8/7/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Death Of John The Baptist (14:1-12) by Mark Copeland

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

The Death Of John The Baptist (14:1-12)

INTRODUCTION

1. A sad story in the Bible is that of "The Death Of John The Baptist"
   a. His imprisonment occurred near the beginning of Jesus' ministry - Mt 4:12
   b. Some time later, John sent two of his disciples to Jesus - Mt 11: 1-3
   c. Eventually he was beheaded by Herod - Mt 14:1-12

2. The sadness of the story, though, is tempered by the contrast
   between John and those responsible for his death...
   a. A remarkable contrast between a godly man and a depraved family
   b. A contrast that certainly provides several object lessons,
      encouraging godly living

3. In this study, we shall review what is said about "The Death Of John
   The Baptist"...
   a. Noticing the four key persons in this narrative
   b. Considering a few lessons and points that might be gleaned from this passage

[We begin with...]

I. THE FAITHFULNESS OF JOHN

   A. JOHN PROVED TO BE A FAITHFUL PROPHET...
      1. His message was a call to repentance - Mt 3:1-2
      2. He called the religious leaders to repentance as well - Mt 3:7-8
      3. Nor did he back away from pointing out the sins of the king- Mt 14:3-4
         a. Herod had married his brother Philip's wife, Herodias
         b. It was an unlawful marriage, for several reasons:
            1) Philip was still living, making it adultery - Ro 7:1-3
            2) She was Herod's niece, making it incest  
            3) The Law prohibited marrying a brother's wife - Lev 18:16; 20:21
      4. Rather than change his message to accommodate the king, John
         was willing to go to prison and ultimately die for the Word of God!

   B. HIS FAITHFULNESS SHOULD INSPIRE US TODAY...
      1. To be true to God's Word, even when not politically correct
      2. To proclaim God's law on marriage, even if it angers others
         a. God's law on marriage goes all the way back to the creation - Mt 19:4-8
         b. Christ defined the one circumstance when one may divorce
            and remarry - Mt 19:9
         c. Therefore not all marriages are "lawful"; there may be 
            times when we must tell one:  "It is not lawful for you to
            have her" - Mt 14:4
            
[The faithfulness of this godly man stands out, especially when 
contrasted with the members of the ungodly family we now consider.  
Beginning with...]

II. THE SHAMELESSNESS OF SALOME

   A. SALOME WAS A GIRL WITH NO SHAME...
      1. Of course, she was the daughter of a shameless woman - Mt 14:6
      2. From the Greek, Robertson describes her dance as "some kind of
         rapid motion...a shameful exhibition of lewd dancing"
         (Robertson's Word Pictures)
      3. She danced this way, not just before Herod, but his guests as
         well - Mk 6:21-22

   B. HER SHAMELESSNESS IS OFTEN REPEATED TODAY...
      1. Much modern dance is similar to the lewdness of Salome's dancing
         a. Designed to arouse fleshly passions
         b. "Because of its physical appeal, dance lends itself to 
            erotic purposes and has been practiced to these ends by 
            both sexes." - Encyclopedia Britannica, "The Art Of Dance"
      2. Such shamelessness is condemned as lewdness (lasciviousness,licentiousness)
         a. The Greek word for "lewdness" (aselgia) is "unbridled lust
            ...wanton acts or manners (including) filthy words,
            indecent bodily movements, unchaste handling of males 
            and females" (Thayer)
         b. Condemned as a work of the flesh - cf. Ga 5:19-21
      3. Christians (esp. women) are to possess a sense of
         "shamefacedness" - 1Ti 2:9 (KJV)
         a. That is, a sense of propriety (NKJV), that which is proper
         b. The Greek word (aidos) means "a sense of shame, modesty" (Vine)
         c. "Aidos would always restrain a good man from an unworthy
            act..." (Trench)

[The shamelessness of Salome contributed to the death of John the 
Baptist.  Similar lack of propriety among men and women leads to much 
trouble today as well.  Of course, this young girl was undoubtedly 
influenced by her mother...]

III. THE VENGEFULNESS OF HERODIAS

   A. HERODIAS WAS A VENGEFUL WOMAN...
      1. She was the subject of John's rebuke to Herod - Mt 14:3-4
         a. She had been married to Philip, Herod Antipas' half-brother
         b. Herod had been married to the daughter of Aretas, an 
            Arabian king of Petraea
         c. After Herod had been a guest in Philip's home, he and
            Herodias eloped while still married to their spouses
         d. At some point they married, for which John rebuked them - Mk 6:17-18
      2. In her vengefulness...
         a. She prompted Herod to imprison John - Mk 6:17-18
         a. She wanted to kill John, though temporarily prevented from
            doing so - Mk 6:19
         b. She prompted her daughter to ask for John's head on a platter - Mk 6:22-25
   
   B. SUCH VENGEFULNESS OFTEN DESTROYS LIVES TODAY...
      1. Through vengeance people often resort to desperate measures
         a. E.g., Simeon and Levi, whose vengeance killed those of
            Shechem - Gen 34:1-31
         b. It moved Joab to kill Abner, an honorable man - 2Sa 3:27;1Ki 2:29-33
      2. Vengeance led to the downfall of such people as:
         a. Haman, who tried to kill Mordecai and the Jews - Esther 3-7
         b. The Edomites and the Philistines, who took vengeance on Judah - Eze 25:12-17
      3. Vengeance destroys families, friends, associates; hurting most
         those who exercise it
      4. Which is why we are commanded to leave vengeance to God - Pro
         24:29; Ro 12:17-19; 1Th 5:15; 1Pe 3:9
   
[Finally, we consider the king who was manipulated like a pawn, as we look at...]

