahweh, Your hurt is incurable, and your wound grievous.
Jer 30:13 There is none to plead your cause, that you may be bound up: you have no healing medicines.
Jer 30:14 All your lovers have forgotten you; they don't seek you: for I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the greatness of your iniquity, because your sins were increased.
Jer 30:15 Why cry you for your hurt? your pain is incurable: for the greatness of your iniquity, because your sins were increased, I have done these things to you.
Jer 30:16 Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; and all your adversaries, everyone of them, shall go into captivity; and those who despoil you shall be a spoil, and all who prey on you will I give for a prey.
Jer 30:17 For I will restore health to you, and I will heal you of your wounds, says Yahweh; because they have called you an outcast, saying, It is Zion, whom no man seeks after.
Jer 30:18 Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I will turn again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have compassion on his dwelling places; and the city shall be built on its own hill, and the palace shall be inhabited after its own manner.
Jer 30:19 Out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
Jer 30:20 Their children also shall be as before, and their congregation shall be established before me; and I will punish all who oppress them.
Jer 30:21 Their prince shall be of themselves, and their ruler shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach to me: for who is he who has had boldness to approach to me? says Yahweh.
Jer 30:22 You shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Jer 30:23 Behold, the storm of Yahweh, even his wrath, is gone forth, a sweeping storm: it shall burst on the head of the wicked.
Jer 30:24 The fierce anger of Yahweh shall not return, until he has executed, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days you shall understand it.

Jer 31:1 At that time, says Yahweh, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
Jer 31:2 Thus says Yahweh, The people who were left of the sword found favor in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest.
Jer 31:3 Yahweh appeared of old to me, saying, Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you.
Jer 31:4 Again will I build you, and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel: again you shall be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who make merry.
Jer 31:5 Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant, and shall enjoy its fruit.
Jer 31:6 For there shall be a day, that the watchmen on the hills of Ephraim shall cry, Arise you, and let us go up to Zion to Yahweh our God.
Jer 31:7 For thus says Yahweh, Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout for the chief of the nations: publish you, praise you, and say, Yahweh, save your people, the remnant of Israel.
Jer 31:8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the uttermost parts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who travails with child together: a great company shall they return here.
Jer 31:9 They shall come with weeping; and with petitions will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Jer 31:10 Hear the word of Yahweh, you nations, and declare it in the islands afar off; and say, He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as shepherd does his flock.
Jer 31:11 For Yahweh has ransomed Jacob, and redeemed him from the hand of him who was stronger than he.
Jer 31:12 They shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow to the goodness of Yahweh, to the grain, and to the new wine, and to the oil, and to the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
Jer 31:13 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old together; for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
Jer 31:14 I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, says Yahweh.
Jer 31:15 Thus says Yahweh: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.
Jer 31:16 Thus says Yahweh: Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says Yahweh; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
Jer 31:17 There is hope for your latter end, says Yahweh; and your children shall come again to their own border.
Jer 31:18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus, You have chastised me, and I was chastised, as a calf unaccustomed to the yoke: turn you me, and I shall be turned; for you are Yahweh my God.
Jer 31:19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I struck on my thigh: I was ashamed, yes, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.
Jer 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a darling child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says Yahweh.
Jer 31:21 Set up road signs, make guideposts; set your heart toward the highway, even the way by which you went: turn again, virgin of Israel, turn again to these your cities.
Jer 31:22 How long will you go here and there, you backsliding daughter? for Yahweh has created a new thing in the earth: a woman shall encompass a man.
Jer 31:23 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, Yet again shall they use this speech in the land of Judah and in its cities, when I shall bring again their captivity: Yahweh bless you, habitation of righteousness, mountain of holiness.
Jer 31:24 Judah and all its cities shall dwell therein together, the farmers, and those who go about with flocks.
Jer 31:25 For I have satiated the weary soul, and every sorrowful soul have I replenished.
Jer 31:26 On this I awakened, and saw; and my sleep was sweet to me.
Jer 31:27 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of animal.
Jer 31:28 It shall happen that, like as I have watched over them to pluck up and to break down and to overthrow and to destroy and to afflict, so will I watch over them to build and to plant, says Yahweh.
Jer 31:29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
Jer 31:30 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity: every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jer 31:32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says Yahweh.
Jer 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people:
Jer 31:34 and they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahweh; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says Yahweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.
Jer 31:35 Thus says Yahweh, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea, so that its waves roar; Yahweh of Armies is his name:
Jer 31:36 If these ordinances depart from before me, says Yahweh, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever.
Jer 31:37 Thus says Yahweh: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says Yahweh.
Jer 31:38 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that the city shall be built to Yahweh from the tower of Hananel to the gate of the corner.
Jer 31:39 The measuring line shall go out further straight onward to the hill Gareb, and shall turn about to Goah.
Jer 31:40 The whole valley of the dead bodies and of the ashes, and all the fields to the brook Kidron, to the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy to Yahweh; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more forever.

