9/21/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Judgment Of The Nations (25:31-46) by Mark Copeland

 

 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

 The Judgment Of The Nations (25:31-46)

INTRODUCTION

1. Included in "The Olivet Discourse" are two parables, followed by a
   judgment scene...
   a. The parables are directed toward Jesus' disciples
      1) The first to encourage them to be watchful - Mt 25:1-13
      2) The second to admonish them to be productive - Mt 25:14-30
   b. The judgment scene depicts the nations brought before Jesus- Mt 25:31-46
      1) Note that it is the "nations" being judged, not disciples
      2) The nations are judged based upon their treatment of Jesus' disciples
         a) Those that showed mercy and kindness to His disciples are blessed
         b) Those that did not are condemned

2. Questions abound regarding "The Judgment Of The Nations"...
   a. Who are the "nations" in this passage?  All of mankind, or only the non-elect?
   b. Is this "judgment" scene depicting the Day of Judgment, or might
      it refer to a judgment that foreshadowed the Final Judgment?
   c. As part of "The Olivet Discourse", could Jesus still be talking
      about events related to the destruction of Jerusalem?

[However one may answer such questions, there are important lessons to
be gleaned from these words of Jesus.  But let's first consider how it
may be that Jesus is still referring to events related to the
destruction of Jerusalem described in Mt 24...]

I. THE JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS THEME

   A. AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF JOEL...
      1. The coming day of the Lord is depicted
         a. Following the outpouring of God's Spirit - Joel 2:28-29
         b. A great and terrible day is coming - Joel 2:30-31
         c. Yet salvation is available to those who accept it 
             - Joel  2:32; cf. Ac 2:16-21
      2. A "judgment of the nations" is then described
         a. The nations gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat - Joel  3:1-2a,12-16
         b. The nations judged on the basis of their treatment of God's people - Joel 3:2b-8

   B. AS FOUND IN THE OLIVET DISCOURSE...
      1. Jesus foretold the coming day of the Lord - Mt 24:1-51
         a. Coming in destruction upon Jerusalem 
         b. With warnings to escape when they see Jerusalem surrounded by armies
      2. A judgment of the nations is then described - Mt 25:31-46
         a. The nations gathered before Son of Man
         b. The nations judged on the basis of their treatment of God's
            people ("inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren")

   C. THIS IS A COMMON THEME IN THE SCRIPTURES...
      1. God describes judgment to come, using other nations as
         instruments of His wrath
      2. But He also holds the nations accountable for how His people
         are treated; for example...
         a. Assyria, the rod of God's anger - Isa 10:5-7,12-14,24-26
         b. Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon - Amos 1:3,6,9,11,13
      3. Nations that went too far (e.g., abusing the innocent) were held accountable

   D. JESUS MAY BE USING THE SAME THEME...
      1. Describing a judgment upon the nations...
         a. Employing figures reminiscent of the Judgment at the Last Day; for example...
            1) The Son of Man coming in glory, sitting on His throne
            2) The nations divided like sheep and goats
            3) Judgment rendered, followed by reward or punishment
         b. For such judgments foreshadowed and typified the Final Judgment
      2. Describing a judgment of the nations...
         a. Which followed the Lord's judgment upon Jerusalem - Mt 24
         b. Regarding their treatment of His brethren (the disciples of Jesus)
         c. Nations who treated them kindly would be blessed, otherwise
            they would be condemned
         -- In the Book of Revelation, we see how Jesus dealt with the 
            Roman empire, used as the instrument of wrath in destroying
            Jerusalem, and then the object of wrath in its own judgment

[This may be what Jesus is doing at this point in "The Olivet
Discourse".  It would certainly serve to comfort His disciples, knowing
that nations which failed to show mercy to them would not go
unpunished.  Even if this is point of the text, we can still glean
important...]

II. LESSONS FROM THE JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS

   A. THERE WILL BE A DAY OF JUDGMENT...
      1. Just as the Lord has judged nations throughout history
      2. So He will judge the world at the end of time, at the Last Day
         a. Jesus often spoke of the Judgment 
              - e.g., Mt 12:36-37, 41-42; Jn 12:47-48
         b. Paul also - e.g., Ac 17:30-31; 24:25; Ro 2:3-6; 14:10; 2Co 5:10; 2Ti 4:1
         c. Others as well - e.g., He 9:27; 1Pe 4:5; 2Pe 2:9; 3:7; 1Jn 4:17; Jude 6
      -- Are we preparing for the Day of Judgment?

   B. ONE ISSUE WILL BE HOW WE TREATED JESUS' BRETHREN...
      1. Of course, every deed, word, and thought will be judged (see above verses)
      2. But our text reminds us how Jesus takes the treatment of His brethren 
           - Mt 25:40,45
         a. "as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me"
         b. "as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me"
      3. Jesus made the same point to Saul on the road to Damascus  Ac 9:1-5
         a. "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
         b. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."
         -- By persecuting the church, Saul was guilty of persecuting Christ!
      4. Jesus is the head, and His disciples (the church) is His body - Ep 1:22-23
         a. What we do or not do for His disciples, we do or not do for Christ!
         b. How is our treatment of our brethren?  Are we guilty of:
            1) Abusing them?
            2) Ignoring them?
            3) Failing to love them?
      -- What is our relationship with other Christians, especially in
         the context of the local church?