IV. THE WEAKNESS OF HEROD

   A. HEROD ANTIPAS WAS A WEAK MAN...
      1. Son of Herod the Great, we see his weakness manifested by:
         a. His superstition, supposing Jesus to be John raised from the dead - Mt 14:1-2
         b. His unfaithfulness, in leaving his first wife and marrying Herodias - Mt 14:3-4
         c. His fear of the multitude and John himself, which prevented
            Herod from killing him at first - Mt 14:5; Mk 6:20
         d. His manipulation by Salome and Herodias - Mt 14:6-8
         e. His fear of his guests, before whom he was afraid of ridicule - Mt 14:9
      2. His weakness eventually led to his death
         a. For Herodias later prompted him to join her in appealing
            for favors from Caesar
         b. But they were accused of high treason and banished to Lyons
            in Gaul, where he died in great misery (Josephus, 
            Antiquities Of The Jews)

   B. SUCH MORAL WEAKNESS CAN BE A PROBLEM TODAY...
      1. We can be destroyed by weakness through:
         a. Succumbing to temptation
         b. Allowing others to pressure us in doing evil - 1Co 15:33
      2. Christians need to stand strong...
         a. Cf. The example of young men as Joseph and Daniel - Gen 39:
            1-12; Dan 1:8
         b. Looking to God for help and strength - 1Co 10:13; Ep 3:16; Php 4:13
         c. Seeking the approval of God, not men - Ga 1:10

CONCLUSION

1. In "The Death Of John The Baptist", it initially appears that evil
   was the winner...
   a. Herod succeeded in imprisoning and killing John
   b. Herod and Salome succeeded in manipulating Herod and getting rid of John

2. There are times today when it seems that evil people are the ones
   who win in life...
   a. People who blatantly disregard God's law on divorce and remarriage
   b. Young people who gain popularity through shameless conduct

3. But as revealed by the Psalmist (Ps 73:1-28), such apparent success is fleeting...
   a. God will eventually bring the wicked into judgment
   b. Sometimes judgment is received even in this life, as with the 
      exile of Herod and Herodias    
   c. Whose shoes would you want to be in now?  Herod's? Herodias'? Salome's?

May the faithfulness of John remind us that serving God is the only way
to eternal life and true happiness...! 
 Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Satan, Job, and a False Implication by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

 http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1889

Satan, Job, and a False Implication

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The Bible describes Satan as the accuser of the righteous, who has accused them before God day and night (Revelation 12:10). In one of the most vivid scenes portraying Satan’s accusatory nature, the patient patriarch Job bore the brunt of Satan’s slander. The sons of God had come to present themselves before God, and Satan came also. God asked Satan if he had considered Job, a righteous man who hated sin. In answer to God’s question, Satan retorted: “You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” (Job 1:10-11).

Satan’s comments seem fairly easy to understand—God had blessed Job with physical and financial blessing and it was due to those blessings that Job served God. But, if one is not careful, he or she will miss one of Satan’s false implications embedded in the statement. Satan subtly implied that it is easier for a man to serve God if he is rich and his possessions are increased, than it is for him to serve God if he is poor. Unfortunately, this idea has been maintained by many in the past and the present. In truth, however, Satan’s implication is false. It has never been easier to follow God if a person is financially wealthy. On the contrary, wealth often has great potential to have a negative effective on a man’s relationship with God.

First century listeners to Jesus were quite shocked to hear that such was the case. After the sad refusal of the rich young ruler to sell his possessions, Christ made some startling comments. He said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). When Christ made this statement, His hearers “were astonished beyond measure, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’” (vs. 26). Jesus explained that it was possible for such to happen, but it was not easy.

In Job’s case, Satan had done everything he could to tempt him with riches and physical wealth. God allowed Job’s wealth to accumulate and Job proved he could do what few have done—serve God faithfully as a rich man. Satan’s attempt to lure Job into sin with riches had failed, and he realized that the man’s soul was not for sale.

The idea that riches and physical blessings make serving God easier is a false notion and Satan knew it. So did God. And so should we. Let us all “be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

 

 

Satan is not the Ruler of Hell by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 
http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=4200
 
Satan is not the Ruler of Hell
by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Cartoons have done much to influence the idea that many people have of Satan. The picture of a red, demon-like character with small horns protruding from his head, an arrow-head pointed tail, and a pitchfork in his hand comes to the minds of many when they hear the words devil, Satan, or hell. In fact, many of the cartoons that depict Satan with such images also show him sitting as a king in hell, determining where each person will go and the punishments meted out to those who are lost eternally. This picture could not be further from the truth. And it is because of this errant view that many—maybe even a majority—of those who read Matthew 10:28 misunderstand what Jesus meant.

In the context of Matthew 10, Jesus warned His followers that wicked men would persecute them unjustly. As He sent them out to preach, He admonished them to boldly speak the truth without fearing the repercussions. In the course of His forewarning, He said: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28; cf. Luke 12:4-5). Many Bible students who have read this verse have incorrectly assumed that Jesus was saying that Satan has the power to destroy the soul and body in hell. They have mistakenly attributed to Satan power that he never has had.

Satan is not the ruler of hell, and he does not have the power or ability to cast or drag anyone into hell. In fact, when we read about Satan’s ultimate end, we see that God is the Being who will cast Satan, also called the devil, into the “lake of fire and brimstone” (Revelation 20:2,10). Furthermore, the apostle Paul explained to the Christians in Rome that no “angels nor principalities nor powers” could separate them from the “love of God which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:38-39). Those in Rome could choose to reject God of their own free will, but no power in existence, including Satan, could pluck them from God’s hand and cast them into hell.

In truth, God will cast Satan into hell at the end of time in the same way that He will cast all those who have lived unrighteously and rejected Him (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:15). There is no indication in the Bible that suggests that Satan will be “in charge” of hell anymore than any other unfaithful creature of God. He will find no delight in his eternal second death, and he will not enjoy any type of authority or special privileges there. Jesus’ admonition to fear the one who can cast both the soul and the body into hell was designed to encourage His followers to rely on God, be strong in the face of persecution, and trust that as long as they are right with God, no force in the spiritual world has the power to harm them.

