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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #7410 on: October 22, 2021, 09:20:32 AM »

The Pleasure of the Lord

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)

The very concept of God having pleasure in things that take place on Earth staggers the imagination. Most amazing of all is the revelation that it pleased Him to put His own Son through a terrible, bruising death, as the tremendous Messianic prophecy of our text reveals.

Nevertheless, this was the only possible way whereby “the pleasure of the LORD” could be accomplished in the redeemed lives of lost men and women, whom He had created for eternal fellowship with the triune God. “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation” (Psalm 149:4).

Five times we read in the New Testament that God the Father spoke from heaven assuring us that He was “well pleased” with His “beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; 2 Peter 1:17). “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him!” This is almost impossible to understand, but had it not been so, none of us ever could have been saved. The Lord Jesus Himself has confirmed to His own “little flock” that “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

Thus, not only have we been created “for thy pleasure” (Revelation 4:11), but also we have been “predestinated...unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Ephesians 1:5). This is far beyond our comprehension, so we merely rest in the great truth that “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We know that “the LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him” (Psalm 147:11), and we rejoice with thanksgiving! HMM
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« Reply #7411 on: October 23, 2021, 08:34:50 AM »

Fellowship

“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)

Much goes on in Christian churches today under the name of “fellowship.” Usually this consists of coffee and donuts, or church socials, or sports. As delightful as these functions may be, they should not be confused with biblical fellowship.

Nowhere in the New Testament do any of the Greek words translated “fellowship” imply fun times. Rather, they talk of, for example, “the fellowship of the ministering to the saints” (2 Corinthians 8:4) as sacrificial service and financial aid. (See, for example, 1 Timothy 6:18.)

Elsewhere, Paul was thankful for the Philippian believers’ “fellowship in the gospel” (Philippians 1:5), for he knew that “inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers [same word as fellowship] of my grace” (Philippians 1:7). This sort of fellowship may even bring persecution.

We are to emulate Christ’s humility and self-sacrificial love (Philippians 2:5-8) through the “fellowship of the Spirit” (Philippians 2:1). In some way known only partially to us, we have the privilege of knowing “the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10), and even “the communion [i.e., fellowship] of the blood” and “body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:16).

As we can see, this “fellowship” is serious business. As in our text and subsequent verses, fellowship should be accompanied by teaching, prayer, and ministry to the poor (Acts 2:45).

This kind of fellowship will be in “favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). JDM
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« Reply #7412 on: October 24, 2021, 08:53:47 AM »

Our Glorious Bodies

“We look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Two vivid contrasts are highlighted in this text: We now have a vile body that will be changed into a glorious body. Our Lord Jesus will fashion us after the pattern of His own body.

There is ample evidence, both in Scripture and in our own experience, that our present physical bodies are “vile.” The English word seems more intense than the Greek, which simply means “lowly” or “humble.” Christ humbled Himself when He took on our flesh (Philippians 2:8). The Virgin Mary saw herself in a “low estate” as she compared herself to the wonder of what was happening to her (Luke 1:48).

But one glorious day, the Lord Jesus will change our humble bodies into that which is reflective of His own. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). What a marvelous thought! Even “after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26).

The exciting description of those absolute changes are encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15:42-58. We have a mortal body now, but then it will be imperishable. There is no honor to our bodies now, but then they will be glorious. Weakness is our burden now, but in eternity we will be endued with power. Thank You, heavenly Father, for this majestic promise. HMM III
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« Reply #7413 on: October 25, 2021, 08:26:11 AM »

Bringing Up Children

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

This verse, together with the parallel passage in Colossians 3:21, is probably the key New Testament instruction specifically dealing with the training of children. “Nurture” is from the same Greek word that is translated “chastening” in Hebrews 12:5, 7, and “instruction” in 2 Timothy 3:16. It has particular reference to carrying out child training with both firmness and gentleness, as needed and appropriate in each particular case.

The term “admonition” is from a Greek word meaning “putting in mind.” Thus, the “admonition of the Lord” implies teaching the ways of the Lord by using the Word of the Lord. There is no substitute for implanting a knowledge of God’s Word in the minds of our children. Even if they should drift away for a while in later life, the Lord can use His Word in their hearts to bring them back.

