"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Great Commission (28:16-20) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                    The Great Commission (28:16-20)


1. The gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus meeting with His apostles in Galilee...
   a. Foretold by Jesus before His betrayal - Mt 26:31-32
   b. Announced by both an angel and Jesus after His resurrection - Mt 28:7,10

2. It was a meeting filled with mixed emotions - Mt 28:16-17
   a. Seeing Jesus, they worshipped Him
   b. Yet some were doubtful
      1) It is unlikely this refers to the apostles, for they had seen
         Jesus earlier - cf. Jn 20:19-20,24-29
      2) This may have been the occasion where over 500 saw Him at
         once, and some may have wondered what they were seeing - cf. 1Co 15:6

3. It was a meeting in which Jesus gave His disciples a command - Mt 28:18-20
   a. To make disciples of all the nations
   b. Baptizing and teaching them
   -- Ending with a promise to always be with them

[This command is commonly called "The Great Commission".  As we take a
few moments to look at it more closely, we may better understand what
was so "great" about it...]


      1. As the Creator, He had the original right to all things - Co 1:16-17
      2. As our Redeemer, even more so! - Php 2:6-11

      1. He now rules in the heavenly realm - 1Pe 3:22; Ep 1:20-23
      2. He also rules over the kings of the earth! - Re 1:5; Ps 2:1-12; 110:1-6

      1. Jesus certainly deserves our obedience to Him as Lord - Ac 2:36; Lk 6:46
      2. Jesus certainly can deliver on His promises - 2Pe 1:2-5

[On the basis of such great authority, Jesus gives "The Great 
Commission".  As we continue, we notice that it is...]


      1. The KJV says "teach", the Greek word means "to make disciples"
      2. Thus they were to make "learners", "adherents", "imitators" of Jesus Christ
         a. Jesus had been inviting people to become His disciples all
            along - Mt 4:18-22; 11:28-30
         b. He expected His disciples to become like Him - Lk 6:40

      1. First, by "baptizing them" in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
         a. A baptism for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38; 22:16
         b. A baptism in water - Ac 8:35-38; 10:47-48
         c. A burial - Ro 6:3-6; Col 2:11-12
      2. Then by "teaching them to observe all things" He had commanded
         a. Baptism is only the beginning, teaching must continue
         b. Such was the case with the early disciples - Ac 2:41-42
      -- Both baptism and ongoing teaching is essential to true discipleship!

[We should also observe concerning "The Great Commission" that it was...]


      1. They were to go into all the world, and preach to every
         creature - Mk 16:15
      2. They were to be witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth - Ac 1:8

      1. With the Limited Commission, it was just for Israel - Mt 10:5-6
      2. Now the Gentiles (all nations) could become fellow-heirs - Ep 2:11-22

      1. Jesus would have us think "globally", not just locally
      2. While we should be mindful of our local community, we should
         also be thinking of those abroad

[Finally, we note concerning "The Great Commission" that it is...]


      1. A promise similar to those Jesus made earlier:
         a. To His apostles - Mt 18:20
         b. To those who keep His commandments - Jn 14:18-23
      2. A promise similar to those God gave to:
         a. Moses - Exo 3:11-12
         b. Joshua - Josh 1:5
         c. The nation of Israel - Isa 41:10
      3. A promise that ought to provide much comfort when oppressed
         - Ro 8:31-38; He 13:5-6

      1. Even to the time when:
         a. The Great Harvest will occur - Mt 13:39-43
         b. The wicked shall be separated from the just - Mt 13:49
      2. Throughout this Christian age or dispensation, Jesus will
         forever be with His disciples
         a. As they go into all the world
         b. Making more disciples


1. Is "The Great Commission" limited just to the apostles?
   a. Note well that disciples were to "observe all things that I commanded you"
   b. What did Jesus just command the apostles? (Go therefore and make disciples...)
   c. Future disciples were to observe all commands, including this one!
   -- Therefore "The Great Commission" is a commission to the church as well!

2. Do we honor "The Great Commission" in our lives?  We do if we are...
   a. Submitting to the authority of Jesus
   b. Working to make disciples of Jesus
   c. Striving to make disciples in all the nations of the world
   d. Abiding in His Word and thereby ensuring His abiding presence in our lives

Shortly after giving "The Great Commission", Jesus ascended to heaven
(Ac 1:9-11).  His earliest disciples took that commission and did great things with it.

May these words of Jesus motivate us to do great things in our service to Him also! 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Water is Thicker than Blood by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



Water is Thicker than Blood

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The human relationships that exist between individuals who are physically kin to each other can, indeed, be precious and beautiful. In fact, God was responsible for creating the family framework (Genesis 2:24). Ideally, He intends for people to experience the warm, tender ties of blood kin and the multiple blessings associated with such ties.

Perspective is lost, however, when physical ties are permitted to interfere with obedience to God. God’s point is missed when a higher premium is placed on physical family than on spiritual family, when a Christian fails to relish to a greater degree association with the family of God—the church. The Bible teaches that Christians should not hesitate for a moment to relinquish fleshly relationships if it becomes necessary to do so in order to put God first (Luke 14:20,24).

Commenting on the status of His own blood relatives, Jesus declared: “Whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50). He recognized that the stringency of His teaching would disrupt family relationships, and so He stated that “a man’s foes will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:36). He even went so far as to relegate physical ties to the comparative level of hatred when contrasted to the priority of spiritual ties: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). [For a discussion of the meaning of “hate” in this verse, see Butt, 2003.]