   C. THERE ARE PLACES PREPARED FOR AFTER THE JUDGMENT...
      1. One is for prepared people - Mt 25:34
         a. Described as "the kingdom prepared for you from the
            foundation of the world" - cf. 2Ti 4:18; 2Pe 1:11
         b. Described as "new heavens and a new earth in which 
            righteousness dwells" - cf. 2Pe 3:13; Re 21:1
         c. Described as "the holy city, New Jerusalem" - cf. He 13:14;Re 3:12; 21:2-7
         -- This place is for those whose names are in the Lamb's book of Life - Re 20:11-15
      2. One is for unprepared people - Mt 25:41
         a. Described as "the everlasting fire prepared for the devil
            and his angels" - cf. Re 20:10
         b. Described as "the like of fire and brimstone" - Re 20:10, 14; 21:8
         c. Described as "the second death" - Re 20:14; 21:8
         -- This place is for those whose names are not in the book of life - Re 20:15
      3. Both places are prepared to last for eternity - Mt 25:46
         a. The one offering everlasting punishment
         b. The other offering eternal life

CONCLUSION

1. God's judgment upon nations in the past were written for our admonition - 1Co 10:11
   a. Such judgments reveal that God is a Righteous Judge
   b. Such judgments portend the Judgment to come at the Last Day

2. Whether or not Jesus uses the setting of the Final Judgment to
   describe judgment upon the nations following the destruction of
   Jerusalem, His words should cause us to consider...
   a. Are we preparing for the Day of Judgment?
   b. Involved in that preparation, is our relationship with our
      brethren what it ought to be?
   c. What will Jesus say to us on that Day?

May we all walk in the grace and mercy of the Lord with an obedient
faith and love, so that we may hear Him say:

   "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared
   for you from the foundation of world." - Mt 25:34

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Order of the Lord’s Supper by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=470


The Order of the Lord’s Supper

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

In Matthew (26:26-27) and Mark’s (14:22-23) record of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus blessed the bread first and then the cup. However, Luke seems to give the opposite order with the cup mentioned first (22:17-19). Is this difference a discrepancy in which the inspired writers contradict each other?

It is certainly the case that Jesus only instituted the Lord’s Supper one time. He either blessed the bread first or He blessed the cup first. He did not do it both ways. So can we make sense of the text in such a way that the Bible is not discredited, recognizing that Jesus did not do it both ways? On that lone night so long ago, when He instituted the Lord’s Supper, which way did He do it? Bread then cup, or cup then bread?

It is clearly the case that Bible writers do not always claim to be representing a particular event in chronological sequence. Luke could have easily been treating the Passover and Lord’s Supper incident topically. In such a case, no contradiction would exist. However, in this particular instance, a different explanation presents itself.

Read carefully Luke’s reporting of the event:

Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” …When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (22:7-21, emp. added).

Observe carefully that Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper on the tail end of the observance of the Jewish Passover. One must be careful to distinguish between the two, particularly since the same emblems were used for both, and since the former typifies the latter. The killing of the Passover lamb under Judaism anticipated the death of Jesus Who, in turn, became “our Passover” (1 Corinthians 5:7). Luke, more than Matthew and Mark, demonstrates this close parallelism.1

Luke actually has two allusions to “cup”—one in verse 17 and the other in verse 20. The first “cup” was taken during the Passover and the second “cup” was part of the institution of the Lord’s Supper.2 Hence, Luke does not differ from Matthew and Mark in specifying the same order for partaking of the Lord’s Supper, i.e., first the bread and then the cup. Luke’s use in verse 21 of “likewise” refers back to “He took bread,” and “after supper” refers both to the bread and the cup of the Lord’s Supper.

This fact is further supported by Paul in his recounting of the occasion in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. Observe the indications of sequence he portrays—

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body (emp. added).

Observe that Paul goes out of his way to emphasize the order that Jesus instigated—bread/cup and eat/drink. He even clarified that the cup that is part of the Lord’s Supper was done “after supper,” i.e., after the Passover meal. So the “cup” of Luke 22:17-18 was the cup that was associated with the Passover meal—not the Lord’s Supper cup which is noted in verse 20 after the Passover meal and after the bread of the Lord’s Supper.

Another consideration pertains to the fact that Luke 22:17-20 constitutes a textual variant. However, the Committee for the UBS Greek text concluded that the cup-bread-cup sequence is authentic based on “the overwhelming preponderance of external evidence.”3 Further, Sir Frederick Kenyon and S.C.E. Legg offer the only plausible explanation for the existence of variants by noting:

The first cup given to the disciples to divide among themselves should be taken in connection with the previous verse (ver. 16) as referring to the eating of the Passover with them at the reunion in Heaven. This is followed by the institution of the Sacrament, to be repeated continually on earth in memory of Him. This gives an intelligible meaning to the whole, while at the same time it is easy to see that it would occasion difficulties of interpretation, which would give rise to the attempts at revision that appear in various forms of the shorter version.4

Hence, the first allusion to “cup” in verse 17 links back with the eating and drinking of the Passover meal in verses 15-16, while the second allusion to “cup” refers to the Lord’s Supper. Luke agrees with Matthew and Mark that, when Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, He first took the bread and then took the cup. There is no contradiction.

REFERENCES

1 See J.W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton (no date), The Fourfold Gospel (Cincinnati, OH: The Standard Publishing Foundation), p. 646.

2 Ibid, p. 658. See also J.W. McGarvey (1910),Short Essays in Biblical Criticism (Cincinnati, OH: The Standard Publishing Company), pp. 342-343.

3 Bruce Metzger (1971), A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York: United Bible Societies), p. 176.

4 Sir Frederick G. Kenyon and S.C.E. Legg (1937), “The Textual Data” in The Ministry and the Sacraments, ed. Roderic Dunkerley (London: SCM), pp. 285-286.

