The Art of Deception

Look Closely - image from
Look Closely – image from

People Deceiving Each Other is Part of Life

It would seem that there are cases when one person or a group deceiving another person or a group is an acceptable or even good thing but, is it? Strictly by GOD’s standard it is a sin (Is it not?):

Deception is part of life - image from
Deception is part of life – image from

Exodus 20:16 ESV

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.  . . .”

Most people interpret this verse to forbid lying.  So why did a number of instances in the Bible convey a situation when a form of lying seems to produce a positive result?

David feigned madness

1 Samuel 21:13-15 ESV 

So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”


Rehab hides the spies

Joshua 2:3-4 ESV

. . . Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them.  . . .


Gideon deceives the enemy

Judges 7:19-21 ESV


19 So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch. And they blew the trumpets and smashed the jars that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the jars. They held in their left hands the torches, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow. And they cried out, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 Every man stood in his place around the camp, and all the army ran.

Bat Car - image from
Bat Car – image from

The Explanation?

I could say context, purpose or justification but, the real explanation is simpler than that in my opinion: “We are living in a sinful world ruled by Satan.”  In this era deception may be the only way that the righteous can out wit the schemes of the great deceiver Satan.


Ephesians 6:12 ESV / 90 helpful votes

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Facades nypl-digitalcollections-510d47e3-ca55-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99-001-v
Facades nypl-digitalcollections-510d47e3-ca55-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99-001-v

Some Bible Verses:

Proverbs 19:5 ESV

A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

Proverbs 21:6 ESV

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.

Leviticus 19:11 ESV

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.


Use of ESV Bible verses:

Our Brain: Life Long Modification

Brain - image from
Brain – image from

Do you realize our human brain never stops adapting, self-correcting and learning?

Once it was thought that the human brain was pretty much set to what it would be for life by the time a person approached the thirty year old mark but, that is probably too simplistic a view.  Changes continue past this age and while not as rapid or dramatic as when developing from childhood to adult hood, nevertheless a life long process.

Family - image from
Family – image from

Science seems to validate Biblical guidance for us

Bible Study - image from
Bible Study – image from

Some scientists think the brain starts out with more neuron connections and discards unused ones instead of creating new ones establishing the lion’s share by about twenty-six years old. This may explain observed individual traits such as linguistic accents, harder to acquire certain skills such as playing a violin

Skills - image from
Skills – image from

as we age or the difficulty adults can have altering their destructive behavior.  So what do I gather from reading about current neuron science? I am convinced what GOD teaches us in the Bible is being verified by science in this era.


Instructions and wisdom in The Word of GOD taught how to develop and maintain a well-balanced person long before scientist explained how our brain develops and works.


First: what milieu we are immersed as we go though childhood

New Things - image from
New Things – image from

has a great effect upon who we become; change can come later in life but it requires a greater effort to experience improvement than if we developed it earlier in life.  Next: The brain can be rewired and respond to rehabilitation after a stroke or, overcome physical damage or disease with proper rehabilitation.  Some studies seem to even suggest that a person with a brain under attack from diseases that are manifested in older people actually can “rewire” itself around areas that have been damaged. What to I believe about all this information?

Improvement - image from
Improvement – image from

I believe guidance for a healthy brain is found in The Holy Bible: 1) Children nurtured, loved and taught  right from wrong have a better chance to become good people within their society; 2) An adult trying to overcome a negative start in life must work hard to undo the negative affects but he or she can do it; 3) Learning what is right and good is a life long process for the human brain: it never stops requiring input, adaptation, integrating new information, assimilating new experiences and updated self meaning.

Here are some Bible quotes that reinforce my belief: 

Proverbs 1:5 ESV 

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

Proverbs 1:7 ESV

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Proverbs 22:6 ESV

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

1 John 4:1-3 ESV 

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

Hebrews 4:12 ESV 

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.


Use of ESV Bible verses:


Can GOD’s Mind Change?

Prayer - image from
Prayer – image from

Have you wondered why we pray?

This post will discuss a topic that has the potential to be controversial: GOD is omniscient; GOD knows all aspects of eternity; Consequences for violation of GOD’s standards are inevitable. Could the things humans experience and execute within the realm of human existence under free will make a difference in an outcome when we pray?  At this point I will let GOD’s WORD offer clues about whether the mind of GOD can be changed.

Arrows - image from
Arrows – image from

Examples from scripture that reveals clues as to whether the mind of GOD can be altered:

Genesis 18:16-33 (ESV)

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. "Lot and His Family Fleeing from Sodom" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Lot and His Family Fleeing from Sodom” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016.

