I feel led of God to continue to tell the truth about Victory Baptist Church of Weatherford, Texas, and its pastor, Charles Wetherbee. In a recent study I did on Deuteronomy 16:20 in the Hebrew Torah, I was motivated strongly in this direction. That verse reads, “Justice, justice you shall pursue.” As a general rule, the Bible speaks to us about the observing of a commandment. This verse, however, suggests in its Hebrew language that God’s people display a particular energy and make the pursuit of justice a quest.
In ancient Bible times, justice was so important that cases were adjudicated by either three, twenty-three, or seventy-one judges. In ancient Israel, these justice fulfilled the role that we have given today to judges, juries and lawyers. Unanimity was not a requirement. The Torah was straightforward about requiring courage to pursue justice: “You shall not tremble before any man.” (Deuteronomy 1:17) Moreover, the command to PURSUE justice did not rest only in the judiciary. That responsibility was extended to all Israelites. Amos reinforced that call to pursue justice in Amos 5:24. This is especially interesting and relevant to me because of the historical context we encounter here. The priests at the Bethel Temple had succeeded in enlarging their stature, prominence and influence; so much so that they had corrupted the Jewish religion by encouraging sacrifices and offerings that over the years, enriched them greatly. (Shalom Spiegel, a contemporary Jewish Scholar of renown explained how the priests came to teach that giving to the Temple was actually more important than helping the poor with charitable giving, a tenet that was completely at odds with Jewish teaching, Law and tradition and a mainstay of the First century Christian church that never mentioned pastoral salaries.) This is a perfect parallel to Charles Wetherbee’s “Stewardship Campaign” and large banquet every Fall.
Amos was eventually expelled from the temple and deported to his native Tekoah by the High Priest after he pointed out their violation of biblical law. Nobody took Amos’ side. Amos, however was relentless and undeterred in his belief that the pursuit of justice was every Jew’s obligation. Predictably, the principal obstacles in that pursuit would be those who had positioned themselves to profit the most from their influential and well paid positions within organized religion. Charles Wetherbee, with a total compensation package in excess of $100,000, is, I believe, living and executing that corrupt tradition today.
The spirit of Amos is the fire in my belly. Charles Wetherbee, from my perspective of 17 years, exhibits the posture and the motivations of the high priests of the Bethel temple. He guards his influence with vigor and determination. In so doing, he is generally safe from accountability because of the good nature and superficial biblical understanding of his people who do not see past his perfected “golly gee whiz” persona. Christians today tend to live by Grandma’s old adage: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Unfortunately their lives are often wholly directed by this adage that we find nowhere in the pages of Scripture, yet has risen to prominence in Evangelical Christianity. That is why in almost 100% of church conflicts, the church’s primary and immediate impulse is always to rapidly choose up sides. The brother or sister whose view is at odds with the pastor’s is immediately marginalized and most often excommunicated, disfellowshipped and shunned for life. This is always done through the undercurrent of a gossip-fueled dynamic. Never, but never are the biblical protocols of Matthew 18 followed. Sadly, this is just fine with the church. To the church, those who would oppose the pastor can be neither right, nor moral. The motivation has to be something evil: hate, vengeance, pride, jealousy, hurt, you name it. It could never be that a critic of one’s church is a sincere, honest Christian with a sound testimony who just disagrees with the pastor and has been unfairly treated in the aftermath. One of the reasons for the shunning policy of so many churches (a regular and common practice of Victory Baptist Church for many years) is that they have no desire to “pursue justice” and adjudicate any matter for fear of casting the slightest shadow on their pastor or church. This is in fact a very Catholic position to take, a fact that I pointed out once to one of Wetherbee’s longstanding supporters. His answer to me was, “Well I guess I am Catholic then!” (Wetherbee knew that this man regularly violated some of the major prohibitions and tenets of the church, but the fact that he gave well into five figures to the church yearly seemed, in my opinion, to moderate Wetherbee’s enforcement of church disciple in this situation. In a disagreement that this man once had with another church member, Wetherbee too the big giver’s side, telling the other man that he was to “respect his elders.” The age difference between the two men was about five years.)
So there you have it, people of Victory Baptist Church. You are free to listen to all manner of undercurrents of gossip about me. (I have found in my 30 years of associating with preachers that they can often be the biggest gossips of all.) The truth is that God is blessing my ministry as never before in the last thirty years. We are reaching 10,000 people a month for Jesus Christ, (I can prove that to anyone who questions it). I am currently in the midst of an ongoing and full-blown revival such as churches dream about and pray about—the kind where the Holy Spirit of God comes through a church like a freight train; weeping and repentance are everywhere, rededications abound, and nobody cares when they get home). We support missionaries, a Christian orphanage in Haiti, we are in nursing homes every Sunday, and my books are selling well nationwide and even worldwide. Not bad for “a church destroying demon,” what one pastor called me once for exposing the adultery and drunkenness on his church staff. Of course, not ONE person from Victory Baptist Church has ever come to me to get my side of the story, to ask why we left the church after a seventeen year association, or to say they are praying for me and my wife. That, for us, casts this church, its people, and its leadership in the role of the Priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan story. These two figures, of course, represent organized religion. I have made numerous efforts to let Wetherbee know how much we had been hurt by his actions toward us and especially the women of Victory Baptist Church cutting all ties with my wife (who never said a word about the church or pastor) and the shunning of my wife. We are far, far from being alone in this. Over 100 people have left the church in recent times, and many of their experiences parallel ours, including former staff. I have heard many of these stories first hand.