Suggested Resources

The Only True God by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=5014

The Only True God

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The Bible is full of scriptures that, when quoted without any consideration of the immediate and remote contexts, a person can misuse in all sorts of ways. As proof that we do not have to work to provide for our family’s material needs, some may quote Jesus’ statement, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (John 6:27). In order to show that Jesus was a liar, the Bible critic might quote Jesus’ acknowledgement: “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true” (John 5:31). Those who exclude baptism from God’s plan of salvation often quote John 4:2: “Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples.” When the Bible reader is “rightly dividing” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV) or “handling accurately the word of truth” (NASB), however, he will remember that “[t]he sum of thy [God’s] word is truth” (Psalm 119:160, emp. added). Since the Bible teaches “if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10; cf. 1 Timothy 5:8), Jesus never implied that working to help feed one’s family is wrong (John 6:27). “He simply was saying that spiritual food is more important than physical food, and as such, should be given a higher priority” (Butt, 2003, emp. in orig.). Jesus did not confess wrongdoing in John 5:31. He simply acknowledged that, in accordance with the law (cf. Deuteronomy 19:15), His testimony apart from other witnesses would be considered invalid or insufficient to establish truth (cf. John 8:13-20; see Lyons, 2004). Likewise, Jesus never taught that baptism was unnecessary for salvation. In fact, He taught the very opposite (cf. John 3:3,5; Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:18-20; see Lyons, 2003).

Consider another proof text from the Gospel of John regarding the nature of Christ. Some (e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses) contend that Jesus was not deity since, on one occasion, He prayed to the Father: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3; cf. “Should You Believe...?,” 2000). Allegedly, by calling the Father, “the only true God,” Jesus excluded Himself from being deity. Such an interpretation of John 17:3, however, contradicts numerous other passages within John’s own gospel account. From beginning to end, John bore witness to the deity of Christ. Some of the evidence from the Gospel of John includes the following:

  • In the very first verse of John, the apostle testified: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (emp. added; cf. 1:14,17).
  • Two verses later the reader learns that “[a]ll things came into being by Him [the Word], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1:3, NASB).
  • Still in the first chapter of John, the apostle testified that John the Baptizer was the one whom Isaiah foretold would “prepare...the way of Jehovah” (Isaiah 40:3; John 1:23; cf. 14:6). For Whom did John the Baptizer come to prepare the way? Isaiah called Him “Jehovah.” The apostle John, as well as John the Baptizer, referred to Jehovah as “Jesus” (John 1:17), “the Christ” (3:28), “the Word” (1:1), “the Light” (1:17), “the Lamb” (1:29), “the Truth” (5:33), etc.
  • When the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well told Jesus, “I know that Messiah is coming” (John 4:25), Jesus responded, “I who speak to you am He” (vs. 26). Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be called “Mighty God” (9:6) and “Jehovah” (40:3). Thus, by claiming to be the Messiah, Jesus was claiming to be God.
  • In John chapter nine, Jesus miraculously healed a man with congenital blindness (vs. 1). When this man appeared before various Jews in the synagogue and called Jesus a prophet (vs. 17), he was instructed to “give glory to God,” not Jesus, because allegedly Jesus “is a sinner” (vs. 24). Later, after the man born blind was cast out of the synagogue, he confessed faith in Jesus and worshiped (Greek proskuneo) Him (vs. 38). In the Gospel of John, this word (proskuneo) is found 11 times: nine times in reference to worshiping the Father (John 4:2-24), once in reference to Greeks who came to “worship” in Jerusalem during Passover (12:20), and once in reference to the worship Jesus received from a man whom He had miraculously healed, and who had just confessed faith in Jesus. Indeed, by accepting worship Jesus acknowledged His deity (cf. Matthew 4:10; Hebrews 1:6).
  • While at the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, Jesus claimed: “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30). “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him” (vs. 31). Why did Jesus’ enemies want to stone Him? The Jews said to Christ: “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (vs. 33, emp. added; cf. 5:17-18).
  • After Jesus rose from the dead, the apostle Thomas called Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus responded: “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (vs. 29). Notice that Jesus did not deny His deity, rather He acknowledged Thomas’ faith and commended future believers. Believers in what? In that which Thomas had just confessed—that Jesus is Lord and God.

It was in the overall context of John’s gospel account, which is filled with statements testifying of Jesus’ deity, that the apostle recorded Jesus’ prayer to His Father the night of His betrayal (John 17). But how can Jesus’ statement about His Father being “the only true God” (17:3) be harmonized with statements by Jesus, the apostle John, John the Baptizer, Thomas, etc. affirming the deity of Christ? When a person understands that Jesus’ statement was made in opposition to the world’s false gods, and not Himself, the reference to the Father being “the only true God” harmonizes perfectly with the many scriptures that attest to the deity of Christ (including those outside of the book of John; cf. Matthew 1:23; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:5-13). On the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion, it was completely natural for Him to pray that “all flesh/people” (John 17:2, NKJV/NIV), many of whom were (and still are) pagan idolaters, would come to know “the only true God” and receive eternal life (17:3). Thus, Jesus contrasted Himself not with the Father, but “with all forms of pagan polytheism, mystic pantheism, and philosophic naturalism” (Jamieson, et al., 1997).

Furthermore, if Jesus’ reference to the Father being “the only true God” somehow excludes Jesus from being deity, then (to be consistent) Jesus also must be disqualified from being man’s Savior. Jehovah said: “Besides me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11; cf. Hosea 13:4; Jude 25). Yet, Paul and Peter referred to Jesus as our “Savior” several times in their inspired writings (Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 1:10; 2 Peter 1:1,11; 2:20; etc.). Also, if Jesus is excluded from Godhood (based on a misinterpretation of John 17:3), then, pray tell, must God the Father be excluded from being man’s Lord? To the church at Ephesus, Paul wrote that there is “one Lord” (4:4, emp. added), and, according to Jude 4 (using Jehovah’s Witnesses own New World Translation) “our only Owner and Lord” is “Jesus Christ” (emp. added). Yet, in addition to Jesus being called Lord throughout the New Testament, so is God the Father (Matthew 11:25; Luke 1:32; Acts 1:25) and the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Obviously, when the Bible reveals that there is only one God, one Savior, one Lord, one Creator (Isaiah 44:24; John 1:3), etc., reason and revelation demand that we understand the inspired writers to be excluding everyone and everything—other than the triune God. As former Jehovah’s Witness David Reed explained: “Jesus’ being called our ‘only’ Lord does not rule out the Lordship of the Father and the Holy Spirit, and the Father’s being called the ‘only’ true God does not exclude the Son and the Holy Spirit from deity” (1986, p. 82).

