Broadcasts – Christian Working Woman
The first woman I'd like you to meet is a woman who was not—as far as we know—a believer in the true God. She was not Jewish but rather Persian. In fact, she was married to the Persian King Ahasuerus, who was a wimpy, weak, narcissistic man. Most Christians are familiar with the story of Esther—the courageous Jewish Queen who God used to save her people. But what about her predecessor, Queen Vashti? Do you know her story? It's in the first chapter of the book of Esther. In a drunken stupor and at the end of a five-day drunken feast, the king had a brilliant idea to bring down the house with a final display of his superiority. He commanded his servants to summon the prized Queen Vashti decked in her royal crown, so that he could show off her beauty. It is probably true that she was summoned to appear naked, with just her crown on. Vashti refused to appear and that enraged the king—his own wife was defying him in front of all the men of Susa. The royal wise men advised the king that Vashti's humiliating behavior could not go unpunished because, if the king let the incident slide, all the women in the kingdom would have contempt for their husbands, thinking, “If Queen Vashti can get away with disrespecting her husband, so can I” (verses 16–18). King Ahasuerus responded to the situation by sending out a royal edict saying that Queen Vashti was never to be allowed to come before him again, and the king would give her crown to another. So Queen Vashti was banished, and a search began for a new queen to replace her. And why was Vashti vanquished? Why did she lose her title, her position as “first lady” and all the wealth and privileges that came with it? We aren't told why, but what do you think would cause a Queen in that culture to refuse to obey the King? She had to know it would cost her the crown, but she refused to be paraded before drunken men just to show off her body. Her refusal is truly amazing. Whatever her reason, it took great courage. Beauty and wealth were considered the most important things in that culture. The King was wealthy, Vashti was beautiful. She could have simply accepted her position and used her beauty as her “calling card,” but she refused. Listen again to what the Bible says is more important than riches and beauty: Proverbs 22:1: A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 31:30: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Can you think of any parallel situations we might encounter in our culture today? What compromises could be asked or even demanded of us that would be in opposition to our faith and the principles of Scripture which are our guidelines? As we watch our culture slide quickly into a godless secular culture; as we see how the things considered virtues even a few short years ago are now passe; at what point will you and I have to decide whether we will take our stand against what is wrong regardless of the cost? I think it's important that we think in advance, so that if and when we are faced with such choices, we will be grounded in the truth of God's Word and have the courage to make a “Vashti choice,” to stick with God's truth regardless. In a very enlightening article from Breakpoint Daily on transgender issues and the use of transgender pronouns, they point out that Christians should avoid unnecessary offense whenever possible, and I certainly agree with that. But the article continues: “And we should know that calling males men and females women will not in and of itself resolve the thorny cultural, psychological, and spiritual challenge of transgender ideology. Still, caving on words will destroy our ability to understand and undermine our ability to debate the issue truthfully. And it is truth, not niceness or relevance or even hospitality, that can set people free.” I recognize that there are different responses from Christians on thi...
In this powerful sermon, we will explore the dangerous consequences of unchecked pride, as we examine the story of King Ahasuerus and Queen Vashti in Esther 1:10-22. This text reveals how the king's pride led to his downfall and how Vashti's refusal to obey his command was a courageous act of self-respect.We will see how pride can blind us to the truth, make us insensitive to others' needs, and lead to destructive behavior. But we will also discover how humility, obedience, and respect can help us avoid the pitfalls of pride and find true fulfillment in God.Join us as we learn how to identify and overcome pride in our own lives and draw closer to God's will for us.
ESV: Digging Deep into the Bible
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 96 Psalm 96 (Listen) Worship in the Splendor of Holiness 96 Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.6 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;1 tremble before him, all the earth! 10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” 11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;12 let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy13 before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness. Footnotes  96:9 Or in holy attire (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Leviticus 2 Leviticus 2 (Listen) Laws for Grain Offerings 2 “When anyone brings a grain offering as an offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour. He shall pour oil on it and put frankincense on it 2 and bring it to Aaron's sons the priests. And he shall take from it a handful of the fine flour and oil, with all of its frankincense, and the priest shall burn this as its memorial portion on the altar, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 3 But the rest of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the LORD's food offerings. 4 “When you bring a grain offering baked in the oven as an offering, it shall be unleavened loaves of fine flour mixed with oil or unleavened wafers smeared with oil. 5 And if your offering is a grain offering baked on a griddle, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mixed with oil. 6 You shall break it in pieces and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. 7 And if your offering is a grain offering cooked in a pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. 8 And you shall bring the grain offering that is made of these things to the LORD, and when it is presented to the priest, he shall bring it to the altar. 9 And the priest shall take from the grain offering its memorial portion and burn this on the altar, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 10 But the rest of the grain offering shall be for Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the LORD's food offerings. 11 “No grain offering that you bring to the LORD shall be made with leaven, for you shall burn no leaven nor any honey as a food offering to the LORD. 12 As an offering of firstfruits you may bring them to the LORD, but they shall not be offered on the altar for a pleasing aroma. 13 You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt. 14 “If you offer a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, you shall offer for the grain offering of your firstfruits fresh ears, roasted with fire, crushed new grain. 15 And you shall put oil on it and lay frankincense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 And the priest shall burn as its memorial portion some of the crushed grain and some of the oil with all of its frankincense; it is a food offering to the LORD. (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Esther 9–10 Esther 9–10 (Listen) The Jews Destroy Their Enemies 9 Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them. 2 The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples. 3 All the officials of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew more and more powerful. 5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In Susa the citadel itself the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, 7 and also killed Parshandatha and Dalphon and Aspatha 8 and Poratha and Adalia and Aridatha 9 and Parmashta and Arisai and Aridai and Vaizatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, but they laid no hand on the plunder. 11 That very day the number of those killed in Susa the citadel was reported to the king. 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, “In Susa the citadel the Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men and also the ten sons of Haman. What then have they done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now what is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what further is your request? It shall be fulfilled.” 13 And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the Jews who are in Susa be allowed tomorrow also to do according to this day's edict. And let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows.”1 14 So the king commanded this to be done. A decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged. 15 The Jews who were in Susa gathered also on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and they killed 300 men in Susa, but they laid no hands on the plunder. 16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king's provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder. 17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness. 18 But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another. The Feast of Purim Inaugurated 20 And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 21 obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, 22 as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor. 23 So the Jews accepted what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them. 25 But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing that his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. 26 Therefore they called these days Purim, after the term Pur. Therefore, because of all that was written in this letter, and of what they had faced in this matter, and of what had happened to them, 27 the Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and all who joined them, that without fail they would keep these two days according to what was written and at the time appointed every year, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants. 29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew gave full written authority, confirming this second letter about Purim. 30 Letters were sent to all the Jews, to the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth, 31 that these days of Purim should be observed at their appointed seasons, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther obligated them, and as they had obligated themselves and their offspring, with regard to their fasts and their lamenting. 32 The command of Esther confirmed these practices of Purim, and it was recorded in writing. The Greatness of Mordecai 10 King Ahasuerus imposed tax on the land and on the coastlands of the sea. 2 And all the acts of his power and might, and the full account of the high honor of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? 3 For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people. Footnotes  9:13 Or wooden beam; also verse 25 (see note on 2:23) (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: 1 Corinthians 14 1 Corinthians 14 (Listen) Prophecy and Tongues 14 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. 4 The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. 5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up. 6 Now, brothers,1 if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching? 7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played? 8 And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle? 9 So with yourselves, if with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, 11 but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. 12 So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church. 13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider2 say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 20 Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. 21 In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” 22 Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign3 not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. Orderly Worship 26 What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. 27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. 28 But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God. 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. 30 If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. 33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church. 36 Or was it from you that the word of God came? Or are you the only ones it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord. 38 If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. 39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But all things should be done decently and in order. Footnotes  14:6 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 20, 26, 39  14:16 Or of him that is without gifts  14:22 Greek lacks a sign (ESV)
ESV: Digging Deep into the Bible
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 95 Psalm 95 (Listen) Let Us Sing Songs of Praise 95 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,9 when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.10 For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.”11 Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.” (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Leviticus 1 Leviticus 1 (Listen) Laws for Burnt Offerings 1 The LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD, you shall bring your offering of livestock from the herd or from the flock. 3 “If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish. He shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before the LORD. 4 He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 Then he shall kill the bull before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 6 Then he shall flay the burnt offering and cut it into pieces, 7 and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 And Aaron's sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar; 9 but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering1 with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 10 “If his gift for a burnt offering is from the flock, from the sheep or goats, he shall bring a male without blemish, 11 and he shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. 12 And he shall cut it into pieces, with its head and its fat, and the priest shall arrange them on the wood that is on the fire on the altar, 13 but the entrails and the legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer all of it and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. 14 “If his offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves or pigeons. 15 And the priest shall bring it to the altar and wring off its head and burn it on the altar. Its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He shall remove its crop with its contents2 and cast it beside the altar on the east side, in the place for ashes. 17 He shall tear it open by its wings, but shall not sever it completely. And the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire. It is a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD. Footnotes  1:9 Or an offering by fire; so throughout Leviticus  1:16 Or feathers (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Esther 8 Esther 8 (Listen) Esther Saves the Jews 8 On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. 2 And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. 3 Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. 4 When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, Esther rose and stood before the king. 5 And she said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. 6 For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?” 7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows,1 because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. 8 But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.” 9 The king's scribes were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. And an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded concerning the Jews, to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. 10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king's signet ring. Then he sent the letters by mounted couriers riding on swift horses that were used in the king's service, bred from the royal stud, 11 saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods, 12 on one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 13 A copy of what was written was to be issued as a decree in every province, being publicly displayed to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take vengeance on their enemies. 14 So the couriers, mounted on their swift horses that were used in the king's service, rode out hurriedly, urged by the king's command. And the decree was issued in Susa the citadel. 15 Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown2 and a robe of fine linen and purple, and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. 16 The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. 17 And in every province and in every city, wherever the king's command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them. Footnotes  8:7 Or wooden beam (see note on 2:23)  8:15 Or headdress (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: 1 Corinthians 13 1 Corinthians 13 (Listen) The Way of Love 13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,1 but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;2 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Footnotes  13:3 Some manuscripts deliver up my body [to death] that I may boast  13:5 Greek irritable and does not count up wrongdoing (ESV)
