The following Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary for this week are more in line with what has become usual; for the following will most likely be familiar observations. The concept behind this Sabbath’s selection is unanswered prayers.
For the Sabbath of May 3, 2014
The person conducting the Sabbath service should open services with two or three hymns, or psalms, followed by an opening prayer acknowledging that two or three (or more) are gathered together in Christ Jesus’ name, and inviting the Lord to be with them.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked Him to one another, saying, "He saved others; He cannot save Himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with Him also reviled Him. And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mark 15:29–34)
Until the fullness of the Gentiles come to God, the partial hardening that prevented Israel from understanding Scripture remains.
Scripture—particularly the words of Moses—remain unreadable by Jews and Christians alike. Yes, this is correct: in Christ the veil that concealed Moses’ face is lifted, but a Christian that lives as a Gentile is not of Christ or in Christ. This Christian is merely a Gentile who hopes that he or she will be saved without doing those things that the Law requires. Some even firmly believe that he or she will be saved, the person’s belief based upon a biblical passage from here and one from there, adding line upon line and precept upon precept, praying to God for this and for that, but never coming to God as an obedient son.
Is there not a veil between the Christian who comes before God on the day after the Sabbath [te mia ton Sabbaton] and Christ Jesus, a veil that the Christian can neither see through nor push aside?
Christians pray for this and for that, giving God thanks for answered prayers and sort of ignoring unanswered prayers. American Christians during WWII thanked God for Allied victories in North America while German Christians thanked God for Rommel’s successes. Christian mothers on both sides prayed for the safe return of their sons. Meanwhile Jews, having escaped from Europe, were being turned away from America’s shores … the homeless and hungry were being denied safe shelter—and what does Matthew’s Jesus say about sheep and goats (Matt 25:31–46)?
A plethora of prayers were unanswered in the 20th-Century alone as World Wars 1 & 2 changed peoples and nations; as the Depression redistributed wealth, disrupting people’s lives; as the spread of Communism spread famine into the Ukraine and spread thin love for neighbor and brother; as the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, South Africa made arms merchants rich; as Middle Eastern oil fueled Islamists and the possibility of an endtime caliphate. Over and over again, prayers were said by millions, and these prayers went unanswered. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists—all prayed to their God/god, and the killing fields spread, with atrocity topping atrocity.
Christian scholars lost faith as they realized the Bible was a human book, written by humans and written about human persons. They realized that the Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel was not the Jesus of Luke’s Gospel nor the Jesus of Mark’s Gospel. They didn’t understand much, but for the most part they were honest readers, realizing that Christianity as sold to the public was a lie.
But there were thousands, even millions of humans who remained fully convinced that the Bible was the infallible word of God … what sort of Kool-Aid were they drinking? What color was the robe Roman soldiers put Jesus when mocking Him? Purple, for royalty (Mark 15:17)? Or scarlet, for blood (Matt 27:28)? How many women went to the Garden Tomb on the day after the Sabbath? One (John’s Gospel)? Two (Matthew’s Gospel)? Three (Mark’s Gospel)? Or a troupe (Luke’s Gospel)? … The textual problems are too many for the Bible to be the infallible word of God, which doesn’t mean that the story of Jesus is fabricated but does mean that more than a sheer (see through) veil separates Christians from Christ Jesus.
Once in a great while, Christian prayers are answered in the affirmative, but most of the time it is as if God doesn’t hear these prayers—or if He does hear, He isn’t about to intervene in the Adversary’s administration of the single kingdom of this world. And that underlies the problem of unanswered prayer.
Christians believe they are special, that they have God in their hip pockets, that God will do their bidding whenever they pray to Him in the name of Christ Jesus:
When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree wither at once?" And Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." (Matt 21:19–22 emphasis added)
And Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered." And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." (Mark 11:21–25 emphasis added)
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. … You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you. (John 15:7, 16)
When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. (John 16:21–27 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Yet, when a Christian prays to be healed of this or that infirmity, is the Christian healed? Usually not. In fact, healings are extremely rare; so rare as to be of no importance statistically. So what about the words of Jesus, presented by three witnesses?
