The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – by Gary Stephen Crous

THE BIRTH,

DEATH AND

RESURRECTION

OF

JESUS CHRIST

 

A BIBLICAL ACCOUNT FROM

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

 

~ GARY STEPHEN CROUS ~

 

This work is dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ to bring glory to God our Father and by the personal leading of the Holy Spirit. All my praise and worship is to my Creator God Almighty for saving a wretch like me.

This book is also dedicated to disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ who are obedient to His Word and are living His Truth.

All Scripture portions are taken from the Holy King James Bible (1611 Authorised Version)

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CONTENTS

4 Preface

7 Is Christmas Found in the Scriptures

9 The Gospel According to Luke (1:1-2:40)

22 The Course of Abijah

25 The Jewish Calendar

28 The Seder Table and Elijah

33 The Feast of Tabernacles

39 The Shepherds of Bethlehem

43 The Wise Men (Magi)

46 December 25th – A Compromise With Heathens

49 Warnings against Idolatry

51 The Tree

54 Putting Christ Back Into Christmas

56 A Missionary’s Scenario

59 The Celebration of the Passover (Easter)

63 Eleven-Day Biblical Chronological Account

74 Conclusion

78 A Gospel Presentation

95 The Epistle of Paul to the Romans

Preface

This book deals with the birth, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ: A Biblical account from the Holy Scriptures. It looks at the holidays that are ‘celebrated’ as Christmas and Easter (Passover) each year, and we look into the Holy Scriptures to see if there are any commandments to celebrate these days, or whether these are man-made days that are traditions that have been set in place to be celebrated. So we need to ask pertinent questions, like: What does the Holy Scriptures tell us? And are we to celebrate these ‘Holy Days’ as holidays?

Every year, in the Gregorian months of December and April, the secular world – unbelievers – and most religions of the world follow after another celebration which mostly takes to partying and reveling in a time of secular festive fun. But there are also believers who celebrate these days, too. Are they acting according to the Scriptures? Or does it not really matter whether we keep them or not? So what does those times of year hold in store for the believer and unbeliever? Was Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, really born on December 25th? And are we to celebrate the Passover – Crucifixion of Jesus Christ?

The Holy Bible reads:

23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. ~ John 4:23,24

What does God’s Word reveal to us in Scripture? And are we called and commanded to celebrate Christ’s birth? Much has been written before about Christmas and whether we are to celebrate the birth of Christ or not. As a Christian it would be prudent of us if we would read, search out and seek God’s Word on this issue. If we desire to follow and honour God in all our ways, we will take our lead from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and follow His example. Jesus said:

29And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 30As he spake these words, many believed on him. 31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ John 8:29-32

This truth does not just stop at the words of Jesus, but we must be willing to search the Scriptures, like the Bereans (see Acts 17:11) and the historical facts to find out the real truth about Christmas. The Word of God is the final authority and it is from there that we will see whether Christmas is commanded in Scripture and pleasing to God, or not. And also whether we are to celebrate Easter!

As part of the introduction to this epistle we must establish the ground rules that will dictate the teaching contained herein. We also know that the Word of God is to be used as:

16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16,17

We should all also heed the eternal consequential warnings by Jesus the Christ about those who do well-intended religious practices in His Name:

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. ~ Matthew 7:21-23

Is Christmas Found in the Scriptures?

We do not find the word Christmas in the Holy Scriptures, and nowhere are we commanded by the Lord Jesus or His apostles to celebrate His birth. We do not see any persons in the Scriptures celebrating, alluding to celebrating or attending any celebration of Christmas as a Holy Day or holiday. However, what we do find in Scripture, though, is a specific command given by the Lord Jesus and the apostle Paul to remember the Lord’s death until He returns at His second coming in the institution of the Lord’s Supper. As it is written, we read Jesus’ account in Luke 22:19,20 ~

19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

And also in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, we read ~

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. (My emphasis added in bold and throughout)

Christmas has many trappings that appeal to the lusts of the eyes and the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life where the spirit of covetousness is prevalent, and it also has many practices that cannot be associated with Christ, or the practices have no Scriptural basis that followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, being His disciples, should be partaking in. Is it really harmless to celebrate the birth of Christ when there is no Scriptural command for doing so? Before we can even begin to answer these and many other questions surrounding the birth date of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we need to first read the Biblical account of His birth from God’s Word as recorded by the physician Luke in the Gospel penned by him. The apostle Luke has recorded pertinent information that is not recorded in the other Gospels, but when the four Gospels are read together they are all in perfect harmony. Let us go first to the Scriptures to read the blessed historic recording of the birth of the Messiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit – the whole text from Luke 1:1-2:40 is recorded here for context and ease of reference ~

The Gospel According to Luke

Luke Chapter 1

The Purpose and Method of Luke’s Gospel

1Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

Zecharias Ministers in the Temple

5There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. 8And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

An Angel Announces the Birth of John the Baptist

11And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Zacharias Is Unable to Speak

18And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. 20And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 21And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. 22And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless. 23And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

Gabriel Announces Christ’s Birth

26And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Mary Miraculously Conceives

34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elisabeth

39And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 46And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 50And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 51He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 53He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 54He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 55As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. 56And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Elisabeth Gives Birth to John

57Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. 59And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. 61And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. 62And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. 64And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 65And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. 66And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

Zacharias Prophesies of John’s Ministry

67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 69And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; 70As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: 71That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, 74That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 75In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 76And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 77To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 78Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 79To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. 80And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

Luke Chapter 2

Christ Is Born

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Angels Announce Jesus to the Shepherds

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The Shepherds Visit Jesus

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Christ Is Circumcised

21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Simeon’s Prophecy

25And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. 33And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. 34And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Anna’s Testimony

36And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; 37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Jesus Returns to Nazareth

39And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

It is important that you read the full account according to Luke so that you grasp the full text and no important information is overlooked. Certain Scriptures were highlighted in bold for emphasis by this book’s author.

From the physician Luke’s account, as mentioned previously, he has included very pertinent information that none of the other Gospel writers have included in their accounts. It is not that Matthew, Mark and John had overlooked this information – it just appears that Almighty God gave Luke the insight of recording the historical and legal information for our benefit.

To say Scripture is silent on the time of the Messiah, Jesus Christ’s birth is to not take the Author of the Scriptures, God Almighty, at His Word. Man lives by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (see Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3), and knowing the time period when the baby Jesus entered into this world – when God took on human form (see John 1:14) can surely be known. God might not have openly stated the exact date of His Son’s nativity, but from examining His Scriptures we can know when (the time period) Christ was born. So let us start with an important piece of information given to us as recorded by Luke in verse 1:5 of his Gospel – the word “Abia” (or “Abijah”). This is our point of reference and it is from here that we are to start our calculations towards the birth of the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Course of Abijah

From Scripture we read that the Levite priests from the sons of Aaron were allotted to serve at the Temple as recorded in the Law of Moses and these courses were divided into twenty-four divisions, as recorded in 1 Chronicles 24:1-19 ~

1Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest’s office. 3And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices in their service. 4And there were more chief men found of the sons of Eleazar than of the sons of Ithamar; and thus were they divided. Among the sons of Eleazar there were sixteen chief men of the house of their fathers, and eight among the sons of Ithamar according to the house of their fathers. 5Thus were they divided by lot, one sort with another; for the governors of the sanctuary, and governors of the house of God, were of the sons of Eleazar, and of the sons of Ithamar. 6And Shemaiah the son of Nethaneel the scribe, one of the Levites, wrote them before the king, and the princes, and Zadok the priest, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and before the chief of the fathers of the priests and Levites: one principal household being taken for Eleazar, and one taken for Ithamar. 7Now the first lot came forth to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, 8The third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, 9The fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, 10The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah, 11The ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shecaniah, 12The eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim, 13The thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab, 14The fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer, 15The seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Aphses, 16The nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Jehezekel, 17The one and twentieth to Jachin, the two and twentieth to Gamul, 18The three and twentieth to Delaiah, the four and twentieth to Maaziah. 19These were the orderings of them in their service to come into the house of the LORD, according to their manner, under Aaron their father, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded him.

