YOU CAN'T CHANGE ME: Unraveling the Lie


Chapter 37


Narrator: Luke finished his master's degree, writing his dissertation or thesis on "INFLUENCES." He drew upon his life and the lives of others to present, "The influences that affect falling into darkness and the commonality of these influences on those who become drug and alcohol abusers, leading to socioeconomic problems such as homelessness." He categorized the sources of influence as being from relationships (familial, peers, marital, friends), health, society (class, status,disenfranchisement, norms, deviants), economics, race, ethnicity, culture (music, art, film, literature, etc.), ideology, religion, politics and the justice system. His opening scripture was:
Matthew 6:22-23 King James Version (KJV)
22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
In his two-part thesis, he presented arguable hypotheses that might counteract these influences and help to bring people into God's Marvelous Light. With permission, he interviewed several men in the shelter and included their testimonies to compare and draw conclusions to support his theories. He included their case studies within his thesis. Here is a short excerpt from the transcript, highlighting the dialogue exchanged between them.



Jerome: ...Yeah, I guess I did give in to peer pressure as a teenager and just followed the crowd. I did what everybody else did. I wanted to fit in. I wanted people to like me and think I was somebody. 

When I was growing up my family use to say, "You got no common sense ." And they labeled me as being 'gullible', when I  barely even knew what the words meant. I mean, I only knew that I felt shame when these words were spewed upon me. It was like spitting, on me like I was a piece of...well...

When I began to understand what it meant to have no 'common sense' and be 'gullible', I became more angry and rebellious when they said it. Yep, I guess it did harden my heart and I guess the shame, turned into anger. I didn't like being called a word that everyone else seemed to think was dirty and terribly, horribly ugly and just plain outright...bad. So...that's what I thought...I was, something bad.
Once said, the words were like my new name, a nickname and it stuck in my mind and followed me into adulthood. I got tired of hearing it. EVERY time I got into trouble it was their answer for all the mistakes in my life. I was gullible and had no common sense. 

I started believing I was incapable of making good choices and doing anything right. Yet, this was only part of the lies I would have to dispel, that were instilled into me as a child. I'm only beginning to find out why God allowed this to happen.

Yeah, I understand a little better, now. I get it. You know, kids can be such an easy target for cruelty, verbal abuse, neglect, exploitation, manipulation, brainwashing and violence. And, what my family did may sound like a cruel thing to say and do to a child, but in their minds, they were trying to teach me a lesson. It's the way that they knew. Although, it just sounded like criticism and ridicule, it was a lesson they used, somewhat hoping and intending for it to mold and improve the future me, but it also punished me for not being what they wanted me to be. I ended up thinking I was a total failure!

I hung around with people who didn't expect much of me. I just followed the crowd, but it was the wrong crowd, so I ended up doing things I shouldn't have done. When you think you don't have much going for you, you settle for whatever is available. For me, it was drugs and hustling. 

Luke: Jerome, I can tell you're a pretty smart man. You said you settled for what was available. Is that true or are you just making an excuse? I mean, there are programs out there and jobs to keep you busy that don't require a lot of education. Are you just rationalizing and passing the blame on to somebody else? Where was your faith in God to provide for you and make a way?

Jerome: Wow, man, you dig in deep. Don't you? I didn't think about those things because I didn't fully understand those things. It was all about SURVIVAL, man! SURVIVAL! Using what you see in the world and can get your hands on. 
Rationalize? Yeah, I guess you learn to do that--rationalize, because you don't want to face the're afraid to try it any other way. You're living in fear and you don't want to have your pride hurt, because you're afraid of failure and you're afraid of people hurting you. It's easier to hurt other people! So, you take the lazy and easy way out. Create your own reality where you rule your own world. Yeah, I guess that's what I did.
Luke: Do you wish you would have done it another way, now?

Jerome: Luke, if I would have known what I know now, I would have never started! That's why I stick with this program. It works! I'm working...and I'm not working AGAINST myself! Thank God! 
You know what I want to do with the rest of my life, Luke? I wanna give kids a chance by connecting them to Jesus, especially those who are struggling with family issues like I was.
Now some people would word that as a chance to BETTER themselves and have good SELF-ESTEEM, but that's a joke the world wants you to believe to mess your mind up even more.
Better YOURSELF? Kids need to learn at an early age that they need JESUS! And, self-esteem is a disguised pride. NO! Somebody needs to wake these kids up, deflate their pride and let them know they are NOTHING without God and they can't do ANYTHING without Him AND, if they want to feel good about themselves, they need to find out who they are in JESUS!
Luke, kids need to know about the Kingdom BEFORE they're put out there unprepared and unequipped to stand against the enemy.

