Studies

This is a study I began for our elder/leadership team, and then got distracted with other things. I thought if I posted it in its very unfinished form that might motivate me to finish it. 🙂

Perhaps I should convey at the outset that I believe apostles and prophets are offices and giftings still given today by Jesus Christ – the Head of the Church – and are still needed today. Sadly some studies on leadership leave them out.

Titles:
Apostles – 58 x’s; In gospels 9 occurrences – none really instructive or didactic; Apostle – 19x’s (none in gospels);

Deacons – 5 references (Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:8,10, 12, 13) in 2 passages; never mentioned in book of Acts though some feel the men (Stephen, Phillip, etc.) appointed to serve the poor/tables in Acts 6 were the first deacons. (no references to “Deacon”). Emphasis is on serving (e.g. I Tim. 3:13). No reference to leading, overseeing, ruling, etc. Less than half as many qualifications expected for deacons as contrasted to elders.

Elders – 15 x’s applicable; all occurrences in gospels = negative – speaking of the Jewish elders of that day;
“Apostles and Elders” together occurs 6 x’s in Acts (15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4); Acts 20:28, 31 is instructive since addressed to elders in church in Ephesus – – “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, ….to shepherd the church of God…” vs. 28; “Therefore be on the alert…” vs. 31.

There are 23 expected characteristics for elders to be pursuing/growing in from I Tim.3 & Titus 1. 19 deal with character; 4 deal with action in the church – e.g. “able to teach” (I Tim. 3:2); “take care of church of God” (I Tim. 3:5); “able..to exhort in sound doctrine” (Titus 1:9); “able…to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).
Finally elders per I Peter 5:1f. are to: “shepherd the flock of God among you..” vs. 2; “exercising oversight” vs. 2; “proving to be examples to the flock” vs. 3

Evangelists – 1 x in Eph. 4:11; Evangelist – 2 x’s – Acts 21:8; II Tim. 4:5

Leaders – 3 x’s in N.T. that are applicable; Matthew 23:10 “Do not be called leaders”; (2519 = kathegetes – sometimes translated “teacher” – defined as “an authoritative guide” – only time used in N.T.) Context of Matthew 23 is key to understand Jesus’s command; Heb. 13:17 “Obey your leaders..” Heb. 13:24 “Greet all of your leaders” (2233 = hegeomai)
Leader – see Matthew 23:10 & Luke 22:26

Overseers (bishops in some translations) – 2 x’s – Acts 20:28; Phil. 1:1; Overseer – 3 x’s – I Tim. 3:1, 2; Titus 1:7 Generally understood to be synonymous with elders e.g. Acts 20:28 – speaking to the elders of the church in Ephesus Paul says, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,..”

Pastors – 1 x in N.T. – Eph. 4:11 – purpose is to equip saints (No references to “Pastor”)

Prophets – 88 x’s; Prophet 67 x’s; prophetess (2 x’s) – Luke 2:36 & Rev. 2:20; prophetesses – (1 x) – Acts 21:9.

References in N.T. to O.T. prophets:of the 88 references to “prophets” in the N.T., 63 of them pertain to or are speaking of the Old Testament prophets.

Of the 88 references to “prophets” in the N.T. 6 refer or pertain to false prophets.

The remaining 19 references refer or pertain to present day prophets, though most of the 8 references to prophets in the book of Revelation could refer to both present and past.

References to prophet in N.T./Church Age or in the present: Gospels: Matthew 10:41 (on receiving a prophet); 11:19 (John the Bap.) cf. 14:5, Luke 1:76; John 1:21, 25; Matthew 13:57 Principle: “….A prophet is not without honor…” (cf. Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24, John 4:44);
Jesus as Prophet – John 4:19, 6:14, 7:40, 7:52, 9:17,
Acts: 21:10 “a certain prophet named Agabus came down…”;

References to prophets in N.T./Church Age: Matt. 23:34; Acts 11:27, 13:1, 15:32; I Cor. 12:28,29; 14:29, 32; Ephesians 3:5, 4:11; Rev. 10:7, 11:10, 11:18, 16:6, 18:20, 18:24, 22:6, 22:9;

Question of Eph. 2:20 “having (“God’s household” from vs. 19) been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,”
Are present day prophets meant to be considered part of this foundation? Some believe yes. I believe not. Here are my reasons:
1. “having been built” appears to imply something that has already taken place.
2. When prophets are discussed in Ephesians 3:5, it is clearly a reference to the Old Testament prophets and the original 12 apostles (minus Judas) and their writings.
3. In Rev. 21:14 the idea of a foundation and the apostles being a part of that foundation clearly refers to the original 12 (minus Judas)– “And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

Rulers – only appears in relation to civic leaders (e.g. Matt. 20:25, Rom. 13:3, etc.) greek word = arkown.

