Category Archives: Reflections

An Epiphany

Epiphany Sunday

Epiphany means…. A Sudden Realization of something…. 

But it also means Manifestation

Epiphany Sunday celebrates the Manifestation… the Revelation of God the Father in His Son Jesus Christ

IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS!!!

For some, it means writing with chalk on the front door to protect the house for the coming year. 

For some, if the Christmas decorations are not removed on the Twelfth Night, they must be kept in place for the entire year to avoid bad luck.

Today we will look at an Epiphany we can have in our walk with Jesus… we will look at how we can run well and leave a good legacy.

Typically, three moments in the life of Christ are recognized on this day… three moments that point to Jesus. 

1. Wise Men – Matthew 2:1-12… fell down and worshipped

Matthew 2:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

2. Baptism of Jesus – Matthew 3:13-17 (ESV)

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

3. Wedding in Cana – John 2:1-11 (ESV)

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 

When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 

11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

These three moments reveal God through Jesus Christ.

John 1:18 The Passion Translation (TPT)

18 No one has ever gazed upon the fullness of God’s splendor except the uniquely beloved Son, who is cherished by the Father and held close to his heart. Now he has unfolded to us the full explanation of who God truly is!

Jesus has the highest honor…

Philippians 2:9-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Not only do we have the Great Commission which commands us…

Matthew 28:16-20 New International Version (NIV)

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

But most importantly we are to raise up our children…

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 English Standard Version (ESV)

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 4:9-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children— 10 how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’

Psalm 78:4 English Standard Version (ESV)

We will not hide them from their children,

but tell to the coming generation

the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,

and the wonders that he has done.

We think often of our legacy… as we run the race we discussed last week, we think…  How can I leave a legacy? How can I leave a mark on the world? 

But too often, our legacy is all about us… about our name

We want to make sure people remember us… people to remember our victories, our trophies, our good works.

Our Legacy…. Only Jesus

Casting Crowns “Only Jesus” song…

Make it count, leave a mark, build a name for yourself

Dream your dreams, chase your heart, above all else

Make a name the world remembers

But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams

I got lost in the light when it was up to me

To make a name the world remembers

But Jesus is the only name to remember

And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy

I don’t care if they remember me

Only Jesus

And I, I’ve only got one life to live

I’ll let every second point to Him

Only Jesus

All the kingdoms built, all the trophies won

Will crumble into dust when it’s said and done

‘Cause all that really mattered

Did I live the truth to the ones I love?

Was my life the proof that there is only One

Whose name will last forever?

And I, I don’t want to leave a legacy

I don’t care if they remember me

Only Jesus

And I, I’ve only got one life to live

I’ll let every second point to Him

Only Jesus

Jesus is the only name

Jesus is the only name

Jesus is the only name to remember, oh

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The top 7 books I read in 2018

As I wait for my pork and sauerkraut to finish and usher in 2019 with the official family tradition, I look back over 2018 and the books I read that helped me to run the race with more passion and more grace, as God continues to grow me and make me into who I’m meant to be for His glory. If you want to grow, reading is a must!

We are all one Body, and our brothers and sisters have gleaned a lot to share with us that can be helpful on our walk with Jesus.

These are the top 7 books I’ve read in 2018:

The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero and The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero are both books that have changed me in too many ways to mention. I listen often to Scazzero’s podcasts. Scazzero strips away the noise of the world and points us to the stillness of God, and our need to be connected to our Father in silence and solitude. The Emotionally Healthy Leader is the leadership book that reminds us that before we can add anything to our lives to help us be a better leader, we must first draw near to our Creator. Our foundation should be on Jesus Christ, on the Word, and everything should flow from abiding in Him. Once we find ourselves spending time with God, we live from His presence, His truth, His grace, love and mercy. If we attempt to do anything else without this foundation, we miss out on what He always meant for us to have— a relationship with Him! The Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is a similar book with a similar teaching. The focus takes us into a more in depth look as us as individuals with God. We each have a need to draw near to our Maker and drink from the Spiritual Milk He provides. We are reminded that the past, the worldly noise— these things keep us from moving further in our walk. We take steps forward when our eyes are open to the wall of truth that we try to avoid. Just as Moses must veil his face after being in the presence of the Lord, we find ourselves leaving these books with a fresh encounter of His glory. Things are different. Life moves a bit more slower. God speaks a bit more louder. Or maybe we are just finally taking time to listen.

His Name, Salvation: A Collection of Essays to Edify Faith by Corby Shuey is a beautiful collection of essays that are evidence of much time spent diving deep into the Word of God and an ongoing journey of faithful obedience to serve our Father. Shuey speaks God’s Truth as one who has dealt with personal conviction and swam in the ocean of grace. He challenges readers to see the Truth in their own walk with Jesus Christ. He notes that there “has to be more to our faith than this simple repetition of obligations.” With each essay, we are pointed to the Word of God, we are encouraged to seek out God’s Truth, and reach for what has been missing in our faith journey. Shuey speaks about his own time spent “straddling the border between the desert and the promise.” Readers are reminded by Shuey of their own struggles with faith as they are reminded of “the noise of our own voices (which) drowns out the symphonic uttering of God’s voice through creation.” In this collection of essays, Shuey encourages us to quiet our own voices, to draw near to God, and to see clearly our error in worshipping God with a mask we have placed upon Him. We are left to reconcile our misteps in faith through repentance of sin and reverence for our Holy God.

Letters to the Church by Francis Chan is an eye opening book, one that cannot be pushed aside and forgotten. The book warrants a response. Readers are encouraged to open their eyes wide to where the Church is now, and how we have gotten far away from the road we were meant to travel. We are reminded of the Early Church, of simplicity, of connection, of what the Church is meant to be— and it leaves us with a need to respond. This is not a book to shame people to change their local church; Chan simply shares his insights from his personal walk and life of ministry. Nonetheless, the book leaves readers with an opportunity to look with more focused eyes at the local church and to be more intentional with ministry.

The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler is a game changing book that takes readers back to the beautiful, amazing, sweetness of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Readers are reminded of the Gospel— the true Gospel that we so often drift away from as we try to preach and live out our own interpretation of the Good News. We must wipe away anything we have added to the Gospel and take a step back to drench ourselves in the greatness of the Good News— the Gospel that cannot be changed, rewritten, or added to by mere man. We recognize that the Gospel has already been written, already been preached, and already been lived— and He is our precious Jesus. Let us share Him!

All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir by Brennan Manning is a phenomenal book. It is a book that was oozing of grace, reminding readers that we so often put on our Pharisee robes and forget that we, too, need Jesus— that we too are sinners saved by grace. Readers are left understanding that they fool themselves into thinking they are not “too bad” and they open their eyes to the truth, and freshly drink from the overflowing well of grace poured out by our Savior.

Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson is a fantastic book that helps you to understand that God speaks in many ways, including some ways we so often forget. The book leaves readers drawing near to God to hear— to listen— to want more of Jesus, and less of ourselves. Readers grow in their hearing ability and find themselves pausing to hear the still small voice.

As you enter into 2019, continue to draw near to God. He promises that as we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). What an amazing promise! Continue to dig deep into the Word of God, and read books written by those who have spent time with God— who can share their own testimony and what they have gleaned from the Spirit.

Blessings for 2019! God is good! Always!

Happy New Year!

A Fresh Start Outline

Starting Fresh for the New Year

What hinders you?

What prevents you from running well?

 

Hebrews 12:1-2 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 

2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

  1. Lay Aside Every Weight (anything that hinders… creates difficulties, slows you down, obstructs)
  2. Lay Aside Sin
  3. Run with Endurance
  4. Eyes on Jesus

 

Galatians 5:7-9 The Passion Translation (TPT)

7 Before you were led astray, you were so faithful to Messiah. Why have you now turned away from what is right and true? Who has deceived you?

8 The One who enfolded you into his grace is not behind this false teaching that you’ve embraced. Not at all! 9 Don’t you know that when you allow even a little lie into your heart, it can permeate your entire belief system?

[[Listen to Truth]]

1 Peter 2:1-12 The Passion Translation (TPT)

1 So abandon every form of evil, deceit, hypocrisy, feelings of jealousy and slander. 

[[CRAVE MILK]]… Sanctify by the Truth – Your word is truth – John 17:19

2 In the same way that nursing infants cry for milk, you must intensely crave the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word. For this “milk” will cause you to grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life— 3 especially now that you have had a taste of the goodness of the Lord Jehovah and have experienced his kindness.

[[KEEP COMING TO THE ROCK]]

4 So keep coming to him who is the Living Stone—though he was rejected and discarded by men but chosen by God and is priceless in God’s sight. 

5 Come and be his “living stones” who are continually being assembled into a sanctuary for God. For now you serve as holy priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices that he readily accepts through Jesus Christ. 

6 For it says in Scripture: Look! I lay a cornerstone in Zion, a chosen and priceless stone! And whoever believes in him will certainly not be disappointed.

7 As believers you know his great worth—indeed, his preciousness is imparted to you. But for those who do not believe: The stone that the builders rejected and discarded has now become the cornerstone

8 And a stone that makes them stumble and a rock to trip over. They keep stumbling over the message because they refuse to believe it. And this they were destined to do. 

[[EXPERIENCE HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT]]

[[SHARE HIS GLORIOUS WONDERS]]

9 But you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world. 

10 For at one time you were not God’s people, but now you are. At one time you knew nothing of God’s mercy, because you hadn’t received it yet, but now you are drenched with it!

11 My divinely loved friends, since you are resident aliens and foreigners in this world, I appeal to you to divorce yourselves from the evil desires that wage war within you. 

12 Live honorable lives as you mix with unbelievers, even though they accuse you of being evildoers. For they will see your beautiful works and have a reason to glorify God in the day he visits us.

 

Carols Series – Prepare Him Room Outline – Christmas Eve Message

Make Room for the King

“Joy to the World”

Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

OUR HEART NATURALLY DOESN’T WANT TO PREPARE ROOM  

WE ARE ALL SINNERS… WE ARE ALL IN NEED OF JESUS

 

Ezekiel 11:19 English Standard Version (ESV)

19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.

 

WHEN JESUS WAS BORN, THERE WASN’T ANY ROOM

Luke 2:7 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there wasn’t any room for them in the inn.

 

THE SHUNAMMITE WHO MADE ROOM

2 Kings 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. And she said to her husband, “Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. 10 Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.”

 

THE GREAT PROMISE OF GOD

Jeremiah 24:7 English Standard Version (ESV)

7 I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

 

How can we prepare Him room?

 

#1 Accept the love God offers

John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 5:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

#2 Draw near to Jesus through prayer and reading of God’s Word

James 4:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

#3 Honor Jesus with obedience

2 John 6 English Standard Version (ESV)

6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.

2 John 6 The Message (MSG)

4-6 I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father. But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other. Love means following his commandments, and his unifying commandment is that you conduct your lives in love. This is the first thing you heard, and nothing has changed.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come

Let earth receive her King

Let every heart prepare Him room

Carols Series: Gift for a King Outline

Gift for a King

Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

What did they bring? – Gifts fit for a king

  • Gold – King / Kingship [[KING]]
  • Frankincense – Priest / Priesthood / God [[GOD]]
  • Myrrh – Anointing Oil / Death / Humanity & Suffering [[SACRIFICE]]

 

Little Drummer Boy 

Come they told me / Pa rum pum pum pum

A new born king to see / Pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring / Pa rum pum pum pum

To lay before the king / Pa rum pum pum pum…

So to honor him / Pa rum pum pum pum

When we come…

I have no gift to bring Pa rum pum pum pum

That’s fit to give our king…

I played my drum for him / Pa rum pum pum pum

I played my best for him / Pa rum pum pum pum,

Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum

 

 

1. THANKSGIVING

Psalm 116:12-19 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,

14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people,

19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

 

2. LIVING SACRIFICE

Romans 12:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 

6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

3. YOUR HEART

 

Matthew 6:21 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Psalm 51:10 English Standard Version (ESV)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

 

Ephesians 3:14-19 The Passion Translation (TPT)

14 So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth 16 And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power. 17 Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.  

18–19 Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

Carols Series: Fall on Your Knees Outline

Worship the King

Matthew 2:1-12 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

O Holy Night

O holy night the stars are brightly shining

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new glorious morn

Fall on your knees

O hear the angels’ voices

O night divine

O night when Christ was born

O night divine o night

O night divine

 

Strong’s Concordance

barak: to kneel, bless

Transliteration: barak

Phonetic Spelling: (baw-rak’)

Definition: to kneel, bless

Showing respect, give something of value to another

 

Psalm 103:1-5 English Standard Version (ESV)

103 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

Psalm 103:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

14 For he knows our frame;

he remembers that we are dust.

 

Psalm 29:2 English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

Revelation: Coming Soon Series Outlines

Revelation: Coming Soon Series

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Week 1 – Revelation of Jesus Christ

[Revelation 1]

Revelation – apokalupsis ((p-ok-al’-oop-sis) means “Unveiling,” “Uncovering,” or “Revealing.”

All about revealing the majesty of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is coming soon.

Mentions events that will take place to purify His Church

The focus when reading must be JESUS, not to grasp the end time – remember, yes the end-time battle plan for the Church is revealed, but this is first and foremost the REVELATION OF JESUS

We have hope in Him alone.

Shouldn’t be afraid of Revelation

Love Jesus

Trust Jesus

The words of Revelation are passed along from Father God to Son Jesus Christ to the Angel to John (1:1-2)

Those who read the words of Revelation, listen and obey are BLESSED (1:3)

John has a calling to prophesy about the end times

John sends the letter to seven churches to equip the Church:

Overcome compromise 

Endure persecution

Engage in partnership with Jesus Christ

Partner together with Jesus to govern earth

Revelation 1:5-6 – Love us and made us priests and kings

Loves us (freed us from our sins)

Washes us (cleansing blood of Jesus)

Exalts us (made us a Kingdom of priests for God the Father)

EVERYONE WILL SEE HIM (1:8)

He’s coming on a cloud to earth to be received as King

He will prepare the earth for God to dwell with the people again. 