 SPOKEN CURSES: Verbal Punishment

Psalm 52:2
The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
Verbal punishment is something we humans sometimes love to inflict upon one another to make us feel better about ourselves.  We may love to point out the faults and mistakes of others, dig up dirt on one another and open closets to expose skeletons. At some point in our lives, each of us has punished someone verbally or physically for whatever reason we felt they were deserving to receive it.
Depending on the status of the relationship, the method of punishment doesn't always agree with the transgression, but what someone feels most satisfies and appeases the harm that they believe was done. 

Yet, the tongue can be used to inflict the most brutal punishment of all. We must be careful not to speak curses upon others that usher in darkness and destroy lives.
James 3:1-10 (KJV)
3 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.


Richard: Can I read what I prepared for this interview? I'm not to good at talking. 
Luke: Sure...go ahead. 
Richard: We live in a world run by pride. I know that now. In my family, everything was about looks. I was teased because I was too feminine for a boy and I wasn't tough.  I was teased and called "Pretty Ricky."

I didn't fit in and they didn't understand. At a time when I was looking for my identity, I found I didn't fit in. So, I chose a lifestyle where I did fit in. 
My family wanted me to be stronger and masculine. They thought their tough talk would toughen me up and as a boy, I should be able to take it. My mom wanted to be able to boast that mama didn't raise no fool and my dad wanted a chip off of the old block. 

Being proud and indestructible was an asset in my family...a blessing, but, I didn't feel indestructible or blessed. I felt like I was being torn apart, piece by piece, until there was nothing left of me.
My family believed I lacked good judgment and I felt that they looked down on me and thought I was evil because I couldn't be like them. They said my rebellion would be the ruin of me and them. I was an embarrassment to them. 

No one wants to be an embarrassment to their family. No one wants to be labeled as a foolish person, who is easily taken advantage of. Who wouldn't be upset by being called a fool, stupid, a sissy, a fag and a homo by people who were supposed to love you? It was bad enough hearing it from kids at school. They thought calling me names would shame me and change me. I was changed alright, but, change had taken the wrong direction.
My parents  believed I deserved to be chastised for my behavior, that lacked accountability and they were right in some ways. However, they didn't see Satan playing a trick on them. They had bought into Satan's lies and allowed him to use them to instill shame, insecurity, frustration, depression, rejection, guilt, bitterness, anger, rebellion and other ill-fruit. Thank God I found out that bondage begets bondage. Now, I understand them better than they understand me. I forgive them and I still love them thanks to God.

I didn't know who I was and after while, I didn't care what they thought. I didn't want to be like them. I'd be who I wanted to be. The drugs made it easier, so I thought.
Luke: Do you put all the blame on them, Richard?
Richard: Of course not! I'm the one who got on this roller-coaster ride! I allowed myself to be led into temptation because of my pride. Sure, I was born a little different, but that didn't mean I should be blamed for not knowing how to deal with it. They didn't know either. 
Can I finish reading now?
Luke: Oh, I'm sorry I thought you were finished. Yes, go ahead. I apologize for interrupting. 
Richard: First, the drugs made me even more rebellious. Then, after I got a taste of the forbidden, I wanted to satisfy my desires and what I believed were my needs. 

I'm older now and responsible for my own actions. It's just that when you're constantly surrounded by negativity, it does something to you, and if you don't have Jesus, you fight back the way the world does. 
When you know you're not accepted by the people around you, you go look for the kind of people who will accept you and what you like to do or you try to drown it out by self-medicating.
I resented my family for a long time. I had a friend whose family encouraged and supported his homosexuality, since he was a child and I wanted that. I felt that they should accept me. Accept that I'm different! I was born like this! Now, I understand that people you love can accept you and love you, but that doesn't mean they have to accept what you do and how you live.

I was in love with myself. I loved me more than anyone else and more than God. I believed that life was all about ME and I should be able to make my life into what I wanted it to be and become who or what I wanted to be. I couldn't understand why they didn't give me what I wanted.
I was just addressing one part of me--the flesh--self. I didn't take into account that the soul, body and the spirit, which belongs to God, must all work together to be healthy. I didn't take into account that God made me and God doesn't make mistakes.
I didn't take into account that the spirit has separate needs that are different from the flesh. 
I didn't take into account Jesus or obeying and trusting God, or the Kingdom of God. I didn't take into account eternal life and that this isn't all there is. 
I really didn't know and understand these things. I just felt I was trapped in a world I didn't understand and that didn't understand me. But, now I ask myself, this flesh will rot away and this life will pass away one day and what will happen to my spirit? 
I guess some people feel that life in this world is enough for them and they don't care, but I care. God has promised something better and part of me wants something better.
Luke: Well said, Richard! Go on.

