Studies

I’ve been sitting on this unfinished study for a while, and sensed this morning that it is too important to let it gather dust. And who knows when I will finish it, as I’m always having to dive into other studies, sermons, lessons, etc. It was striking as I began to gather these passages that almost every book in the New Testament has at least one. Ephesians is one of the few exceptions, which very possibly is because it was meant to be more of a circular letter than a specific one to specific problems.

May this study especially help the leaders of Christ’s church effectively shepherd and watch over the sheep entrusted to us.

Matthew 16:6,11, 12 “And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”    “How is that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Characteristics/Actions of: (false) “teaching” that “leavens” (spreads) and affects others negatively.

Our Responsibility: “Watch out”; “beware of the leaven”; “beware of the leaven”

Matthew 24:23,24 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”

 Characteristics/Actions of: “false” “mislead”                    

Our Responsibility: Don’t believe them

Mark 12:38-40 “In His teaching He was saying; “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.”

Characteristics/Actions of: live and minister to be seen, noticed, respected, admired; devour widows’ houses

God’s response: they will “receive greater condemnation”

Our/Their Responsibility: Beware of the scribes

Mark 13:5,6 “And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. “Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “mislead”

Our Responsibility: See to it that no one misleads us

Mark 13:21-23 “And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “false”  “lead astray”

Our Responsibility: “do not believe him/them”; “take heed”;

John 13:21-27 Jesus telling the 12 that one of them will betray Him. No one knew who. But it could be said because they were not filled with the Spirit and mature yet. 

Characteristics/Actions of: “will betray Jesus”

Their Responsibility: n/a

Acts 20:28-30 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “savage”; “not sparing (or having mercy on); “speaking perverse things”; “draw away the disciples after them”

Their/Our Responsibility: “Be on guard for ourselves and our/His flock”; 

Romans 16:17,18 “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “cause dissensions and hindrances…”; “slaves of their own appetities”; “smooth and flattering speech”

Our Responsibility: “keep our eye on them”; “turn away from them”

I Corinthians 5:7, 11 “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed….. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler – not even to eat with such a one.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “immoral, covetous, idolater, reviler, drunkard, swindler”

Our Responsibility: “clean out”; “not to associate with”; “not even to eat with such a one”

II Corinthians 11:12-15 “But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “…desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are/as their leaders”; “false” “deceitful” “disguising themselves  as apostles of Christ”;

Our Responsibility: n/a

Galatians 2:4 “But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “false brethren”; “sneaked in….to spy…to bring us into bondage”

Our Responsibility: n/a

Galatians 4:17 “They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “They..seek you…so that you will seek them”

Our Responsibility:   N/A                                                                 

Galatians 5:12 “I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “troubling you”

Our Responsibility: n/a/

Galatians 6:12,13 “Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.”

Characteristics/Actions of: They “..desire to make a good showing in the flesh”

Motivation: “so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ”;   “…so that they may boast in your flesh”

Our Responsibility: n/a

Philippians 3:2 “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;”

Characteristics/Actions of: “dogs, …evil workers…false circumcision”

Our Responsibility: “Beware”

Philippians 3:18, 19 “For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “enemies of the cross of Christ”; their “god is their appetite”; their “glory is in their shame”; they “set their minds on earthly things”

Our Responsibility: n/a

Colossians 2:16-19 “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.”

Characteristics/Actions of: They “judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or new moon or Sabbath day”; they “defraud (believers)  of their prize by delighting in self abasement and the worship of the angels, taking (their) stand on visions (they) have seen; they are “inflated without cause by (their) fleshly minds”; they do not “hold fast to the head”; 

Our Responsibility: we are not to allow them to do these things to us (vs. 16)

II Thess. 3:2,6,14 “and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith…. Now we command you, brethren in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us.”

Characteristics/Actions of: they are “perverse and evil men”; they do not “have faith”; they (“brother”)“lead unruly lives, not according to the tradition (laid down from the apostles)”;  

Our Responsibility: “keep away from these men” “brothers”

I Tim. 6:3-5 “If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.”

Characteristics/Actions of: They “advocate a different doctrine and do not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness”; They are “conceited and understand nothing”; They have “a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.”

Our Responsibility: n/a

II Tim. 3:1-9   This description is clearly of lost men, who most likely are involved in cults or quasi religious groups or liberal churches. The command is to “avoid such men as these.” The promise is, “…their folly will be obvious to all.”