“Who is to come” (1:8)

Revelation 21:3 – “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” [ESV]

Revelation 1 includes the most descriptions of Jesus 

Son of Man (1:13)

Righteous Prophet

Merciful Priest (1:13)

Sovereign King (1:17)

Faithful Witness (1:5) – speaks truth

Firstborn among the dead (1:5) – 1st resurrected

Ruler of all kings of the earth (1:5) – authority over all

Alpha and Omega – beginning and the end (1:8)

The One Who is, Who Always Was, Who is Still to Come (1:8)

Almighty One (1:8)

The First and the Last (1:17)

The Living One (1:18)

Holder of the keys of death and hades (1:18)

Symbolism in chapter

7 Stars = angels of seven churches

7 Lampstands = seven churches

IT IS A SYMBOL WHEN ITS MEANING IS REVEALED

ONLY TAKE THE WORD AS WHAT IT SAYS. 

IF IT DOESN’T SAY THAT THERE’S A MEANING, TAKE IT LITERAL. 

REMEMBER, WE ARE DIGGING DEEPER TO KNOW HIM MORE!

Philippians 3:8 – What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ

Read Revelation 1:12. What does the title Son of Man mean?

 

Read Revelation 1:12-16. John describes Jesus in this passage. What does John say to describe these parts of Jesus and what does this mean? (How does John describe Jesus & what does it mean to you and your knowledge of Jesus)

Jesus’ eyes

 

 

Jesus’ voice

 

Jesus’ hair

 

Jesus’ garments

 

Jesus’ right hand

 

Jesus’ feet 

 

Jesus’ sword

 

Jesus’ face

 

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Week 2 – The 7 Churches

[Revelation 2-3]

Jesus spoke prophetically to 7 churches, calling them to be overcomers. He identified the issues that will most challenge the end-time church. He gives instructions on how to be prepared for His coming. These letters were written to the churches in John’s generation but we can glean a lot from them individually and as a church.

Each letter provides:

Revelation of Jesus

Affirmation for faithfulness (if faithful)

Correction for compromise (if required)

Promise of reward for overcoming

“The Angel of the Church” is the leader over the church. They guard the message and make sure it is not distorted.

Church in Ephesus [2:1-7] RETURN TO 1ST LOVE

Jesus revealed as the one who walks among the seven lampstands – remember these are the seven churches (2:1)

Affirmed for their diligent work & perseverance in standing for the truth (2:6)

Corrected for lacking love for Jesus & others while ministering – neglected to cultivate their 1st Love (2:4-7)

Overcomer promised fruit from tree of life in the paradise of God (2:7)

Church in Smyrna [2:8-11] – FAITHFULNESS IN SUFFERING

Jesus revealed as First & Last, dead but now alive (2:8)

Affirmed their love & perseverance in persecution (2:9)

No correction

Overcomer promised not to be hurt by the second death (2:11)

Church in Pergamos (Pergamum) [2:12-17] – CHURCH OF COMPROMISE

Jesus revealed as one with sharp two-edged sword (2:12)

Affirmed for faithfulness in not yielding to fear in persecution (2:13)

Corrected their compromise in tolerating immorality & idolatry (2:14)

Overcomer promised to eat hidden manna and receive a white stone (2:17)

Church in Thyatira [2:18-29] – COMMITTED YET TOLERATING IMMORALITY

Jesus revealed as Son of God, eyes like flames of fire, feet like polished bronze (2:18)

Affirmed their love, their faith, their ministry service, their patient endurance (2:19)

Corrected their tolerance of immorality (2:20)

Overcomer promised to have power over the nations and to receive the morning star (2:26, 28) – Jesus is “Morning Star” in Revelation 22:16

Church in Sardis [3:1-6] – REPUTATION WITHOUT SUBSTANCE

Jesus revealed as one who has sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars (3:1)

No Affirmation

Corrected their spiritual passivity – reputation of being alive but actually dead (3:1)

Overcomer promised to receive white garments and to not have name blotted out of the Book of Life and for Jesus to confess name before Father (3:5)

Church in Philadelphia [3:7-13] – FAITHFULNESS WITH ETERNAL REWARDS

Jesus revealed as one who is holy and true, has the key of David, He opens and no one can close—He closes and no one can open (3:7)

Affirmed for their faithfulness to Jesus – obeyed word & didn’t deny (3:8)

No correction

Overcomer promised to be made a pillar in God’s temple, and to have God’s name and Jesus’ new name written on them (3:12)

Church in Laodicea [3:14-22] – SPIRITUAL PRIDE AND LUKEWARMNESS

Jesus revealed as the one who is the Amen – the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation

No affirmation

Corrected for lukewarmness & spiritual pride (3:15-17)

Overcomer promised to sit on His throne with Him (3:21)

1) Read Revelation 2:4-5 What does it mean to abandon your first love? What causes you to abandon your first love for God?

2) Read Revelation 2:9-10 & James 1:12. What is the crown of life? Is it salvation or a reward? How does this encourage us during persecution?

3) Read Revelation 2:14-16. Though Pergamos remained loyal in Satan’s city, the church allows teaching like that of Balaam within its doors. What does this mean? How can this hurt the church?

4) Read Revelation 2:28, Revelation 22:16, and 2 Peter 1:19. What is the morning star we are given? 

5) Read Revelation 3:1-2. Why is there no affirmation for the church of Sardis, and what does this mean?

6) Read Revelation 3:12, 1 Peter 2:5, and Isaiah 22:23. What do these verses say about being pillars in the Temple of God? What does this mean?

7) Read Revelation 3:17-18. What does it mean to buy gold refined by fire from Jesus? Why is this “purchase” important?

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Week 3 – Beauty of God & Exaltation of Jesus

[Revelation 4-5]

Revelation 4 – most detailed description in Scripture of God’s beauty

Revelation 5 – gives insight into God’s plan to exalt Jesus as human King over earth.

God’s vast majestic resources (Revelation 4) are committed to establishing God’s plan for Jesus (Revelation 5).

Revelation 4 – BEAUTY OF GOD

Beauty of God’s PERSON (4:3)

Beauty of God’s PARTNERS (4:4)

24 thrones of 24 elders

Clothed in white, Gold crowns

Lay down their crowns before throne & worship (4:10-11)

Beauty of God’s POWER (4:5a)

Beauty of God’s PRESENCE (4:5b-7)

Revelation 4:8-11 – Government leaders in heaven worship God and declare His transcendent beauty. They glory or boast with delight in God as they honor and thank Him.

There are 14 Hymns in Revelation

4:8; 4:11; 5:9-10; 5:12; 5:13; 7:10; 7:12; 11:17-18; 15:3-4; 16:5-6; 19:1-2; 19:3; 19:5; 19:6-8

Their foundational hymn forever magnifies God’s holiness (4:8)

Holy – Set Apart

God is separated from everything sinful, thus He is pure.

God is separated from everything He created, thus transcendent or infinitely superior to all that exists. God’s holiness points to His transcendent beauty.

Revelation 5 describes the destiny of Jesus on the earth as a Man – fully God, fully Man.

Jesus has fierceness and fearlessness of a Lion (v. 5) and tenderness and humility of a Lamb (v. 6). He will forever be a Jewish man from the Tribe of Judah (v. 5)

Because of His obedience to death, God highly exalted Jesus in heaven and on earth 

Philippians 2:8-10 – And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [NIV]

Daniel prophesied Israel’s Messiah would receive the leadership of the Earth forever (Psalm 2:8, Daniel 7:13-14).

Colossians 1:18 – He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. [NASB]

Scroll is the action plan

Scroll is an Action Plan to judge, cleanse, and prepare the nations for Jesus’ rule over Earth, while bringing the Church to maturity and into unity with redeemed Israel.

Scroll is the Title Deed to the Earth

By taking the scroll, He accepted responsibility to cleanse and rule Earth.

Jesus is the only Man found worthy, deserving, and capable to take scroll from Father.

7 horns = all power; 7 eyes = all wisdom

Because He possesses all power and wisdom, He is qualified to open scroll.

Who is worthy? No one.

John wept bitterly.

He hears – Lion of Tribe of Judah.

He sees – Lamb Slain

Bowls of Incense – prayers of God’s people

Redeemer related to us, willing to do it, able to pay the price.

Jesus alone can open the scroll and read it:

Deserving – Redeemer, Creator, Proven Himself by making choice for Love and Righteousness

Capable – Able to open seals and administrate God’s judgments and rule forever. No one else has wisdom, humility, and power to lead.

Worthy – Worthy of our wholehearted love, our continual praise of His beauty, our confident trust in His leadership, and sacrificial obedience to His will.

Highest government council around throne. (Living angels – angelic, elders – human)

They fell awestruck before the worthy Man and boldly proclaimed their agreement with the Father’s decree to make Jesus supreme leader of whole Earth forever.

Sang new song – prophetic song indicating changing of season in God’s purpose.

Jesus inheritance includes full authority over 7 spheres of life – power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, blessing.

Power – Political

Riches – Financial

Wisdom – Intellectual

Strength – Physical/emotional

Glory – Spiritual

Honor – Relational

Blessing – Social

1) When Jesus finishes the letters to the 7 churches, what is the 1st thing John sees (4:1)?

 

2) As we consider Revelation 4-5, what part of heaven is the focus?

 

3) As we consider Revelation 4-5, what is the main activity occurring in heaven?

 

4) Read Revelation 4:8. What does this hymn state about God?

 

5) Read Revelation 4:11. What does this hymn state about God?

 

6) Read Revelation 5:9-10. What does this hymn state about God?

 

7) Read Revelation 5:7. What does Jesus do here? What does it symbolize? Why is it important?

 

8 Read Revelation 5:4. John weeps bitterly. Did he not know that Jesus was worthy to take the scroll and open it?

 

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Week 4 – Seals of Judgment

[Revelation 6-7]

(Revelation 6 – Chronological)

The Seal of Judgments against the kingdom of darkness

The 7 seals are literal, future, and sequential

1) White Horse (6:1-2) – Antichrist

Makes peace with many nations 

Daniel 9:26-27 – And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.

2) Red Horse (6:3-4) – Bloodshed / world war

3) Black Horse (6:5-6) – Famine / economic crisis

4) Pale Horse (6:7-8) – Death and Hades – Disease / death to ¼ of the world

Hades is prison where unbelievers go before going to the Lake of Fire after Millennium

5) Prayer Movement (6:9-11) – souls of all martyred under the altar

Saints ask God to avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth

6) Cosmic Disturbances (6:12-17) – earthquake, dark sun, red moon, stars fall, sky rolled up, mountains move

7) NEXT WEEK 

(Revelation 7 – Angelic Explanation)

The 144,000 – Jewish believers

God puts protective seal on His people before He strikes the earth (see Exodus 11:4-12:30)

Vast Crowd Too Great to Count – Gentile believers

John hears 144,000 – sees people from all nations 

Revelation 7:13-14 

Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?

These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white.

SOME BELIEVE DURING THE TRIBULATION

Just like Moses participated in prayer regarding God’s judgments on Pharaoh (Exodus 7-12) so the end time church will participate in prayer under Jesus leadership as He releases the great tribulation judgments on the Antichrist (Revelation 6-19).

1) What is accomplished through the Tribulation?

 

2) Read Revelation 6:9-11. 

What is different about the fifth seal compared to the first four seals?

 

Why does it say that they are under the altar?

 

3)  Read Revelation 6:15-17. 

This passage notes that the people hid themselves in caves. They cried out to the mountains asking that they fall on them and hide them from the One who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. Why do the people want to hide? Why do they fear the presence of the Lord?

 

The question is asked – “Who is able to survive?” Or “Who is able to stand?” What is the answer to this question?

 

4) Read Revelation 7:15-17. What are the ten eternal blessings mentioned?

 

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Week 5 – The Trumpet Judgments

[Revelation 8-9]

The 7th Seal includes releasing of the Trumpet Judgments on Antichrist Empire. This is in conjunction with the prayer of all the Saints (8:1-6).

Silence in heaven – ½ hour in anticipation of God’s judgments. (8:1)

Angel will be given heavenly incense to offer with the prayer of the Saints (8:3). This will provide a supernatural strengthening. Like Romans 8:26 notes, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

Trumpet judgments…

Destroy Antichrist’s resources – hinder Antichrist’s empire’s spread of evil and persecution by destroying natural resources

Are supernatural acts of God that warn non-believers of increased judgment by God and rage from Satan. Provides opportunity to be saved.

Encourages the Saints to pray with unity as they see the trumpets unfold.

These trumpets are literal, future, progressive (grow in intensity), and sequential

1) Food Supply (8:7) – 1/3 earth vegetation

2) Food Supply (8:8-9) – 1/3 earth’s seas

3) Water Supply (8:10-11) – 1/3 earth’s fresh water rivers & springs

4) Light / Energy Supply (8:12) – 1/3 of earth darkens

5) Torment (9:1-12) – demonic locusts released to torment for 5 months, people will seek to die (9:6)

6) Death (9:13-21) – 1/3 people on earth killed by demonic horsemen, response to request of people begging to die, this trumpet was commissioned by angel who serves at Golden Altar of Prayer to release 4 angels of death in answer to end-time prayer movement (8:3-5, 9:13)

They still refused to repent & turn to God. (9:20)

They worshipped demons and idols.

4 Demonic Strongholds in Society (9:21)

Murder

Witchcraft / Sorcery

Sexual Immorality

Theft

7) NEXT WEEK

10 Plagues of Egypt (Ex 7-12)

Prophetic types of foreshadowing of end-time plagues of trumpets and bowls of wrath

Remember what the plagues showed Pharaoh

Exodus 14:17-18 – My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops… When My glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see My glory and know that I AM THE LORD!

1) Read Revelation 9:1, 11; Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6. 

What does it mean in Revelation 9:1 that the fallen star was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit? Who is the fallen star?

 

2) Read Revelation 8:3-5, 9:13-14. 

Where was the angel?

 

What does the angel do at the Altar?

