Where Was God in Newtown, Connecticut? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



Where Was God in Newtown, Connecticut?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The events that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012 are, in every sense of the word, tragic. A gunman named Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children, six adults, himself and his mother in one of the most deadly school shootings in U.S. history. As is always the case when tragedies like this occur, various people and groups use the events to propel their agendas. In the past several decades, the atheistic community has used occurrences like this as “evidence” that a loving God does not exist. These atheistic writers and speakers contend that if there is a loving God, He would never allow a person to shoot 20 innocent children in cold blood. If there is a loving God, they claim, He would stop such a brutal killing. Since He did not stop it, either He does not have the power to stop it, or He is not a loving God who cares for innocent children. Either way, they suggest, the concept of a loving, all-powerful God such as the one portrayed in the Bible cannot exist in the face of such senseless brutality. “If there is a loving God, where was He on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut?” they demand. What can the Christian say in response to such reasoning?

Evil Did Occur—Which Proves Atheism Cannot be Right

It is a fact that the actions of the gunman were evil. He should not have killed 27 people and himself. Virtually every person who hears an account of his actions rightly understands that what he did was horribly wrong and evil. Yet, in a world without God, there is no way to contend that what he did was evil. Atheist Frederick Nietzsche understood this perfectly. He wrote: “We believe that severity, violence, slavery, danger in the street and in the heart, secrecy, stoicism, tempter’s art and devilry of ever kind—that everything wicked, terrible, tyrannical, predatory, and serpentine in man, serves as well for the elevation of the human species as its opposite” (2007, p. 35). You see, if humans are merely the product of mindless, random, naturalistic processes over millions of years, then how can any person claim to know that Adam Lanza did something evil. From where would the concept of evil originate if nature were all there is or was?

 Charles Darwin was fully aware of the implications of atheism and godlessness. He wrote: “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts with are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones (1958, p. 94). Thus, if there really is no God, then Adam Lanza was simply following the instincts and impulses that seemed the strongest to him. If other products of natural processes (humans) do not like what he did, they cannot say it was evil, or wrong, all they would be able to say is that they do not have those same instincts or impulses. And yet, the truth of the matter is, something evil, wicked, and wrong did occur. If that is true, there must be a God.

In a very famous statement, C.S. Lewis captured this thought perfectly when he wrote:

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust...? Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too—for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist—in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless—I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality—namely my idea of justice—was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple (Lewis, 1952, pp. 45-46, italics in orig.)

If something that was, in fact, evil, took place in Newtown on December 14, 2012, then there must be a God.

But What About the Children?

Once we establish the fact that the existence of evil does not militate against God’s existence, but actually establishes it, there is still the emotional question of how God could allow innocent children to die. In fact, it is often the case that atheists will attempt to draw attention away from the rational side of the discussion and argue from pure emotion. “How could a loving God let innocent children die?” they insist. Their contention is that God has, in some way, wronged the innocent children. Their allegation fails, however, when we understand the true nature of what has happened.

The Bible repeatedly stresses the idea that physical death is not complete loss, and can actually be beneficial to the one who dies. The Bible explains that every person has a soul that will live forever, long after physical life on this Earth is over (Matthew 25:46). The Bible consistently states the fact that the immortal soul of each individual is of much more value than that individual’s physical life on this Earth. Jesus Christ said: “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).

Although the skeptic might object, and claim that an answer from the Bible is not acceptable, such an objection falls flat for one primary reason: the skeptic used the Bible to formulate his own argument. Where is it written that God is love? In the Bible, in such passages as 1 John 4:8. Where do we learn that God is all-powerful? Once again, that information comes directly from the Bible, read Genesis 17:1. Where, then, should we look for an answer to this alleged moral dilemma? The answer should be: the Bible. If the alleged problem is formulated from biblical testimony, then the Bible should be given the opportunity to explain itself. As long as the skeptic uses the Bible to formulate the problem, we certainly can use the Bible to solve the problem. One primary facet of the biblical solution is that every human has an immortal soul that is of inestimable value.

With the value of the soul in mind, let us examine several verses that prove that physical death is not necessarily evil. In a letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul wrote from prison to encourage the Christians in the city of Philippi. His letter was filled with hope and encouragement, but it was also tinted with some very pertinent comments about the way Paul and God view death. In Philippians 1:21-23, Paul wrote: “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (emp. added).Paul, a faithful Christian, said that death was a welcome visitor. In fact, Paul said that the end of his physical life on this Earth would be “far better” than its continuation. For Paul, as well as for any faithful Christian, the cessation of physical life is not loss, but gain. Such would apply to innocent children as well, since they are in a safe condition and go to paradise when they die (see Butt, 2003).

Other verses in the Bible show that the loss of physical life is not inherently evil. The prophet Isaiah concisely summarized the situation when he was inspired to write: “The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness” (57:1-2, emp. added). Isaiah recognized that people would view the death of the righteous incorrectly. He plainly stated that this incorrect view of death was due to the fact that most people do not think about the fact that when a righteous or innocent person dies, that person is “taken away from evil,” and enters “into peace.”

The psalmist wrote, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15). Death is not inherently evil. In fact, the Bible indicates that death can be great gain in which a righteous person is taken away from evil and allowed to enter peace and rest. God looks upon the death of His faithful followers as precious. Skeptics who charge God with wickedness because He has allowed the physical lives of innocent babies to be ended are in error. They refuse to recognize the reality of the immortal soul. Instead of the death of innocent children being an evil thing, it is often a blessing for that child to be taken away from a life of hardship and evil influence at the hands of a sinful society, and ushered into a paradise of peace and rest. In order for a skeptic to legitimately charge God with cruelty, the skeptic must prove that there is no immortal soul, and that physical life is the only reality—neither of which the skeptic can do. Failure to acknowledge the reality of the soul and the spiritual realm will always result in a distorted view of the nature of God. “The righteous perishes…while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil.”

What Should We Do?

Our hearts are breaking for those in Newtown who have suffered such tragic loss. No words can adequately describe such emotional pain. But instead of allowing the skeptical community to use the evil actions of Adam Lanza to push people into the despair of atheism and unbelief, we should use this opportunity to encourage those in Newtown, and worldwide, to seek their God and Creator in times of trouble. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinthian: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). What can atheism tell the survivors?—that nothing evil was really done, and that their precious children have simply ceased to exist. Oh, how desperate. But what can Christianity offer those who mourn? We can acknowledge that evil was done, that innocent children were killed, but that their immortal souls are in paradise with their Creator. And that God offers all who will obey Him the opportunity to live forever. Thus, parents can be reunited with their children when the fleeting years of this brief earthly life are past. God, the God of all comfort, is the only One who can offer any hope or consolation in such a tragedy.


Butt, Kyle (2003), “Do Babies Go to Hell When They Die?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1201.

Darwin, Charles (1958), The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Barlow (New York: W.W. Norton).

Lewis, C.S. (1952), Mere Christianity (New York: Simon and Schuster).

Nietzsche, Friedrich (2007), Beyond Good and Evil, http://books.google.com/books?id=BAz7fkKhu30C&dq=%22We+believe+that+severity,+violence%22&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0.

