By The Book

Sunday, 22 October 2017 18:52

2017 Fall Gospel Meeting

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 03:28

Time Are Changing

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“The Times They Are A-Changin’” is a song written by Bob Dylan and released as the title track of his 1964 album of the same name. reported-ly, Dylan intended for the song to be an anthem of change for the mo-ment. These are the final words of the song: Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, and don’t criticize what you can’t understand. Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly agin’. Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand, for the times they are a-changin’. Depending on your point of view, the changes alluded to in the song represented either a period of human decline or one of social “maturity.”

Unfortunately, this song could be the anthem for many who are at-tempting to bring the Lord’s church into “maturity”. The body of Christ is being influenced by denominational and humanistic approach-es to worship, inclusion and even techniques for church growth. The Israelites embraced a similar attitude at the end of Samuel’s tenure as their judge (1 Samuel 8). As Samuel became old, he named his sons judges. However, they did not walk in his ways, took bribes and per-verted justice. So, the people asked Samuel to appoint a king to judge them like all the nations around them. After all, they were progressing toward “maturity”. This request displeased Samuel and he prayed to the LORD. God told him to obey the people. God said, “They have rejected me from being King over them” (1 Sam. 8:7). The Israelites’ push for change was viewed as rejection by Jehovah. It led to their demise.

Yes, even today “the times they are a-changin’.” Those who call for changes in the Lord’s church which are contrary to His will are quite likely those spoken of in 1 Tim. 4:1ff and 2 Pet. 2:1ff. We must strive to adhere to the teachings of the Scriptures and steer clear of vain spec-ulations and philosophies of men. We must not be so anxious to hear something new and pleasing that we are willing to change what God wants to remain unchanged!

Sunday, 01 January 2017 15:53

Heaven Bound

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My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, My Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, Turned back, diluted or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, Hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, Ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in a maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, let up or slow up.

This past week I was looking through my daily planner and I ran across a bookmark which had the previous words of profound prose written on it. The title is simply “Heaven Bound.” I wish I could give credit to the author, but it was written anonymously. These words ought to describe the life-goal of every Christian.

I have thought often about heaven lately, perhaps partly because I have attended the funerals of several faithful saints during the last couple of months. The scripture which says, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart” (Eccl. 7:2) is making more sense to me than ever. You see, God uses these cir-cumstances to focus our attention on our lives, the fleeting nature of them, and what lies beyond this earthly existence. For a Christian, they point our focus toward heaven.

John wrote, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:3-4). What a wonderful and unimaginable place God has prepared for us! As you begin this new year, make a point of thinking of, and preparing more for heaven.

Sunday, 30 October 2016 21:20

Life In Christ

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“As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6-7).

It is evident in Colossians chapter 2 that Paul has a deep abiding feeling for these brethren. He wants them to know how much he worries about them. In their struggles with the Judaizers, he wants them to be knit together and drawn closer to Christ. They are in danger of being lead astray. So, to encourage them, he tells them he is with them in spirit and that he desires they continue to be rooted and built up in Christ.

Apart from Christ and His revealed will, there is a danger for all men that we will be open conduits through which all manner of vain philoso-phy and deceit flows. We may not have Judaizers today but religion is ripe with doctrines that condemn man instead of saving man. Given the opportunity to believe anything or nothing, man will believe anything. And seemingly, man will believe in anyone except Jesus Christ. Only in Christ can man be saved. Only in Christ can man be close to God. Only in Christ can men be brothers and be knit close together.

Real life, real love, real relationships are found in Christ. When we be-come one with Him, we have real meaning and purpose. Why then would we believe any other? Why would we allow ourselves to be de-ceived by another? We can have the real thing: Jesus Christ. Anything else and anyone else has just an appearance of wisdom and humility. Christ is the only one that gives meaning and value to life. Therefore, be rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as we have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. He gave His life that we might have life. If we live with Him, we will die with Him. All that is of the world and its philosophies lead to a bondage resulting in destruc-tion. Freedom is in Christ and freedom leads to life.