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2003), “Wearing Gold and Braided Hair,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/articles/2264.

Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Faussett, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

Lyons, Eric (2003), “The Bible’s Teaching on Baptism: Contradictory or Complementary?” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/articles/617.

Lyons, Eric (2004), “Was Jesus Trustworthy?” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/articles/516.

Reed, David (1986), Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

“Should You Believe in the Trinity?” (2000), The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society.

The Omnipotence of God by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1396


The Omnipotence of God

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

God is the only being Who possesses omnipotence. In the Oxford English Dictionary, “omnipotence” is defined as “all-powerfulness,” or “almightiness.” In other words, when God wants something to be done, it is done. God has all power in heaven and on Earth (Matthew 28:18), so unlike the limited power of humans, which is constrained by time, space, and force, God’s capabilities are limited only by His own character (see Miller, 2003). Paul wrote of God’s omnipotence in the sense that He is “above all, and through all, and in you all,” (Ephesians 4:6). God is preeminent for many reasons, not the least of which is His great power.

God has complete power over the Earth. The very first chapter of the Bible (Genesis 1) is full of references to God’s power. The words of His mouth brought the Universe into existence; He spoke the Cosmos into existence with only a word (Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 11:3). In order to create the Universe, God needed no pre-existing matter with which to work; rather, He Himself spoke the very first matter into existence (see Thompson, et al., 2003a, 2003b). After He created “the heavens and the Earth,” He spoke “light” into existence on Earth (Genesis 1:3). After creating light, He created the firmament, and much more, all by the power of His word.

God has complete power over the spiritual realm. Just as the first chapter in the Bible reveals that God created light on Earth, the last chapter in the Bible reminds us that God’s power will be responsible for the eternal light in heaven (Revelation 22:5). Christ repeatedly cast out devils during His earthly ministry (Matthew 8:16; 9:32-33; 12:22), and James revealed that the demons believe in the one God of the Bible, and that because they are aware of God’s omnipotence, they tremble (Luke 8:31; James 2:19). God now limits Satan himself, keeping him from directly inhabiting people or causing people physical pain (Zechariah 13:1-2).

Only God can perform “wonders,” and only God can furnish that capability to others (Job 5:9; Psalm 72:18; John 3:2). Christ again revealed His power over the spiritual realm when He brought Lazarus’ soul back from the realm of departed spirits, and returned it to Lazarus’ body (John 11:43). Similarly, God will resurrect all the dead one day, having already determined the fate of their souls (Mark 12:26-27; Romans 6:4; 1 Corinthians 15:15,32; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Peter 1:3-5).

God has complete power over the affairs of men. John Waddey observed: “God was known to the patriarchs as El-Shaddai, God Almighty (Exodus 6:2-3). The term Shaddai, when connected with the Hebrew word El (God) means, ‘the mighty One to nourish, satisfy and supply.’ Thus we see His power to send forth blessings for He is the all-bountiful One” (1987, p. 1). It makes sense, then, that when Moses spoke to the entire assembly of the children of Israel the lyrics of a lengthy song, he included this line: “Nor is there any that can deliver out of My [God’s] hand” (Deuteronomy 32:39). Of course, just as God has the power to bless us and deliver the righteous from spiritual harm, He also has the uncontainable power to destroy the wicked, as can be seen in His utter destruction of the world through the global Flood of Noah’s time (except eight souls; see Thompson, 1999a).

The plural form of El, Elohim, brings to light the fullness of God’s power, in that it highlights the Trinity (Psalm 38:75). Still another Old Testament expression used to denote omnipotence is Abhir, or “strong One” (Genesis 49:24; see Vos, 1994, 3:2188-2190). Jesus said that God is Spirit, emphasizing that God is not limited by impotence of flesh, as are humans (Isaiah 2:22; 31:3; John 4:24).

God’s power over the nations of the Earth is evident. Though God used the children of Israel as His means for bringing Christ to Earth, God’s power over large groups of people has never been limited to Israel. God has authority over all nations, and frequently has used them to accomplish His purposes (Isaiah 10:5; Jeremiah 25:9; Amos 1). Job said: “He makes nations great and destroys them” (Job 12:23). Kings have their dominion only because God allows it (see Custance, 1977, p. 134). Vos observed: “The prophets ascribe to Jehovah not merely relatively greater power than to the gods of the nations, but His power extends into the sphere of the nations, and the heathen gods are ignored in the estimate put upon His might (Isaiah 31:3)” [1994, 3:2189]. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar was warned:

This decision is by the decree of the watchers, and the sentence by the word of the holy ones, in order that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, gives it to whomever He will, and sets over it the lowest of men…. This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses (Daniel 4:17,24-25, emp. added).

God has complete power over the devil, whom He created (though the devil was not evil at the time of his creation; see Colley, 2004). While the devil has certain powers that humans do not possess (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 11-12), Satan is not omnipotent. During his temptation of Christ, Satan admitted that whatever power he possessed had been “delivered to him” (Luke 4:6). Satan had to ask for God’s permission to harm Job (Job 1:7-12). Jesus said that Satan had desired to sift Peter as wheat; that is, Satan sought the express permission of God. Without it, Satan would be powerless to tempt Peter. While God never had a beginning, Satan was created (Colossians 1:16). For this, and other reasons, Satan is not omnipotent, and his power is far less potent than the power of God. John wrote: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

If we were to try to imagine someone whose power approached God’s might, we might think of Satan. Yet, the Bible reveals that nothing is too hard for the Lord—even defeating Satan (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17). In fact, Christ already conquered the devil, and eventually will punish him everlastingly in hell (Matthew 25:41; see Thompson, 1999b, pp. 12-13). Hebrews 2:14 reads: “He [Christ] Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” Milton, in Paradise Lost, wrote of Satan: “Him the Almighty Power hurled headlong flaming from th’ ethereal sky…Who durst defy th’ Omnipotent to arms” (1.49).