 

What is the result of the angel’s action?

 

3) As we read through Revelation, there are many parallels from Exodus. Consider these first five Trumpet Judgments. How do they parallel to the plagues of Egypt?

 

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Week 6 – Two Witnesses

[Revelation 10-11]

Revelation 10 – God promises to reveal new prophetic understanding (which comes through the 7 Thunders Prophetic Messages and the Two Witnesses)

Revelation 11 – The Two Witnesses will preach with great power and release God’s judgments against the Antichrist during the final 3 ½ years of Tribulation

Revelation 10 – Mighty Angel from heaven

Clothed by a cloud = glory in OT, judgment in NT

Rainbow over angel’s head = faithfulness

Face shown like sun = glory

Feet like pillars of fire = judgment

Revelation 10:2-3 

Small Scroll, Opened – perhaps the scroll Jesus opened

Stood with right foot on sea / left foot on land

Authority, sovereignty – claiming world for Jesus

Gave roar like a lion

Vengeance, lion ready to devour

Revelation 10:4 – Prophetic messengers to carry the 7 Thunders Prophetic Messages.

Thunder warns of impending judgment

Revelation 10:8-11 – Digest Word of God / Declare Word of God

John was commanded to take the open scroll

John requested it and was told to eat it

Bittersweet

Revelation 11:1-2 – Tribulation Temple? – Antichrist will use it. 

“Measure” means to evaluate carefully.

“1260 days” = 3 ½ years timeframe

The Two Witnesses are powerful prophets who will release God’s judgments on the Antichrist (like Moses did on Pharaoh’s empire).

Revelation 11:5-6 – Miraculous Powers of Two Witnesses

Calling fire down – protection

Withhold rain for 3 and ½ years

Turn water into blood

Bring plagues upon the earth

Jerusalem

Holy City – city Lord placed His name & glory (11:1)

Great City – great in importance and prominence in God’s plan (11:8)

Sodom – perversion (11:8)

Egypt – oppression (11:8)

Revelation 11:7-10 – Killed and raised from the dead before all the nations 

Nations will rejoice at their death because they see the Two Witnesses as those who torment them.

After raised from dead, called up to heaven as everyone watched

10th of the city destroyed, 7k people died, remaining people gave glory to God in heaven

Revelation 11:15 – The world has now become the Kingdom of Jesus Christ – Thanksgiving

Some scholars believe this is where Rapture occurs) – see 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

11:17 – God’s power is being proclaimed

11:18 – God’s plan is being accomplished

11:18 – God’s promise is being fulfilled

11:18 – God’s punishment is being declared

1) Read Revelation 10:9-11 and Ezekiel 3:1-3, 14. 

What happened for John & Ezekiel in these passages? 

 

Why is the message described as sweet yet bitter?

 

2) Read Revelation 11:1-2, Matthew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, and Revelation 21:22.

What was John measuring?

 

Is this Temple in heaven or on earth?

 

3)  Read Revelation 11:3-6 and Zechariah 4:2-7. The Two Witnesses are known as the two olive trees and the two lampstands. What could this possibly mean?

 

4) Remembering the first three trumpets (Revelation 8:7-11), what is the similarity we see with the power of the Two Witnesses?

 

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Week 7 – War & Victory

[Revelation 12-14]

Revelation 12 – War in heavens between Satan and Michael the archangel

Revelation 13 – War on earth between Antichrist and the saints

Revelation 14 – Jesus intervenes to empower church to victory

Revelation 12 – The Woman and the Dragon

The Woman – Faithful remnant of Israel (v. 6)

The Child – Jesus Christ (v. 5)

The Dragon – Satan (v.9)

WAR BREAKS OUT IN HEAVEN (v. 7-12)

Between Satan and Michael

Dragon (Satan) thrown down the earth (v. 10)

Remember, Satan has access to heaven until this point.

Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

END TIME PERSECUTION OF SATAN AGAINST GOD’S PEOPLE (v. 13-17)

Dragon tossed to earth results in him pursuing the Woman (Israel) even more (v. 13)

Deuteronomy 32:11-12 – Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on its pinions, the LORD alone guided him, no foreign god was with him.

v. 14 – Israel flees into wilderness to the place where she is nourished and protected from presence of Satan for 3 ½ years.

Revelation 13 – The Beast out of the Sea

1st Beast is the ANTICHRIST (v. 1)

Another Beast is the FALSE PROPHET (v. 11)

Unholy Trinity – Satan, Antichrist, & False Prophet

SATAN WORKS THROUGH ANTICHRIST AND FALSE PROPHET

Satan gives throne to the Antichrist who is a world leader (v. 2)

He has political, military, economic alliance with the ten nations

This gives the Antichrist the largest empire & most powerful army in history

The Antichrist is fully human, but fully demonized. He will claim to be God and will demand the whole earth worship him.

He will have authority but not total domination. Some will resist.

Daniel 12:1 – At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.

False Prophet is leader of future worldwide religious network to worship Antichrist.

1. Demon empowered public speeches will be backed up by miracles that will cause people to be deceived. (v. 12-13)

2. He will establish a worship system related to abomination of desolation. (v. 14-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

3. He will establish a worldwide economic system that forces nations to worship the Antichrist by the mark of the Beast on their hand or forehead to declare loyalty to the Antichrist. If mark is refused, cannot buy or sell. (v. 16-18).

Revelation 14 – Jesus intervenes

Jesus will supernaturally help the Church to come to victory.

1. 144,000 will be a model of victory for others. (v. 1-5)

John saw Jesus standing on Mt. Zion with the singers.

2. Eternal Gospel – 4 Proclamations Spirit will anoint (v. 6-13)

Glory to God (v. 7)

Judgment of the Harlot Babylon (v. 8)

Eternal Judgment (v. 9-11)

Eternal Rewards for faithfulness (v. 13)

3. 2-Fold Harvest – Salvation and Judgment (v. 14-20)

Swing the sickle, for the time of harvest has come; the crop on earth is ripe (v. 15)

1. Souls (v. 14-16)

2. Judgment (v. 17-20)

Grapes loaded into great winepress of God’s wrath (v. 19-20)

All kings on earth gathered in one area. Jesus will kill them in the winepress (Revelation 19:19-21)

Judgment = river of blood runs 180 miles 

Isaiah 63:1-6

1) Read Revelation 12:10-11.

How does this passage describe the devil?

 

How does the devil accuse you?

 

Does God ever accuse you? If so, how do you react?

 

How does this passage say we overcome?

 

2) Read Revelation 13:5-6.

What does it mean to blasphemy against God?

 

How do we blasphemy God?

How should we respond when someone blasphemies God? (Read Mathew 12:22-37 for a hint.)

 

3) Read Revelation 14:1. 

Where is the Lamb standing? Why is this important?

 

What is written on the foreheads of the 144,000? What does this mean?

 

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Week 8 – 7 Bowls of Wrath

[Revelation 15-16]

Revelation 15

7 angels  Last 7 plagues to bring God’s wrath to completion

The End Time believers are victorious over Antichrist and seen standing on sea of glass in heaven, singing about the greatness of the Lord. The Temple opens in heaven and the 7 angels receive 7 bowls.

Singing Song of Moses and Song of the Lamb

Great & marvelous works

Just & true ways

Temple filled with smoke from God’s glory & power. No one could enter Temple until all 7 angels finished pouring the bowls of wrath.

Revelation 16 – 7 Bowls of Wrath

Poured out over a 30-day period as Jesus marches up through Jordan (Edom) to fight the final battle of the Armageddon campaign in Jerusalem and to rescue the unsaved remnant of Israel (Zechariah 12:1-9)

Matthew 24:15-21

Daniel 12:11 – 1,290 days (43 months) – Daniel prophesied that the abomination of desolation would last 1,290 days. The Antichrist activity continues 43 months from beginning of abomination to the time Antichrist killed.

John noted 42 months – 1,260 days. The Antichrist will persecute for 42 months, but will function for 43 months. The last month is a rally time to gather the nations to make war against Jesus. (Revelation 17:14, 19:11,19). Bowls poured out in the 43rd month.

Provision – God will provide supernaturally for Israel 1,260 days.

Prophesy – 2 Witnesses prophesy 1,260 days

Persecution – The Antichrist will persecute saints and oppress Jerusalem 1,260 days.

Sores – painful sores on those who worship the Antichrist (v. 1-2)

Food supply – destroys sea with blood & kills all within (v. 3)

Water supply – poisons earth’s fresh water with blood (v. 4-7)

Torment – sun produces scorching heat (v. 8-9)

Darkness – kingdom of the Antichrist in darkness (v. 10-11)

Euphrates dried up so kings would be gathered by demonic spirits for battle against the Lord (v. 12-16)

Demons will lure nations to gather to fight Jesus (Isaiah 24)

Annihilation – “It is Finished” – thunder, earthquake, hailstones (v. 17-21)

Islands feel (sink in ocean) & mountains fall (v. 20)

100lb hailstones – stoning for idol worship (Deuteronomy 17:2-5, Leviticus 24:16)

After 7 bowls  Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Psalm 24:7-8)

Greater Moses – Releases Judgment on Antichrist

Greater Joshua – Leads liberated ones to the Promised Land

Greater Daniel – Wins back Jerusalem, establishes Throne and Temple

Greater Elijah – Confronts Antichrist, cleanses earth of idolatry

1) Read Exodus 15:1-6 and Revelation 15:3-4. 

What are these songs called?

 

What was the purpose of these songs?

 

2) Read Revelation 15:8. Why did the smoke fill the Temple? Why could no one enter?

 

3) What happens or doesn’t happen in Revelation 16:11? How will this be different one day (see Philippians 2:6-11)?

 

4) Read Revelation 16:17-19. What happens in this passage? Where in the Bible are similarities to these happenings? What does this statement mean?

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Week 9 – Judgment

[Revelation 17-18]

Genesis 11 – Babylon – Tower of Babel. Progression in evil.

Lord scattered language which slowed down the escalation of sin until the end times.

Time before Jesus’ 2nd coming is compared to the days of Noah in Genesis 6 (Evil Continually)

Matthew 24:37 – As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Revelation 17 – Judgment of the Great Prostitute (Harlot) / The Prostitute and Beast

Most symbolic passage in Revelation

Scarlet Beast  Antichrist

Voluntary Harlot Babylon religion will be replaced by a mandatory Antichrist religion. (Revelation 13:4, 15; Revelation 17)

Revelation 17:1, 15 – “Rules over many waters.” The harlot will sit on many nations, or will have authority over the nations by seducing and controlling the world’s most powerful leaders, the kings and the merchants.

Revelation 17:3 – “Sitting on the Scarlet Beast.” The Harlot will sit on or depend on the Antichrist who will carry her or will provide significant resources, validation, and protection for her.

Revelation 17:4 – “Arrayed in purple” – to be arrayed in purple speaks of her royal status or prominence. The Harlot religion will have great prominence and will be embraced by the elite financial leaders of the earth. “Adorned with Gold “– will be the wealthiest religious network in all of history. “Golden Cup” – Harlot will have a golden cup from which she serves the nations. She will provide unprecedented humanitarian service and her service will appear golden- valuable and good. War will disappear. There will be world peace and unity (1 Thessalonians 5:3 When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.).

She will offer a cup full of abomination and filth. Abomination refers to idolatry. Filthiness points to moral perversion / fornication.

Revelation 17:6 – Many saints who resist Harlot will be killed

Revelation 17:10 – They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.

Revelation 17:16 – They will burn the Harlot at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. 

The Harlot religion is the forerunner to prepare the nations for Antichrist worship.

Revelation 18 – Fall of Babylon

The seduction of Babylon’s evil religion will permeate and infiltrate all structures of society requiring that Babylon be totally destroyed.

Revelation 18:8 – Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

Kings, Merchants, Captains watch her burn from a distance.

The Harlot Babylon system is the context in which the nations will reach fullness in sin 

Daniel 8:23 – “In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise.). Then a king – the Antichrist – will appear on the world stage.

The Harlot religion will be hated and destroyed by the jealousy of 10 kings who serve close to the Antichrist 

Daniel 7:7 – After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast–terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

Daniel 7:24 – The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.

Revelation 18:19 – In a single moment it is all gone.

They will say “Where is another city as great as this?”

Revelation 18:21 – Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a millstone and threw it into the ocean. THE GREAT STONING PUNISHMENT FOR IDOLATRY

1) Read Revelation 17:6-8. What made John stare in complete amazement at the sight of the woman?

 

2) Read Revelation 17:14. This verse discusses those who go to war against the Lamb. 

Who is going with the Lamb (on his side)? 

 

Does this refer to only a select group or the entire group?

 

3) Read 18:21. What does it mean that Babylon will never be found again?

 

4)  Read Revelation 17:6 and Revelation 18:24. Why does this last verse in Revelation 18 again mention the martyrdom? 

 

5) We read that the kings, the merchants, and the captains all stood at a distance to watch the smoke rising from the burning of the remains of the Great Prostitute. What is so ironic about these people watching judgment poured out upon her?

 

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Week 10 – Jesus Makes All Things New

[Revelation 19-22]

Events in this time are the short period of time called “Day of the Lord.”

Revelation 19

Gives more detail about beauty of Jesus as Bridegroom, King, and Judge.

Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is as King 

Destroying of the armies of the Antichrist. 

Jesus will sit on an earthly throne as King over all kings. He will cast the Antichrist and False Prophet into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20). 

Eyes of fire – Zealous love and perfect knowledge 

Many crowns – Past and future victories

Name no one knows/understood

Revelation 19:14 – Jesus will desire partnership with His people even as He takes over nations.

Revelation 20

Jesus will cast Satan into prison (Revelation 20:1-3) and establish the Millennium 

Millennium – 1,000-year period in which Jesus will rule the whole world from Jerusalem in righteousness and peace. Millennium is from Latin “mille” which means a thousand.

1,000 year period of unprecedented blessing for the whole earth as Jesus establishes righteousness and prosperity. He restores agriculture, atmosphere, and animal life as originally intended in the Garden.