Each course served for two weeks of each year, once in the first half of the year and once in the second half of the year.  The Temple priests, however, were also required to serve collectively for three weeks during the year as commanded by God during the three pilgrimage festivals as recorded in Deuteronomy 16:16 ~

16Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:

The Jewish Calendar

MONTH

PRE- /   POST EXILIC

OF YEAR   SACRED / CIVIL

MODERN

EQUIVALENT

MONTHS

Abib / Nisan

1 / 7

March / April

Ziv / Iyyar

2 /8

April / May

Sivan

3 / 9

May / June

Tammaz

4 / 10

June / July

Ab

5 / 11

July / August

Elul

6 / 12

August / September

Ethanim / Tishri

7 / 1

September / October

Bul / Heshvan

8 / 2

October / November

Chislev

9 / 3

November / December

Tebeth

10 / 4

December / January

Shebat

11 / 5

January / February

Adar

12 / 6

February / March

To calculate when the course of Abijah would appear in the year we need to first understand the Jewish calendar. The time when Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Jewish calendar would be using the post exilic sacred months as recorded in the above diagram on this page.

Therefore, the year would start off in the month of Nisan and the months were based on the lunar calendar of 30 days per month. This would therefore equate, according to the Jewish calendar, to a 360-day lunar year. In accordance with the course that the priests would appear in the Temple, the calculation would be:

24 Courses multiplied by 2 Temple duties a year equals 48 weeks, plus the three pilgrimage weeks which totals 51 weeks.

The 51 weeks equate to 357 days which fits within the 360-day lunar year calendar.

As a result of these calculations we can therefore see that the course of Abijah, i.e. the eighth course (1 Chronicles 24:10), would serve the tenth week during the first half of the year, as a result of the following:

  • Passover / Feast of Unleavened Bread were celebrated starting on 14th / 15th Nisan:

5In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. 6And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. 7In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.8But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. ~ Leviticus 23:5-8

  • The Feast of Weeks [Shavuot (Pentecost)]:

15And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: 16Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. ~ Leviticus 23:15,16

Zechariah had his vision while serving in the eighth course of Abijah, which fell in the tenth week of the year, calculating from the beginning of the sacred year in the month Nisan. As with the manner of women, let us add two weeks to comply with the purity laws (Leviticus 15:19,25) which would then bring the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later (for we are not sure of the exact day of conception calculated at about 39 weeks from Elisabeth’s last menstruation cycle) during the fifty-first week (12 + 39 = 51) that would bring us to the birth of John at the Passover festival.  [Our present day calendar works on a 52 week year, but according to the Jewish calendar they were working on a lunar 360-day calendar, that equates to approximately 51 weeks.] The writer believes that in God’s providence John the Baptist was born at Passover at the very time that Elijah was, according to the Jewish tradition, supposed to appear.

The Seder Table and Elijah

The Jewish tradition during the Passover feast has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at Elijah’s place at the seder table each year awaiting his arrival.

The word seder is:

Hebrew for “set order”; the ritual Passover meal that is observed in specific order. (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, page 10 under definitions)

A quote from the book titled Christ in the Passover will also set out the setting of a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times. The Mishnah [Hebrew for the collection of oral law that forms the basis of the Talmud; compiled by Judah ha-Nasi (c. AD 135 to 220) – page 9 under definitions] teaches that, according to two authorities, Rabbi Yohanon and Rabbi Benayah, these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66) (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83)

More will be discussed later in this book under the Passover section dealing with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, during the Passover traditions, a child goes and opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and as he is not outside the door, tradition has it that the Jewish Passover celebrators keep his place open awaiting the “arrival” possibly next year! This goes on year after year. Now let us read what Scripture says about John the Baptist coming in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John. And this is recorded in Matthew 17:10-13 ~

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33]

In the Gospel according to John we also read ~

19And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? 20And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. 21And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. 22Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. [Isaiah 40:3]. ~ John 1:19-23

Now, continuing and using the calculations in operation and the Scriptures told, God’s mandate is perfect and He is very specific about times and shadows of events to come (past, present and future), that His Son Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit six months (about 26 weeks) after John the Baptist’s conception. For we know that the Scriptures say that thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her” (Luke 1:36). This means Christ Jesus was conceived about the 38th week around the festival Hanukkah. This would also mean the Light of the world [see John 1:9] was conceived during the festival of lights! Conceived, not born in flesh entering into the world, as the Christmas holiday dictates – there is a huge difference here!

To fulfill prophecies, the prophecy would have to be fulfilled to the last detail and therefore it would be clear to understand in fulfillment of God’s prophetic Words, God would not generalize specifics as this would take away from His omniscient glory. To be precise in the prophetic Word given, God, being a God of divine order, would be exact and precise in bringing His Word to pass, just as the star (see Matthew 2:2) in the night sky appeared at the exact time He sent it to appear, and the angel Gabriel appeared at the exact time he was sent by God as His messenger, so too was the birth of His Only Begotten Son precisely when God chose for His Son to enter this world – on time to the last detail, as we read:

4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, ~ Galatians 4:4

Therefore, understanding God’s precise mandate and ordination of all things, Jesus was born thirty-nine weeks later (around week 76 from the beginning of our calculations at the preceding year’s month of Nisan; that is week 25 of the following year) which brings us to the time of the autumn (fall) Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the month Tishri (i.e. September/October). Is God giving us a Revelation of when He revealed Himself as His Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and entered into this world as the God-Man? – “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – “Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (see Matthew 1:23).

The Feast of Tabernacles

This all points towards the Festival of Sukkot as we examine the Biblical account:

  • Bethlehem was “booked out.” This was a combination of two aspects – firstly, the taxing (or enrolment) that Caesar Augustus decreed:

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) ~ Luke 2:1-4

  • And secondly, every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16) and this would also have had the effect of Jerusalem being “booked out” where the Temple was situated as well as Bethlehem just five miles away. Therefore, it would be understandable that there was no room in the inn. Could it also be that they were not able to pay the cost of an inn? (See the sacrifice that they offered in Luke 2:24 in accordance with the law in Leviticus 12:6-8 “… and if she be not able to bring a lamb,” (verse 8a)). But, we also must remember that Jews attending the Feast of Sukkot would be residing in booths for the duration of the festival according to the Jewish law.