God’s complete power is unending. Because God would not be God if He were not omnipotent, and because we know that God will never end, we can know that God’s power will never cease or diminish (see Colley, 2004). Furthermore, Isaiah plainly stated: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable” (40:28).

CONCLUSION

God’s omnipotence reassures us, because it is through the Divine power that His servants know that “nothing will be impossible” to those who faithfully serve Him (Matthew 17:20; Mark 9:23; Philippians 4:13). Those who are not faithful to the Lord should be terror-stricken by God’s omnipotence, because, in the Day of Judgment, the very force that created the Universe will condemn them to an everlasting punishment. Vos commented that omnipotence

evokes a specific religious response. This is true, not only of the Old Testament, where the element of the fear of God stands comparatively in the foreground, but remains true also in the New Testament. Even in our Lord’s teaching the prominence given to the fatherhood and love of God does not preclude that the transcendent majesty of the Divine nature, including omnipotence, is kept in full view and made a potent factor in the cultivation of the religious mind (Matthew 6:9). The beauty of Jesus’ teaching on the nature of God consists in this, that He keeps the exaltation of God above every creature and His loving condescension toward the creature in perfect equilibrium and makes them mutually fructified by each other. Religion is more than the inclusion of God in the general altruistic movement of the human mind; it is a devotion at every point colored by the consciousness of that Divine uniqueness in which God’s omnipotence occupies a foremost place (1994, 3:2190).

Little wonder that the multitude of Revelation 19:6 cried: “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” The fact that God so willingly uses His omnipotent capacity for the ultimate benefit of His servants should motivate everyone to obey the Gospel (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). We will not escape the vengeance of God if we neglect the great salvation offered us (Hebrews 2:3).

REFERENCES

Colley, Caleb (2004), “The Eternality of God,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2565.

Custance, Arthur C. (1977), Time and Eternity and Other Biblical Studies (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Miller, Dave (2003), “Things God Cannot Do,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2292.

Lockyer, Herbert (1997), All the 3s of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Thompson, Bert (1999a), The Global Flood of Noah (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), second edition.

Thompson, Bert (1999b), Satan—His Origin and Mission (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press, 2001 reprint).

Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003a), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part I],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/22.

Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003b), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part II],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/26.

Vos, Geerhardus (1994), “Omnipotence,” The International Bible Encyclopaedia, ed. James Orr, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).

Waddey, John (1987), “The Omnipotence of God,” Firm Foundation, 104[18]:1,4, September 22.

Spiritual Awareness by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2020/02/11/spiritual-awareness/#more-15393

Spiritual Awareness

“Eyes that look are common. Eyes that see are rare,” wrote J. Oswald Sanders in is classic book Spiritual Leadership.

Sanders further illustrated his point with this Bible example. “The Pharisees looked at Peter and saw only a poor, unlettered fisherman, totally insignificant, not worthy of a second look. Jesus saw Peter and discovered the prophet and preacher, saint and leader of the unique band of men who turned the world upside down.”

Continuing our theme for the year, “20/20 Vision: Restoring Our Focus,” it is vitally important for us to see, really see, what’s going on around us.

Spiritual awareness involves perception, recognition, and understanding. It requires attention to detail and being alert to the challenges we face. It is mindfulness. Comprehension. And realization.

One of the great challenges to our spiritual vision is dullness. My friend and preaching colleague, Gary Henry, wrote that dullness, “is a malady that affects many of us. I don’t mean that we ourselves are dull but that our attention to life has been dulled.”

Dullness blurs “the eyes of our understanding” and obscures our need for divine enlightenment (Eph 1:18). Dullness was one of the Pharisees’ problems in Jesus’ day. He applied Isaiah’s prophecy to their predicament when he said “seeing you will see and not perceive.” He sadly said, “the hearts of this people have grown dull” (Matt 13:14-15).

We need to be aware of the devil’s devious devices to entrap, ensnare, and entangle us in sin. He is subtle and sinister with his evil intentions to tempt and lead us away from the Lord. Be alert. Be watchful. Keep your eyes open. (1 Pet. 5:8)

Conversely, spiritual awareness not only sees what is wicked, but what is right. Its eyes are open to opportunities to do good. Help others. Share their resources. And bear the burdens of brothers and sisters who are hurting (Gal. 6:1-10).

In order to develop 20/20 spiritual vision and improve our spiritual awareness, several things are necessary.

1. Saturate your mind with Scripture.

The Psalmist prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Ps 119:18). When we open our eyes to God’s Word, we see things from a different perceptive. With greater understanding. And deeper insight.

Psalm 103:7 says “(God) made known his ways to Moses and His deeds to the people of Israel. The people saw what God did. But Moses saw why God did it. It’s the difference between knowledge and perception. Filling your heart with His Word will clarify many issues you face in life.

2. Realize God has a purpose for your life.

We are not put on earth to just eat, drink, party and consume resources. We’re here for a reason. Simply put, our ultimate purpose is found in Jesus Christ in order to give God glory (Eph 1:11-14). Paul says, “we are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). When you come to personally know Jesus, you will see things from God’s point of view. It will clarify your vision. Strengthen your character. Fortify your determination. And give you a clear vision of your purpose in life.

3. Slow down. Look around. And meditate.

John Maxwell calls this “the precious pause.” Our fast-paced culture with its 24-hour news cycle, instant information on our iPhones, and incessant urge to always be doing something, often leaves us weary, washed-out and short-sighted. Take time to relax. To think. To pray. To meditate. And to really see what is happening in the lives of those we love.

