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Job chapter 15

1
Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
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Does a wise man answer with empty counsel or fill himself with the hot east wind?
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Should he argue with useless talk or with words that serve no good purpose?
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But you even undermine the fear [of God] and hinder meditation before Him.
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Your iniquity teaches you what to say, and you choose the language of the crafty.
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Your own mouth condemns you, not I; your own lips testify against you.
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Were you the first person ever born, or were you brought forth before the hills?
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Do you listen in on the council of God, or have a monopoly on wisdom?
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What do you know that we don't? [What] do you understand that is not [clear] to us?
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Both the gray-haired and the elderly are with us, men older than your father.
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Are God's consolations not enough for you, even the words that [deal] gently with you?
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Why has your heart misled you, and why do your eyes flash
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as you turn your anger against God and allow such words to leave your mouth?
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What is man, that he should be pure, or one born of woman, that he should be righteous?
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If God puts no trust in His holy ones and the heavens are not pure in His sight,
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how much less one who is revolting and corrupt, who drinks injustice like water?
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Listen to me and I will inform you. I will describe what I have seen,
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what was declared by wise men and was not suppressed by their ancestors,
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the land was given to them alone when no foreigner passed among them.
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A wicked man writhes in pain all his days; few years are stored up for the ruthless.
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Dreadful sounds fill his ears; when he is at peace, a robber attacks him.
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He doesn't believe he will return from darkness; he is destined for the sword.
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He wanders about for food, [saying,] "Where is it?" He knows the day of darkness is at hand.
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Trouble and distress terrify him, overwhelming him like a king prepared for battle.
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For he has stretched out his hand against God and has arrogantly opposed the Almighty.
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He rushes headlong at Him with his thick, studded shields.
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Though his face is covered with fat and his waistline bulges with it,
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he will dwell in ruined cities, in abandoned houses destined to become piles of rubble.
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He will no longer be rich; his wealth will not endure. His possessions will not spread over the land.
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He will not escape from the darkness; flames will wither his shoots, and he will depart by the breath of God's mouth.
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Let him not put trust in worthless things, being led astray, for what he gets in exchange will prove worthless.
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It will be accomplished before his time, and his branch will not flourish.
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He will be like a vine that drops its unripe grapes and like an olive tree that sheds its blossoms.
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For the company of the godless will be barren, and fire will consume the tents of those who offer bribes.
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They conceive trouble and give birth to evil; their womb prepares deception.

Acts chapter 19

1
While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples
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and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" "No," they told him, "we haven't even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
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"Then with what [baptism] were you baptized?" he asked them. "With John's baptism," they replied.
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Paul said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the One who would come after him, that is, in Jesus."
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On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
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And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began to speak with [other] languages and to prophesy.
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Now there were about 12 men in all.
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Then he entered the synagogue and spoke boldly over a period of three months, engaging in discussion and trying to persuade them about the things related to the kingdom of God.
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But when some became hardened and would not believe, slandering the Way in front of the crowd, he withdrew from them and met separately with the disciples, conducting discussions every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus.
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And this went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.
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God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul's hands,
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so that even facecloths or work aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them.
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Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists attempted to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!"
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Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.
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The evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize-- but who are you?"
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Then the man who had the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them all, and prevailed against them, so that they ran out of that house naked and wounded.
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This became known to everyone who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. Then fear fell on all of them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
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And many who had become believers came confessing and disclosing their practices,
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while many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value, and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver.
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In this way the Lord's message flourished and prevailed.
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When these events were over, Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem. "After I've been there," he said, "I must see Rome as well!"
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So after sending two of those who assisted him, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, he himself stayed in the province of Asia for a while.
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During that time there was a major disturbance about the Way.
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For a person named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, provided a great deal of business for the craftsmen.
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When he had assembled them, as well as the workers engaged in this type of business, he said: "Men, you know that our prosperity is derived from this business.
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You both see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost the whole province of Asia, this man Paul has persuaded and misled a considerable number of people by saying that gods made by hand are not gods!
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So not only do we run a risk that our business may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be despised and her magnificence come to the verge of ruin-- the very one whom the whole province of Asia and the world adore."
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When they had heard this, they were filled with rage and began to cry out, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
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So the city was filled with confusion; and they rushed all together into the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's traveling companions.
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Though Paul wanted to go in before the people, the disciples did not let him.
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Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent word to him, pleading with him not to take a chance by going into the amphitheater.
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Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing and some another, because the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together.
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Then some of the crowd gave Alexander advice when the Jews pushed him to the front. So motioning with his hand, Alexander wanted to make his defense to the people.
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But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a united cry went up from all of them for about two hours: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
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However, when the city clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, "Men of Ephesus! What man is there who doesn't know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple guardian of the great Artemis, and of the image that fell from heaven?
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Therefore, since these things are undeniable, you must keep calm and not do anything rash.
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For you have brought these men here who are not temple robbers or blasphemers of our goddess.
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So if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a case against anyone, the courts are in session, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another.
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But if you want something else, it must be decided in a legal assembly.
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In fact, we run a risk of being charged with rioting for what happened today, since there is no justification that we can give as a reason for this disorderly gathering."
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After saying this, he dismissed the assembly.