We also read in Genesis 33:17 ~

17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth*. [*That is Booths]

The word “booth” in this verse is the Hebrew word in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance [5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair – booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A feminine singular noun meaning a booth, a thicket. This term is used for temporary shelters used to cover animals (Ge 33:17); warriors (2Sa 11:11); and the prophet Jonah (Jnh 4:5). It is used poetically to refer to the clouds (Job 36:29; Ps 18:11[12]). A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Le 23:42,43). The festival was known as the chag hassukkôwth (2282), the Feast of Booths (Dt 16:13,16). This was to remind the Israelites that they lived in booths when the Lord brought them up from Egypt (Le 23:43).]

And so we know that Jesus was born in a temporary shelter that possibly housed animals as He was laid in a manger, a feeding trough used as a crib. This would also point to them staying in a booth during the Feast of Booths as recorded in Leviticus  23:42,43 ~

42Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

If Jesus was born on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Leviticus 23:34), then He would have been circumcised on the “eighth great day” a festival following Sukkot. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is a festival observed immediately after Sukkot (Tabernacles), i.e., on 22nd Tishri (i.e. the seventh month), as laid down in the Pentateuch: “On the eighth day you shall observe a holy occasion … it is a solemn gathering (Atseret); you shall not work at your occupations” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret (lit. “concluding festival”) is also applied to the last day of Passover (Deut. 16:8) and, by the rabbis, to Shavu’Ot (RH 1:2; Shev. 1:1). This day was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) {n. Judaism A festival celebrating the Law of Moses and the completion of the year’s cycle and subsequent new beginning, observed on the 22nd or 23rd day of Tishri (September/October) – which is now held the following day in Rabbinic Judaism. [Hebrew śimhat tôrâ, rejoicing in the Torah, Simchat Torah: śimhâ, joy (from śāmēah, to rejoice) + tôrâ, torah.]}

(www.answers.com/topics/shemini-atseret).

So Jesus would have entered the covenant on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.” Think of the time when Jesus stood up and read from the book of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-2) in the synagogue ~

16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. ~ Luke 4:16-21

The point being made is God is precise in bringing His Word to pass on time. Are you hearing?

Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body) with us. John 1:14 reads ~

14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The word “dwelt” is recorded in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance as [4637 – skēnoō from 4636; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):- dwell].

See also Hebrews 9:11 that Christ is our tabernacle ~

11But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

In this Hebrews’ verse the word “tabernacle” is recorded in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance as the Greek word [4633 – skēnē, skay-nay’; apparently akin to 4632 and 4639; a tent or cloth hut (literal or figurative): – habitation, tabernacle.

Then there are also certain other historical, archaeological, geographical and meteorological evidence that confirm the time of year of our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth. We should also listen to the actual Word of the Biblical text used which gives us insight into the events that unfolded.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ~ Luke 2:8

The word “abiding” is the only time that this word is used with the Greek word agrauleō in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance [63 – agrauleō from 68 and 832 (in the sense of 833); to camp out – abide in the field.] The shepherds were camping out which would not be the case if they were in the month of December. Winter would have set in and the latter rainy season would have commenced from late October and it would be unlikely that the shepherds would have their flocks out in the fields at night. When the rainy season started in the late fall, where temperatures would also be freezing, the shepherds would have already brought their sheep in from the fields and sheltered them.

From the Adam Clark Commentary, Volume 5, page 347, we learn “[i]t was an ancient custom among the Jews of those days to send their sheep to the fields and deserts about Passover (early spring) and bring them home at commencement of the first rain.” The authority continues, “during the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day, as … the first rains began early in the month of Marchesvan, which answers to part of our October and November (begins mid‑October), we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole summer, and as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields by night. On this very ground, the nativity in December should be given up.”

From the Mede’s Works, 1679, Discourse xlvii we read: “It is evidenced that Jesus was not born during the middle of winter, for at the time of His birth, the shepherds were living out in the fields with their flocks. As the bible says: “There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). As is well known the shepherds in Palestine do not “abide in the fields” during the winter season because of the extreme, cold temperatures. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields no later than October 15th!”

Another quoted source reads: “Israeli meteorologists tracked December weather patterns for many years and concluded that the climate in Israel has been essentially constant for at least the last 2,000 years … broadly speaking, weather phenomena and climatic conditions as pictured in the Bible correspond with conditions as observed today” ~ The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (R.B.Y. Scott, Vol. 3, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1962, p.625).

The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month:

11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; ~ Song of Solomon 2:11

and

9Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain. … 13But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing. ~ Ezra 10:9,13

The ninth month referred to in the preceding verses is the month Chislev (November / December) according to the sacred Jewish calendar. It is also worth noting the “clothing” that the baby Jesus was wrapped in at the time of His birth which would not be appropriate for the middle of winter. One writer also says that the child would not have been laid in a manger if it was in the middle of winter, but His mother Mary would have used her body heat to keep Him warm. We read the account pertaining to the swaddling clothes ~

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:6,7

The word “swaddling” is in the Greek [4683 – sparganoō from sparganon (a strip from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strip or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom): – wrap in swaddling clothes.] We can see that Joseph and Mary were not only poor by the offering that they offered at the Temple, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24 and see Leviticus 12:6-8), but the clothes were also strips of wrap.

It is clear from the evidence provided that the birth of Jesus Christ could not have been in the middle of winter and therefore we can dispel the notion of a December birth for the Saviour of the world.

The Wise Men (Magi)

Another misconception about the practice of Christmas is depicting the “three wise men” or Magi at the birth of Christ handing over three gifts to Him. This shows the inaccuracy that the world portrays during Nativity scenes, school and church productions of Jesus’ birth and on Christmas cards alike.

We need to consult the Scriptures in Matthew 2:1-12, 16-18 to see the correct events as they happened. When the wise men came from the east to Jerusalem after seeing “his star in the east” (Matthew 2:2) the baby Jesus had already been born. The wise men saw the appearing of the star and then set out to come and worship the King Jesus. Once they saw the star and set out on their journey from the land they found themselves in, it must have taken them many months, for when they arrived in Jerusalem, they asked where is he that is born King of the Jews. When king Herod heard this – in order to fulfill Scriptures – “he demanded of them where Christ should be born” (Matthew 2:4b).

Herod then diligently enquired of the wise men at what time the star appeared (see Matthew 2:7) and when they had told him they went to see the Christ. Now when we see that the shepherds of Bethlehem were visited by angels telling them,

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. ~ Luke 2:11,12

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. ~ Luke 2:15,16

The shepherds were the first to see the baby Jesus lying in a manger and they broadcast the good news (see Luke 2:17,18) – the first evangelists!

The word for “babe” is recorded in the Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance as the Greek word 1025 brephos, bref’-os; of uncertain affinity; an infant (properly unborn) literal or figurative:- babe, (young) child, infant.

However, when we read the account of the wise men meeting Jesus, He is a “young child in a house” and the Greek word for “child” in Matthew 2:11 is 3813 paidion, pahee—dee’-on; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figurative an immature Christian:- (little, young) child, damsel.