4. Look beyond the earthly.

Spiritual awareness of necessity must look beyond the pains, problems and even the prosperity of this life. Moses, the great leader of Israel, gave up pleasure and endured Pharaoh’s reproach to enjoy “greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.” “He was looking to the reward.” And he “endured seeing Him who is invisible.” (Heb 11:24-27)

Believe this. And trust me. “There’s more to life than meets the eye.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

Does Jesus Have Two Bodies? by David Vaughn Elliott

 

http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/02/does-jesus-have-two-bodies-by-david.html

Does Jesus Have Two Bodies?
by David Vaughn Elliott

No, we are not talking about Jesus' resurrected body. We are talking about His spiritual body--His people on earth today. Who are God's people today? Jews? Christians? Both? Does Jesus have two brides? Two bodies? Consider Ephesians 2:12-16.  

Before Jesus entered the world, the Gentiles were alienated from Israel, "having no hope, and without God." There was a God-built "wall" between Jews and Gentiles. But Jesus "is our peace, who has made both [Jews and Gentiles] one, and has broken down the middle wall... to make in himself of two one new man... in one body by the cross."  

Jesus has one body, composed of both Gentiles and Jews. Jesus broke down the wall that divided us. Yet, many still believe that today's unbelieving Jews are the people of God. This denies the work of the cross, by which Jesus has made Jews and Gentiles one body. Since Calvary, the only way to become a child of God is through a new birth, made possible by His precious blood. 

The converted Pharisee, Paul, emphasized that there is "one body... one hope... one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:4,5). Jesus is not a bigamist; He does not have two brides. Jesus is not a monster; He is not a head with two bodies. Through the cross of Calvary, Jesus destroyed the spiritual distinction between Jew and Gentile. "There is neither Jew nor Greek... for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).  

Before Jesus, the world was divided into two categories: Jews and Gentiles. After Jesus, the world is divided into two categories: saints and sinners. God has one people. Jesus has one body. No interpretation of Old or New Testament prophecy is acceptable if it distorts this central truth of the Gospel. 

The Good Old Days by J.C. Bailey

 

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

The Good Old Days

Apparently men have talked about the good old days for a long time, for Solomon had this to say: "Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? For thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this" (Eccl. 7:10).

So in Solomon's time it was not wise to say that the old days were the good days. What about now?

I am going to suggest that what was true in Solomon's time is true in our time. That some things were better in the old days we shall have to admit but the general picture is not better. I remember the day that war was declared in 1914 with the terrible war that continued for more than four years. We could hardly call that the good old days. I remember the grinding years of the depression when my wife made our own mattresses. She made shoes for her boys. With seven children we lived in a house that was so cold that my wife stayed up nearly all night to keep the fires burning. Even then it froze in the house. I was in Ontario in a meeting and all five boys had small pox. The depression began to lift when World War II began. We could hardly call those the good old days.

You say that people were more moral then than now. Ever since I was born there has been murder, suicide, rape and self-abuse among people. These things may have increased and the attitude of the general public towards them has grown worse, but I worked among the men of the world for several years, and any one that would talk about the good old days does not know or has a poor memory. Men beat their wives when they were drunk. Children were starved by drinking fathers in what was called the good old days. I remember my father served on a jury when a man and his two sons were tried for abusing 12 and 14 year-old girls that had been adopted. Our attitude toward foreigners was certainly not as good as it is today.

You say spiritually things were better. Were they? That some things were better we would have to admit but what about the general picture? There were some who argued that a nigger did not have a soul. There were some who argued that we did not need to preach to the heathen. Some white churches would not even let their baptistry be used to baptize black people. That was in the good old days. Black people could not attend school with white people and we could go on and on. Many believed in the superiority of the white race. In the light of our actions in those days of yesteryear we can hardly say those were the good old days.

A brother recently died in India. He was a little younger than I am. Yet, he was the first person to go to school in his village. He went on to be a school teacher, and was the first person to embrace Christianity in that village. There are now some 80 churches of Christ in the area. What a change from the good old days.

There have been efforts before the present one, to evangelize India but in the good old days two of the preachers left the truth and joined a denomination. In the good old days we were told that we did not need to send missionaries to India. We could leave it to the native preachers when there was work only among one tribe and that represented less than one tenth of one per cent of the population of India. In the good old days, we did not have any work in Nigeria and now there are tens of thousands of members of the church. I am told there are churches that have as many as 1000 members.

In the good old days there was work only in a few of the countries of Central and South America. Back in the good old days there were works in Brazil but they joined a denomination. In the various countries of the world there are thousands of native preachers who were not there in the good old days.

The Spanish Literature Ministry puts out more material to Latin America than was put out in all the world except the U.S.A. in the good old days.

It is true that it may be harder to win souls for Christ in Canada or the United States than it was 50 years ago, but in a great part of the world it is much easier.

More people will obey the gospel now than ever in the history of the world. These are the good days. Jesus could have said of now, "Lift up your eyes unto fields that are white unto harvest." It was not yesterday, it is not tomorrow, it is now. These are the good days. How good? Our faith will answer that question.

J. C. Bailey, 1986, Bengough, Saskatchewan

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

 

 

Bible Reading for September 21 and 22 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for September 21 and 22

World  English  Bible

 

Sept. 21

Psalms 89-91

Psa 89:1 I will sing of the loving kindness of Yahweh forever. With my mouth, I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.

Psa 89:2 I indeed declare, "Love stands firm forever. You established the heavens. Your faithfulness is in them."

Psa 89:3 "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David, my servant,

Psa 89:4 'I will establish your seed forever, and build up your throne to all generations.' " Selah.

Psa 89:5 The heavens will praise your wonders, Yahweh; your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.

Psa 89:6 For who in the skies can be compared to Yahweh? Who among the sons of the heavenly beings is like Yahweh,

Psa 89:7 a very awesome God in the council of the holy ones, to be feared above all those who are around him?

Psa 89:8 Yahweh, God of Armies, who is a mighty one, like you? Yah, your faithfulness is around you.

Psa 89:9 You rule the pride of the sea. When its waves rise up, you calm them.

Psa 89:10 You have broken Rahab in pieces, like one of the slain. You have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

Psa 89:11 The heavens are yours. The earth also is yours; the world and its fullness. You have founded them.