Such explains why, during the Mosaic period of Bible history, Aaron was not permitted to mourn the deaths of his two sons (Leviticus 10:6). Such explains why the wives, and even some children, perished along with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, as they apparently were unwilling to oppose the blood ties of kinfolk who sinned (Numbers 16:27,32-33). Such explains why the people were to show no pity for their relatives who promoted false teaching, but were to lead the way in the execution process (Deuteronomy 13:6-11).

Yes, the family ties of blood kin can be extremely wonderful, providing unending security and acceptance, and frequently fulfill an important, divinely intended function. But these same blood ties can be the very thing that diverts a Christian from the strait and narrow, discouraging one from standing strongly and firmly on the solid bedrock of truth and right. It is imperative that God’s church be put first—even above family (Matthew 6:33). First allegiance and loyalty must be given to those who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ by passing through the waters of baptism (Ephesians 5:6; Titus 3:5; Hebrews 10:22). For with God, water is thicker than blood.


Butt, Kyle (2003), “Hate Your Parents—or Love Them?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/601.

Was the "Image of God" Destroyed by Sin? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



Was the "Image of God" Destroyed by Sin?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Many theologians through the years have claimed that the “image of God” spoken of in Genesis 1:26-27 refers to a spiritual perfection that was lost in the Fall. Thus, they have concluded that modern man no longer bears the image of God. Reformer Martin Luther believed that the “image of God” was an original righteousness that was lost completely. He thus proclaimed: “I am afraid that since the loss of this image through sin we cannot understand it to any extent.” Oftentimes John Calvin spoke of the image of God as having been destroyed by sin, obliterated by the Fall, and utterly defaced by unrighteousness. More recently, religionist/anthropologist Arthur Custance, in his 1975 book, Man in Adam and in Christ, observed: “Genesis tells us that man was created in a special way, bearing the stamp of God upon him which the animals did not bear. Genesis also tells us that he lost it” (p. 103). Does the language of Genesis 1:26-27 refer only to Adam and Eve, as these writers would have us to believe? Or does it refer to all mankind in general?

The Bible reveals that man still retains the image of God after the Fall. Genesis 9:6 states: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” According to this passage, fallen man still bears the image of God. The record of Adam and Eve’s fall had been recorded earlier in the book of Genesis; that man had become a rank sinner is stated clearly in the immediate context of the passage (“…every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood”—8:21). Although God’s assessment is correct in regard to mankind, murder is forbidden because man is made in the image of God—that is, he still bears that image. If one argues that this passage speaks only about the past and says nothing about the future, he does violence to the meaning of the passage. Moses, writing about 2,500 years after the Fall, said that the reason murder is wrong is because the victim is someone created in the image of God. If man no longer bears the image of God after the Fall, these words would have been meaningless to the Israelites (and are worthless for man today).

In the New Testament, one can read where James wrote: “But the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God” (3:8-9, emp. added). The English verb “are made” (ASV) derives from the Greek gegonotas, which is the perfect participle of the verb ginomai. The perfect tense in Greek is used to describe an action brought to completion in the past, but whose effects are felt in the present. For example, when the Bible says, “It is written,” this is usually in the perfect tense. Scripture was written in the past, but is applicable to the present. The thrust of the Greek expression translated “who are made after the likeness of God,” is that humans in the past have been made according to the likeness of God and they are still bearers of that likeness. For this reason, it is inconsistent to worship God and curse men with the same tongue.

Although sin is destructive to man and repulsive to God, the Bible does not teach that the “image of God” was destroyed by sin’s entrance into the world. Rather, modern man still is created in God’s image. How thrilling and humbling it is to know that all men possess inherent characteristics that liken them to God and differentiate them from the lower creation.

Was Peter the First Pope? by Moisés Pinedo



Was Peter the First Pope?

by  Moisés Pinedo

Many advocates of petrine tradition will argue that Peter was appointed the “first pope.” Consider some of the arguments that are presented in favor of this assertion.

Argument #1: Peter received the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:19).

With this statement Catholicism argues that Peter was granted supreme power or authority over the church. Although the context in Matthew supports no such interpretation, people of various religions agree that Peter was granted “something special” that was given to no other apostle. This “something” has often been misinterpreted.

We need to understand what “kingdom of heaven” means. Some people have suggested that it refers to heaven itself, and thus, they have represented Peter as the one who allows or prevents access into the eternal reward. But this interpretation is inconceivable since it finds itself in clear opposition to the context of this passage. Reading Matthew 16:18, we understand that the subject under discussion is not heaven itself, but the church. Therefore, Jesus spoke of the church as being the kingdom of heaven. This is shown not only in the context of Matthew 16:18, but it also is taught in many other passages throughout the New Testament (e.g., Mark 9:1; Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; Hebrews 12:28).

Further, we need to understand the nature of the “keys” given to Peter. H. Leo Boles wrote, “To use the keys was to open the door or give the terms of entrance into the kingdom of God” (1952, p. 348). In other words, because of Peter’s confession about Jesus (Matthew 16:16), Jesus gave him the privilege of being the first man to tell lost souls how to become Christians and thus become part of the Lord’s church. Barnes put it this way:

When the Saviour says, therefore, he will give to Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven, he means that he will make him the instrument of opening the door of faith to the world—the first to preach the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles (2005a, p. 171, italics in orig.).

There is no doubt that the “keys” represent the opportunities Peter would have to welcome the world, for the very first time, to the Christian age and to the kingdom of heaven—the church.