We know that at least two years must have elapsed from the time the star first appeared to the wise men, and them informing king Herod, for when Herod saw that he was “mocked” by the wise men who did not report back to him, he fulfilled an ancient prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 31:15 when he killed the children, as we read:

16Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. 17Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. ~ Matthew 2:16-18

The other thing to remember is that when Magi travelled they had large caravans (of camels) with many people travelling together and because three gifts are named which were presented to Jesus when they worshipped Him, being “gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” from their “treasures” (see Matthew 2:11), the number of the Magi cannot be limited to three. No Scripture confirms the number of wise men in the party. Therefore, this is the account of Scripture and not the heresy that is depicted at Christmas time.

December 25th – A Compromise With Heathens

We must therefore examine all things as contained in God’s Holy Word and not just take things as presented to us by the world. We know that Satan is transformed into an angel of light (see 2 Corinthians 11:14) and moves throughout the earth like a lion seeking whom he may devour (see 1 Peter 5:8).

Here are some quotes also worth examination:

“December 25th was the day the Romans celebrated the birth of their (pagan) sun-god.”  ~ The Encyclopaedia Americana, Vol. 6, p. 623.

“… to facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, the Church of Rome found it convenient to institute the 25th of December as the feast of the birth of Christ … from the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honor of the pagan god, Mithras …” ~ Manual of Liturgical History, 1955, Vol. 2, p. 67.

1A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. 2It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:1,2

“Christmas is a vivid illustration of the world’s power of attraction. It plays upon all of a person’s senses with pleasant music, lights, colours, foods, clothes, gifts, and parties. Though it is a very attractive trap, it nonetheless ensnares the person into destruction. By itself, it does not destroy the person — it is the snare, the trap!

“Anyone who has ever hunted a wild animal like a deer knows one cannot bag his prey by blundering through the woods making noise and leaving his scent everywhere. Instead, a hunter makes himself as invisible as possible so that the deer wanders under his stand where he can shoot it. The same holds true with trapping smaller animals. A successful trapper makes a trap that will entice the animal in without letting it know that it will be caught.

“Christmas is a well-laid trap. In celebrating it, the people of the land honour, worship, and glorify a god, but not the God of the Bible. It is appealing and attractive with all the ornamentation and catchy music. There is also an appealing baby, born to be the King of kings, and his lovely mother radiant in her motherhood. In addition, what could be better than giving gifts? Certainly giving is Christian. And what about decorating evergreen trees, hanging mistletoe and holly boughs, carolling, stuffing stockings, and burning Yule logs? Everything just seems to go so well together. Nevertheless, it is a trap because it is not true.” ~ Christmas, Syncretism and Presumption by John W. Ritenbaugh; December 2001.

The word Syncretism is: – noun (Answers.com)

  1. Reconciliation or fusion      of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion, especially      when success is partial or the result is heterogeneous.
  2. Linguistics. The merging of two or more originally      different inflectional forms.

Is the celebration of Christmas not an attempted reconciliation of pagan practices with Christianity? Is a pagan holiday Christianized? Yes!

Warnings against Idolatry

29When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. ~ Deuteronomy 12:29-32

9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. ~ Revelation 12:9

From the first deception in the Garden of Eden, that old serpent, Satan, the Devil is still deceiving the masses with his “Did God really say …?” He leads the people of this world captive with his deceptions and delusions into following his way, his damning “customs, traditions and religious practices.” See what 2 Corinthians 11:3,4 says:

3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

There has been much that has been written about the origins of Christmas and the writings deal extensively with the pagan practices that have brought about the practice of celebrating Christmas and although we can go into great lengths of discussing the pagan practices and how Santa Claus got into the celebration, I have chosen to use a part of the Winter Festival (which can be viewed in its entirety at the following web link http://logosresourcepages.org/Holidays/christmas.htm) dealing with the Tree that finds prominence during the Christmas ritual that unfolds yearly.

The Tree

“Finally, in connection with the customs of the “Christmas” season, we will mention the Christmas tree. An old Babylonish fable went like this: Semiramis, the mother of Tammuz, claimed that overnight an evergreen tree sprang up from a dead tree stump. The dead stump supposedly symbolized her dead husband Nimrod; the new evergreen tree was the symbol that Nimrod had come to life again in the person of Tammuz!

“This idea spread and developed to such a degree that the various nations all have had their legends about sacred trees! Among the Druids, the oak was sacred; among the Egyptians, it was the palm; and in Rome, it was the fir, which was decorated with red berries during the Saturnalia! [Curiosities of Popular Customs, p.242]. Among the Scandinavians, the fir tree was sacred to their god Odin. “The Scandinavian god Woden or Odin was believed to bestow special gifts at Yuletide to those who honored him by approaching his sacred FIR TREE.” [Festivals, Holy Days, and Saints’ Days, p.222]. And even as other rites of the Yuletide season were absorbed into “Christianity”, so also is the wide-spread use of the tree at this season a carry over of an ancient practice!

“The Christmas tree recapitulates the idea of tree worship, with the gilded nuts and balls symbolizing the sun. The festivities of the pagan winter solstice have been absorbed into the celebration of Christmas. The use of holly and mistletoe come from the pagan, Druidic ceremonies, the use of the Christmas tree from the worship paid to Odin’s sacred fir.” [Ibid, p.238].

“In at least ten Biblical references, the “green” tree is associated with idolatry and false worship. [Deuteronomy 12:2; I Kings 14:23; II Kings 16:4, 17:10; Ezekiel 6:13]. The “green” tree refers to trees that are green all year round, since; of course, all trees are green at one time or another. So the “green” trees that the scriptures are talking about are the evergreen trees or trees within that family! Taking all of this into consideration, it is interesting to notice the reading of Jeremiah 10:1-5 and compare it with today’s custom of decorating a tree:

1Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 2Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. 4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. ~ Jeremiah 10:1-5

“The customs of the people are vain: for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe.” “They fasten it with nails and hammers. They deck it with silver and with gold.”

“Now of course the people in the days of Jeremiah, as the context goes on to show, were actually making an idol out of the tree. We are not inferring that people today who put trees in their homes during the Christmas season are worshipping the tree, but that the use of the tree is plainly and totally a carry over from paganism. Whatever the difference may be between the ancient use of the tree as compared with present day customs, no one can deny that these things of which we have been speaking are customs of men. And God says: “The customs of the people are vain” (Jeremiah 10:3) – and “the temple of idols have nothing in common with the temple of God.”(II Corinthians 6:16)” (Mede’s Works, 1679. Discourse xlvii).

Putting Christ Back Into Christmas

There is also a train of thought, even though it might seem to be a noble and a loyal thought by those advocating it, however there is no profundity in the thought for what has already been proven that Jesus Christ was not born on the 25th December; how can one want to place God in something He has not ordained? It is trying to associate God with a date purporting to be the birth date of His Son, when His Son was not born on that date. If someone says to you, “Happy birthday” on the 25th December and you know that your birthdate is on 15th September, would you not correct the person? Although, you know you have a record of when you were born, you should know, even a birth certificate to confirm the fact that you were not born on the 25th December, how can someone insist that you celebrate a date you know is not your birth date and therefore the date is not true?