ESV: Digging Deep into the Bible
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 93 Psalm 93 (Listen) The Lord Reigns 93 The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.2 Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. 3 The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.4 Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! 5 Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore. (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Exodus 39 Exodus 39 (Listen) Making the Priestly Garments 39 From the blue and purple and scarlet yarns they made finely woven garments,1 for ministering in the Holy Place. They made the holy garments for Aaron, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 2 He made the ephod of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. 3 And they hammered out gold leaf, and he cut it into threads to work into the blue and purple and the scarlet yarns, and into the fine twined linen, in skilled design. 4 They made for the ephod attaching shoulder pieces, joined to it at its two edges. 5 And the skillfully woven band on it was of one piece with it and made like it, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 6 They made the onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold filigree, and engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. 7 And he set them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 8 He made the breastpiece, in skilled work, in the style of the ephod, of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. 9 It was square. They made the breastpiece doubled, a span2 its length and a span its breadth when doubled. 10 And they set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle was the first row; 11 and the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; 12 and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; 13 and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. 14 There were twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They were like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes. 15 And they made on the breastpiece twisted chains like cords, of pure gold. 16 And they made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastpiece. 17 And they put the two cords of gold in the two rings at the edges of the breastpiece. 18 They attached the two ends of the two cords to the two settings of filigree. Thus they attached it in front to the shoulder pieces of the ephod. 19 Then they made two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. 20 And they made two rings of gold, and attached them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, at its seam above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. 21 And they bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so that it should lie on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece should not come loose from the ephod, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 22 He also made the robe of the ephod woven all of blue, 23 and the opening of the robe in it was like the opening in a garment, with a binding around the opening, so that it might not tear. 24 On the hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. 25 They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around the hem of the robe, between the pomegranates—26 a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate around the hem of the robe for ministering, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 27 They also made the coats, woven of fine linen, for Aaron and his sons, 28 and the turban of fine linen, and the caps of fine linen, and the linen undergarments of fine twined linen, 29 and the sash of fine twined linen and of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, embroidered with needlework, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 30 They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the LORD.” 31 And they tied to it a cord of blue to fasten it on the turban above, as the LORD had commanded Moses. 32 Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of meeting was finished, and the people of Israel did according to all that the LORD had commanded Moses; so they did. 33 Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent and all its utensils, its hooks, its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 34 the covering of tanned rams' skins and goatskins, and the veil of the screen; 35 the ark of the testimony with its poles and the mercy seat; 36 the table with all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 37 the lampstand of pure gold and its lamps with the lamps set and all its utensils, and the oil for the light; 38 the golden altar, the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance of the tent; 39 the bronze altar, and its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils; the basin and its stand; 40 the hangings of the court, its pillars, and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, and its pegs; and all the utensils for the service of the tabernacle, for the tent of meeting; 41 the finely worked garments for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons for their service as priests. 42 According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work. 43 And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them. Footnotes  39:1 Or garments for worship  39:9 A span was about 9 inches or 22 centimeters (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Esther 6 Esther 6 (Listen) The King Honors Mordecai 6 On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. 2 And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana1 and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 3 And the king said, “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” The king's young men who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” 4 And the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows2 that he had prepared for him. 5 And the king's young men told him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” 6 So Haman came in, and the king said to him, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” 7 And Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, 8 let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown3 is set. 9 And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.'” 10 Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.” 11 So Haman took the robes and the horse, and he dressed Mordecai and led him through the square of the city, proclaiming before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.” 12 Then Mordecai returned to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. 13 And Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but will surely fall before him.” Esther Reveals Haman's Plot 14 While they were yet talking with him, the king's eunuchs arrived and hurried to bring Haman to the feast that Esther had prepared. Footnotes  6:2 Bigthana is an alternate spelling of Bigthan (see 2:21)  6:4 Or wooden beam (see note on 2:23)  6:8 Or headdress (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: 1 Corinthians 11:2–34 1 Corinthians 11:2–34 (Listen) Head Coverings 2 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife1 is her husband,2 and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but every wife3 who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.4 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. The Lord's Supper 17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,5 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord's supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for6 you. Do this in remembrance of me.”7 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.8 31 But if we judged9 ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined10 so that we may not be condemned along with the world. 33 So then, my brothers,11 when you come together to eat, wait for12 one another—34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come. Footnotes  11:3 Greek gunē. This term may refer to a woman or a wife, depending on the context  11:3 Greek anēr. This term may refer to a man or a husband, depending on the context  11:5 In verses 5–13, the Greek word gunē is translated wife in verses that deal with wearing a veil, a sign of being married in first-century culture  11:10 Or messengers, that is, people sent to observe and report  11:18 Or I believe a certain report  11:24 Some manuscripts broken for  11:24 Or as my memorial; also verse 25  11:30 Greek have fallen asleep (as in 15:6, 20)  11:31 Or discerned  11:32 Or when we are judged we are being disciplined by the Lord  11:33 Or brothers and sisters  11:33 Or share with (ESV)
ESV: Digging Deep into the Bible
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 90 Psalm 90 (Listen) Book Four From Everlasting to Everlasting A Prayer of Moses, the man of God. 90 Lord, you have been our dwelling place1 in all generations.2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!”24 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night. 5 You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning:6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers. 7 For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed.8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 9 For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.10 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span3 is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.11 Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? 12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.13 Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on your servants!14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil.16 Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.17 Let the favor4 of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! Footnotes  90:1 Some Hebrew manuscripts (compare Septuagint) our refuge  90:3 Or of Adam  90:10 Or pride  90:17 Or beauty (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Exodus 35:30–36:38 Exodus 35:30–36:38 (Listen) Construction of the Tabernacle 30 Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, 32 to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, 33 in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. 34 And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan. 35 He has filled them with skill to do every sort of work done by an engraver or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of workman or skilled designer. 36 “Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whom the LORD has put skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary shall work in accordance with all that the LORD has commanded.” 2 And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. 3 And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, 4 so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, 5 and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the LORD has commanded us to do.” 6 So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more. 8 And all the craftsmen among the workmen made the tabernacle with ten curtains. They were made of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet yarns, with cherubim skillfully worked. 9 The length of each curtain was twenty-eight cubits,1 and the breadth of each curtain four cubits. All the curtains were the same size. 10 He2 coupled five curtains to one another, and the other five curtains he coupled to one another. 11 He made loops of blue on the edge of the outermost curtain of the first set. Likewise he made them on the edge of the outermost curtain of the second set. 12 He made fifty loops on the one curtain, and he made fifty loops on the edge of the curtain that was in the second set. The loops were opposite one another. 13 And he made fifty clasps of gold, and coupled the curtains one to the other with clasps. So the tabernacle was a single whole. 14 He also made curtains of goats' hair for a tent over the tabernacle. He made eleven curtains. 15 The length of each curtain was thirty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits. The eleven curtains were the same size. 16 He coupled five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves. 17 And he made fifty loops on the edge of the outermost curtain of the one set, and fifty loops on the edge of the other connecting curtain. 18 And he made fifty clasps of bronze to couple the tent together that it might be a single whole. 19 And he made for the tent a covering of tanned rams' skins and goatskins. 20 Then he made the upright frames for the tabernacle of acacia wood. 21 Ten cubits was the length of a frame, and a cubit and a half the breadth of each frame. 22 Each frame had two tenons for fitting together. He did this for all the frames of the tabernacle. 23 The frames for the tabernacle he made thus: twenty frames for the south side. 24 And he made forty bases of silver under the twenty frames, two bases under one frame for its two tenons, and two bases under the next frame for its two tenons. 25 For the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, he made twenty frames 26 and their forty bases of silver, two bases under one frame and two bases under the next frame. 27 For the rear of the tabernacle westward he made six frames. 28 He made two frames for corners of the tabernacle in the rear. 29 And they were separate beneath but joined at the top, at the first ring. He made two of them this way for the two corners. 30 There were eight frames with their bases of silver: sixteen bases, under every frame two bases. 31 He made bars of acacia wood, five for the frames of the one side of the tabernacle, 32 and five bars for the frames of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the frames of the tabernacle at the rear westward. 33 And he made the middle bar to run from end to end halfway up the frames. 34 And he overlaid the frames with gold, and made their rings of gold for holders for the bars, and overlaid the bars with gold. 35 He made the veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; with cherubim skillfully worked into it he made it. 36 And for it he made four pillars of acacia and overlaid them with gold. Their hooks were of gold, and he cast for them four bases of silver. 37 He also made a screen for the entrance of the tent, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, embroidered with needlework, 38 and its five pillars with their hooks. He overlaid their capitals, and their fillets were of gold, but their five bases were of bronze. Footnotes  36:9 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters  36:10 Probably Bezalel (compare 35:30; 37:1) (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Esther 3 Esther 3 (Listen) Haman Plots Against the Jews 3 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, and advanced him and set his throne above all the officials who were with him. 2 And all the king's servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage. 3 Then the king's servants who were at the king's gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king's command?” 4 And when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai's words would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury. 6 But he disdained1 to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, as they had made known to him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy2 all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. 7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, they cast lots) before Haman day after day; and they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not to the king's profit to tolerate them. 9 If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents3 of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king's business, that they may put it into the king's treasuries.” 10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. 11 And the king said to Haman, “The money is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you.” 12 Then the king's scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and an edict, according to all that Haman commanded, was written to the king's satraps and to the governors over all the provinces and to the officials of all the peoples, to every province in its own script and every people in its own language. It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's signet ring. 13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province by proclamation to all the peoples to be ready for that day. 15 The couriers went out hurriedly by order of the king, and the decree was issued in Susa the citadel. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was thrown into confusion. Footnotes  3:6 Hebrew disdained in his eyes  3:6 Or annihilate  3:9 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: 1 Corinthians 8 1 Corinthians 8 (Listen) Food Offered to Idols 8 Now concerning1 food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.2 4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. 7 However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8 Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating3 in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged,4 if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers5 and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. Footnotes  8:1 The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians' letter; see 7:1  8:3 Greek him  8:10 Greek reclining at table  8:10 Or fortified; Greek built up  8:12 Or brothers and sisters (ESV)