Also, we need to know when Peter used the “keys.” Jesus’ declaration was in a prophetic form. Peter would have the opportunity to open the doors of the church in the future. The Bible clearly shows us the fulfillment of this prophecy in Acts 2. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit like the other apostles (2:4), stood and gave the first recorded Gospel sermon after the resurrection of Jesus (2:14-38). It was at that moment when Jesus’ words were fulfilled. Because of the preaching of Peter and the other apostles, 3,000 Jews (cf. 2:5) were baptized into Christ and entered through the open doors of the church (2:41-47). However, the church would be composed not only of Jews, but also Gentiles. Acts 10 tells us that Peter opened the doors of the church to the Gentiles, in the same way he opened the doors of the church to the Jews. This was the “special something” given to Peter because of his confession—the privilege of being the first to preach the Gospel (after the resurrection of Christ) to both the Jews and the Gentiles.

Peter opened the doors of the church, and since then the doors of the church have remained open. Only Peter received this privilege. Jesus said, “I will give you [Peter] the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19, emp. added). There are no individuals, such as popes, opening and closing the doors of the church.

Argument #2: Peter received the power of binding and loosing (Matthew 16:19).

With this argument Catholicism affirms two things concerning Peter: (1) that he received the authority to forgive sins; and (2) that Jesus considered anything Peter would do with His church as approved, authoritative, and good. In other words, Jesus gave him the gift of “infallibility.”

In order to analyze what Jesus said about Peter, we must take into account that the context of Matthew 16:19 is linked to the subject of the church, and not to the forgiveness of sins or the concession of some kind of infallibility about doctrinal matters. A biblical text that can help us understand Matthew 16:19 is Matthew 18:18, where Jesus made the same promise to all His apostles. He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Of this text, Boles has noted, “This is the same thought as in Matt. 16:19. This shows that it has a broader application than that of the discipline of an erring brother. The Holy Spirit would guide the apostles in their instruction to the erring brother and the church” (1952, p. 377, emp. added). In His declaration in Matthew 16:19, Jesus affirmed that the conditions of the Christian system that Peter and the other apostles would expound already had been required by Heaven.

The Greek grammar of these verses sheds more light on the meaning of Jesus’ statement. A.T. Robertson noted that “[t]he passive perfect future occurs in the N.T. only in the periphrastic form in such examples as Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18” (1934, p. 361). Therefore, the text should read, “whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will have been loosed in heaven.” By saying this, Jesus declared that resolutions made on Earth were subject to decisions made in heaven. The apostles would preach in accordance with what was already bound or loosed in heaven. This was based not on the infallibility of a man, but on the infallibility of the Holy Spirit promised to the apostles in the first century (John 16:13; cf. Matthew 10:19-20). Today we have the inspired, infallible teachings of the Holy Spirit recorded for us in the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Jesus never established Peter as a pope. The titles “Pope,” “Universal Bishop,” “Earthly Head of the Church,” “Pontiff,” and others never came from the mouth of Jesus to describe Peter. Regardless of the privileges given to Peter, his authority and rights were the same authority and rights given to the other apostles of the Lord (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:1-5; 12:28; 2 Corinthians 11:5; 12:11; Galatians 2:8).


If Peter was not the first pope, then the question becomes, “Who was Peter?” Was he equal to the other apostles, or did he deserve a position of supremacy among the others? The arguments that establish Peter’s identity may be presented as follows.

Argument #1: Peter was only a man.

Although this declaration is obvious to many, sometimes its implications are overlooked. When Cornelius lay prostrate before Peter (cf. Acts 10:25), he told him, “Stand up; I too am just a man” (Acts 10:26, NASB). With this statement Peter implied three very important points: (a) that he was “too...a man”—that is to say, a man just like Cornelius; (b) that he was “a man”—that is to say, just like all men; and (c) that he was “just a man”—that is to say that he was not God, and ultimately was unworthy of worship. Peter, with all humility, understood that his human nature prevented him from accepting worship. On the other hand, the pope, being just a man like Peter, expects men to bow before him, kiss his feet, and revere him, thus receiving worship that does not belong to him. What a difference between Peter and his alleged successors! Not even God’s angels allow men to show adoration by kneeling before them (Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9). One can only be astonished at the tremendous audacity of one who usurps the place that belongs only to God!

Argument #2: Peter was an apostle with the same authority and rights as the other apostles.

On one occasion, the apostles of the Lord were arguing about who was the greatest among them (Luke 22:24), so Jesus told them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them.... But not so among you” (Luke 22:25-26, emp. added; cf. Matthew 18:1-5; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48). Jesus never would have made this comment if Peter had more authority and rights than the other apostles as Catholicism suggests. In fact, if Peter was to be considered more honorable than the other apostles, this would have been the opportune time to clarify this point to the rest of the apostles who were “hungry for another’s glory.” However, Jesus assured them that this would not be the case among His apostles.

On another occasion, the mother of John and James came before Jesus with them, asking Him to allow her two sons to sit by Him in His kingdom, one on the right and the other on the left (Matthew 20:20-21). Jesus pointed out that they did not know what they were asking (Matthew 20:22), and added, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them.... Yet it shall not be so among you” (Matthew 20:25-26, emp. added). If Jesus considered Peter as greater than the other disciples, He could have clarified the issue immediately by telling Zebedee’s wife and sons that they were asking for an honor already given to Peter. But, He did not do that. Today it seems that many religious people want to make it so, and exalt Peter above the other apostles, in spite of what Jesus said.