Revelation 20:5 – The First Resurrection – Believers 

We won’t be judged at Great White Throne – we stand before Judgment Seat of Christ. 

2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Revelation 20:11-15 – Great White Throne Judgment – after millennium, all non-believers will be judged.

The earth will be cleansed by fire (2 Peter 3:10-13) but will continue forever. Psalm 37:29 – The righteous shall inherit the land and dwell upon it forever.

Jesus will use the keys of the Kingdom to cast Satan into prison and call forth New Jerusalem to descend to the earth (Revelation 21:2, 10). Satan’s agenda is to stay out of prison.

Gog & Magog – Prophetic titles like Pharaoh and Caesar 

Satan must be released at end of Millennium to show the depth of human sin and Satan’s being incurably evil – not rehabilitated or changed. Conclusion: men love sin.

Revelation 21 – NEW HEAVEN & NEW EARTH

Jesus will establish throne in Jerusalem, give thrones to the saints, and drive Satan’s throne off the earth (Revelation 20:3). This will prepare the nations for the Father’s throne to come to earth (Revelation 21:3).

Revelation 21:10 – The New Jerusalem descends during the millennium revealing heaven coming down to earth. New Jerusalem is where saints will live. New Jerusalem will descend with Father’s throne (Revelation 21:1-8).

Revelation 22

Leaves healing of nations (22:2)

No curse (22:3)

Saints will be administering His government with authority (22: 3,5)

Isaiah 62 – Isaiah 66 (recommended reading)

1) Read Revelation 19:10. 

Why do you think John attempted to worship the angel?

 

How does the angel respond?

 

What does this phrase mean: “For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus”?

2) Read Revelation 19:9, 17; and Luke 14:16-24.

What is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? 

 

What is the Great Supper of God? 

 

Who is invited to these meals?

 

3) Read Revelation 19:19-21. 

What happens to the Beast and the False Prophet? 

 

Who did God originally prepare this place for? (See Matthew 25:41)

 

4) Read Revelation 20:5-6. There are two resurrections. What are the differences between the first and second resurrections? (See John 5:28-29)

 

5) Read Revelation 1:3, 22:7. How is the beginning and ending of Revelation similar? What is the motivation and warning of these passages?

Not So Minor Prophets Series Outlines

Not So Minor Prophets Series

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Week 1 – Mercy

[Jonah]

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To SEEK JUSTICE and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God.” – Micah 6:8 

Mercy – “che·sed” – Lovingkindness, goodness, unchanging love, kindness, devotion

Jonah (yo-naw’) means “dove” or “pigeon” – “messenger”

Message to Nineveh: Judgment against Nineveh because of the wickedness of the people (1:2), “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed” (3:4).

Jonah runs from God (1)

Jonah went in wrong direction (1:3)

God mercifully arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah (1:17)

Jonah prays (2)

He notes that “those who worship false gods turn their backs on all God’s mercies” (v. 8)

BUT, Jonah will praise God and fulfill his vows because God alone saves (v. 9)

Jonah delivers God’s message (3)

The people repent

God shows mercy

Jonah is angry at the LORD’s mercy (4)

Jonah says, “I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love” (v. 2).

Jonah begs for death if Nineveh doesn’t face judgment and waits to see what will happen (v. 3-5)

Plant shades Jonah but worm destroys it (v. 6-7)

Is it right for you to be angry?

You feel sorry about the plant… Nineveh had more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness… SHOULDN’T YOU FEEL SORRY? (v. 9-11)

1) Read Jonah 1:9-16. 

When Jonah admits that the storm is his fault for running from the LORD, and he requests that the sailors toss him into the sea, what is their initial response? 

 

In verse 14, the sailors cry out to the LORD, pleading for His mercy. What pops out to you in this verse?

 

When the storm stops at once, how do the sailors react? Have you seen this before?

 

2) Read Jonah 2:8-9.

What does Jonah believe about those who worship false gods?

 

What does this belief of Jonah do to God’s mercy?

 

3) Read Jonah 3:9-11. How does anger relate to mercy? How can we be a people who “feel sorry” (have empathy) for people, so that we show compassion and mercy?

 

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Week 2 – Brother’s Keeper

[Obadiah]

Obadiah means “servant of Yahweh” or “worshipper of Yahweh”

Jewish Tradition (Talmud) say the time period is before the exile, but some say after exile.

There’s more than one Obadiah in the Bible. We aren’t sure which one is this Obadiah.

Obadiah is the shortest book of the OT; Obadiah is not quoted in NT.

Jeremiah 49:7-22 similarities

Jacob and Esau:

Judah – descended from Jacob

Edom – descended from Esau

The Edomites wouldn’t let the Israelites pass through their land when they came out of Egypt (Numbers 20)

The Edomites joined with the Moabites and Ammonites to attack Judah (2 Chronicles 20)

When Israel is in urgent need and the enemy is at the gates of Jerusalem, the Edomites help THE ENEMY (v. 11, 14). God sends Obadiah to predict the extinction of the Edomites (v. 18) because they are not willing to serve as their Brother’s Keeper. God promises His people that He will destroy their enemies and they will live in peace (v. 19-21).

Obadiah preceded Joel and influence seen:

v. 10 = Joel 3:19

v. 11 = Joel 3:3

v. 15 = Joel 1:15; 2:1; 3:4, 7, 14

v. 18 = Joel 3:8

The troubles between Jacob and Esau continued in the New Testament. Edom was forced to leave their mountain territory. When they moved, they became known as Idumeans. Herod the Great, who was an Idumean, was the king who attempted to murder Jesus (from the line of Judah) by ordering all babies under age 2 to be killed.

1) Read Genesis 27:39-40. Isaac spoke this to Esau. How do we see this develop in the life of Edom from reading Obadiah?

 

2) Read Obadiah 10-14. What are some of the things that Edom did that was not certainly not being a “Brother’s Keeper”? How are we supposed to “keep” our brothers? *

V. 11 –   

V. 12 –   

V. 13 –  

V. 14 – 

3) Read Obadiah 15-17, 20-21. These passages reference the Day of the Lord. Look closely at both Edom and Israel in these passages. 

What does the Day of the Lord encompass for Edom? 

 

What does the Day of the Lord encompass for Israel?

 

4) Read Numbers 20:14-21 & Luke 6:28-32. This is when Edom refuses to let Israel pass. What is Israel asking Edom to do? What would Edom lose if they obliged and allowed Israel to pass through their land? How does Edom’s actions go against what Jesus teaches?

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Week 3 – Repent & Receive

[Joel]

Joel means “Yahweh is God.”

Message delivered to Judah about impending judgment – the Day of the LORD, a call to repentance, and the final restoration of God’s people.

JUDGMENT & MOURNING

Joel 1:15 – “The day of the LORD is near, the day when destruction comes from the Almighty. How terrible that day will be.”

REPENT

Joel 2:12 – “Turn to Me now, while there is time. Give Me your hearts. Come fasting, weeping, and mourning.”

Joel 2:13 – “Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the LORD your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”

RECEIVE

Joel 2:28-32 – “I will pour out My Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out My Spirit even on servants – men and women alike. And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on earth… everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

JUDGMENT & BLESSING

Joel 3:13 – “Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread the grapes, for the winepress is full.” (Revelation 14:15-20)

Joel 3:21 – “I will pardon My people’s crimes… and I, the LORD, will make My home in Jerusalem with My people.” (Revelation 21:3)

1) Read Joel 1:4. What is the difference between the various types of locusts mentioned? What does this mean?

2) Read Joel 1:5-13. What types of people are listed? What is the response from each people group?

3) Read Joel 2:12-13. What does the LORD request? What does this mean?

4) Read Joel 2:28-32, Acts 2:16-21, and Galatians 3:13-14. 

What are the similarities and/or differences between these two passages? 

Why do you think Peter quoted this passage?

Did the events in the book of Acts fulfill the prophecy of Joel completely or partially?

5) Read Joel 3:12-13 and Revelation 14:14-20. What are the similarities? What can you glean from the judgment of God?

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Week 4 – Idolatry

[Hosea]

Hosea means “salvation.” The message was for the Israelites.

Hosea 1-3: Marriage to Gomer

Hosea 1:2 – Go and marry a woman of promiscuity

Gomer’s children:

Jezreel – God scatters (1:4)

Lo-ruhamah – No compassion (1:6)

Lo-ammi – You are not My people (1:9)

Hosea 4-11 – Warnings of Judgment 

There is no knowledge of God 

Don’t know-know God (4:1-11)

Idolatry of Baal (4:12-19)

Hosea 6:6 – “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” [ESV]

They trust in alliances with other nations

Hosea 11 – Love of God for Israel 

God is loving Father, Israel is rebellious son

Hosea 11:8 – How can I give you up? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.

Hosea 12-13 – Review of history of the Israelites

Jacob and the Israelites

Choosing King Saul

Hosea 14 – Hope for the Future

God’s Promise – Hosea 14:4 – “I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them.” [NIV]

Hosea 14:9 – “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.” [NASB]

1) How does Hosea remind us of God? How does Hosea’s relationship with Gomer remind us of God’s relationship with His people (including us)?

 

2) Read Hosea 3:1-5. 

How did God tell Hosea to love his wife? 

 

Describe this love. What kind of love is this?

 

3) Read Hosea 6:1-2. 

When does Hosea believe God will heal and restore Israel? 

 

Does this remind you of something?

 

In these verses, what is the only necessary thing for us to do? Is this easy or difficult?

 

4) How does the story of Hosea and his promiscuous wife affect the way you view God, and the sacrificial price Jesus paid to purchase your redemption? (self-reflection)

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Week 5 – Complacency

[Amos]

Times are good in Israel – prosperity, peace, strength, security

Amos brings plumb line to measure Israel against God’s perfect standard… The result… complacency!

Judgment on Israel because of Complacency – Amos 2:6-16

Self-satisfaction

Unawareness of deficiencies

Immorality

Injustice – oppression of the poor

Stagnant religion – No action religion

Religion without Repentance – 4:6-13

Religion without Reformation (no change) – 5:11-12

Stench and Noise of Complacency – Amos 5:21-23

I hate, I despise, your feasts!

I can’t stand the stench of your solemn assemblies

Take away from Me the noise of your songs!

I will not listen to the music of your harps.

How to Respond Complacency

Amos 6:1 – Woe to those who are at ease… those who feel secure

Get out the PLUMB LINE in your own life – Amos 7:7-9

Live intentional, take off your blinders & actively choose love

Amos 5:15 – Hate evil, love good

Amos 5:24 – Let justice flow

1) Read Amos 5:6-15. 

How does this passage describe the godly way of living?

 

How does this passage describe how the Israelites were living? 

 

2) Read Amos 8:11-12. 

What kind of famine is referenced in this passage?

 

What do you think this means?

 

The LORD desires for us to know Him, to know His commands, to read His Word, to live as He designed. Why then would He allow a famine of the hearing of His words through the prophets?

 

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Week 6 – Justice

[Micah]

Micah is a writing prophet, name means “Who is Like Yahweh”

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To SEEK JUSTICE and to LOVE MERCY and to WALK HUMBLY with your God.” – Micah 6:8 

What is Justice?

Just behavior or treatment, fairness

We typically think of justice as “bring to justice” – a person receives punishment for one’s misdeeds. 

What about doing justice? To act or treat fairly? Justice is not simply about punishment being handed out. Justice is also about fairness in our treatment of ALL people.

Oppressors, Unjust Leaders, & False Prophets Judged

Plotting evil (2:1)

Fraud, coveting, violence (2:2)

Stealing, dishonesty (2:8)

Driving widows from homes (2:9)

Hating good, loving evil (3:1-2)

Despising justice, distorting what is right (3:9)

Murder and corruption (3:10)

Taking bribes (3:11)

1) Many people during this time were enjoying great prosperity. With great prosperity also came an increase in social injustice and moral decay. 

Is there a relationship with prosperity and injustice? If yes, why? 

 

Is there a relationship with prosperity and moral decay? If yes, why?

 

2) Read Micah 2:6-11. The people reject Micah’s message. What do the people want to hear?

 

3) Read Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:5-6, Luke 2:4-7, Micah 7:18-20. What does it say about God that He would give such a message of promise to people who were so unjust with others?

 

4) Read Micah 6:8. How is justice, mercy, and humility linked together?

 

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Week 7 – The Goodness of God

[Nahum]

Sequel to Jonah – Message to Ninevites & Judah. Nahum is a book of judgment of the Assyrians, a message of comfort to Judah. Nahum means “comfort.”

The Assyrian army is at height of its power, seeking new territory. They were guilty of attacking Israel. God had used them to punish Israel; however, God would punish them for disobedience and their hatred for the people of God. Prophesy fulfilled when God allowed the Assyrians to be conquered by Babylonians in 612 B.C.

Nahum 1:2-3

The Lord is jealous (1 Peter 2:9 – You are precious to Him, His special possession)

The Lord is slow to anger

The Lord is great in power

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good,

“Towb” – pleasant, agreeable, good, beautiful

A Stronghold in a day of distress;

“Mauz” – a place or means of safety, protection

He cares for those who take refuge in Him. (He knows those who trust Him)

“Yada” – He knows

“Chasah” – To seek refuge

Circumstances may say otherwise, but THE LORD IS GOOD!

“God is eternally & unchangeably good. He cannot be better; He cannot be worse – He is absolutely perfect. There can be no improvement, & there can be no depreciation in Him.”   

– Spurgeon

ONLY GOD is Good

Matthew 19:17 – There is only One who is good

God is good to EVERYONE

Psalm 145:9 – The Lord is good to everyone, His compassion rests on all He has made

God’s plan is ALWAYS GOOD

Genesis 50:20 – God planned it for good (Joseph to his brothers)

You have the choice to experience the goodness!

Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see the Lord is good

1) How does God’s righteous anger differ from our sinful anger?

 

2) Read Nahum 1:3-6. 

How is God described in verses 1 & 2?

 

How do these three items relate?

 

What is the response to the LORD in this passage? What does this mean to you?

