The Ten Suggestions

I am YHWH, Your God of the Lowest Common Denominator.

Thou shalt not talk about Me for fear of offending the most thin-skinned bitter litigious atheist or death-driven heathen who wants nothing more than to saw your head off with a dull sword for having the temerity to suggest he reconsider his opinions about Me. They’ll shut you up one way or another, so just go along to get along, why don’tcha.

To make everyone else safe from unintended reactions to your beliefs, we could use some rules. Actually, “rules” sounds so… commanding.  Let’s call them “suggestions.” Which means you should do them but not everyone else. They can do what they like. Anyway, why don’t we just say:

I: Thou shalt not have any Gods. At all. That whole God talk makes people uncomfortable, not to mention you end up getting embarrassed when you’re being mocked and taken to school by people who know more about what I’ve said than *you* do; and they’re not even My people! (Perhaps if you opened up My Book once in a while, but that’s another discussion. (Hosea 4:6Hosea 4:6
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6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. destroyed: Heb. cut off  

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Besides, frankly, some of those people get scary and unstable when they get uncomfortable. Since we don’t want to invite trouble or do something judgmental such as expelling them from our group (1 Cor 5:131 Cor 5:13
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13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.  

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,) this seems the best way to deal with it. Do your best to ignore the trouble and hope that your displays of common charity will cause them to do the same in turn, even though the past 1500 years don’t exactly inspire confidence in that result. But hey, Santayana and all that. (Matthew 7:6Matthew 7:6
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6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.  

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II: Thou shalt not make for thyself an idol. But I’m an understanding Me and realize that your house / car / career / bank account / sports team isn’t *quite* on the same field as making some statue. It’s not like you’re spending every weekend getting tanked and dancing around half naked and shouting in wild revelry, right?

Unless the team scores, but that’s totally different. Totally.

Thou shalt not bow down to them nor worship them, for I the Lord am a Jealous God (Exodus 20:5Exodus 20:5
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5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;  

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) … oh, who am I kidding? I’m a happy floaty love-y God, Everyone says so! You can do whatever you like, it’s all okay with Me.
Call me Buddha, call me Krisna, it’s all good. Who cares that I actually told you My Name three paragraphs earlier. (Isaiah 45:5Isaiah 45:5
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5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:  

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) I’m good, you’re good, we’re all good, forget that whole “punishing the children for the iniquity of the parents” bit. Never mind all those mentions of Sheol and the Pit and Ge Hinnom and Hades, or how your most righteous deeds are like used menstrual cloths (Isaiah 64:6Isaiah 64:6
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6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.  

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) as far as I’m concerned. I was just trying to put a little scare into you; but I love you, you little rapscallions! That whole bit in Revelation where I say you’ve soiled your garments (Revelation 3:4Revelation 3:4
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4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.  

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,) just ignore that. After all, who hasn’t opened their home to a stranger who’s fouled his pants?

III:  Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Except when it’s really funny to mock me by calling me The Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Big Man or laughing when Homer says Jeebus. I seem to recall saying something about mocking (Galatians 6:7Galatians 6:7
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7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  

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) but that would mean actually looking it up, and we both know that Bible in your shelf is way more for Show than for Go.

I won’t show you that the word “Name” means “authority, title or rank,” because hey, we’re all gods! Every religious talker you’ve bothered to listen to in the last five years has told you that we all have a spark of the Divine inside, right? So you’re just like Me!

Well, aside from the whole you-can’t-create-the-universe thing and the fact that everything you have is something I gave you. (James 1:17James 1:17
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17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.  

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) But hey, why get nitpicky?

(Should I even bother pointing out that “take” means “carry,” and that this whole bit is about being married to Me, not blasphemy? What? I lost you there? Can’t say I’m surprised. Maybe we’ll talk later.)