ESV: Digging Deep into the Bible
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 89 Psalm 89 (Listen) I Will Sing of the Steadfast Love of the Lord A Maskil1 of Ethan the Ezrahite. 89 I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.2 For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever; in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”3 You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant:4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.'” Selah 5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!6 For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings2 is like the LORD,7 a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him?8 O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?9 You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.11 The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.12 The north and the south, you have created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand.14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.15 Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face,16 who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted.17 For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted.18 For our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel. 19 Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one,3 and said: “I have granted help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.20 I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him,21 so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.22 The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him.23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted.25 I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers.26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.'27 And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm4 for him.29 I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens.30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules,531 if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments,32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes,33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness.34 I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips.35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David.36 His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me.37 Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah 38 But now you have cast off and rejected; you are full of wrath against your anointed.39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant; you have defiled his crown in the dust.40 You have breached all his walls; you have laid his strongholds in ruins.41 All who pass by plunder him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors.42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice.43 You have also turned back the edge of his sword, and you have not made him stand in battle.44 You have made his splendor to cease and cast his throne to the ground.45 You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with shame. Selah 46 How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?47 Remember how short my time is! For what vanity you have created all the children of man!48 What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah 49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?50 Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked, and how I bear in my heart the insults6 of all the many nations,51 with which your enemies mock, O LORD, with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed. 52 Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen. Footnotes  89:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term  89:6 Hebrew the sons of God, or the sons of might  89:19 Some Hebrew manuscripts godly ones  89:28 Or will remain faithful  89:30 Or my just decrees  89:50 Hebrew lacks the insults (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Exodus 35:1–29 Exodus 35:1–29 (Listen) Sabbath Regulations 35 Moses assembled all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, “These are the things that the LORD has commanded you to do. 2 Six days work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. 3 You shall kindle no fire in all your dwelling places on the Sabbath day.” Contributions for the Tabernacle 4 Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. 5 Take from among you a contribution to the LORD. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD's contribution: gold, silver, and bronze; 6 blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; goats' hair, 7 tanned rams' skins, and goatskins;1 acacia wood, 8 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, 9 and onyx stones and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece. 10 “Let every skillful craftsman among you come and make all that the LORD has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its hooks and its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; 12 the ark with its poles, the mercy seat, and the veil of the screen; 13 the table with its poles and all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; 14 the lampstand also for the light, with its utensils and its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 and the altar of incense, with its poles, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the door, at the door of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering, with its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils, the basin and its stand; 17 the hangings of the court, its pillars and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court, and their cords; 19 the finely worked garments for ministering2 in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests.” 20 Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. 21 And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD's contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22 So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the LORD. 23 And every one who possessed blue or purple or scarlet yarns or fine linen or goats' hair or tanned rams' skins or goatskins brought them. 24 Everyone who could make a contribution of silver or bronze brought it as the LORD's contribution. And every one who possessed acacia wood of any use in the work brought it. 25 And every skillful woman spun with her hands, and they all brought what they had spun in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. 26 All the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill spun the goats' hair. 27 And the leaders brought onyx stones and stones to be set, for the ephod and for the breastpiece, 28 and spices and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense. 29 All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the LORD had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the LORD. Footnotes  35:7 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain; also verse 23; compare 25:5  35:19 Or garments for worship; see 31:10 (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Esther 2 Esther 2 (Listen) Esther Chosen Queen 2 After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. 2 Then the king's young men who attended him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. 3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them. 4 And let the young woman who pleases the king1 be queen instead of Vashti.” This pleased the king, and he did so. 5 Now there was a Jew in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite, 6 who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away. 7 He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. 8 So when the king's order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in Susa the citadel in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king's palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. 9 And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king's palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem. 10 Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known. 11 And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her. 12 Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women—13 when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. 14 In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name. 15 When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. 16 And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, 17 the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown2 on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king gave a great feast for all his officials and servants; it was Esther's feast. He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity. Mordecai Discovers a Plot 19 Now when the virgins were gathered together the second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate. 20 Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him. 21 In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. 23 When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows.3 And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king. Footnotes  2:4 Hebrew who is good in the eyes of the king  2:17 Or headdress  2:23 Or wooden beam or stake; Hebrew tree or wood. This Persian execution practice involved affixing or impaling a person on a stake or pole (compare Ezra 6:11) (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: 1 Corinthians 7 1 Corinthians 7 (Listen) Principles for Marriage 7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.1 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. 8 To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. 9 But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife. 12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you2 to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Live as You Are Called 17 Only let each person lead the life3 that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19 For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20 Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant4 when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. 24 So, brothers,5 in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. The Unmarried and the Widowed 25 Now concerning6 the betrothed,7 I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present8 distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman9 marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. 32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. 36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,10 if his11 passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. 39
ESV: Digging Deep into the Bible
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 88 Psalm 88 (Listen) I Cry Out Day and Night Before You A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil1 of Heman the Ezrahite. 88 O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you.2 Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry! 3 For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol.4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am a man who has no strength,5 like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.6 You have put me in the depths of the pit, in the regions dark and deep.7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. Selah 8 You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a horror2 to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape;9 my eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call upon you, O LORD; I spread out my hands to you.10 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the departed rise up to praise you? Selah11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon?12 Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness? 13 But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.14 O LORD, why do you cast my soul away? Why do you hide your face from me?15 Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.316 Your wrath has swept over me; your dreadful assaults destroy me.17 They surround me like a flood all day long; they close in on me together.18 You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.4 Footnotes  88:1 Probably musical or liturgical terms  88:8 Or an abomination  88:15 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain  88:18 Or darkness has become my only companion (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Exodus 34 Exodus 34 (Listen) Moses Makes New Tablets 34 The LORD said to Moses, “Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready by the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to me on the top of the mountain. 3 No one shall come up with you, and let no one be seen throughout all the mountain. Let no flocks or herds graze opposite that mountain.” 4 So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the first. And he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand two tablets of stone. 5 The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7 keeping steadfast love for thousands,1 forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.” 8 And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. 9 And he said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, please let the Lord go in the midst of us, for it is a stiff-necked people, and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.” The Covenant Renewed 10 And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you. 11 “Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 12 Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. 13 You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, 16 and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods. 17 “You shall not make for yourself any gods of cast metal. 18 “You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out from Egypt. 19 All that open the womb are mine, all your male2 livestock, the firstborn of cow and sheep. 20 The firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, or if you will not redeem it you shall break its neck. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. And none shall appear before me empty-handed. 21 “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. In plowing time and in harvest you shall rest. 22 You shall observe the Feast of Weeks, the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year's end. 23 Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel. 24 For I will cast out nations before you and enlarge your borders; no one shall covet your land, when you go up to appear before the LORD your God three times in the year. 25 “You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover remain until the morning. 26 The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.” 27 And the LORD said to Moses, “Write these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights. He neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.3 The Shining Face of Moses 29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.4 30 Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the LORD had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. 