Acts chapter 20

1
After the uproar was over, Paul sent for the disciples, encouraged them, and after saying good-bye, departed to go to Macedonia.
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And when he had passed through those areas and exhorted them at length, he came to Greece
3
and stayed three months. When he was about to set sail for Syria, a plot was devised against him by the Jews, so a decision was made to go back through Macedonia.
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He was accompanied by Sopater, son of Pyrrhus, from Beroea, Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus from Asia.
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These men went on ahead and waited for us in Troas,
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but we sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread. In five days we reached them at Troas, where we spent seven days.
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On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread. Paul spoke to them, and since he was about to depart the next day, he extended his message until midnight.
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There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were assembled,
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and a young man named Eutychus was sitting on a window sill and sank into a deep sleep as Paul kept on speaking. When he was overcome by sleep he fell down from the third story, and was picked up dead.
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But Paul went down, threw himself on him, embraced him, and said, "Don't be alarmed, for his life is in him!"
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After going upstairs, breaking the bread, and eating, he conversed a considerable time until dawn. Then he left.
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They brought the boy home alive and were greatly comforted.
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Then we went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, from there intending to take Paul on board. For these were his instructions, since he himself was going by land.
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When he met us at Assos, we took him on board and came to Mitylene.
15
Sailing from there, the next day we arrived off Chios. The following day we crossed over to Samos, and the day after, we came to Miletus.
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For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus so he would not have to spend time in the province of Asia, because he was hurrying to be in Jerusalem, if possible, for the day of Pentecost.
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Now from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.
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And when they came to him, he said to them: "You know, from the first day I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time--
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serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, and with the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews--
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and that I did not shrink back from proclaiming to you anything that was profitable, or from teaching it to you in public and from house to house.
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I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.
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"And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there,
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except that in town after town the Holy Spirit testifies to me that chains and afflictions are waiting for me.
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But I count my life of no value to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of God's grace.
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"And now I know that none of you, among whom I went about preaching the kingdom, will ever see my face again.
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Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of everyone's blood,
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for I did not shrink back from declaring to you the whole plan of God.
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Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.
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I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
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And men from among yourselves will rise up with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them.
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Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.
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"And now I commit you to God and to the message of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you an inheritance among all who are sanctified.
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I have not coveted anyone's silver or gold or clothing.
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You yourselves know that these hands have provided for my needs, and for those who were with me.
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In every way I've shown you that by laboring like this, it is necessary to help the weak and to keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus, for He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
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After he said this, he knelt down and prayed with all of them.
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There was a great deal of weeping by everyone. And embracing Paul, they kissed him,
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grieving most of all over his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.