Many Catholics try to justify their claim that Peter was the first pope by affirming that he was the greatest of the apostles. They declare that Peter was greater because: (1) he always is mentioned first in the lists of the apostles (e.g., Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13); (2) he was the apostle who recognized Jesus as Lord in Matthew 16:16; and (3) Jesus told him to care for His sheep (John 21:15-19). Are these arguments sufficient for establishing the papacy or supremacy for Peter? No. Consider the case for any other apostle. For example, it could be said that John was the “greatest” of the apostles because: (1) in the Bible he is referred to as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 21:20,24); (2) he rested on Jesus’ bosom just before His arrest (John 13:25; 21:20)—certainly a posture that suggests a close relationship; and (3) Jesus charged him with the responsibility of caring for His mother (John 19:26-27). Does this mean that we also should consider John as a pope? If not, should we consider Peter as a pope when all of the apostles had the same authority and their own privileges? Indeed, Jesus gave all of His disciples, not just Peter, authority (Matthew 28:19-20).

Finally, consider the words of Paul. He said: “[F]or in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing” (2 Corinthians 12:11). From this verse, we conclude that Paul was inferior to none of the apostles, and that Peter was neither lesser nor greater than Paul.

Argument #3: Peter was an apostle who had the same power as the other apostles.

Some religious people have spread the myth that Peter possessed more miraculous power than the other apostles, and that, therefore, he was greater than the rest. Yet, Matthew 17:14-21 presents the account of an epileptic boy who was brought to the disciples of Jesus (including Peter), but they could not heal him. If Peter had a power that was “more effective” than the other apostles’ power, he should have been able to perform this miracle. However, the boy was healed only after he was taken to Jesus. Jesus then reprimanded all the apostles for their lack of faith.

Near the end of His ministry, Jesus promised all of His disciples that “he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” (John 14:12). In Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit came with power, He empowered not only Peter, but also the rest of the apostles (vss. 1-4). This is confirmed when we read that “fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43, emp. added). There is no doubt that the apostle Peter was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, but that power also was manifested in the rest of the apostles and was never grounds for considering one apostle as being superior to another.

Argument #4: Peter was a man who made mistakes.

Peter committed many mistakes just as any other person. The New Testament records that he: (a) doubted Jesus (Matthew 14:28-31); (b) acted impulsively against his fellow man (John 18:10-11); (c) denied Jesus three times (Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18,25-27); (d) was overwhelmed by his failure (John 21:3); and (e) acted hypocritically before the church (Galatians 2:11-21; Paul “withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed”—a confrontation that would have been considered insolent if Peter was the “head of the church”). We should not belittle Peter, but we must understand that Peter, like all servants of God, had his faults and should never be considered greater than the other apostles, or any other Christian (cf. Matthew 11:11).


Neither Jesus, nor the apostles, nor the early Christians considered Peter as superior to the other apostles. He was simply a man privileged to be part of the apostolic ministry and a member of the body of Christ, which is the church. There is only one Head of the church, and that Head is Jesus Christ, not Peter (Ephesians 1:20-22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18; et al.).


Barnes, Albert (2005), Notes on the New Testament: Matthew and Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Boles, H. Leo (1952), The Gospel According to Matthew (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

Robertson, A.T. (1934), A Grammar of The Greek New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press).

Where is the Tolerance and Respect for Diversity? by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Where is the Tolerance and Respect for Diversity?


(This post received the 5th most hits from our readers in 2013)

Aaron and Melissa Klien have been the subject of protests.  Boycotts. And Public outrage.   In fact Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries has launched an official investigation.
“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, Commissioner Brad Avakian told The Oregonian but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate.” Presumably in referring to the Klien’s, Avakian also said,  “The goal is to rehabilitate.”

So who are Aaron and Melissa Klien?  And what intolerable offense did they commit?

The Kliens own a bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, in Greshem, Oregon. Last January a lesbian couple wanted them to bake a wedding cake.  They Kliens refused.  They call their bakery a “Christian business.”  And felt it was incompatible with their faith to take part in homosexual wedding events.

Aaron Klien says he has nothing against homosexuals.  But adds, “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.  I don’t want to help somebody celebrate a commitment to a lifetime of sin.”

As a result militant homosexual groups launched protests and boycotts. The Kleins said they have received death threats. Some even hoping his children would die.

LGBT protestors then focused other wedding vendors in the community. They threatened to boycott  florists, wedding planners or other vendors that did business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa.

That tipped the scales,” Aaron Klein said. “The LGBT activists inundated them with phone calls and threatened them. They would tell our vendors, ‘If you don’t stop doing business with Sweet Cakes By Melissa, we will shut you down.’”

According to their facebook page the Kleins are now shutting down their store and moving the business they have left into their home.  “Better is a poor man who walks in integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways” reads one of their post from Proverbs 28:6.

Consider these five points.

(1) Is it just my religious bias, or does it seem that the intolerance is on the part of the pro-homosexual crowd that demands everyone cater to them?

The word “tolerance” has changed it’s meaning. It used to mean that we show respect to people with whom we disagree.  That we treat them with dignity. Now “tolerance” means that we must accept every idea, belief and practice as equally valid, true and right.  In fact, we must applaud and celebrate every lifestyle.  No matter how bizarre!

The persecution of the Kliens and their family business exposes the true colors of the far left.  They preach tolerance and diversity. Yet, have no tolerance for the faith of sincere Christians who respectfully disagree with their life style.  So much for diversity!

(2) Christians and churches need to realize we are under attack.  In the past several years the forces evil have been emboldened.  The devil has gotten a foothold in the media, entertainment industry and educational system in this country.  We are in fight “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:11).

(3) We must be willing to say as the apostle Peter, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  Christians in business and even churches may increasingly be called upon to disobey ungodly laws in favor of God’s divine edicts.