34 Whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, 35 the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him. Footnotes  34:7 Or to the thousandth generation  34:19 Septuagint, Theodotion, Vulgate, Targum; the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain  34:28 Hebrew the ten words  34:29 Hebrew him (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Esther 1 Esther 1 (Listen) The King's Banquets 1 Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces, 2 in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel, 3 in the third year of his reign he gave a feast for all his officials and servants. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were before him, 4 while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days. 5 And when these days were completed, the king gave for all the people present in Susa the citadel, both great and small, a feast lasting for seven days in the court of the garden of the king's palace. 6 There were white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods1 and marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones. 7 Drinks were served in golden vessels, vessels of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king. 8 And drinking was according to this edict: “There is no compulsion.” For the king had given orders to all the staff of his palace to do as each man desired. 9 Queen Vashti also gave a feast for the women in the palace that belonged to King Ahasuerus. Queen Vashti's Refusal 10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown,2 in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him. 13 Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times (for this was the king's procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment, 14 the men next to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat first in the kingdom): 15 “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?” 16 Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, “Not only against the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also against all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 For the queen's behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt,3 since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.' 18 This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen's behavior will say the same to all the king's officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty. 19 If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she. 20 So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.” 21 This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed. 22 He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people. Footnotes  1:6 Or rings  1:11 Or headdress  1:17 Hebrew to disdain their husbands in their eyes (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: 1 Corinthians 6 1 Corinthians 6 (Listen) Lawsuits Against Believers 6 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! 4 So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? 5 I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!1 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous2 will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,3 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Flee Sexual Immorality 12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. 13 “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined4 to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin5 a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. Footnotes  6:8 Or brothers and sisters  6:9 Or wrongdoers  6:9 The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts  6:16 Or who holds fast (compare Genesis 2:24 and Deuteronomy 10:20); also verse 17  6:18 Or Every sin (ESV)
UBM Unleavened Bread Ministries
The Beast's Great Deception (6) (Audio) David Eells - 3/26/23 Apostasy & Tornado Engulfing a City Isaac Payne - 3/9/23 (David's notes in red) I had a dream that I was walking into what seemed to be an abandoned shopping mall. However, this shopping center was designed like a castle. I don't remember exactly what the mall looked like on the outside in the dream, but it was like a castle. (This abandoned shopping mall represents the current DS Babylonish financial system that is crumbling with many bank failures.) (I know many times a mall can represent the merchants of the world as in Rev. 18:11 And the Merchants of of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise anymore.) As I walked inside this mall it was very gaudy, having large marble floors and blue & green checkered painting design on the walls. There wasn't a lot of bright colors in the mall, most of the colors were dull. Also, I noticed there wasn't much natural light shining in this mall. (The light of the true sun/Son that our forefathers established this nation upon has all but extinguished as America under the D.S. has become the prophesied Babylon of the latter days in the Bible.) This shopping mall was also arrayed in large crown molding along the ceilings as well as being decorated in white trim along the doors and windows. There were large marble staircases within the main entry leading to the second floor. As I continued walking in the castle mall, I realized there were no shops and the mall seemed to be completely abandoned. I also noticed that it seemed this castle mall was winterized. (Winterization represents God's preparation for the 7-year tribulation. Mat. 24:20-21 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath: 21 for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be.) In some of the rooms even the walls were winterized having a plastic dust barrier covering the walls. (When homes are winterized, the water is turned off so pipes do not burst. I am not certain, but I was thinking this castle mall could be a waterless place that swept and garnished especially since it was completely empty. Mat. 12:43-45 But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not. Then he saith, I will return into my house whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. The goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of the man becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation.) (Rev. 18:2 And he cried with a mighty voice, saying, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and is become a habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird.) All through this castle mall something was not quite right. As I continued walking into the mall, I noticed that there was a family living here. There was a husband and a wife that were middle aged with about four kids. The husband was kneeling down and playing with the kids and seemed genuinely happy. I knew the family was occupying this mall to try to escape the judgements that were occurring in the world. (As we will see, taking refuge in Apostate Christianity inside the Babylonish system will not protect in the judgements to come.) I did not have a conversation at this point with the family and wasn't sure where they went. I continued walking through this empty mall and walked down a long hallway. I came to a door that was on the left side of the hallway and opened it to find the wife lying between some church pews facing the ground and she seemed to be dead. The room looked like a church sanctuary with an altar up front. At this moment in the dream, I was given a supernatural power from Father to begin to interpret the dream while I was in it. I remember thinking "Oh No! She is facing the ground which means not looking toward the heavens and she is facing the world. Her eyes are on the world." (This represents the apostate Church who is earthly because they keep their eyes on earthly things and not on things above where Christ is. (Col. 3:2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are upon the earth.) They are spiritually dead through their false doctrines. (John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is of the earth, and of the earth he speaketh: he that cometh from heaven is above all.) Suddenly, she flipped over and startled me and said, "I'm not dead I was just lying down." (They are dead but alive; “she is dead while she liveth.”) I noticed that her kids were in the room as well. (Their fruit is apostate too. It is a false Jesus.) I stepped over the woman and noticed there were two massive, hairy spiders in this room. There was a spider on the right and another on the left just ahead of me on the pews. (There is evil both on the right and on the left of the apostate Church.) The spiders had their front legs lifted up in attack mode and looked like they would jump at any moment. (I believe the spiders represent sin and can jump from host to host if we have willful sin or are negligent in our walk.) (It's commonly known that demons are passed on through association with those who have them. 1Co. 15:33 Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.) I turned around and looked at the women and said, "Are these dangerous?" The woman said, "Yes, if they bite you, they can cause death." Again, Father was having me to interpret the dream while I was in it. I said to myself, "These spiders represent sin and are looking to attach themselves to others.” (These are religious spirits who suck the life of Christ, and the freedom He brings, out of those who get trapped in dead religion.) Suddenly, I slipped and fell next to the spider on the right. I had tripped over someone else in the room. I don't remember if it was the kids or the woman lying between the pews. I instantly jumped back up on my feet and away from the spider. (Pro. 24:16 For a righteous man falleth seven times, and riseth up again; but the wicked are overthrown by calamity.) At this point, as I jumped, I hopped on top of the backs of the pews and ran on the backs of the pews from one section to another without even a slight misstep or falling in between into the cushions. (I believe this represents coming out from amongst the apostate church. The pews represent complacency and not walking into the maturity of salvation 100-fold. Eph. 4:11-13 And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets, and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:) As I ran toward the exit of the church like room, the woman shouted to me, "My oldest child died while I was here." (I was again given the interpretation of the dream from Father and said to myself again, "Her oldest is her fruit, and it has died.") (“Twice dead; plucked up by the roots.”) I was still running on top of the back of the pews racing for the exit. (Rev. 18:4-5 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues: 5 for her sins have reached even unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.) I ran completely out of the room and out of the castle mall. (Concerning the castle mall, the seemingly happy family, and the church room, this scripture comes to my mind. 2Ti. 3:5-7 Holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power, therefore. From these also turn away. For of these are they that creep into houses, (Castle mall) and take captive silly women (women lying face down on the ground) laden with sins, (Spiders) led away by divers lusts, (The fruit of the child that died) ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (Complacency of spectator religion.) I made it out of the castle mall, and I continued to run. Outside was very bright, however, a dark mass was now taking over the entire sky. I could see the brightness diminishing and at this point there was only a small light at the end of the horizon. To best describe this darkness engulfing the light it was exactly like a small light at the end of the tunnel. I was still running in an all-out sprint toward the light. At this point I knew this darkness was a massive tornado. (Representing the judgment that is coming upon the entire Babylonish system; Church and Government.) This tornado was so massive that it totally encapsulated the city I was in. The wind was ferocious and increasing dramatically. At this point, the storm was upon the city and there was nothing I could do to save myself. I stopped running and found myself in the eye of this massive dark tornado and looked up and pointed with my finger at the eye of the tornado and then shouted as loud as I possible could, "STOP!!!!!!!!" As I finished shouting again in my dream, I thought to myself, "Its not the word Stop that has power, but the name of Jesus." (Mark 16:17-18 And these signs shall accompany them that believe in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.) Again, I pointed up with my finger in the eye of this Tornado and shouted with every ounce of strength that I had, "In the name of JESUS! STOP!" I could see my hand shaking violently as I pointed at the tornado. (Mat. 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the men of violence take it by force.) At that moment the tornado winds just instantly began to vanish, and the shape of tornado began to totally dissipate in front of my eyes into nothingness. The Tornado had fled because it had not the authority to proceed beyond the command, “in the name of Jesus.” (Psa 91:14-16 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble: I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.) The sky was once again sunny and weather perfect. Then I woke up. (I believe the reason the word Stop did not work is because it had to be activated by faith in the name of Jesus. This is because the word, “name” or “Onoma” means: nature, character, and authority. I don't believe naturally there is any special sequence of words in a command to have authority. That is legalism. I believe this points to the fact that if we walk in faith IN Jesus' nature, character, and authority then we have power through Christ with a command such as "Stop." 1Jo. 4:17 Herein is love made perfect with us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, even so are we in this world." And Col. 2:6-7 As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.) (Quickly come out from among them for the wrath will fall on their whole system as God's presence shook the earth.) Fall of Egyptian Babylon Tianna Fire - 3/17/23 (David's notes in red) I saw a giant pyramid like the ones in Egypt and it had this giant gold star on top of it, like you would see on top of a Christmas tree. (Jer 10:3-4 For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. ). (This represents the idolatry of Egypt or Babylon.) (Pyramid represents Egypt/Babylon, the Beast nation and corporate body. The star is the principality that rules over the idolators.) Then I saw the pyramid start falling far down and it was spinning 360 degrees, round and round. The star fell off and smashed to the ground and not long after, the pyramid smashed and broke into pieces. (Acts 7:43 And ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, And the star of the god Rephan, The figures which ye made to worship them: And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.) Leaving the God of War Behind Claire Pienaar - 2/4/23 (David's notes in red) (Claire represents the Bride because her name means “brilliant” and the Bride's garments are bright and pure as is spoken of in Rev. 19:8 And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.) I had a dream about Martyn Isles and the Tower of Babel. (Martyn means, “dedicated to Mars”, the Roman god of war and fertility. We're fighting this principality as much as Jezebel in these days.) I asked the Lord who Martyn Isles represents in this dream and my finger landed on “sop” from John 13:26: Jesus therefore answereth, He it is, for whom I shall dip the sop, and give it him. So when he had dipped the sop, he taketh and giveth it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (The Lord gave me a revelation that sop stood for S.O.P. “son of perdition.” 