Studies

“There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes Yet is not washed from his filthiness.” Prov. 30:12

In my previous and first study on this whole subject of Cleansing, we focused on knowing and trusting our Savior as One who came to cleanse us from all sin and defilement until the day that we are with Him face to face.

In this study I want to focus on our role in this all important call from our Savior to be continually cleansed. Then I hope to follow this study up with some very practical steps for developing a lifestyle of being daily washed and cleansed from sin, defilement and corruption.

The reality sadly in the body of Christ today is that many of us have been able to serve and minister and seemingly be used (sometimes greatly) of the Lord, and yet have huge blind spots as to our own personal need for inner transformation and cleansing. Continue reading The Call to Purity – The Believer’s & Church’s Role in Being Cleansed from Sin

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The Cleansing/Purifying Work of the Savior/Messiah

In some circles of the body of Christ there is great emphasis on the initial saving work that Jesus does when unregenerate sinners turn to Him for salvation (justification). And well there should be an emphasis throughout the body of Christ on this wonderful saving work, and our role in it. But it is crucial that we all know that Jesus our Savior does not stop or slow down once God has “delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13).

While there is an initial and wonderful cleansing work by our Savior when we are born again (see Titus 3:5), He continues to cleanse us from the roots and foundations until the day we are finally and ultimately saved or delivered (glorification), and forever joined with Him in heaven. Sadly many seem to be unaware of or not sufficiently aware of and embracing this current work of our Savior.
So the following scriptures are given so that we can all know and experience Him as the great Purifier and Cleanser of His people. May He reveal Himself to you in this way as never before as you meditate on these scriptures.

“….For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.” Malachi 3:2,3

It is interesting to me that the very last prophetic portrait we find in the Old Testament of the coming Messiah emphasizes that He will come to purify and refine – starting with the leaders and shepherds of His people. Malachi prophesies that this must happen or else the leaders of His people cannot please the Lord with their service. Jesus isn’t into our sacrifice for Him. He wants clean vessels. He wants all the filth and corruption and defilement that we have acquired over our years on this sin filled planet to be completely cleansed. This is one of the main reasons for His coming.

” 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 with fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11,12 (cf. Luke 3:16)

The metaphor of fire is again used of the coming Messiah’s ministry as John the Baptist paves the way not just for His coming, but for why He is coming. Some have taught that being baptized with fire has to do with having passion and zeal. But that is not in keeping with Malachi 3 nor is it in keeping with the rest of this passage. The fire both Malachi and John speak of is a fire that burns away anything and everything that is unclean and that is not pleasing to the Lord. The winnowing fork has a similar purpose of separating the good from the bad or the wheat from the chaff.

“and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.” Acts 15:9

In this historic theological debate the early church leaders had as described in Acts chapter 15, Peter eventually stood up and reminded them all of how God had sovereignly led him to Cornelius’s house, where he found a house full of Gentiles, all of whom evidently responded in faith to his message, were born again by the Spirit of God, and experienced that initial cleansing that Jesus does with all of us, when we place our faith in Him as our Savior. I would point out here that both our initial cleansing when we first come to the cross, and our cleansing from then on all happens by faith in what Christ has done for us on the cross, and for what He has made available to us by His precious blood.

“Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” I Cor. 6:11

Paul here speaks to the church in Corinth – reminding them of the initial washing of their sins they received by the blood of Christ when they were born again.

“…..just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thin; but that she would be holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27

This passage speaks to both the initial cleansing that took place when we placed our faith in Christ; and the ongoing cleansing that takes place as He works to cleanse us from all of our spots and wrinkles – perfecting holiness and blamelessness in our lives. BTW – husbands – this passage is placed in the longest most thorough passage in the Bible about marriage, wherein Paul reveals that we have the privilege and responsibility of washing our wives with the word of God. If you are not in the habit of reading the scripture to your wife every day, I want to highly recommend that you do so.

“who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Titus 2:14

One of the major reasons Jesus Christ laid His sinless life down for us and allowed evil men to beat Him and nail Him to a criminal’s cross is to break the hold of lawlessness on us, and to so cleanse and purify us – that we would become a united people, who gladly submit to His Lordship, and zealously go about doing His work on the earth until He returns.

“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5

When Jesus invaded our lives and decided to save us from our sins, He made us new creatures with a clean slate – washed by the blood of the Lamb.

“how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:14

For many of us, by the time Christ saved us, our consciences were greatly soiled and stained. We had engaged in all kinds of sins of the tongue and the mind and heart; sins with our eyes; sins with our hands; not to mention all the things He wanted and expected us to do that we never did. One of the wonderful aspects of our salvation is the deep deep cleansing of our consciences by the blood of Jesus so that we can effectively serve the living God.

“and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:21,22

The idea here is as believers, since Jesus is such a great high priest over and for His people, we can at any moment of any day draw near to Him – by faith trusting that He will by His blood sprinkle our hearts clean from an evil conscience, and He will wash our bodies from all defilement. This is something we are invited and expected to do continuously.

“but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” I John 1:7

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

For much of my Christian life, I have taken vs. 9 of I John to refer solely to my confessing my sins to God alone. But the discussion in context is enjoying fellowship with other believers. And that fellowship can only kick in, and edify us if we are being honest with one another about our sins. Not every sin to every believer we know (obviously). The Holy Spirit must lead us. But it should be happening regularly. And as it does, He is more than faithful to cleanse us from all sin and unrighteousness. He wants our fellowship with each other to be real and edifying and life giving far more than we do. And He is able and committed to provide the cleansing necessary for this to happen as we get our sins out in the light with each other and with Him.

Jesus Christ never sleeps. He is heaven bent on cleansing each of His sons and daughters from “all unrighteousness”. He will tirelessly and graciously do this until the day we are with Him. May He receive the honor and glory He so deserves for this wonderful freeing and life giving work!

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On July 16th of this year I posted a blog entitled, “Oneness Challenged”. I’ve had some months since to continue to try to understand and pursue this God created oneness with my wife. So I thought it might be helpful to revisit oneness in marriage with a little more Biblical exposition. This is just a start, but there is enough herein to make it worth posting.

The first inkling we get of the call to marital oneness appears in Genesis 1:26, 27.
Genesis 1:26,27 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Continue reading Marital Oneness – Revisited

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This little study was motivated by our church name change from “Los Osos Christian Fellowship” to “The Well – Los Osos” . The enemy of our souls loves to lie to us in our times of great difficulty that there is no hope; that our sin or someone else’s is just too great. May the Lord continue to convince us of the unfathomable depths of resource we have in Him for every challenge and battle and difficulty and impossibility we will ever face, and may we ever know Him as the life giving Well, Fountain, Spring, and River.
Continue reading Well, Wells, Fountain, Fountains, Spring, Springs, River, Rivers in the Old & New Testaments

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INTRODUCTION – God has revealed Himself, and Jesus especially revealed God as a God who is living and active and always working. This study is designed to both convince us of that and then show us what to do about it. Sadly while many of us would identify ourselves as evangelicals, in our daily experience and expectation we function more as Deists. That is – we say we believe in the God the Bible reveals, but we rarely expect to see Him working in our daily lives and circumstances. Much less do we regularly speak of His working in our lives and circumstances and spheres of influence. In these last days, the Holy Spirit is going to turn this around I do believe.

The occasion of or motivation to put this study together came last week when I had the opportunity to teach our elementary Children’s church class, and also when I had the opportunity to preach/teach at “The Gathering Place” in Morro Bay last Saturday night due to my pastor friend’s health challenges late in the week. Continue reading God at Work

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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. Continue reading A Survey of Church Leadership in the New Testament

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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. 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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