Both types of training—through action and through verbal teaching—are said in this passage to be primarily the responsibility of the father. The first reference in the Bible to training children deals with Abraham’s responsibility to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (see Genesis 18:19). Mothers, of course, also have much responsibility and ability in this ministry (see Proverbs 1:8, and the example cited by Paul himself of how Timothy’s mother and grandmother had taught him—2 Timothy 1:5; 3:15). Fathers, too, sometimes delegate certain teaching responsibilities to tutors (Galatians 4:1-2), but the overall responsibilities are theirs.

And all of this training should be done in love. “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged” (Colossians 3:21). Then we trust the Lord and pray. HMM
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« Reply #7414 on: October 26, 2021, 09:13:12 AM »

When Christ Ascended

“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?)” (Ephesians 4:8-9)

This verse has been controversial but is nonetheless very important. The context is taken from Psalm 68:17-20: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels:...Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive:...our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.”

The psalmist is apparently describing the Lord among His heavenly hosts, riding home as a mighty king returning with the spoils of battle. Evidently this battle prize consisted of His own people who had been held captive in an alien land but who now had been captured from the enemy by the returning King. To do this, the King (none other than the Lord Jesus Himself) “ascended up on high,” leading them to His own throne in the heavens.

But first He had to descend to the earth, and then even to “the lower parts of the earth.” This unusual phrase must refer to the great pit in the center of the earth confining the souls of the dead—the place called Hades.

One of Christ’s purposes on Earth was “to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1). That is exactly what He did when He died on the cross for the sins of these very captives, then, in the Spirit, descended into Hades to set them free.

He returned with the very “keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18), alive forevermore. The souls of those who had died in faith came with Him, finally ascending with Him into “paradise,” in “the third heaven” (note Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:2, 4) to wait with Him for His future return to reclaim the whole earth. HMM
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« Reply #7415 on: October 27, 2021, 09:58:46 AM »

Unceasing Prayer

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

This is, no doubt, the shortest commandment in the Bible, and seemingly the most difficult to obey. How could anyone possibly pray without ceasing? What about sleeping, or working, or other necessary pursuits?

Paul himself claimed to pray without ceasing. For example, he wrote to the Roman church: “For God is my witness... that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers” (Romans 1:9). To the Thessalonians he wrote: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3). In his very last epistle he wrote: “I thank God...that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day” (2 Timothy 1:3).

It is obvious from such references that Paul did not mean we should be uttering prayers continually but rather to be continually in a prayerful attitude and never to stop the regular practice of prayer. In like fashion, the Lord Jesus said: “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). In the parable following this command, He spoke of God’s “own elect, which cry day and night unto him” (Luke 18:7). This would further imply that our prayerful attitude and regular practice of specific prayer should be taking place every day and every night. We should never “faint”—that is, “lose heart”—if the answer isn’t what or when we hope, but keep on praying anyway. When it’s the right time, He will, indeed, answer “speedily,” and in the right way (Luke 18:8).

To pray without ceasing means simply to be free to communicate quickly with Him, night and day, always in an attitude of prayer. “If ye abide in me,” He said, “and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7). HMM
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« Reply #7416 on: October 28, 2021, 10:13:28 AM »

One Day as a Thousand Years

“Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)

It is sad that many Christians today are so eager to appear intellectual they are willing to compromise God’s clear revelation to do so. God has made it as clear as plain words could make it that “in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11). Yet because evolutionary “science” has alleged that the earth is billions of years old, multitudes of evangelicals have fallen in line, rejecting God’s plain statement of fact and then trying to find some interpretive loophole to hide behind.

Our text verse is perhaps the key verse of the so-called “progressive creationists” who try to correlate the days of creation in Genesis with the supposed 4.6 billion-year system of evolutionary geological ages by citing Peter as agreeing that “one day is a thousand years.”

No, Peter is saying that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years”! That is, God can do in one day what might, by natural processes, take a thousand years. In context, the apostle is condemning the last-day uniformitarians (those who teach that “all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation”) as “willingly ignorant” of the tremendous significance of the historical facts of creation and the Flood (2 Peter 3:3-6). Real written records only go back a few thousand years, and to attempt to calculate any date before that requires use of a premise that, in context, the Scriptures have just condemned! God says the uniformitarians are willingly ignorant and then urges those who believe His Word to “be not ignorant.” The only way we can know the date and duration of creation is for God to tell us, and He says He made all of heaven and Earth in six days, and not so long ago! HMM
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« Reply #7417 on: October 29, 2021, 09:13:42 AM »

Compound Names of Jehovah

“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:6)

There are seven compound names of Jehovah in Scripture which together provide profound insight into the person and work of our Lord. The first of these identifies Jehovah, the God of the Covenant, with the Creator “the LORD God [’Jehovahelohim’] [who] made the earth and the heavens” (Genesis 2:4).