Let us back up a bit: when a Christian is in a crowded parking lot, does the Christian pray for a parking space? Yes? Yes, it is—and lo and behold, a shopper pulls out two rows over and the Christian hurries to get the parking place before another driver sees the opening. Then when safely parked, the Christian thanks God for answering the prayer, not at all considering that in the moment that it took to park and then to thank God, four other parking spaces opened up and four different cars are now parked in these spaces, with none of these drivers having prayed for an opening … a rising tide lifts all ships, not just the ship of the Christian who prayed for the rising tide.
To counter the idea of him being a deity, allegedly Alfred the Great had his throne placed just above the surf and commanded the rising tide to retreat. Of course the tide didn’t retreat. Feet got wet, and Alfred, again allegedly, showed others that he was a mere mortal … perhaps if Alfred would have had a pen and a phone, he could have phoned in the retreat of the tide.
The problem that seems to escape Christians is that the Adversary remains the prince of this world—
Consider for a moment: the President of the United States has put you in charge of immigration. You understand the extent and the limit of your authority. And as you go about your business of enforcing a workable immigration policy, the President goes behind your back and undercuts whatever you are attempting to accomplish. He meddles in your affairs—and immigration is now your affair because it was given to you. And because of the President’s meddling, what you were attempting to accomplish fails … who’s at fault? You or the President, who will say that he gave you the job and you blew it because you were unable to secure the border when he was the one permitting hundreds of thousands—millions even—of undocumented workers to enter the United States.
God gave to the Adversary administrative control of the single kingdom of this world for a predetermined period, but only He knows the length of the period. Thus, the Adversary feels some sense of urgency to prove that his belief in a transactional, democratic society makes the best use of the authority invested in him. His sense of urgency is conveyed to living creatures by the competitive desire he places in minds and spirits … competition is of the Adversary: with whom does God compete? All forms of competition, from athletic events to sales contests are of the Adversary. So the person who is proud of his or her competitive nature is actually proud of being deceived by the Adversary.
Again, with whom does God compete? Who is the equal of God? And what does God have to prove to others? Not a thing. It is only out of love for angelic sons that God established the on-going demonstration that brought life to humanity, this demonstration currently being run by the Adversary to whom God has given all authority in this world. And in order for this demonstration to have integrity, God has to keep His hands off as much as possible. This means that He will not answer prayers … the Adversary is the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air. The needs of human persons are the Adversary’s responsibility until dominion is taken from the Adversary and his angels.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Rev 12:7–12 emphasis added)
As I [Dan] looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Dan 7:9–14 emphasis added)
The second woe has passed; behold, the third woe is soon to come. Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever." And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth." Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. (Rev 11:14–19 emphasis added)
Although God could intervene at any time; although God has reserved the right to intervene in the affairs of this world, He seldom does. He isn’t about to give the Adversary the opportunity to say, If you would have kept your hands off, what I was attempting to prove would have worked!
There is a time marker attached to God answering the prayers of disciples: in that day, when the baby is born, or when you have the faith to move mountains … do you truly believe God? Can you walk on water? Why not? For a moment in the Bering Sea, I knew I could—and thirty-plus foot seas immediately dropped to ten footers, then six footers. The test was over, and I didn’t have to get out of the boat that was full of water, its forward hatch ripped off. Five feet of green water had passed over the top of the wheelhouse and crashed onto the deck, overwhelming scuppers. Pumps ran full flow from Lava Point (Akutan Island), past Priest Rock, and most of the way to Summer Bay (Unalaska Island).