Salvation Principles and Relevant Commands by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2176


Salvation Principles and Relevant Commands

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

We can learn much in Scripture about how to please the Creator. God has not left man to wonder aimlessly through life, never knowing what he must do to be saved. Instead, Scripture repeatedly records how different people at different times in history were saved from their sins. From these accounts one can glean important principles of salvation. What’s more, the Bible includes specific commands so that sinners can know precisely what to do to be saved. It is the Bible student’s responsibility, however, to distinguish between the application of salvation principles and the necessary obedience to specific, relevant commands, which must be followed in order to receive salvation.

Essential to the salvation of all men is God’s grace. Without it, we would have “no hope” of being saved (Ephesians 2:12). Jesus taught this principle in parables (cf. Matthew 18:27; Luke 15:20-23), while Paul specifically reminded Christians, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His [God’s] mercy” (Titus 3:5).

Another scriptural salvation principle is that God saves only those who understand they are lost. The Lord did not “put away” King David’s sin until he confessed, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). In Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and tax collector (Luke 18:9-14), the tax collector, rather than the self-righteous Pharisee, ultimately “went down to his house justified” (vs. 14), because he “would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner” (vs. 13). The tax collector recognized his lost state and humbly appealed to the only One Who could save Him—God. The penitent thief on the cross provides another noble example of one who owned up to his sinful ways and turned to God for help (Luke 23:40-43). The thief admitted that the brutal crucifixion was his just and “due reward,” while professing that “this Man [Jesus] has done nothing wrong” (vs. 41). He then appealed to Christ for salvation, saying, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” (vs. 42).

Can Bible students learn principles of salvation from King David’s repentance, the tax collector’s humility, and the thief’s sincere appeal to Christ? Most certainly. However, one must be careful not to confuse learning principles of salvation with learning the specific things non-Christians must do today in order to receive the gift of salvation.

An immigrant who aspires to become a law-abiding, American citizen can learn a great deal by studying the lives of 19th century immigrants. Understanding the obstacles they went through to get to America and eventually become legal U.S. citizens can inspire 21st century immigrants to do the same. One can learn about the need for patience, persistence, and perseverance. Yet, for a 21st century immigrant to become a U.S. citizen, he must familiarize himself with the current laws of naturalization, and then obey those laws. Knowledge of 19th century citizenship laws may help in the naturalization process, but ultimately, a person living today must abide by 21st century rules and regulations.

Similarly, Bible students can learn a great deal from the humble, contrite, determined individuals who lived prior to Jesus’ death on the cross. Christians do themselves a disservice if they fail to consider David’s contrite heart (read Psalm 51), the rich young ruler’s proper question (“What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”—Mark 10:17), and the thief’s sincere plea to Christ for salvation (Luke 23:42; cf. Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:11). Throughout Scripture we can glean godly principles relating to man’s salvation. Bible students, however, must not confuse the application of biblical principles with the obedience to relevant commands. All people living this side of the cross of Christ are saved under a different law than that under which David, the thief on the cross, the rich young ruler, and even Jesus lived. God’s New Testament came into effect after Christ’s death, and this testament reveals the explicit instructions that non-Christians must obey in order to become Christians. “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:16-17, emp. added).

After Jesus’ death and subsequent resurrection, He and His apostles taught that non-Christians come into a right relationship with God only after they confess faith in Christ (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9-10), repent of their sins (Acts 2:38; 3:18), and are immersed in water for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16). These are specific prerequisites for receiving salvation. They must be followed by all of those who live on this side of the cross of Christ (cf. Colossians 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).

Appealing to the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43), the paralytic of Galilee (Matthew 9:1-7), or the sinful woman whom Jesus forgave (Luke 7:36-50) in order to learn specifically what God wants non-Christians today to do to be saved, is to wrongly divide the word of truth. A person is “rightly dividing” (NKJV) or “handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NASB) when he understands that the relevant commands for salvation are found after Jesus’ death. Making the distinction between learning from the righteous ways of those before the cross (cf. Romans 15:4) and obeying the specific commands given after the cross, is vital to a proper understanding of God’s will and a right relationship with Him.

A Note To A Dying Friend by Jim McGuiggan

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

A Note To A Dying Friend

D: You know of course, that I’m sorry to hear of further severe health complications, But my feelings, however deep and genuine, don’t cure your disease or take away the pain you do now and will endure until you leave. That sounds glib. Trust me, that isn’t how it feels and you must know that by now. I suppose it’s, what?—a bit of sad realism?

But your note still has a realism that doesn’t have the tone of despair. It sounds a bit like someone getting ready to face something she’d rather not face but has buckled on her armor to go do it just the same. I call that gallantry. But you have reason to be gallant. Your young Lord was (and continues) like that and you have done & are doing the best you can to be like Him.

In this phase of human living and in this ‘world’—the one we the human family built— for you, me and EVERYONE else, Death trumps all. That’s what Jesus had in mind when He says in John 6 that “the flesh profits nothing” and “working for the food that perishes” is a blunder; we’re not to make that the center of our goals.

Moses fed them bread, they ate and lived but then died. Jesus fed them bread, they ate it, lived but are now dead.  Here and now with all its limits of one kind or another life ends in DEATH.  And it doesn’t matter whether we’re currently healthy or not. Those that survive the C-virus will die later. Glib? No at all! But, depending on whose figures you use, something like 2 and a half million people die yearly in the USA. And these have nothing to do with the current C-virus issue.

Yesterday my friend Ray and I had a lengthy Bible study.  He’s past 90, bright as a button, survived WWII, but he’ll die soon. Death finally comes. It happened to Jesus and He said it would. It’s what we do in this ‘world’ we built. If it isn’t disease, old age or starvation or murder it’s of something else. Jesus said, “Watch for Me! My glory follows dying.” (See Luke 24:26; 1 Peter 1:11 and elsewhere.)

For those of us who will not!!! have anything to with or for God, DEATH is what we earn; it’s our “wages” (see Romans 6.23). If alienation from God is what we choose, it’s Death we choose and it is a forever death we get—it’s the everlasting loss of LIFE.