On finding a ram to sacrifice in place of his son, Isaac, “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh [the Lord will provide]” (Genesis 22:14).

Contingent upon their keeping the law, God promised the people of Israel that “I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee [literally, ‘Jehovah-rapha’]” (Exodus 15:26).

Fresh from a miraculous victory in the first battle of the people of Israel, “Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi [Jehovah the Victor]” (Exodus 17:15).

Once the Lord had commissioned Gideon to lead the people of Israel out of bondage, “Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom [Jehovah sends peace]” (Judges 6:24).

In a passage concerning the future regathering and conversion of Israel quoted in our text, we see that Israel refers to the “LORD our righteousness [’Jehovah-tsidkenu’].”

Finally, in the last verse of his book, Ezekiel describes the absorbing charm of the heavenly city and the One who will preside over it, claiming, “The name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there [’Jehovah-shama,’ Jehovah the indweller]” (Ezekiel 48:35).

And best of all, He is all seven to us. JDM
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« Reply #7418 on: October 30, 2021, 09:26:31 AM »

The Joyful Sound

“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.” (Psalm 89:15)

Many have been the Christians who have joined in singing “We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves; Jesus saves!” Not all have known, however, that this beautiful phrase comes from a great psalm extolling God’s marvelous works of creation and then His promises of redemption.

“The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. The north and the south thou hast created them” (Psalm 89:11- 12). Earlier verses note that “the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD” (v. 5), speaking of the angels, “the sons of the mighty” (v. 6), literally, “the sons of God.” It is exciting to realize that the very first “joyful sound” was heard when God “laid the foundations of the earth.” Then it was that “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:4, 7).

There was also a joyful sound when Christ was born, and the angel came bringing “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born...a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord...And suddenly there was...the heavenly host praising God” (Luke 2:10-11, 13).

Whenever a soul is saved, there is another joyful sound: “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,” said Jesus (Luke 15:7). Finally, there will be a most wonderful sound of joy on Earth when the Lord comes again. “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 35:10). Therefore, even now, “my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation” (Psalm 35:9). HMM
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« Reply #7419 on: October 31, 2021, 09:06:53 AM »

Children of the Day

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

It may be significant that most of the days during the year that have been considered to have some special meaning are observed as “Days”—for example, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, etc. Those observed mainly at night, such as Halloween and New Year’s Eve, tend to emphasize frivolity or even sinfulness. Christmas Eve may be an exception, but this celebration (December 25) rarely notes the real reason for Christ’s incarnation.

It is for good reason that darkness has become a term referring not only to absence of daylight but also to absence of moral light. Many biblical references make this connection. Note just a sampling.

“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 armor of light” (Romans 13:12).

“For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love” (1 Thessalonians 5:7-8).

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them...But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light” (Ephesians 5:11, 13).

All who have trusted in Christ have been “delivered” by our heavenly Father “from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13). It would be utterly irresponsible, therefore, for us ever to shame our Father by behaving like the children of darkness. “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). HMM
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« Reply #7420 on: November 01, 2021, 10:53:16 AM »

Biblical Accuracy

“If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12)

Many who profess to be Christian intellectuals today are arguing that we should defer to the evolutionists in matters of science and history since the real message of the Bible is spiritual. The Genesis account, for example, is not meant to give us details of the events of creation, for scientists can give us this information. It merely assures us that God is somehow behind it all. But if this were all that God meant to tell us, its very first verse is enough for that! What is the need to describe all the days and acts of creation at all if the record has no real relevance to history or science?

As the Lord Jesus told Nicodemus in our text verse, if we cannot trust God’s Word when it relates “earthly things,” how can we possibly rely on its testimony of “heavenly things”? To some extent we can check for ourselves whether or not it is accurate when it records facts of history and processes of nature, but we have no means at all of determining whether it speaks the truth when it deals with heaven and hell, with salvation and eternal life, or with God’s purpose for the world in the ages to come.

