Hosea 4 New King James Version (NKJV)
God’s Charge Against Israel
4 Hear the word of the Lord,
You children of Israel,
For the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land:
“There is no truth or mercy
Or knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing and lying,
Killing and stealing and committing adultery,
They break all restraint,
With bloodshed upon bloodshed.
Therefore the land will mourn;
And everyone who dwells there will waste away
With the beasts of the field
And the birds of the air;
Even the fish of the sea will be taken away.
“Now let no man contend, or rebuke another;
For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
Therefore you shall stumble in the day;
The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night;
And I will destroy your mother.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also will reject you from being priest for Me;
Because you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.
“The more they increased,
The more they sinned against Me;
I will change[a] their glory[b] into shame.
They eat up the sin of My people;
They set their heart on their iniquity.
And it shall be: like people, like priest.
So I will punish them for their ways,
And reward them for their deeds.
For they shall eat, but not have enough;
They shall commit harlotry, but not increase;
Because they have ceased obeying the Lord.
The Idolatry of Israel
“Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart.
My people ask counsel from their wooden idols,
And their staff informs them.
For the spirit of harlotry has caused them to stray,
And they have played the harlot against their God.
They offer sacrifices on the mountaintops,
And burn incense on the hills,
Under oaks, poplars, and terebinths,
Because their shade is good.
Therefore your daughters commit harlotry,
And your brides commit adultery.
“I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry,
Nor your brides when they commit adultery;
For the men themselves go apart with harlots,
And offer sacrifices with a ritual harlot.[c]
Therefore people who do not understand will be trampled.
“Though you, Israel, play the harlot,
Let not Judah offend.
Do not come up to Gilgal,
Nor go up to Beth Aven,
Nor swear an oath, saying, ‘As the Lord lives’—
“For Israel is stubborn
Like a stubborn calf;
Now the Lord will let them forage
Like a lamb in open country.
“Ephraim is joined to idols,
Let him alone.
Their drink is rebellion,
They commit harlotry continually.
Her rulers dearly[d] love dishonor.
The wind has wrapped her up in its wings,
And they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
Hosea 5 New King James Version (NKJV)
Impending Judgment on Israel and Judah
5 “Hear this, O priests!
Take heed, O house of Israel!
Give ear, O house of the king!
For yours is the judgment,
Because you have been a snare to Mizpah
And a net spread on Tabor.
The revolters are deeply involved in slaughter,
Though I rebuke them all.
I know Ephraim,
And Israel is not hidden from Me;
For now, O Ephraim, you commit harlotry;
Israel is defiled.
“They do not direct their deeds
Toward turning to their God,
For the spirit of harlotry is in their midst,
And they do not know the Lord.
The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
Therefore Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity;
Judah also stumbles with them.
“With their flocks and herds
They shall go to seek the Lord,
But they will not find Him;
He has withdrawn Himself from them.
They have dealt treacherously with the Lord,
For they have begotten pagan children.
Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage.
“Blow the ram’s horn in Gibeah,
The trumpet in Ramah!
Cry aloud at Beth Aven,
‘Look behind you, O Benjamin!’
Ephraim shall be desolate in the day of rebuke;
Among the tribes of Israel I make known what is sure.
“The princes of Judah are like those who remove a landmark;
I will pour out My wrath on them like water.
Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment,
Because he willingly walked by human precept.
Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth,
And to the house of Judah like rottenness.
“When Ephraim saw his sickness,
And Judah saw his wound,
Then Ephraim went to Assyria
And sent to King Jareb;
Yet he cannot cure you,
Nor heal you of your wound.
For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
And like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I, even I, will tear them and go away;
I will take them away, and no one shall rescue.
I will return again to My place
Till they acknowledge their offense.
Then they will seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”
Hosea 6 New King James Version (NKJV)
A Call to Repentance
6 Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth.
Impenitence of Israel and Judah
“O Ephraim, what shall I do to you?
O Judah, what shall I do to you?
For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud,
And like the early dew it goes away.
Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
And your judgments are like light that goes forth.
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
“But like men[a] they transgressed the covenant;
There they dealt treacherously with Me.
Gilead is a city of evildoers
And defiled with blood.
As bands of robbers lie in wait for a man,
So the company of priests murder on the way to Shechem;
Surely they commit lewdness.
I have seen a horrible thing in the house of Israel:
There is the harlotry of Ephraim;
Israel is defiled.
Also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed for you,
When I return the captives of My people.
Hosea 7 New King James Version (NKJV)
7 “When I would have healed Israel,
Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered,
And the wickedness of Samaria.
For they have committed fraud;
A thief comes in;
A band of robbers takes spoil outside.
They do not consider in their hearts
That I remember all their wickedness;
Now their own deeds have surrounded them;
They are before My face.
They make a king glad with their wickedness,
And princes with their lies.
“They are all adulterers.
Like an oven heated by a baker—
He ceases stirring the fire after kneading the dough,
Until it is leavened.
In the day of our king
Princes have made him sick, inflamed with wine;
He stretched out his hand with scoffers.
They prepare their heart like an oven,
While they lie in wait;
Their baker[a] sleeps all night;
In the morning it burns like a flaming fire.
They are all hot, like an oven,
And have devoured their judges;
All their kings have fallen.
None among them calls upon Me.
“Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples;
Ephraim is a cake unturned.
Aliens have devoured his strength,
But he does not know it;
Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him,
Yet he does not know it.
And the pride of Israel testifies to his face,
But they do not return to the Lord their God,
Nor seek Him for all this.
Futile Reliance on the Nations
“Ephraim also is like a silly dove, without sense—
They call to Egypt,
They go to Assyria.
Wherever they go, I will spread My net on them;
I will bring them down like birds of the air;
I will chastise them
According to what their congregation has heard.
“Woe to them, for they have fled from Me!
Destruction to them,
Because they have transgressed against Me!
Though I redeemed them,
Yet they have spoken lies against Me.
They did not cry out to Me with their heart
When they wailed upon their beds.
“They assemble together for[b] grain and new wine,
They rebel against Me;[c]
Though I disciplined and strengthened their arms,
Yet they devise evil against Me;
They return, but not to the Most High;[d]
They are like a treacherous bow.
Their princes shall fall by the sword
For the cursings of their tongue.
This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
1 John 4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that[a] Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Knowing God Through Love
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Seeing God Through Love
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
The Consummation of Love
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him[b] because He first loved us.
Obedience by Faith
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can[c] he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.