For those in Christ DEATH is a door to glory. In John 6:50; 8:51; 11:25-26, and elsewhere, Jesus says those who believe in Him don’t DIE.  Of course He knows they die because He says “I will raise them up in the last day” (6:40, 54). But He means they don’t die the same kind of death that is the wages of Sin. For those in Christ, those who trust in Him and NOT themselves, sins are not written down against them [Rom 4:4-8] so their death is not a ‘Sin-death’. It’s the prelude to LIFE.

There are two ‘worlds’ to live in. This one with all its creaturely limitations, this one that’s sustained by food and other fleshly (human) necessities. To spend our lives trying to stay in this ‘world’ is to toil to keep what perishes (see John 6:26-27).  To “save our life” while rejecting the LIFE God is eager to give us means we lose ourselves (Mark 8:35-37).

So, should we despise this life, trash it so we can get a better one? God in Jesus Christ became one of us—to despise life now and the potential for lives of love within our limits would be nonsense and cowardly. That there are those who suffer so severely that they wish for death is no surprise. We’re humans for pity’s sake.

Our death is unavoidable—Christian or non-Christian. To those who have by faith made His death and resurrection theirs, that is, for those who BY TRUST embrace their destiny in CHRIST’S experience. For them the last word is not DEATH but resurrection to immortality and ceaseless joy and adventure and freedom from ALL that brings sorrow and loss, within us and around us.

When those who came to know Jesus stepped into the water of Baptism they were saying I embrace His death as mine and when rising out of the water they were saying I embrace His resurrection as mine (see Romans 6:3-6). We can’t finally avoid biological death but we can avoid everlasting cessation of existence and so the everlasting loss of EVERLASTING LIFE

If you slip away before me, D, I’ll know where to find you. Where my Ethel and many of my beloved ones are waiting for me and others.

jim

ARE MAN'S OPINIONS IN HARMONY WITH GOD'S VIEW? by steve finnell

 
 http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/02/are-mans-opinions-in-harmony-with-gods.html
 

ARE MAN'S OPINIONS IN HARMONY WITH GOD'S VIEW?  by steve finnell


Man's Opinion: God approves of drinking red wine.

God's View: Proverbs 23:31-33 Do not look on the wine when it red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a serpent, And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. (NKJV)

Is man's opinion compatible with God's view?

Man's Opinion: Mothers have the right to kill their unborn children.

God's View: Romans 13:9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, "You shall not murder.........(NKJV)

Is man's opinion compatible with God's view?

Man's opinion: Men have the choice to marry other men and women have the right to marry other women.

God's View: Romans 1:18-32.....26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful,  and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which is due............ 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death....... (NKJV)

Is man's opinion compatible with God's view?

Man's Opinion: Water baptism is not essential in order to be saved.

God's View: Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved...(NKJV)
Acts 22:16 'And now why are waiting? Arise  and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'(NKJV) John 3:5 Jesus answered and said  to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

Is man's opinion compatible with God's view?

God's view is correct 100% of the time! 

Restoration: A Treasure in Earthen Vessels by J.C. Bailey

  http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/treasure.html

 Restoration: A Treasure in Earthen Vessels

God intended that man should obey Him. Man's history has been one of disobedience, with only a few exceptions. The work of Noah was an effort to bring man back to God's way but it was largely a failure and man was destroyed.

God gave Israel a law at Sinai. Moses had not come down from the mountain with the two tables of stone until there was rebellion against the law of God. Time after time God sent prophets to warn Israel of the fruit of their disobedience, but finally the children of Israel went into captivity because they did not hearken to the law or the voice of the prophets. They returned from that captivity a chastened people, but they were not fully converted to the will of God. We have but to read the books of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi to see that the rebellion against God's law was still there.

John the Baptist came to turn the heart of the children to the fathers and the heart of the fathers to the children, lest the Lord should come and smite the earth with a curse. It is said that John only had one sermon. It was that men should repent. His preaching was not academic. He told the king that he had no right to be living with his brother Philip's wife. He was killed for his trouble.

Jesus began to preach where John left off: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” With few exceptions the teaching of Christ to the people of His day was that though they obeyed outward forms, their heart was not right before God. Jesus died according to the purpose of God that He might provide salvation for all mankind. God had required the obedience of man always. While the law of the New Testament has greater grace than anything that went before, it does not alter the fact that man must obey. Let us notice a few Scriptures that show this: “He that believeth in the son hath eternal life, but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36), “And having been made perfect, he became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation” (Hebrews 5:9). “Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching hath both the Father and the Son” (II John 9).

God knew the heart of man and He knew that, despite the warnings, man would still rebel against God's law. We quote two Scriptures of a number that might be quoted to show how true this is. “I know that after my departing grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29,30). God did not intend that man should go this way for Paul adds: “Wherefore watch ye, remembering that by the space of three years I ceased not to admonish every one of you night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31). Then we read: “But there arose false prophets among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them and bringing upon themselves swift destruction” (II Peter 2:1). This apostasy would not be a minor thing, for Peter adds: “And many shall follow their lascivious doing, by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of” (II Peter 2:2). This rebellion is still so prevalent in our day that there are those who say there is no such thing as truth.

The events of 6000 years serve to tell us that disobedience to the law of God is folly. Listen as God warns us: “And in covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you, whose sentence now from of old lingereth not and their destruction slumbereth not” (II Peter 2:3).

Paul warned that “... the mystery of lawlessness doth already work” (II Thess. 2:7). A perusal of history shows how true these predictions were. However, we can be glad that despite sword and flame the voice of restoration was never entirely dead. The story of these attempts has been told many times and we can thank God that in the last part of the 18th Century and the beginning of the 19th Century many different people urged a return to the way of God as revealed in the New Testament. Such a movement could only please God and confound the forces of Satan. Such slogans as “We speak where the Bible speaks and we are silent where the Bible is silent,” were echoed across the land. We would call “Bible things by Bible names.” We would be “Christians only and only Christians.” Tens of thousands responded with enthusiasm to this effort.