Again, for a moment, I knew without doubt that I could walk to shore. A few moments earlier I wondered if I could. So what changed in those moments between when I wondered and when I knew? No prayer was said or thought? I was focused on timing the seas, on surviving what seemed impossible. I was far too focused on the immediacy of the moment to pray; yet when I glanced toward Akutan Island, I involuntarily wondered if I could walk that far. When I glanced again, with green water going over the wheelhouse, I knew I could. There were no doubt[s]. And the seas flattened. The test was over. For any sea of size would have then sent the boat to the bottom. With the forward hatch gone, the wheelhouse would have filled with water before anyone could have gotten into a survival suit.
Off Kodiak Island, I had seas flatten when I hollered for help, no person being around. No prayer was made in Jesus’ name. Rather, I hollered something like, I need help NOW! And I got what I needed: for about thirty yards all around the boat, the seas flattened, with the energy that was in seas threatening to swamp the boat causing the water to quiver as if being suppressed, and with the seas large as before thirty yards away …
In 1979, when I first fished out of Kodiak, then Dutch, I didn’t know that in 2002, I would be audibly called to reread prophecy. I was, then (1979), seven years in the Body of Christ, but I was not “somebody important” … I grew up hearing the story of John Howland falling overboard from the Mayflower, with Mom, a Howland by birth, being a direct descendant of John Howland. I grew up hearing the story of Dad, 3rd Division, 15th Infantry, C Company, having two trucks shot out from under him during WWII, plus having an 88mm round pass through the wall of a house in which he was sleeping in Sicily, the round filled with crumbled paper rather than high explosives. So do miraculous occurrences happen not for our sake, but for a future generation? Is this the true meaning of being foreknown? Did John Howland live so that Presidents Bush and FDR would come from his seed, or did the Mayflower turn around under sail so that Joseph Smith (Mormon founder) and I could live? Or does it really matter whether this person or that person ever existed? Could not anyone do the job of rereading prophecy?
The Adversary is the god of this world to whom Christians in America pray when seeking the save return of its soldiers—as well as the god to whom Islamic fundamentalists pray when planting IEDs to kill Americans … instead of planting barley or turnips and seeking the favor of the goddess of fertility for a bumper crop, so-called Islamist freedom fighters sow the seeds of war, trusting that Allah will provide food for the pot.
Ask yourself, are the prayers of Christians answered, but the prayers of Muslims ignored by God? If the prayers of Christians are answered, how are they answered? By economic prosperity that permits Americans to launch cruise missiles at a million-plus a pop, and to fly drones with Hellfire missiles oriented by GPS coordinates? Where is God’s hand in America’s prosperity, other than in preparing a land with minerals that could be mined and topsoil feet deep across most of the nation? Did not my European ancestors take this land from my Native American ancestors by force of arms and dishonored treaties? Where was God in a British Colonial killing an Iroquois when the Colonial had better weaponry not through the righteousness of the Colonial but through the industry of Europeans smiths? So where is God in American/Coalition forces suppressing by technical superiority the democratic expression of a Sunni majority or minority in a Middle Eastern country? Where is God in one man killing another man, whether justified or not?
Perhaps the better question is, does God need men to kill other men for Him? Certainly the Lord commissioned Nebuchadnezzar as His servant, to send the House of Judah and Jerusalem into captivity (Jer 25:8–11), but could the Lord have killed all who dwelt in the House of Judah and Jerusalem without the help of the king of Babylon? Certainly He could have. But His purpose wasn’t to kill Jews, but to displace them—and in displacing them, He needed a land into which He could send them. And they weren’t about to leave the Promised Land so the Lord needed an agent who would forcefully encourage Jews to relocate elsewhere, namely to Babylon for the physical fulfillment of prophecy that also has a spiritual fulfillment.
The Lord doesn’t need you or me to do His killing for Him. He is perfectly capable of ending life; for He is the God of the living and as such He can take away life from those over whom He has authority … He can extend the life of the living, or shorten the life of the living. But He doesn’t, today, have dominion over the kingdom of this world. That dominion has been given to the Adversary for a prescribed length of time.
