March 27, 2008 ©Homer
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Commentary — From the Margins
Chapter One: A New War Scroll
In February 2004, in the Shaffer
“This is the message we…proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). And with these words, repeated for two millennia, the endtime sons of light launch a war not in this world or of this world, but a war fought across dimensions—a war fought in the supra-dimensional realm identified as heaven. These sons of light fight for control of the mental topography of humanity: they spar with ideas, parry with the words of Christ Jesus, joust with the prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2), all within the minds of the holy nation of God. Although these sons of light fight while still outwardly enslaved by sin and death, they will win a victory against impossible odds, because they have a different spirit about them. And they will deliver their victory into the hands of their elder brother, Christ Jesus, who has already won the war.
How can disciples fight a war that has already been won? They can because human beings of every generation are now born as sons of disobedience, not as sons of obedience. Every person has been and is presently born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) because of the transgression of the first Adam. Jesus of Nazareth qualified to receive that single kingdom of this world when he mentally defeated the reigning prince, but He will not receive this kingdom until spiritual Babylon falls and dominion over humankind is given to the Son of Man, a one time occurrence (Rev 11:15–19; Dan 7:9–14; 2:34–35, 44–45). The kingdom of this world is not given to the Son of Man many times; it was not given to Jesus when He qualified to receive it, for His Body did not then exist. Rather, it is given to the glorified Jesus halfway through the seven endtime years of tribulation.
The passage of time can be written as a mathematical function of gravity; hence, time was created when matter was created. Time, or better, space-time is a defining characteristic of the universe as the absence of space-time is a defining characteristic of heaven, a supra-dimensional realm in which no dimension is unfurled—a realm in which all that is must coexist with all that will be in a solitary dance of oneness. In heaven, what is not “one” with everything else will cause the problem of a paradox so the Father and the Son are one and every glorified disciple will be one with the Father and the Son (John 17:20–23) or the called disciple will not enter heaven.
Salvation is this simple: a person is a tent of flesh within the larger house of Adam, and salvation comes to this tent of flesh when “life” is placed within the physically living though spiritually dead flesh through this tent receiving the divine breath of the Father. The model for salvation is how human life came to the first Adam through this man of mud receiving “breath” when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into his nostrils (Gen 2:7). The last Adam received spiritual life when the divine breath of the Father descended as a dove, lit and remained on the man Jesus, thereby causing Jesus to fulfill all righteousness (Matt 3:15–16). But as the man Jesus was then tempted by the devil and had to overcome the devil, every disciple, once born of spirit, must overcome Satan, whom Jesus has already defeated. A disciple who continues as a son of disobedience, not attempting to overcome the devil, mocks Christ and is not “one” with Christ, but remains as a bondservant to sin. This person has been called by God, has been raised from the dead [the state of spiritual lifelessness], has been freed from disobedience, but has not valued freedom enough to attempt walking uprightly before God. This person, by his or her refusal to attempt to stand and to walk upright before man and God, tells God that the person does not want salvation on the terms with which it has been given. As an infant son of God, like a human infant learning to walk, the disciple does not have to walk perfectly erect with the disciple’s first step; does not have to never stumble and fall; does not have to rise and run without misstep. What human parent has not been excited when a human infant doesn’t first stand and totter a few steps from one handhold to another? What human infant hasn’t, when standing, suddenly fallen on its diaper? And what human infant has not improved walking uprightly within weeks or months of first standing?
A human infant’s first steps are taken when the infant is seven, eight, ten months old. By the age of eighteen months, the toddler walks relatively well but still experiences an occasional spill. By three years old, this child walks uprightly, but is not yet ready to enter a sprint race although the child might run around more than the parent desires. And the key to understanding Scripture is that in all things, the visible reveals the invisible (Rom 1:20), and the physical precedes the spiritual (1 Cor 15:46): a son of the first Adam will learn to walk uprightly and grow in maturity as the shadow and type of a son of the last Adam learning to walk uprightly and grow in maturity. So the physical birth and maturation process of human beings forms the shadow and copy of the spiritual birth and maturation process of sons of light.