Where Was God During Hurricane Florence? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



Where Was God During Hurricane Florence?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

By NASA, NNVL [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On September 14, 2018 Hurricane Florence made landfall just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Like most hurricanes throughout history, this one left death and destruction in its wake. As shocking and heart-rending as such natural phenomena may seem, many other natural disasters have occurred in human history that exceed Florence, Harvey, Katrina, and even the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in their toll of death and destruction. For example, throughout China’s history, extensive flooding has occurred countless times as a result of the mighty 3,000-mile-long Hwang Ho River. Several of the most terrible floods, with their ensuing famines, have been responsible for the deaths of more than a million people at a time. The southern levee of the river failed in Hunan Province in 1887, affecting a 50,000 square mile area.1 More than two million people died from drowning, starvation, or the epidemics that followed.2

In reality, such events have occurred repetitiously throughout the history of the world, and continue to do so—constantly: hurricanes, cyclones, earthquakes, tornados, floods, tsunamis, droughts, and volcano eruptions. In fact, natural disasters kill one million people around the world each decade, and leave millions more homeless, according to the United Nation’s International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.3

This circumstance inevitably elicits the pressing question: “WHY?” “Why would God allow such suffering and loss of life, inflicted on countless numbers of seemingly innocent people?” Regarding Florence, a five-year-old boy asked: “‘Daddy, where is God during the hurricane?’”4 Indeed, the number one argument marshaled by atheists to advocate their disbelief in God is the presence of widespread, seemingly purposeless suffering. They insist that if an infinite Being existed, He would exercise His perfect compassion and His omnipotence to prevent human suffering.5 Even for many people who do not embrace formal atheism, the fact that God apparently seems willing to allow misery and suffering to run rampant in the world, elicits a gamut of reactions—from perplexity and puzzlement to anger and resentment.


But the Bible provides the perfect explanations for such occurrences. Its handling of the subject is logical, sufficient, and definitive. It sets forth the fact that God created the world to be the most appropriate, suitable environment in which humans are enabled to make their own decisions concerning their ultimate destiny (Genesis 1:27; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). We humans have been provided with the ideal environment in which we may freely accept or reject God’s will for our lives. Natural disasters and nature’s destructive forces are the result of specific conditions that are necessary to God’s providing humanity with this ideal environment.

God is not blameworthy for having created such a world, since He had a morally justifiable reason for having done so. Human existence on Earth was not intended to be permanent. Rather, the Creator intended life on Earth to serve as a temporary interval of time for the development of one’s spirit. Life on Earth is a probationary period in which people are given the opportunity to attend to their spiritual condition as it relates to God’s will for living. Among other purposes, natural disasters provide people with conclusive evidence that life on Earth is brief and uncertain. God has even harnessed natural calamities for the purpose of punishing wickedness.6

Christians understand that no matter how catastrophic, tragic, or disastrous an event may be, it fits into the overall framework of soul-making—preparation for one’s departure from life into eternity. Likewise, the Christian knows that although the great pain and suffering caused by natural disasters may be unpleasant, and may test one’s mettle; nevertheless, such suffering is not intrinsically evil. Nor is it a reflection on the existence of an omnibenevolent God. The only intrinsic evil is violation of God’s will. What is required of all accountable persons is obedience to God’s revealed Word (given in the Bible)—even amid pain, suffering, sickness, disease, death, and, yes, hurricanes.

[NOTE: For further study on this thorny issue, see Thomas Warren (1972), Have Atheists Proved There Is No God? available at https://warrenapologetics.org/bookstore/have-atheists-proved-there-is-no-god and AP’s book Why People Suffer available at http://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Product.aspx?pid=247.]


1 “Hwang Ho” (2004), LoveToKnow 1911 Online Encyclopedia, http://32.1911encyclopedia.org/H/HW/HWANG_HO.htm.

2 “Huang He, or Hwang Ho” (2004), Britannica Student Encyclopedia, http://www.britannica.com/ebi/article?tocId=9274966.

3 “Disasters: A Deadly and Costly Toll Around the World” (1997), FEMA News, http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/stats.pdf.

4 Bruce Ashford (2018), “‘Daddy, where is God during the hurricane?’” Fox News, September 16, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/09/15/daddy-where-is-god-during-hurricane.html.

5 E.g., Roy Jackson (2001), “The Problem of Evil,” The Philosopher’s Magazine Online, http://www.philosophers.co.uk/cafe/rel_six.htm; Jeffery Lowder (2004), “Logical Arguments From Evil,” Internet Infidels, http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/nontheism/atheism/evil-logical.html.

6 See Dave Miller (2005), “Is America’s Iniquity Full?” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/305.

Where Is God when I Hurt? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


  Where Is God when I Hurt?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

No doubt many people over the centuries and throughout the world have rejected belief in the one true God on the grounds that they have witnessed or experienced great pain and suffering. Perhaps the loss of a loved one, or some other tragedy in their life, made them resentful and bitter toward God and life. By blaming God, somehow the pain seemed more bearable. But the Bible speaks definitively on this matter. And only the Bible can give us an accurate explanation for the existence of pain and suffering on the Earth.

Many great men and women in Bible history have preceded us in their attempts to live faithfully for God in the face of great hardship. Being human beings just like us, they faced the daily struggle to overcome self, sin, and Satan. They, too, had to cope with the stress and strain of life. They, too, had to endure hurt. We can learn from their behavior (Romans 15:4). If we will consider their lives and their reaction to the difficulties of life, we can receive from their example the necessary strength to endure. When we observe how they were mistreated and persecuted, and how they coped with their hurt, we can draw from them the needed encouragement to endure and achieve the victory.


For example, in his efforts to live the Christian life, Stephen found himself standing before the highest legislative body of the Jewish nation—the 71 members of the Sanhedrin that included the High Priest as president. He was on trial for his life. Instead of offering a legal defense, he preached a sermon. He surveyed Israelite history, spotlighting their behavioral propensity for apostasy, and then he drove his sermon home with this grand conclusion:

You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it (Acts 7:51-53).

Here was this great man of God, on trial for his life, and yet no speech could ever be less calculated to gain one’s acquittal. Instead of defending himself to achieve his release, Stephen’s sermon placed his accusers on trial before the bar of God!

Their reaction? They were cut to the heart and gritted their teeth at him. They began yelling at the top of their lungs while they stopped up their ears. Then they ran at him, dragged him outside the city, and threw rocks at him until they beat the life from his body. Did Stephen experience great hurt? Yes, even unto death! Where was God? Right there with him! In fact, by the miraculous intervention of God, he was able to gaze upward into heaven itself and see the glory of God, and Jesus standing at His right hand. When you and I hurt, God and Christ are still there!


Then there was Elijah (1 Kings 19). Upon hearing that Jezebel had “put out a contract” on his life, he literally “ran for his life” into the desert and hid in a cave. God spoke to him directly and said, “Elijah, what are you doing here?” His response showed a heart filled with desperation and despair when he insisted that he had been very zealous for the Lord, despite the fact that the Israelites had forsaken the covenant, torn down God’s altars, and killed God’s prophets. He felt he was the only one left—and they were trying to kill him, too! Here was a man who felt the crushing pressure of persecution. Here was a man who was hurting.