 

3) Read Nahum 1:7. God knows those who trust in Him. What does that mean to you?

 

4) Read Nahum 2:13 & Romans 8:31. In Romans 8:31, we read, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Does this then mean that if God is against them, who could be for them?

5) Read Nahum 3:7. This verse asks who will mourn for Nineveh when it is devastated. Who do you think will mourn for Nineveh?

 

6) Read Nahum 3:19. How is the message of Nahum different from the message of Jonah? 

 

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Week 8 – Our God Sings

[Zephaniah 3:17]

Jerusalem will be told… this is the future of God’s people…

Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you.

Happy to have you back, He’ll calm you with His love and delight you with His songs. [MSG]

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. [NLT]

The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. [NASB]

THE LORD – the One and only God

YOUR GOD – He’s personal. He’s your God

GOD IS PRESENT – He is alive and active.

GOD SAVES – He is mighty to save, He alone can save [HEBREWS 7:25]

GOD REJOICES – He rejoices over you with gladness, happy to have you back [LUKE 15:10]

GOD RENEWS – In His love, He makes no mention of past sin [PSALM 103:12]

GOD DELIGHTS – He delights in you with singing, He delights in you and who He made you to be in Christ Jesus.

1) Read these passages and paraphrase:

Zephaniah 3:17

Psalm 147:11

1 Peter 1:6-7

Romans 2:29

1 Corinthians 4:5

2) Looking at the passages above, we can see each one references God’s delight in His people.  In these passages, what is connected to His delight?

 

3) We have just discussed that God’s delight in His people is connected to our delight in Him.

Why should we be glad if He delights in us?

 

Why is it dangerous for us to be so focused in His delight in us?

 

4) How can we continually delight in the Lord?

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Week 9 – Discerning God’s Will

[Habakkuk]

Habakkuk’s First Prayer (1:1-4)

Habakkuk complains of injustice in Judah (v. 2-3)

God’s First Answer (1:5-11)

God responds that he was sending Babylonians to punish Judah (v. 6)

Habakkuk’s Second Prayer (1:12-17)

Habakkuk complained about God’s answer (v. 13)

Unfair to use wicked Babylonians to punish less wicked Judeans

Habakkuk Waits for God’s Response (2:1)

God’s Second Answer (2:2-5)

God will do as He determined.

The Five Woe Oracles (2:6-20)

Habakkuk’s Third Prayer (3:1-15) (2, 13)

Habakkuk’s Confidence in God Expressed (3:16-19) (17-19)

Discerning God’s Will (Habakkuk 2:1)

Saved – 1 Timothy 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9

Spirit-filled – Ephesians 5:17-18

Sanctified – 1 Thessalonians 4:3

Submissive – 1 Peter 2:13-15

Suffering –1 Peter 4:19, Philippians 1:29

Do whatever you want – Psalm 37:4

1) Read Habakkuk 1:2-3. What are the two questions Habakkuk asked?

 

2) Read Habakkuk 1:5. What are the actions you read in this verse that God commanded Habakkuk to take? What does this say to you?

 

3) Read Habakkuk 1:12-13. How is the second prayer different from the first prayer?

4) Read Habakkuk 2:1. How would you translate this (write the verse in your own words)?

5) Habakkuk said he would stand at his guard post or on the watchtower. This watchtower was positioned above ground level. Why do you think Habakkuk positioned himself there?

 

6).  In Habakkuk 2:1, it is revealed what message was expected to be received from God. What was Habakkuk expecting? How was he prepared to respond to the message?

 

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Week 10 – Honoring God

[Haggai]

Darius took control & approved rebuilding of the Temple

God directed Haggai to encourage leaders in Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple

Haggai told people to get priorities in order and place God first

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. [NASB]

Glorify God (1:1-15)

“Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the LORD. (1:8 NASB)

Stay Committed to God’s Plans (2:1-9)

Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts (v. 4b ESV)

Please God by Living Holy Lives (2:10-19)

THINK CAREFULLY (v. 15, 18a, 18b)

Serve God Faithfully (2:20-23)

Zerubbabel promised to be made like God’s signet ring, because God chose Him.

1. Haggai encourages the leaders to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Today, we know that this temple is not the same. Read 1 Corinthians 3:16, Ephesians 2:21, 1 Peter 2:5.

Where is the temple today?

 

How do we ensure today’s temple is a priority?

 

2. One common phrase in Haggai is “think carefully” or “consider.” 

What should we be thinking about carefully?

 

Why should we be thinking about these things carefully?

 

3. If we are aiming to honor God, is it still okay for us to enjoy nice things in life? If so, when is it not okay?

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Week 11 – Praying the Promises of God

[Zechariah 10]

Zechariah means “The Lord Remembers.” Like Isaiah, this book is filled with a lot of prophesy pointing to Jesus. Zechariah is before the 400 years of silence (intertestamental period). Zechariah speaks of the Messiah, the end-time events.

Zechariah contains eight visions (chapters 1-6). God gave Zechariah the visions, Zechariah describes each one and an angel is asked what is meant by the vision. These visions include: the vision of the horses, the vision of the four horns and four craftsmen, the vision of the measuring line, the vision of the high priest, the vision of the lampstand and olive trees, vision of the flying scroll, vision of the woman in a basket, and the vision of the four chariots.

The Crown and the Branch [Zechariah 6:11-15]

The Coming King [Zechariah 9:9-10]

The Promised One [Zechariah 10:4]

Christ is the CORNERSTONE of His people – see Isaiah 28:16

Christ is the TENT PEG of His people – The tent peg was where valuables were hung, everything of value that we have is in Christ.

Christ is the BATTLE BOW – Victory is His and through Him – see Revelation 19:11-16

Christ is the RULER of His people

He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19), He is faithful (Hebrews 10:23), He is able (Romans 4:21)

Praying the Promises of God

We obey God’s command when we pray – we are supposed to seek Him in pray

 Zechariah 10:1 Ask for rain at time of Spring Rain

We acknowledge our dependence on God when we pray

We need Him – we can’t do anything on our own 

We acknowledge God is in control when we pray

We is in control of all things, He is in, through, and above all things

We actively participate in the process when we pray

Read Scripture and Paraphrase:

John 8:32, 36

Romans 6:22

Consider the chain link as the chain that once held you down. 

How do you live out this promise from God in your life?

ACTION: Write on the Art Piece – “I am free.”

Read Scripture and Paraphrase:

1 John 1:9

Isaiah 43:25

How do you live out this promise from God in your life?

ACTION: Write a past or current sin in the sand. Wipe it away. Remember, you are forgiven in Christ Jesus.

Take time to thank God for His forgiveness. Pray that you can extend grace to yourself and move forward from this past sin. Ask that the Lord strengthen you to fight temptation and stand firm in your faith.

Read Scripture and Paraphrase:

James 4:8

Matthew 28:20

John 14:26

John 16:7

Consider the last time you felt alone. Why did you feel alone? 

How do you live out this promise from God in your life?

Fire represents God often in the Bible. Fire gives us a beautiful image of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God’s presence is seen as fire in the Bible (ex: Burning Bush). The Holy Spirit is God’s presence within us. God’s purifying work in our lives is also seen as a fire in the Bible, and the Spirit of God works to purify, to sanctify us in His Truth through the Word and the Spirit.  

ACTION: Light a tea-light candle to remind yourself of God’s presence in your life, and to declare that you will try to be more aware of His presence. 

Read Scripture and Paraphrase:

John 3:16

1 Peter 1:3-5

1 John 5:11-13

Revelation 21:2-3

Consider these great promises of Eternal Life and a New Heaven and New Earth. Thank God!

List 3 reasons why this promise is amazing?

Who are you excited to see again soon?

How do you live out this promise from God in your life?

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Week 12 – Revival

[Malachi]

Malachi means “My Messenger.”

In Need of Reviving Relationship with God

Defiled/Defective Animal Sacrifices (1:6:14)

“I wish one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would no longer kindle a useless fire on my altar” (v. 10).

Corrupt Priests (2:1-9)

“You… have turned from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction” (v. 8)

“I will spread animal waste over your faces” (v. 3).

Mixed Marriages (2:10-12)

“Acted treacherously”… “A detestable act”… “married the daughter of a foreign god”

Divorces (2:13-16)

Lack of Tithe (3:8-10)

Robbing God (v. 8-9)

Bring the FULL TENTH to the storehouse (v. 10) – TEST ME!

Psalm 85:6 – Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? [ESV]

2 Chronicles 7:14 – If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. [ESV]

REVIVAL BEGINS WITH PRAYER

PRAY FOR CHANGE

CHANGE STARTS WITH YOU!

Romans 12:1-2 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. [NIV]

Revive means making alive, keeping alive, and giving more life. 

1) Read Psalm 119:25. 

What does it mean to revive “according to Your Word”?

How can we live this out?

2) Read Psalm 119:37.

What does it mean to revive “in Your ways”?

How can we live this out?

3) Read Psalm 119:40. 

What does it mean to revive “through Your righteousness”?

How can we live this out?

4) Read Psalm 119:88.

What does it mean to revive “with Your faithful love”?

How can we live this out?

People of God Series Outlines

People of God: Week 1 – Moses

[Exodus 1-4]

Exodus 1 – The Plan of the New King

The Israelites are still in Egypt

Joseph & all his brothers died (1:6)

The Israelites multiplied – powerful & filled the land (1:7)

New king in power – he did not know anything about Joseph (1:8)

New king decides planned to keep Israelites from growing even stronger (1:9-22)

Make Israelites their slaves & overwork them

When Israelite women give birth, kill the boys 

Exodus 2 – The Plan of Moses’ Parents

Levite woman became pregnant (2:1)

She gave birth to a baby boy & hid him 3 months (2:2)

Sent him sailing in basket on Nile River (2:3)

Adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter (2:10)

Exodus 3 & 4 – The Plan of God

1 – Attention toward God to hear

Moses sees a burning bush not consumed (3:3)

God will get our attention in any way He desires

2 – Responding to God (“I’m listening” or “I’m your humble servant”)

Moses says, “Here I am” (3:4)

3 – Recognition and reverence of the Lord’s presence and His plan

Remove your sandals (3:5)

I am God (3:6)

4 – Accept His glorious plan

God told Moses “You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” (3:10)

EXCUSES GET IN THE WAY OF FULLY EMBRACING THE PLAN

Who am I? (3:11) 

Doesn’t matter. I’m with you. I qualify you.

Who are You? (3:13) – what if the people ask for your name?

I AM WHO I AM (3:14)

What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? (4:1)

Perform these signs

Hand of a leper (4:6-7)

Nile River turned to blood (4:8-9)

But I’m not good with words (4:10)

Who makes the mouth? (4:11)

Lord, please! Send anyone else (4:13)

What about your brother Aaron? He will be your mouthpiece (4:14-16)

OBSTACLES BEFORE EVEN STEPPING FORWARD

God tells Moses Pharaoh’s heart will be hardened and he will refuse to listen. 

What is the difference between a calling and being called by God? Are we all called by God?

 

How can we better fix our attention toward God to hear?

 

 What is involved when responding to God? How should we respond?

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: 

What is keeping you from His glorious plan? 

What excuses are you giving?

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People of God: Week 2 – Pharaoh

[Exodus 5-15]

Stepping Up and Standing Firm for God

Exodus 5 – Moses goes to Pharaoh – “Let my people go”

Who is the Lord? (v. 2)

Why should I listen to Him? (v. 2)

Why are you distracting people from tasks? (v. 4)

God’s work is NOT a distraction, but the world sees it otherwise.

They are just lazy (v. 8)

Load them down with more work – That will teach them to listen to lies (v. 9)

Moses returns to the LORD and protests:

Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people? (v. 22)

Why did you send me? (v. 23)

You have done nothing. (v. 23)

Exodus 6 – I heard the groans THEREFORE

I will free you

I will rescue you

I will redeem you

I will claim you

More excuses – Exodus 6:12, 30 – “my own people won’t listen to me anymore,” “I’m such a clumsy speaker”

Serpent (Staff) – Aaron’s staff swallowed up the staffs of Egyptian magicians

Plagues

Blood – magicians could do it too / Pharaoh refused to listen

Frogs – magicians could do it too / Pharaoh begs for the frogs to be removed. He will bet people go so they can offer sacrifices

Gnats  – magicians fail & say “this is the finger of God” / Pharaoh refused to listen

Flies – Pharaoh says go and offer sacrifices “HERE IN THIS LAND” / Moses says they must take 3-day trip / Pharaoh says okay but “don’t go too far away”

Livestock – Pharaoh refused to listen

Boils – Even the magicians were unable to stand before Moses / Pharaoh refused to listen

Hail – Some of Pharaoh’s officials were afraid / Never in all history of Egypt had there been storm like that / Pharaoh says, “This time I have sinned. The LORD is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. Please beg the LORD to end this … We’ve had enough. I will let you go”

Locust – Pharaoh says, “Go and worship the LORD… but who exactly will be going with you.” / Moses says, “We will ALL go… we MUST all join together in celebrating a festival to the LORD.” / Pharaoh threw them out.

Darkness – People could not see each other so no one moved / Pharaoh says, “Go and worship… but leave your flocks & herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.” / Moses says, “No, you must provide us with animals for sacrifices & burnt offerings.” / Pharaoh says, “Get out of here. I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die.” / Moses response: “Very well. I will never see your face again.” – PHARAOH SHUT THE DOOR

 Firstborn – Loud wail for Egyptians, “so peaceful” for Israelites -1st Passover 

Mark of blood – protection from death

All plagues to this point are not sufficient to free God’s people until death of firstborn sons. All sacrificial systems Israel instituted are not sufficient, until the death of God’s only Son.

Exodus 12:35-36 – Egyptians gave Israelites things just as God said

Red Sea (Exodus 14:13):

Don’t be afraid

Stand still

Watch

“They were filled with awe before Him. They put their faith in the LORD and in His servant Moses” (Exodus 14:31)

Read Exodus 5:1-5. Pharaoh asks questions everyone asks at times (usually before knowing Jesus). 