Charles Wetherbee has ignored every one of my overtures seeking reconciliation for almost two years now, in spite of the fact that he drives past our house multiple times a day. It is on this foundation that I will once again structure my case for biblical accountability for Charles Wetherbee and Victory Baptist Church. I am “Accepted in the Beloved,” (Ephesians 1:6) and that is in fact all that I need to be whole and have peace. Regardless of what you have and will continue to hear, my actions are not fueled primarily by anger. My desire beyond that point is only the cause of righteousness and accountability. My mandate is a biblical principle: “ JUSTICE, JUSTICE SHALL YOU PURSUE.”
Anyone in the orbit of Victory Baptist Church knows that the pastor has chosen to dismiss me rather than to follow the biblical protocols for reconciliation, or to respond to my biblical challenge of his behavior. One highly relevant verse that comes to mind is Galatians 6:1 –“Ye who are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness and humility.” Another is Matthew 5:24 – “Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (Other relevant verses are listed at the end of this article.)
Instead of engaging me face to face, Charles Wetherbee has sought to simply dismiss me as a person and as a Christian, using his influence as pastor to resort to gossip about a former church member. I cannot count the times when in our close association of many years, this man has done the same thing in my presence with respect to present and former members of Victory Baptist Church. This is how the man operates. He is highly skilled in forming the alliances in the church using that tactic to maintain the total control that he desires. All the while the man maintains and projects his “golly gee whiz” persona. Do not be fooled, Christian brothers and sisters.
I have known any number of pastors who can manipulate their congregation with ease in getting them to dismiss the honest observations and sincere intent of other church members. Often, you will hear phrases like these, some times even from the pulpit:
● Pray for brother so-and-so. I wish him only the best and I have prayed for him often. (The implication is simple: “He wishes me ill, but I am such a better Christian that I pray for him and want you to as well.)
● Brother so-and-so has had problems in other churches, and he had some difficulties here. We tried to work with him, blah, blah, blah . . . . (Never mind that the “problems” may have been refusing to sweep scandals like adultery and child molestation under the rug.)
● I love brother so-and-so. I will always love him. I pray that he understands some day that there is no perfect church, and that is what heaven is for. (The implication here is that since we can never achieve perfection, then lets do away with all form of critique and criticism. This is a hallmark of all cults)
● Brother so-and-so needs your prayer. Pray that God helps him with his anger. (The implication is that everything he has said about us is because he is a hot-head and easily loses control. Of course, anger is never attributed to God in the Bible . . . is it . . . ?)
● we are commanded to “Pray for those who curse you and despitefully use you.” (While ignoring God’s command to be reconciled with them. This also is meant to convey that anyone who disagrees with your pastor has “despitefully used you.”)
We visited Victory Baptist Church on our many visits to Texas for about 15 years from approximately 1998 to 2012. During that time, we thought that we had found a wonderful church. We moved to Weatherford Texas from Indiana in August of 2010. We joined the church on the first Sunday after our arrival. I remember coming forward and telling Jonathan Stewart of our desire to join. I was overwhelmed and even perhaps overcome by what I knew to be the power of God’s Spirit confirming His will in my life. I was soaked with perspiration, weeping and barely able to speak. It was a moment I will never forget. God had great plans for us at Victory. Charles Wetherbee cared far more about preserving his totalitarian control and keeping anyone there from shining for God any brighter than he did. I am as sure of that as I am my own name.
I was told on a very regular and consistent basis after my wife and I joined, “Oh Brother Jerry, are we ever going to use you in the church!” This refrain was constant, coming mostly from the church staff. Brother Stewart would tell me repeatedly that Pastor Wetherbee only wanted to wait until we were settled in a new home. Still, a month after we arrived, Pastor Wetherbee asked me to speak at the church’s biggest night of the year, the Stewardship Banquet (a shakedown event found nowhere in the pages of Scripture to put every bit of imaginable pressure to leverage written financial commitments out of the membership.)