(4) We can learn a great lesson from the pro-homosexual forces in our country.  In my life time they have taken a practice that everyone in society knew was abnormal and wrong, and made it acceptable.  Lawful.  And even celebrated.  I wonder what would happen, if we all worked with the same desire, diligence, and dedication to share our faith and preach the gospel of Christ? 

(5) In spite of what the enemies of Truth do, Christians are called upon to live on a higher plane.  Let us not give in to ungodly attitudes or unrighteous actions.  We must practice the old adage that says, “Love the sinner. But hate the sin.”

In an age of relativism and individualism, tolerance is the mantra of our secular society.  Yet, where is the tolerance for Christians? And their Faith?

There will be more folks like the Kliens who suffer intolerance from the “politically correct” crowd.  In the meantime Christians must stay strong. And stand for Truth.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

WHERE IS GOD? by David Vaughn Elliott



WHERE IS GOD? by David Vaughn Elliott 

Have you ever felt abandoned by God and wished you had never been born? You're in good company. I think we may fail to grasp the extent of Job's suffering. We may quote, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). But that is only at the beginning of Job's suffering.

Before proceeding, let's review God's evaluation of Job. James 5:11 says, "You have heard of the endurance (patience) of Job." Two times in Ezekiel 14 God condemns the wickedness of the land, saying that even if three righteous men were in it, the land would still be punished. The three would only save themselves. Who are the three? Noah, Daniel, and Job.

The Depth of Job's Suffering

Have you ever had a sore itching/hurting so bad that you couldn't keep from scratching it? Job was covered with such sores. Fingernails were not enough. He scratched with a broken piece of pottery. We often castigate his "friends" for their unhelpful rebukes. But when his friends first arrived, "they lifted up their eyes at a distance and did not recognize him, they raised their voices and wept... Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great" (Job 2:12-13). 

Job spoke first: "Let the day perish on which I was to be born... Let not God above care for it... Let those curse it who curse the day... Why did I not die at birth... Why did the knees receive me, and why the breasts, that I should suck?... Why is light given to him who suffers, and life to the bitter of soul, who long for death, but there is none" (Job 3:3-21).

There is not the slightest indication that Job contemplated suicide. In spite of all his suffering, he had deep faith in God and knew that life was in God's hands. He fully recognized that God is God, that God is the Almighty. "How can a man be in the right before God? If one wished to dispute with Him, he could not answer Him once in a thousand times... Who has defied Him without harm?... Who could say to Him, 'What are You doing?' " (Job 9:2-12).

In spite of bitterness, Job neither denied nor cursed God. Nor did he pray "beautiful," insincere prayers. Rather, he openly made his complaint to God: "I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, 'Do not condemn me; let me know why You contend with me... Your hands fashioned and made me altogether, and would You destroy me?' " (Job 10:1-2, 8). 

Where Is God? 

My beloved Margaret was a woman of great faith. Two months after 9/11, we were scheduled for our third trip to Belarus to teach the Word. Before leaving, someone asked if we still planned to fly. Margaret's reply was two-fold. In the first place, the chances of a repeat were slim. In the second place, she said, "If they blow up the plane, I know where I'm going!" 

Years later, Margaret was suffering with increasing limitations and unrelenting pain. She grieved that she couldn't complete her latest children's Bible course. She went from walker to wheelchair. She experienced increasing difficulty in feeding herself and even swallowing. All kinds of remedies were tried to ease her pain, until she finally accepted prescription narcotics. Still not enough. 

In that situation more than once, Margaret cried out, "Where is God?" Margaret was ready to die; she wanted to die. Why did it have to go on and on? Where was God? As I look back, actually her suffering was short compared to many others. 

"Where was God?" I had no neat answers. Some time after the Lord took her home, it came to my mind to examine the Psalms. I seemed to remember that such an outcry was very much a theme of that great book. Here are a few verses that stand out. 

"Why do You stand afar off, O Lord?
  Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?" (10:1).

"How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
  How long will You hide Your face from me?
  How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
  Having sorrow in my heart all the day?" (13:1-2).

"I will say to God my rock, 'Why have You forgotten me?' " (42:9).

"For Your sake we are killed all day long;
  We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.
  Arouse Yourself, why do You sleep, O Lord?
  Awake, do not reject us forever.
  Why do You hide Your face
  And forget our affliction and our oppression?" (44:22-24).

"Will the Lord reject forever?
  And will He never be favorable again?
  Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?
  Has His promise come to an end forever?" (77:7-8). 

Lots of questions, yes; but no denial of God, no cursing God. 

What We Have That Job Did Not
The first thing that Job did not have was the book of Job! We do not know who wrote the book nor when – or if – Job learned in this life why he had to suffer so. At the time of his suffering, he did not know he was a pawn in the great conflict between God and Satan. Neither he nor his friends knew that his suffering was not because he was so evil, but because he was so good! 

In Job 9:33 he says: "There is no umpire between us [Job and God], who may lay his hand upon us both." Some versions render "umpire" as "arbiter" or "mediator." Job did not have the "one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5). Job did not have the good news of Jesus. He did not have a Savior who had suffered for his sins and the sins of his friends. Job did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Job did not have the comfort and power of Romans 8:28: "We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God." "Good," I take it, according to God's definition, not ours. "Work together," I take it, in due time – maybe even only with eternity in view.

Nor does Romans 8 promise an easy life. It even quotes from Psalm 44, as I did above: "Just as it is written, 'for your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' " But then Romans 8 continues: "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (vss. 36-39). Wonderful!

Be aware that these precious verses are not promising a life of comfort and ease. The Psalm quoted makes that clear. The NT does not promise an end to suffering, sickness, pain, and agony in this life. Such promises are reserved for the new heavens and new earth (Rev. 21:1-4). What is promised is that God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will be near us.