Sunday, 09 October 2016 21:23

Spirit Beings: Seraphim and Cherubim

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In the Bible, we find references to mysterious beings known as cherubim and seraphim, but what exactly are they? The answer is, for the most part, unknown.

Many in the religious world explain cherubim (and also sera-phim) as a high ranking, special class of angels. However, this claim is never made in the Bible. Blocher states that there is no scripture which identifies cherubim (or seraphim for that mat-ter) with angels (Henri Blocher, In The Beginning). There isn’t even a scripture that links them together. The Bible usually de-scribes them in the plural (cherubim as opposed to the singular cherub), which means there must be more than one. Instead of cute and chubby as they are often depicted in modern art, the Bible describes them as beings of power that are rather terrify-ing. Ezekiel describes them as living beings that go forth as burning coals, as flashes of lightning (Ezek. 1:13-14), whose purpose is to carry out the divine will in the execution of judgement (Homer Hailey, Revelation). Ezekiel also describes them as having four wings, hands, feet, and four faces each. The faces reflect what appear to be glorious aspects of God’s earthly creation: Man, lion, ox, and eagle. Robert Harkrider states that the man represents intelligence and reason; the lion reflects strength; the ox reflects patient service and endurance; and the eagle reflects penetrating vision and swiftness. They are also revealed as fierce guardians of things that are holy and sacred (Gen. 3:24; Exo. 25:18). Ezekiel describes the throne of God as being above them, where there is an expanse between them (Ezek. 1:22-28, 10:1).

Friday, 29 August 2014 00:14

The Assault On Our Faith

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Friday, 15 August 2014 02:38

Marital Success

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Friday, 15 August 2014 00:01

Homosexuality: Truth Without Hate

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Thursday, 14 August 2014 23:42

Seven Questions About Homosexuality

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014 03:19

Daily Bible Reading Schedule

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About The Reading Schedule

This is a special Bible reading system that will help you overcome the most common barriers to daily Bible reading. Many Christians want to read the Bible through in a year but find that with most Bible reading schedules they get behind and can never catch up. So they quit. This plan is different. It defeats discouragement and falling behind by being extremely flexible. Each week contains only five readings, allowing you to miss a day, or catch up. There are readings for fifty weeks, leaving the last two weeks of December to catch up.

We recommend that you try to read at a specific time each day, so that a regular habit of reading will be established. Also, many find it helpful to keep a notebook handy in which to jot down ideas, applications of scripture, questions for later study, items to pray for, etc. A notebook helps take time with the Word of God into the realm of serious study, rather than simple reading.

How The Readings Are Arranged

In this plan you will be reading the Bible in chronological order, as nearly as possible, because this greatly enhances comprehension. In the Old Testament this is not so difficult to arrange, with the exceptions of Job and Psalms. We have included the works of the prophets in their proper place in the historical narrative of God's people, Israel. Duplicate accounts are often included in a single day's reading. The Psalms have been inserted at scattered points throughout the year, with every effort made to place appropriate Psalms with passages that they seem to "fit." In the New Testament you will begin with Luke and Acts, followed by the epistles. The other Gospels will be periodically included so that you are constantly exposed to Jesus Christ, even as you read of His will for His church. Lastly, you will read the book of Revelation.

God's blessings rest with those who will read, understand, and live by His Word. May this guide help you to that noble end. "Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" (Psalms 119:105).