II Tim. 4:3,4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

Characteristics/Actions of: “they will not endure sound doctrine”; they “want to have their ears tickled”; “they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires”; they “will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths”. 

Our Responsibility: n/a

II Tim. 4:10a, 14,15 “for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica… Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching.”

Characteristics/Actions of: Demas “loved this present world”; he “deserted (him)”; 

Alexander “did (Paul) much harm”; “vigorously opposed our teaching”

Our/Their Responsibility:  “Be on guard against him”

Titus 1:10-16            “For there are many rebellious men….”

Characteristics/Actions of: “rebellious”, “empty talkers”, “deceivers”, they “upset whole families”, they “teach things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain”, they “pay attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth”, “defiled”, “unbelieving”, “both their mind and their conscience are defiled”, “they profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him”, they are “destetable”, “disobedient”, “and worthless for any good deed”.

Our Responsibility: “they must be silenced”; “reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith.”     

Titus 3:9-11 “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.”

Characteristics/Actions of: They engage in “foolish controversies”, “genealogies”, “strife”, and “disputes about the Law”. They are “factious”, “perverted”, “sinning”, “self-condemned”. 

Our Responsibility: “Avoid” such conversations. “Reject” a “factious man after a first and second warning” – – (so we must provide the warnings first). 

II Peter 2:1-22 “But false prophets also arose among the people…”

Characteristics/Actions of:   “false”; “will secretly introduce destructive heresies”; will “deny the Master who bought them”; “in their greed they will exploit you with false words”; 

Results of: “bringing swift destruction upon themselves.”; “many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned”; 

Our Responsibility:   n/a

Promise of God’s Response: “their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep”; 

II Peter 3:3,4, 17

I John 2:4, 9, 11, 18, 19, 22, 23, 26                        

I John 3:7,8, 10          

I John 4:1-6, 20

II John 7, 9-11

III John 9, 10

Jude 4-16, 18-19,

Revelation 2:2, 14, 15, 20

Overall Observations:

Jesus affirmed/commended the church in Ephesus for how they heeded these warnings: “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;” Revelation 2:2

Jesus rebuked the church in Pergamum because of the opposite: “But I have a few things against you, because you have there (in the church) some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some (in the church) who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.” Revelation 2:14,15

Jesus rebuked the church in Thyatira in a similar way: “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” Revelation 2:20

Please note that in each instance where Jesus rebukes these churches He promises to deal with the problem Himself if they do not adequately and fully repent.

Why would church leaders not heed these warnings?

  1. We haven’t had eyes to see them.  We tend to focus on the more positive and encouraging passages in scripture.  Also lack of systematic reading through the Bible keeps us from seeing re-ocurring themes.
  2. We don’t want to be judgmental. Jesus and Paul often warn against unrighteously judging others (e.g. Matt. 7:1f & Rom. 14:4, etc.)

3.  In charismatic/pentecostal churches, the gifts of the Spirit are valued.  Thus when people appear to be anointed to prophesy or heal the sick, we tend to overlook unrighteousness or ungodliness in their lives.  (see Matt. 7:21-23; 24:24)

So how should we respond to these warnings:

  1. Pray for growth in discernment and loving others with God’s love and in God’s way. Phil. 1:9-11 (see also Proverbs 2:1-10)
  2. Pray for courage to speak the truth in love regardless of the initial consequences. Fear of man is a significant obstacle herein.
  3. Give time for the Lord to make things clear. Motives are hard to discern, and ultimately only God knows the heart.  ( I Sam. 16:7; Matt. 13:29,30; )

I Cor. 4:5 “Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”

I Cor. 11:19 “For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.”   Sometimes when there is dissension and factions, God uses it to help us see who is truly with us and of us by the mature way we respond to these things.

  • Pray for the purity and cleansing of the church and that holiness will be pursued with more passion. The more holy she is, the more discerning she will be. 
  • Keep in mind the balance or overall perspective in each of the books that these warnings come in.  We must never lose sight of the power and glory and faithfulness of our God and of the church’s Head – Jesus Christ.
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The Psalms were a huge part of the early church’s life and worship together. They were meant to be a huge part of our church life and worship as well. This is made clear by at least three of the apostle Paul’s directives: First in I Corinthians 14:26, in the general context of the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit when we gather together corporately, he explained, “What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” Next in Ephesians 5:18-21, again in the context of gathering for corporate worship with other believers, Paul commands, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;….”. Finally in Colossians 3:14-17, again in the context of body life, Paul commands, “……Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God…”. Please note the psalms are always mentioned first. And when you get a chance, note how many times Paul quotes the Psalms in his epistles. They obviously were a significant part of his life and ministry. May they ever be more a part of ours!