Teachers – 6 x’s applicable; Teacher – 2 x’s applicable;

Functions:
“Govern” does not appear in N.T.
“Lead” – no applicable passages
“Leads” – Romans 12:8 (the gift of leadership)
“Shepherd” – 3 x’s applicable = John 21:16; Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2
“Rule” – 1 applicable time = I Tim. 5:17; proestotes = a participle signifying “to stand before,” lead, or show how. It does not mean driving, but leading – especially by example (e.g. I Peter 5:3 “….nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.” – spoken to elders)
“Led” = 1 applicable reference – Hebrews 13:7

Questions:
Jesus’s overall emphasis/teaching on leadership in His church? Anti title (don’t be called rabbi, father or leader – Matt. 23:8-10); anti – authoritarian; pro – servanthood (the greatest serves) Matt. 23:11,12; Luke 22:26; shepherd His sheep (Jn. 21:15-17); Jesus on proper response to prophets – Matt. 10:41 – “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward;…”

How was the church led in the book of Acts?
Ch. 1 – Jesus gathered and commissioned the apostles to wait for power to fulfill their mission. The apostles and others then gathered for days waiting on the Lord in prayer. Peter at one point felt led to appoint an apostle to replace Judas. All those who were there put forward two men, prayed, cast lots, and Matthias was chosen.
Ch. 2 – All still together; Spirit comes; tongues break out; crowd gathers; Peter preaches gospel; crowd responds; church multiplies dramatically; new converts baptized (because of large number I’m guessing many participated in that baptism – probably beyond apostles – vs. 41); they – the church “were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching…” vs. 42; “many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles” vs. 43;
Ch. 3 – lame man healed by peter and john; crowd forms; peter preaches;
Ch. 4 – religious leaders show up; arrest peter and john; tried in court; peter proclaims Christ; threatened peter and john and released them; afterwards returned home and gathered with ? NASV inserts “companions” but not in greek; probably other apostles and core folk, though possibly whole congregation (see vs. 32); they prayed and God showed up (vs. 31). Great unity in the church; Apostles with great power testifying of resurrected Lord; proceeds of sold properties laid at Apostles feet.
Ch. 5 – Peter – an original apostle – facilitated the slaying by God of Ananias and Sapphira. Vs. 1-10. “At the hand of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people.” vs. 12 After being arrested twice and then flogged, they returned home and “kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
Ch. 6 – Several developments re: leadership arise in this chapter. First rapid growth caused some growth pains. Second the 12 apostles determined they could not meet the legitimate need, and thus asked the congregation (literally “multitude”) of disciples to choose seven men to meet this physical need. “They” then chose the 7 and brought them before the apostles, who prayed and then laid hands on them. And they began to meet this need/serve. These servants are not called deacons, but many scholars believe this was the beginning point of appointing deacons to meet physical/material needs in the church.
Ch. 7 – Stephen’s defense & murder
Ch. 8 – “Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John…” vs. 14 Apostles in Jersualem recognized leadership.
Ch. 9 – vs. 26 the disciples in Jerusalem were afraid of newly converted Saul. “But Barnabus took hold of him and brought him to the apostles and described to them how he had seen the Lord on the road…” vs. 27 Apostles in Jerusalem still recognized leadership.
Ch. 10 – Peter with Cornelius and gang
Ch. 11 – Peter returns to Jerusalem and reports to the uncircumcised men (at least) about his ministry to Gentiles (vs. 2f). “the church at Jerusalem …sent Barnabus off to Antioch” (vs. 22). Barnabus (on his own evidently) pursued Saul of Tarsus to help him (vs. 25,26). “…some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch (not sent evidently) to minister as the Holy Spirit led. One named Agabus prophesied accurately about the coming famine. The church in Antioch took measures in response to that having taken place (vs. 27-30) First time prophets appear in Acts.
Ch. 12 – Peter’s imprisonment & angelic release.
Ch. 13 – Prophets & teachers of the church in Antioch were ministering to the Lord and fasting. No mention of apostles or elders or pastors. The Holy Spirit spoke to them and commanded them to “set apart Barnabus and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Prophets and teachers typically don’t overly appreciate each other. But in this church they were the ones who in harmony and unity heard the word of the Lord and carried it out. In vs. 2 the Holy Spirit “said”. In vs. 4 the Holy Spirit “sent”.
Rest of chapter details Barnabus and Saul’s traveling ministry
Ch. 14 – first 22 verses and last 5 verses = more accounting of Barnabus and Saul’s traveling ministry. In vs. 23 we find that Saul and Barnabus had appointed elders in every church after “having prayed with fasting”.
Ch. 15 – Some men came down to Antioch from Judea spreading a false works gospel in the church there. Paul and Barnabus took issue with them. Eventually were encouraged to take some of the brethren and head to Jerusalem to meet with the apostles and elders in the church there about this issue.
“apostles and elders” show up together in vs. 2, 4, 6, 22, 23 as those who helped solve this crisis and had the authority to do so.
“Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.” Vs. 32 They were prophets from Jerusalem (vs. 22) and “leading men among the brethren there”. They were chosen by the apostles, elders and whole church to accompany Paul and Barnabus (vs. 22). Appears Judas and Silas were probably in those long meetings in Jersualem as this issue was hammered out.
Paul and Barnabus’s squabble in vs. 36-41 shows the freedom and autonomy there were given to carry out their mission.
Ch. 16 – “….decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders…” shows where the authority lied in the church in Jerusalem. Vs. 4 rest of chapter more missionary exploits of Paul with timothy and silas.
Ch. 17 – more missionary exploits of paul, silas and timothy
Ch. 18 – Paul, Priscilla and Aquila, and Apollos
Ch. 19 – Paul in Ephesus
Ch. 20 – Paul still the major player, but important to see that though it might appear from vs. 3, “….he decided to return through Macedonia” that Paul was a loner or independent or made decisions on his own, he was at that time accompanied by Luke at least, and there were 7 others of his team, who had been with him, but as vs. 5 states, “…had gone on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas.” Important as we focus on the references to “he” in this chapter that we do not neglect the many references to “we”.
I also find it interesting that when Paul and Luke (and perhaps the others on his team) got to Ephesus, he chose to focus on the elders (the leadership of the church there) (vs. 17). His great concern was for the sheep as seen in vs. 28-30 etc. But he knew key to the safety and welfare of the sheep is the ministry of the elders to them.
Apostles must care for the sheep of individual congregations by equipping their leadership (elders, etc.,) to shepherd the sheep appropriately in the fear of the Lord. Paul did not exclusively equip leaders. He did at times minister to the sheep or members of a congregation or church in a city. But he knew that their fate depended upon their leaders in many ways, though ultimately on God Himself (see vs. 32).