2Th 2:1-4 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; 2 to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand; 3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 4 he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.) (Martyn Isles was the CEO of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL). He has a very popular video series on YouTube called “The Truth Of It”, where he helps people to think about political things from a biblical perspective. In 2022 he did a series called “Babylon” at churches around Australia. He does not know that Babylon is the apostate church.) … I dreamed I was in a high tower with my daughter who was merged with my little sister. (Riaan: Children represent our fruit of faith in Christ. The younger sister represents the immature that need to grow up in the faith and the mature have faith for them. The high tower represents works of the flesh, rebellion, and pride, like the tower of Babel.) (The elect of God, represented by the “little sister”, will escape the “Tower of Babel” with the help of the Bride. Song 8:8-9 We have a little sister, And she hath no breasts: What shall we do for our sister In the day when she shall be spoken for? 9 If she be a wall, We will build upon her a turret of silver: And if she be a door, We will inclose her with boards of cedar.) We were moving out of the tower. (Representing the command to God's people concerning Babylon the Great. Rev. 18:4 Come forth, my people, out of her, that ye have no fellowship with her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.) We had blue suitcases, and all that remained in our room was two beds, which were covered with blue bed covers. (Riaan: The blue suitcases are heavenly provision and the beds represent a heavenly rest from our own works.) We were on the 9th level. (Riaan: The number 9 represents divine completeness as in the fruits of the Spirit). We went down two levels and saw Martyn Isles on the 7th level. (Representing Judas or the son of perdition.) He seemed to be in charge of the tower but there had recently been a power change. His level was very beautifully decorated. It looked like he had diamond tree roots growing out of the ceiling that illuminated the entire level with all the aspects of light like a diamond's refraction or like a prism. (Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. But his roots are really pride and rebellion.) Still, my daughter/little sister were going somewhere better in the dream. I heard the words, “Hegai” and “Keeper of the virgins” a few times and then I woke up. (Riaan: The bride, like Esther, is moving out of the house of the women to live in the king's house.) (Hegai represented the Holy Spirit who guided Esther to her brideship.) I asked the Lord for a word by faith at random and received Lam 2:14 Thy prophets have seen for thee false and foolish visions; And they have not uncovered thine iniquity, to bring back thy captivity, But have seen for thee false oracles and causes of banishment. (I think it is a warning for Martyn. He has “Babylon” all wrong….) I asked the Lord why I (as the bride) and my daughter/little sister were leaving the tower. I received Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; (The verses that follow on explain that this meant Jesus was well-pleasing to Father God, and then he went into the wilderness Tribulation to be tempted [as we will]). Falling Away Into Spiritual Fornication Claire Pienaar 11/11/22 (David's notes in red) The enemy tried to keep me from remembering this dream but, the Lord will have His way… I dreamed my uncle (My dad's brother) and his wife were telling me that my brother had finally come out of the closet. I did a double-take and asked him to clarify that. He said that he'd come out and introduced his boyfriend to the family. (It is perversion to receive the seed of man. Christians are always to fill themselves with the seed of God which is His Word as in the parable of the sower. But there, 3 out of 4 fell to the seed of the world and didn't bear the fruit of the Word. This is a NOW problem.) Ruth, my stepmom, was ecstatic and so happy her son was finally “happy”. I could not understand this at all. She once had morals and standards and I thought she raised her children for God. (She is a stepmom and is not the real mother of the bride, typed by Claire, meaning brilliant. She fell away and is the mother of the immature people who fall away. Here is a text used to warn the falling away through the law but also fits the falling away by other means. We are warned of the false mother bringing forth the false son. Gal 4:22-31 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, one by the handmaid, and one by the freewoman. 23 Howbeit the son by the handmaid is born after the flesh; but the son by the freewoman is born through promise. 24 Which things contain an allegory: for these women are two covenants; one from mount Sinai, bearing children unto bondage, which is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia and answereth to the Jerusalem that now is (I.e., born of the natural woman): for she is in bondage with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is our mother. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: For more are the children of the desolate (3 out of 4) than of her that hath the husband (The seed of the Lord that we must receive.). 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 Howbeit what saith the scripture? Cast out the handmaid and her son: for the son of the handmaid shall not inherit with the son of the freewoman. 31 Wherefore, brethren, we are not children of a handmaid, but of the freewoman. I was then in front of her, and asked her “Why are you supporting this?” And she answered, “God loves everyone”. I could not agree. Her reasoning was similar to a petulant child's reasoning. It was so sad. (This mother represents the apostate church which is very liberal and so is her fruit. Church means "the called-out ones". The real Church of the “come outers” is our real mother.) It became apparent that no-one wanted to tell me because they did not want to hear my opinion on the matter; they'd all known for a while. I then heard so many whispers come into my head that everything was a lie, all of them were falling away and that many abortions, divorces, and evil had a stronghold over what I thought was the “better” part of my family. (Their hidden things of darkness will come to light.) I woke up and forgot about this dream for a bit. Then I remembered and asked the Lord for a word by faith at random and received, Eph 6:13 finger on “whole armor” “Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand.” This is not about the physical at all. This is to pray down an attack targeted at the immature or younger brothers in Christ (My brother is a decade younger than I am).(This is more perfectly stated as the immature brothers in “Christianity” who are falling away to the demons of liberalism, perversion, and lasciviousness, faction, witchcraft, love of the world, etc. What makes one younger in the Lord, is that they do not walk in much of the Word, who is Jesus, and so they fall away. Some of these will be saved but others are sons of perdition.) This came to my spirit: "Get on your knees and pray!! A brother is falling." This is a type that brothers plural are falling away. When I asked if I should send this on to David, my finger was on a picture of the temple ruins of Laodicea, that he spewed out because they were neither hot nor cold. Oh Lord, save our brothers! Rev 3:14-21: And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth. (I.e., rejected from the body of Christ) 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing (Representing, serving the idols of the worldly); and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Because of not serving the Word.): 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich (In the ways of Christ); and white garments (Representing His works), that thou mayest clothe thyself, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest; and eyesalve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see. (The Word gives discernment to the simple.) 19 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come into him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. The falling away of those who receive the seed of man, or the world is shown by Jesus below. Jesus Explains the Parable of the Sower Mat 13:18 Hear then ye the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the evil one, and snatcheth away that which hath been sown in his heart. (We have seen the factious lose everything they learned at UBM. They have complained that it was all being erased from their mind.) This is he that was sown by the wayside. Mat 13:20 And he that was sown upon the rocky places, this is he that heareth the word, and straightway with joy receiveth it; 21 yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while; and when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, straightway he stumbleth. (They refused to break up the fallow ground of their flesh to give root to the Word.) Mat 13:22 And he that was sown among the thorns, this is he that heareth the word; and the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. (They give all their time, money, and affection to the world instead of Jesus and they spiritually die. If the Love of the world is in you the Love of the Father is not.) 23 And he that was sown upon the good ground, this is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; who verily beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Those who desire to be like Jesus rather than the world will overcome.) The Parable of the Tares Mat 13:24 Another parable set he before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that sowed good seed in his field (The Word of God in the heart of the righteous): 25 but while men slept (With their eyes closed to the light), his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away. (We have seen them come and be taken out by faction as the Word is shown to them for their fruit was small and useless like the tares naturally have.) Mat 13:26 But when the blade sprang up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 And the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence then hath it tares? Mat 13:28 And he said unto them, An enemy hath done this. And the servants say unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he saith, Nay; lest haply while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with them. Mat 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest (The first-fruits harvest is happening): and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather up first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn. (This is happening before our eyes, so the first fruits harvest is happening now. And the Angels are gathering the tares and bundling them by permitting faction spirits, which are separation spirits to take them out to purify the body.) Mat 13:36 Then he left the multitudes and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Explain unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 And he answered and said, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; (Jesus sowed the Word in our hearts as the parable of the sower just showed.) Mat 13:38 and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom (In whom the Word lives); and the tares are the sons of the evil one (In whom satan's seeds of lust live.); 39 and the enemy that sowed them is the devil: and the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are angels. Mat 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered up and burned with fire; so, shall it be in the end of the world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all [things- not Numeric] that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity, (Jesus is doing this to the first-fruits harvest and in the tribulation. He will do it for the Ingathering Harvest.) Mat 13:42 and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath ears, let him hear. (So, this process is to sanctify a body for the Lord.) The Falling away must come to purify the Body. Jesus is coming for the first fruits in the Man-child and Bride to use them to bring in the Ingathering Harvest in the tribulation. He is also coming for the Ingathering Harvest at the end of the Tribulation. One thing preceeds both of these comings - The Falling Away. 2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; 2 to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand; (Notice: Jesus will not come until the Falling Away sanctifies the Body) 2Th 2:3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be (The coming of the Lord), except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, (Perdition means destruction. Like Judas they destroy and are destroyed. Jesus cannot come for the first fruits or ingathering harvests until the son of destruction comes out from among the people of God.) 2Th 2:4 he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. (The son of perdition is his own god; he does as he wishes. The Greek word for temple here is “Naos” which Paul used 9 times as the body of Christ but never as the building. He sits among the people of God which is the temple of God.) 2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season. (The Falling Away restrains the son of perdition being revealed. The Falling Away reveals the son of destruction as is happening now and in the tribulation.) 2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now (The SOP restrains the coming of the Lord for His purified body), until he be - taken out of the way (The Numeric Greek proves this as “be come out of the midst.” When the SOP which identified Judas, came out of the midst he was revealed. The disciples didnt know who he was until he denied the Lord.) 8 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming; (So the Lord comes for his bodies after the falling way separates the SOP tares from the wheat. Then He destroys those Edomites as He did Judas.) 2Th 2:9 even he (the SOP), whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (The SOP has been given power from satan to deceive those who do not hold to the truth. Should we even try to save them? Yes, because they are held guilty by rejecting the truth and those who receive the truth will be saved. ) 2Th 2:11 And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: 12 that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2Co 4:1-4 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, even as we obtained mercy, we faint not: 2 but we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; (Like the SOP) but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled in them that perish: 4 in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them. Father Commands Evil Out of the House Claire Pienaar - 3/19/23 (David's notes in red) I dreamed it was nighttime and I was in my parents' home. I was looking out of my bedroom window at night. (In the natural, when I did this as a child, I saw a demon in female form lurking out there and I always told her to stay out there. I did not engage with her, but I was weary of her.) In my dream, I felt the same trepidation of knowing that I'd see her when I looked out into the garden, but when I did, she wasn't there!! Praise God! The demon was gone, and I could see a perfectly peaceful night far into the distance, beyond the boundary of my parents' home. In the dream, I had pink curtains with fluffy white clouds on them and many, many colorful rainbows. (These curtains represent being covered in love and the promises in the Word, specifically the promise of overcoming evil). I heard my dad next door in my sister's room, which was the same as my room, but this room had blue curtains like mine instead of pink ones. (The curtains represent the same promises, and the blue represents being seated in the heavenlies; the predestination, calling and election of those Father loves). My dad (Representing our Heavenly Father) had my sister in his lap and wanted to read her a story. My sister looked like my daughter Tabitha, and this shook me in the dream. (In the natural, I try to keep my children from as much evil outside influence as possible; they have enough of their own sin nature to overcome). My dad was freaking out because someone had given her a Mickey Mouse book, (Disney perversion.) as well as an evil book with a weird looking teddy bear on the front cover. (I realized the cover looked the same as the pedophile organization run by George Soros with the teddy bear logo. It's the ugliest teddy bear I've ever seen. They are sickos.). (Our Father is not happy with all the corruption in the Churches that is polluting His children.) I was shocked and wondered how these books came into our house, but then I thought “My mother probably brought them in”. (Here again we see a connection between the apostate Church system and the Babylon DS child trafficking.) I told my dad not to worry, and that all people have grown up with some sort of sick stuff like this. (We are exposed to much “sick” doctrine growing up in the apostate Churches. Psa. 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.) I was not fearful and knew I could dispose of these books quickly. I was sad that it had been placed near my sister/daughter and I was unsure how much she'd seen of it. He then took the teddy bear book and said, “This one must be burned!”