Richard: Well, now that you've got me started... 

My family thought I didn't have any sense, but I can figure this much out. Those who believe they can love a partner of the same sex the same way God loves are lying to themselves. God is Holy and He doesn't change. God told us to be Holy like Him. 

Now, Luke, if we're supposed to imitate God, do people honestly believe God would have sex with another man? I don't think so. He brought His Son into the world through Mary because that's the way it's supposed to be! 

We were made in His image and He didn't tell us to remake His image into what we wanted it to be. Okay, now let me finish reading this...

Now, the Bible says that Jesus didn't see it as blasphemous or a sin to be counted equal with God. Not in those words, but you know what I mean. Anyway, Jesus was the Word and the Word WAS God. Now, here's the way I see it. God told us to be LIKE Him. We should be Holy and have His character, because His Holy Spirit and Jesus live inside of us making us One like Him and Jesus. Well, if you're going against the Word of God, then, YOU'RE OUT OF CHARACTER! You've been play acting, playing a role not meant for you and the only way to get REAL AND REALLY LIVE is to die to the flesh and BE REBORN with a NEW MIND, the MIND OF CHRIST, endowed with the character of God!...

You know, Luke, I was sooo rebellious. My momma used to get so mad at me that all she could do was take a deep breath and say, "Ricky, just keep on livin." I took what she said as a grain of salt. I didn't pay any attention to what she said, then.  I just kept on doing what I wanted to do. In other words I was kicking against the goad, as they say, the authority of God. 

I miss my momma now, but just like she said, I had to keep on livin' to find out the hard way, for myself, that the Creator has control over His creation. He'll let the world have you and you find out that the world doesn't have mercy on you, like your Heavenly Father does. But, THANK GOD He's given us power to overcome the world and the flesh. 


Whew! My, my, my, that is sooo true! I'm almost done reading. Where was I? Oh!
...It's a matter of BELIEVING the Word of God or NOT! My mind was in the world and what the world could offer me, but it was never enough. The world can never offer me what God can. 

I was all wrapped up in MY feelings! What "I" wanted. People believe that God OWES them something and should make exceptions for them, accepting how they feel and their lifestyle. 

But, I know better now. I understand, now that that type of thinking is not unconditional, perfect love. It is selfishness and unbelief in the all-knowing God, who knows better than we do. 
It is not loving and obeying God and the love God would have us have for one another. 

I know now that I am NOTHING without God. I WANT to be CHANGED--REBORN and be perfected in love through His Holy Spirit. Sure, I know that God still loved me, before, but He wants something better for me, now. That's why I'm here. 

The end. Did I write too much? Is the tape recorder still on?
Luke: Yes. That was fine Richard. ...more than fine...It was GREAT! We've spent a lot of time together, Richard. Do you mind telling how many times you've tried to commit suicide?
Richard: two
Luke: How many times have you overdosed?
Richard: Umm...Probably, a couple of times, that I can remember.
Luke: What did you do to buy drugs? 

Richard: I was a prostitute! 
Luke: Are you on medication?
Richard: They said that I should try medication for my depression. I haven't been on it very long, but, I believe it is helping me. I can think more clearly and I feel different. 
Luke: Where are you at in your life now, Richard? You said part of you wants something better and you said you want to be reborn. What's stopping you? You don't feel like you've been reborn? 
Richard: Well, I'm finding out who I really am in Christ. But, I'm still afraid, so I know I have a long way to go. I'm afraid of going back out there in the world.
Luke: Are you afraid of people and how they'll treat you?
Richard: I'm more afraid of myself and what I'll do. I've got to get myself a job and a decent place to stay. It's gonna take some time, but, God is giving me the information I need and is equipping me. I'm learning to lean and depend on Him. It's up to me to keep asking and pursuing Him. 
Luke: What I'm hearing from you, Richard, is that you want to die to your flesh, but you don't know how. Is that right?
Richard: Right
Luke: Do you think this is why many who practice homosexuality struggle with sexual identity?
Richard: What do you mean?
Luke: Well, is it that they don't understand surrendering all to God, even that which you claim identifies you, in order to become who and what God created you to be?