Human infants occasionally die suddenly for no easily explainable reasons [SIDS]. Likewise, infant sons of God occasionally die spiritually suddenly for no easily explainable reasons. But the greater tragedy is infanticide, practiced by nearly every culture through recorded human history—and it is spiritual infanticide now practiced by the sons of disobedience in the synagogue of Satan that endtime sons of light must fight as the prophets of old denounced ancient Israel for causing their firstborns to pass through fire, burning their firstborns to Molech.
Infanticide is the parent murdering the fully born infant whereas abortion is this woman terminating the child’s life in her womb, and both spiritual infanticide and spiritual abortion are committed by the visible Christian Church.
If the sons of light’s victory over
disobedience were determined by a body count, the war fought by these endtime
sons of light would be hopelessly lost, for many have been called but few will
be chosen (Matt 22:14). Most will be lost. Most who would be or have been born
of spirit were murdered by the cross before ever standing upright and taking
that first tottering step from
Many have been born of spirit; many have received
the spirit of God [pneuma Theon]. But “the many” have not been willing
to separate themselves from this world. When they were given the chance to leave
The person drawn from this world by the Father (John 6:44) is no longer under the law, but under grace (Rom 6:14). There is, however, a condition attached that gets overlooked by “the many”: the born of spirit disciple who voluntarily returns to lawlessness and again makes him or herself a willing bondservant to sin—sin is lawlessness or the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4)—does not remain under grace, for sin again has dominion over this person. This means, simply, that the person has voluntarily returned to being under the law … sin and the law from which the disciple was liberated once again assumes authority over the person, with this latter state worse than the first for no sacrifice remains for the person.
A person cannot serve two masters: either the person serves Christ, or serves the prince of this world. There is no third alternative. There is no gray area, no wiggle room, no fudge factor. When sin has no dominion over a person, the person is free to keep the law thereby giving the law no authority over the person, for the authority of the law is the accumulated record of debt with its legal demands that comes from sin.
The above is a difficult concept to grasp: the
record of debt that stood against every person (for all have sinned) before the
person was born of spirit was canceled by Christ’s death at
But even after a person is born of spirit, the flesh is still subject to disobedience, what the Apostle Paul discovered but did not understand (Rom 7:15; 21–25). Being born of spirit initiates a war between the disciple’s new nature and the tent of flesh in which this new creature dwells. And because this new creature is an infant son of God, he, as an infant, must grow in grace and knowledge, with this growth coming through overpowering the lawlessness still residing in the flesh. Thus, Christ as the reality of the Azazel goat bears but does not pay the death penalty for the lawlessness of disciples in the heavenly realm, where both the many and the few have life through being born of spirit.
Kipporim, two goats, not one, are the sin offering for
At Calvary, Jesus, taking upon Himself the sins of
Because the glorified Jesus bears the sins of disciples in heaven as the Azazel goat bore the sins of Israel in the wilderness, the disciple who has done evil should tremble in fearful anticipation of resurrection to judgment and condemnation (John 5:29); whereas the disciple who has done good has learned to walk uprightly before God and will be resurrected to life. Jesus said that those who profess His name will be in one of three categories:
Those disciples who will be called great in the kingdom of heaven will keep the commandments and will teach others to do likewise.
Those who will be called least will relax (not break) the least of the commandments and teach others to do likewise (Matt 5:19).
Those who teach disciples to be lawless [anomians—] will be denied by Jesus when judgments are revealed regardless of the great works done in Jesus’ name (Matt 7:21–23).
Obedience to the law removes the person from being under the law, for with obedience the law is powerless. It has no authority over the person, no claim on the person’s life. But those who teach disciples to be lawless—who teach disciples to willfully break the commandments—prevent infant sons of God from coming to Jesus, for they teach these spiritual babes to continue in disobedience.
The power of sin lays in disobedience, for without disobedience there is no sin, no lawlessness, no transgression, no death. Sin evaporates, disappears! Thus, the power of the law is in identifying disobedience (Rom 7:7–10), for without the law sin lies dead, unknown, and undiscoverable even though every person who sinned without the law will also perish without the law (Rom 2:12).