The Blessing of Forgiveness and Cleansing of Sin & God’s mercy toward we sinners:     

                       Psalm 32:1,2 “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!”                                                                                      

Psa. 86:5 “ For You Lord are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.”                                                                    

Psalm 103:3 “Who pardons all your iniquities…”                                                                     

Psa. 103:10 “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.”                                                                                                     

Psa. 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

Our posture towards God and sin:                                                                                    

Psa. 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.”                                                                                                                       

Psa. 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”

Prayers for forgiveness, cleansing, healing, mercy re: our sin:                                    

Psa. 25:7 “Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.”                               

Psa. 25:18 “Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins.”                  

Psa. 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin.”

Psa. 39:8 “Deliver me from all my transgressions; Make me not the reproach of the foolish.”                                                                                                                               

Psa. 41:4b “As for me, I said, “Oh Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”                                                                                                            

Psa. 51:1 “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.”                                    

Psa. 51:2 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity  And cleanse me from my sin.”     

Psa. 51:7 “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”                                                                                                                   

Psa. 51:8 “Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.”                                                                                                                                 

Psa. 51:9 “Hide your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.”                         

Psa. 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”                                                                                                                      

Psalm 51:11 “Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”                                                                                                                

Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.”                                                                                                                              

Psalm 51:14 “Deliver me from bloodguiltiness O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.”                                             

Psalm 51:15 “O Lord, open my lips That my mouth may declare Your praise.”    

Psalm 79:8 “Do not remember the iniquities of our forefathers against us; Let Your compassion come quickly to meet us, For we are brought very low.”            

Psalm 79:9 “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.”

Prayers for illumination/revelation of sin & blind spots:                                                             

Psa. 19:12 “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.”                               

Psa. 19:13 “Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.”

Psa. 26:2 “Examine me O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart.”                   

Psa. 139:23,24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”

God & our sin:                                                                                                                      

Psa. 14:1-3 “The fool has said in his heart,”There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good. The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”  (cf. Psa. 53:1-3)   

Psa. 65:3 “Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You forgive them.”                     

Psa. 65:5 “O God, it is You who knows my folly, And my wrongs are not hidden from You.”                                                                                                                                  

Psa. 90:8 “You have placed our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.”                                                                                                            

Psa. 103:10 “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.”                                                                                                  

Psa. 130:3,4 “If you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.”                                                   

Psa. 130:8 “And He will redeem Israel From all his iniquities.”                                      

Psa. 143:2 “And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no man living is righteous.”

Intimacy with God and call to Holiness:                                                                          

Psa. 15:1-5 “O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?…”

Guarding Against Sin:                                                                                                       

Psa. 39:1 “I said, “I will guard my ways That I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle While the wicked are in my presence.”                  

Psa. 119:11 “Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”

Sin’s Consequences:                                                                                                                     

Psa. 31:10 “For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, And my body has wasted away.”                               

Psa. 32:3,4 “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away  Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.”                                                        

Psa. 38:3-10 “There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation; There is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities are gone over my heard; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me. My wounds grow foul and fester Because of my folly……..”                                                                                   

Psa. 38:18 “For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin.”              

Psa. 40:12 “For evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head.”                                                                                                                          

Psa. 41:4 “As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”                                                                                                                         

Psa. 65:3 “Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You forgive them.”

Psa. 66:18 “If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;”               

Psa. 107:17 “Fools, because of their rebellious way, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.”

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In preparation for our Good Friday service, I sensed the need to put on one sheet as many of the purpose statements as I could find of why Jesus had to die on the cross. Like so many other things in the kingdom, we tend to think we know this, and tend to be a bit simplistic in talking about it to others. May meditation on these purpose statements result in greater devotion to Him, and greater effectiveness in speaking of the cross to others.

  

Romans 8:3,4 “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” 

Romans 14:9 “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”

II Corinthians 5:15 “And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”

II Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Galatians 1:4 “Who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever more. Amen.”

Galatians 4:4,5 “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”

Ephesians 2:15,16 “by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.”

I Thessalonians 5:9,10 “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.”

I Timothy 2:5,6 “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.”