26 And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”










Adam and Eve suffered consequences

When humans violate a command of GOD they can expect to suffer consequences for their action.  That does not mean we cannot be saved for eternity because even the worst offenses are forgiven when we accept the accomplishment of Jesus Christ who took our place taking our punishment for our sin nature and leading us to eternal life in the presence of GOD>


Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. "Full-page miniature of Adam and Eve questioned by God." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016.
Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature of Adam and Eve questioned by God.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed September 5, 2016.

Genesis 3:17-19 (ESV)

And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

GOD grants a reprieve

Isaiah 38:5 (ESV)

“Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.

Consider this . . . 

Exodus 32:14 (ESV)

14 And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.


Use of ESV Bible verses:

The Value of Human Life


From healthcare to war casualties

The people of The United States of America have demonstrated a high standard when it comes to the value our Nation places on human life.  No, we are not perfect; we have some flaws and some people who abuse others. Yet when considering the World as a whole the U.S.A. has been, and is, a leader in helping others and acting as a force for improvement.

Population and Daily Life

image from
image from

More People More Problems

When Moses acted as preeminent leader and directed the Israelite Nation out into the desert as GOD instructed he came upon a reality: More people to lead meant more problems and he needed help in order to accomplish his job. His father in law (Jethro) observed a problem that Moses faced: As only leader set before the people Moses was overwhelmed by mediation requests and the back up of those needing a hearing tired the people also.  Jethro advised Moses:

Exodus 18 ESV

14 Jethro saw Moses judging the people. He asked, “Why are you doing this? Why are you the only judge? And why do people come to you all day?”

15 Then Moses said to his father-in-law, “The people come to me and ask me to ask for God’s decision for their problem. 16 If people have an argument, they come to me, and I decide which person is right. In this way I teach the people God’s laws and teachings.”

17 But Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “This isn’t the right way to do this. 18 It is too much work for you to do alone.

People Serving- image from
People Serving- image from

Serving the people meant delegating

Moses delegated the task of judging situations that the people under him had need for resolution to leaders and elders and numerous levels. The easiest decisions made at the lowest levels and only major or difficult judgments need be presented to Moses himself.

World Watchdogs- image from
World Watchdogs- image from

And so with global population increases administration of service tasks also increases.

The human experience on planet Earth thus began in such a way as heads of families then clans could provide leadership and judgments up to this day vast populations require ever increasing specialized jobs to serve the people.

(C) James Halifko
(C) James Halifko

Yes, the challenge is great but GOD’s standards still prevail to all people everywhere


Use of ESV Bible verses:


Beginnings and Endings

Creation - image from
Creation – image from

Humans Understand Beginnings and Endings

Life Cycle - images from
Life Cycle – images from

Birth and death of lifeforms, Nations and even stars are all easily grasped by the human mind but, what about eternity? The Bible teaches GOD always was and always will be can we really understand what that means? I cannot claim to know how to answer that; my perspective is pretty limited when one considers all of human history and all the people who have lived or, even contemplating the reality of seven billion plus humans alive right now. Perhaps some understand this concept of infinity better than others; can any temporal being envision what eternal means.

Final Stop - image from
Final Stop? – image from

Christians gain eternal life when accepting Jesus

Eternal life sure makes us feel better than the alternative: the second  and complete death after the judgement.  On that basis alone people should consider Jesus’s offer if for no other reason.  Can you imagine being nothing? Can you imagine the eons before you were born?  I find it extremely difficult to contemplate the oblivion of nothingness I could have faced if I had died and, I had not secured eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Earth - image from
Earth – image from

GOD Knows How We Think

Earth Ends - image from
Earth Ends – image from

GOD expresses things in terms of beginnings and endings for our benefit: Jesus was born and died for example.  Yes, in GOD’s Word we read about eternal things but most of the Bible introduces us to people who were born, lived and died.

Human Life - images from
Human Life – images from

The process of living, in terms of beginning our lives in ignorance as a baby, acquiring knowledge and experience as we grew, and the use of free will to determine our ultimate destiny.



The Bible Reveals How We Can Gain Eternal Life Before Death

Excerpts from the bible esv

John 3:16  ESV

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

 Genesis 1:1  ESV

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Matthew 24:21  ESV 

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

2 Timothy 3:1-5  ESV

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Use of ESV Bible verses:

* * * * * * * Things That Seem Good * * * * *

Seem Great To Me - images from
Seem Great To Me – image from

If you have a few years behind you, you know this:

“There are things you can do, have or experience that seem good but in the long run turn out to be not good at all.”