Consider the ramifications of Paul’s gospel: although sin is not counted against a person where there is no law (Rom 5:13), the record of debt that stood against each person with its legal claim to the person’s life caused all to die, even those whose sinning was not like the transgressions of Adam (v. 14). The person without the law died without understanding why he or she died other than death is the “natural” end for all living creatures … death is “natural” only because all of humankind has been consigned to disobedience so that God can have mercy on all.
But the new creature, born of spirit as a son of God is not consigned to disobedience; this new creature is under no condemnation (Rom 8:1), but is truly free to keep the commandments of God—and if this new creature is free to keep the commandments, this same new creature is not under the law nor subject to death as long as this son of God continues in obedience. And here is where problems enter: because this new creature must overcome the desires of the flesh and the fully developed “nature” of the old man or old self while a spiritual infant, this new creature will occasionally lose a skirmish to the sin that continues to dwell in the flesh. If the disciple confesses the sin, Christ who bears the sin is faithful to forgive the sin and to cleanse the disciple.
Can a person profess his or her sins and not be forgiven? Can any person anywhere in the world profess his or her sins and invite Jesus into the person’s heart and still be denied by Christ when judgments are revealed? Well, can they be? Can the person who professed that he or she was a murderer then immediately goes out and murders another person be forgiven? How about if this murderer again professes that he or she is a murderer and then again commits murder? Where is repentance? Where is the fruit of repentance? Should God, who knows the person’s heart, forgive this person, who goes on to commit more murders? Is this person attempting to walk uprightly before God? Or is this person manipulative and merely trying to escape paying the penalty for being a murderer?
Let’s go to a more commonly occurring transgression of the commandments: can the person who breaks the weekly Sabbath and professes that he or she is a sinner and who then asks for forgiveness receive this forgiveness if every week from henceforth this person breaks the Sabbath? Yes, Christ’s righteousness—Grace—can certainly cover the transgressions of this person, but is Grace extended to the willful sinner?
The wage for transgression of the Sabbath is death, the same as the wage for murder is death. The wages earned by the spiritually circumcised Israelite for mentally doing business on the Sabbath is the same wage earned as the person who lusts after another receives, or as the person who is angry with his or her brother or sister receives. The wages of sin is death; the wages for forgiven sin is also death. But this death will not be paid by Christ in the heavenly realm; He will not be crucified a second time. And death in this physical realm cannot satisfy the legal demand of the law for sin committed in the heavenly realm. So someone or some entity with life in the heavenly realm must pay the wages earned for forgiven sin, with this someone not being Christ Jesus.
Satan will ultimately be this someone, but he doesn’t die when the firstfruits are resurrected to either glory or condemnation.
Christendom cannot have it both ways: a disciple is
either born of spirit and has real spiritual life, or a disciple is not truly
born of spirit but only has the spirit of God as a dog has a bone. Herbert
Armstrong and the former Worldwide Church of God steadfastly insisted that no
human being was truly born of spirit, that a disciple was merely begotten as a
fetus in a womb is begotten. And for that administration of the
Setting jests aside, every disciple who has received the spirit of God has received spiritual life from the Father, and this son of God has real life in the heavenly realm—and this son of God is really able to commit sin in the heavenly realm. For example, unacted upon lust in a disciple is a sin in the heavenly realm (Matt 5:27–28) for which the death penalty must be paid in this spiritual realm even though no transgression of the law occurs in the earthly realm. For a disciple, it is never all right to look but don’t touch. To look with lust is sin that if not borne by Christ will cause the son of God to be cast into the lake of fire when judgments are revealed. But to bear a sin is not to pay the wage for the sin. Christ’s bears sins. Upon Christ’s return when judgments are revealed, sins He has borne will either be given to Satan, with one of his representatives serving as a stand-in for him as the livestock sacrificed by Israel stood in for Christ from Moses to Calvary, or this sin will be given back to the disciple who serves as a stand-in for Satan. Either way, someone with life in the heavenly realm will perish in the lake of fire for a disciple’s unacted upon lust. And “the many” have life in the heavenly realm through being born of spirit—but these “many” are not selected; they are not the Elect. The “many” are in comparison to those disciples who will be selected as livestock was to natural Israelites, and this should frighten every Christian, for as Peter observes, “‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner’” (1 Pet 4:18). What will become of the disciple who voluntarily returns to lawlessness when sin has no dominion over the person? What will the fate be of Christians who know to keep the Sabbath but come before God on the following day? What will be the fate of the Christian who knows to keep the high Sabbaths of God but does not do so because of a Jezebel’s vision?