Hebrews 2:9 “But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”

Hebrews 9:26 “Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”

Hebrews 13:12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”

I Peter 2:24 “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

I Peter 3:18 “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;”

I John 3:5 “And you know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.”

I John 4:10 “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.”

I John 4:14 “We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.”

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In preparation for Holy Week, I sensed the need for a tool to help us in our meditations on the greatness of our sin that required and led to the greatness of His sacrifice. Very easy to overlook or take for granted the greatness of His salvation and deliverance from the greatness of our sin and lostness.  Thus the notes that follow: (btw – I’ve had great difficulty of late trying to figure out the new wrinkles to this software. Thus the strange outline) 🙂

I. With respect to the understanding

A. Blindness

  1. We were spiritually blind a. Isa. 42:6,7 “a light….. to open blind eyes” b. Rev. 3:17 “…and you do not know that you are …blind…” c. II Cor. 4:4 “..the god of this world has blinded the minds…”

2. We were in darkness a. Prov. 4:19 “the way of the wicked is like darkness….”

b. Eph. 4:18 “being darkened in their understanding”

c. Col. 1:13 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness…”

B. Defilement and futility

  1. We were defiled (Titus 1:15) “..their mind and conscience are defiled.”

2. We were futile  (Romans 1:21) “…they became futile in their speculations..” Eph. 4:17 “..in the futility of their mind,

II. With respect to our flesh

A. Indulging without restraint

  1. The lusts of our flesh was our life

a. Eph. 2:3 “..lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the…”

b. Eph. 4:19 “..over to sensuality..of every kind of impurity..”

III. With respect to our wills

A. Enmity with God

  1. Rom. 8:7 “the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God…”

2. Jas. 4:4 “..friendship with the world is hostility toward God..”

3. Jude 1:11 “…and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”

B. Hatred of God

  1. Rom. 1:30 “haters of God”

2. John 7:7 “..but it hates Me because I testify of it that its deeds…”

3. John 15:18,23,24 “..you know that it has hated Me….”

C. Hardness of heart

  1. Matt. 19:8 “Because of your hardness of heart Moses….”

2. Eph. 4:18 “ because of the hardness of their heart;”

D. Aversion/Reluctance/Obstinance

  1. John 5:40 “and you were unwilling to come to Me so that you..”

2. Rev. 2:21 “…she does not want to repent of her immorality.”

3. Deut. 31:27 “For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck”

4. Acts 7:51 “You men who are stiff-necked….”

5. Rom. 10:21 “..Stretched out My hand to a ..obstinate people”

6. Titus 1:16 “..being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed”

E. Bondage

  1. Jer. 13:23 “….who are accustomed to doing evil”

2. John 8:34 “..everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin”

Principles:

If the evil one brings up your sins, it is to condemn you (Rom. 8:1)

If the Holy Spirit brings up your sins, it is to cleanse and free you (I Jn. 1:9; Gal. 5:1)

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  1. Acts 2:37-41 – Peter ministering to the Jews 

What is it they heard? Vs. 37

How did they respond? Vs. 37

What is the first thing Peter commanded them to do? Vs. 38

2ndthing? Vs. 38

What is Peter’s promise if they respond appropriately?  Vs. 38

Note also his ongoing exhortation?  Vs. 40

Who were the ones who got baptized according to vs. 41?

What was the setting of this event?

As far as we know from this passage, what is true of every person who was baptized?

2. Acts 8:12,13 Phillip ministering to the Samaritans & Simon

What was Phillip proclaiming to the Samaritans? Vs. 5

Who was being baptized according to vs. 12?

What do we know about any response they might have made before they were baptized? Vs. 12

Who else got baptized there in Samaria?  Vs. 13

What did he do before he was baptized – or what preceded that? Vs. 13

3. Acts 8:26-39 – Phillip ministering to the Ethiopian Eunuch

Setting – Eth. Eunuch riding in his chariot back home from Jerusalem, where he had gone to worship, reading the book of Isaiah (ch. 53) outloud.

What did the Holy Spirit tell Phillip to do? Vs. 29

Did the Eth. Eunuch understand what he was reading?  Vs. 30,31

What was the Eth. Eunuch’s confusion re: Isa. 53?  Vs. 34

What did Phillip talk to this guy about? Vs. 35

How long might this conv. Have taken?  Vs. 35,36

Whose idea was it for the eunuch to get baptized?  Vs. 36

What came first baptism or belief?