Observations:
1. No control seen. Variety of leadership and initiatives taken.

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It is absolutely critical for we disciples of Jesus Christ to be grounded in the truth of both our sin nature and our new nature or identity in Christ. Only when we are regularly reminded of how we were before Christ saved us, will we appreciate the greatness of His salvation. Only when we are regularly reminded of who we are in the flesh in the present, will we appreciate the greatness of His grace, and cleansing blood, and impartation of the life of Christ by His Spirit. I’m hoping this will especially serve us all in having more meaningful times at the Lord’s table. The following chart is given to that end. It is not exhaustive by any means. I have confined this study to the New Testament.

Our Sin Nature

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, …..all these evil things proceed from within… “ Mark 7:20-23

“ And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Sprit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13 Continue reading A Primer on Our Sin Nature vs. our New Nature/Identity in Christ

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Why should we make teaching in the local church a priority?

– Because Jesus’s consistent pattern of ministry was as follows: “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.” Matthew 4:23

– Because Jesus commanded us to make disciples by “…baptizing them…and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19, 20) Continue reading The Importance of Teaching in the Church

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“Heavens” in the old and new testaments
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:9 Then God said, ” Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;
Genesis 1:15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
Genesis 1:20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” Continue reading Heavens in the Old & New Testaments

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“Heaven” in the Old Testament

Genesis 1:8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Genesis 2:4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.
Genesis 6:17 “Behold, I, even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish.
Genesis 11:4 They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose topwill reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Continue reading Heaven in the Old & New Testaments

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I provide these passages especially for worship leaders, and other leaders of Christ’s church who want to worship Him in spirit and in truth. And who thus want to plumb the depths of the whole counsel of God on anything having to do with singing and music. May the Holy Spirit open your eyes and ears as you meditate on the following.