I Loved Smoking as a Teen and into Middle Age

Smoking Seems Good - images from
Smoking Seems Good – image from

When I was about 15 years old I had a summer job with two other boys; one was a year older seemed a little more streetwise and smoked cigarettes. It did not take too long, as we worked together doing landscape work for his uncle, before he talked me into trying a cigarette.  It was the beginning of a 25 years bad habit.  In those younger years I shared the bad habit with my friends; we experimented with brands of cigarettes,pipes and cigars: it was great fun.  When the cost challenged our ability to keep a steady supply of cigarettes we learned how to make our own: we got tobacco, paper and even a handy little machine to make rolling them easy. When I enlisted in the army in May 1968 the smoking habit was well entrenched and army life enhanced the desire to smoke.

The Years Rolled By and I Tried to Quit any Times

Finally I really quit sometime in my early 40’s which meant I had smoked for at least 25 years at a significant rate: more that 2 packs of cigarettes a day most of the time.  I was hopeful that the cigarettes with filters would lessen the dangers associated with smoking; that became more and more evident and was well publicized.  The non smoking years rolled buy and I believed my old bad habit’s potential for negative health effects was a thing I had escaped.


Wrong Choice - images from
Wrong Choice – image from

My Doctor told me I had 20% lung damage

More than 25 years after I quit smoking I developed respiratory problems and soon I will have medical tests to gauge just how significant my health situation is because of the past when I smoked.

Unseen Hazard - images from
Unseen Hazard – image from


Danger Below - images from
Danger Below – image from

    Deadly things may look very beautiful.

Dangerous Beauty - images from
Dangerous Beauty – image from
Beautiful Poison - images from
Beautiful Poison – image from

What once seemed good was not good at all.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, a student of GOD’s Word and one who fights negatives and fosters positives, I see our Human perception is often limited and wrong.  When I go to GOD’s Word I see that it offers warnings about things that fool us: sin that seems good leads to very negative outcomes even eternal death.  The following examples from The Holy Bible may help you avoid calamity here on Earth and eternal damnation after your body dies.

Examples from the ESV* Bible

Proverbs 14:12  ESV 

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

Matthew 7:15  ESV

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Matthew 7:13  ESV

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

Proverbs 31:30  ESV

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Proverbs 6:25  ESV

Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;

Judges 16:13  ESV

Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you might be bound.” And he said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and fasten it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak and be like any other man.”

*Use of ESV Bible verses:

When No or Yes Really Means Maybe

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images from

Here in the USA it is high stakes political season

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images from

As I write the Republican Party Convention is underway and next week the Democratic Party Convention will be upon us: they are what dominate the media when underway.  Of course this fall we American Citizens will be voting to select the next president and here there is no higher political office – no more important office on the planet some say.  Yes GOD knows people require leaders and if not actually blessed by GOD governments exists because GOD allows them. You must study The Holy Bible cover to cover to truly understand this scriptural concept. Fellow Christian for the purpose of this article know that GOD is the ultimate overseer of even what politicians do as our leaders.

Romans 13:1  ESV

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

For me it is a challenge: I do not trust politicians.

images from
images from
images from
images from

I know that the term politics is applied throughout our world and it is not limited to politicians whom run for office desiring to represent us and act as leaders on our behalf.  We mention things like office politics, sports politics and even church politics; what do we mean by this much used and loosely applied term? It refers to the negative assessment many of us have of most politicians.  Often we say or hear someone else say, “Politics and politicians are a necessary evil.”  I for one dislike this characterization because the realms of duplicity, subterfuge and ambiguity may be part of human nature but, GOD has a higher standard by which our conduct is (or ultimately will be) judged.

[scripture no no yes yes]

History reveals the treachery of humans

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "...and the Fuhrer to conduct extensive discussions on the German-Russian relations in the context of the friendship pact between the two states. The visit concluded with complete agreement." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2016.
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “…and the Fuhrer to conduct extensive discussions on the German-Russian relations in the context of the friendship pact between the two states. The visit concluded with complete agreement.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2016.

Hitler signed an agreement with Stalin during World War II dividing Poland between them and promising not to attack The U.S.S.R. but that did not last long. Nazi Germany invaded Soviet Russia in June 1941 this tragic betrayal contributed to the horrendous death toll attributed to the global conflict. This may be a monstrous example of betrayal but it is by no means the only example we can study.  A cursory review of history will review examples of treachery by individuals that had devastating effects on those who trusted them. Political and military traitors and even ordinary citizens at times committed this evil offense.

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "At the invitation of the Soviet government, Reich Foreign Minister von Robbentrop is in Moscow for crucial talks..." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2016.
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “At the invitation of the Soviet government, Reich Foreign Minister von Robbentrop is in Moscow for crucial talks…” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 19, 2016.