Yet, God had provided him with appropriate victories in life. When he went to meet his king (1 Kings 18), he was accused of making trouble for God’s people. But the truth was, it was Ahab who troubled Israel by forsaking God’s commands. He then challenged the hundreds of false prophets to meet him in a contest on Mt. Carmel to determine once and for all who is God. When those false prophets tried all day long to evoke a response from their god to ignite the sacrifice, they failed miserably. Elijah then gathered all the people around him as he repaired the altar of the Lord. Placing wood upon the altar and carefully arranging the sacrificial meat upon the wood, he ordered it to be doused with water, thoroughly saturating the entire sacrificial site. Then he offered a simple prayer to the God of heaven, which elicited fire that roared down out of the atmosphere, consuming the sacrifice, the wood, the altar stones, the water, and even the dust! That caused God’s people to get their thinking straight, and Elijah ordered the execution of the false prophets. Was Elijah a man who had to endure hurt? Yes! But God was with him!


And what of Daniel? Deported from his homeland while still a youth, he was placed in an unfriendly foreign culture and forced to learn the language and literature of the Babylonians. When his political enemies became jealous over his success and favor with the king, they finagled the law to get Daniel in trouble with the legal system. His crime? Praying to the one true God regularly! His punishment? Death by being thrown to lions. Talk about hurt! Yet, God was with him and stopped the mouths of the lions (Hebrews 11:33). Though he spent the night in the lions’ den, he was retrieved the next morning safe and sound. His accusers were substituted in his place, and the Bible says the lions tore them in pieces before their bodies hit the ground (Daniel 6:24). Did Daniel have to face hurt in life? Yes! But God was with him!


Then there is Amos. He had no intention of being used by God as a prophet (Amos 7:14). He was spending his life tending sheep and sycamore trees that produced a fruit that had to be manually pierced to ripen. But when God commissioned him to travel from his home in southern Palestine to northern Palestine, and to present God’s words to those people, he went. But he was not well received. When he announced that Israel would be laid waste and the king himself would die by the sword, you can imagine the reaction. Amaziah the priest accused him of conspiracy to overthrow the government, and tried to intimidate him into leaving the country immediately. Amos responded by making clear that he was no prophet by profession, and would have been content to do the humble work he performed in his private life. But God had instructed him to prophesy, and that’s what he was going to do. Not only would Israel fall, but Amaziah’s own children would be killed and his own wife turned into a prostitute (Amos 7:17). Was Amos placed in a situation that brought hurt into his life? Criticism? Opposition? Yes! But God saw him through his hurt!


Micaiah, too, faced the pressures and hurts of life. When the king of Israel and the king of Judah met to discuss the possibility of a mutual military campaign, the king of Judah wanted some reassurance from God that their efforts would be successful. Ahab paraded his 400 false prophets before Jehoshaphat, and the “yes men” offered the desired reassurance. But Jehoshaphat was uneasy and wanted some more credible indication. Ahab admitted that Micaiah could be consulted—“but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil” (1 Kings 22:8).

Micaiah was immediately summoned. The two kings sat upon their thrones, listening to the false prophets. One false prophet, Zedekiah, even dramatized his reassurance by holding up an iron replica of some ox horns and declaring that the kings would gore the Syrians to death. Meanwhile, the officer who had been sent to bring Micaiah to them, urged him to go along with the other prophets and reassure the king. But Micaiah said he would say what the Lord told him to say, and when questioned by the king, he sarcastically suggested that they go right ahead. When pressed to get serious, Micaiah predicted that the army would be scattered and Ahab would be killed. He then described how a lying spirit was directing the advice of the false prophets—whereupon Zedekiah walked over, slapped Micaiah across the face, and taunted him with the words, “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go from me to speak to you?” Micaiah said he would find out on that day of military calamity when he would run and hide in an inner chamber.

Micaiah was sent to prison for his courageous stand, and was placed on bread and water. But when the battle ensued, Ahab disguised himself for the specific purpose of avoiding Micaiah’s prediction. The Syrian king even assembled a “swat” team of 32 assassins, and charged them to avoid all conflict and concentrate solely on getting Ahab. But God did not use them to accomplish His prediction. Instead, the Bible informs us that a nameless archer drew back his bow and let his arrow fly “at random,” that is, aiming at no one in particular—no doubt just excited in the heat of battle. Out of all those soldiers who were occupying the battlefield, that arrow found its way to Ahab. And out of all the places on Ahab’s armor, that arrow struck in the crevice between the joints of the armor and punctured his wicked heart. His blood pooled in the bottom of his chariot and he was dead by sundown. Micaiah had to face hurt—but God was with him, and he lived to see the demise of those who inflicted the hurt.


The Elijah of the New Testament faced the same thing. He had to stand up and confront the Pharisees and Sadducees face to face, label them “vipers,” insist upon repentance, and warn them of the wrath and unquenchable fire to come (Matthew 3:7-12). When he had the courage to inform the king that his marriage was unacceptable to God, the king’s illicit wife held it against John and wanted him eliminated. She got her way, and the executioner cut off John’s head, leaving only his headless corpse for his disciples to bury (Mark 6:14-29). Did John face hurt? Yes—even unto death! But was God with John? Jesus, Himself, said, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11). God knows our hurt, and He is there.


Paul was a model of persecution. The list of his persecutions is lengthy (2 Corinthians 11:24-28). He received the customary 40 lashes (Deuteronomy 25:1-3) from the Jews on five separate occasions. Three times he received the customary Roman beating with rods (Acts 16:23). He was even stoned (Acts 14:19). Three times he went through the harrowing experience of being shipwrecked (e.g., Acts 27:41ff.), and even drifted on the ocean all night and all day. He experienced the fatigue of frequent travels, the perils of waters, robbers, angry countrymen, and Gentiles. He suffered in the city and in the desert, in the sea and among false brethren. He went through weariness, toil, sleeplessness, hunger, thirst, fasting, cold, and nakedness. He was a hounded, hunted, harassed, and hurt man! He experienced the insecurity and fright that comes from vicious opposition. But the Lord said to him, “Don’t be afraid, but speak, and don’t keep silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you” (Acts 18:9-10). When he faced the hurtful pain of a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble, the Lord reassured him—even in the midst of his suffering—“My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9). He was able to conclude: “I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Infirmity, distress, reproach, persecution? These things hurt! But through it all—we are assured of the help of our Lord!


But the supreme example of suffering and hurt is that of Jesus Christ Himself. Besides the lack of physical comforts (Matthew 8:20) and the frequent mistreatment He endured throughout His earthly ministry, finally He was seized by an angry mob carrying swords and clubs. He was positioned before a kangaroo court to face the accusations of false witnesses. He encountered the tirade of a raging High Priest who accused Him of blasphemy, and He had to hear the council’s condemnation to death. He had people spit in His face, beat Him, and strike Him with the palms of their hands as they mocked and taunted Him. He was bound and taken before the Roman authorities where He experienced the further humiliation of a jeering crowd who chose a notorious criminal over Him for release. He then suffered further indignities at the hands of Roman soldiers who stripped Him, pressed a crown of thorns down upon His head, spit on Him, and struck Him on the head with the reed they had made Him hold as a scepter. Finally, He endured the excruciating, horrifying death inflicted by a Roman cross, as passers-by blasphemed Him, shook their heads at Him, and taunted Him to save Himself. Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him. Where was God? Where is God when you or I hurt? Where is God when a Christian loses a child? He is right where He was when He lost His own Son.