Richard: But, they think they ARE being who God created them to be, why surrender? That's what their mind, which follows the desires of their heart tells them. They live in a world of me, me me, not total sacrifice and surrender. They think the mind identifies who you are and if your DNA and chromosomes aren't what you want them to be, then you can just toss a coin to decide, so to speak. That's why we have to make Jesus the center of our joy in our hearts, so we can keep our eyes on heavenly things and not treasure the things of the world and the flesh.
Luke: Well, do you believe they dispute the Bible?
Richard: We are living in times when those in authority are disputing the Bible, because, moral decay in society has changed what is considered as unlawful and sinful. Civil rights now demand equal rights for sin. 

There is moral decay in families, who are no longer teaching children to surrender their will, obey and be accountable to God. And, there is moral decay in many churches because discipleship was eradicated. 

Being a disciple DEMANDS sacrifice and accountability. If the leaders in the church don't know how to surrender all and be accountable, they can't expect it of the people. Too many places of worship have become prosperity workshops, that have gotten so far away from accountability that they have no idea how to teach people to surrender all and die to the flesh, because they don't know how to themselves. 

Disciples have to surrender all and submit to authority. I don't know many people gay or straight who can really do that. You've got leaders and clergy out there pretending to and making people believe they ARE the authority, so while everybody is supposed to be under their authority, they aren't under ANYBODY'S AUTHORITY INCLUDING GOD! 
Luke: Do you believe you can do that, be a Disciple, surrender all and submit to authority?
Richard: I'm trying, but, I'm learning that without God, I can do nothing.
Luke: Richard, you've learned a lot since you've been here. Repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus, believing He is the Son of God is the first step to surrendering all. 

You THINK differently now, Richard. People often don't understand or know what to expect when they've been reborn. Some people expect to be perfect by themselves, when it is God within us that perfects us. Our NEW MIND acknowledges His presence and draws from HIS perfection! 
Look beyond the reasoning in your mind into the LOVE of GOD within your HEART. He is there to perfect YOUR love and cast out your fears. It's not just about who YOU are. You are ONE with God's Holy Spirit and Christ. Look to who you are in THEM! You are no longer ALONE! You are protected and strengthened! 
Often, people have trouble accepting Christ when they don't feel worthy. Satan can make us believe that because of our sins and past, we aren't worthy of a better life. It is not by anything we can do or have done that makes us worthy. We become worthy by the sacrifice and blood of Christ Jesus.
When we don't know what another life might bring us, fear can prevent us from letting go of the life we've led and our expectations can lead us astray. We expect things from others or ourselves that we should seek and find in God. Jesus had to seek God to be strengthened to bear crucifixion. Strength and courage are found in God. We can do nothing without Him, as you said.

I believe that being made perfect in love and letting go of fear has more to do with resting in God's love, than anything we can control or do ourselves. It's walking by faith and not by sight, knowing that even if you fall, God is going to catch you or pick you up, because He loves you so much. 

We have to really, REALLY believe with ALL our heart and soul we have a loving Father in Heaven, Who possesses such a POWERFUL love for us and then, FEEL that love in our faith through Christ Jesus. 

Faith, Richard! God WILL increase your faith through Jesus, The Author and Finisher of Faith. 
And through the blessing of being reborn, you need only to recognize and believe in the powerful and unconditional love of God within you, to comfort and empower you throughout each day. David said it best in the 23rd Psalm.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

David had great faith and walked by faith. That is why it is so important for us to have Jesus, who can increase our faith and help us come to know our Father and His Love.
It is clear to see that you have faith, Richard. I believe that in the twenty-third Psalm, David is telling us how to just let go and let God. Let go Richard and let God lead you.

How could a man say the things in the twenty-third Psalm,  if he didn't totally believe in God's love for him? David is telling us not to worry because we have a God who will be EVERYTHING to us and keep us in His care forever. 

I like to meditate on the twenty-third Psalm, daily, to calm any doubts and fears I may have and remind myself of God's unconditional love.
I can tell that you have invited God's Holy Spirit to dwell within you to become One with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God's Holy Spirit will teach you His love and Jesus will increase your faith. Just pray, believe and ask. Peace, Love, Joy and abundant life is yours for the asking. 

You're right, Richard, it's about BELIEVING the Word so that you "walk the walk and not just talk the talk." God is going to give you your heart's desire and remove all your fear, you've just got to keep asking and pursuing Him.
We all want others to change for the better. However, in our eyes, something better, usually looks a lot like us. God is always there, watching. If anyone might wonder why their efforts or methods were unsuccessful, perhaps their idea of change for the better wasn't in God's plan.