(This reading schedule has been made available by the Westside Church of Christ in Irving, Texas)

Week One

1.   Gen. 1-4; Luke 1
2.   Gen. 5-8; Luke 2
3.   Gen. 9-12; Luke 3
4.   Gen. 13-16; Luke 4
5.   Gen. 17-19; Luke 5; Ps. 3

Week Two

1.   Gen. 20-23; Luke 6
2.   Gen. 24-26; Luke 7; Ps. 6
3.   Gen. 27-28; Luke 8; Ps. 4
4.   Gen. 29-31; Luke 9
5.   Gen. 32-34; Luke 10

Week Three

1.   Gen. 35-37; Luke 11
2.   Gen. 38-40; Luke 12; Ps. 7
3.   Gen. 41-43; Luke 13; Ps. 5
4.   Gen. 44-47; Luke 14
5.   Gen. 48-49; Luke 15; Ps. 10

Week Four

1.   Gen. 50; Exodus 1; Luke 16; Ps. 8
2.   Exodus 2-4; Luke 17; Ps. 88
3.   Exodus 5-8; Luke 18
4.   Exodus 9-11; Luke 19
5.   Exodus 12-14; Luke 20; Ps. 21

Week Five

1.   Exodus 15-18; Luke 21
2.   Exodus 19-21; Luke 22
3.   Exodus 22-24; Luke 23; Ps. 12, 14
4.   Exodus 25-27; Luke 24
5.   Exodus 28-31; Acts 1

Week Six

1.   Exodus 32-34; Acts 2; Ps. 16
2.   Exodus 35-37; Acts 3
3.   Exodus 38-40; Acts 4; Ps. 15, 19
4.   Leviticus 1-3; Acts 5
5.   Leviticus 4-7; Acts 6

Week Seven

1.   Leviticus 8-11; Acts 7
2.   Leviticus 12-14; Acts 8
3.   Leviticus 15-18; Acts 9
4.   Leviticus 19-20; Acts 10; Ps. 13
5.   Leviticus 21-23; Acts 11; Ps. 24

Week Eight

1.   Leviticus 24-25; Acts 12; Ps. 25-26
2.   Leviticus 26-27; Numbers 1; Acts 13
3.   Numbers 2-5; Acts 14
4.   Numbers 6-7; Acts 15; Ps. 22
5.   Numbers 8-11; Acts 16

Week Nine

1.   Numbers 12-14; Acts 17; Ps. 27
2.   Numbers 15-18; Acts 18; Ps. 90
3.   Numbers 19-21; Acts 19; Ps. 28-29
4.   Numbers 22-25; Acts 20
5.   Numbers 26-29; Acts 21

Week Ten

1.   Numbers 30-34; Acts 22
2.   Numbers 35-36; Deut. 1-2; Acts 23
3.   Deut. 3-5; Acts 24; Ps. 36, 43
4.   Deut. 6-9; Acts 25
5.   Deut. 10-14; Acts 26

Week Eleven

1.   Deut. 15-18; Acts 27; Ps. 88
2.   Deut. 19-22; Acts 28
3.   Deut. 23-26; Mark 1
4.   Deut. 27-31; Mark 2
5.   Deut. 32-34; Mark 3; Ps. 40

Week Twelve

1.   Joshua 1-4; Mark 4; Ps. 37
2.   Joshua 5-8; Mark 5; Ps. 69
3.   Joshua 9-13; Mark 6
4.   Joshua 14-17; Mark 7
5.   Joshua 18-21; Mark 8

Week Thirteen

1.   Joshua 22-24; Mark 9; Ps. 44, 47
2.   Judges 1-4; Mark 10
3.   Judges 5-6; Mark 11; Ps. 39, 41
4.   Judges 7-8; Mark 12; Ps. 52, 42
5.   Judges 9-11; Mark 13; Ps. 49

Week Fourteen

1.   Judges 12-16; Mark 14
2.   Judges 17-18; Mark 15; Ps. 89
3.   Judges 19-21; Mark 16
4.   Ruth 1-2; Galatians 1; Ps. 53, 61
5.   Ruth 3-4; Galatians 2; Ps. 64, 65

Week Fifteen

1.   1 Sam 1-3; Galatians 3; Ps. 66
2.   1 Sam 4-5; Galatians 4; Ps. 77
3.   1 Sam 6-8; Galatians 5; Ps. 72
4.   1 Sam 9-11; Galatians 6
5.   1 Sam 12-13; 1 Chr. 1-3; 1 Cor. 1