What result did this experience have on the Eunuch? Vs. 39

4. Acts 9:17,18 – Ananias ministering to Saul/Paul (cf. 22:12-16)

How did Ananias address Paul?

What was his initial concern for Paul? 9:17; 22:14,15

How did Ananias feel about Paul potentially delaying baptism?  22:16

What things does Ananias command Paul to do in 22:16?

5. Acts 10:44-48 – Peter ministering to Cornelius and Gang

What is true of Cornelius and his comrades according to vs. 47?

How did Peter communicate to them that they should be baptized? Vs. 48 suggest?

6. Acts 16:14,15 – Paul, Luke, Timothy ministering to Lydia & family

What do we know about this lady Lydia from vs. 14?

Did she respond to the gospel?

Who all got baptized?

This is the first mention in the book of Acts of children possibly being baptized.

7. Acts 16:23-34 – Paul & Silas ministering to the Philippian Jailer & his family

What did Paul and Silas say was necessary to be saved?  Vs. 31

What did they do after this? Vs. 32

What did they do after this? Vs. 33

How did the jailer feel after all this?  Vs. 34

8. Acts 18:7,8    – Paul ministering to Crispus & family & other Corinthians

Who is he in vs. 7?

For he, his family and the other Corinthians there, what two things did they do starting with the letter b? vs. 8

Which came first?

2ndinstance of a whole family getting baptized.

      9. Acts 19:1-7 – Paul ministering to “disciples” at Ephesus

      Who is Paul talking to in vs. 2?  “some disciples”

       What did Paul do after they were baptized?  Vs. 6

       Why we do what we do.

Baptism and cleansing or washing:

Acts 15:9 “and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.” (see vs. 11 for statement of how one is saved)

Acts 22:16 “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”

Eph. 5:26 “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,”

Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.”

I Peter 3:21 “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you – not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..”

It appears from these verses that baptism has a cleansing effect of some kind. Though we know from other passages including the first one above that our cleansing from sin takes place as we place our faith in Christ’s sacrifice. Ultimately it is His blood that cleanses us from the deep rooted stains of sin. Perhaps one of the ways baptism cleanses us is by breaking our fear of man – especially when done in public for all to see.

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Knowing Jesus as King in the now and experiencing the glories of His kingdom in the now is the privilege of every son and daughter of God. If this is true, then we can count on spiritual opposition to this truth in many forms, even through well meaning teachers in the Church. I present this simple and incomplete study for those who want to know for sure what the scriptures teach re: this all important question.

I. Old Testament prophecies re: the Messiah/King

In Psalm 2:1-6 we see the first (I think) prophetic portrait of Jesus as King.  God the Father in vs. 6 says He has installed (past tense) “My King”. The emphasis or relevance of His kingship in this passage is His rule over other kings/government leaders.

In Isaiah 9:6,7 we see the establishment of Christ’s government. Note in vs. 7 the timing, “From then on and forevermore”.  Isn’t the timing of -“…the government will rest (literally “be”) on His shoulders” and “His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,…Prince of Peace” the same?  Should we stop calling Him the Prince of Peace on Christmas cards until the Millennium or until His return? 

In Isaiah 11:1-5 do we not see references to the earthly ministry of Christ? Granted vs. 6 seems to speak of the Milennium or the New Heavens and New Earth. But it is not unlike Isaiah to flip around like that.

In Isaiah 42:1,3,4 we see no reference to a future more perfect state; most believe this speaks of His earthly and present ministry on the earth.

In Zechariah 9:9 when he speaks of Israel’s king coming to them in the third line, does he (Zechariah) not describe how he will come in the fourth line (humble, and mounted on a donkey)?  Just because Israel as a whole rejected him (there were wonderful exceptions to this), His Kingship was not affected.

II. The wise men, Herod the king, and the “King of the Jews”

In Matthew 2 there is a wonderful contrast developed between Herod the king (little k) and Jesus the King (big K). These wise men wanted to know where is the one who “has been born Kingof the Jews”.   Does not Jesus Himself affirm this when he says to Pilate, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born(my emphasis), and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth…” John 18:37

III. Jesus Himself

In Matthew 18:23f when Jesus helps Peter and the disciples better understand why we must forgive as a lifestyle, does He not imply in speaking of a king of a kingdom that He Himself is one and the same?