Herman: My bobeshi, God rest her soul, my grandmother, on my father's side, was an Eastern European Jew, who spoke Yiddish. She was a devout Jew, but I think she wrote her own Torah. She'd say, "Hermie, you've got the curse of your father, who had the curse of his father and his father before him. Now, listen to me Hermie or you'll never break the curse and get ahead. Pride begat Bondage who came to power and served Satan, turning the hearts of generations away from God, creating Shame who took Pain as a wife and begat Anger and Frustration, Rebellion and Resentment. Anger begat Violence. Rebellion begat Promiscuity and so on." It was her way of saying that one thing leads to another because of pride and I had brought everything upon myself because I wouldn't humble myself.
"Hermie, she'd say, " A nar geyt tsvey mol dort vu a kliger geyt nit keyn eyntsik mol. A fool goes twice where a sensible person doesn’t even go once. Don't be a fool, Hermie, or you'll never be a Mensch (a full, honorable human being)."
Luke: Did you believe you were cursed like your father and ancestors?
Herman: I don't know. I mean, look at me and where I am! I'm a recovering addict! I can't keep a job! I've been divorced twice, like my father. I guess I did. 

I lowered my expectations and what I wanted in life. I expected bad things to happen to me. It's almost like I'd unconsciously do things so that they would turn out bad. 
Sometimes, I think I used it as a backup to get out of things I didn't want to do anymore for one reason or another. I know it affected my relationships. I got involved with people who wouldn't do anything but get me into trouble and I can't have a lasting relationship.
But, one thing Bubbe was right about, I was proud like my old man. He'd get fired from jobs and get in fights all the time trying to prove himself. I was too proud to face the fact that my behavior was my problem, until I ended up out on the streets.
Luke: You said that you CAN'T have a lasting relationship. The words we speak are powerful. Like God, we can speak things into existence, if we truly believe it. Jesus said that with the faith of a mustard seed we can speak to a mountain and tell it to move and it will move.
What we speak can reveal what we believe in our heart. If we don't want to fail, then, we must change our negative or pessimistic beliefs, walk and live by faith in God, speaking God's Will for us to have abundant life into existence. This begins with rebirth and a renewed mind.
Herman, do you believe a lot of kids have family curses? 
Herman: Generations of alcoholics, drug addicts, battered women and men who abuse women, father and sons incarcerated together and now more women, divorce, incest, poverty and so on. What do you think it is when you see it over and over again in families? 
Luke: Do you think you've broken your family curse?
Herman: I humbly pray that I have. I pray that I don't have to go any lower than I was. BUT! I know that it depends on MY heart, who and what I treasure in my heart--Who and what I put FIRST in my life; keeping myself humble, praying and seeking God's face. I want to follow Jesus. 

Luke: Why?

Herman: Why? Because, I've been reading over and over again what He says in the Bible. Then, how He was cru... 

Luke: Are you okay, Herman? 
Herman: Yeah...I'm alright. You see, I've always felt like the world was against me, but I was against myself. God was just waiting for me to see that. J-Jesus is REAL LUKE! God i-is real...

I never use to pray before I came here. I was too proud...but...

Luke: Do you want to stop for a while? 

Herman: No. I'll just say that I believe and I'm thankful for another chance. I'm thankful God never stopped loving me.
Luke: What are you doing to make positive changes in your life, Herman?
Herman: I'm trying to discover who I am and believe who I can be.

Luke: It sounds like you've found a great deal of you, in Christ, Herman. 
Herman: Yeah, I guess I have. Uh...I wanted to read these verses. I keep these verses with me...and a read them everyday. 

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:12-13

Summary-  Family Curses

Family curses can be traced back through hearts, just like hearts of  the kings in the genealogical list of Kings of Judah and Israel. We change the course of history for our children by who we choose to serve in our heart.
You may faithfully go to worship and give your service to the Lord, but if your heart has not changed; if there is no peace in your house because there is no peace in you; if you bear no good fruit, because you are not attached to the Vine; if you think you can dabble in a little sin here and a little sin there; if you sold your soul to Satan so you can have things of the world, then don't look up and be surprised to see your children carried off into bondage and Satan coming to collect your debt owed to him. You reap what you sow.

Family curses leave a trail that can be traced straight back to the heart. Divorce, promiscuity, homosexuality, adultery, incest, pedophilia, alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling, domestic violence,  depression, suicide, poverty and so on, this can pass on bondage to others because of a living example or role model with an unchanged heart.
Luke 11:1-4 King James Version (KJV)
11 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

3 Give us day by day our daily bread.

4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Luke 11King James Version (KJV)

11 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

3 Give us day by day our daily bread.

4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;

6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?

7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.

15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

37 And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.

38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.

39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?

41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

45 Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.

46 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.

48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.

49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:

54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
James 3 King James Version (KJV)
3 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Philippians 4King James Version (KJV)
4 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Published by Mishael T