Jer 32:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.
Jer 32:2 Now at that time the king of Babylon's army was besieging Jerusalem; and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard, which was in the king of Judah's house.
Jer 32:3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Why do you prophesy, and say, Thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;
Jer 32:4 and Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall see his eyes;
Jer 32:5 and he shall bring Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, says Yahweh: though you fight with the Chaldeans, you shall not prosper?
Jer 32:6 Jeremiah said, The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Jer 32:7 Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle shall come to you, saying, Buy you my field that is in Anathoth; for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.
Jer 32:8 So Hanamel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the guard according to the word of Yahweh, and said to me, Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself. Then I knew that this was the word of Yahweh.
Jer 32:9 I bought the field that was in Anathoth of Hanamel my uncle's son, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.
Jer 32:10 I subscribed the deed, and sealed it, and called witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.
Jer 32:11 So I took the deed of the purchase, both that which was sealed, containing the terms and conditions, and that which was open;
Jer 32:12 and I delivered the deed of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my uncle's son, and in the presence of the witnesses who subscribed the deed of the purchase, before all the Jews who sat in the court of the guard.
Jer 32:13 I commanded Baruch before them, saying,
Jer 32:14 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, this deed of the purchase which is sealed, and this deed which is open, and put them in an earthen vessel; that they may continue many days.
Jer 32:15 For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall yet again be bought in this land.
Jer 32:16 Now after I had delivered the deed of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to Yahweh, saying,
Jer 32:17 Ah Lord Yahweh! behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm; there is nothing too hard for you,
Jer 32:18 who show loving kindness to thousands, and recompense the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them; the great, the mighty God, Yahweh of Armies is his name;
Jer 32:19 great in counsel, and mighty in work; whose eyes are open on all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:
Jer 32:20 who performed signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even to this day, both in Israel and among other men; and made you a name, as in this day;
Jer 32:21 and brought forth your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terror;
Jer 32:22 and gave them this land, which you did swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey;
Jer 32:23 and they came in, and possessed it, but they didn't obey your voice, neither walked in your law; they have done nothing of all that you commanded them to do: therefore you have caused all this evil to come on them.
Jer 32:24 Behold, the mounds, they are come to the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans who fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence; and what you have spoken has happened; and behold, you see it.
Jer 32:25 You have said to me, Lord Yahweh, Buy you the field for money, and call witnesses; whereas the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.
Jer 32:26 Then came the word of Yahweh to Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 32:27 Behold, I am Yahweh, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?
Jer 32:28 Therefore thus says Yahweh: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:
Jer 32:29 and the Chaldeans, who fight against this city, shall come and set this city on fire, and burn it, with the houses, on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
Jer 32:30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only that which was evil in my sight from their youth; for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, says Yahweh.
Jer 32:31 For this city has been to me a provocation of my anger and of my wrath from the day that they built it even to this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
Jer 32:32 because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Jer 32:33 They have turned to me the back, and not the face: and though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction.
Jer 32:34 But they set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to defile it.
Jer 32:35 They built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech; which I didn't command them, neither did it come into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
Jer 32:36 Now therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, concerning this city, about which you say, It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence:
Jer 32:37 Behold, I will gather them out of all the countries, where I have driven them in my anger, and in my wrath, and in great indignation; and I will bring them again to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
Jer 32:38 and they shall be my people, and I will be their God:
Jer 32:39 and I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
Jer 32:40 and I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from following them, to do them good; and I will put my fear in their hearts, that they may not depart from me.
Jer 32:41 Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
Jer 32:42 For thus says Yahweh: Like as I have brought all this great evil on this people, so will I bring on them all the good that I have promised them.
Jer 32:43 Fields shall be bought in this land, about which you say, It is desolate, without man or animal; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.
Jer 32:44 Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe the deeds, and seal them, and call witnesses, in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the hill country, and in the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the South: for I will cause their captivity to return, says Yahweh.