In Matthew 22:1-14 was not the intended import of this parable the fact that Jesus Himself was a King of a kingdom, who was actively inviting folk to enter His kingdom, and who would deal severely with those who rejected this gracious invitation or who tried to enter His kingdom through some other way than the way He made available?

In Matthew 25: 31 and following certainly there is a final and complete inheritance (vs. 34) of His kingdom that those of us in His kingdom and who have as a lifestyle sought first His kingdom (Matt. 6:33) will receive, but our reception of it is based on how we operated in His kingdom in the now/in our lifetime.

See discussion above re: Jesus’s own words to Pilate in John 18:37

IV. Jesus’s Critics re: What Jesus Claimed of Himself in the Now

In Luke 23:2, please note Jesus’s critics’ accusation, “And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”

In John 19:12 we see a similar account, “As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a kingopposes Caesar.”

V. Those who knew and followed Him

Nathanael – “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the Kingof Israel.” John 1:49

The whole crowd of disciples – “…..the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (this quote as referenced in capital letters above is from Psalm 118:26

In Acts 17:5-7 the critics of the early church/apostles accused them based on what they knew they proclaimed about Jesus – “….saying that there is another king, Jesus.”

Paul’s proclamations to Timothy & those who would read his letters

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and

glory forever and ever. Amen.” I Timothy 1:17

“which He will bring about at the proper time – He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords.” I Timothy 6:15

Clearly Paul proclaimed Christ as King in the now, not merely in the future. 

     VI.          John’s proclamation in The Revelation

Revelation 1:5 “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth….” (this is not speaking of future eschatological events or times, and while he does not use the word “king” here, “ruler” has the same idea).  

The Holy Spirit, who inspired “The Revelation of John”, which is ultimately “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1), and who through this coveted book has sought to prepare His church for all that is to come before He returns, wants us to know the Son as the King, so we can trust Him when we see all the upheavals and godlessness and idolatry and rebellion in our human governments and among the other rulers of the nations. Sadly we have given more attention to timelines, than we have to the One who is “the beginning and the end.”

The resurrected martyrs of the Great Tribulation certainly knew Him and sang of Him as such as seen in Rev. 15:3.

The angel reassured the apostle John (and thus all His saints) that despite great attacks and evil schemes from rulers of the earth against the saints (17:6) and even against Jesus Himself (17:14), the Lamb would win “….because He is Lord of lords and King of kings,…”.

Clearly He wants us all to know Him as such since this name and title is on His robe and thigh for all to see, “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”  Rev. 19:16

VII. The Present Reality of His kingdom

Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  Jesus preached this simple message wherever He went. The whole basis and motivation to repent or reason to repent is the King and His Kingdom had invaded their time and space and reality, and thus their sins and darkness were exposed, and thus they needed to bow to King and be delivered out of the kingdom of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God (see Col. 1:13 below).

Matthew 12:28 “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

Luke 17:20, 21 “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

Colossians 1:13 “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”

CONCLUSION: So much more could be said about our glorious King and His kingdom especially from the book of Matthew wherein we see His kingship and Kingdom revealed more than in any other book. But hopefully this short study will make clear that we have the privilege of knowing Him as King and experiencing the joys and blessings of His kingdom in the now,  not just in the future, though granted our experience of Him and His kingdom will be far greater once Satan, sin, the flesh and the world are forever done away with. Come Lord Jesus, come!

      * Italics of the word “king” or “King” are my emphasis

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“The word of the Lord” appears in the New Testament – 16x’s in 12 verses. The purpose of this study is to help clarify the difference between the phrase, “The word of the Lord” and phrases such as “the word of God” and terms like “the scriptures”. At first appearance, they may seem to all refer to the same, but further investigation proves otherwise.

Scripture: Luke 22:61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” Tou logou tou Kuriou (from logos)

Comments: Something specific and personal and prophetic Jesus spoke to Peter.

Scripture: Acts 8:25 “So, when they had solemnly testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they started back to Jerusalem, and were preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.” Ton logon tou Kuriou

Comments: Is “the word of the Lord” herein the specific and personal rebuke that Peter spoke to Simon? And thus different from the gospel mentioned in the latter part of the verse? Appears to be so.

Scripture: Acts 11:16 “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” tou rhematos tou kuriou

Comments: Here Peter is referring to a specific prophetic declaration of Jesus made apparently more than once to His disciples re: the soon coming baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Scripture: Acts 12:24 “But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.” Logos tou Theou

Comments: Wouldn’t this refer to the preaching/proclamation of the gospel and the teaching of Christian doctrine (e.g. teachings of Jesus and prophetic O.T. passages re: Jesus) by the apostles and other disciples, as well as any specific, personal and prophetic words added in?