But even if we do not feel His presence, even if we feel forgotten, even if we "desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better" (Phil. 1:23), nevertheless, He is near and loves us. 

With all that Job did not have, with all of Job's questions, yet Job declared: "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him" (Job 13:15). 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

The Basic Error of the Protestant Reformation by j.c. Bailey



The Basic Error of the Protestant Reformation

We judge a tree by its fruit. In most ways great good has come from the Protestant Reformation. If we look at the countries where it flourished and compare them with the countries that clung to the old way, we can see what a good thing it was.

If the Reformers had lived up to their two great slogans, then the history of the religious world would have been different. Here are the two great slogans that were adopted by the Reformers:


But these noble slogans have been left far behind because today various Protestant denominations are as priest-bound and creed-bound as the Catholic church which they were trying to reform.

The very word REFORMATION is a mistake. It assumes that the Catholic Church was the church and it needed to be cleaned up. A candid perusal of the Bible will show that the Catholic Church is not the church of the Bible and no part of the church of the Bible. It is built on the traditions of men. Jesus described them exactly in Matthew 15:8,9. We have but to look at their doctrine and practices to see how true this is.

The errors of the Protestant world are borrowed largely from the Catholics: infant baptism, sprinkling for immersion, calling men "Reverend," a name that belongs only to God (Psalms 11:9).

However, the most serious error of Protestantism was not borrowed from the Catholics but came in opposition to the Catholic teaching that a man could be saved by the works of the church as prescribed by the church, regardless of what the Bible taught. The Protestants rightly taught that a man is saved by faith in Christ Jesus (John 3:16). We are not saved by the work of the law (Romans 3:28). We are not saved by our own righteousness (Titus 3:5). But men erroneously came to the conclusion that we are saved by faith ALONE.

One of the popular creeds of the Protestant world says: "Faith alone is a very wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort." The Bible does not so teach. The Bible teaches that a man must believe in the person of Christ (John 8:24). He must believe in the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17). When we reject the Word of Christ, we reject Christ: "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my saying hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day (John 12:48). To this we add: "Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ hath not God, but he that abideth in the teaching hath both the Father and the Son" (II John 9).

We are saved by faith in Christ, but we are saved by an obedient faith (Romans 1:5; Romans 16:26; John 3:36). The Holy Spirit says PLAINLY that Jesus saves those who obey: "And having been made perfect he became unto all THEM THAT OBEY HIM the author of eternal salvation" (Hebrews 5:9). The whole Bible shows that God accepted man only through an obedient faith. To this there is no exception, from Abel to Paul. The Bible says that they that are of the faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham (Galatians 3:9). Abraham was blessed when he obeyed the voice of God AND NOT BEFORE: "And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said, by myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessings I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thee as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies and in thy seed [that seed was Christ: Galatians 3:16] shall all nations of the earth be blessed because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Genesis 22:16-18). Abraham was blessed when he obeyed. The blessing came AFTER the obedience. We are blessed with the faithful Abraham. How can anyone say we are saved by FAITH ALONE, when the Bible from beginning to end testified that man is saved by an OBEDIENT faith?

In holding to this erroneous doctrine of justification by faith alone, men have rejected the plain teaching of the Word of God: that we are saved by an obedient faith. When one accepts the plain teaching of God's Word then he does not need to reject Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." He does not need to reject the plain teaching of the Holy Spirit: "And Peter said unto them, repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Judge a tree by its fruit. The doctrine of justification by FAITH ALONE causes man to reject these two Scriptures and many others. To accept the Bible teaching of justification by an obedient faith, one can accept these verses without question AND ALL OTHER SCRIPTURES THAT CALL UPON MAN TO BELIEVE AND OBEY.

The faith that was once for all delivered to the saints was an obedient faith, as is demonstrated hundreds of times in the Word of God. The devils believe but they are not saved FOR THEY DO NOT HAVE AN OBEDIENT FAITH (James 2:19).

We are all saved by faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26). This faith causes us to be baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27). Salvation is IN CHRIST (Acts 4:12). We are in Christ by an obedient faith. Salvation is there and only there.

Let us give up the human doctrine of justification by FAITH ALONE. It is one of the traditions of men (Matthew 15:8,9). It is an old tradition that has been believed by millions of good people since the very beginning of the Protestant Reformation. BUT JUSTIFICATION BY AN OBEDIENT FAITH IS AS OLD AS THE BIBLE ITSELF.

"Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house," we shall accept the Bible doctrine of justification by an obedient faith (Hebrews 5:9).

J.C. Bailey (1986, Bengough, Saskatchewan)

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading October 21 and 22 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading October 21 and 22

World  English  Bible

Oct. 21

Ecclesiastes 5-7

Ecc 5:1 Guard your steps when you go to God's house; for to draw near to listen is better than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they don't know that they do evil.

Ecc 5:2 Don't be rash with your mouth, and don't let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you on earth. Therefore let your words be few.

Ecc 5:3 For as a dream comes with a multitude of cares, so a fool's speech with a multitude of words.

Ecc 5:4 When you vow a vow to God, don't defer to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay that which you vow.

Ecc 5:5 It is better that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay.

Ecc 5:6 Don't allow your mouth to lead you into sin. Don't protest before the messenger that this was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?

Ecc 5:7 For in the multitude of dreams there are vanities, as well as in many words: but you must fear God.

Ecc 5:8 If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent taking away of justice and righteousness in a district, don't marvel at the matter: for one official is eyed by a higher one; and there are officials over them.