. He was angry now and said, “I have NEVER been exposed to this, and none of my children should. Get it out of the house!!” (Riaan: The Father will not allow these things in believers' lives anymore. It's a serious reaction to not expose any of his children as immature believers to any lasciviousness brought in by the apostate “mother” Church). Then, I took it and went to burn it or throw it away. Then I woke up. I asked the Lord for a word for this dream and received Psalm 69: 7-8: Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; Shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, And an alien unto my mother's children. Bearing Fruit to Be in the Bride Alenna Timoshchuk - 3/21/23 (David's notes in red) I dreamt that I was pregnant, walking down a road with another girl who was also pregnant, but not as far along as I was. (Representing bearing the fruit of Christ.) She was asking me if I was worried about pregnancy headaches and what they might do to my eyesight. (This represents attacks on our mind by the enemy that can cloud our spiritual sight as we are working to bear the fruit of Christ in the womb of our hearts.) I told her, “No, I wasn't worried about it because I believed that Jesus delivered me from the curse and that I was trusting in the Lord that I was already healed.” (Representing that we are healed through faith in the promises, and we can't walk by sight.) She proceeded to tell me about her sister who knows all about what these headaches can do and that they're ruining her sister's eyesight. (The sister represents those under apostate religious doctrines that don't see that they have been healed by the Lord.) I told her, “It's because her sister was researching a bunch of misinformation and believing it and that it's going to be hard for her to believe what the Lord had done for her if that is what she is filling her mind with.” (We must fill our mind with the Word and keep our sight on God's promises, not what the world says, or we will lose our spiritual eyesight.) We kept walking, and though my pace never changed, the girl I was walking beside was falling behind, and I was going way ahead of her, and it seemed as if I started walking faster. (Not believing the full gospel will hinder you from progressing in your walk in Christ. My pace never changed because it's not my works, but Christ doing the work in me.) As I was walking, two dogs ran up beside me trying to intimidate me. They had special collars on their throats allowing them to speak to me like a human (like in the movie “UP”) and they were also growling and trying to bite me, mainly aiming for my hands. I don't remember what they were saying but it sounded creepy. I just kept my same pace and kept my eyes ahead of me on the road, making sure not to look at the dogs. I knew that if I kept my eyes forward, they wouldn't be able to harm me. (Satan and his demons don't have power unless we give it to them.) Then an old man, who was the owner of the dogs, came out to the road and he was wearing two very thick pairs of gloves. (The old man represents the “old man” of the flesh who cooperates with demons to sidetrack our spiritual man.) The dogs instantly ran over to him, and each jumped up and bit his hands and were hanging off of them. I told him that he needed to put his dogs away so that people could walk on the road and not get hurt by them, but the man laughed and told me they were harmless. I knew then that he wanted the dogs to hurt me, so I faced the road ahead again, and kept walking. (Pro. 4:27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: Remove thy foot from evil.) The scene changed and I was meeting up with my husband and children and we were in a room with my old job manager. He also seemed to be the same owner of the two dogs. I was looking at a model ship that he had and said I was sad about something he wouldn't change. I remember he got really angry with me and opened a can of some kind of gas that would put my family and I to sleep so that he could kill us. My husband instantly put his arms around our daughters and covered them with his body, and I ran out before the door could close. (I believe my husband here represents Jesus who gave his body for us, and I may represent the bride who is also a warrior for Christ.) As I ran out of the room, I realized the gas was in the whole building but I knew that if I fought, I wouldn't fall asleep. I found a sword (Representing the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.) I picked the sword up and across the room I saw a pale Chinese lady with jet black hair cut at chin length. (Our flesh nature is a foreigner, and the short hair represents lack of submission to God and the black hair represents submission to darkness. This woman represents her flesh.) She was watching me and had a sword in her hand. I knew I had to fight her, but first I ran the other way out of the building. I was running so fast that I ran across a lake without getting wet. (Going across the water without getting wet is putting the curse of the Word under our feet. Without this we cannot conquer the flesh.) I rested in some bushes for a little while. (Entering the rest represents ceasing from our own works through faith in the promises. This strengthens us for the battle with the flesh.) Then I ran back to the building to fight her. As soon as I got into the building, I saw another blade and I used it to sharpen my sword before the fight. (Representing iron sharpening iron. Pro. 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; So, a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. As discuss scriptures with others we sharpen our sword of the Spirit.) Then I saw her charging at me, and we started fighting. The fight lasted a while as we swung our swords at each other back and forth. Then she left me for a moment and went into another room. (Resist the devil [and his temptations] and he will flee from you.) I saw one of my biological sisters in that same room casually talking to her and I motioned with my hand and mouthed to her that this lady was trying to kill me. So, my sister stepped away from her and I charged at the Chinese lady full force, and this time I didn't stop hitting her with my sword. I came at her so quickly that she didn't have a chance to defend herself. (This time I was on the offensive side, making it easier to bind the enemy.) I kept hitting her until I saw David Eells had stepped into the room with another man dressed in white. I told them to chain her up so that she can't move and to throw her in jail. David walked up behind her and held both of her hands together with one hand and her feet with his other. She instantly turned into the size of a baby, but she was screaming terribly and had a surprising amount of strength trying to resist him. But there was a yellow glow coming from David's hands as he held her, and he was stronger than her. Then the other man came and put the chains on her so that she couldn't move, and I woke up. (This represents the power of spiritual warfare and agreement between brethren. Mat. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.) Right before I woke up from that dream, I had this little blip of a dream where someone was reading off a paper that had a list of names on it. It was a list of people who were replacing others in the bride. The others had factioned out and the Lord was replacing those people with the ones on this list. I don't remember any of the names except for my own. But I knew I needed to prove myself to actually be in the bride. I asked the Lord who the Chinese lady was that I was fighting and my finger landed on the word “iniquities” of my youth in Job 13:26 (In context 26-27) For thou writest bitter things against me, And makest me to inherit the iniquities of my youth: (The foreigner who is the old man) 27 Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, And markest all my paths; Thou settest a bound to the soles of my feet.) (I bound the feet of her flesh representing her walk.) Then I asked who David Eells represents (already assuming he represented the Father or Jesus) and my finger landed on the face of a man in a picture of King Ahasuerus being angry at Queen Vashti for refusing to obey his command. … (Ahasuerus was the husband of the Bride. Vashti was replaced as his Bride.) A Sanctified Walk Claire Pienaar - 3/17/23 (David's notes in red) (I represent the Bride in this dream, as my name means “brilliance”, which denotes the “lampros garment” of righteous acts of the saints as mentioned in Rev 19:8 And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.) I dreamed that Riaan and I were moving into a new white house two doors down from our current white house that was on the right side when you're looking “up the street”. It was the largest home on the street. (A bigger house denotes more freedom of movement or to act which comes with maturity.) We were unpacking all the things the previous Catholic family had left behind on the curb, for people to take or for rubbish. (All the things of universal christianity must be thrown out [because they are apostate]). We didn't keep anything of theirs. … Then I saw myself in a mirror as I was cleaning the new house with my children. My top half looked normal, like how I look in the natural. … My legs were tan in color and looked very thin. (Representing our walk being exposed to the sun/Son or the Word.) You could see every bone, and the skin stretched over the bones and tendons. My legs looked like they belonged to a marathon runner instead of belonging to me. (This represents having the walk of an overcomer and enduring our race until the end.) (Long distance runners also tend to have leaner legs as they burn much fat reserves on those long runs. They put to death the flesh to take hold of the promise of the prize for enduring the race.) Despite what they looked like, my legs were moving so fast it was like they belonged to someone else. (They do belong to someone else because we are the hands and feet of Christ. And we are doing His supernatural works.) They were easily going triple the speed of the pace at which the rest of my body was moving. Then I woke up. (As the Bride comes in to her anointing, she will be getting things done much faster for the kingdom because much will be done more supernaturally, as the angels have told us.) I asked the Lord for a couple of words by faith at random, and received Rev 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. To him that overcometh, to him will I give of the hidden manna (Receiving the Hidden manna represents receiving in depth discernment and understanding of the Word of God.), and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it. (A new name means a new nature, character, and authority; that of Christ. This all represents coming into the Brides anointing to walk as Jesus walked.) And Matt 15:28: Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith; be it done unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was healed from that hour. (We are all sons and daughters of the King if we continue to abide in great faith and overcome in Him with His nature, character, and authority). God's Investment in Us Samuel Fire - 3/10/23 (David's notes in red) I saw how our Father has heavily invested in us all. He has invested more into us than we can fully comprehend. He sent His only begotten Son to die for us [and give us His life]. An investment is an expectation on a good and greater return. Parable of Talents: Mat. 25:14-30 For it is as when a man, going into another country, called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his several ability; and he went on his journey. 16 Straightway he that received the five talents went and traded with them and made other five talents. 17 In like manner he also that received the two gained other two. 18 But he that received the one went away and digged in the earth and hid his lord's money. (Some people waste their God-given talents on worldly endeavors instead of God's kingdom, so He doesn't get a return on His investment.) 19 Now after a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and maketh a reckoning with them. 20 And he that received the five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: lo, I have gained other five talents. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (So, some faithful servants bear fruit with the talents invested in them.) 22 And he also that received the two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: lo, I have gained other two talents. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 And he also that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou didst not sow, and gathering where thou didst not scatter; 25 and I was afraid, and went away and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, thou hast thine own. (Obviously, this man did not know how to cooperate with God because He considered His talent should be used as his flesh desired.) 26 But his lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I did not scatter; 27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back mine own with interest. 28 Take ye away therefore the talent from him and give it unto him that hath the ten talents. 29 For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away. (If we don't bear fruit with the talent we are given it will be taken away and given to someone more worthy. This is what happens to those who fall away into faction and lose even the understanding of bearing fruit.) 30 And cast ye out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. ‘Definition of Investment: 1. The action or process of investing money for profit. 2. A thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future. 3. An act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result. 4. The surrounding of a place by a hostile force in order to besiege or blockade it.' ‘Almighty Father's Hands are surrounding us, capturing us from the miry clay. We are molded and shaped into His Image. He had paid a price nothing could compare. Every knee will bow and obey and praise Him and our lives are for His good-will, pleasure, and glory.' The Lord Jesus' life was laid down for ours, that we can then have Him in us. We are a corporate body of Christ, and desire to manifest Him 100-fold; He, in us and through us, will do greater works for the glory of our Father. 1Jn 4:4 YE are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is the one in you than the one in the world. Joh 15:13 Greater love hath no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Joh 14:12 Amen, Amen, I say unto you, Who believeth unto me, the works that I do shall HE do also; and greater than these shall he do, because I go unto the Father. Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the world's foundation, that we be holy and without blemish before him in love. Will He get more than He invested back from you? Will He even get His investment back? He didn't just make the whole physical existence to only get what He started with; He wants more. (He sowed the seed of Christ in this dirt we call our natural life. Here's where He gets His investment back. This seed of the Word will birth Christ in us and He can do so much more than we can.) A refining purification process isn't just throwing out everything, it is extracting the best out of the worst. (“As the outer man is decaying the inner man is being renewed day by day.”) We have had many teachings, revelations, understandings, wisdom, and knowledge invested in us through many people from the very beginning until now. (This is again how His investment will bear fruit for His Glory.) He's made available His Word in a physical Bible in our language, that withstood the enemy trying to destroy it, to aid us to manifest and follow the Lord Jesus. SERVICES Ubbs Outreach Friday Night Worship CONTACT Share Your Testimony Request Prayer Technical Support Questions SUPPORT US We are a non-profit organisation based in United States. Our goal is to empower and equip people to discover more about Christianity and point them to a life of happiness, peace and purpose. Donate
There's a saying that Purim has a lot in common with a certain other Jewish holiday. But unlike Purim, that other holiday isn't exactly known for parties, costumes, and sweet treats. No, it's Yom Kippur, a day of fasting and atonement. So where's the similarity? In this week's episode, Rabbi Fohrman and Rivky Stern go back to the Torah's description of the Yom Kippur service and uncover a whole list of parallels with the Book of Esther. One of those parallels is sorrowful: When Vashti is banished for refusing to come before King Ahasuerus, the Megillah's language seems to send us back to the deaths of Aaron's sons in Leviticus. But as it turns out, both stories include a more hopeful “replay.” God teaches Aaron how to come safely into the Holy of Holies once a year, on Yom Kippur. Meanwhile, Queen Esther takes a significant risk to approach her King's inner courtyard… and becomes the savior of her people.What did you think of this episode? We'd genuinely like to hear your thoughts, questions, and feedback. Leave us a voice message – just click record, and let your thoughts flow. You may even be featured on the show!If you're enjoying this podcast, help support our work by subscribing to Aleph Beta. Into the Verse is a project of Aleph Beta, a Torah media company dedicated to spreading the joy and love of meaningful Torah learning worldwide. For our full library of over 1,000 videos and podcasts, please visit www.alephbeta.org.