Psa 89:12 The north and the south, you have created them. Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.

Psa 89:13 You have a mighty arm. Your hand is strong, and your right hand is exalted.

Psa 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Loving kindness and truth go before your face.

Psa 89:15 Blessed are the people who learn to acclaim you. They walk in the light of your presence, Yahweh.

Psa 89:16 In your name they rejoice all day. In your righteousness, they are exalted.

Psa 89:17 For you are the glory of their strength. In your favor, our horn will be exalted.

Psa 89:18 For our shield belongs to Yahweh; our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Psa 89:19 Then you spoke in vision to your saints, and said, "I have bestowed strength on the warrior. I have exalted a young man from the people.

Psa 89:20 I have found David, my servant. I have anointed him with my holy oil,

Psa 89:21 with whom my hand shall be established. My arm will also strengthen him.

Psa 89:22 No enemy will tax him. No wicked man will oppress him.

Psa 89:23 I will beat down his adversaries before him, and strike those who hate him.

Psa 89:24 But my faithfulness and my loving kindness will be with him. In my name, his horn will be exalted.

Psa 89:25 I will set his hand also on the sea, and his right hand on the rivers.

Psa 89:26 He will call to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation!'

Psa 89:27 I will also appoint him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.

Psa 89:28 I will keep my loving kindness for him forevermore. My covenant will stand firm with him.

Psa 89:29 I will also make his seed endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

Psa 89:30 If his children forsake my law, and don't walk in my ordinances;

Psa 89:31 if they break my statutes, and don't keep my commandments;

Psa 89:32 then I will punish their sin with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes.

Psa 89:33 But I will not completely take my loving kindness from him, nor allow my faithfulness to fail.

Psa 89:34 I will not break my covenant, nor alter what my lips have uttered.

Psa 89:35 Once have I sworn by my holiness, I will not lie to David.

Psa 89:36 His seed will endure forever, his throne like the sun before me.

Psa 89:37 It will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." Selah.

Psa 89:38 But you have rejected and spurned. You have been angry with your anointed.

Psa 89:39 You have renounced the covenant of your servant. You have defiled his crown in the dust.

Psa 89:40 You have broken down all his hedges. You have brought his strongholds to ruin.

Psa 89:41 All who pass by the way rob him. He has become a reproach to his neighbors.

Psa 89:42 You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries. You have made all of his enemies rejoice.

Psa 89:43 Yes, you turn back the edge of his sword, and haven't supported him in battle.

Psa 89:44 You have ended his splendor, and thrown his throne down to the ground.

Psa 89:45 You have shortened the days of his youth. You have covered him with shame. Selah.

Psa 89:46 How long, Yahweh? Will you hide yourself forever? Will your wrath burn like fire?

Psa 89:47 Remember how short my time is! For what vanity have you created all the children of men!

Psa 89:48 What man is he who shall live and not see death, who shall deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah.

Psa 89:49 Lord, where are your former loving kindnesses, which you swore to David in your faithfulness?

Psa 89:50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the mighty peoples,

Psa 89:51 With which your enemies have mocked, Yahweh, with which they have mocked the footsteps of your anointed one.

Psa 89:52 Blessed be Yahweh forevermore. Amen, and Amen.


Psa 90:1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place for all generations.

Psa 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, before you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.

Psa 90:3 You turn man to destruction, saying, "Return, you children of men."

Psa 90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are just like yesterday when it is past, like a watch in the night.

Psa 90:5 You sweep them away as they sleep. In the morning they sprout like new grass.

Psa 90:6 In the morning it sprouts and springs up. By evening, it is withered and dry.

Psa 90:7 For we are consumed in your anger. We are troubled in your wrath.

Psa 90:8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.

Psa 90:9 For all our days have passed away in your wrath. We bring our years to an end as a sigh.

Psa 90:10 The days of our years are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty years; yet their pride is but labor and sorrow, for it passes quickly, and we fly away.

Psa 90:11 Who knows the power of your anger, your wrath according to the fear that is due to you?

Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psa 90:13 Relent, Yahweh! How long? Have compassion on your servants!

Psa 90:14 Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Psa 90:15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen evil.

Psa 90:16 Let your work appear to your servants; your glory to their children.

Psa 90:17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands.


Psa 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psa 91:2 I will say of Yahweh, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."

Psa 91:3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.

Psa 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers. Under his wings you will take refuge. His faithfulness is your shield and rampart.

Psa 91:5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day;

Psa 91:6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Psa 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you.

Psa 91:8 You will only look with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked.

Psa 91:9 Because you have made Yahweh your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,

Psa 91:10 no evil shall happen to you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.

Psa 91:11 For he will put his angels in charge of you, to guard you in all your ways.

Psa 91:12 They will bear you up in their hands, so that you won't dash your foot against a stone.

Psa 91:13 You will tread on the lion and cobra. You will trample the young lion and the serpent underfoot.

Psa 91:14 "Because he has set his love on me, therefore I will deliver him. I will set him on high, because he has known my name.

Psa 91:15 He will call on me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in trouble. I will deliver him, and honor him.

Psa 91:16 I will satisfy him with long life, and show him my salvation." 

 

Sept. 22

Psalms 92-94

Psa 92:1 It is a good thing to give thanks to Yahweh, to sing praises to your name, Most High;

Psa 92:2 to proclaim your loving kindness in the morning, and your faithfulness every night,

Psa 92:3 with the ten-stringed lute, with the harp, and with the melody of the lyre.

Psa 92:4 For you, Yahweh, have made me glad through your work. I will triumph in the works of your hands.

Psa 92:5 How great are your works, Yahweh! Your thoughts are very deep.

Psa 92:6 A senseless man doesn't know, neither does a fool understand this:

Psa 92:7 though the wicked spring up as the grass, and all the evildoers flourish, they will be destroyed forever.

Psa 92:8 But you, Yahweh, are on high forevermore.