Week Sixteen

1.   1 Sam 14-15; 1 Chr. 4-5; 1 Cor. 2
2.   1 Sam 16-17; 1 Cor. 3; Ps. 9
3.   1 Sam 18; 1 Chr. 6; 1 Cor. 4; Ps. 11
4.   1 Sam 19-21; 1 Chr. 7; 1 Cor. 5; Ps. 59
5.   1 Sam 22; 1 Cor. 6; Ps. 34, 35, 17

Week Seventeen

1.   1 Sam 23; 1 Cor. 7; Ps. 31, 54
2.   1 Sam 24; 1 Chr. 8; 1 Cor. 8; Ps. 57, 58
3.   1 Sam 25-26; 1 Cor. 9; Ps. 63
4.   1 Sam 27; 1 Chr. 9; 1 Cor. 10; Ps. 141
5.   1 Sam 28-30; 1 Cor. 11; Ps. 109

Week Eighteen


1.   1 Sam 31; 1 Chr. 10; 1 Cor. 12; Ps. 140
2.   2 Sam 1-2; 1 Chr. 11; 1 Cor. 13; Ps. 142
3.   2 Sam 3-5; 1 Chr. 12; 1 Cor. 14; Ps. 139
4.   2 Sam 6; 1 Chr. 13; 1 Cor. 15; Ps. 68
5.   1 Chr. 14-16; 1 Cor. 16; Ps. 132, 106

Week Nineteen

1.   2 Sam 7-8; 1 Chr. 17; 2 Cor. 1; Ps. 2
2.   2 Sam 9-10; 1 Chr. 18-19; 2 Cor. 2
3.   2 Sam 11-12; 1 Chr. 20; 2 Cor. 3; Ps. 20
4.   2 Sam 13-14; 2 Cor. 4; Ps. 51
5.   2 Sam 15-17; 2 Cor. 5; Ps. 32, 71

Week Twenty

1.   2 Sam 18-20; 2 Cor. 6; Ps. 56
2.   2 Sam 21-23; 2 Cor. 7; Ps. 55
3.   2 Sam 24; 1 Chr. 21; 2 Cor. 8; Ps. 30
4.   1 Chr. 22-25; 2 Cor. 9
5.   1 Kings 1; 1 Chr. 26-28; 2 Cor. 10; Ps. 91

Week Twenty-One

1.   1 Kings 2; 1 Chr. 29; 2 Cor 11; Ps. 95
2.   1 Kings 3; 2 Chr. 1; 2 Cor. 12; Ps. 78
3.   1 Kings 4-5; 2 Chr. 2; 2 Cor. 13; Ps. 101
4.   1 Kings 6; 2 Chr. 3; Matt. 1; Ps. 97
5.   1 Kings 7-8; 2 Chr. 4-5; Matt. 2

Week Twenty-Two

1.   2 Chr. 6-7; Matt. 3; Ps. 98-99
2.   1 Kings 9; 2 Chr. 8; Matt. 4; Ps. 135-136
3.   1 Kings 10-11; 2 Chr. 9; Matt. 5
4.   Proverbs 1-4; Matt. 6
5.   Proverbs 5-8; Matt. 7

Week Twenty-Three

1.   Proverbs 9-12; Matt. 8
2.   Proverbs 13-15; Matt. 9
3.   Proverbs 16-19; Matt. 10
4.   Proverbs 20-23; Matt. 11
5.   Proverbs 24-28; Matt. 12

Week Twenty-Four

1.   Proverbs 29-30; Ps. 60, 33; Matt. 13
2.   Proverbs 31; Eccles. 1-2; Matt. 14
3.   Eccles. 3-5; Ps. 45; Matt. 15
4.   Eccles. 6-7; Ps. 18; Matt. 16
5.   Eccles. 8-12; Matt. 17

Week Twenty-Five

1.   Song 1-3; Ps. 94; Matt. 18
2.   Song 4-6; Matt. 19
3.   Song 7-8; 1 Kings 12; 2 Chr.10-11; Mt. 20
4.   1 Kings 13-14; 2 Chr. 12; Matt. 21
5.   1 Kings 15; 2 Chr. 13-14; Matt. 22