We eventually bought a house just a few houses down from the Wetherbee’s mansion and the preacher and I became very close. I am semi-retired and he is home for hours a day, so we had many opportunities to ride our motorcycles together each week. He is also singularly inept when it comes to any kind of mechanical skill, so I was at his home quite often fixing an building things for him. He became my best friend, a fellow preacher and neighbor. We had almost daily conversations about theology, doctrine, preaching, and the church. He shared with me a very personal view of his pastorate, such as the church members he liked, and the ones he did not. I was astounded at how much this man’s staff did for him, marveling at the small number of church responsibilities that remained his. My principal desire was to influence him to adopt an expository (verse by verse) style of preaching. He was a devotional preacher – the kind that reads the verse to establish a theme and then expounds on his personal religious philosophy throughout the sermon without the need to ever crack a commentary or an expository dictionary in his “study.” (Several church members had expressed a desire for more expository preaching in the church. They wanted more Bible and made that plain to me.)
I never let him pay any time we went out to eat, which was often several times a week. It was only later that I would learn that his compensation package was a six figure sum, that being after I had spent several hundred dollars on a Christmas gift for him: a large page from the First Edition King James Bible featuring his life’s verse, Romans 8:28, professionally framed with museum quality glass.
Not long after that, I began to sense that something was wrong. My testimony had been produced as a radio drama and heard by four million people in thirty-seven countries and yet was never played for the church. I had written twelve Christian books, some published by major publishers, but after a year, they had yet to find their way into any ministry of the church or the church bookstore. (They put some of them in the church bookstore just before we left, then removed them after out departure.) After a year had gone by and I had barely been used in the church to do what I do best, preach and teach, I began to sense that something was wrong. (I have an earned Ph.D. in Philosophy in Religion, and a B.S. and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Theology.)
When the problem could no longer be ignored, I spoke to Jonathan Stewart and told him of my disappointment. This was his reaction: “Brother Kaifetz, you’re a race horse. We can’t hook a race horse up to a plow!” How that was supposed to explain not having the status of even a substitute Sunday School teacher as I had asked for often, I could not understand. Even then, I was unwilling to accept what was becoming more and more obvious: the church I had moved 1,000 miles to join (leaving $100,000 on the table when we sold our house and property in Indiana) and that had embraced me and my wife on the church member level, and a pastor who had no use for me in any meaningful ministry role in the church.
I have recounted in a previous post the afternoon when Pastor Wetherbee came to my house and finally came out and told me that we should find another church, blaming the people: “Our people will never accept you, Jerry.” This was but days after the man wrote me a glowing letter of recommendation to preach in other churches that I have published with my article, “Why I left Victory Baptist Church.”
That was when I began to see who Charles Wetherbee really was:
● A man who lied to his own church about his son’s (Jason Wetherbee) adultery. (I was able to prove that with three different sources, including a later sermon in which Jason confessed to a life wrecking act and then blamed God repeatedly; I only wish I were kidding about this.)
● A man who takes $100,000 a year from the pockets of hard working Christians to live a most lavish and pampered lifestyle, working at best 20 hours a week.
● A man whom I have seen take paid vacations every six weeks often double dipping and being paid to preach while on the road.
● A man whom I have seen push many people under the bus over the years when he perceived that they were not fully manageable as church members and less than 100% willing to be compliant to his personal wishes and style within the church.
● A man whom a staff member personally told me had been verbally abusive in a shocking episode with his wife.
● A man who was unwilling to take the slightest step toward reconciliation with another Christian with whom he was at odds, this despite the numerous Scriptures and protocols for resolving conflict among Christians.
● A man who was willing to betray a close, personal and valued friendship (on my part at least) when that person was perceived as an individual who may not lend themselves to control and to every whim of the pastor.
● A man who looked me in the eye and said, “The men in my pulpit have to reflect me.”
● A man who has no regard for traffic laws and who regularly drives through the stop sign by my house at 30 miles an hour without so much as slowing down. (I have the surveillance video evidence recorded daily.)
● A man who would rather dismiss me with slanderous gossip than to engage on Biblical issues that I have presented to him.
● A man who has no intention of ever following the Matthew 18 protocols on church disciple, and has personally told me that the “take it to the church” part will never be an option at Victory Baptist Church.
Bible Verses on Reconciliation
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
2 Corinthians 5:18
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, …
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
By abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.
1 Peter 4:8
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.
1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. …
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
1 Corinthians 7:15
But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.
1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
2 Timothy 2:1-26
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. …
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. …
And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” …
For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. …
1 John 3:3
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
1 Corinthians 7:10-11
To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, …
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
2 Corinthians 2:7-11
So you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
1 Corinthians 10:1-33
For I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. …
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, “This is God’s camp!” So he called the name of that place Mahanaim. And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’” …
1 John 4:13
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. …
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. …
Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, …
2 Corinthians 6:1-7
Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; …
Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, …
Delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” .
1 Samuel 24:5-22
And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way. Afterward David also arose and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’? …
So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
And he killed it, and Moses took the blood, and with his finger put it on the horns of the altar around it and purified the altar and poured out the blood at the base of the altar and consecrated it to make atonement for it.
And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.
Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
And if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.