How can a person advocate and even preach during the “Christmas season” that Jesus Christ was born on this date over two thousand years ago, when the Bible points to another time of year when He was born. To teach and say one thing when it is not true is to speak deception and tell lies! If one lies and does not speak the truth, you are speaking the language of the Devil (see John 8:44). Satan is happiest when people are deceived.

To get Christ into “anything” is for you to just preach the Truth at all times. The red herring flags should go up immediately when you see the whole world enjoying themselves on a “holiday” and not a few rejoicing at the birth of Christ. Every day Christians should have joy in their hearts that God took on human form to go the way of the cross to redeem sinners who will accept His salvation. We truly are thankful. But when the world takes to celebrating the trappings of Christmas including Santa Claus, then one should examine the veracity of the actual celebration. Another example of what is meant by this is the 9/11 tragedy in 2001 that came to America. For a time Churches filled up and everyone were asking pertinent questions about life and death – but soon after, many went back to their old ways of life in the world. The same applies to Christmas – millions of people are enjoying a day driven by the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life, and nothing is considered about Christ. In fact, to many it is known as “the holidays” or “the festive season.” As much as evangelical Christians wish to get Jesus Christ back into Christmas, it will certainly never happen, because you cannot preach a lie and expect the Holy Spirit to sanctify it. The way forward would be to pray to God that He reveals the Truth of Scripture to you and then preach the Truth. When we preach the Truth, we will be seen to even be different from the world, when we do not the things that the world-lings do. You want to be seen to be different, then separate from the affairs of the world.

A Missionary’s Scenario

Seeing all the foregoing information is now presented to you, let us play out a missionary’s scenario, putting this all in perspective. Say, a western missionary goes on mission to, say, an Asian nation where idol worship is prevalent in, say, India (Hinduism) or China (Buddhism), and the westerner shares the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ with the unbeliever. The Hindu or Buddhist comes under conviction by the Holy Spirit, is saved by Jesus and converts to Christianity. Upon converting the missionary instructs the Asian convert to destroy all manner of idols including shrines in the person’s home and any literature of the previous religious order the person followed. A bonfire is prepared and made as all forms of the Hinduism or Buddhism idolatry are consumed by the fire setting the convert at liberty – all the idols being destroyed. The Asian convert is then told by the western missionary to read the Holy Bible and obey all its Words and teachings as this is pleasing to God. Therefore, live out what you read and be obedient to God’s Word.

The Asian convert is elated and follows the teachings of his (or her) Lord Jesus Christ and starts obeying all that is written in God’s Word and learns as the Holy Spirit teaches him. Some time passes by and the Asian convert is growing in faith, but the month of December is fast approaching and Christmas will be celebrated. One day the Asian convert visits or is invited to spend Christmas day with the western missionary and his family and the Asian believer is confronted by the sight of seeing “an evergreen tree and other decorations” in the westerners’ home which are foreign to the Asian convert because he never had these particular decorations under his religious practices, although there were many others. The Asian convert is some what confused as he was told to destroy all his idols to please Jesus, but now he finds that there are decorations that appear to be “idols” in his Christian brother’s home. The Asian convert has read his Bible and cannot see anywhere therein that these practices should be practiced. He is confused as there would now appear to be a “double standard” of what is admissible. He then raises the question and asks the western missionary about the decorating of his house and is told: “It is a western tradition; there is no harm in it. We are celebrating the birth of Christ! And you have freedom to do so!”

Do you think this is a faithful explanation? Scripture tells us that man’s traditions, customs and commandments of men, make the Word of God of no effect:

13Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. ~ Mark 7:13

Why would the western missionary try explain away why these Christmas traditional practices are okay when the Asian had to destroy idols that were passed down through his family traditions? The answers are being obedient to God’s Word and to do what it says. You see, the practice of Christmas, like the world, contradicts the Truth of God. Its secular trappings are not in Holy Scripture. As believers we are to be separated from the world, not to be like the world.

Do you see the problem that exists? The western missionary is to show the Asian convert from Scripture that as a believer it is acceptable to decorate your home.

If none of the preceding information will alter your thinking on this, then do consider the word “Christmas” which comes from the Roman Catholic mass – the mass of Christ or Christ’s mass. The mass is the taking of the wafer (body) and wine (blood) which commemorates the death of Jesus Christ and not His birth. So how can a mass in remembrance of Christ’s death be connected with the nativity of the Saviour of the world on the same day? The two ‘celebrations’ cannot be celebrated at the same time. This is therefore a heretical practice.

Now let us see what the Scriptures say about ‘Easter.’

The Celebration of the Passover (Easter)

We now come to the pinnacle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that deals with His death, burial and resurrection. This, like Christmas, finds its way into the Christian feast celebrations – either as a Holy Day or holiday, depending on the believer, and what he / she believes.

Much has already been written by many theologians about the ‘Passion Week’ of our Lord Jesus Christ, pointing to a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection. Was this truly the case? And what does Scripture tell us? Have believers and theologians truly searched the Scriptures? And what has the Holy Spirit given them in way of revelation? We must understand that there can only be one truth and not many ways of understanding when and how Jesus Christ was crucified. An event has facts that determine the truth of the event. It can be no other way. So, if we can hold to “an interpretation” is it the correct one? For we must be in a position to teach all men this one truth. If not, then it would not matter what we believe!

There is also a train of thought that we should not be worried about the “little things”, but rather major in the “main things.” Well that thought holds no ground, for Jesus said that we are to be faithful with the least. It is very important that we understand the one complete doctrine of this Gospel or else there will be division in understanding God’s Word and teaching it faithfully. If this is not true, then why are we warned about false teachers and prophets? We read in 2 Peter 2:1 ~

1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

False teachers are going to “bring upon themselves swift destruction.” Let us look at the facts when Jesus was crucified according to the Holy Scriptures, so that we can:

15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15

Much of the teachings about when Jesus was crucified hold fast to the ‘Friday account’ and He being raised on the first day of the week, Sunday – being the third day as Jesus said (see Matthew 17:23, 20:19; Mark 9:31, 10:34; Luke 9:22, 13:32, 18:33, 24:46). Part of the ‘Friday-Sunday’ teaching is correct and part of it is incorrect. We must look to the Scriptures to know the absolute Truth of the account. In the ‘Friday-Sunday’ account there is a problem in that there is a ‘night’ missing in the calculations; and we cannot just do away with the one night “thinking” that Jesus didn’t literally mean “three days and three nights.” Let us see what Jesus said, and meant, in the Scriptures, for it is written:

39But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. ~ Matthew 12:39,40

Let us now look at the Biblical chronological account of the Scriptures and see the revealed gems of Truth from God’s Word and the fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy.

Before getting started, we must understand how days are calculated. Sunset is described as “even” and “evening”. The Jewish days are calculated from sunset to sunset being one complete day. When even arrives at sunset another day starts. We also see during the Creation account in Genesis that the days are reckoned from “And evening and morning the first day” (Genesis 1:5) and so on. Please also note that any part of a day or part of a night is considered a day or a night in reckoning.

From much written works that have proceeded this study, the Christ’s Passion leading to His crucifixion, burial and resurrection is known as the “Passion Week.” However, the actual time frame of Christ’s Passion should be calculated over a period of eleven days to understand and see the fulfilment of His Word.