Sing in the Old and New Testaments
“Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and said, “I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.” Exodus 15:1

“Miraim answered them, “Sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea.” Exodus 15:21

“The Israel sang this song: Spring up, O well! Sing to it!” Numbers 21:17 Continue reading Sing, Singing, Sang, Sung, Sings, Music in the Old & New Testaments

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This study is designed to help us understand the importance and role of dreams, visions, revelations, etc., in the kingdom of God.

Dream in New Testament
Matthew 1:20 – angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream
Matthew 2:12 – warned by God in a dream
Matthew 2:13 – an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream
Matthew 2:19 – an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph
Matthew 2:22 – after being warned by God in a dream
Matthew 27:19 – last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him
Acts 2:17 – and your old men shall dream dreams Continue reading Dream, Dreams, Vision, Visions, Trance, Revelation, Revelations in N.T.

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INTRODUCTION – William Carey, the great missionary statesman and missionary to India, said of the promises of God, “The future is as bright as the promises of God.”

Indeed for the children of God, the future is bright because God has given us promises for every step of our journey with Him. Everything God has willed for us, He has paved the way with His promises. They are like stepping stones for all the fullness of Christ and all the fullness of the Holy Spirit to become ours.

So this study is designed to help us stand on God’s promises until His highest will and purposes for us are accomplished. May this simple outline aid in this pursuit. Continue reading Attaining God’s Highest by the Promises of God

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Lie in Old Testament:
Lev. 19:11 – “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.” Re: man
Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” re: God
I Sam. 15:29 – “Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.” Re: God
II Kings 4:16 – “Then he (Elisha) said, “At this season next year you will embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord, O man of God, do not lie to your maidservant.” Re: man
II Kings 9:12 – “They said, “It is a lie, tell us now.” And he said, “thus and thus he said to me, “Thus says the Lord, “I have anointed you king over Israel.” Re: men
Job 6:28 – “Now please look at me, And see if I lie to your face.” Re: men
Job 34:6 – “Should I lie concerning my right? My wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.” Re: men
Psa. 62:9 – “Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath.” Re: men Continue reading Lie, Lied, Lying, Lies, Liar, Liars in Old and New Testaments

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These are passages re: Israel’s future – Most proclaim her future spiritual revival and land restoration. A few seem to proclaim that God is done with her. I will continue to add to this as I come across pertinent passages.

For:
II Kings 13:22,23 – God’s keeping cov. Promises to
II Kings 17:18,20 agin – yet ch.18 renewal through Hez.
Psalm 94:14
Psalm 105:8-10
Psalm 111:5, 9b
Isa. 27:6
Isa. 44:21
Isa. 45:17,25
Isa. 52:8-12 Israel’s future restoration & redemption Continue reading Passages For or Against God’s Covenant Commitment to Israel

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Jeremiah for many years has been one of my favorite books in the Bible. God’s dealings with Israel are very very relevant to where we are in the U.S. today; and to where Israel is today (spiritually). As I’ve read through this book over the years certain themes have begun to stand out to me. One of them is Israel’s forsaking God and their call to know and walk with Him and listen to His voice. This may be Israel’s greatest sin, and probably is ours as well. So the following verses are given to help you and I see how pervasive a problem this is; but also to see how much God wants His people to know and walk with Him. And ultimately to know that He is jealous for us and He will in time give us a burning heart for Him, and along with that grace to finally let go of all the idols we have worshipped/entertained along the way. Continue reading The Core Issue for Israel and for the U.S.A. from Jeremiah

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Because truth has such a transforming effect on the lives of Jesus followers, Satan is always trying to pervert or corrupt it. A great or sad example of that is how he has sought to pervert and twist the wonderful truths regarding the blood of Jesus. There is a whole genre now of movies and T.V. shows that are obsessed with blood,… anyone’s but Jesus’s that is.

I guess that is your right if you work in Hollywood. But to be a disciple of Jesus, you must learn to relish and cherish the blood of Jesus. Jesus made this starkly clear in John 6:53, where He is quoted as saying, “….Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.” Continue reading The Blood of Jesus

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The Mandate To Preach & Teach
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19,20

Instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines…” I Tim. 1:3,4

“…point out these things to the brethren…” I Tim. 4:6

“..prescribe and teach these things…” I Tim. 4:11

“ ..give attention to the public reading of scripture, exhortation and teaching” I Tim. 4:16

“..pay close attention to … your teaching” I Tim. 4:16 Continue reading Mandate; Purpose; Motivations & Attitudes re: the Call to Preach/Teach

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This outline was the start to a sermon series I did a number of years ago on worship.