What will be the fate of the murderer who professes to be a murderer and who invites Jesus into his or her heart but who continues in his or her lawless ways? Is this person one of the ungodly and still a sinner? He or she is, correct? If this person has truly been born of spirit—and here is where the problem enters—will this person continue in his or her lawless ways? No, he or she will not continue in lawlessness (Rom 8:7). Continuing in lawlessness is prima facie evidence of not being born of spirit. So the “Christian” who claims to be born of spirit but who continues in lawlessness is a liar, and no truth is in this person.
A Kenyan can claim to be an American citizen even
though this Kenyan has never been to
Because of the first Adam’s transgression
every person born of water is presently consigned to disobedience and is not free to keep the commandments; so
regardless of how much the person wants to serve God, until also born of spirit
he or she cannot do so in truth and righteousness. Until born of spirit, even
the most pious person will break at least one commandment, thereby making the
person a lawbreaker, a sinner, with a record of debt that must be paid by the
death of the person. And it is here where misunderstanding rears its ugly head:
until the flesh is liberated from indwelling sin and death as the mind has been
through being born of spirit, the flesh will continue to transgress the laws of
God as the mind wrestles with the flesh for control. Sons of light do not
contend with sons of darkness, but with the darkness that continues to dwell
within themselves until the second Passover liberation of
No person was born of spirit prior to the “birth” of the last Adam, the man Jesus of Nazareth, when the spirit of God [pneuma Theon] descended as a dove, lit on Him, and remained with Him. To be born of spirit, the person must receive the spirit or divine breath of the Father, not the “breath” of Jesus, or of Yah. The spirit of God that King David asked not to be taken from him was the divine breathe of Yah. Although a man after God’s own heart, David’s adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah, her husband, established a record of debt for which a life must be given—in this case, the life of Bathsheba’s firstborn son, who dies before being circumcised and dies as a sacrificial offering that spares David’s life.
David has to give his son as an atoning sacrifice as Abraham had to offer up his and as the Father offered His. Isaac’s life, though, was spared, for Abraham kept God’s commandments and statutes (Gen 26:5) albeit not perfectly.
When drawn from this world—when drawn from disobedience—the person is withdrawn from bondage to sin. No longer does the person have to transgress the commandments of God; no longer does the person have to lie, or steal, or hate, or lust, or envy, or worship on Sunday. The person is free to keep the law. Or the person can voluntarily return to disobedience and to being the bondservant of sin (Rom 6:12–16).
But being set free from disobedience does not mean enough to “the many” for these infant sons of God to even crawl into Sabbath observance, the commandment that most of them regard as the least of the commandments; thus, the heavy seed heads grown from sowing seed in the rich fields of Babylon only benefit these sons of God in this world, where thieves have already broken in to steal their salvation from them.
The Apostle John
doesn’t use the light/darkness
metaphor as a contrast of good versus
evil as the writer[s] of
Being cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ Jesus places a person in light. Sin represents darkness: it blocks the light that is God (the Father’s house) from shining onto the mental typography of the person, where this light like dissolved oxygen in a cascading stream purifies what is visibly clean, attacking even the yeast-like spores of sin that hang suspended in clear water. Therefore, John’s use of this metaphor differs from how it has been used by a host of literary writers, and lately, moviemakers. He uses light to represent supernatural life, or life in the heavenly realm. The Father and the Son are in heaven, and if the sons of light, cleansed by the blood of Christ, walk with Christ, they walk together in heaven where they have fellowship with one another; they are one with the Father and the Son for they have the divine breath of both the Father and the Son dwelling in them (Rom 8:9, 11). Even though their fleshly bodies remain here on earth, the new creature that is neither male nor female but a son of light will mentally walk in heaven as Jesus walked here on earth. Having entered into God’s rest, this new creature will keep the commandments, or will establish a record of debt in the heavenly realm that will prevent the disciple from passing directly from death to life without coming under judgment (John 5:24). Judgment pertains to the record of debt that the disciple establishes after being cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
Pedagogical redundancy requires that certain points are hammered home: a son of disobedience has no life in the heavenly realm; therefore, a son of disobedience can only transgress the law in this earthly realm. But when a son of disobedience is drawn by the Father from this world (John 6:44), this son of disobedience receives the spirit of God and is born from above, with this second birth giving the now-former son of disobedience life in the heavenly realm. This person can now obey or transgress the law in both this earthly realm as well as in that portion of the heavenly realm within the bottomless pit, the rent torn in the fabric of heaven that is analogous to the earth opening to swallow Korah and his rebellious friends (Num chap 16).