Scripture: Acts 13:44, 48-49 “The next Sabbath nearly the whole city assembled to hear the word of the Lord. … “ ton logon tou kuriou 48 “When the Gentiles heard this, they [began] rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” Ton logon tou kuriou 49 “And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.” O logos tou kuriou

Comments: Proclamation of Christ and His kingdom? What God is saying through His servants. Certainly would have been based or grounded in whatever scriptures they had available to them.

Scripture: Acts 15:35-36 “But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others also, the word of the Lord.” Ton logon tou kuriou 36 “After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, [and see] how they are.” Ton logon tou kuriou

Comments: The “word of the Lord” was taught, preached, and proclaimed by Paul, Barnabus and the “others”. Much of this ministry appeared to be to believers. The “word of the Lord” thus consisted of whatever the Holy Spirit led them to convey to these believers, again grounded and based in the scriptures available to them, but personal and specific to the audience.

Scripture: Acts 16:32 “And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.” Ton logon tou kuriou

Comments: “him” refers to the Philippian Jailer, who started to kill himself, presuming the prisoners had escaped. Paul intervened; he then wanted to be saved from his sins; and thus Paul began to minister “the word of the Lord” to him, which obviously had to be the gospel or good news re: Christ and His kingdom and how to enter it.

Scripture: Acts 19:10, 20 “This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. …” ton logon tou kuriou 20 “So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.” Tou kuriou o logos

Comments: The good news about Christ and His kingdom?

Scripture: 1 Thess. 1:8 “For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.” O logos tou kuriou

Comments: The good news about Christ and His kingdom?

Scripture: 1 Thess. 4:15 “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.” En logo kuriou

Comments: Paul appears to be claiming that what he and his co-workers were teaching the Thessalonians about the return of the Lord came straight from the Lord (for Paul at least through special revelation).

Scripture: 2 Thess. 3:1 “Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as [it did] also with you;” “o logos tou kuriou”

Comments: The good news about Christ and His kingdom?

Scripture: 1Pet 1:25 “BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” And this is the word which was preached to you. “ to de rhema kuriou

Comments: Taking into account vs. 23 wherein we learn we are born again “through the living and enduring word of God”, and then the latter part of vs. 25 that should literally read “And this is the word which was preached as good news to you”, we know first of all that “the word of the Lord” is this “word which was preached as good news to you.” We know that the apostles preached Christ/the good news in at least 3 ways: 1. Old testament scriptures pertaining to Him; 2. The actual words and teachings of Christ; 3. Revelations of Christ such as Paul received and spoke of in II Cor. 12.

“word” in vs. 23 in greek is logou from logos; “word” in vs. 24 both times in greek is rhema.

Questions: 1. How does “the word of the Lord” differ from “the gospel of the kingdom”?

2. What is the significance of rhema in Acts 11:16 & I Peter 1:25 as contrasted with the use of Logos in all the other passages?

3. While “the word of the Lord” clearly does not always refer to scripture, does it not include it in some of these references such as Acts 12:24, Acts 13:44, 48-49, I Peter 1:25, etc.? ?

Possible Definitions: The word of the Lord is the message conveyed through one of God’s servants that proclaims Christ and His kingdom in a specific and personal way to the audience grounded in or based in the scriptures.

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Knowing some years ago that I was more like the 12 disciples (who often did not see the value of children) than I cared to think, I decided to search the scripture for what God says about their value. The following study came from that search. May the Lord continue to help us all feel about children the way He does!

Children Are a Blessing and a Gift from God
Psalm 127:3-5 “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;…”
Psalm 128:1-4 “…..your children like olive plants around your table….” = sign of God’s blessing Continue reading SEEING CHILDREN AS GOD SEES THEM

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Some behavioral experts say the first six years of life are the most formative. For sure our years growing up with our parents and other relatives if they are close by have a lasting effect on the way we see and handle life.

Because of my own journey of self-examination particularly surrounding the decline and death of my father, and the experiences others have shared with me, I recently began to study in earnest the scriptural theme of what some call “generational sins”, sometimes referred to in scripture as the “sins of the fathers”. Continue reading Generational Sins Study

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“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. Continue reading Knowing Jesus as the Great Purifier/Cleanser of His People

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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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