Whatever suffering or hurt you or I may experience, pales in comparison to the hurt endured by our Lord. We need to remember: Sunday followed Friday. His suffering unto death provided an incredible result that you and I may share. “God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Must we hurt?

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was guile found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously (1 Peter 2:21-23).

 In fact, Jesus was “made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death…that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone” and, in so doing, He is able to “bring many sons to glory…for in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:9-10,18). Jesus suffered great hurt and harm, but He endured for us. May we endure for Him! We can and must be like Him. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).


In Revelation 19, we are treated to a spectacular portrait. Heaven opens and out comes a white horse whose rider has three names: “Faithful and True;” “The Word of God;” and “King of kings and Lord of lords.” In righteousness, He judges and makes war. His eyes are flames of fire. He wears on His head multiple crowns, and his clothing has been dipped in blood. Protruding out of His mouth is a sharp sword. He rides at the head of the mounted cavalry of heaven. The Christians who were first given this awesome picture had been undergoing intense, excruciating pain and suffering. But neither they nor we can visualize this marvelous scene without coming to at least one undeniable conclusion: God knows when we hurt and experience untold pain and suffering; but He is there, He is with us, He will not abandon us, and we must continue to trust Him.

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" Fruit-Bearing Discipleship (15:8)



Fruit-Bearing Discipleship (15:8)

  1. What does the Lord desire of His disciples...?
    1. Surely He desires their heart (faith) - He 11:6; Jn 8:24
    2. But He also desires their hands (works) - Lk 6:46
  2. Works are an important part of our discipleship...
    1. We are created in Christ for this very purpose - Ep 2:10
    2. By them we glorify God - Mt 5:16; Jn 15:8

[Good works are an indication of "bearing fruit" as disciples of Christ. As we focus our attention on the theme of "Fruit-Bearing Discipleship", let me reiterate that...]

      1. Glorifying God by bearing fruit is a mark of discipleship - Jn 15:8
      2. Disciples have been "appointed" to bear fruit - Jn 15:16
      1. From Christ, the true vine, and His Father as the vine dresser - Jn 15:1
      2. As branches that no longer bear fruit - Jn 15:2
      3. Whose end is to burned - Jn 15:6; cf. He 6:7-8

      [The end of unfruitful disciples is dreadful to contemplate. Like the Hebrew writer (He 6:9), I wish to be more confident of better things regarding our discipleship. We can be, by remembering that...]

      1. We must abide in Him, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself - Jn 15:4
      2. Abiding in him, we bear much fruit; without Him we can do nothing Jn15:5
      3. As confessed by Paul in Php 4:13; 2Co 3:5
      1. First, by putting Him on in baptism - Ga 3:27
      2. Then, by abiding in His love through keeping His commandments - Jn 15:9-10; cf. Jn 14:15,21-23

      [To be a disciple, we must bear fruit. To bear fruit, we must abide in Christ. To abide in Christ, we must keep His commandments. But what kind of fruits will disciples bear...?]

      1. As expressed by Paul in his desire to go to Rome - Ro 1:13
      2. Disciples creating more disciples is a natural indication of bearing fruit - cf. Mt 28:19-20
      1. As explained by Paul in describing the contribution to poor saints - Ro 15:25-28
      2. Which was evidence of God's grace at work in the givers - cf. 2Co 8:1-2; 9:12-14
      1. Indicating that one is walking in the Spirit - Ga 5:16,22-23
      2. Evidence that is diligent in growing the true knowledge of Jesus - 2Pe 1:5-8
      1. The fruit of our lips in praise and prayer are spiritual sacrifices - He 13:15
      2. Which we are to offer continually - He 13:15

      [As we bear fruit in these different ways, we not only glorify God and prove to be fruitful disciples, we also experience the "abundant" life of which Jesus speaks (Jn 10:10)...]

      1. As Paul found to be case with the Thessalonians - 1Th 2:19-20
      2. As John realized with his "children" - 3Jn 4
      -- One reason many Christians do not live a life of joy is that they never bear fruit in leading others to Christ!
      1. Those who give are "blessed" - Ac 20:35
      2. The word "blessed" can be translated "happy"
      -- If Christians are so materialistic and selfish that they do not share, they will never know the blessedness of giving!
      1. Growing in the true knowledge of Christ ensures an "abundant entrance" into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord - 2Pe 1:8-11
      2. Developing a Christ-like love gives assurance of one's discipleship and salvation - Jn 13:34-35; 1Jn 3:14,18-19
      -- Many Christians have no assurance; and no wonder, if their character remains unchanged as evidenced by little love for the brethren!
      1. Prayer is the antidote for anxiety - Php 4:6
      2. For in response to prayer God will guard our hearts through His peace Php 4:7
      -- Failing to bear much fruit in regards to prayer, Christians will be filled with anxious lives, not abundant living!
  1. Why is "Fruit-Bearing Discipleship" so important...?
    1. It is necessary to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ
    2. It is necessary to be a fulfilled disciple of Jesus Christ
  2. If you desire to be both a faithful and fulfilled disciple of Jesus...
    1. Abide in Him by keeping His commands
    2. Produce fruit that glorifies His Father "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." (Jn 15:8)

If you are not yet a disciple of Jesus, then let His own words lead you to become one - Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2021
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Word of the Week: Free by –Ken Weliever, The Preacherman




Word of the Week: Free

On Liberty Island in New York City Harbor stands the colossal Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States. It’s an imposing, inspiring sight. The statue itself is 151′ tall and from its base to the torch measures 305′.

The statue has become an icon of freedom, both for American citizens and for immigrants arriving on our shores through Ellis Island. Engraved on the tablet are these words written by poet Emma Lazarus in 1883.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Those who settled on our shores craved freedom. They desired to be free from tyranny. Free to worship. Free to pursue one’s dreams. Free to work. To earn. To own. And free to enjoy the fruit of one’s labors.

The spirit of American freedom is captured in part by Lee Greenwood’s stirring song, “I’m proud to be an American”

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I’d worked for all my life
And I had to start again
With just my children and my wife

I’d thank my lucky stars
To be living here today
Cause the flag still stands for freedom
And they can’t take that away

And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free

However, Johann von Goethe’s words come to mind who wrote, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Goethe’s pertinent observation perfectly captures the sad plight of many Americans today.

No, I’m not talking about governmental intrusion in our lives. Or strangling over-regulation of small businesses. Or racial or social inequality. Or even the current debate on immigration.

No, there is an enslavement more serious. A servitude more grievous. A captivity with greater consequences.

It is slavery to sin.

The wise man wrote “The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast (Prov. 5:22).

The Psalmist put this way, “The wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands” (Ps 9:16)

Righteous Job also spoke of the plight of the wicked when he opined, “For he is cast into a net by his own feet, And he walks into a snare” (Job 18:8).

Ironically, in the “land of the free” many citizens are enslaved by addictions. Lusts. Greed. Power. Possessions. And pleasure. Others are ensnared by false religion. Fanciful ideologies. And faulty, flawed philosophies.

Jesus promised, “You shall know the Truth and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32

In Romans chapter 5 and 6 Paul argues that God has provided the “free gift” of His grace through Jesus Christ. Through his sacrificial death of the cross, we can “be set free from sin” and free to enjoy the privileges and prerogatives that come with a relationship with God.