What are the three questions? Answer the three questions.

Read Exodus 14:13. Moses tells the people three things.

What are the three things? How can we do these three things?

PERSONAL REFLECTION: 

Are you stepping up?

Are you standing firm?

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People of God: Week 3 – Complaints

[Exodus 15-17]

We all face things that can make us BITTER or BETTER.

Look for the treasure in every trial. WE ARE BLESSED!

[Philippians 2:14-15] “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” 

Marah (15)

Left Red Sea – desert of Shur – found no water for 3 days – when found water, it was bitter

v. 24 “Then the people COMPLAINED and turned against Moses. ‘What are we going to drink?’ they demanded.” 

Manna & Quail (16)

Went to wilderness of Sin – a month after Egypt departure

v. 2 “The whole community of Israel COMPLAINED about Moses and Aaron.” Actual COMPLAINTS against God, not Moses and Aaron (see v. 7)

v. 3 “IF ONLY the LORD had killed us back in Egypt.”

TESTED – whether or not follow God’s instructions 

GOT TO SEE GOD’S GLORY (see v. 10-11)

Evening – meat / Morning – bread {Ate manna for 40 years}

“IT’S THE FOOD THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU TO EAT.” (v. 15)

Everyone had JUST ENOUGH (v. 18)

Don’t keep leftovers – TRUST

SABBATH – God’s gift to you (v. 29) – told to rest, went out anyway 

Massah & Meribah (17)

Left wilderness of Sin – camped at Rephidim

No water to drink.

v. 2 “So once more the people complained against Moses.”

Moses said: “Quiet! Why are you COMPLAINING against me? And why are you testing the LORD?”

Tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses – “why did you bring us out of Egypt?” (v. 3)

Strike the rock. Water will gush out. People will drink. 

Massah “test” – people tested the Lord / Meribah “arguing” – Israel argued with Moses

Complaining and Lamenting are different. 

Crying out to God (Lament) – Psalm 142:1-2 – looks to hope in God

He wants us to pour out what is on our heart.

Complaining has no hope.

COMPLAINTS DECLARE THAT GOD IS NOT good, faithful, loving, wise, or powerful.

Complaints ignore God’s potential – focused on negative

Gossip, slander, false witness, jump to wrong conclusion

Every time you feel like complaining—thank God instead

[Colossians 4:2] Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Read Exodus 16:1-3. 

The whole community of Israel complained. What was the “if only”?

 

What are we doing when we have our own “if only” moments?

 

How can we keep ourselves from having “if only” moments?

 

Read Exodus 16:4-5. God says He will test to people and see if they follow instructions. Why was the test necessary?

 

Read Exodus 16:17-18. How much did they have?

 

Read Exodus 16:26-30. 

What did they find on the 7th day? Why?

 

What does it mean that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift?

 

PERSONAL REFLECTION:

Have you been lamenting or complaining?

How can you live with an attitude of gratitude?

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People fo God: Week 4 – Jethro

[Exodus 18]

[Psalm 90:12] “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” [NIV]

v. 13 – Moses sat before the people and heard disputes from MORNING TILL EVENING – ALL DAY!!!

v. 14 – Jethro asks – WHAT ARE YOU REALLY ACCOMPLISHING HERE?

WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO DO ALL THIS ALONE?

V. 15-16 – Moses responds – Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God

I am the one who settles the cases

I inform the people of God’s decrees & give His instructions

v. 17 – Jethro says – THIS IS NOT GOOD

You’re going to wear yourself out

You’re going to wear the people out

The job is too heavy a burden

Continue to be the people’s representative before God

Teach them God’s decrees

Give them instructions

Show them how to conduct their lives

DELEGATION

Select from all the people others to assist

Capable, honest, fear God, hate bribes

Appoint them as leaders of groups: 1000, 100, 50, 10

Only bring major issues to you

They will help carry the load, making it easier for you

All the people will go home in peace

Read Exodus 18:14. 

What are the two main questions Jethro asked Moses? 

Try to answer these two questions from your own personal experience.

What is the danger of doing this?

When Jethro told Moses how to delegate, he gave a description of the people to be chosen. What qualities were mentioned? Why are these qualities so important?

  

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Where do you need to delegate more? What do you need to let go? How can you equip & empower others?

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People of God: Week 5 – Sinai

[Exodus 19-40]

Faithful obedience for harmony & order

Ten Commandments – God’s absolutes for how to live

[Ecclesiastes 12:13] Fear God (because He is greater), Keep commands  Whole duty of man

Exodus 19:1-8 {Lord reveals Himself at Sinai}

Exodus 20 / Exodus 34 {10 Commandments}

First 4 – Teach how to LOVE GOD, Last 6 – Teach how to LOVE OTHERS

No Other God v. 3 [Romans 1:25]

No Idols v. 4-5

No Name in Vain v. 7 (“God bless you” or “Praise the Lord” but don’t mean it) [Luke 6:46] “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?

Observe Sabbath v. 8

Honor Parents v. 12

No Murder v. 13

No Adultery v. 14

No Stealing v. 15

No Lying v. 16 (Lying – Slander & Gossip, Flattery, Exaggeration, Silence)

No Coveting v. 17

Ten Commandments catch everyone in sin  Only hope of salvation is JESUS

[Romans 5:20-22] God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

[Romans 3:19] Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.

[Galatians 3:24] Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.

Jesus quotes Exodus 20:12-17

Matthew 5:27 (Sermon of Mount) – Adultery “just looking”

Mark 7:10 – Honor your parents

Luke 18:20 (Rich Man) – Adultery, Murder, Steal, Lying, Parents

[Matthew 5:17-18] Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.

[Mark 12:30-31] Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these

Exodus 32-33 {Gold Calf}

[Hebrews 9:22] In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.

Exodus 33:16 Your presence among us

Exodus 33:18 Show me your glory

Exodus 34:6-7 God of compassion and mercy, slow to anger, filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin

Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please”

Read Exodus 20:1-17. Read Mark 12:30-31.

The first four commandments teach us how to love God. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Explain how each of these four commandments teach us how to love God

How can we live this out? (How can we be intentional about following commands?)

The last six commandments teach us how to love others. Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Explain how each of these six commandments teach us how to love others.

 

How can we live this out? (How can we be intentional about following commands?)

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People of God: Week 6 – Scouts

[Numbers 13-14]

The LORD commands that one leader from each Israelite tribe explore the land of Canaan (13:1-2) … THE LAND I AM GIVING TO THE ISRAELITES

Moses gives instructions for intel mission (13:18) 

See what the land is like—good or bad, walled or unprotected, soil quality, trees, crop samples

Find out if the people there are strong or week, few or many

Explored the land for 40 days (number of testing)

Single cluster of grapes so large it took two people to carry (13:23)

Land flowing with milk & honey (13:27)

BUT… (13:28)

People living there are powerful… even giants there 

Towns are large & fortified

Courageous Caleb – tries to quiet the people (13:30)

Let’s go at once to take the land

We can certainly conquer it

The People Rebel

If only we had died in Egypt… If only we had died in the Wilderness (14:2)

Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt (14:3)

The Faithful Few: Joshua & Caleb

Tore their clothing (14:6)

Wonderful land (14:7)

Lord will bring us safely into the land & give it to us (14:8)

Do not rebel & don’t be afraid of the people (14:9)

The LORD is with us!

People wanted to stone them 

Glory of LORD appeared to the Israelites

How long will these people treat me with contempt? 

Will they never believe me, even after the miraculous signs?

God wants to disown & destroy them – Moses intercedes for the people

God punishes everyone but the faithful few – “a different attitude” (14:24)

40 days = 40 years (14:34)

Ten Fearful struck dead (14:37)

More Rebellion

People wanted to go anyway – “we are ready now” (14:40)

It’s too late – they go anyway & are chased back (14:41-45)

What were the reasons given by the fearful scouts? 

What was their focus?

What was the faith over fear response given by the faithful few (Caleb & Joshua)?

What was their focus?

Read Numbers 14:24. What is this “different attitude” all about?

Read Psalm 34:4. What does it mean to be freed from all your fears?

Personal Reflection: What are your biggest fears? Are these fears keeping you from walking in faith? Pray that the Spirit will reassure you of His promises and strengthen you in your walk.

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People of God: {ASH WEDNESDAY 2017}

Stand in Awe

Let the whole world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of Him. [Psalm 33:8]

Lent is a season of fasting and renewal. When you fast (stop doing something), but you also replace it with something else—something beneficial to your relationship with Jesus. 

For this Lenten season, let us stand in awe and worship our God. We were made to worship God, to glorify God. But as we go through our days, we often add other things to the mix.

[LEVITICUS 10]

Unauthorized fire – Hebrew word “zara” means strange, from outside

[Leviticus 10:3]

“’Among those who approach me I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored.”  Aaron remained silent. [NIV]

“I must be treated as holy”

Holy is used more often as a prefix to God’s name more than any other attribute in Scripture.

Holy – “Set Apart” – [Exodus 3:14] I AM WHO I AM

[Revelation 22:13] He is the Alpha. The Omega. The First. The Last. The Beginning. The End.

[Revelation 1:8] He was and is and is to come.

[1 Samuel 2:2] Hannah says – “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you.”

As we see in this story in Leviticus, the closer you are to God – the more careful you need to be about His holiness so not to dishonor God.

The sad thing is not only do some people treat the things of God with contempt, but they also can cause others to follow suit, as possible with this instance with the strange fire.

During this Lenten season, let us ask…

What are you adding to your offering to God that isn’t meant to be there?

What is getting in the way of you fully offering yourself to Him? Fully worshiping Him as He deserves?

[Exodus 33:20] We read about Moses asking to see God’s glory….  God’s holiness is so blindingly radiant we cannot see it and live. Moses had to be hidden behind a rock for the glory of God to pass by.

It was this Holy Ground that required man to remove the unclean shoes and hide his face.

[Isaiah 6:1-4]

Only when we encounter God in His holiness is it possible for us to see our own self – “I am a sinful man”

This is something we must all come to recognize. I AM A SINNER!

Today, we don’t tread on the same Holy Ground as Moses. We don’t have the same need for a veil to shield us from the glory. Instead, we have the glory of God within us because of Christ. 

[2 Corinthians 4:3-7] If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.  You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

Our foreheads are marked tonight by ashes as we are reminded that we are but dust, that we are like fragile clay jars containing the great treasure from God Himself. We are reminded that without Jesus, we are nothing. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Our lives are marked WITH AND FOR CHRIST.

This should lead us to Awe * Worship * Adoration

[Isaiah 40:12-31] God has no equal

God….

Loves perfectly

Speaks perfectly

Creates perfectly

Acts perfectly

Chooses perfectly

Teaches perfectly

Disciplines perfectly

[Exodus 15:11] 

Who is like YOU – 

glorious in holiness, 

awesome in splendor, 

performing great wonders

What is keeping you from falling at his feet? 

In Revelation 1:17, John sees Jesus and he immediately falls at His feet. 

What’s keeping you from this? 

What’s keeping you from the AWE?

A – Always thankful [1 Thessalonians 5:18] CONTINUALLY THANKFUL

W – Worship everywhere – IN ALL THAT YOU DO AND SAY [Colossians 3:17] – this isn’t just singing (everything you do should point to Him)

You should continually be aware of His presence everywhere.

E – Eyes on Him – Eyes on Jesus [Hebrews 12:2] Perfecter of Faith

Consider the ashes on your forehead this evening… here’s a picture of what is coming…

[Revelation 22:3-5] No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and His servants will worship him. And they will see His face, and His name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there–no need for lamps or sun–for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” [Revelation 4]

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People of God: Week 8 – Rebellion

[Numbers 16-17]

Respecting authority… Respecting God’s plan… Honor Who He has chosen…

Korah’s Rebellion [16]

Korah – Levite (descendent of one of Levi’s three sons Kohath)

Dathan

Abiram

On – Reubenite

Whole community set apart [v. 3]

What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people?

Tomorrow God will show us who belongs to Him and who is holy

The Lord will allow only those whom He selects to enter His own presence

To the Levites, says – Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near Him, so you can serve the Lord & minister to the people. [v. 9]

Korah has already been given this special ministry. Are you demanding priesthood? [v. 10]

The Rebellion

Dathan & Abiram refused to come [v. 12-14] – no respect for authority

Korah stirred up the ENTIRE COMMUNITY [v. 19]

Took something that could have been addressed in a peaceful way and handled it by attempting to overpower – how can you overpower God Almighty? 

Getting a group of people emotionally charged against God does nothing to help his cause. 

Why did Korah take this disagreement and allow it to be a stumbling block for so many? 

Is it not worse to lead others to hell with you? Misery loves company.

Glory of the Lord appeared

Told Moses & Aaron to move

Moses interceded on behalf of the people

Get away from the wicked

Swallowed up [v. 28-35]

Aaron stands between them [v. 41-50]

Aaron’s Bud [17:1-10]

12 wooden staffs to represent each tribe 

Buds will sprout on staff of the man I choose.

Read Numbers 16:3. The question is what right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people.  How does God display who belongs to Him today?

 

Verse 5 says that God will allow only those whom He selects to enter His own presence. James tells us that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (see James 4:8). Would that then mean if we draw near to Him, He brings His presence to us? What is involved in this?

 

A question is posed to the Levites. The question was does it seem insignificant to you that God chose you from among Israel to serve the Lord and minister to the people. What is this questions getting at? Have you ever felt that the work you were doing for the Lord was insignificant?

In verse 19, we read that Korah got the entire community stirred up. What is the danger in doing this? What could he have done?

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People of God: Week 9 – Balaam

[Numbers 22-24]

Blessing God’s People

[Numbers 22:1-3] Balak, king of Moab, saw everything the Israelites did to the Amorites. He saw how many Israelites there were and was terrified. 