Psa 92:9 For, behold, your enemies, Yahweh, for, behold, your enemies shall perish. All the evildoers will be scattered.

Psa 92:10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox. I am anointed with fresh oil.

Psa 92:11 My eye has also seen my enemies. My ears have heard of the wicked enemies who rise up against me.

Psa 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree. He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Psa 92:13 They are planted in Yahweh's house. They will flourish in our God's courts.

Psa 92:14 They will still bring forth fruit in old age. They will be full of sap and green,

Psa 92:15 to show that Yahweh is upright. He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.


Psa 93:1 Yahweh reigns! He is clothed with majesty! Yahweh is armed with strength. The world also is established. It can't be moved.

Psa 93:2 Your throne is established from long ago. You are from everlasting.

Psa 93:3 The floods have lifted up, Yahweh, the floods have lifted up their voice. The floods lift up their waves.

Psa 93:4 Above the voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, Yahweh on high is mighty.

Psa 93:5 Your statutes stand firm. Holiness adorns your house, Yahweh, forevermore.


Psa 94:1 Yahweh, you God to whom vengeance belongs, you God to whom vengeance belongs, shine forth.

Psa 94:2 Rise up, you judge of the earth. Pay back the proud what they deserve.

Psa 94:3 Yahweh, how long will the wicked, how long will the wicked triumph?

Psa 94:4 They pour out arrogant words. All the evildoers boast.

Psa 94:5 They break your people in pieces, Yahweh, and afflict your heritage.

Psa 94:6 They kill the widow and the alien, and murder the fatherless.

Psa 94:7 They say, "Yah will not see, neither will Jacob's God consider."

Psa 94:8 Consider, you senseless among the people; you fools, when will you be wise?

Psa 94:9 He who implanted the ear, won't he hear? He who formed the eye, won't he see?

Psa 94:10 He who disciplines the nations, won't he punish? He who teaches man knows.

Psa 94:11 Yahweh knows the thoughts of man, that they are futile.

Psa 94:12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, Yah, and teach out of your law;

Psa 94:13 that you may give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked.

Psa 94:14 For Yahweh won't reject his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.

Psa 94:15 For judgment will return to righteousness. All the upright in heart shall follow it.

Psa 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will stand up for me against the evildoers?

Psa 94:17 Unless Yahweh had been my help, my soul would have soon lived in silence.

Psa 94:18 When I said, "My foot is slipping!" Your loving kindness, Yahweh, held me up.

Psa 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me, your comforts delight my soul.

Psa 94:20 Shall the throne of wickedness have fellowship with you, which brings about mischief by statute?

Psa 94:21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.

Psa 94:22 But Yahweh has been my high tower, my God, the rock of my refuge.

Psa 94:23 He has brought on them their own iniquity, and will cut them off in their own wickedness. Yahweh, our God, will cut them off. 

 

Sept. 21

2 Corinthians 1

2Co 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the assembly of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:

2Co 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2Co 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;

2Co 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2Co 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, even so our comfort also abounds through Christ.

2Co 1:6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.

2Co 1:7 Our hope for you is steadfast, knowing that, since you are partakers of the sufferings, so also are you of the comfort.

2Co 1:8 For we don't desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life.

2Co 1:9 Yes, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead,

2Co 1:10 who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us;

2Co 1:11 you also helping together on our behalf by your supplication; that, for the gift bestowed on us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on your behalf.

2Co 1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

2Co 1:13 For we write no other things to you, than what you read or even acknowledge, and I hope you will acknowledge to the end;

2Co 1:14 as also you acknowledged us in part, that we are your boasting, even as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.

2Co 1:15 In this confidence, I was determined to come first to you, that you might have a second benefit;

2Co 1:16 and by you to pass into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and to be sent forward by you on my journey to Judea.

2Co 1:17 When I therefore was thus determined, did I show fickleness? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the "Yes, yes" and the "No, no?"

2Co 1:18 But as God is faithful, our word toward you was not "Yes and no."

2Co 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me, Silvanus, and Timothy, was not "Yes and no," but in him is "Yes."

2Co 1:20 For however many are the promises of God, in him is the "Yes." Therefore also through him is the "Amen," to the glory of God through us.

2Co 1:21 Now he who establishes us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God;

2Co 1:22 who also sealed us, and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.

2Co 1:23 But I call God for a witness to my soul, that I didn't come to Corinth to spare you.

2Co 1:24 Not that we have lordship over your faith, but are fellow workers with you for your joy. For you stand firm in faith.


Sept. 22

2 Corinthians 2

2Co 2:1 But I determined this for myself, that I would not come to you again in sorrow.

2Co 2:2 For if I make you sorry, then who will make me glad but he who is made sorry by me?

2Co 2:3 And I wrote this very thing to you, so that, when I came, I wouldn't have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy would be shared by all of you.

2Co 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not that you should be made sorry, but that you might know the love that I have so abundantly for you.

2Co 2:5 But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow, not to me, but in part (that I not press too heavily) to you all.

2Co 2:6 Sufficient to such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the many;

2Co 2:7 so that on the contrary you should rather forgive him and comfort him, lest by any means such a one should be swallowed up with his excessive sorrow.

2Co 2:8 Therefore I beg you to confirm your love toward him.

2Co 2:9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might know the proof of you, whether you are obedient in all things.

2Co 2:10 Now I also forgive whomever you forgive anything. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ,

2Co 2:11 that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

2Co 2:12 Now when I came to Troas for the Good News of Christ, and when a door was opened to me in the Lord,

2Co 2:13 I had no relief for my spirit, because I didn't find Titus, my brother, but taking my leave of them, I went out into Macedonia.

2Co 2:14 Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and reveals through us the sweet aroma of his knowledge in every place.

2Co 2:15 For we are a sweet aroma of Christ to God, in those who are saved, and in those who perish;

2Co 2:16 to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

2Co 2:17 For we are not as so many, peddling the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, we speak in Christ.