To be spiritually free is to be liberated from nagging guilt. A pained conscience. A troubled mind. An aimless wandering. And emotional baggage.

And so, on the eve of the 241st birthday of America, you can thank God for your political, social, economic and personal freedom. But, if you’re a Christian, you can be grateful for an even greater freedom, the spiritual freedom in Jesus.

If you’re not a Christian, in the words of hymn writer Lewis Ellis Jones, “Would you be free from your burden of sin? “There’s power in the blood.” “There is wonder-working power in the blood of the lamb.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





Does the word baptized have multiple meanings? Is it possible and, or, credible to define the word baptized as 1. immersed 2. sprinkled 3. poured? How would that work as a practicable application?

Baptize, baptized, and baptism are all define as immersion, immersed, plunged or dipped.

Can the words immersed, sprinkled, and poured be used interchangeably in place of baptized, baptism, and baptizing? No they cannot, because they are not the same word. They are not equal in meaning. They not by definition identical. They are not synonymous words.


 SCRIPTURE QUOTE: Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.

COMPARISON 1: Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be immersed by him.

COMPARISON 2: Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be sprinkled by him.

COMPARISON 3: Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be poured by him.

Interchangeable? You make the call.

SCRIPTURE QUOTE: Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death.......

COMPARISON 1: Therefore we have been buried with him through immersion into death......

COMPARISON 2: Therefore we have been buried with him through sprinkling into death.......

COMPARISON 3: Therefore we have been buried with him through pouring into death.......

Can you really be buried through pouring or sprinkling? They are not equal to immersion.

SCRIPTURE QUOTE: John 3:23 John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized---

COMPARISON 1: John also was immersing in Aenon near Salim,because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being immersed---

COMPARISON 2: John also was sprinkling in Aenon near Salim,because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being sprinkled---

COMPARISON 3: John also was pouring in Aenon near Salim,because there was much water there; and people were coming and being poured---

Did John need much water for pouring and sprinkling? Are the three words really synonymous? No, they are not.

SCRIPTURE QUOTE: Colossians 2:12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were raise up with Him through faith in the working of God.....

COMPARISON 1: having been buried with Him in immersion, in which you were raised up with Him through the working of God.....

COMPARISON 2: having been buried with Him in sprinkling, in which you were raised up with Him through the working of God.....

COMPARISON 3: having been buried with Him in pouring, in which you were raised up with Him through the working of God....

Immersion, sprinkling and pouring, are they interchangeable, are they identical, are they equal, are they the same, are they synonymous? ABSOLUTELY NOT!


The word baptized in most Bible translations is a transliteration.

Transliterate Defined: to change letters, words, etc. into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language.

The following are two translations that translate as opposed to transliterate.

Mark 16:16 Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned. (CJB-Complete Jewish Bible)

Mark 16:16 He who has believed, and has been immersed, will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (The Better Version of The New Testament by Chester Estes)

The is one modes of baptism. That being immersion.

There are no translations that translate  Mark 16:16 as---  sprinkled or poured.  

Chapter 10 WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? Commentary by C.A. Feenstra



Chapter 10


Q. Does GOD'S WORD teach that God is sovereign and that He controls and rules over all the affairs of men?

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Gen. 1:1

"Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens; And his kingdom ruleth over all." Psalm 103:19

"Jehovah shall reign for ever and ever." Ex. 15:18

"Thine, O Jehovah, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come of thee, and thou rulest over all; and in thy hand is power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all." 1 Chron. 29:11-12

"And at the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" Dan. 4:34-35

Q. If God is sovereign, does man have the right to make and to choose the conditions for his own salvation from sin?

Q. If God is sovereign, must man to be saved, subject himself to the conditions plainly outlined by this sovereign God in His WORD?

Q. Does man have the right to teach that man is born too totally depraved to obey the conditions of salvation given by the sovereign God in His WORD?

Q. What are the conditions of salvation given by the sovereign God in His WORD?

"Moses indeed said, A prophet shall the Lord God raise up unto you from among your brethren, like unto me. To him shall ye hearken in all things whatsoever he shall speak unto you. And it shall be, that every soul that shall not hearken to that prophet, shall be utterly destroyed from among the people." Acts 3:22-23

"God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son." Heb. 1:1-2

"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." Matt. 17:5

"And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Matt. 28:18-19

"And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned." Mark 16:15-16

"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." John 3:5

"He (Jesus) became unto all them that obey him the author of eternal salvation." Heb. 5:9

"Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved." Acts 16:31

"Repent ye therefore ... that your sins may be blotted out." Acts 3:19

"With the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Rom. 10:10b

"Be baptized, and wash away thy sins." Acts 22:16

"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life." Rev. 2:10

Q. Can we understand from these five scriptures that there are five ways for man to be saved?

Q. Is the way of salvation "multiple choice"?

Q. Does man have the right to choose one of these or any combination of these, as the way in which he wishes to be saved?

Q. Is any one of these more important than any other?

Q. Is the person who says that he is saved by "faith only", any more saved than a person who would say that he is saved by "baptism only"?

* * *

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matt. 4:4

"Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son." II John 9

Q. Does GOD'S WORD teach that a man, to be saved, must have a good and honest heart and a love for truth?

"The seed is the word of God...
And that in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast, and bring forth fruit with patience." Luke 8:11, 15

"Them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." II Thess. 2:10

"Jesus therefore said...
ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 3:31, 32

"Thy word is truth..." John 17:17

* * *

Q. How many times in GOD'S WORD is the all important question, "What must I do to be saved?" asked and answered?

"What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (the rich young ruler) Matt. 19:16

"What must I do to be saved?" (the Philippian jailor) Acts 16:30

"What shall we do?" (the men on Pentecost) Acts 2:37

"What shall I do, Lord?" (Saul of Tarsus) Acts 22:10

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, when persons living under the law of Moses asked, What must I do to be saved?, what answer were they given?

"And behold, one came to him and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he (Jesus) said unto him ... if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honor thy father and mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Matt. 19:16-19

Q. Did Jesus himself also live under and keep the law of Moses?

"But when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law." Gal. 4:4

* * *

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, when a heathen unbeliever who had never before heard of Jesus and His gospel, asked, What must I do to be saved?, what answer was he given?

"And he (the Philippian jailor) called for lights and sprang in, and, trembling for fear, fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. And they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. And he brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God. Acts 16:29-34

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, when men who had been made believers by hearing the gospel preached, asked, What must we do to be saved?, what answer were they given?

"Now when they (the men on Pentecost) heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?
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 2:37-38

"They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls ... And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved." Acts 2:41, 47

"But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name." John 1:12

Q. According to GOD'S WORD, when a man who had been made a repentant believer asked, What must I do to be saved?, what answer was he given?

"And I (Saul) said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do." Acts 22:10

"And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: but rise, and enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. ...
And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink. ...
And the Lord said unto him (Ananias), Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth." Acts 9:5-6, 9, 11
"And he (Ananias) said ... And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name." Acts 22:14,16

Examples of Conversion from GOD'S WORD
Acts 2:14-41

v 37-38

v 38, 41
remission of sins,
saved v 38, 47
Acts 8:5-13


The eunuch
Acts 8:35-39

Acts 22:14-16

sins washed away
Acts 10:34-48

remissions of sins
The jailor
Acts 16:30-34

Acts 16:13-15


Acts 18:8


Rom. 10:14, 17
Heb. 11:6
Lk. 13:4
Rom. 10:10
Gal. 3:27
II Tim. 2:10

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading for August 25 and 26 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for August 25 and 26 

World  English  Bible

Aug. 25

Job 36-42

Job 36:1 Elihu also continued, and said,

Job 36:2 "Bear with me a little, and I will show you; for I still have something to say on God's behalf.