Sacrilegious Discourse - Bible Study for Atheists
Husband and Wife answer questions about Queen Vashti. Was she wicked and vain, or was she the quintessential feminist icon? Did she even really exist? And who the heck is King Ahasuerus? #JusticeForVashti Skip the ads by joining Acast+ https://plus.acast.com/s/6331d364470c7900137bb57dThank you for stopping by Sacrilegious Discourse - Bible Study for Atheists!Check out these links for more information about our podcast and merchandise:Our Homepage: https://sacrilegiousdiscourse.com/Help support us by subscribing on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sacrilegiousdiscourse Join Acast+ to enjoy our podcast adfree and get EARLY access to our episodes! https://plus.acast.com/s/sacrilegious-discourse-bible-study-for-atheists. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Torah Podcast with Michael Brooke
During the month of Adar, we celebrate the holiday of Purim. We read Megilas Esther, which tells the Purim story, and dressed up in our Purim costumes. The sages teach us to increase our happiness during the month of Adar. The problem we are left with is how? In this episode of The Torah Podcast, we unearth the source of joy and strategize how to attain this wonderful middah. Purim Dvar Torah: Lasting Lessons from AdarUncover the rich history of Purim, Adar, and their long-lasting teachings in this insightful Dvar Torah. Learn how to explore new depths of our tradition through the month of Adar.Purim and Adar provide a unique opportunity to understand our tradition better. Through this Dvar Torah, explore the history behind Purim and discover new insights into Jewish teachings within the month of Adar.What is Purim?Purim is a Jewish holiday commemorating the Jewish people's saving from Haman's plot to commit genocide against them in the 4th century BCE Persia. According to the Book of Esther, Adar was a time for fasting, prayer, and celebration as Queen Esther implored King Ahasuerus to spare her people from destruction. This holiday has been celebrated ever since and is still marked today throughout the world.The more profound teachings of Purim and the entire month of Adar can be uncovered through studying our texts with increased enthusiasm and sensitivity. By exploring the Talmud, Midrash, and other commentaries, we can discover unexpected ideas and insights regarding the historical context of Queen Esther's incredible story and her actions in liberating the Jews from Haman's evil plot. Additionally, when we consider the various customs people have been doing since ancient times to commemorate this momentous time in Jewish history, we can uncover lasting lessons that will enhance our spiritual lives today.Support the show-------------------The Torah Podcast is a weekly online Torah class about the week's Parsha. A focused and thought-provoking Dvar Torah about this week's Torah portion: stop asking, "what is this week's Parsha" and start telling your friends Divrei Torah on this week's Parsha. NEW! Watch our Torah WhatsApp status! WhatsApp the word "greatness" to (757)-679-4497 to watch the status. ------------------Check out our other Torah Podcasts and content! Follow our Apple Podcast Channel! The Motivation Congregation Podcast Network SUBSCRIBE to The Motivation Congregation Podcast for daily motivational mussar! Listen to The Motivation Congregation Podcast and The Torah Podcast on Spotify or the new Jewish music and podcast streaming platform 24six! Find all Torah talks and listen to featured episodes on our new website themotivationcongregation.org
Truth For Life on Oneplace.com
Our choices can hold us captive. In a drunken moment, King Ahasuerus proclaimed an irrevocable decree that he later regretted but was powerless to change. How did his decision impact God's plan and purpose? Find out on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg. To support this ministry financially, visit: https://www.oneplace.com/donate/163/29
Our choices can hold us captive. In a drunken moment, King Ahasuerus proclaimed an irrevocable decree that he later regretted but was powerless to change. How did his decision impact God's plan and purpose? Find out on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg. Listen...
We all know the story of Esther, but if not for the actions of Vashti, there would be no Queen Esther. Vashti was the original wife of King Ahasuerus.All God's Women is a daily devotional women's Bible study podcast and internationally syndicated radio show where we journey through the Bible one woman's story at a time. If you enjoy learning about women in the Bible, tune in each weekday for 2-minute Bible stories about Bible women.Take your study further with the Women of Prayer BIBLE STUDY Be a part of the Women of Prayer SIMULSTUDYLearn more at the All God's Women WEBSITEJoin the All God's Women FACEBOOK GROUPPin All God's Women on PINTERESTFollow Sharon Wilharm on FACEBOOK
We all know the story of Esther, but if not for the actions of Vashti, there would be no Queen Esther. Vashti was the original wife of King Ahasuerus.All God's Women is a daily devotional women's Bible study podcast and internationally syndicated radio show where we journey through the Bible one woman's story at a time. If you enjoy learning about women in the Bible, tune in each weekday for 2-minute Bible stories about Bible women. Take your study further with the Women of Prayer BIBLE STUDY Be a part of the Women of Prayer SIMULSTUDYLearn more at the All God's Women WEBSITEJoin the All God's Women FACEBOOK GROUPPin All God's Women on PINTERESTFollow Sharon Wilharm on FACEBOOK
Thy Strong Word from KFUO Radio
The Rev. Doug Griebenaw, pastor and Mission Advocate at KFUO joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study Esther 6:14-7:10. Irony. Comeuppance. Poetic Justice. Whatever you want to call it, Haman's humiliation in the previous chapter is now compounded as Queen Esther uses the occasion of another special feast for King Ahasuerus and Haman to reveal Haman's treacherous plot against the Jews. The king is furious while Haman grovels for mercy before the Queen. Is Haman simply experiencing a string of bad luck? No, it's God's divine providence at work. How does King Ahasuerus react? Let's just say, the gallows Haman built will get some use after all. The books of Ruth and Esther from the Old Testament are the only two books in the Bible named for women, and on Thy Strong Word, we delve deep into both. The book of Esther recalls how a Jewish woman marries the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and becomes queen. At the urging of her cousin, Mordecai, Esther uses her influence to foil a plot to exterminate the Hebrew people. Although God is not mentioned in the book, his power is at work behind the scenes.
Thy Strong Word from KFUO Radio
The Rev. Nick Koschmann, pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Forest Grove, Oregon, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study Esther 6:1-13. Haman goes to the King's palace early, eager to convince him to authorize the execution of Mordecai. Providentially, he arrives just as King Ahasuerus is seeking someone to advise him on how to best reward Mordecai for previously foiling an assassination plot against him. He asks Haman how to honor a worthy, but unnamed man. Ironically, Haman, thinking the King wants to honor him, has very specific ideas of how to reward and celebrate this mysterious man. The King then orders Haman to carry out everything he suggested—for Mordecai—and this is just the beginning of Haman's very bad day. The books of Ruth and Esther from the Old Testament are the only two books in the Bible named for women, and on Thy Strong Word, we delve deep into both. The book of Esther recalls how a Jewish woman marries the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and becomes queen. At the urging of her cousin, Mordecai, Esther uses her influence to foil a plot to exterminate the Hebrew people. Although God is not mentioned in the book, his power is at work behind the scenes.
Thy Strong Word from KFUO Radio
The Rev. Roger Mullet, pastor of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Churubusco, IN, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study Esther 5. Queen Esther invites King Ahasuerus and Haman to a luxurious banquet, with the intention of addressing his edict against the Jews. However, she delays mentioning anything until the next day. Haman leaves the feast feeling proud of his high rank and the many privileges he has been given. However, his pride takes a hit when Mordecai refuses to show him the respect he feels he deserves. Haman's wife and friends suggest he take action against Mordecai, and Haman eagerly decides to have him executed. The books of Ruth and Esther from the Old Testament are the only two books in the Bible named for women, and on Thy Strong Word, we delve deep into both. The book of Esther recalls how a Jewish woman marries the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and becomes queen. At the urging of her cousin, Mordecai, Esther uses her influence to foil a plot to exterminate the Hebrew people. Although God is not mentioned in the book, his power is at work behind the scenes.
With family: Genesis 33; Mark 4 Genesis 33 (Listen) Jacob Meets Esau 33 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. 2 And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3 He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. 4 But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5 And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.” 6 Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. 7 Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8 Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company1 that I met?” Jacob answered, “To find favor in the sight of my lord.” 9 But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.” 10 Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. 11 Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.” Thus he urged him, and he took it. 12 Then Esau said, “Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead of2 you.” 13 But Jacob said to him, “My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the nursing flocks and herds are a care to me. If they are driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. 14 Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.” 15 So Esau said, “Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.” But he said, “What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.” 16 So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17 But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.3 18 And Jacob came safely4 to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. 19 And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money5 the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. 20 There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.6 Footnotes  33:8 Hebrew camp  33:12 Or along with  33:17 Succoth means booths  33:18 Or peacefully  33:19 Hebrew a hundred qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value  33:20 El-Elohe-Israel means God, the God of Israel (ESV) Mark 4 (Listen) The Parable of the Sower 4 Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” The Purpose of the Parables 10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that “‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.'” 13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.1 18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” A Lamp Under a Basket 21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” The Parable of the Seed Growing 26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” The Parable of the Mustard Seed 30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” 33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything. Jesus Calms a Storm 35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Footnotes  4:17 Or stumble (ESV) In private: Esther 9–10; Romans 4 Esther 9–10 (Listen) The Jews Destroy Their Enemies 9 Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them. 2 The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples. 3 All the officials of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew more and more powerful. 5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In Susa the citadel itself the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, 7 and also killed Parshandatha and Dalphon and Aspatha 8 and Poratha and Adalia and Aridatha 9 and Parmashta and Arisai and Aridai and Vaizatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, but they laid no hand on the plunder. 11 That very day the number of those killed in Susa the citadel was reported to the king. 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, “In Susa the citadel the Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men and also the ten sons of Haman. What then have they done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now what is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what further is your request? It shall be fulfilled.” 13 And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the Jews who are in Susa be allowed tomorrow also to do according to this day's edict. And let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows.”1 14 So the king commanded this to be done. A decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged. 15 The Jews who were in Susa gathered also on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and they killed 300 men in Susa, but they laid no hands on the plunder. 16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king's provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder. 17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness. 18 But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another. The Feast of Purim Inaugurated 20 And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 21 obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, 22 as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor. 23 So the Jews accepted what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them. 25 But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing that his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. 26 Therefore they called these days Purim, after the term Pur. Therefore, because of all that was written in this letter, and of what they had faced in this matter, and of what had happened to them, 27 the Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and all who joined them, that without fail they would keep these two days according to what was written and at the time appointed every year, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants. 29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew gave full written authority, confirming this second letter about Purim. 30 Letters were sent to all the Jews, to the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth, 31 that these days of Purim should be observed at their appointed seasons, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther obligated them, and as they had obligated themselves and their offspring, with regard to their fasts and their lamenting. 32 The command of Esther confirmed these practices of Purim, and it was recorded in writing. The Greatness of Mordecai 10 King Ahasuerus imposed tax on the land and on the coastlands of the sea. 2 And all the acts of his power and might, and the full account of the high honor of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? 3 For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people. Footnotes  9:13 Or wooden beam; also verse 25 (see note on 2:23) (ESV) Romans 4 (Listen) Abraham Justified by Faith 4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in1 him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” 9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. The Promise Realized Through Faith 13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness2 of Sarah's womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Footnotes  4:5 Or but trusts; compare verse 24  4:19 Greek deadness (ESV)
With family: Genesis 32; Mark 3 Genesis 32 (Listen) Jacob Fears Esau 32 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2 And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God's camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.1 3 And Jacob sent2 messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4 instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. 5 I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.'” 6 And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” 7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, 8 thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.” 9 And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,' 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11 Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12 But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.'” 13 So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15 thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16 These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17 He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?' 18 then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.'” 19 He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20 and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.'” For he thought, “I may appease him3 with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”4 21 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp. Jacob Wrestles with God 22 The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children,5 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,6 for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel,7 saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh. Footnotes  32:2 Mahanaim means two camps  32:3 Or had sent  32:20 Hebrew appease his face  32:20 Hebrew he will lift my face  32:22 Or sons  32:28 Israel means He strives with God, or God strives  32:30 Peniel means the face of God (ESV) Mark 3 (Listen) A Man with a Withered Hand 3 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus,1 to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. A Great Crowd Follows Jesus 7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea 8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. 9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, 10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. 11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known. The Twelve Apostles 13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. 14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach 15 and have authority to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot,2 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 20 Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. 28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.” Jesus' Mother and Brothers 31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers3 are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” Footnotes  3:2 Greek him  3:18 Greek kananaios, meaning zealot  3:32 Other manuscripts add and your sisters (ESV) In private: Esther 8; Romans 3 Esther 8 (Listen) Esther Saves the Jews 8 On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. 2 And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. 3 Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. 4 When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, Esther rose and stood before the king. 5 And she said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. 6 For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?” 7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows,1 because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. 8 But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.” 9 The king's scribes were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. And an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded concerning the Jews, to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. 10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king's signet ring. Then he sent the letters by mounted couriers riding on swift horses that were used in the king's service, bred from the royal stud, 11 saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods, 12 on one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 13 A copy of what was written was to be issued as a decree in every province, being publicly displayed to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take vengeance on their enemies. 14 So the couriers, mounted on their swift horses that were used in the king's service, rode out hurriedly, urged by the king's command. And the decree was issued in Susa the citadel. 15 Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown2 and a robe of fine linen and purple, and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. 16 The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. 17 And in every province and in every city, wherever the king's command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them. Footnotes  8:7 Or wooden beam (see note on 2:23)  8:15 Or headdress (ESV) Romans 3 (Listen) God's Righteousness Upheld 3 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.” 5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. No One Is Righteous 9 What then? Are we Jews1 any better off?2 No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.”14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;16 in their paths are ruin and misery,17 and the way of peace they have not known.”18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being3 will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. The Righteousness of God Through Faith 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. Footnotes  3:9 Greek Are we  3:9 Or at any disadvantage?  3:20 Greek flesh (ESV)
Thy Strong Word from KFUO Radio
The Rev. Doug Minton, pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Milford, IL, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study Esther 3. Esther is Queen, but King Ahasuerus has elevated one of his officials, Hamann, to prime minister and given him authority to rule over all the other officials. One of those officials, Mordecai, a Jew, and a cousin and father figure to Esther, refuses to bow down to Hamann as instructed. Hamann responds in anger and devises a plan to destroy all the Jews. The books of Ruth and Esther from the Old Testament are the only two books in the Bible named for women, and on Thy Strong Word, we delve deep into both. The book of Esther recalls how a Jewish woman marries the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and becomes queen. At the urging of her cousin, Mordecai, Esther uses her influence to foil a plot to exterminate the Hebrew people. Although God is not mentioned in the book, his power is at work behind the scenes.