INTRODUCTION –

I. Definition of worship: the classic dictionary def. is: “the performance of devotional acts in honor of a deity, as a church service; the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; reverence; submissive respect; loving or admiring devotion.”

The theme of worship is far more central and significant in scripture than many Christians might imagine. Far from being a peripheral subject, it has to do with the fundamental question of how we can be in a right relationship with God and please Him in all that we do. Worship in the New Testament is a comprehensive category describing the Christian’s total existence. Worship is a subject that should dominate our lives seven days a week.” David Peterson

Worship in the Bible may be viewed as a ‘reciprocal exchange’ between God and His people – an engagement with Him on terms that He proposes and in the way that He alone makes possible in the Holy Spirit.” C. Westerman Continue reading Sharpening our Focus on Worship

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1. Scenario: Many wonders & signs taking place: Passage Acts 2:43; Categories: scope of healing ministry; through the apostles

2. Scenario: lame man healed; Passage: 3:1-4:4; Categories: initiated by Peter; in Jesus’s name; commanded to walk; result = healed man overjoyed, crowds amazed; opportunity to preach; many believed

3. Scenario: church prayed for; Passage: 4:29,30; Categories: asked 4 things: 1. to be able to proclaim gospel w/all confidence; 2. God extend His hand to heal; 3.signs & wonders be poured out through the name of Jesus; 4. God take note of threats of enemies. Continue reading Healing in the Book of Acts

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INTRODUCTION – The intricate details of Jesus’s healing ministry were not recorded to fill up space. Because we can “walk in the same manner as He walked” (I John 2:6), every detail should be of great importance to us. This study is given for that purpose.

1.Scenario: Man w/ unclean spirit; Passages: Mk 1:21-28, Luke 4:31-37; Categories: Result =crowds amazed; news spread;

2. Scenario: Peter’s mother in law sick; Passages: Mt. 8:14,15; Mk. 1:30-31; Lk. 4:38,39; Categories: Initiated by Jesus

3. Scenario: Multitudes; Passages: Mt. 8:16,17, Mk. 1:32-34 Lk. 4:40,41; Categories:Brought to Jesus by others or asked Jesus to go to others; caused by demons? (Matt. 8:16)

4. Scenario: Many demons; Passages: Mk. 1:39; Categories: Initiated by Jesus Continue reading Overview of Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ

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INTRODUCTION – My story through praying for Steve & ________’s baby in H.K.

My objectives in these studies:
1. Is to give you an overview of the subject of healing so that you can see how prevalent a theme it is in the scriptures.

2. So that you can avoid some of the errors and extremes that have cropped up in some healing ministries.

3. So that you can study these passages yourselves and develop your own convictions about what the Bible teaches and what God would have you do about what He has revealed in His word. Continue reading Foundational Theology in the Old Testament re: Healing, Sickness & Sin

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Lots of talk out there about spiritual warfare these days. Seems best to me to start with what is very clear in scripture re: our responsibility. Encouraging to me from meditating on these commands that we have the power and authority in Christ to resist the most powerful supernatural being (other than Jesus Christ and His angels) in the Universe. Being familiar with the context of these passages is very helpful in obeying the commands. May he be an increasingly defeated foe!

1. “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry….and I do not want you to become sharers in demons…” I Cor. 10:14-21

2. “….and do not give the devil an opportunity.” Eph. 4:27 Continue reading Commands in the New Testament to Believers Re: Satan & Demons

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INTRODUCTION – We get what we expect in life. “I was a terrible student, so I can’t really expect them to be any different.” Our Society and American culture has greatly lowered the bar or standard, and the consequences of that have been devastating.

When the Duke of Windsor was asked what impressed him most in America, he replied, “the way American parents obey their children.” Continue reading What We Should Expect From Our Children or Defining the End Product of our Parenting

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INTRODUCTION – possible class topics to be covered (subject to change)

Prov. 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision (or revelation), the people are unrestrained (cast off restraint or are discouraged), But happy is he who keeps the law.”

Very few parents that I have known over the years have a clear vision or understanding or revelation from God and His word about what they are clearly called to be and do as parents.