Job 36:3 I will get my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

Job 36:4 For truly my words are not false. One who is perfect in knowledge is with you.

Job 36:5 "Behold, God is mighty, and doesn't despise anyone. He is mighty in strength of understanding.

Job 36:6 He doesn't preserve the life of the wicked, but gives to the afflicted their right.

Job 36:7 He doesn't withdraw his eyes from the righteous, but with kings on the throne, he sets them forever, and they are exalted.

Job 36:8 If they are bound in fetters, and are taken in the cords of afflictions,

Job 36:9 then he shows them their work, and their transgressions, that they have behaved themselves proudly.

Job 36:10 He also opens their ears to instruction, and commands that they return from iniquity.

Job 36:11 If they listen and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.

Job 36:12 But if they don't listen, they shall perish by the sword; they shall die without knowledge.

Job 36:13 "But those who are godless in heart lay up anger. They don't cry for help when he binds them.

Job 36:14 They die in youth. Their life perishes among the unclean.

Job 36:15 He delivers the afflicted by their affliction, and opens their ear in oppression.

Job 36:16 Yes, he would have allured you out of distress, into a broad place, where there is no restriction. That which is set on your table would be full of fatness.

Job 36:17 "But you are full of the judgment of the wicked. Judgment and justice take hold of you.

Job 36:18 Don't let riches entice you to wrath, neither let the great size of a bribe turn you aside.

Job 36:19 Would your wealth sustain you in distress, or all the might of your strength?

Job 36:20 Don't desire the night, when people are cut off in their place.

Job 36:21 Take heed, don't regard iniquity; for you have chosen this rather than affliction.

Job 36:22 Behold, God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?

Job 36:23 Who has prescribed his way for him? Or who can say, 'You have committed unrighteousness?'

Job 36:24 "Remember that you magnify his work, whereof men have sung.

Job 36:25 All men have looked thereon. Man sees it afar off.

Job 36:26 Behold, God is great, and we don't know him. The number of his years is unsearchable.

Job 36:27 For he draws up the drops of water, which distill in rain from his vapor,

Job 36:28 Which the skies pour down and which drop on man abundantly.

Job 36:29 Yes, can any understand the spreading of the clouds, and the thunderings of his pavilion?

Job 36:30 Behold, he spreads his light around him. He covers the bottom of the sea.

Job 36:31 For by these he judges the people. He gives food in abundance.

Job 36:32 He covers his hands with the lightning, and commands it to strike the mark.

Job 36:33 Its noise tells about him, and the livestock also concerning the storm that comes up.

Job 37:1 "Yes, at this my heart trembles, and is moved out of its place.

Job 37:2 Hear, oh, hear the noise of his voice, the sound that goes out of his mouth.

Job 37:3 He sends it forth under the whole sky, and his lightning to the ends of the earth.

Job 37:4 After it a voice roars. He thunders with the voice of his majesty. He doesn't hold back anything when his voice is heard.

Job 37:5 God thunders marvelously with his voice. He does great things, which we can't comprehend.

Job 37:6 For he says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth;' likewise to the shower of rain, and to the showers of his mighty rain.

Job 37:7 He seals up the hand of every man, that all men whom he has made may know it.

Job 37:8 Then the animals take cover, and remain in their dens.

Job 37:9 Out of its chamber comes the storm, and cold out of the north.

Job 37:10 By the breath of God, ice is given, and the breadth of the waters is frozen.

Job 37:11 Yes, he loads the thick cloud with moisture. He spreads abroad the cloud of his lightning.

Job 37:12 It is turned around by his guidance, that they may do whatever he commands them on the surface of the habitable world,

Job 37:13 Whether it is for correction, or for his land, or for loving kindness, that he causes it to come.

Job 37:14 "Listen to this, Job. Stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

Job 37:15 Do you know how God controls them, and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?

Job 37:16 Do you know the workings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge?

Job 37:17 You whose clothing is warm, when the earth is still by reason of the south wind?

Job 37:18 Can you, with him, spread out the sky, which is strong as a cast metal mirror?

Job 37:19 Teach us what we shall tell him, for we can't make our case by reason of darkness.

Job 37:20 Shall it be told him that I would speak? Or should a man wish that he were swallowed up?

Job 37:21 Now men don't see the light which is bright in the skies, but the wind passes, and clears them.

Job 37:22 Out of the north comes golden splendor. With God is awesome majesty.

Job 37:23 We can't reach the Almighty. He is exalted in power. In justice and great righteousness, he will not oppress.

Job 37:24 Therefore men revere him. He doesn't regard any who are wise of heart."

Job 38:1 Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind,

Job 38:2 "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?

Job 38:3 Brace yourself like a man, for I will question you, then you answer me!

Job 38:4 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding.

Job 38:5 Who determined its measures, if you know? Or who stretched the line on it?

Job 38:6 Whereupon were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,

Job 38:7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job 38:8 "Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth from the womb,

Job 38:9 when I made clouds its garment, and wrapped it in thick darkness,

Job 38:10 marked out for it my bound, set bars and doors,

Job 38:11 and said, 'Here you may come, but no further. Here your proud waves shall be stayed?'

Job 38:12 "Have you commanded the morning in your days, and caused the dawn to know its place;

Job 38:13 that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, and shake the wicked out of it?

Job 38:14 It is changed as clay under the seal, and stands forth as a garment.

Job 38:15 From the wicked, their light is withheld. The high arm is broken.

Job 38:16 "Have you entered into the springs of the sea? Or have you walked in the recesses of the deep?

Job 38:17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you? Or have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?

Job 38:18 Have you comprehended the earth in its breadth? Declare, if you know it all.

Job 38:19 "What is the way to the dwelling of light? As for darkness, where is its place,

Job 38:20 that you should take it to its bound, that you should discern the paths to its house?

Job 38:21 Surely you know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!

Job 38:22 Have you entered the treasuries of the snow, or have you seen the treasures of the hail,

Job 38:23 which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

Job 38:24 By what way is the lightning distributed, or the east wind scattered on the earth?

Job 38:25 Who has cut a channel for the flood water, or the path for the thunderstorm;

Job 38:26 To cause it to rain on a land where no man is; on the wilderness, in which there is no man;

Job 38:27 to satisfy the waste and desolate ground, to cause the tender grass to spring forth?

Job 38:28 Does the rain have a father? Or who fathers the drops of dew?

Job 38:29 Out of whose womb came the ice? The gray frost of the sky, who has given birth to it?

Job 38:30 The waters become hard like stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen.

Job 38:31 "Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loosen the cords of Orion?

Job 38:32 Can you lead forth the constellations in their season? Or can you guide the Bear with her cubs?

Job 38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you establish its dominion over the earth?

Job 38:34 "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, That abundance of waters may cover you?

Job 38:35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go? Do they report to you, 'Here we are?'