With family: Genesis 30; Mark 1 Genesis 30 (Listen) 30 When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” 2 Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3 Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf,1 that even I may have children2 through her.” 4 So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5 And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6 Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan.3 7 Rachel's servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8 Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings4 I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.5 9 When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said, “Good fortune has come!” so she called his name Gad.6 12 Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah said, “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.7 14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son's mandrakes.” 15 But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son's mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son's mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17 And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.8 19 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.9 21 Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah. 22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24 And she called his name Joseph,10 saying, “May the LORD add to me another son!” Jacob's Prosperity 25 As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you.” 27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that11 the LORD has blessed me because of you. 28 Name your wages, and I will give it.” 29 Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me. 30 For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31 He said, “What shall I give you?” Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it: 32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and they shall be my wages. 33 So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.” 34 Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” 35 But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in the charge of his sons. 36 And he set a distance of three days' journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban's flock. 37 Then Jacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban's flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's. 43 Thus the man increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys. Footnotes  30:3 Hebrew on my knees  30:3 Hebrew be built up, which sounds like the Hebrew for children  30:6 Dan sounds like the Hebrew for judged  30:8 Hebrew With wrestlings of God  30:8 Naphtali sounds like the Hebrew for wrestling  30:11 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for good fortune  30:13 Asher sounds like the Hebrew for happy  30:18 Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for wages, or hire  30:20 Zebulun sounds like the Hebrew for honor  30:24 Joseph means May he add, and sounds like the Hebrew for taken away  30:27 Or have become rich and (ESV) Mark 1 (Listen) John the Baptist Prepares the Way 1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.1 2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,2 “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare3 the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'” 4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” The Baptism of Jesus 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;4 with you I am well pleased.” The Temptation of Jesus 12 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13 And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him. Jesus Begins His Ministry 14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand;5 repent and believe in the gospel.” Jesus Calls the First Disciples 16 Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17 And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”6 18 And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19 And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20 And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Spirit 21 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee. Jesus Heals Many 29 And immediately he7 left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon's mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. 32 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. Jesus Preaches in Galilee 35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. Jesus Cleanses a Leper 40 And a leper8 came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43 And Jesus9 sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter. Footnotes  1:1 Some manuscripts omit the Son of God  1:2 Some manuscripts in the prophets  1:3 Or crying: Prepare in the wilderness  1:11 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved  1:15 Or the kingdom of God has come near  1:17 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women  1:29 Some manuscripts they  1:40 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13  1:43 Greek he; also verse 45 (ESV) In private: Esther 6; Romans 1 Esther 6 (Listen) The King Honors Mordecai 6 On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. 2 And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana1 and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 3 And the king said, “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” The king's young men who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” 4 And the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows2 that he had prepared for him. 5 And the king's young men told him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” 6 So Haman came in, and the king said to him, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” 7 And Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, 8 let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown3 is set. 9 And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.'” 10 Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.” 11 So Haman took the robes and the horse, and he dressed Mordecai and led him through the square of the city, proclaiming before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.” 12 Then Mordecai returned to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. 13 And Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but will surely fall before him.” Esther Reveals Haman's Plot 14 While they were yet talking with him, the king's eunuchs arrived and hurried to bring Haman to the feast that Esther had prepared. Footnotes  6:2 Bigthana is an alternate spelling of Bigthan (see 2:21)  6:4 Or wooden beam (see note on 2:23)  6:8 Or headdress (ESV) Romans 1 (Listen) Greeting 1 Paul, a servant1 of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David2 according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Longing to Go to Rome 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,3 that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,4 both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. The Righteous Shall Live by Faith 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,5 as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”6 God's Wrath on Unrighteousness 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,7 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Footnotes  1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface  1:3 Or who came from the offspring of David  1:13 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters  1:14 That is, non-Greeks  1:17 Or beginning and ending in faith  1:17 Or The one who by faith is righteous shall live  1:20 Or clearly perceived from the creation of the world (ESV)
Thy Strong Word from KFUO Radio
The Rev. Thomas Eckstein, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Jamestown, ND, joins the Rev. Dr. Phil Booe to study Esther 1. The Book of Esther is the second of the only two books in the Bible named for women. It tells the story of a young Jewish woman named Esther who becomes the queen of Persia and uses her position to save her people from extermination. Notably, nowhere in the book is God mentioned, and yet we see his handiwork behind the scenes shaping history and working good for his people. The books of Ruth and Esther from the Old Testament are the only two books in the Bible named for women, and on Thy Strong Word, we delve deep into both. The book of Esther recalls how a Jewish woman marries the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes) and becomes queen. At the urging of her cousin, Mordecai, Esther uses her influence to foil a plot to exterminate the Hebrew people. Although God is not mentioned in the book, his power is at work behind the scenes.
With family: Genesis 27; Matthew 26 Genesis 27 (Listen) Isaac Blesses Jacob 27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, 4 and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” 5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the LORD before I die.' 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. 9 Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” 11 But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.” 14 So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” 20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the LORD your God granted me success.” 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands. So he blessed him. 24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” 25 Then he said, “Bring it near to me, that I may eat of my son's game and bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed!28 May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine.29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!” 30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that you may bless me.” 32 His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” 33 Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” 34 As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” 35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” 36 Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob?1 For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. 39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: “Behold, away from2 the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from3 the dew of heaven on high.40 By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.” 41 Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran 44 and stay with him a while, until your brother's fury turns away—45 until your brother's anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?” 46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women.4 If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?” Footnotes  27:36 Jacob means He takes by the heel, or He cheats  27:39 Or Behold, of  27:39 Or and of  27:46 Hebrew daughters of Heth (ESV) Matthew 26 (Listen) The Plot to Kill Jesus 26 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” 3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” Jesus Anointed at Bethany 6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,1 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. 8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” Judas to Betray Jesus 14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. The Passover with the Disciples 17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve.2 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” Institution of the Lord's Supper 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the3 covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.” Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial 30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. Jesus Prays in Gethsemane 36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37 And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch4 with me.” 39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 40 And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.5 See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus 47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”6 Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant7 of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled. Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Council 57 Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. 58 And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council8 were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, 60 but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61 and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'” 62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”9 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” Peter Denies Jesus 69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Footnotes  26:6 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13  26:20 Some manuscripts add disciples  26:28 Some manuscripts insert new  26:38 Or keep awake; also verses 40, 41  26:45 Or Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?  26:50 Or Friend, why are you here?  26:51 Or bondservant  26:59 Greek Sanhedrin  26:62 Or Have you no answer to what these men testify against you? (ESV) In private: Esther 3; Acts 26 Esther 3 (Listen) Haman Plots Against the Jews 3 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, and advanced him and set his throne above all the officials who were with him. 2 And all the king's servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage. 3 Then the king's servants who were at the king's gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king's command?” 4 And when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordecai's words would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or pay homage to him, Haman was filled with fury. 6 But he disdained1 to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, as they had made known to him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy2 all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. 7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, they cast lots) before Haman day after day; and they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every other people, and they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not to the king's profit to tolerate them. 9 If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents3 of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king's business, that they may put it into the king's treasuries.” 10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. 11 And the king said to Haman, “The money is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you.” 12 Then the king's scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and an edict, according to all that Haman commanded, was written to the king's satraps and to the governors over all the provinces and to the officials of all the peoples, to every province in its own script and every people in its own language. It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king's signet ring. 13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's provinces with instruction to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province by proclamation to all the peoples to be ready for that day. 15 The couriers went out hurriedly by order of the king, and the decree was issued in Susa the citadel. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was thrown into confusion. Footnotes  3:6 Hebrew disdained in his eyes  3:6 Or annihilate  3:9 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms (ESV) Acts 26 (Listen) Paul's Defense Before Agrippa 26 So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense: 2 “I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently. 4 “My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. 5 They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee. 6 And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, 7 to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king! 8 Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead? 9 “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities. Paul Tells of His Conversion 12 “In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language,1 ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.' 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' 19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” 24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” 25 But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. 26 For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe.” 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?”2 29 And Paul said, “Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am—except for these chains.” 30 Then the king rose, and the governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, “This man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment.” 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.” Footnotes  26:14 Or the Hebrew dialect (probably Aramaic)  26:28 Or In a short time you would persuade me to act like a Christian! (ESV)