God doesn’t kill the living, but raises the dead to life (John 5:21) as it pleases Him; for He is the God of dead ones. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was the God of living ones (Matt 22:32), and this one—the one who created all things physical—entered His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus the Nazarene. It was the God of dead ones that twice raised Jesus from death, initially raising Jesus’ inner self when His spirit [pneuma Theou] in the bodily form of a dove (the symbol of sacrifice) entered into [eis] the man Jesus. The second resurrection was of the body, raising Jesus from death after His dead body was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
The physical reveals and precedes the spiritual. Thus, to establish the reality of resurrection from death, a physical resurrection must precede a spiritual resurrection. There must be a resurrection of the physical body of Christ before there can be a resurrection of the spiritual Body of Christ (the resurrection of the physical body has occurred). Likewise, there must be a resurrection of the inner self of the man Jesus before there can be resurrection of the inner selves of disciples constituting the spiritual Body of Christ.
Again, the Father raises the dead, giving life to the dead; whereas the God of Abraham was the God of the living and thus able to take life from the living. Jesus, however, said in John’s Gospel,
Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of His own accord, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all that He Himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show Him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom He will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:19–24)
There needs to be a sorting out of what Jesus here declares: the Son does and will do what He sees the Father do. The Son sees the Father raise the dead without judging those who were dead. The Son, to whom all judgment has been given and who should judge the dead before these dead are raised, will now also give life to these persons who were formerly dead without judging them—this has to be the case if the Son does what He sees the Father do. But how is it possible for the Son to give life to the already living; for when the Father raised the dead, the dead became the living?
Jesus doesn’t say that the Son gives life to the dead, but to whom He wills, with the element of “will” equating to judgment. However, if the Father has raised the dead, those who were dead are now alive without having entered into judgment. Those who were dead passed from death to life without coming under judgment by the Father having raised them—
If the Father were to raise all humanity from death, there would be no one for the Son to either judge or to give life to whomever as He wills, meaning the Father doesn’t raise all from death, but raises those whom He foreknows and predestines to be glorified, with the Father initially drawing the foreknown person from this world and delivering this person to Christ Jesus to be called, justified, and glorified (from Rom 8:29–30). This person is now numbered among the Elect, in that the person has indwelling heavenly life in the form of the indwelling of Christ without the person being judged beyond being foreknown. But in lieu of not being judged, the person is the bondservant of righteousness, purchased by the blood of Christ. The person is not free to rebel against God, not that the person would.
The Father chooses whom He will withdraw from this world with considerable care; for the person whom the Father draws never comes under judgment but passes from death (having a dead inner self) to life without being judged by Christ Jesus.
Christendom has struggled with the concept of predestination, with even those who espoused the teaching not understanding what they were endorsing.
Humanity is not born with immortal souls as pagans taught and still teach, even within the greater Christian Church. Rather, when a disciple encounters Matthew’s Jesus saying, Permit the dead to bury the dead of themselves (Matt 8:22), the disciple should realize that the dead who bury the dead of themselves are the physically living … the physically living are spiritually dead until they are born again, or born from above; born of spirit through receiving the indwelling of the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou] in their spirit of the man/person [pneuma tou ’anthropou] that resides in the soul [psuche] of the person.
Now, things can get confusing: Matthew’s Jesus said to His disciples in the physical portion of this Gospel—the Gospel is written in Hebrew style, structured as a narrative in thought-couplet form—
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body [soma] but cannot kill the soul [psuche]. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell [Gehenna]. (Matt 10:24–28)
How can a dead soul—the natural state of the soul/psuchen—be killed?
If it is the intension of God to bring all of humankind, except for the Elect, into judgment on the last day, then it is possible that all people can be saved. But we know that all people cannot be saved: Hitler cannot be saved because he gets no do-over. He physically died a mass murderer, one who made no attempt to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance. He will be judged by what he did while alive physically, with Paul writing, “For God shows no partiality. For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified” (Rom 2:11–13).