The demonstrations of the treachery people are capable of often surprised me. That all change for me when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and begun to study The Holy Bible.  Scripture illustrated devious people in positions that inflected great harm when their duplicitous action was executed even in ancient times and taught me that we all are capable of such a sin.

Matthew 15:19 ESV

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Most of us want to belong

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images from

It is our nature to want to be seen as “good”, accepted, included and so on. The desire to be part of a family, clan, tribe or nation is not a bad thing it is part of out heritage and has contributed to the survival of humanity on an often hostile planet.  When this longing to be counted in is part f the human experience it can mask many problems that the darker side of our nature precipitates. OK, we are reluctant “rock the boat” or say something when we observe something suspicious yet, as Christians GOD wants us to strive to overcome the evils and negatives of this worlds by being obedient to the standards GOD has revealed for us through the prophets now contained in the Holy Bible.

Matthew 5:37  ESV

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

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images from
Yes fellow Christian it is not easy but we must do what is right

Why do we gather in fellowship, study GOD’s Word and strive to obey what Jesus has instructed? We do these things to help each other be accountable, to encourage one another to do what is right, to teach the children and new Christians the truths so that we bring “The Light of Jesus” to a dark world.

James 4:17  ESV

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

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Use of ESV Bible verses:

******* Special Blog Post 1 : Who Represents Christians *******

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images from

Romans 13:1 ESV

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Something about living in the U.S.A.


” . . . Thus, while it is clear that democracy must guarantee the expression of the popular will through majority rule, it is equally clear that it must guarantee that the majority will not abuse use its power to violate the basic and inalienable rights of the minority.  . . . ” 

Excerpt from* Majority Rule/Minority Rights: Essential Principles


Referenced: Alexis de Tocqueville, “Tyranny of the Majority,” Chapter XV, Book 1, Democracy in America


Are we Bible Believing Christians now a minority in a Nation founded if entirely by Christians, overwhelmingly influenced by people who had excepted GOD’s Holy Bible as the preeminent authority; the guide to all matters people encounter and experience on Earth?

Is secular humanism deliberately diminishing our influence upon our Government and our people which has served to preserve “The Greater Good” despite the flawed and imperfect aspects of the human race?

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images from

Maybe it is time for the creation of a new Political Party that will represent our interests and preserve the Greater Good that only adherence to the word of god can maintain.

Major political parties*


A party that has “an independent state organization… in a majority of the states”[1] is listed as a major party. An “independent state organization” is not to be confused with the organization of an Independent Democrat or Independent Republican.

Political Party


Founded in

Former Titles

International Affiliations

Democratic Party 50 + DC 1828 Progressive Alliance[2]
Republican Party 50 + DC 1854 International Democrat Union[3]
Libertarian Party 48 + DC[4] 1971 Interlibertarians[5]
Green Party 36 + DC[6] 1991 Global Greens
Constitution Party 26[6] 1992 U.S. Taxpayers’ Party

There is a webpage* that indicates “Christian Democrats of America”


My fellow Christians look into this group, similar groups or start one yourself in order to promote the influence of GOD’s Word upon our Country (and The World).  It is my hope that we can lesson the influence  and effects of evil on the people of our planet.  Thank You

(Permission to use)
(Permission to use)

Use of ESV Bible verses:

Function of a Christian Church

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images from

Do You Know what the Church is?

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images from

The Church is not a building, meeting hall or home it is The Body of Christ present on Earth; this body is composed of all Christians that are true believers in what Jesus instructed, taught and ordained when he was here on Earth.  He fulfilled “The Law” as revealed in the Hebrew Bible and amplified, clarified and augmented The Word of GOD Himself and  through His disciples (Apostles) to whom He sent the Holy Spirit to assist in this mission.

Matthew 28:16-20 ESV*
The Great Commission

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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images from
This is the primary function of the church

There are other important functions of course: Teaching, edifying, supporting missionaries and each other in Christian Fellowship.  Since this world we live in is currently flawed and subject to the effects of sinful imperfect people, including we Christians, we have more to do than what is delineated above.

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images from

In gratitude to GOD Christians strive to obey God representing HIS Good on Earth by ministering to needy people: needy non-Christians and, needy Christians alike.

Helping fellow humans in as an unconditional manner as possible demonstrates GOD’s Love to all.  God wants all people to gain eternal life and access to heaven and Christians are HIS voice to the unknowing people.  The unbelievers the unsaved the lost the troubled wherever they are.

Fellow christians use your gifts to serve

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images from

2 Peter 3:9 ESV*

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

John 3:16 ESV*

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 6:23 ESV* 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 10:13 ESV*

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

*Use of ESV Bible verses: