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First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 27 and 28 and 29
27:1 Symbol of the Bonds and Yokes
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah,
this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 "Thus says the LORD
to me: 'Make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck, 3 and
send them to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites,
the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come
to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4 And command them to say to their masters,
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel thus you shall say
to your masters: 5'I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on
the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it
to whom it seemed proper to Me. 6 And now I have given all these lands into
the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of
the field I have also given him to serve him. 7 So all nations shall serve him
and his son and his son's son, until the time of his land comes; and then many
nations and great kings shall make him serve them. 8 And it shall be, that the
nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon,
and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that
nation I will punish,' says the LORD, 'with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence,
until I have consumed them by his hand. 9 Therefore do not listen to your prophets,
your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak
to you, saying, "You shall not serve the king of Babylon." 10 For
they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and I will drive
you out, and you will perish. 11 But the nations that bring their necks under
the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let them remain in their
own land,' says the LORD, 'and they shall till it and dwell in it.'"'"
12 I also spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, "Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live! 13 Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon,' for they prophesy a lie to you; 15 for I have not sent them," says the LORD, "yet they prophesy a lie in My name, that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you."
16 Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, "Behold, the vessels of the LORD's house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon"; for they prophesy a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city be laid waste? 18 But if they are prophets, and if the word of the LORD is with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.'
19 "For thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, concerning the Sea, concerning the carts, and concerning the remainder of the vessels that remain in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem 21 yes, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem: 22'They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,' says the LORD. 'Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.'"
28:1 Hananiah's Falsehood and Doom
And it happened in the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah
king of Judah, in the fourth year and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the
son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the
LORD in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, 2 "Thus
speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'I have broken the yoke
of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two full years I will bring back to this place
all the vessels of the LORD's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took
away from this place and carried to Babylon. 4 And I will bring back to this
place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of
Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD, 'for I will break the yoke of the
king of Babylon.'"
5 Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of the LORD, 6 and the prophet Jeremiah said,"Amen! The LORD do so; the LORD perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the LORD's house and all who were carried away captive, from Babylon to this place. 7 Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: 8 The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms of war and disaster and pestilence. 9 As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the LORD has truly sent."
10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah's neck and broke it. 11 And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.'" And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
12 Now the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 13 "Go and tell Hananiah, saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron." 14 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:"I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also."'"
15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.'"
17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
29:1 Jeremiah's Letter to the Captives
Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem
to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive to the priests,
the prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive
from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2(This happened after Jeconiah the king, the queen
mother, the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and
the smiths had departed from Jerusalem.) 3 The letter was sent by the hand of
Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king
of Judah sent to Babylon, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying,
4 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon:
5 Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. 6 Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters that you may be increased there, and not diminished. 7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace. 8 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. 9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the LORD.
10 For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
15 Because you have said, "The LORD has raised up prophets for us in Babylon" 16 therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, concerning all the people who dwell in this city, and concerning your brethren who have not gone out with you into captivity 17 thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will send on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like rotten figs that cannot be eaten, they are so bad. 18 And I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence; and I will deliver them to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth to be a curse, an astonishment, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, 19 because they have not heeded My words, says the LORD, which I sent to them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; neither would you heed, says the LORD. 20 Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon.
21 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie to you in My name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall slay them before your eyes. 22 And because of them a curse shall be taken up by all the captivity of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, "The LORD make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire"; 23 because they have done disgraceful things in Israel, have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken lying words in My name, which I have not commanded them. Indeed I know, and am a witness, says the LORD.
24 You shall also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, 25 Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: You have sent letters in your name to all the people who are at Jerusalem, to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 26 "The LORD has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, so that there should be officers in the house of the LORD over every man who is demented and considers himself a prophet, that you should put him in prison and in the stocks. 27 Now therefore, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who makes himself a prophet to you? 28 For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, 'This captivity is long; build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit.'"
29 Now Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the hearing of Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying: 31 Send to all those in captivity, saying, Thus says the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I have not sent him, and he has caused you to trust in a lie 32 therefore thus says the LORD: Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his family: he shall not have anyone to dwell among this people, nor shall he see the good that I will do for My people, says the LORD, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD.
1 Peter 1
1:1 Greeting to the Elect Pilgrims
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith the salvation of your souls.
10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven things which angels desire to look into.
13 Living Before God Our Father
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully
upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in
your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all
your conduct, 16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 The Enduring Word
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit
in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through
the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because
"All flesh is as grass,And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.The grass withers,And its flower falls away, 25 But the word of the LORD endures forever."
Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 1 of 2
Peter, the Apostle, is the author of this letter to the early Christians. It was written around 60 A.D. It was written to Christians in Asia Minor to help establish a joyful hope in the face of coming persecution. Peter warns that persecution would come and that each individual must stand fast against it:
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." I Peter 3:12-13 (NIV)
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