Ecc 5:9 Moreover the profit of the earth is for all. The king profits from the field.

Ecc 5:10 He who loves silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase: this also is vanity.

Ecc 5:11 When goods increase, those who eat them are increased; and what advantage is there to its owner, except to feast on them with his eyes?

Ecc 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

Ecc 5:13 There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun: wealth kept by its owner to his harm.

Ecc 5:14 Those riches perish by misfortune, and if he has fathered a son, there is nothing in his hand.

Ecc 5:15 As he came forth from his mother's womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.

Ecc 5:16 This also is a grievous evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go. And what profit does he have who labors for the wind?

Ecc 5:17 All his days he also eats in darkness, he is frustrated, and has sickness and wrath.

Ecc 5:18 Behold, that which I have seen to be good and proper is for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy good in all his labor, in which he labors under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; for this is his portion.

Ecc 5:19 Every man also to whom God has given riches and wealth, and has given him power to eat of it, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor--this is the gift of God.

Ecc 5:20 For he shall not often reflect on the days of his life; because God occupies him with the joy of his heart.

Ecc 6:1 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy on men:

Ecc 6:2 a man to whom God gives riches, wealth, and honor, so that he lacks nothing for his soul of all that he desires, yet God gives him no power to eat of it, but an alien eats it. This is vanity, and it is an evil disease.

Ecc 6:3 If a man fathers a hundred children, and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not filled with good, and moreover he has no burial; I say, that a stillborn child is better than he:

Ecc 6:4 for it comes in vanity, and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness.

Ecc 6:5 Moreover it has not seen the sun nor known it. This has rest rather than the other.

Ecc 6:6 Yes, though he live a thousand years twice told, and yet fails to enjoy good, don't all go to one place?

Ecc 6:7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

Ecc 6:8 For what advantage has the wise more than the fool? What has the poor man, that knows how to walk before the living?

Ecc 6:9 Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the desire. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

Ecc 6:10 Whatever has been, its name was given long ago; and it is known what man is; neither can he contend with him who is mightier than he.

Ecc 6:11 For there are many words that create vanity. What does that profit man?

Ecc 6:12 For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he spends like a shadow? For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

Ecc 7:1 A good name is better than fine perfume; and the day of death better than the day of one's birth.

Ecc 7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men, and the living should take this to heart.

Ecc 7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the face the heart is made good.

Ecc 7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

Ecc 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.

Ecc 7:6 For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fool. This also is vanity.

Ecc 7:7 Surely extortion makes the wise man foolish; and a bribe destroys the understanding.

Ecc 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Ecc 7:9 Don't be hasty in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.

Ecc 7:10 Don't say, "Why were the former days better than these?" For you do not ask wisely about this.

Ecc 7:11 Wisdom is as good as an inheritance. Yes, it is more excellent for those who see the sun.

Ecc 7:12 For wisdom is a defense, even as money is a defense; but the excellency of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.

Ecc 7:13 Consider the work of God, for who can make that straight, which he has made crooked?

Ecc 7:14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yes, God has made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything after him.

Ecc 7:15 All this have I seen in my days of vanity: there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who lives long in his evildoing.

Ecc 7:16 Don't be overly righteous, neither make yourself overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself?

Ecc 7:17 Don't be too wicked, neither be foolish. Why should you die before your time?

Ecc 7:18 It is good that you should take hold of this. Yes, also from that don't withdraw your hand; for he who fears God will come forth from them all.

Ecc 7:19 Wisdom is a strength to the wise man more than ten rulers who are in a city.

Ecc 7:20 Surely there is not a righteous man on earth, who does good and doesn't sin.

Ecc 7:21 Also don't take heed to all words that are spoken, lest you hear your servant curse you;

Ecc 7:22 for often your own heart knows that you yourself have likewise cursed others.

Ecc 7:23 All this have I proved in wisdom. I said, "I will be wise;" but it was far from me.

Ecc 7:24 That which is, is far off and exceedingly deep. Who can find it out?

Ecc 7:25 I turned around, and my heart sought to know and to search out, and to seek wisdom and the scheme of things, and to know that wickedness is stupidity, and that foolishness is madness.

Ecc 7:26 I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and traps, whose hands are chains. Whoever pleases God shall escape from her; but the sinner will be ensnared by her.

Ecc 7:27 Behold, this have I found, says the Preacher, one to another, to find out the scheme;

Ecc 7:28 which my soul still seeks; but I have not found: one man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.

Ecc 7:29 Behold, this only have I found: that God made man upright; but they search for many schemes.

Oct. 22

Ecclesiastes 8-10

Ecc 8:1 Who is like the wise man? And who knows the interpretation of a thing? A man's wisdom makes his face shine, and the hardness of his face is changed.

Ecc 8:2 I say, "Keep the king's command!" because of the oath to God.

Ecc 8:3 Don't be hasty to go out of his presence. Don't persist in an evil thing, for he does whatever pleases him,

Ecc 8:4 for the king's word is supreme. Who can say to him, "What are you doing?"

Ecc 8:5 Whoever keeps the commandment shall not come to harm, and his wise heart will know the time and procedure.

Ecc 8:6 For there is a time and procedure for every purpose, although the misery of man is heavy on him.

Ecc 8:7 For he doesn't know that which will be; for who can tell him how it will be?

Ecc 8:8 There is no man who has power over the spirit to contain the spirit; neither does he have power over the day of death. There is no discharge in war; neither shall wickedness deliver those who practice it.

Ecc 8:9 All this have I seen, and applied my mind to every work that is done under the sun. There is a time in which one man has power over another to his hurt.