Job 38:36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts? Or who has given understanding to the mind?

Job 38:37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can pour out the bottles of the sky,

Job 38:38 when the dust runs into a mass, and the clods of earth stick together?

Job 38:39 "Can you hunt the prey for the lioness, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

Job 38:40 when they crouch in their dens, and lie in wait in the thicket?

Job 38:41 Who provides for the raven his prey, when his young ones cry to God, and wander for lack of food?

Job 39:1 "Do you know the time when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears fawns?

Job 39:2 Can you number the months that they fulfill? Or do you know the time when they give birth?

Job 39:3 They bow themselves, they bring forth their young, they end their labor pains.

Job 39:4 Their young ones become strong. They grow up in the open field. They go forth, and don't return again.

Job 39:5 "Who has set the wild donkey free? Or who has loosened the bonds of the swift donkey,

Job 39:6 Whose home I have made the wilderness, and the salt land his dwelling place?

Job 39:7 He scorns the tumult of the city, neither does he hear the shouting of the driver.

Job 39:8 The range of the mountains is his pasture, He searches after every green thing.

Job 39:9 "Will the wild ox be content to serve you? Or will he stay by your feeding trough?

Job 39:10 Can you hold the wild ox in the furrow with his harness? Or will he till the valleys after you?

Job 39:11 Will you trust him, because his strength is great? Or will you leave to him your labor?

Job 39:12 Will you confide in him, that he will bring home your seed, and gather the grain of your threshing floor?

Job 39:13 "The wings of the ostrich wave proudly; but are they the feathers and plumage of love?

Job 39:14 For she leaves her eggs on the earth, warms them in the dust,

Job 39:15 and forgets that the foot may crush them, or that the wild animal may trample them.

Job 39:16 She deals harshly with her young ones, as if they were not hers. Though her labor is in vain, she is without fear,

Job 39:17 because God has deprived her of wisdom, neither has he imparted to her understanding.

Job 39:18 When she lifts up herself on high, she scorns the horse and his rider.

Job 39:19 "Have you given the horse might? Have you clothed his neck with a quivering mane?

Job 39:20 Have you made him to leap as a locust? The glory of his snorting is awesome.

Job 39:21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength. He goes out to meet the armed men.

Job 39:22 He mocks at fear, and is not dismayed, neither does he turn back from the sword.

Job 39:23 The quiver rattles against him, the flashing spear and the javelin.

Job 39:24 He eats up the ground with fierceness and rage, neither does he stand still at the sound of the trumpet.

Job 39:25 As often as the trumpet sounds he snorts, 'Aha!' He smells the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

Job 39:26 "Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars, and stretches her wings toward the south?

Job 39:27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up, and makes his nest on high?

Job 39:28 On the cliff he dwells, and makes his home, on the point of the cliff, and the stronghold.

Job 39:29 From there he spies out the prey. His eyes see it afar off.

Job 39:30 His young ones also suck up blood. Where the slain are, there he is."

Job 40:1 Moreover Yahweh answered Job,

Job 40:2 "Shall he who argues contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it."

Job 40:3 Then Job answered Yahweh,

Job 40:4 "Behold, I am of small account. What shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.

Job 40:5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further."

Job 40:6 Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind,

Job 40:7 "Now brace yourself like a man. I will question you, and you will answer me.

Job 40:8 Will you even annul my judgment? Will you condemn me, that you may be justified?

Job 40:9 Or do you have an arm like God? Can you thunder with a voice like him?

Job 40:10 "Now deck yourself with excellency and dignity. Array yourself with honor and majesty.

Job 40:11 Pour out the fury of your anger. Look at everyone who is proud, and bring him low.

Job 40:12 Look at everyone who is proud, and humble him. Crush the wicked in their place.

Job 40:13 Hide them in the dust together. Bind their faces in the hidden place.

Job 40:14 Then I will also admit to you that your own right hand can save you.

Job 40:15 "See now, behemoth, which I made as well as you. He eats grass as an ox.

Job 40:16 Look now, his strength is in his thighs. His force is in the muscles of his belly.

Job 40:17 He moves his tail like a cedar. The sinews of his thighs are knit together.

Job 40:18 His bones are like tubes of brass. His limbs are like bars of iron.

Job 40:19 He is the chief of the ways of God. He who made him gives him his sword.

Job 40:20 Surely the mountains produce food for him, where all the animals of the field play.

Job 40:21 He lies under the lotus trees, in the covert of the reed, and the marsh.

Job 40:22 The lotuses cover him with their shade. The willows of the brook surround him.

Job 40:23 Behold, if a river overflows, he doesn't tremble. He is confident, though the Jordan swells even to his mouth.

Job 40:24 Shall any take him when he is on the watch, or pierce through his nose with a snare?

Job 41:1 "Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook, or press down his tongue with a cord?

Job 41:2 Can you put a rope into his nose, or pierce his jaw through with a hook?

Job 41:3 Will he make many petitions to you, or will he speak soft words to you?

Job 41:4 Will he make a covenant with you, that you should take him for a servant forever?

Job 41:5 Will you play with him as with a bird? Or will you bind him for your girls?

Job 41:6 Will traders barter for him? Will they part him among the merchants?

Job 41:7 Can you fill his skin with barbed irons, or his head with fish spears?

Job 41:8 Lay your hand on him. Remember the battle, and do so no more.

Job 41:9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain. Won't one be cast down even at the sight of him?

Job 41:10 None is so fierce that he dare stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me?

Job 41:11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Everything under the heavens is mine.

Job 41:12 "I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, nor his mighty strength, nor his goodly frame.

Job 41:13 Who can strip off his outer garment? Who shall come within his jaws?

Job 41:14 Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth is terror.

Job 41:15 Strong scales are his pride, shut up together with a close seal.

Job 41:16 One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.

Job 41:17 They are joined one to another. They stick together, so that they can't be pulled apart.

Job 41:18 His sneezing flashes out light. His eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

Job 41:19 Out of his mouth go burning torches. Sparks of fire leap forth.

Job 41:20 Out of his nostrils a smoke goes, as of a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.

Job 41:21 His breath kindles coals. A flame goes forth from his mouth.

Job 41:22 There is strength in his neck. Terror dances before him.

Job 41:23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together. They are firm on him. They can't be moved.

Job 41:24 His heart is as firm as a stone, yes, firm as the lower millstone.

Job 41:25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid. They retreat before his thrashing.

Job 41:26 If one attacks him with the sword, it can't prevail; nor the spear, the dart, nor the pointed shaft.

Job 41:27 He counts iron as straw; and brass as rotten wood.

Job 41:28 The arrow can't make him flee. Sling stones are like chaff to him.

Job 41:29 Clubs are counted as stubble. He laughs at the rushing of the javelin.

Job 41:30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.

Job 41:31 He makes the deep to boil like a pot. He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.

Job 41:32 He makes a path shine after him. One would think the deep had white hair.

Job 41:33 On earth there is not his equal, that is made without fear.

Job 41:34 He sees everything that is high. He is king over all the sons of pride."

Job 42:1 Then Job answered Yahweh,

Job 42:2 "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be restrained.

Job 42:3 You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' therefore I have uttered that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I didn't know.

Job 42:4 You said, 'Listen, now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will answer me.'