Here is the Biblical account: 

ELEVEN-DAY BIBLICAL CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT

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Sunset (9th Nisan) – FRIDAY

Sunrise

1Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. ~ John 12:1

This was when Mary, Martha’s and Lazarus’ sister, anointed Jesus Christ’s feet with a pound of ointment of spikenard (see John 12:3) the day before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (see John 12:12).

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Sunset (10th Nisan) – SATURDAY (Sabbath Day)

Sunrise

The Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1,10; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29,37,38; John 12:12). The Messiah is the paschal lamb of the Jewish Passover as God Almighty had commanded that a lamb without blemish was to be set aside on 10th Nisan (Exodus 12:3) and this lamb would be killed on “the fourteenth day of the same month: … in the evening” (Exodus 12:6).

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Sunset (11th Nisan) – SUNDAY

Jesus went to Bethany with His disciples (Mark 11:11).

Sunrise

On the morrow when they came from Bethany, Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14), He cleansed the Temple and taught (Mark 11:15-18).

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Sunset (12th Nisan) – MONDAY

And when even was come He went out of the city (Mark 11:19).

Sunrise

And in the morning they passed the fig tree and He speaks of the Power of Faith (Mark 11:20-24) and He teaches on forgiveness and addresses the question of authority (Mark 11:25-33). Jesus then teaches extensively (Mark 12:1-44, 13:1-37; Luke 20:1-47, 21:1-38).

1After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. ~ Mark 14:1,2 (Cf. Matthew 26:1,2 and Luke 22:1,2)

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Sunset (13th Nisan) – TUESDAY

Sunrise

Judas Iscariot plans to betray Jesus. This event took place sometime after Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and before the first day of Unleavened Bread as we read in the Apostle Luke’s account:

1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover … 7Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. ~ Luke 22:1,7

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Sunset (14th Nisan) – WEDNESDAY – Passover (Leviticus 23:5)

Sunrise

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Sunset (15th Nisan) – THURSDAY – First Day of Feast of Unleavened Bread (Leviticus 23:6)

The Passover is prepared and the Passover lamb is killed (Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13).

“Now when the even was come,” in the evening the Passover meal is celebrated and eaten (Matthew 26:20-25; Mark 14:17-21; Luke 22:14-18)

The Lord’s Supper is instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19,20)

After the meal, they depart for the Mount of Olives and Peter’s denial is predicted (Matthew 26:30-35; Mark 14:26-31; Luke 22:31-34; John 13:36-38)

Jesus and His disciples go to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 17:1-26)

Jesus is betrayed and arrested (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11)

Jesus’ Trials –

  • Before the Sanhedrin by Annas and Caiaphas the high priest (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54, 55, 63-71; John 18:12-14, 19-24)

Sunrise (First Day – part)

Jesus’ Trials continue “And straightway in the morning …” (Mark 15:1)

  • Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (Matthew 27:1, 2, 11-28; Mark 15:1-14; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-40, 19:1-16)
  • Herod Antipas (Luke 23:8-12)
  • Pontius Pilate the Roman governor (Luke 23:13-25)

Jesus is lead away to be crucified at Calvary (Golgotha)–

  • 3rd Hour (9am) – Jesus is crucified (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24, 25; Luke 23:33; John 19:18)
  • 6th Hour (12pm) – 9th Hour (3pm): There were three hours of darkness over all the earth (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44)
  • 9th Hour (3pm) – Jesus died giving up His spirit (Matthew 27:46-50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Part of One Day, No Night

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Sunset (16th Nisan) – FRIDAY – The Preparation Day (First Night – full)

Jesus is taken off the cross and buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathae and Nicodemus – when evening was come, the day before the Sabbath (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-55; John 19:38-42).

54And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. ~ Luke 23:54

As it was the day of preparation and the Sabbath drew on no body could remain up on the cross on the holy preparation day and the Sabbath day. Also, according to Deuteronomy 21:23, it commands that “a body shall not remain all night upon the tree”. When this is mentioned in John 19:31 the high Sabbath day is in reference to a Sabbath day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Sunrise (Second Day – full)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Two Days (1 part + 1 full), One Night (1 full)

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Sunset (17th Nisan) – SATURDAY – Sabbath Day (Second Night – full)

In the grave (Luke 23:56).

Sunrise (Third Day – full)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = Three Days (1 part + 2 full), Two Nights (2 full)

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Sunset (18th Nisan) – SUNDAY – First Day of the Week – The Third Day (Three days dead Friday-Saturday-Sunday and raised on the Third Day) (Third Night – part)

Jesus raised to life in the Resurrection “In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week” (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10)

Fulfilment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 12:39,40 = THREE DAYS (1 part + 2 full), THREE NIGHTS (2 full + 1 part)

Sunrise

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We can see from the Scriptures that the Word of God confirms what God Almighty truly reveals in His Word and there are no contradictions at all. Is the information contained herein of any importance? Surely it is, when it comes to teaching and training new believers and correcting believers who have been taught incorrectly. If any teaching goes against the Holy Scriptures, or teaches something that does not line up with God’s Word, then it is not truth, but a lie. We are told by Jesus that Satan is the father of all lies (see John 8:44), so we would expect that when Scriptures are corrupted the enemy is at work. If teachers, pastors, elders have taught a heresy (a false teaching), then God requires the sins to be declared and confessed to Him and He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (see 1 John 1:9).

We are also to bear in mind that when Jesus Christ went to the cross it was to nail the written ordinances to His cross:

14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; ~ Colossians 2:14

Scripture also teaches that if you keep one law you must keep the whole law.

10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. ~ Galatians 3:10-12

We also know that if we are to keep the Passover / Feast of Unleavened Bread then the Jewish calendar would have to be consulted to celebrate on the days that the Jewish calendar dictates, as can be read in Leviticus 23, and not on the constant Friday date dictated by Christian tradition. We also know that the days move every year and will never remain constant during a week, year after year. So under Judaism the days as dictated in Leviticus 23 are to be complied with if one holds to the Feast or Holy Days in the Christian calendar, or else the days of 14th and 15th Nisan will not be complied with. But seeing that we do not have to keep feasts, holy days or Sabbath days we are therefore not under obligation to keep them. According to Colossians 2:16,17 no person can compel you to keep, or judge you accordingly to keep the law. The Scripture reads:

16Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Many believers misread and misinterpret these preceding verses 16 and 17. They read it as they have “freedom to do them” instead of “no man compelling them to keep them.” If one has freedom to keep a holyday then why would it be only “a shadow of things to come”? If we keep the Christian Passover known as Easter, then the other Judaic Feasts are also to be kept. One cannot keep one, and reject the others, for you must keep all the law. Here is also a further stern warning from the Apostle Paul to the Church at Galatia, when he says:

9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. ~ Galatians 4:9,10

Know this, we have a better command from our Lord Jesus Christ that we do not have to turn again to the weak and beggarly elements which lead to bondage – and this is one of His two sacraments given to us, the other being Baptism, the Lord’s Supper until He returns:

19And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. ~ Luke 22:19,20

and

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Conclusion

In closing we should heed the warnings from God’s Word, the Holy Bible, that we should not be legalistic in our manner of following after the things of this world and man. Born again believers (John 3:3) – true Christians – are dead to self, but risen with Christ. We read:

8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. ~ Colossians 2:8,9

Listen to what the Living God, Jesus Christ, said to the Pharisees and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem (in essence, apply the vanity of Christmas and Easter to this verse):

6He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. ~ Mark 7:6-9

If you hold so fast to the celebrations of Christ’s birth at Christmas time and the secular Easter celebration and will not relinquish your commitment to December 25th, Easter Friday and Easter Sunday as celebrative feast days, then why do you not hold fast to all God’s Holy Days that are a shadow of things to come? Why will Christians say we must not be legalistic in keeping God’s Holy Days, His Sabbath Days, but the self same believers follow man made holidays and public days, amongst others Christmas, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day and (to some) even Halloween!! Who has bewitched you – are you also so quick to judge other religious cults for mixing truth with error?