Ecc 8:10 So I saw the wicked buried. Indeed they came also from holiness. They went and were forgotten in the city where they did this. This also is vanity.

Ecc 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

Ecc 8:12 Though a sinner commits crimes a hundred times, and lives long, yet surely I know that it will be better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.

Ecc 8:13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he lengthen days like a shadow; because he doesn't fear God.

Ecc 8:14 There is a vanity which is done on the earth, that there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the work of the wicked. Again, there are wicked men to whom it happens according to the work of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.

Ecc 8:15 Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be joyful: for that will accompany him in his labor all the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.

Ecc 8:16 When I applied my heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done on the earth (for also there is that neither day nor night sees sleep with his eyes),

Ecc 8:17 then I saw all the work of God, that man can't find out the work that is done under the sun, because however much a man labors to seek it out, yet he won't find it. Yes even though a wise man thinks he can comprehend it, he won't be able to find it.

Ecc 9:1 For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it is love or hatred, man doesn't know it; all is before them.

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all. There is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good, to the clean, to the unclean, to him who sacrifices, and to him who doesn't sacrifice. As is the good, so is the sinner; he who takes an oath, as he who fears an oath.

Ecc 9:3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event to all: yes also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Ecc 9:4 For to him who is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead don't know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Ecc 9:6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy has perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.

Ecc 9:7 Go your way--eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has already accepted your works.

Ecc 9:8 Let your garments be always white, and don't let your head lack oil.

Ecc 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your life of vanity, which he has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity: for that is your portion in life, and in your labor in which you labor under the sun.

Ecc 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going.

Ecc 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.

Ecc 9:12 For man also doesn't know his time. As the fish that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly on them.

Ecc 9:13 I have also seen wisdom under the sun in this way, and it seemed great to me.

Ecc 9:14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and a great king came against it, besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it.

Ecc 9:15 Now a poor wise man was found in it, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.

Ecc 9:16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

Ecc 9:17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the cry of him who rules among fools.

Ecc 9:18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.

Ecc 10:1 Dead flies cause the oil of the perfumer to send forth an evil odor; so does a little folly outweigh wisdom and honor.

Ecc 10:2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand, but a fool's heart at his left.

Ecc 10:3 Yes also, when the fool walks by the way, his understanding fails him, and he says to everyone that he is a fool.

Ecc 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rises up against you, don't leave your place; for gentleness lays great offenses to rest.

Ecc 10:5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, the sort of error which proceeds from the ruler.

Ecc 10:6 Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place.

Ecc 10:7 I have seen servants on horses, and princes walking like servants on the earth.

Ecc 10:8 He who digs a pit may fall into it; and whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake.

Ecc 10:9 Whoever carves out stones may be injured by them. Whoever splits wood may be endangered thereby.

Ecc 10:10 If the axe is blunt, and one doesn't sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but skill brings success.

Ecc 10:11 If the snake bites before it is charmed, then is there no profit for the charmer's tongue.

Ecc 10:12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but a fool is swallowed by his own lips.

Ecc 10:13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the end of his talk is mischievous madness.

Ecc 10:14 A fool also multiplies words. Man doesn't know what will be; and that which will be after him, who can tell him?

Ecc 10:15 The labor of fools wearies every one of them; for he doesn't know how to go to the city.

Ecc 10:16 Woe to you, land, when your king is a child, and your princes eat in the morning!

Ecc 10:17 Happy are you, land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!

Ecc 10:18 By slothfulness the roof sinks in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.

Ecc 10:19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes the life glad; and money is the answer for all things.

Ecc 10:20 Don't curse the king, no, not in your thoughts; and don't curse the rich in your bedchamber: for a bird of the sky may carry your voice, and that which has wings may tell the matter. 


Oct. 21

Colossians 2

Col 2:1 For I desire to have you know how greatly I struggle for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Col 2:2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and gaining all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,

Col 2:3 in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden.

Col 2:4 Now this I say that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech.

Col 2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Col 2:6 As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him,

Col 2:7 rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.

Col 2:8 Be careful that you don't let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ.

Col 2:9 For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily,

Col 2:10 and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power;

Col 2:11 in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;

Col 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Col 2:13 You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

Col 2:14 wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;

Col 2:15 having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in eating, or in drinking, or with respect to a feast day or a new moon or a Sabbath day,

Col 2:17 which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's.

Col 2:18 Let no one rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Col 2:19 and not holding firmly to the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments, grows with God's growth.

Col 2:20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to ordinances,

Col 2:21 "Don't handle, nor taste, nor touch"

Col 2:22 (all of which perish with use), according to the precepts and doctrines of men?

Col 2:23 Which things indeed appear like wisdom in self-imposed worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but aren't of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Oct. 22

Colossians 3

Col 3:1 If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God.

Col 3:2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.

Col 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Col 3:4 When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory.

Col 3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry;

Col 3:6 for which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.

Col 3:7 You also once walked in those, when you lived in them;

Col 3:8 but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth.

Col 3:9 Don't lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings,

Col 3:10 and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator,

Col 3:11 where there can't be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all.

Col 3:12 Put on therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance;

Col 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do.

Col 3:14 Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.

Col 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord.

Col 3:17 Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.

Col 3:18 Wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Col 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and don't be bitter against them.

Col 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this pleases the Lord.

Col 3:21 Fathers, don't provoke your children, so that they won't be discouraged.

Col 3:22 Servants, obey in all things those who are your masters according to the flesh, not just when they are looking, as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing God.

Col 3:23 And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men,

Col 3:24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Col 3:25 But he who does wrong will receive again for the wrong that he has done, and there is no partiality.