Balak, king of Moab, believed that Israel was threatening him (v.5) so he sent a message to Balaam

“In the morning I will tell you whatever the LORD directs me to say” (v.8)

God asks him, “Who are these men visiting you?” (v. 9) … “Don’t go with them. You are not to curse these people. They have been blessed.” (v. 12)

[Numbers 22:18] But Balaam responded to Balak’s messengers, “Even if Balak were to give me his palace filled with silver and gold, I would be powerless to do anything against the will of the LORD my God.

God gives permission  Since they came for you, get up and go with them but do only what I tell you to do (v. 20)

GOD WAS ANGRY (v. 22)

Some say the anger was because he didn’t wait for them to take him and leave. He started the action. Others believe though God allows us to do something, it doesn’t mean He wants us doing it. God would never want someone to curse who He blessed – nor does anyone have the ability to do so. God’s Word stands.

[2 Peter 2:15] They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong.

The Donkey

Angel – standing in the road to block him

Donkey asks, “What have I done to you that deserves your beating three times?”

“You made me look like a fool…. If I had my sword, I would kill you.”

Donkey says “I’m the same donkey you’ve ridden all your life.”

Lord opens Balaam’s eyes and he falls to the ground (v. 31)

[Numbers 22:32] “Why did you beat your donkey those three times?” the angel of the LORD demanded. “Look, I have come to block your way because you are stubbornly resisting me.

I HAVE SINNED (v. 34)

Only can say what God has put in my mouth (v. 38)

[Numbers 23:8] How can I curse whom God has not cursed?

[Numbers 23:20] God blessed them  I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot change it. 

Read Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 18:18-19, Numbers 22:12, and Numbers 23:19. Summarize these passages and what King Balak was not grasping about God and blessing.

 

God has made man in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). We may be faulty image-bearers but we are made in His image. Throughout His Word, God speaks of the many blessings we receive as children of God, including eternal life and being co-heirs with Christ. As believers, we are called His prized possession. How do we curse both non-believers and believers in our daily lives when we are called to be a blessing? 

 

Read Isaiah 52:7. This verse speaks of beautiful feet that bring good news. This speaks about proclaiming peace, brining good tidings, proclaiming salvation. How does our actions of cursing keep us from being one with beautiful feet?

 

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 10:24. As the body of Christ, we are called to encourage one another, to build each other up, and to motivate each other to acts of love and good works. Cursing others is opposite these commands. What can we do to aim to be a blessing and not a curse to the body of Christ?

Read Matthew 5:16. When we are living a life that curses others, what does this verse say we are doing or not doing?

 

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People of God: Week 10 – Joshua

[Numbers 20, Deuteronomy 32-34, Joshua 1]

Being Courageous for God

Moses Strikes the Rock [Numbers 20]

Death of Miriam

No water – people rebelled against Moses & Aaron

God commands – speak to rock & it will pour out water

Moses acts – strikes the rock twice with the staff

“You will not lead them into the land I am giving them” (v. 14)

Death of Moses [Deuteronomy 32-34]

Death Foretold [32]

Moses blesses the people [33]

Death [34]

Buried by the Lord (v. 6)

Joshua son of Nun

The Lord’s Charge to Joshua [Joshua 1]

The time has come (v. 1)

No one will be able to stand against you – I am with you (v. 5)

Be strong & courageous (v. 6-7, 9)

Study & obey the Word (v. 8)

Joshua begins his “great work” (v. 10)

Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the Wilderness. It was nearly time for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land; however, they would not be led by Moses due to his disobedience. Read Deuteronomy 31:1-8 and Joshua 1:1-5.

Before Moses died, he publicly recognized the transfer of power to Joshua. What did he do?

 

After the death of Moses, the Lord speaks to Joshua. What does God tell Joshua?

   

How would you feel being placed into the position of Joshua?

 

God often tells us that the time has come for us to do something. What are some of the promises that He has given us, that He gave to Moses and Joshua?

 

Read Joshua 1:8. What does this verse tell us? What can we do to live this out? Why is this important?

 

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People of God: Week 11 – Jericho

[Joshua 6]

Moving in Rhythm with God

Gates of Jericho tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites (v. 1).

God promises to give Jericho (v. 2).

Instructions:

#1 – to march around the city once a day for six days straight – God, the divine King marking the city as His own. THIS IS MINE.

#2 – seven priest to bear seven trumpets before the ark (this signaled start of a holy war because the ark is God’s throne). THIS IS GOD’S BATTLE.

#3 – seven priests to march seven times on the seventh day (repeated 3 times – signifies perfection). PERFECTION / COMPLETION

#4 – People were to give shout when they heard last blast of horns (giving voice to their faith). VERBALIZING FAITH “I BELIEVE.”

#5 – Each warrior attack the city – GOD HAS PROVIDED VICTORY

God is giving Israel the land but they much make it theirs through faithful obedience.

“It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.” – Hebrews 11:30 [NLT]

Rescue of Rahab

“It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” – Hebrews 11:31 [NLT]

Rahab and her family were outside the camp (ceremonially unclean) – living with pagans

Rahab now lives with the Israelites (v. 26).

Rahab marries Salmon and gives birth to Boaz (Matthew 1:5)

Boaz marries Ruth  Obed

Obed  Jesse  David  Solomon….. 

Joseph marries Mary  JESUS

Scarlet rope tied to wooden frame symbolizes God’s salvation. 

Jesus wore a scarlet robe while He was mocked and beaten, leading to His death on the cross, for God’s salvation to be offered to all who believe in Him.

God gave the Israelites Jericho. They simply had to show up and move in rhythm with God. 

Move when He says, “Move.” 

Be still when He says, “Be still.” 

Read Joshua 6:2. The verse says, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand.” God is talking to Joshua, telling him to see. Part of moving in rhythm with God involves seeing. What does it mean to see?

 

Why is it so important for us to “see” if we are to move in rhythm with God?

 

A big part of the marching around the walls of Jericho involved silence. We are not told the reason the people had to be quiet. Read Exodus 14:14 and Psalm 46:10-11. Why is silence important to moving in rhythm with God?

 

Notice that God gave Joshua the instructions for all seven days, but Joshua did not do the same thing. He only was giving the instructions as they went along (see v. 10). The people that were marching quietly each day did not know when this would end. They continued to march onward, following the command to march silent. What can we glean from this process?

 

Seeking God Series Outlines

Seeking God Series – Week 1 – Water Baptism

[Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-23, John 1:29-33]

What is Water Baptism?

Water Baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and it is your public declaration that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. 

Baptize – “baptízō” – “immerse, sink, drown, go under.”

NOT GOING TO GET INTO DISCUSSION OF WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG WITH METHOD – SOME DUNK, SOME POUR OR SPRINKLE, SOME GO BACKWARDS, SOME GO FORWARDS, ETC.

Ancient Christian art – go into water waist deep & pour water on head.

Philip & Eunuch (Acts 8:38-39) – doesn’t say immersed. Said they went down into the water, Philip baptized him, and he came out of the water. “baptízō” – submerge, immerse (dip under) 

Same words used in Luke 11:38

“His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom.”

In Luke, the “baptízō” meant handwashing 

Baptism does not save you, but shows the world that you have already been saved. 

Water Baptism is a sign of Spirit Baptism

Acts 2:38-39 – Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call. 

Acts 10:44-48 – While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Water Baptism is NOT required for salvation, but it is a biblical command and demonstrates your love and obedience to Christ.

Water Baptism doesn’t make you a member of God’s family, only faith in Christ does that. Water Baptism shows you are part of God’s family.

Christ commanded Water Baptism 

Matthew 28:19-20 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus never commanded Water Baptism until here – because He finished His work – this is a new sign of the new covenant

Water Baptism is necessary for obedience

Why is Water Baptism important?

Water Baptism declares your faith, shares Christ’s burial and Resurrection, symbolizes your death to your old life, and announces your new life in Christ. It’s also a celebration of your inclusion in God’s family, God’s eternal family!

It is a physical picture of a spiritual truth and represents what happened the moment God brought you into His family.

Being included in God’s family is the highest honor, the greatest privilege you and I will ever receive. Nothing else comes close.

Read Acts 8:29-38. What are the events that happen from the time of their first meeting until the baptism?

 

Read Acts 8:12-18. 

Why didn’t they receive the Holy Spirit before Peter and John arrived?

 

Was it possible that Peter and John needed to witness what God was doing with the Gentiles, how they too could receive the Holy Spirit?

 

Read Acts 19:1-10.

Why did the Ephesus dozen (the 12 men) not receive the Holy Spirit when they believed?

 

What was different between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus?

 

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Seeking God Series – Week 2 – Baptism of the Holy Spirit

[Luke 3:21-22, John 1:32-34]

The focus on Jesus’ encounter with John at the Jordan River is on the anointing with the Spirit rather than the act of Water Baptism.

Luke 3:21-22 – When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

John 1:32-34 – Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. And I myself did not know Him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Colossians 2:9-15 – For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self-ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Every believer has the power & anointing of the Holy Spirit. 

The gift of the Holy Spirit seals the believer. God gives His Spirit only to those who are His.

Joel 2:28-29 – And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

John 7:38-39 – Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Why is it important?

If you don’t have it… you have not believed in Jesus.

MUST BE BORN AGAIN

John 3:5-8 – Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

BEING MADE NEW – FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Galatians 3:27 – And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.

CHILD OF GOD

2 Corinthians 1:22 – and He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us.

Galatians 4:6-7 – Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.

UNITED AS ONE BODY

1 Corinthians 12:13 – For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Ephesians 4:4-6 – There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

How do you live Spirit-filled?

If you believe – already filled with the Spirit. However, you might now be allowing Him to move freely. “Less of me, more of You.” Allow His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control guide & direct your steps. Live by His power!

Read John 3:3-8. What does this mean?

 

Read John 7:38-39. What does this mean?

 

Read Ephesians 4:4-6. Breakdown all of the “ones” listed and what each of them mean.

One ______________

One ______________

One ______________

 

One ______________

 

One ______________

One ______________

One _____________

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Seeking God Series – Week 3 – Anxiety

Matthew 6:25-34 – If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Luke 12:4-7 – I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

John 16:33 – I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Read Luke 12:25. This verse speaks of adding a single moment to your life. If the answer is no, worrying cannot add a single hour to your life—then what does worrying do?

 

Read Psalm 127:2. What does this verse tell us?

  

Read Philippians 4:6-7. This verse speaks about praying with thanksgiving. How does this help us to combat our anxieties and worries?

 

Read Matthew 8:23-27. In this passage, the disciples are anxious during a storm and Jesus is sleeping. How does Jesus reply? How is worry, anxiousness, and fear related to faith?

 

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Seeking God Series – Week 4 – Suffering

[Job]

TEST ONE

Job 1:6-12 – God leads Job into a season of testing, just like Jesus was also led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (see Matthew 4:1-11).

Testing/Trials are considered positive. They are to help prove someone to be who God created them to be in life. They stretch and grow us.

Temptations are considered negative. God tests us; He allows trials. GOD DOES NOT TEMPT! The devil tempts us to try and cause us to fail. 

God says, “All right, you may test him. Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but DON’T HARM HIM physically.” (1:12).

Satan had to get permission. Job was not out of the protective hand of the Father.

Lost his animals, his shepherds, his farmhands, his servants.

Lost his 7 sons and 3 daughters.

Job stood up, tore his robe in grief, shaved head, and FELL TO THE GROUND TO WORSHIP. (1:20)

“I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” (1:21)

JOB DID NOT SIN BY BLAMING GOD.

TEST TWO

Job 2:3-6 – God again allows Satan to test Job. 

“Do with him as you please BUT SPARE HIS LIFE” (2:6)

Terrible boils from head to foot

Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” (2:8-9)

“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (2:10)

JOB SAID NOTHING WRONG.

“FRIENDS” GATHER

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar – barely recognized him, wailed loudly, tore robes, threw dust into air over their heads, sat on ground with him for seven days in silence. THEY SAW HIS SUFFERING WAS TOO GREAT FOR WORDS.

THE LORD CHALLENGES JOB

Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them. (38:2-3)

God exposes Job’s ignorance of who God really is by describing Himself in Job 38-40.

Job replies, “I am nothing – how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” (40:4-5)

JOB’S FINAL RESPONSE 

“I know that you can do anything and no one can stop you… I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.” (42:2-3)

“I HAD ONLY HEARD ABOUT YOU before, but NOW I HAVE SEEN YOU WITH MY OWN EYES. I take back everything I said and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” (42:5-6)

CONCLUSION

Job prays for friends

The Lord restored Job’s fortunes, giving him twice as much as before.

Read Job 7:17 and Psalm 8:4-6. Consider what Job is saying here… what he recognizes, and how it relates to what the Psalmist notes.

 

Read Job 12:10. What does this verse declare? Why do we constantly need to remind ourselves of this truth?

 

Read Job 19:25-27. This passage declares that Job knows His Redeemer lives and he is overwhelmed at the thought of seeing Him with his own eyes. 

How has God redeemed us?

 

What is so overwhelming at the thought of seeing God? 

 

Read Job 23:3. Still Job desires God. Through all of the suffering and back and forth with his friends, he wants to converse with God. There are two options we have when suffering – run from God or draw near. How is this desire to meet God satisfied?

 

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Seeking God Series – Week 5 – Guardian Angels

[Psalm 91]

Psalm 91:11-12 – “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”

Daniel 6:22 – “My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.” – DANIEL AND LIONS DEN, ANGEL CLOSES MOUTHS OF LIONS

(*) Having angels doesn’t increase safety

Creator of the Universe is your Father (Romans 8:16-17 – The Spirit testifies we are God’s children, heirs of God, co-heirs with Christ)

Lord of the Universe is your Brother (Romans 8:29 – Jesus is firstborn among many brothers & sisters)

Cannot have safer, more exalted position than God

Exodus 23:20 – “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” 

John 16:5-15 – Later the Spirit of Jesus is our companion.

Purpose of angels – to serve and care for God’s people

Hebrews 1:13-14 – “And God never said to any of the angels, ‘Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.’ Therefore, angels are only servants–spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.”

Psalm 34:7 – “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” GUARDS – SURROUNDS & DEFENDS

Angels encamp around the godly, not just one, but MANY to guard the faithful. The care of the entire Church is committed to angels.