14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 1Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

18Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. 22Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? ~ 1 Corinthians 10:18-22

Let us hear one more time what the Lord’s prophet Elijah had to say when he contested with the Baal prophets on Mount Carmel:

21And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. ~ 1 Kings 18:21

Christian, are you being deceived? Ask yourself: What god are you serving?

A Gospel Presentation

Thank you for reading thus far.

If you have never believed upon the Name of Jesus Christ, we do take this opportunity of presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ – the Good News – to you, and do ask that you examine yourself in light of God’s Holy Word.

God says that the soul that sins shall surely die:

4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. ~ Ezekiel 18:4

And Scripture also tells:

27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

We know from God’s Word:

10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:10

Scripture also warns that we are to prepare to meet our God (see Amos 4:12). So what do you think will happen to you when you die and stand before your Creator? Do you think God would find you innocent or guilty before His Judgment Seat? God tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see whether we will pass the test, which is the judgment. You can examine yourself to see your condition before God Almighty by looking into the ‘mirror’ of God’s Holy and Moral Law, which are the Ten Commandments [the words FIRST through TENTH inserted by the author]:

1And God spake all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. [FIRST]3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. [SECOND]4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. [THIRD]7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [FOURTH]8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. [FIFTH]12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. [SIXTH]13Thou shalt not kill. [SEVENTH]14Thou shalt not commit adultery. [EIGHTH]15Thou shalt not steal. [NINTH]16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. [TENTH]17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. ~ Exodus 20:1-17

The Holy Scriptures also reveals:

8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. ~ 1 Timothy 1:8-11

Romans 3:23 tells us:

23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

So let us take a quick test to see your true condition. If you should die today, what will be your condition before God on Judgment Day? Listen to your conscience and answer honestly. The ninth commandment says you shall not tell lies (bear false witness) (Exodus 20:16). How many lies have you told in your lifetime? Fibs, half-truths, white lies – they are all lies. A lie is deception and someone always gets hurt by lying. Jesus tells us that if a person speaks lies he speaks the language of the devil, Satan, “for he is a liar, and the father of it” (see John 8:44). The eighth commandment says you shall not steal (Exodus 20:15). Irrespective of the size or value of the object, have you ever stolen something – taken it without someone’s permission. This also includes piracy which is buying, downloading or copying CDs and DVDs that belong to other people without their permission. Then there is the seventh commandment that says you shall not commit adultery. Have you cheated on your spouse? But listen, you do not have to be married to commit adultery. Jesus said:

27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. ~ Matthew 5:27,28

Have you looked with lust? Roving eyes, lustful intent, pornography; have you broken this command? This command would also include fornication (sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage) either heterosexual (mf) or homosexual (mm / ff) sex. What about murder? Have you broken the sixth commandment? Have you murdered anyone? You do not have to pick up a gun, or knife or rope to kill someone to commit murder. If you hate someone you have committed murder in the heart:

15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. ~ 1 John 3:15

The second commandment deals with idols and idolatry. Do you worship and bow down to things made of wood, stone, plastic, gold, silver and any other material? God has warned that no person is to fashion or make any idols or “any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:” (Exodus 20:4). In Psalm 115:1-8 we see what God says about idols:

1Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. 2Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 3But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 4Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

God also warns that those who worship and make these idols are just like them – DEAD! It also includes people who make a god to suite themselves in their own image, a god they are more comfortable with, someone who won’t punish sin. Idols can also be placing your love, devotion and worship in things of this world – money, material possessions, sports and their athletes, celebrities in the film and music industry, family members, sex and pornography, alcohol and drugs, your work, studies and all other manner of activities, even your religious practices including your idolised favourite pastor / teacher – these are all idolatries.

These are only five of the Ten Commandments that we have looked at – and if God judged you by this Holy standard and sees you as a lying thief, adulterer, murderer and idolater, do you think you will be innocent? Or guilty? You see the law is a schoolmaster, a teacher, a tutor that teaches us that we have transgressed God’s Holy Commandments; it shows that we are in need of a Saviour – Someone to save us from the wrath of God. Scripture tells us:

24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. ~ Galatians 3:24

God’s Word tells us that transgressors of His law will be guilty and that:

9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9,10

Therefore you would be guilty and God warns that all guilty persons are condemned and will end up in Hell for all eternity. This is what Hell is described as in the Holy Words of God:

  • A devouring fire and everlasting burnings – Isaiah 33:14, 14The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
  • A place of weeping and gnashing of teeth – Matthew 8:12, 12But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  • Where the fire is never quenched – Mark 9:48, 48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
  • Where they can never repent – Matthew 12:32, 32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
  • Where they don’t want their loved ones to come – Luke 16:28, 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
  • A bottomless pit – Revelation 20:1, 1And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
  • Where they scream for mercy – Luke 16:24, 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
  • A place of sorrows – Psalm 18:5, 5The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.
  • A place of outer darkness – Matthew 25:30, 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  • A place of torments – Luke 16:23, 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
  • And many, many more verses …

On the Great Day at the Great White Throne Judgment this is the Revelation:

11And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. ~ Revelation 20:11-15

If you should stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ know this that transgressors will end up in God’s prison – Hell for all eternity. On that Day there will be no Court of Appeal against your sentence, there will be no Constitutional Court to appeal to for a lesser sentence or an acquittal. There also will be no extenuating circumstantial pleas heard on your behalf. No, my friend, the judgment will be final and binding. Your only hope is – will you have the Lord Jesus Christ as your advocate on that Day:

1My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: ~ 1 John 2:1

If God is not your Father on Judgment Day, then He will certainly be your Judge. And Scripture warns that:

31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ~ Hebrews 10:31

28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. ~ Matthew 10:28

The bad news is that Hell awaits all unrepentant evil and wicked sinners who have not repented towards God. But, O yea, there is Good News. And this is what a Good and Loving God did for you about two thousand years ago. God the Father took on human form – and became flesh (John 1:14) to take upon Himself the sins of the whole world so that redemption can be granted to His people. God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (see 2 Peter 3:9). Scripture tells us of God’s great love for us:

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. ~ John 3:16,17

8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8

Jesus Christ – God in human form – became the sin offering for you when He went to the cross to die in your place taking the wrath of the Father upon Himself:

21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. ~ Hebrews 10:10

If God is speaking to you, do not harden your heart in the day of His visitation.