Week Twenty-Six

1.   1 Kings 16-18; 2 Chr. 15-16; Matt. 23
2.   1 Kings 19-21; 2 Chr. 17; Matt. 24
3.   1 Kings 22; 2 Chr. 18-19; Matt. 25
4.   2 Kings 1-3; Ps. 82; Matt. 26
5.   2 Kings 4-5; Ps. 83; Matt. 27

Week Twenty-Seven

1.   2 Kings 6-8; 2 Chr. 20; Matt. 28
2.   2 Kings 9-10; 2 Chr. 21; 1 Thess. 1
3.   2 Kings 11-12; 2 Chr. 22-24; 1 Thess. 2
4.   Joel 1-3; 1 Thess. 3
5.   Jonah 1-4; 1 Thess. 4

Week Twenty-Eight

1.   2 Kings 13-14; 2 Chr. 25; 1 Thess. 5
2.   Amos 1-3; 2 Thess. 1; Ps. 80
3.   Amos 4-6; 2 Thess. 2; Ps. 86
4.   Amos 7-9; 2 Thess. 3; Ps. 104
5.   Is. 1-3; Romans 1

Week Twenty-Nine

1.   Is. 4-5; Romans 2; Ps. 115, 116
2.   Is. 6-7; 2 Chr. 26-27; Romans 3
3.   2 Kings 15-16; Hosea 1; Romans 4
4.   Hosea 2-4; Romans 5
5.   Hosea 5-8; Romans 6

Week Thirty

1.   Hosea 9-12; Romans 7; Ps. 73
2.   Hosea 13-14; Romans 8; Ps. 100-102
3.   Micah 1-4; Romans 9;
4.   Micah 5-7; Romans 10
5.   Is. 8-11; Romans 11

Week Thirty-One

1.   Is. 12-15; Romans 12
2.   Is. 16-18; Romans 13
3.   Is. 19-22; Romans 14
4.   Is. 23-25; Romans 15
5.   Is. 26-29; Romans 16

Week Thirty-Two

1.   Is. 30-33; Eph. 1
2.   Is. 34-35; Eph.2
3.   2 Kings 17; 2 Chr. 28; Eph. 3; Ps. 46
4.   2 Chr. 29-31; Eph. 4
5.   2 Kings 18-19; 2 Chr. 32; Eph. 5

Week Thirty-Three

1.   Is. 36-37; Eph. 6; Ps. 76
2.   2 Kings 20; Is. 38-40; Phil. 1; Ps. 75
3.   Is. 41-44; Phil. 2
4.   Is. 45-48; Phil. 3
5.   Is. 49-52; Phil. 4; Ps. 92

Week Thirty-Four

1.   Is. 53-56; Colossians 1
2.   Is. 57-59; Colossians 2; Ps. 103
3.   Is. 60-63; Colossians 3
4.   Is. 64-65; Colossians 4; Ps. 107
5.   Is. 66; 2 Kings 21; 2 Chr. 33; 1 Tim. 1

Week Thirty-Five

1.   Nahum 1-3; 1 Tim. 2; Psalm 62
2.   2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chr. 34-35; 1 Tim. 3
3.   Habakkuk 1-3; 1 Tim. 4
4.   Zephaniah 1-3; 1 Tim. 5
5.   Jer. 1-4; 1 Tim. 6

Week Thirty-Six

1.   Jer. 5-8; 2 Tim. 1
2.   Jer. 9-12; 2 Tim. 2
3.   Jer. 13-16; 2 Tim. 3
4.   Jer. 17-18; 2 Tim. 4; Ps. 96
5.   Jer. 19-20; Titus 1: Ps. 93