Job 42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.

Job 42:6 Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

Job 42:7 It was so, that after Yahweh had spoken these words to Job, Yahweh said to Eliphaz the Temanite, "My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has.

Job 42:8 Now therefore, take to yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept him, that I not deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has."

Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did what Yahweh commanded them, and Yahweh accepted Job.

Job 42:10 Yahweh turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends. Yahweh gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Job 42:11 Then came there to him all his brothers, and all his sisters, and all those who had been of his acquaintance before, and ate bread with him in his house. They comforted him, and consoled him concerning all the evil that Yahweh had brought on him. Everyone also gave him a piece of money, and everyone a ring of gold.

Job 42:12 So Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand female donkeys.

Job 42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.

Job 42:14 He called the name of the first, Jemimah; and the name of the second, Keziah; and the name of the third, Keren Happuch.

Job 42:15 In all the land were no women found so beautiful as the daughters of Job. Their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.

Job 42:16 After this Job lived one hundred forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, to four generations.

Job 42:17 So Job died, being old and full of days. 


Aug. 26

Psalms 1-6

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers;

Psa 1:2 but his delight is in Yahweh's law. On his law he meditates day and night.

Psa 1:3 He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper.

Psa 1:4 The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.

Psa 1:5 Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Psa 1:6 For Yahweh knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish.

Psa 2:1 Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing?

Psa 2:2 The kings of the earth take a stand, and the rulers take counsel together, against Yahweh, and against his Anointed, saying,

Psa 2:3 "Let's break their bonds apart, and cast their cords from us."

Psa 2:4 He who sits in the heavens will laugh. The Lord will have them in derision.

Psa 2:5 Then he will speak to them in his anger, and terrify them in his wrath:

Psa 2:6 "Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion."

Psa 2:7 I will tell of the decree. Yahweh said to me, "You are my son. Today I have become your father.

Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.

Psa 2:9 You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

Psa 2:10 Now therefore be wise, you kings. Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

Psa 2:11 Serve Yahweh with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

Psa 2:12 Give sincere homage, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.

Psa 3:1 Yahweh, how my adversaries have increased! Many are those who rise up against me.

Psa 3:2 Many there are who say of my soul, "There is no help for him in God." Selah.

Psa 3:3 But you, Yahweh, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.

Psa 3:4 I cry to Yahweh with my voice, and he answers me out of his holy hill. Selah.

Psa 3:5 I laid myself down and slept. I awakened; for Yahweh sustains me.

Psa 3:6 I will not be afraid of tens of thousands of people who have set themselves against me on every side.

Psa 3:7 Arise, Yahweh! Save me, my God! For you have struck all of my enemies on the cheek bone. You have broken the teeth of the wicked.

Psa 3:8 Salvation belongs to Yahweh. Your blessing be on your people. Selah.

Psa 4:1 Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness. Give me relief from my distress. Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

Psa 4:2 You sons of men, how long shall my glory be turned into dishonor? Will you love vanity, and seek after falsehood? Selah.

Psa 4:3 But know that Yahweh has set apart for himself him who is godly: Yahweh will hear when I call to him.

Psa 4:4 Stand in awe, and don't sin. Search your own heart on your bed, and be still. Selah.

Psa 4:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness. Put your trust in Yahweh.

Psa 4:6 Many say, "Who will show us any good?" Yahweh, let the light of your face shine on us.

Psa 4:7 You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and their new wine are increased.

Psa 4:8 In peace I will both lay myself down and sleep, for you, Yahweh alone, make me live in safety.

Psa 5:1 Give ear to my words, Yahweh. Consider my meditation.

Psa 5:2 Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God; for to you do I pray.

Psa 5:3 Yahweh, in the morning you shall hear my voice. In the morning I will lay my requests before you, and will watch expectantly.

Psa 5:4 For you are not a God who has pleasure in wickedness. Evil can't live with you.

Psa 5:5 The arrogant shall not stand in your sight. You hate all workers of iniquity.

Psa 5:6 You will destroy those who speak lies. Yahweh abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

Psa 5:7 But as for me, in the abundance of your loving kindness I will come into your house. I will bow toward your holy temple in reverence of you.

Psa 5:8 Lead me, Yahweh, in your righteousness because of my enemies. Make your way straight before my face.

Psa 5:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth. Their heart is destruction. Their throat is an open tomb. They flatter with their tongue.

Psa 5:10 Hold them guilty, God. Let them fall by their own counsels; Thrust them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against you.

Psa 5:11 But let all those who take refuge in you rejoice, Let them always shout for joy, because you defend them. Let them also who love your name be joyful in you.

Psa 5:12 For you will bless the righteous. Yahweh, you will surround him with favor as with a shield.

Psa 6:1 Yahweh, don't rebuke me in your anger, neither discipline me in your wrath.

Psa 6:2 Have mercy on me, Yahweh, for I am faint. Yahweh, heal me, for my bones are troubled.

Psa 6:3 My soul is also in great anguish. But you, Yahweh--how long?

Psa 6:4 Return, Yahweh. Deliver my soul, and save me for your loving kindness' sake.

Psa 6:5 For in death there is no memory of you. In Sheol, who shall give you thanks?

Psa 6:6 I am weary with my groaning. Every night I flood my bed. I drench my couch with my tears.

Psa 6:7 My eye wastes away because of grief. It grows old because of all my adversaries.

Psa 6:8 Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity, for Yahweh has heard the voice of my weeping.

Psa 6:9 Yahweh has heard my supplication. Yahweh accepts my prayer.

Psa 6:10 May all my enemies be ashamed and dismayed. They shall turn back, they shall be disgraced suddenly. 


Aug. 25

Romans 6

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Rom 6:2 May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer?

Rom 6:3 Or don't you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Rom 6:4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection;

Rom 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin.

Rom 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

Rom 6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him;

Rom 6:9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him!

Rom 6:10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God.

Rom 6:11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rom 6:12 Therefore don't let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

Rom 6:13 Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

Rom 6:14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.

Rom 6:15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be!

Rom 6:16 Don't you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?

Rom 6:17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered.

Rom 6:18 Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness.

Rom 6:19 I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification.

Rom 6:20 For when you were servants of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

Rom 6:21 What fruit then did you have at that time in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.

Rom 6:22 But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life.

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 


Aug. 26

Romans 7

Rom 7:1 Or don't you know, brothers (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives?

Rom 7:2 For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband.

Rom 7:3 So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man.

Rom 7:4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God.

Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death.

Rom 7:6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."

Rom 7:8 But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead.

Rom 7:9 I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Rom 7:10 The commandment, which was for life, this I found to be for death;

Rom 7:11 for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me.

Rom 7:12 Therefore the law indeed is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good.

Rom 7:13 Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceeding sinful.

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin.

Rom 7:15 For I don't know what I am doing. For I don't practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do.

Rom 7:16 But if what I don't desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good.

Rom 7:17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.

Rom 7:18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don't find it doing that which is good.

Rom 7:19 For the good which I desire, I don't do; but the evil which I don't desire, that I practice.

Rom 7:20 But if what I don't desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me.

Rom 7:21 I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present.

Rom 7:22 For I delight in God's law after the inward man,

Rom 7:23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members.

Rom 7:24 What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death?

Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God's law, but with the flesh, the sin's law.