However, it would seem that many were not and are not willing to have a complete return to New Testament Christianity and because of infirmities of the flesh the effort must always go on. Paul says “I have not yet attained.” Let us realize that we must go on toward the goal unto the measure of the stature of Christ. How could our goal be better stated than in the language of the Holy Spirit? “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17,18). Surely we must all say that we have not attained but let us press on.

J. C. Bailey, 1982, Dauphin, Manitoba

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

 

 

Bible Reading August 7 - 9 by Gary Rose

 Bible Reading August 7 - 9  
 
World  English  Bible

Aug. 7

Ezra 9, 10

Ezr 9:1 Now when these things were done, the princes drew near to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.

Ezr 9:2 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy seed have mixed themselves with the peoples of the lands: yes, the hand of the princes and rulers has been chief in this trespass.

Ezr 9:3 When I heard this thing, I tore my garment and my robe, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down confounded.

Ezr 9:4 Then were assembled to me everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the trespass of them of the captivity; and I sat confounded until the evening offering.

Ezr 9:5 At the evening offering I arose up from my humiliation, even with my garment and my robe torn; and I fell on my knees, and spread out my hands to Yahweh my God;

Ezr 9:6 and I said, my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to you, my God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our guiltiness is grown up to the heavens.

Ezr 9:7 Since the days of our fathers we have been exceeding guilty to this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to plunder, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.

Ezr 9:8 Now for a little moment grace has been shown from Yahweh our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

Ezr 9:9 For we are bondservants; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended loving kindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

Ezr 9:10 Now, our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken your commandments,

Ezr 9:11 which you have commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, The land, to which you go to possess it, is an unclean land through the uncleanness of the peoples of the lands, through their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their filthiness:

Ezr 9:12 now therefore don't give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters to your sons, nor seek their peace or their prosperity forever; that you may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.

Ezr 9:13 After all that is come on us for our evil deeds, and for our great guilt, seeing that you our God have punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and have given us such a remnant,

Ezr 9:14 shall we again break your commandments, and join in affinity with the peoples that do these abominations? wouldn't you be angry with us until you had consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape?

Ezr 9:15 Yahweh, the God of Israel, you are righteous; for we are left a remnant that is escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before you in our guiltiness; for none can stand before you because of this.


Ezr 10:1 Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there was gathered together to him out of Israel a very great assembly of men and women and children; for the people wept very sore.

Ezr 10:2 Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land: yet now there is hope for Israel concerning this thing.

Ezr 10:3 Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.

Ezr 10:4 Arise; for the matter belongs to you, and we are with you: be of good courage, and do it.

Ezr 10:5 Then arose Ezra, and made the chiefs of the priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they would do according to this word. So they swore.

Ezr 10:6 Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came there, he ate no bread, nor drank water; for he mourned because of the trespass of them of the captivity.

Ezr 10:7 They made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together to Jerusalem;

Ezr 10:8 and that whoever didn't come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the assembly of the captivity.

Ezr 10:9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within the three days; it was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month: and all the people sat in the broad place before the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain.

Ezr 10:10 Ezra the priest stood up, and said to them, You have trespassed, and have married foreign women, to increase the guilt of Israel.

Ezr 10:11 Now therefore make confession to Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and do his pleasure; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women.

Ezr 10:12 Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, As you have said concerning us, so must we do.

Ezr 10:13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand outside: neither is this a work of one day or two; for we have greatly transgressed in this matter.

Ezr 10:14 Let now our princes be appointed for all the assembly, and let all those who are in our cities who have married foreign women come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and its judges, until the fierce wrath of our God be turned from us, until this matter be dispatched.

Ezr 10:15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah stood up against this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.

Ezr 10:16 The children of the captivity did so. Ezra the priest, with certain heads of fathers' houses, after their fathers' houses, and all of them by their names, were set apart; and they sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.

Ezr 10:17 They made an end with all the men who had married foreign women by the first day of the first month.

Ezr 10:18 Among the sons of the priests there were found who had married foreign women: namely, of the sons of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and his brothers, Maaseiah, and Eliezer, and Jarib, and Gedaliah.

Ezr 10:19 They gave their hand that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their guilt.

Ezr 10:20 Of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah.

Ezr 10:21 Of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, and Elijah, and Shemaiah, and Jehiel, and Uzziah.

Ezr 10:22 Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.

Ezr 10:23 Of the Levites: Jozabad, and Shimei, and Kelaiah (the same is Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer.

Ezr 10:24 Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the porters: Shallum, and Telem, and Uri.

Ezr 10:25 Of Israel: Of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, and Izziah, and Malchijah, and Mijamin, and Eleazar, and Malchijah, and Benaiah.

Ezr 10:26 Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, and Abdi, and Jeremoth, and Elijah.

Ezr 10:27 Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, and Jeremoth, and Zabad, and Aziza.

Ezr 10:28 Of the sons of Bebai: Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, Athlai.

Ezr 10:29 Of the sons of Bani: Meshullam, Malluch, and Adaiah, Jashub, and Sheal, Jeremoth.

Ezr 10:30 Of the sons of Pahathmoab: Adna, and Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, and Binnui, and Manasseh.

Ezr 10:31 of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon,

Ezr 10:32 Benjamin, Malluch, Shemariah.

Ezr 10:33 Of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, Shimei.

Ezr 10:34 Of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, and Uel,

Ezr 10:35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi,

Ezr 10:36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib,

Ezr 10:37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, and Jaasu,

Ezr 10:38 and Bani, and Binnui, Shimei,

Ezr 10:39 and Shelemiah, and Nathan, and Adaiah,

Ezr 10:40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai,

Ezr 10:41 Azarel, and Shelemiah, Shemariah,

Ezr 10:42 Shallum, Amariah, Joseph.

Ezr 10:43 Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Iddo, and Joel, Benaiah.

Ezr 10:44 All these had taken foreign wives; and some of them had wives by whom they had children.