The fact is that the Bible is accurate in all matters with which it deals, scientific and historical as well as spiritual and theological. It is a dangerous thing to listen to these modern “pied pipers” of evangelicalism whose self-serving compromises with evolutionary scientism have already led multitudes of young people astray in our Christian colleges and seminaries.

We yet may not have all the answers to alleged problems in the Bible, but we can be absolutely sure of God’s Word. When the answers are found, they will merely confirm what He has said all along. He is able and willing to speak the truth, and He means what He says! HMM
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« Reply #7421 on: November 01, 2021, 01:08:27 PM »

Amen brother Amen!!

Romans 1:16 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.

Even though Christ fulfilled the law, I try to abide by the law
Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

John 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life

John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Amen!!
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« Reply #7422 on: November 02, 2021, 09:01:03 AM »

The Counting God

“Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?” (Job 31:4)

God is surely the Great Mathematician. All the intricacies of structure and process of His mighty cosmos are, at least in principle, capable of being described mathematically, and the goal of science is to do just that. This precise intelligibility of the universe clearly points to a marvelous intelligence as its Creator.

God even “telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names” (Psalm 147:4). Astronomers estimate that at least 10 trillion trillion stars exist in the heavens, and God has counted and identified each one! And that is not all: “The very hairs of your head are all numbered,” Jesus said (Matthew 10:30). From the most massive star to the tiniest hair, God has counted each component of His creation.

Such countings are far beyond human capabilities, for “the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured” (Jeremiah 33:22). But God has also created “an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22) and has promised that the redeemed will include “a great multitude, which no man could number” (Revelation 7:9).

No wonder David exclaimed, “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered” (Psalm 40:5).

Perhaps the most wonderful of all God’s counting activities is that implied in Job’s rhetorical question: “Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?” If He has numbered the hairs on our heads, we can be certain He numbers our steps along the way and guides them all. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23). HMM
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« Reply #7423 on: November 03, 2021, 09:26:50 AM »

Creation and the Finger of God

“It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” (Exodus 31:17-18)

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16), but this portion of Scripture was given by direct inscription of God! Moses testified: “The LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly” (Deuteronomy 9:10). “He wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments” (Exodus 34:28). Thus, out of all the Holy Scriptures, God chose to write this section, not through one of His prophets, but with His own finger! It should, therefore, be taken literally and most seriously.

It is also significant that these commandments were structured around a weekly day of rest, “remembering” God’s creation week—six days of creating and making everything in heaven and Earth, followed by a sanctified day of rest and refreshment (note also Exodus 20:8-11 and Genesis 1:31–2:3). Ever since the creation, people have observed a weekly calendar. The seven-day week (unlike the day, month, and year) has no astronomical basis. People keep time in weeks simply because God did! Even those who deny the six-day week of creation must observe it, for their biological rhythms are constructed that way by God. “The sabbath was made for man,” said Jesus (Mark 2:27). Since God considered the truth of the literal creation week so important that He inscribed it Himself, we should believe this portion of His Word first of all. HMM
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« Reply #7424 on: November 04, 2021, 09:14:53 AM »

Stand Fast

“Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” (Philippians 4:1)

Several adjectives precede the command contained in this text. Not only does Paul twice use “dearly beloved” to describe his relationship with the Philippians, but he also insists that he longs for them and anticipates joy at the recognition of the “crown” he will receive in heaven.

These are intense words. Agapetos is the descriptive Greek term translated “dearly beloved.” The heavenly Father uses agapetos to express His love for His “beloved Son” (Matthew 3:17). Most of the New Testament letters freely use agapetos to describe various personal relationships with their brothers and sisters in Christ. That unique and deeply spiritual love is what demonstrates our difference to the unsaved (John 13:34-35).

Since Paul is separated from the Philippian church (probably writing the letter from Rome), his love for them caused him to “long after [them] all in the bowels of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:8). That passionate ache is mitigated by the joy coming from the certain knowledge that his work will result in a “victor’s crown” (Greek stephanos, today’s verse) when God rewards our service. “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

So, “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27). “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). Stand fast in the liberty that salvation provides. Don’t become tangled up in the bondage of legalistic burdens (Galatians 5:1). “For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 3:8). HMM III
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Joh 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
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