Jer 33:1 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the guard, saying,
Jer 33:2 Thus says Yahweh who does it, Yahweh who forms it to establish it; Yahweh is his name:
Jer 33:3 Call to me, and I will answer you, and will show you great things, and difficult, which you don't know.
Jer 33:4 For thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are broken down to make a defense against the mounds and against the sword;
Jer 33:5 while men come to fight with the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have killed in my anger and in my wrath, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city:
Jer 33:6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them; and I will reveal to them abundance of peace and truth.
Jer 33:7 I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.
Jer 33:8 I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, by which they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, by which they have sinned against me, and by which they have transgressed against me.
Jer 33:9 This city shall be to me for a name of joy, for a praise and for a glory, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do to them, and shall fear and tremble for all the good and for all the peace that I procure to it.
Jer 33:10 Thus says Yahweh: Yet again there shall be heard in this place, about which you say, It is waste, without man and without animal, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without animal,
Jer 33:11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, Give thanks to Yahweh of Armies, for Yahweh is good, for his loving kindness endures forever; and of them who bring sacrifices of thanksgiving into the house of Yahweh. For I will cause the captivity of the land to return as at the first, says Yahweh.
Jer 33:12 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Yet again shall there be in this place, which is waste, without man and without animal, and in all its cities, a habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.
Jer 33:13 In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the South, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks again pass under the hands of him who numbers them, says Yahweh.
Jer 33:14 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will perform that good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and concerning the house of Judah.
Jer 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up to David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
Jer 33:16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name by which she shall be called: Yahweh our righteousness.
Jer 33:17 For thus says Yahweh: David shall never want a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;
Jer 33:18 neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to burn meal offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
Jer 33:19 The word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 33:20 Thus says Yahweh: If you can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, so that there shall not be day and night in their season;
Jer 33:21 then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.
Jer 33:22 As the army of the sky can't be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured; so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites who minister to me.
Jer 33:23 The word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 33:24 Don't you consider what this people has spoken, saying, The two families which Yahweh did choose, he has cast them off? thus do they despise my people, that they should be no more a nation before them.
Jer 33:25 Thus says Yahweh: If my covenant of day and night fails, if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;
Jer 33:26 then will I also cast away the seed of Jacob, and of David my servant, so that I will not take of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and will have mercy on them.

Nov. 18
Hebrews 4

Heb 4:1 Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps anyone of you should seem to have come short of a promise of entering into his rest.
Heb 4:2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn't profit them, because it wasn't mixed with faith by those who heard.
Heb 4:3 For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Heb 4:4 For he has said this somewhere about the seventh day, "God rested on the seventh day from all his works;"
Heb 4:5 and in this place again, "They will not enter into my rest."
Heb 4:6 Seeing therefore it remains that some should enter therein, and they to whom the good news was before preached failed to enter in because of disobedience,
Heb 4:7 he again defines a certain day, today, saying through David so long a time afterward (just as has been said), "Today if you will hear his voice, don't harden your hearts."
Heb 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day.
Heb 4:9 There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
Heb 4:10 For he who has entered into his rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from his.
Heb 4:11 Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Heb 4:13 There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Heb 4:14 Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession.
Heb 4:15 For we don't have a high priest who can't be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.

Nov. 19
Hebrews 5

Heb 5:1 For every high priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
Heb 5:2 The high priest can deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, because he himself is also surrounded with weakness.
Heb 5:3 Because of this, he must offer sacrifices for sins for the people, as well as for himself.
Heb 5:4 Nobody takes this honor on himself, but he is called by God, just like Aaron was.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ didn't glorify himself to be made a high priest, but it was he who said to him, "You are my Son. Today I have become your father."
Heb 5:6 As he says also in another place, "You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek."
Heb 5:7 He, in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and petitions with strong crying and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear,
Heb 5:8 though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered.
Heb 5:9 Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation,
Heb 5:10 named by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 5:11 About him we have many words to say, and hard to interpret, seeing you have become dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For when by reason of the time you ought to be teachers, you again need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God. You have come to need milk, and not solid food.
Heb 5:13 For everyone who lives on milk is not experienced in the word of righteousness, for he is a baby.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for those who are full grown, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.

Nov. 20
Hebrews 6

Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the doctrine of the first principles of Christ, let us press on to perfection--not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 This will we do, if God permits.
Heb 6:4 For concerning those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
Heb 6:5 and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come,
Heb 6:6 and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance; seeing they crucify the Son of God for themselves again, and put him to open shame.
Heb 6:7 For the land which has drunk the rain that comes often on it, and brings forth a crop suitable for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receives blessing from God;
Heb 6:8 but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is rejected and near being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
Heb 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded of better things for you, and things that accompany salvation, even though we speak like this.
Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous, so as to forget your work and the labor of love which you showed toward his name, in that you served the saints, and still do serve them.
Heb 6:11 We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end,
Heb 6:12 that you won't be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises.
Heb 6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he swore by himself,
Heb 6:14 saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you."
Heb 6:15 Thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Heb 6:16 For men indeed swear by a greater one, and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation.
Heb 6:17 In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath;
Heb 6:18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us.
Heb 6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within the veil;
Heb 6:20 where as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.