NOTE: It is important, for the present context, to read 2 Kings chapters 18-19
Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed;
- They speak and write evil
- These decrees are spoken and written by them, but for you, not them
- They write laws for others which they will not apply to themselves and their loved ones
- This practice continued until the days of Jesus on earth, and still continues today
Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. 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.
For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
- God is not against wealth
- God is against greed, and not using that wealth for His Glory
- They were storing up treasures upon earth
- Again, taking advantage of the weak
- Their glory was to themselves ("and where will ye leave your glory?")
- For this they will be left as they left their victims-helpless, vulnerable.......as prey
- And God STILL seeks them to repent and return to Him ("His Hand is stretched out still")
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
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.
- This is more proof that God can use anything and anyone, even pagans, even animals, even the anti-Christ, even US!
- This rod and staff are in direct contrast to God's Rod and Staff in love
- God raises up these wicked oppressors and destroyers to fulfill His oerfect will and bring judgment
- God's rod and staff can either comfort you-or kill you!
- Just remember that, when God is done using this evil rod, He will then destroy it.
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee (that is, pharaoh)
up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
- God's chosen nation, as hypocrites
- This practice was due to willful blindness and led to more blindness and was called by Jesus foolishness
- God's chosen nation, as objects of His Holy Wrath-not good
- The Assyrians will be under direct order from the Captain of the Host
- They were to be salt, now they are useless to God, to be walked all over like they did to the innocents, the defenseless and the
- Their lack of mercy and judgment, recompensed
- They were both instructed and warned in their own law by God Himself, through Moses
Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
THE HYPOCRISY OF THE LEADERS
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.
- God put it into his heart, but he did not know that
- With mindless, careless, reckless disregard, just because he can, being allowed by God, he will conquer and destroy all nations he can
GOD'S WILL, MENS' HEARTS
And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan.
(1 Kings 10:24)
And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings?
- If his princes are kings, is he himself declaring himself to be God?
Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus?
- These cities are in a list of the conquests of Assyria
- It is like bragging, saying that, "I have declared that they are ALREADY toast and history; I just have to do it"
- Calno:Probably in Syria (Kalneh, Kulna)
, six miles or so from Arpad
- Little can be known about Calno, and it is apparently not the same as Calno in Genesis
- Carchemish: by the Euphrates
Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?
(2 Chronicles 35:20)
After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.
Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.
- A fortified citadel of Syria, north of Damascus
- Scene of many battles with Babylon, Syria
- Also a Hittite city, from inscriptions found there
- Hamathites were listed in the Genesis 10 list of nations
- Moses sent his spies there to look into the land of the Canaanites
- Numbers 34, it was on the northern border of the territory of the entire land grant to Israel by God
- It was one of the last places to be conquered by Joshua, in his old age (Joshua 13:6)
- It was not taken, and the five lords of the Philistines were left to "prove Israel" (Judges 3:3
And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.
So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath.
From mount Hor ye shall point out your border unto the entrance of Hamath; and the goings forth of the border shall be to Zedad:
And the land of the Giblites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrising, from Baalgad under mount Hermon unto the entering into Hamath.
Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
(2 Samuel 8:9)
When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer,
(1 Kings 8:65)
And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days.
(2 Kings 14:25)
He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain, according to the word of the LORD God of Israel, which he spake by the hand of his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which was of Gathhepher.
(2 Kings 14:28)
Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
(2 Kings 17:24)
And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
(2 Kings 17:30)
And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,
(2 Kings 18:34)
Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand?
(2 Kings 19:13)
Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?
(2 Kings 23:33)
And Pharaohnechoh put him in bands at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of an hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold.
(2 Kings 25:21)
And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.
(1 Chronicles 1:16)
And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.
(1 Chronicles 18:3)
And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.
(1 Chronicles 18:9)
Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;
(2 Chronicles 7:8)
Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt.
(2 Chronicles 8:3)
And Solomon went to Hamathzobah, and prevailed against it.
(2 Chronicles 8:4)
And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store cities, which he built in Hamath.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?
But the Chaldeans' army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him.
Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.
Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; where he gave judgment upon him.
And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death in Riblah in the land of Hamath. Thus Judah was carried away captive out of his own land.
Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazarhatticon, which is by the coast of Hauran.
And the border from the sea shall be Hazarenan, the border of Damascus, and the north northward, and the border of Hamath. And this is the north side.
The west side also shall be the great sea from the border, till a man come over against Hamath. This is the west side.
Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazarenan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.
Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?
The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD. And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.
As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria;
- False gods never save from the wrath of the One True God
Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?
- Thinking that, being God's Chosen People, they would be spared destruction for their idolatry, was a huge mistake
- He is saying that his gods are better than the God of Israel, and better than their idols as well
Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.
- The task of the rod and staff of God's anger well then be complete; so now it will be time to discard them
For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:
- I did it all by myself, "Look at Me!"
- One thing evil rulers forget is that God is sovereign, and put them in place for His purposes, and they can only do His will
- Pontius Pilate thought he had the power to crucify Jesus
Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
- Like free eggs, taken from an empty nest, so this king thinks the spoils of war are
- To him it was like, "Stealing candy from a baby"
- He thinks after this that he is king over the world, in his pride
- He thinks nothing and no one can stop him
Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.
- The implied answer to these is no, not at all.
- God created him, like the maker makes the axe and the saw, the rod and the staff
- Nothing is self-made......nothing
Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
- Because of their pride, the Assyrians will also be destroyed
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;
- God is light, and a consuming fire
- Assyria is like briers and thorns to Israel
- They burn quickly when dried out
And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.
- When a person holding a flag in a parade falls over, there goes the glory
And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
- Children who are small do not count very high, compared to an innumerable amount of trees in a forest
- The glory of his kingdom, his military might, will be decimated
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
- In the Millennial Kingdom of Christ:
- There will be only a remnant left of Israelites
- They will be with the LORD Jesus Christ at His return, rule, reign
- They will stay fixed on, walking with Jesus
- It will be genuine, with no enemies to threaten or distract
- They will not be thinking about who persecuted and tried to annihilated them throughout their long history
For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.
- Their destruction in judgment and national discipline, humiliation, disgrace will be turned by God into something glorious
- No man can ever do such a thing, no "Phoenix Rising out of the ashes" without the LORD Himself
- The "sand of the sea" majority, however, will be destroyed, with only that remnant left
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
AFTER THE MANNER OF EGYPT
Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.
Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words. And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished. So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw. And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?
Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people. But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the LORD. Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task. And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.
Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.
For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
- A few lessons in just one verse
- Life is a vapour
- God is indignant and angry with sin
- God's righteous judgment of that sin removes that indignation and anger
- God is righteous, holy in His anger and indignation
- We must wait on the LORD
- He always has the best for Israel IN THE END, and us also
- There are a dozen messages right here on the brevity of life (Isaiah 40:7-8, 1 Peter 1:24-25, James, Job, Psalm 144)
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.
- This is of significance, since this is repeated from Isaiah 9:4
So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath. And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.
And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
- The future of Israel in the Millennial Kingdom looks very bright, after Revelation
He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages: They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled. Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth. Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.
- Coming (Aiath)
, passing to (Migron)
, stalling the horses, fatigued from the war (Michmash)
, lodging (Geba)
, terrorizing (Ramah, Gibeah of Saul)
, causing crying, wailing, screaming, (Gallim, Laish, Anathoth)
, causing to gather and flee (Gebim)
, ceasing (Nob, verse 32)
- These are all pretty much in a straight line, north to south, and the swath of Assyrian destruction, roughly in their order of geography
As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.
- God stops the Assyrian conquest at HIS city, as He is in Sovereign over all, has total control and gets the final say
- When God decrees protection for Jerusalem, there is nothing any enemy can do to her
- When God decrees destruction, there is nothing any Jew can do, as happened in A.D. 70.
And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled. And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.
- Because our lives are like those of plants, they either wither away or are cut down, hewn down, lopped
- Only the Word of God will stand through it all
(1 Peter 1:24-25)
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.