Aug. 8

Nehemiah 1-3

Neh 1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,

Neh 1:2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and certain men out of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.

Neh 1:3 They said to me, The remnant who are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.

Neh 1:4 It happened, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days; and I fasted and prayed before the God of heaven,

Neh 1:5 and said, I beg you, Yahweh, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments:

Neh 1:6 Let your ear now be attentive, and your eyes open, that you may listen to the prayer of your servant, which I pray before you at this time, day and night, for the children of Israel your servants while I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Yes, I and my father's house have sinned:

Neh 1:7 we have dealt very corruptly against you, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances, which you commanded your servant Moses.

Neh 1:8 Remember, I beg you, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you trespass, I will scatter you abroad among the peoples:

Neh 1:9 but if you return to me, and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts were in the uttermost part of the heavens, yet will I gather them from there, and will bring them to the place that I have chosen, to cause my name to dwell there.

Neh 1:10 Now these are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power, and by your strong hand.

Neh 1:11 Lord, I beg you, let your ear be attentive now to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants, who delight to fear your name; and please prosper your servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. Now I was cup bearer to the king.


Neh 2:1 It happened in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, when wine was before him, that I took up the wine, and gave it to the king. Now I had not been before sad in his presence.

Neh 2:2 The king said to me, Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid.

Neh 2:3 I said to the king, Let the king live forever: why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' tombs, lies waste, and its gates are consumed with fire?

Neh 2:4 Then the king said to me, For what do you make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

Neh 2:5 I said to the king, If it please the king, and if your servant have found favor in your sight, that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers' tombs, that I may build it.

Neh 2:6 The king said to me (the queen also sitting by him), For how long shall your journey be? and when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.

Neh 2:7 Moreover I said to the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah;

Neh 2:8 and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the castle which appertains to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. The king granted me, according to the good hand of my God on me.

Neh 2:9 Then I came to the governors beyond the River, and gave them the king's letters. Now the king had sent with me captains of the army and horsemen.

Neh 2:10 When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard of it, it grieved them exceedingly, because a man had come to seek the welfare of the children of Israel.

Neh 2:11 So I came to Jerusalem, and was there three days.

Neh 2:12 I arose in the night, I and some few men with me; neither told I any man what my God put into my heart to do for Jerusalem; neither was there any animal with me, except the animal that I rode on.

Neh 2:13 I went out by night by the valley gate, even toward the jackal's well, and to the dung gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and its gates were consumed with fire.

Neh 2:14 Then I went on to the spring gate and to the king's pool: but there was no place for the animal that was under me to pass.

Neh 2:15 Then went I up in the night by the brook, and viewed the wall; and I turned back, and entered by the valley gate, and so returned.

Neh 2:16 The rulers didn't know where I went, or what I did; neither had I as yet told it to the Jews, nor to the priests, nor to the nobles, nor to the rulers, nor to the rest who did the work.

Neh 2:17 Then said I to them, You see the evil case that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.

Neh 2:18 I told them of the hand of my God which was good on me, as also of the king's words that he had spoken to me. They said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for the good work.

Neh 2:19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they ridiculed us, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that you do? will you rebel against the king?

Neh 2:20 Then answered I them, and said to them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but you have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.


Neh 3:1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up its doors; even to the tower of Hammeah they sanctified it, to the tower of Hananel.

Neh 3:2 Next to him built the men of Jericho. Next to them built Zaccur the son of Imri.

Neh 3:3 The fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build; they laid its beams, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.

Neh 3:4 Next to them repaired Meremoth the son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz. Next to them repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah, the son of Meshezabel. Next to them repaired Zadok the son of Baana.

Neh 3:5 Next to them the Tekoites repaired; but their nobles didn't put their necks to the work of their lord.

Neh 3:6 The old gate repaired Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah; they laid its beams, and set up its doors, and its bolts, and its bars.

Neh 3:7 Next to them repaired Melatiah the Gibeonite, and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon, and of Mizpah, that appertained to the throne of the governor beyond the River.

Neh 3:8 Next to him repaired Uzziel the son of Harhaiah, goldsmiths. Next to him repaired Hananiah one of the perfumers, and they fortified Jerusalem even to the broad wall.

Neh 3:9 Next to them repaired Rephaiah the son of Hur, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem.

Neh 3:10 Next to them repaired Jedaiah the son of Harumaph, over against his house. Next to him repaired Hattush the son of Hashabneiah.

Neh 3:11 Malchijah the son of Harim, and Hasshub the son of Pahathmoab, repaired another portion, and the tower of the furnaces.

Neh 3:12 Next to him repaired Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, he and his daughters.

Neh 3:13 The valley gate repaired Hanun, and the inhabitants of Zanoah; they built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and one thousand cubits of the wall to the dung gate.

Neh 3:14 The dung gate repaired Malchijah the son of Rechab, the ruler of the district of Beth Haccherem; he built it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars.

Neh 3:15 The spring gate repaired Shallun the son of Colhozeh, the ruler of the district of Mizpah; he built it, and covered it, and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars, and the wall of the pool of Shelah by the king's garden, even to the stairs that go down from the city of David.

Neh 3:16 After him repaired Nehemiah the son of Azbuk, the ruler of half the district of Beth Zur, to the place over against the tombs of David, and to the pool that was made, and to the house of the mighty men.

Neh 3:17 After him repaired the Levites, Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him repaired Hashabiah, the ruler of half the district of Keilah, for his district.

Neh 3:18 After him repaired their brothers, Bavvai the son of Henadad, the ruler of half the district of Keilah.

Neh 3:19 Next to him repaired Ezer the son of Jeshua, the ruler of Mizpah, another portion, over against the ascent to the armory at the turning of the wall.

Neh 3:20 After him Baruch the son of Zabbai earnestly repaired another portion, from the turning of the wall to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest.

Neh 3:21 After him repaired Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz another portion, from the door of the house of Eliashib even to the end of the house of Eliashib.