32And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. ~ John 12:32

39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. ~ John 6:39,40

Jesus Christ took your punishment upon Himself so that He can legally commute your death sentence upon the Day of Judgment if you would believe upon His Name and be clothed in His Righteousness.

Scripture tells us that when Jesus died He was laid in a tomb (grave) and on the third day raised to life. Jesus has overcome death and sin for all those who would believe in Him.

24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. ~ John 5:24

9Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: ~ 2 Timothy 1:9,10

Know this, that:

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8,9

1We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) ~ 2 Corinthians 6:1,2

Call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for His mercy and grace for there is no other that can save you:

12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. ~ Act 4:12

And Jesus said you must be born again, born of the Spirit of God, not of man or his will:

3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ~ John 3:3

5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. ~ John 3:5-7

6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ~ John 14:6

12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ~ John 1:12,13

So this day, your repentance must be toward God and your faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 20:21) and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour by faith:

1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. ~ Hebrews 11:1

Come to Jesus:

9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ~ Romans 10:9,10

Find a quiet place and go before the Lord God Almighty and do business with Him today, for you are not guaranteed of tomorrow. Then get yourself a Bible, read and obey what is written in it. Live it out. Get into a Bible believing assembly of believers and follow Jesus. For God commands Perfection, Holiness and Obedience. What is the cost of being a disciple of Christ?

23And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. ~ Luke 9:23,24

Soli Deo Gloria,

Amen.

The Epistle of Paul to the Romans

1:1-32 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (2)(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) (3)Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; (4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: (5)By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: (6)Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: (7)To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (8)First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (9)For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; (10)Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. (11)For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; (12)That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. (13)Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. (14)I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. (15)So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. (16)For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17)For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (18)For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19)Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (20)For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21)Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22)Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23)And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (24)Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (25)Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (26)For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27)And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (28)And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29)Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30)Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31)Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32)Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

2:1-29 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. (2)But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. (3)And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? (4)Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (5)But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; (6)Who will render to every man according to his deeds: (7)To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (8)But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (9)Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; (10)But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: (11)For there is no respect of persons with God. (12)For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (13)(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (14)For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (15)Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) (16)In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (17)Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, (18)And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; (19)And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, (20)An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. (21)Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? (22)Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? (23)Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? (24)For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. (25)For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. (26)Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? (27)And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? (28)For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: (29)But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

3:1-31 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? (2)Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. (3)For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (4)God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. (5)But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) (6)God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? (7)For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? (8)And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. (9)What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (10)As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11)There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12)They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (13)Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (14)Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: (15)Their feet are swift to shed blood: (16)Destruction and misery are in their ways: (17)And the way of peace have they not known: (18)There is no fear of God before their eyes. (19)Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (20)Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (21)But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (22)Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23)For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24)Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25)Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26)To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (27)Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (28)Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (29)Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: (30)Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. (31)Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

4:1-25 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? (2)For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (3)For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4)Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (5)But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (6)Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, (7)Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (8)Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (9)Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. (10)How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. (11)And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: (12)And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. (13)For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (14)For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: (15)Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. (16)Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (17)(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (18)Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. (19)And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: (20)He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; (21)And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (22)And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. (23)Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; (24)But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; (25)Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

5:1-21 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2)By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3)And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4)And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5)And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (6)For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7)For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8)But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9)Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10)For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11)And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (12)Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13)(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14)Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15)But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16)And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17)For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18)Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19)For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20)Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21)That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

6:1-23 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (2)God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (3)Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (4)Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5)For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (6)Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (7)For he that is dead is freed from sin. (8)Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: (9)Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. (10)For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. (11)Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (12)Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. (13)Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (14)For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (15)What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (16)Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (17)But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. (18)Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (19)I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. (20)For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. (21)What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. (22)But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (23)For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

7:1-25 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (2)For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. (3)So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. (4)Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (5)For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. (6)But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (7)What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (8)But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. (9)For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. (10)And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. (11)For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. (12)Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (13)Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. (14)For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15)For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (16)If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (17)Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18)For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19)For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20)Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (21)I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22)For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23)But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24)O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25)I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

8:1-39 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2)For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3)For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4)That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (5)For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (6)For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (7)Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8)So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (9)But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (10)And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11)But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (12)Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (13)For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (14)For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15)For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (16)The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (17)And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (18)For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (19)For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (20)For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (21)Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. (22)For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (23)And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (24)For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (25)But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (26)Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (27)And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (28)And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29)For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30)Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (31)What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? (32)He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (33)Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. (34)Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (35)Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36)As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37)Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38)For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39)Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

9:1-33 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, (2)That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. (3)For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: (4)Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; (5)Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. (6)Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: (7)Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. (8)That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (9)For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. (10)And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (11)(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) (12)It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. (13)As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (14)What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. (15)For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16)So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. (17)For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. (18)Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. (19)Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? (20)Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? (21)Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (22)What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: (23)And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, (24)Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? (25)As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. (26)And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. (27)Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: (28)For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. (29)And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. (30)What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. (31)But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. (32)Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; (33)As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

10:1-21 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. (2)For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (3)For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4)For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (5)For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. (6)But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) (7)Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) (8)But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; (9)That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10)For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11)For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (12)For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13)For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14)How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (15)And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16)But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17)So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (18)But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. (19)But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. (20)But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. (21)But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

11:1-36 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (2)God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, (3)Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. (4)But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. (5)Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. (6)And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (7)What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (8)(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. (9)And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: (10)Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. (11)I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. (12)Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? (13)For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: (14)If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. (15)For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? (16)For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. (17)And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; (18)Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. (19)Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. (20)Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: (21)For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. (22)Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (23)And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. (24)For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? (25)For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (26)And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (27)For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (28)As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. (29)For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. (30)For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: (31)Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. (32)For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. (33)O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! (34)For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? (35)Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? (36)For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

12:1-21 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2)And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (3)For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. (4)For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: (5)So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. (6)Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; (7)Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; (8)Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (9)Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. (10)Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; (11)Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; (12)Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; (13)Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. (14)Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (15)Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. (16)Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. (17)Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (18)If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (19)Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (20)Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. (21)Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

13:1-14 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (2)Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (3)For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: (4)For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (5)Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. (6)For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. (7)Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. (8)Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (9)For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (10)Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (11)And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (12)The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (13)Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (14)But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

14:1-23 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. (2)For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. (3)Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. (4)Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. (5)One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (6)He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (7)For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. (8)For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (9)For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. (10)But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (11)For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (12)So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (13)Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. (14)I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. (15)But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. (16)Let not then your good be evil spoken of: (17)For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (18)For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. (19)Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. (20)For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. (21)It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. (22)Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. (23)And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

15:1-33 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (2)Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. (3)For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. (4)For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (5)Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: (6)That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (7)Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. (8)Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: (9)And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. (10)And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. (11)And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. (12)And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. (13)Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (14)And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. (15)Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, (16)That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. (17)I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. (18)For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, (19)Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (20)Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: (21)But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. (22)For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. (23)But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; (24)Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. (25)But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. (26)For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. (27)It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. (28)When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. (29)And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. (30)Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; (31)That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; (32)That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. (33)Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

16:1-27 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: (2)That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. (3)Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: (4)Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. (5)Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. (6)Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. (7)Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. (8)Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. (9)Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. (10)Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household. (11)Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. (12)Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. (13)Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. (14)Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. (15)Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. (16)Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. (17)Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (18)For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (19)For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. (20)And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. (21)Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. (22)I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. (23)Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. (24)The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. (25)Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, (26)But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: (27)To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

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  1. […] The Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ – by Gary Stephen Crous […]

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