disciple is no longer male or female, Jew or Greek, although the tent of flesh
remains male or female, Jew or Greek; so the disciple is not the tent of flesh
in which the disciple dwells. The disciple is the new creature that is born of
spirit. Therefore, the disciple only transgresses the law in the heavenly
realm. It is the tent of flesh that transgresses the law in this earthly realm,
where Jesus’ death at
The assumption has
been that since
Under the terms of the Passover covenant made on the day the Lord took Israel by the hand to lead this nation out of Egypt, the Lord shall cause the destroyer to pass over the houses of Israel that have the blood of a paschal lamb smeared on their doorposts and lintels. The destroyer [i.e., the death angels] will pass over the house or tent of flesh of the Israelite who has eaten the sacrificial lamb commanded—and because the destroyer will pass over the house of the Israelite, the sins of this house are year by year remembered no more.
Note the above: if the death angel does not slay the firstborn of the house, then whatever was done within the house has been passed over. This does not mean that those who dwell in this house will not die, for all of the Israelites numbered in the census of the second year perished in the wilderness and did not enter into God’s rest; rather, this means that those whom the death angel passed over will not die in Egypt [i.e., in sin], but will be liberated from bondage.
Because the visible reveals the invisible, and disciples are truly “invisible” within the tents of flesh in which they dwell, their presence only revealed through the actions of the flesh, the following correspondences are significant:
Circumcision of the flesh is the shadow and revealing type of circumcision of the heart.
circumcised Israelite dwelling in a house in
lamb selected and penned on the 10th day of the first month is the
shadow and revealing type of the man Jesus entering
The sacrifice of the paschal lamb on the 14th day of the first month is the shadow and revealing type of Jesus’ crucifixion on the 14th day of the first month.
of the paschal lamb on doorposts and lintels, the entrance to the house of a
physically circumcised Israelite, is the shadow and revealing copy of a
disciple eating/taking the sacraments of bread and wine, the mouth of the tent
of flesh being equivalent to the doorway of the natural Israelite’s house
The covenant the
Lord made with
There are two concepts that are especially difficult for “Christians” to understand, the first being that a flesh and blood person can never be a disciple of Christ, for the flesh will remain male or female, Jew or Greek, bond or free even after baptism. The disciple is the invisible new creature born of spirit through receipt of the divine breath of God [pneuma Theon]. The disciple should rule the tent of flesh into which this son of God was born, but often the disciple is too weak or too small to do so. Hence, growth is necessary—and the garment of grace is also necessary to cover the transgressions that occur from the flesh ruling over the disciple as the disciple grows.
The second concept that is difficult for “Christians” to understand is that the new covenant is not yet implemented. Although the old covenant made when God took Israel by the hand to lead this nation out from Egypt is becoming obsolete and is ready to vanish—and was in this condition in the 1st-Century CE (Heb 8:13)—it has not yet been replaced by the new covenant: all firstborns who are not covered by the blood of the Passover Lamb of God will perish when the destroyer again passes over the houses of Israel and the houses of Gentiles in spiritual Babylon. And this second shedding of blood under this Passover covenant will end this covenant, for a covenant made in the flesh and with the flesh extends from cutting to cutting, or from the shedding of blood to the shedding of blood. These covenants are shadows and copies of heavenly covenants that are ratified by better sacrifices (Heb 9:23).
Too many “Christians” will contend that their God would not slay firstborns not under the blood of Christ … where in Scripture will they find any support for God not slaying the majority of humankind before or at the coming of the Messiah? They are reading a different book than the one God inspired, and they are projecting their values and sensitivities onto the Father and the Son.