Neh 3:22 After him repaired the priests, the men of the Plain.

Neh 3:23 After them repaired Benjamin and Hasshub over against their house. After them repaired Azariah the son of Maaseiah the son of Ananiah beside his own house.

Neh 3:24 After him repaired Binnui the son of Henadad another portion, from the house of Azariah to the turning of the wall, and to the corner.

Neh 3:25 Palal the son of Uzai repaired over against the turning of the wall, and the tower that stands out from the upper house of the king, which is by the court of the guard. After him Pedaiah the son of Parosh repaired.

Neh 3:26 (Now the Nethinim lived in Ophel, to the place over against the water gate toward the east, and the tower that stands out.)

Neh 3:27 After him the Tekoites repaired another portion, over against the great tower that stands out, and to the wall of Ophel.

Neh 3:28 Above the horse gate repaired the priests, everyone over against his own house.

Neh 3:29 After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his own house. After him repaired Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the east gate.

Neh 3:30 After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another portion. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.

Neh 3:31 After him repaired Malchijah one of the goldsmiths to the house of the Nethinim, and of the merchants, over against the gate of Hammiphkad, and to the ascent of the corner.

Neh 3:32 Between the ascent of the corner and the sheep gate repaired the goldsmiths and the merchants.

 

Aug. 9

Nehemiah 4-6

Neh 4:1 But it happened that when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews.

Neh 4:2 He spoke before his brothers and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned?

Neh 4:3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they are building, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall.

Neh 4:4 Hear, our God; for we are despised: and turn back their reproach on their own head, and give them up for a spoil in a land of captivity;

Neh 4:5 and don't cover their iniquity, and don't let their sin be blotted out from before you; for they have provoked you to anger before the builders.

Neh 4:6 So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together to half the height of it: for the people had a mind to work.

Neh 4:7 But it happened that when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabians, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very angry;

Neh 4:8 and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein.

Neh 4:9 But we made our prayer to our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.

Neh 4:10 Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall.

Neh 4:11 Our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, until we come into the midst of them, and kill them, and cause the work to cease.

Neh 4:12 It happened that when the Jews who lived by them came, they said to us ten times from all places, You must return to us.

Neh 4:13 Therefore set I in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I set there the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows.

Neh 4:14 I looked, and rose up, and said to the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Don't be afraid of them: remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.

Neh 4:15 It happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and God had brought their counsel to nothing, that we returned all of us to the wall, everyone to his work.

Neh 4:16 It happened from that time forth, that half of my servants worked in the work, and half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah.

Neh 4:17 They all built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves; everyone with one of his hands worked in the work, and with the other held his weapon;

Neh 4:18 and the builders, everyone had his sword girded by his side, and so built. He who sounded the trumpet was by me.

Neh 4:19 I said to the nobles, and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated on the wall, one far from another:

Neh 4:20 in whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally there to us; our God will fight for us.

Neh 4:21 So we worked in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning until the stars appeared.

Neh 4:22 Likewise at the same time said I to the people, Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labor in the day.

Neh 4:23 So neither I, nor my brothers, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us put off our clothes, everyone went with his weapon to the water.


Neh 5:1 Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brothers the Jews.

Neh 5:2 For there were that said, We, our sons and our daughters, are many: let us get grain, that we may eat and live.

Neh 5:3 Some also there were that said, We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses: let us get grain, because of the dearth.

Neh 5:4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute on our fields and our vineyards.

Neh 5:5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children: and behold, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage already: neither is it in our power to help it; for other men have our fields and our vineyards.

Neh 5:6 I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words.

Neh 5:7 Then I consulted with myself, and contended with the nobles and the rulers, and said to them, You exact usury, everyone of his brother. I held a great assembly against them.

Neh 5:8 I said to them, We after our ability have redeemed our brothers the Jews, that were sold to the nations; and would you even sell your brothers, and should they be sold to us? Then held they their peace, and found never a word.

Neh 5:9 Also I said, The thing that you do is not good: ought you not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies?

Neh 5:10 I likewise, my brothers and my servants, do lend them money and grain. Please let us leave off this usury.

Neh 5:11 Please restore to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive groves, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that you exact of them.

Neh 5:12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do, even as you say. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they would do according to this promise.

Neh 5:13 Also I shook out my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that doesn't perform this promise; even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. All the assembly said, Amen, and praised Yahweh. The people did according to this promise.

Neh 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even to the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brothers have not eaten the bread of the governor.

Neh 5:15 But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people, and took bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants ruled over the people: but I didn't do so, because of the fear of God.

Neh 5:16 Yes, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered there to the work.

Neh 5:17 Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, one hundred fifty men, besides those who came to us from among the nations that were around us.

Neh 5:18 Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this I didn't demand the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy on this people.

Neh 5:19 Remember to me, my God, for good, all that I have done for this people.


Neh 6:1 Now it happened, when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and to Geshem the Arabian, and to the rest of our enemies, that I had built the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though even to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates;)

Neh 6:2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, Come, let us meet together in one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.

Neh 6:3 I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I can't come down: why should the work cease, while I leave it, and come down to you?

Neh 6:4 They sent to me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.

Neh 6:5 Then sent Sanballat his servant to me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand,

Neh 6:6 in which was written, It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu says it, that you and the Jews think to rebel; for which cause you are building the wall: and you would be their king, according to these words.

Neh 6:7 You have also appointed prophets to preach of you at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.

Neh 6:8 Then I sent to him, saying, There are no such things done as you say, but you imagine them out of your own heart.

Neh 6:9 For they all would have made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it not be done. But now, God, strengthen my hands.

Neh 6:10 I went to the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to kill you; yes, in the night will they come to kill you.

Neh 6:11 I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.

Neh 6:12 I discerned, and behold, God had not sent him; but he pronounced this prophecy against me: and Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.

Neh 6:13 For this cause was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.

Neh 6:14 Remember, my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.

Neh 6:15 So the wall was finished in the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days.

