Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
For in him you have been enriched in every way--in all your speaking and in all your knowledge--
because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas "; still another, "I follow Christ."
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.
(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.)
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made.
On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings.
By the word of the LORD a man of God came from Judah to Bethel, as Jeroboam was standing by the altar to make an offering.
He cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD: "O altar, altar! This is what the LORD says: 'A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who now make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.' "
That same day the man of God gave a sign: "This is the sign the LORD has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out."
When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, "Seize him!" But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back.
Also, the altar was split apart and its ashes poured out according to the sign given by the man of God by the word of the LORD.
Then the king said to the man of God, "Intercede with the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored." So the man of God interceded with the LORD, and the king's hand was restored and became as it was before.
The king said to the man of God, "Come home with me and have something to eat, and I will give you a gift."
But the man of God answered the king, "Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here.
For I was commanded by the word of the LORD: 'You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.' "
So he took another road and did not return by the way he had come to Bethel.
Now there was a certain old prophet living in Bethel, whose sons came and told him all that the man of God had done there that day. They also told their father what he had said to the king.
Their father asked them, "Which way did he go?" And his sons showed him which road the man of God from Judah had taken.
So he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." And when they had saddled the donkey for him, he mounted it
and rode after the man of God. He found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?" "I am," he replied.
So the prophet said to him, "Come home with me and eat."
The man of God said, "I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place.
I have been told by the word of the LORD: 'You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.' "
The old prophet answered, "I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the LORD: 'Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.' " (But he was lying to him.)
So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.
While they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet who had brought him back.
He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, "This is what the LORD says: 'You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you.
You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.' "
When the man of God had finished eating and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his donkey for him.
As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was thrown down on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.
Some people who passed by saw the body thrown down there, with the lion standing beside the body, and they went and reported it in the city where the old prophet lived.
When the prophet who had brought him back from his journey heard of it, he said, "It is the man of God who defied the word of the LORD. The LORD has given him over to the lion, which has mauled him and killed him, as the word of the LORD had warned him."
The prophet said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me," and they did so.
Then he went out and found the body thrown down on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had neither eaten the body nor mauled the donkey.
So the prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to his own city to mourn for him and bury him.
Then he laid the body in his own tomb, and they mourned over him and said, "Oh, my brother!"
After burying him, he said to his sons, "When I die, bury me in the grave where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
For the message he declared by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the shrines on the high places in the towns of Samaria will certainly come true."
Even after this, Jeroboam did not change his evil ways, but once more appointed priests for the high places from all sorts of people. Anyone who wanted to become a priest he consecrated for the high places.
This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall and to its destruction from the face of the earth.
Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers?
Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.
What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts have eaten.
Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips.
A nation has invaded my land, powerful and without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness.
It has laid waste my vines and ruined my fig trees. It has stripped off their bark and thrown it away, leaving their branches white.
Mourn like a virgin in sackcloth grieving for the husband of her youth.
Grain offerings and drink offerings are cut off from the house of the LORD. The priests are in mourning, those who minister before the LORD.
The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.
Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed.
The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree-- all the trees of the field--are dried up. Surely the joy of mankind is withered away.
Put on sackcloth, O priests, and mourn; wail, you who minister before the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you who minister before my God; for the grain offerings and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God.
Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD.
Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.
Has not the food been cut off before our very eyes-- joy and gladness from the house of our God?
The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods. The storehouses are in ruins, the granaries have been broken down, for the grain has dried up.
How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep are suffering.
To you, O LORD, I call, for fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field.
Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.