IV: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy. Unless you want to move it to Sunday because it’s more convenient to do so. Especially when you’re a 4th century Roman emperor callously uniting the empire by painting over pagan observance of Sun Day with Me-colored wallpaper. Besides, Saturdays are way too fun to waste by seriously thinking about things I’ve said, or – Me Forbid! – doing something I said you should be doing! (Exodus 20:8Exodus 20:8
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8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  

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Just live a Good Life (and of course, by “good” we all know we mean “fun” and “self-indulgent”) and we’ll all be hunky-dory! (and by “we” we mean “you” because “I” just need to shut up and deal with it because it’s the best you can do and I’m supposed to be that forgiving guy, yeah?) (Matthew 25:24-30Matthew 25:24-30
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24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  

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Oh, and remember to keep it quiet. You go parading around and … well… dull swords and fights with neighbors and bosses. Word to the wise, right? (Matthew 10:34-38Matthew 10:34-38
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34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  

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V: Honor your Father and your Mother, that you may have long life in the land which I have given you. But I didn’t give it to you, the Government did. Or you did it all yourself. (Remind me to introduce you to Nebuchadnezzar. Old friend of mine. Hope you like salad. (Daniel 4:30-33Daniel 4:30-33
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30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. 32 And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. 33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.  

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But I understand. After all, I know your parents. What a pair of gems they were. Hey, I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t want to talk to them either. What kind of Father would treat his kid that way? (Isaiah 53:10Isaiah 53:10
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10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. thou...: or, his soul shall make an offering  

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) You don’t cause pain to those you love, especially if you’re doing it for someone else! That’s heinous! That’d be like…. like…
…like sending your kid to get nailed to a tree and hang there until his heart ruptures, right before some bozo jams a spear into his side to make sure he’s dead. Yeah, I totally agree. Heartless monsters. They weren’t thinking of your welfare at *all.*

VI: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Anything. Men. Women. Spotted owls. Ocelots, wetlands, whales, dolphins caught in trawler nets, ecosystems via oil spills, forest from clear-cutting, plants from harvesting, chickens from farming, nothing at all, nay nay nay. What? That sounds ridiculous? You’re right, actually.
More to the point, the word I used was “ratsach.” What I said was: “You shall not murder.” Oh, except that kid you got growing inside of you. Go ahead and have the doctor rip that out limb by limb without anesthesia, I won’t mind. I only, you know, took the time to put him there and all, (Jeremiah 1:5Jeremiah 1:5
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5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. ordained: Heb. gave  

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) but if it’s an inconvenience I suppose I’ll just have to keep my silence. Besides, it’s your Choice. (Revelation 22:11Revelation 22:11
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11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.  

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VII: Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery. Unless you have a pulse. Hey, most of the people wearing my uniform will even give you an undo! (Matthew 19:8Matthew 19:8
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8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.  

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Of course I understand natural urges! I made them, didn’t I? Besides, it’s not entirely your fault, is it? I mean, it was right there! All you had to do was answer that phone call / start that conversation at the office party / click on that website / take you to the closet right off my main office.
I put it right there in front of you! Almost like a gift! I must have wanted it to happen, right? So it’s like I’m approving it. (Romans 6:1-2Romans 6:1-2
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6 1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  

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) Besides, if nobody finds out and nobody’s hurt, it’s all good, right? That whole marriage thing is an overrated construct to regulate and control the people, after all. And what do I care, anyway? I’m supposed to be “married” to millions and billions of people at once (Romans 7:4Romans 7:4
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4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.  

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) and that just creeps you out, so we just won’t talk about it any more if you don’t mind thank you very much.

VII: Thou Shalt Not Steal, without providing proper confusing and mind-numbing legal documentation which spells out exactly *how* you intend to steal and why it’s not stealing but instead it’s a “legitimate business transaction.” And if that other guy doesn’t have a dozen lawyers versed in corporate code, it’s not your fault. After all, the Peepul voted that his goods and wealth can be better used by other people (mainly, those Peepul who voted for it) so it’s not really *steeeealing.* It’s more like…. Mandatory social investing. Yeah, that’s the ticket. And the Book says to “render unto Caesar”  (Mark 12:17Mark 12:17
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17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.  

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) and “be subject to higher authority” (Romans 13:1Romans 13:1
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13 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. ordained: or, ordered  

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,) so if the State votes for it, you should just shut up. (Or not. (Acts 4:19Acts 4:19
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19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.  

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Besides, Everyone says there’s a greater need, and I did say “If you have two coats, give one to someone who doesn’t have one,” (Luke 3:11Luke 3:11
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11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.  

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) so the government’s just doing for you what you should be doing yourself. Who can argue with that?

Soon enough, they’ll be doing all the things you should do for yourself, and you won’t have to think any more. Then you won’t have any opinions that make anyone angry (Revelation 3:16Revelation 3:16
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16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  

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) and we’ll finally have peace on earth.

Of course, I also said “If any would not work, neither shall he eat,”  (2 Thessalonians 3:102 Thessalonians 3:10
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10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.  

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) and “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth,” (Ephesians 4:28Ephesians 4:28
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28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. to give: or, to distribute  

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) but hey, those are unrealistic simplistic aspirations meant to motivate people. It’s not anything you should actually pay attention to.

IX: Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor, unless it would really mess your life up, or you’re in a grand jury probe, or you can plead the Fifth, or it would be really embarrassing if you didn’t, or doing so might remove some outdated barbaric social more like, you know, killing unborn children or sodomy or marrying your sister. Or your sister’s dog. Besides, I was really bent out of shape when I wrote all those other rules, the whole Golden Calf thing just cheesed Me off like you wouldn’t believe. My bad. Sorry. So, yeah, the whole lying thing, I understand. Just try to keep it down to a dull roar. It’s not like one little lie will make a big difference. (1 Corinthians 5:6-71 Corinthians 5:6-7
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6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: is sacrificed; or, is slain  

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) (James 2:10James 2:10
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10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.  

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Besides, what do I expect you to do when one of those Dull Sword guys asks if you’re one of Mine? Sure, it’s nice to go feel warm and fuzzy every week and do the picnics and send the kids to VBS in July. It keeps the wife and her mom happy and you’re home in time for kickoff. But to actually suffer a bit? Get your head cut off just for that? (Matthew 10:33Matthew 10:33
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33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.  

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) I’d lie too!  Well, okay, no, I wouldn’t. (I can’t, because My works are Truth (Daniel 4:37Daniel 4:37
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37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.  

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But you’re not Me, so I’ll give you a pass. Better to live and run away, right? Just like Daniel (Daniel 6:23Daniel 6:23
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23 Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.  

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.) And Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. (Daniel 3:17-18Daniel 3:17-18
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17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.  

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.) Oh, wait…

X: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, nor his wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his ass.
Well, you know, we talked about that whole wife thing back on number 7. (That’s the one that looked like VII.) And besides, look at their house! How come they gets 3400 square feet and you’re stuck in this 900 square foot apartment paying twice as much in rent! That’s totally normal to feel envious, right? (Psalm 37:7-11Psalm 37:7-11
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7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Rest in: Heb. Be silent to 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.  

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And yeah, I know everyone giggles on the whole “ass” thing. These days, you might be looking at his ass. But who am I to judge? (1 Corinthians 5:131 Corinthians 5:13
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13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.  

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) Nothing wrong with wanting something, right? (Proverbs 14:12Proverbs 14:12
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12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.  

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Unless, of course, it belongs to those Dull Sword guys. Then you’re on your own. I ain’t messin’ with them. Me, I’m a “Bill and Ted” kind of God. Be Excellent To Each Other – and Party On, Dudes! (1 Thessalonians 5:31 Thessalonians 5:3
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3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  

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**

Friends, if you’ve found any of these examples uncomfortably similar to your concept of the Almighty, may I recommend a fervent repentance most rikki-tik.

“All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing:
He does according to His will in the army of Heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth,
and none can stay His hand or say unto him: “What doest Thou?”
Daniel 4:35Daniel 4:35
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35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?  

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“Wherefore, let him who thinketh he standeth take heed, lest he fall.”
1 Corinthians 10:121 Corinthians 10:12
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12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  

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But take heart! These days are no surprise to God, and He has words for us in this time:

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost,
Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
And of some have compassion, making a difference:
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To the only wise God our Saviour,
be
glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
Amen!
(Jude 1:17-25Jude 1:17-25
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17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.  

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Contact me at jim@saviorsole.com