No one gets a do-over in life: who the person was becomes the basis for judging the person after death. The sheep—without ever mentioning the name of Jesus or even having knowledge of Jesus—who fed the hungry and gave shelter to the homeless and clothed the naked shall live; whereas the goats who didn’t feed the hungry or visit the infirm or even give cold water to the thirsty shall be consumed in the lake of fire (Matt 25:31–46). So what chance has mass murderers? What chance has swindlers, cheats, liars, adulterers, the sexually immoral (the man who lays with another man as he would with a woman, or vice versa, the woman who lays with another woman)? What chance has a drunkard, or a competitive person? What chance has the person who loved the things of this world? What chance has a person who knew to keep the Commandments, but placed job and family ahead of obedience to God? What chance has the person who placed his or her patriotism to flag and skill with rifle ahead of loving the person’s enemies …
Do you see the problem? How can a Christian pray for military victories for his or her nation when the Christian’s citizenship is in heaven, where the certainty of the Adversary and his angels’ defeat is prophesied? Can an American Christian pray for the American military to prevail in battle over Islamists while simultaneously maintaining the Christian’s citizenship in heaven? Or better, can a Christian pray that God takes the life of a person who is suffering because God hasn’t answered prayers to heal the person … if God hasn’t answered prayers to heal, what would make the person believe that God would answer a prayer to take the person’s life? There is a logical disconnect in this person’s reasoning.
Permit the dead to bury the dead of themselves—permit the soldier to bury his or her own dead. It is enough for a person to do good to the hungry and to the homeless.
The Adversary’s administration of this world has more and greater problems than Christians can fix. And while I would like to save every volunteer tomato plant that sprouts from last year’s compost pile, planting each volunteer a couple feet apart in a row, supporting each volunteer, watching it grow to see what it will be (can become), there are simply too many for me to save all of them. The best I can do is save a couple of dozen, which when added to the plants deliberately grown from seed, also a couple of dozen, give me an unreasonable number of tomato plants to weed and harvest.
The Philadelphia Church regularly receives requests for affiliation—and usually the one making the requests writes of the needs of orphans in the ministry’s orphanage, the orphans otherwise perishing if not fed and housed by the ministry.
Orphans are not volunteer tomato plants, but at what point can a person or a ministry be overwhelmed by the physical needs involved with caring for many who are unable to care for themselves? At what point can the Adversary distract the primary purpose of Christian ministry, which isn’t to spread knowledge of Christ Jesus or to get the unchurched into fellowship with Christ, but to deliver the endtime gospel [good news] that all who endure to the end shall be saved, this good news to be preached, published, to all the world as a witness to all nations and peoples (Matt 24:13–14)?
The hungry of this world are the Adversary’s hungry. Yes, the hunger of any person will effect the heart of the Christian. But prayers don’t fill empty stomachs: bread and fish do. And when there is no bread and not enough faith to move mountains, what is the Christian to do? Prayer harder, more loudly, with more fervor? Or get to work planting wheat, maize, whatever will grow?
The prayers of Christians are not answered because the prayers precede work[s] … the physical comes first, then the spiritual. And when the physical comes first, prayers take care of themselves. The person truly born of God has to say nothing to have his or her prayers answered: they are answered before they are asked.
God is not a talisman that if rubbed the right way grants wishes or commands. The concept of Christian prayer misses the mark, as evidenced by the number of prayers that are unanswered.
A veil separates Christians from answered prayer, with this veil being the curse of Islam: Allah will provide … no, Allah will not provide unless the person does it for him or herself. Allah will give to Islam no Caliphate unless this Caliphate is secured by the gun. And the rising tide of democratic fundamentalism will soon topple every government that opposes individualism as the angelic king of Greek flies out of the West to trample the status quo everywhere.
Christians mistake technology for answered prayer far too often. That veil just doesn’t permit Christians to see the world as it is.
The person conducting the Sabbath service should close services with two hymns, or psalms, followed by a prayer asking God’s dismissal.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.