The covenant made
with Israel on the day when the Lord led the fathers of Israel out of Egypt was
“ratified” with the lives of Egyptian (Egypt, Cush, and Seba)
firstborns, with these firstborns serving as the representatives of the nation
(Isa 43:3). This Passover covenant was to be commemorated year by year throughout
the generations of
But as natural Israel lost interest in keeping the Passover covenant has Moses commanded this holy nation (Ex 19:5–6) of God to keep the Passover, the spiritually circumcised nation of Israel lost interest in keeping the covenant: oh, interest was not lost all at once, but mid 2nd-Century CE when Polycarp journeyed to Rome to argue Smyrna’s reason for observing the Passover with Anicetus, the lawless bishop of Rome, in what has since become known as the Quartodeciman Controversy, Christendom had moved out from under the umbrella of Scripture and was, like a wild horse scenting distant water, following its own flaring nostrils and not following Christ Jesus or the Father.
Today, a few
endtime disciples who mistakenly think their flesh has importance to God point
to the Quartodeciman Controversy as
Again, to be born-from-above or born again is to be born of spirit—and spirit goes where it will as the wind does (John 3:7–8). A son of light is mentally able to go where his or her body cannot. A son of light can mentally walk with Christ and with the Father in a dimension that is poorly understood at best. And if a person is not born of spirit, the person has no fellowship with God, and is actually hostile to God (Rom 8:7). So the initial difference between a disciple and a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3) is spiritual birth while the person remains in a body of flesh.
As so-called human
nature is an invisible attribute of a flesh and blood human being and as such
is outside of the domain of materialistic inquiry, the new nature or new self
that comes through receipt of a second life that originates in the heavenly
realm is not an appropriate subject for scientific study. While philosophical
materialism can deny that deity exists or that a second birth is possible,
methodical materialism has no control of variables that can be implemented to
state whether a person is or is not born from above. And any argument based
upon historical Christendom will only disclose the philosophical Trojan horse
ancient Greek theologians constructed from the broken shards of the Jesus
Movement—a Trojan horse that these pagan Greeks used to win an empire
In their search for intelligent life, scientists do not look for complexity but for artificiality occurring in the background noise originating in deep space. The evidence for a second birth and for God isn’t found in inquiries about God, but in the artificiality that has the visible things of this world revealing the invisible things of God, with the visible Passover liberation of visibly circumcised Israel from visible bondage to a visible king [Pharaoh] forming the lively representation of the invisible Passover liberation of invisibly circumcised Israel from invisible bondage to disobedience and its prince, Satan the devil, when the seven endtime years of tribulation begin. As the lives of the firstborns of Egypt, man and beast, were given when visibly circumcised Israel was liberated from bondage, the lives of the firstborns of this world [foreshadowed by the lives of beasts in Egypt] and the lives of firstborn spiritual beings in that portion of the heavenly realm within the bottomless pit [foreshadowed by the lives of men in Egypt] will be given when God again gives the lives of men as ransom for the liberation of Israel (Isa 43:4).
It will be the
artificiality of the lives of firstborns not covered by the blood of Christ
being lost at a second Passover liberation of
God’s credibility has fallen upon hard times. Although Jesus said He would deny knowing teachers of lawlessness when their judgments are revealed regardless of the good works they did in His name (Matt 7:23), a succession of these teachers of lawlessness has defined Christendom for the world. But this visible Christian Church is not composed of invisible disciples dwelling in tents of flesh, but composed of many sons of disobedience openly parading their defiance of God every Sunday in thousands of sects and denominations without God intervening to defend His name or house.
that God is slow to intervene in the affairs of men. For cause: He has more
sons than are dwelling in physical tents of flesh in any one generation. Each
of these sons must make a spiritual journey of faith equivalent in length to
the patriarch Abraham’s physical journey of faith from
who claim to be Christian and who actually do great works in the name of Christ
Jesus, but who teach disciples to be lawbreakers, sinners, will not be
resurrected to life but to condemnation (Matt 7:21–23). And these
ministers are everywhere: they are on television; they are in pulpits on nearly
every street corner; they are in city council meetings; some have even run for
the presidency of the
Continued in Chapter Two
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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."