Neh 6:16 It happened, when all our enemies heard of it, that all the nations that were about us feared, and were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was worked of our God.

Neh 6:17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters to Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came to them.

Neh 6:18 For there were many in Judah sworn to him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah as wife.

Neh 6:19 Also they spoke of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear. 

 

Aug. 7, 8

Acts 22

Act 22:1 "Brothers and fathers, listen to the defense which I now make to you."

Act 22:2 When they heard that he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, they were even more quiet. He said,

Act 22:3 "I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, instructed according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, even as you all are this day.

Act 22:4 I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

Act 22:5 As also the high priest and all the council of the elders testify, from whom also I received letters to the brothers, and traveled to Damascus to bring them also who were there to Jerusalem in bonds to be punished.

Act 22:6 It happened that, as I made my journey, and came close to Damascus, about noon, suddenly there shone from the sky a great light around me.

Act 22:7 I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'

Act 22:8 I answered, 'Who are you, Lord?' He said to me, 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.'

Act 22:9 "Those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they didn't understand the voice of him who spoke to me.

Act 22:10 I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' The Lord said to me, 'Arise, and go into Damascus. There you will be told about all things which are appointed for you to do.'

Act 22:11 When I couldn't see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.

Act 22:12 One Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well reported of by all the Jews who lived in Damascus,

Act 22:13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' In that very hour I looked up at him.

Act 22:14 He said, 'The God of our fathers has appointed you to know his will, and to see the Righteous One, and to hear a voice from his mouth.

Act 22:15 For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and heard.

Act 22:16 Now why do you wait? Arise, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

Act 22:17 "It happened that, when I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance,

Act 22:18 and saw him saying to me, 'Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.'

Act 22:19 I said, 'Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you.

Act 22:20 When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.'

Act 22:21 "He said to me, 'Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Gentiles.' "

Act 22:22 They listened to him until he said that; then they lifted up their voice, and said, "Rid the earth of this fellow, for he isn't fit to live!"

Act 22:23 As they cried out, and threw off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air,

Act 22:24 the commanding officer commanded him to be brought into the barracks, ordering him to be examined by scourging, that he might know for what crime they shouted against him like that.

Act 22:25 When they had tied him up with thongs, Paul asked the centurion who stood by, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?"

Act 22:26 When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him, "Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!"

Act 22:27 The commanding officer came and asked him, "Tell me, are you a Roman?" He said, "Yes."

Act 22:28 The commanding officer answered, "I bought my citizenship for a great price." Paul said, "But I was born a Roman."

Act 22:29 Immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him, and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman, because he had bound him.

Act 22:30 But on the next day, desiring to know the truth about why he was accused by the Jews, he freed him from the bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them.


Aug. 9

Acts 23

Act 23:1 Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said, "Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until this day."

Act 23:2 The high priest, Ananias, commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.

Act 23:3 Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to judge me according to the law, and command me to be struck contrary to the law?"

Act 23:4 Those who stood by said, "Do you malign God's high priest?"

Act 23:5 Paul said, "I didn't know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, 'You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.' "

Act 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. Concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!"

Act 23:7 When he had said this, an argument arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.

Act 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess all of these.

Act 23:9 A great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees part stood up, and contended, saying, "We find no evil in this man. But if a spirit or angel has spoken to him, let's not fight against God!"

Act 23:10 When a great argument arose, the commanding officer, fearing that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.

Act 23:11 The following night, the Lord stood by him, and said, "Cheer up, Paul, for as you have testified about me at Jerusalem, so you must testify also at Rome."

Act 23:12 When it was day, some of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink until they had killed Paul.

Act 23:13 There were more than forty people who had made this conspiracy.

Act 23:14 They came to the chief priests and the elders, and said, "We have bound ourselves under a great curse, to taste nothing until we have killed Paul.

Act 23:15 Now therefore, you with the council inform the commanding officer that he should bring him down to you tomorrow, as though you were going to judge his case more exactly. We are ready to kill him before he comes near."

Act 23:16 But Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, and he came and entered into the barracks and told Paul.

Act 23:17 Paul summoned one of the centurions, and said, "Bring this young man to the commanding officer, for he has something to tell him."

Act 23:18 So he took him, and brought him to the commanding officer, and said, "Paul, the prisoner, summoned me and asked me to bring this young man to you, who has something to tell you."

Act 23:19 The commanding officer took him by the hand, and going aside, asked him privately, "What is it that you have to tell me?"

Act 23:20 He said, "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though intending to inquire somewhat more accurately concerning him.

Act 23:21 Therefore don't yield to them, for more than forty men lie in wait for him, who have bound themselves under a curse neither to eat nor to drink until they have killed him. Now they are ready, looking for the promise from you."

Act 23:22 So the commanding officer let the young man go, charging him, "Tell no one that you have revealed these things to me."

Act 23:23 He called to himself two of the centurions, and said, "Prepare two hundred soldiers to go as far as Caesarea, with seventy horsemen, and two hundred men armed with spears, at the third hour of the night."

Act 23:24 He asked them to provide animals, that they might set Paul on one, and bring him safely to Felix the governor.

Act 23:25 He wrote a letter like this:

Act 23:26 "Claudius Lysias to the most excellent governor Felix: Greetings.

Act 23:27 "This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them, when I came with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman.

Act 23:28 Desiring to know the cause why they accused him, I brought him down to their council.

Act 23:29 I found him to be accused about questions of their law, but not to be charged with anything worthy of death or of imprisonment.

Act 23:30 When I was told that the Jews lay in wait for the man, I sent him to you immediately, charging his accusers also to bring their accusations against him before you. Farewell."

Act 23:31 So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.

Act 23:32 But on the next day they left the horsemen to go with him, and returned to the barracks.

Act 23:33 When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him.

Act 23:34 When the governor had read it, he asked what province he was from. When he understood that he was from Cilicia, he said,

Act 23:35 "I will hear you fully when your accusers also arrive." He commanded that he be kept in Herod's palace.