2 Kings 6:14-17 – “He sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, ‘Alas, my master! What shall we do?’ So he answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” 

Similar to 2 Kings 2:11 when Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven at the appearance of a chariot of fire and horses of fire.

Matthew 26:53 – “Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly?” – ARREST OF JESUS

Psalm 103:19-22 – “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.”

 (*) The idea that humans in general have an angel specifically assigned to them as a guardian angel for their lifetime is NOT addressed in the Bible.

Acts 12:15 – “Peter’s angel” comment when Peter rescued by angel from prison and he returns to a house full of people praying for him

“You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”

This doesn’t mean that Peter had a specific angel assigned to him always. He had an angel perform a special assignment to rescue him from jail. Some people did hold a belief that people had their own specific angel at all times. AGAIN, THIS ISN’T IN THE BIBLICAL TEXT.

(*) Angels have special privileged access to the Father

Matthew 18:10 – “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

v. 6 – “Little ones” – true believers in Jesus with a childlike trust in God

This concept of “their angels” could refer to a specific angel assigned to each disciple, or could just be appointed for a specific time. 

NOTE: v. 11 is missing from many Bibles

“And the Son of Man came to save those who are lost.”

Revelation 5:11-12 – “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: ‘Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!’ Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’ The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

Read Psalm 91:11 and Matthew 4:11. What do these verses say about angels?

 

Read Colossians 2:18. The church in Colossae had some false teachers sharing about the worship of angels. Paul addresses the behavior. What is wrong with worshipping angels? What position should they have in our lives?

 

Hebrews 1 discusses angels at length. Read Hebrews 1:5-14. What can you glean from this passage?

 

Read Ephesians 2:4-6, 1 Corinthians 6:3, and 2 Timothy 2:12. How are we positioned in comparison to angels, and will that change?

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Seeking God Series – Week 6 – Forgiveness

[Hebrews 10:1-18, Psalm 19]

Some believe the number 6 symbolizes imperfection

Sin is sin – don’t get caught in trying to rate sins. 

Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. (1 John 3:4)

Everyone sins (Romans 3:23)

Wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)

Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2)

The Purpose of the Law:

Temporary guardian until Christ came

The law identifies sin and reveals spiritually bankruptcy and need for Jesus (Romans 7:7 – law reveals sin)

Relationship with God and one another

Separation from the nations – set apart (Deuteronomy 7:6-11)

True worship – the law is holy, provides standard of righteousness (Romans 7:12)

Old Testament Sacrifices

The law is weak because it depended upon man’s ability to follow 

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, (Romans 8:3)

Blood sacrifice gave visual display of the harsh reality of sin. There is a price to pay. Sin results in death. 

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.  (Hebrews 9:22)

For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. (Leviticus 17:11)

Ultimate Forgiveness (Once for All)

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)

The Sacrifice of Jesus – Hebrews 10:1-18 [MSG]

The old plan was only a hint of the good things in the new plan. Since that old “law plan” wasn’t complete in itself, it couldn’t complete those who followed it. No matter how many sacrifices were offered year after year, they never added up to a complete solution. If they had, the worshipers would have gone merrily on their way, no longer dragged down by their sins. But instead of removing awareness of sin, when those animal sacrifices were repeated over and over they actually heightened awareness and guilt. The plain fact is that bull and goat blood can’t get rid of sin. That is what is meant by this prophecy, put in the mouth of Christ:

You don’t want sacrifices and offerings year after year;

    you’ve prepared a body for me for a sacrifice.

It’s not fragrance and smoke from the altar

    that whet your appetite.

So I said, “I’m here to do it your way, O God,

    the way it’s described in your Book.”

When he said, “You don’t want sacrifices and offerings,” he was referring to practices according to the old plan. When he added, “I’m here to do it your way,” he set aside the first in order to enact the new plan—God’s way—by which we are made fit for God by the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus.

Every priest goes to work at the altar each day, offers the same old sacrifices year in, year out, and never makes a dent in the sin problem. As a priest, Christ made a single sacrifice for sins, and that was it! Then he sat down right beside God and waited for his enemies to cave in. It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people. By that single offering, he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. The Holy Spirit confirms this:

This new plan I’m making with Israel

    isn’t going to be written on paper,

    isn’t going to be chiseled in stone;

This time “I’m writing out the plan in them,

    carving it on the lining of their hearts.”

He concludes,

I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.

Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them.

Not Under the Law

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. [Romans 6:14]

Not burdened with the Law

Not a way to earn salvation

The Law Today

The Law is fulfilled when we love our neighbor (Romans 13:8, Galatians 5:14) – LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS

Love is the outworking of authentic saving faith

The Law was all about obedience which flows from faith

God’s commands in OT & NT lead to full and lasting joy.

We should delight in God’s Law.

[Psalm 19]

Read 1 John 1:9. This verse notes that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us. Take some time to pray and search your heart. Write your sin in the sand and cover it up, symbolizing how the blood of Christ covers all sin.

Is there anything that God wants you to stop? 

Is there something that is keeping you from His best? 

Are you actively engaged in a sin that separates you from Him? 

Are you holding on to a past sin you have already sought repentance for previously? The devil often will remind us of our past. Remember, you have been forgiven the moment you asked for forgiveness. Take some time to pray and declare these scripture verses.

Read Acts 3:19.

I have repented. I have turned to God. My sins are wiped out. I welcome the refreshing that comes from the Lord. Continue to refresh me Lord!

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17

I am in Christ. I am a new creation. The old has gone. The new is here!

Read Hebrews 10:17 & Psalm 103:12.

God does not remember my sins. I am forgiven completely. As far as the east is from the west, He has removed my sin.

Read Colossians 1:13-14

He has rescued me from darkness. He has brought me into the kingdom of His son. I have redemption and forgiveness in Him.

Read Romans 6:14.

Sin is not my master. I am under grace.

Read John 8:36.

Jesus has set me free. I am free.

Read Psalm 51. This psalm was written by David. The prophet Nathan approached David following his act of adultery with Bathsheba. Take some time to participate in the handwashing station as a reminder that your sins have been blotted out by the Lamb, and you are considered whiter than snow.

Write your own personal Psalm 51.

Read Psalm 32. Praise the Lord for the righteousness you have in Christ. You are righteous (right with God) through faith in Jesus Christ. Add your “marks” to the reflective art piece as a reminder of the righteous robe that you now adorn because of His great love.

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Seeking God Series – Week 7 – Redemption

[Ruth]

Redemption – deliverance from captivity by means of ransom price

“Ruth” means “friendship.”

Time Period: During the Time of Judges 

Everyone did whatever was right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25).

Famine in Bethlehem in Judah. As a result, Elimelek and Naomi, and their sons Mahlon and Kilion travel to Moab. (v. 1)

Moab was one of the nations that oppressed Israel (see Judges 3 – when the King of Moab Eglon was killed by left-handed Ehud).

While in Moab, Mahlon married Ruth; Kilion married Orpah. Elimelek and his sons died, leaving Naomi, Ruth and Orpah as widows. Widows typically were taken advantage of or ignored. (v. 3-5)

Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem and instructs her daughter-in-laws to return to their families because she had no other sons to redeem them. Both objected at first, but then Orpah agrees to return to her people. Ruth opted to return with Naomi to Bethlehem, accepting Naomi’s people and God for her own. (“Return” same verb as “Repent”). (v. 6-16)

With joining Naomi, Ruth gave up the possible opportunity she had to have security and children with her own people. When Naomi and Ruth returned, the people celebrated; however, Naomi asked to be called “Mara,” meaning bitter, because of her situation. Some believe this type of situation could be attributed to divine displeasure due to living for ten years in Moab, away from God’s people. (v. 20-22)

Ruth set out to glean in the fields. Gleaning is picking up the leftovers. The Law said that landowners must leave the corners of their land for the poor, and anything that fell to the ground was also available. The field Ruth went to was owned by Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s family. As a relative, Boaz was one of the possible family redeemers. The Law stated that a widow could be married by her husband’s brothers or family members, and this person would be the family redeemer, who would keep the inheritance alive.

Ruth had a great reputation among the people because of her sacrifice and care for Naomi (see 2:11, 3:11). Boaz instructed his workers to allow extra barley to fall down in Ruth’s path so she had more.

Naomi instructed Ruth to visit Boaz at the threshing floor during the evening because she wanted to find Ruth a home and provider. The threshing floor was where the grain was separated and most of the threshing was done at night because the harvesting happened during the daytime. Boaz would have been sleeping there awaiting his turn and preventing any theft. 

Ruth followed the instructions of Naomi and laid down at Boaz’s feet. When he awoke, Boaz agreed to redeem Ruth if the first in line refused to accept the position. In the morning, Boaz was a man of his word. The man first in line as family redeemer could not accept the cost so Boaz did.

The willingness of Boaz to undertake the costly duty of being the family redeemer foreshadows the greater cost that our Redeemer would make for each of us. Jesus descends from this very sacrifice.

Ruth + Boaz = Obed = Jesse = David  Jesus

The book of Ruth begins with death but ends with HOPE!

The family abandoned Bethlehem during the family; later Naomi returned with Ruth by her side. It was where Redemption was born!

What is the meaning of Bethlehem?

 

How does Bethlehem relate to Christ and redemption?

 

Read Ruth 2:8-9, 14-16. Boaz was treating Ruth with incredible kindness, doing more than required.  What did he do? How does this remind us of Jesus?

 

Read Leviticus 25:25-28, 47-55. These passages reference the kinsman redeemer position that is referenced in the book of Ruth, the position that Boaz accepts. How is Boaz similar to Christ as a kinsman redeemer?

 

Is the marriage of Boaz and Ruth breaking God’s law since Boaz is Israelite and Ruth is a Moabite? Read Deuteronomy 7:1-4, Deuteronomy 23:3, and Judges 21:25.

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Seeking God Series – Week 8 – Spiritual Warfare

John 17:11, 15 – Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are… I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.

The Devil is the ruler of this world (John 1:31)

The Devil prowls like a roaring lion seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8)

Satan lies – He is the Father of Lies (John 8:44)

Satan blinds the minds of the unbeliever (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Satan masquerades in costumes of light (2 Corinthians 11-13:15)

Satan tempts people to sin, leading thoughts astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3)

Satan plucks the Word of God out of hearts [seed on the path] & chokes faith (Matthew 13:19)

Satan can cause sickness and disease (Luke 13:16 – 18 yrs hemorrhage) 

Satan is a murderer (John 8:44)

Satan fights against the plans of missionaries (1 Thessalonians 2:17-18)

Satan accuses Christians before God (Revelation 12:10)

Don’t give opportunity to the Devil (Ephesians 4:27) – re: anger & sin

Resist (1 Peter 5:9, James 4:7) – Resist the Devil, standing firm in the faith… your brothers and sisters are also undergoing the same kind of struggles… when you resist, He flees!

Take up your Sword of the Spirit (Word of God), praying at all times (Ephesians 6:17-18)

Read 1 Chronicles 21:1-4. In this passage, the Bible says that Satan instigated David to take a census. The man after God’s own heart sinned greatly and God was very displeased. Repentance and punishment followed. What was Satan’s involvement? What is Satan’s objective?

 

Read Matthew 16:22-23, Luke 22:31-34, and Matthew 26:74. As we look at Peter under the magnifying glass, we see how Jesus calls him Satan at one point. Jesus notes that Satan wants to sift Peter and the other disciples, and later we read of the denial of Jesus by Peter (who previously denied the denial). Peter was certainly under attack in an attempt to try to keep him from being used by God as a vessel to help build the Early Church.

Before the denial, Jesus tells Peter about Satan’s desire to sift. What did Jesus say He had done in response to Satan’s request?

 

The passage in Luke says, “So when you have repented and turned to Me again.” Jesus notes Peter would deny Him. He would repent. He would turn back to Jesus. What does Jesus tell Peter to do when he turns back? Why is this important?

 

Read Daniel 10:2-3, 7-13. Daniel was mourning, fasting, and praying for three weeks. What does this passage say happened? What does this mean for us?

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Seeking God Series – Week 9 – Love

[John 13, 1 Corinthians 13, Philippians 2:1-11]

Ephesians 5:2 – And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. [ESV]

Types of love (“The Four Loves” by C.S. Lewis)

AFFECTION – Storge – liking someone through fondness of familiarity, family members, people who can relate in familiar ways (share interests with), parent/child love, empathy bond, FAMILY LOVE 

FRIENDSHIP – Philia – love between friends as close as siblings, friend bond, BROTHERLY LOVE / FRIEND LOVE 

EROS – Eros – “being in love,” erotic bond, SEXUAL LOVE 

CHARITY – Agape – UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

How God loves us

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 8:38-39 – And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Corinthians 13

Without love = Nothing

Love will last FOREVER

1 Corinthians 14:1 – Let love be your HIGHEST GOAL

John 13

Honor Everyone – Honor means “bestow value upon.”

1 Peter 2:17 – Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Romans 12:10 – Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Jesus loved His disciples during His ministry on earth

Jesus loved His disciples to the very end

Jesus knew that the Father gave Him authority over everything

SO He got up from the table

He gave an example to follow. LOVE IN ACTION. Love isn’t just words.

What is in the heart, comes out in words and deeds!

Love each other as I have loved you.

Love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.

Philippians 2 – Have the attitude of Christ

We MUST be a church that loves one another.

WE CAN’T TAKE OUTSIDE WHAT’S NOT INSIDE

Read 1 Kings 3:16-28. In this story, Solomon judges wisely. Two women claim the same baby.

What does the real mother do?

 

What kind of love is this?

 

How can you love people like this?

 

Read 1 Samuel 18:1-5, 19:1-7, 20:1-17, 20:35-42; 2 Samuel 1:26, 2 Samuel 9:1-12. 

How does the Bible say Jonathan loved David?

 

Jonathan’s love for David is a sacrificial one. How?

 

David considered Jonathan a brother. What did David do to honor his dear friend after Jonathan’s death?

 

How can you love people like this?