Most parenting books give more advice on the practical aspects of parenting like: how to get them to sleep at night; how to help them stay motivated in school; how to help them get along with people; how to get them potty trained; how to keep them from getting on drugs and drinking alcohol. Continue reading A Parent’s Building Permit

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For a whole variety of reasons, our society in the West is becoming increasingly fragmentized, individualized and relationally dysfunctional. More people are spending more time behind either a computer screen, phone screen or the T.V. screen, and thus less time building relationships with God and with people. The skills and attitudes and convictions that are necessary for building healthy family relationships and for working effectively alongside others in the marketplace and in our communities are becoming more and more rare. Even believers are getting sucked into this lifestyle – justifying their lack of connectedness with claims like: “I can worship God alone on the beach with my Ipod. I don’t need to belong to a church to do that.”

None of this catches our God by surprise. He knew when He created humanity in His image (which among other things means He has built in us the capacity for harmonious relationship and community that the godhead has walked in for all of eternity) (see Gen. 1:26,27) – God knew that sin and Satan and the world system that Satan controls would come after this capacity and need for relationship with a vengeance. God’s solution was to create a people (see Gen. 12:1-3) among whom He would dwell – a people that would demonstrate the vibrancy of life that comes from being in intimate relationship with Him and with one another. Continue reading Why We Believe in the Local Church

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Fall 2004
INTRODUCTION –
Definition of Baptize: Baptizo – dip, immerse, wash (in non Chr. Lit. also plunge, sink, drench, overwhelm); fig. soak; from Walter Bauer’s Greek English Lexicon p. 131

I. John’s Prophecies/Proclamations of: Matt. 3:11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Cf. Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16; John 1:26, 33;

II. Jesus’s Prophecies/Proclamation of: Acts 1:5 “for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Questions: Were not the disciples already saved before this happened? (cf. Luke 10:20; John 15:3) Had Jesus not already given them the Holy Spirit? (see John 14:16,17; John 20:22) What was the intended purpose? To make them a part of the body of Christ, or to fill them with power and enablement for their task? (note Acts 1:8 that follows Acts 1:5 & Luke 24:47-49) Continue reading A Study of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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Both in Charismatic and Non Charismatic circles, I’ve noticed over the years the phrase “filled with the Holy Spirit” is used rather loosely and sometimes presumptuously. So this study is designed to ground us a little more in the scriptures, and hopefully stir up greater hunger for more of the fullness of the Holy Spirit – especially as we see the results of those who went before us.

Definition of “filled” – in NASV Concordance
4092a; gr. Word = pimplemi; to fill full of.
4134 = pleres = full
4137 = pleroo from 4134 = to make full; to complete

Examples of Individuals

John the Baptist Luke 1:15
“filled with” 4092a
Manifested in self control (“no wine or liquor)(1:15)
Results: evangelism “will turn many back to the Lord” (1:16)

Elizabeth Luke 1:41
“filled with” 4092a
Manifestation: “baby leaped in womb” (1:41)
Results: “cried out with a loud voice” & prophesied over Mary (1:42) Continue reading “Filled with or Full of the Holy Spirit”

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I. The Historical Background of the Development of Cities

II. One of the reasons God judges cities is because it is He who gives man the ability to even establish and live in a city, and yet man often ignores Him.
Psalm 69:35 Psalm 107:35,36 Psalm 127:1 Deut. 3:19
Deut. 8:10-20 Isa. 22:11 Jer. 5:17 Hosea 8:14, 13:10
Acts 17:24-31

III. God sees cities as whole units and often judges and punishes them as a unit.
A. God’s judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 18, 19). (cf. Ezek. 16:49,50; II Peter 2:6; Jude 7).

B. In Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua you see God judging cities by directing His people to annihilate various cities for several reasons. 1.
2. 3.

C. The City of Ashdod, the ark of God, & tumors. I Sam. 5:9

D. Jerusalem was judged by God a number of times throughout its long history, because of its disobedience and rebellion (Jer. 5:1-6). Nehemiah’s ministry (Neh. 1:3, 2:5, 13:18) Continue reading A Biblical Theology of God’s Revelation Regarding Cities

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After my son became lead pastor one of the many things we are taking a fresh look at is how ministers of the gospel should think and feel about being paid by the church; and how the church ought to think and feel about paying ministers of the gospel. This little study came out of those discussions.

Attitude of Minister Re: Pay or Remuneration from the Church:

“Not peddling the word of God” – II Corinthians 2:17

“As poor yet making many rich, as having nothing yet possessing all things” – II Corinthians 6:10

Content with little or much Phil. 4:11-13: I Tim. 6:8

Not coveting anyone’s anything – Acts 20:33

More blessed to give than to receive – Acts 20:35 Continue reading Attitudes of Minister & Church Re: Pay or Remuneration

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