Week Thirty-Seven

1.   Jer. 21-22; 2 Kings 24; Titus 2; Ps. 112
2.   Jer. 23, 25, 26; Titus 3
3.   Jer. 35, 36, 45, 46; Jude
4.   Jer. 47, 48, 49; Philemon; Ps. 105
5.   Jer. 21, 24, 27; Hebrews 1; Ps. 67, 118

Week Thirty-Eight

1.   Jer. 28-31; Hebrews 2
2.   Jer. 32-34; Hebrews 3; Ps. 74
3.   Jer. 37-39; Hebrews 4; Ps. 79
4.   Jer. 50-52; Hebrews 5
5.   Ezekiel 1-2; Hebrews 6; Ps. 143, 144

Week Thirty-Nine

1.   Ezekiel 3-6; Hebrews 7
2.   Ezekiel 7-9; Hebrews 8
3.   Ezekiel 10-13; Hebrews 9
4.   Ezekiel 14-16; Hebrews 10; Ps. 70
5.   Ezekiel 17-20; Hebrews 11

Week Forty

1.   Ezekiel 21-23; Hebrews 12; Ps. 111
2.   Ezekiel 24-26; Hebrews 13
3.   Ezekiel 27-30; James 1
4.   Ezekiel 31-32; James 2
5.   2 Kings 25; 2 Chr. 36; Jer. 40, 41; James 3

Week Forty-One

1.   Jer. 42-44; James 4; Ps. 48
2.   Lam. 1-2; Obadiah; James 5
3.   Lam. 3-5; Haggai; 1 Peter 1
4.   Daniel 1-2; 1 Peter 2; Ps. 87
5.   Daniel 3-4; 1 Peter 3; Ps. 81

Week Forty-Two

1.   Ezekiel 33-36; 1 Peter 4
2.   Ezekiel 37-39; 1 Peter 5; Ps. 110
3.   Ezekiel 40-41; 2 Peter 1; Ps. 145, 128
4.   Ezekiel 42-45; 2 Peter 2
5.   Ezekiel 46-48; 2 Peter 3

Week Forty-Three

1.   Daniel 5-6; John 1; Ps. 130
2.   Daniel 7-9; John 2; Ps. 137
3.   Daniel 10-12; John 3; Ps. 123
4.   Ezra 1-2; John 4; Ps. 84, 85
5.   Ezra 3-4; John 5; Ps. 113, 127

Week Forty-Four

1.   Zech. 1-4; John 6
2.   Zech. 5-7; John 7; Ps. 126
3.   Zech. 8-11; John 8; Ps. 147
4.   Zech. 12-14; John 9; Ps. 134
5.   Ezra 5-6; John 10; Ps. 138

Week Forty-Five

1.   Esther 1-3; John 11; Ps. 150
2.   Esther 4-7; John 12
3.   Esther 8-10; John 13
4.   Ezra 7-10; John 14; Ps. 131
5.   Neh. 1-3; John 15; Ps. 133

Week Forty-Six

1.   Neh. 4-6; John 16; Ps. 146
2.   Neh. 7-9; John 17
3.   Neh. 10-12; John 18; Ps. 1
4.   Neh. 13; Malachi 1-2; John 19
5.   Malachi 3-4; Job 1-2; John 20; Ps. 148

Week Forty-Seven

1.   Job 3-5; John 21; Ps. 108
2.   Job 6-8; 1 John 1
3.   Job 9-12; 1 John 2
4.   Job 13-15; 1 John 3
5.   Job 16-18; 1 John 4; Ps. 114

Week Forty-Eight

1.   Job 19-22; 1 John 5
2.   Job 23-24; 2 John; Ps. 121
3.   Job 25-28; 3 John
4.   Job 29-30; Ps. 120
5.   Job 31-34

Week Forty-Nine

1.   Job 35-37; Ps. 122
2.   Job 38-39; Ps. 149
3.   Job 40-42; Ps. 124
4.   Revelation 1-4
5.   Revelation 5-9

Week Fifty

1.   Revelation 10-14
2.   Revelation 15-18
3.   Revelation 19-22
4.   Ps. 119
5.   Ps. 117, 125

 

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