Isaiah 30-31

Woe to the Obstinate Nation

Woe to the obstinate children,”
    declares the Lord,

“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
    forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,
    heaping sin upon sin;
who go down to Egypt
    without consulting me;
who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,
    to Egypt’s shade for refuge.
But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame,
    Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace.
Though they have officials in Zoan
    and their envoys have arrived in Hanes,
everyone will be put to shame
    because of a people useless to them,
who bring neither help nor advantage,
    but only shame and disgrace.”A prophecy concerning the animals of the Negev:Through a land of hardship and distress,
    of lions and lionesses,
    of adders and darting snakes,
the envoys carry their riches on donkeys’ backs,
    their treasures on the humps of camels,
to that unprofitable nation,
    to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless.
Therefore I call her
    Rahab the Do-Nothing.Go now, write it on a tablet for them,
    inscribe it on a scroll,
that for the days to come
    it may be an everlasting witness.
For these are rebellious people, deceitful children,
    children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction.
10 They say to the seers,
    “See no more visions!”
and to the prophets,
    “Give us no more visions of what is right!
Tell us pleasant things,
    prophesy illusions.
11 Leave this way,
    get off this path,
and stop confronting us
    with the Holy One of Israel!”12 Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says:“Because you have rejected this message,
    relied on oppression
    and depended on deceit,
13 this sin will become for you
    like a high wall, cracked and bulging,
    that collapses suddenly, in an instant.
14 It will break in pieces like pottery,
    shattered so mercilessly
that among its pieces not a fragment will be found
    for taking coals from a hearth
    or scooping water out of a cistern.”15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.
16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
    Therefore you will flee!
You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
    Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
17 A thousand will flee
    at the threat of one;
at the threat of five
    you will all flee away,
till you are left
    like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
    like a banner on a hill.”18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for him!19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 22 Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!”23 He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows. 24 The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash, spread out with fork and shovel. 25 In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. 26 The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.27 See, the Name of the Lord comes from afar,
    with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke;
his lips are full of wrath,
    and his tongue is a consuming fire.
28 His breath is like a rushing torrent,
    rising up to the neck.
He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction;
    he places in the jaws of the peoples
    a bit that leads them astray.
29 And you will sing
    as on the night you celebrate a holy festival;
your hearts will rejoice
    as when people playing pipes go up
to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the Rock of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause people to hear his majestic voice
    and will make them see his arm coming down
with raging anger and consuming fire,
    with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.
31 The voice of the Lord will shatter Assyria;
    with his rod he will strike them down.
32 Every stroke the Lord lays on them
    with his punishing club
will be to the music of timbrels and harps,
    as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.
33 Topheth has long been prepared;
    it has been made ready for the king.
Its fire pit has been made deep and wide,
    with an abundance of fire and wood;
the breath of the Lord,
    like a stream of burning sulfur,
    sets it ablaze.
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Isaiah 28-29

Woe to the Leaders of Ephraim and Judah28 Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,
    to the fading flower, his glorious beauty,
set on the head of a fertile valley—
    to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine!
See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong.
    Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind,
like a driving rain and a flooding downpour,
    he will throw it forcefully to the ground.
That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards,
    will be trampled underfoot.
That fading flower, his glorious beauty,
    set on the head of a fertile valley,
will be like figs ripe before harvest—
    as soon as people see them and take them in hand,
    they swallow them.In that day the Lord Almighty
    will be a glorious crown,
a beautiful wreath
    for the remnant of his people.
He will be a spirit of justice
    to the one who sits in judgment,
a source of strength
    to those who turn back the battle at the gate.And these also stagger from wine
    and reel from beer:
Priests and prophets stagger from beer
    and are befuddled with wine;
they reel from beer,
    they stagger when seeing visions,
    they stumble when rendering decisions.
All the tables are covered with vomit
    and there is not a spot without filth.“Who is it he is trying to teach?
    To whom is he explaining his message?
To children weaned from their milk,
    to those just taken from the breast?
10 For it is:
    Do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that;
    a little here, a little there.”11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues
    God will speak to this people,
12 to whom he said,
    “This is the resting place, let the weary rest”;
and, “This is the place of repose”—
    but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the Lord to them will become:
    Do this, do that,
    a rule for this, a rule for that;
    a little here, a little there—
so that as they go they will fall backward;
    they will be injured and snared and captured.14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
    who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death,
    with the realm of the dead we have made an agreement.
When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
    it cannot touch us,
for we have made a lie our refuge
    and falsehood our hiding place.”16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
    a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
    will never be stricken with panic.
17 I will make justice the measuring line
    and righteousness the plumb line;
hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie,
    and water will overflow your hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled;
    your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand.
When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by,
    you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it comes it will carry you away;
    morning after morning, by day and by night,
    it will sweep through.”The understanding of this message
    will bring sheer terror.
20 The bed is too short to stretch out on,
    the blanket too narrow to wrap around you.
21 The Lord will rise up as he did at Mount Perazim,
    he will rouse himself as in the Valley of Gibeon—
to do his work, his strange work,
    and perform his task, his alien task.
22 Now stop your mocking,
    or your chains will become heavier;
the Lord, the Lord Almighty, has told me
    of the destruction decreed against the whole land.23 Listen and hear my voice;
    pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
    Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has leveled the surface,
    does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
    barley in its plot,
    and spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him
    and teaches him the right way.27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
    nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,
    and cumin with a stick.
28 Grain must be ground to make bread;
    so one does not go on threshing it forever.
The wheels of a threshing cart may be rolled over it,
    but one does not use horses to grind grain.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
    whose plan is wonderful,
    whose wisdom is magnificent.Woe to David’s City29 Woe to you, Ariel, Ariel,
    the city where David settled!
Add year to year
    and let your cycle of festivals go on.
Yet I will besiege Ariel;
    she will mourn and lament,
    she will be to me like an altar hearth.
I will encamp against you on all sides;
    I will encircle you with towers
    and set up my siege works against you.
Brought low, you will speak from the ground;
    your speech will mumble out of the dust.
Your voice will come ghostlike from the earth;
    out of the dust your speech will whisper.But your many enemies will become like fine dust,
    the ruthless hordes like blown chaff.
Suddenly, in an instant,
    the Lord Almighty will come
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
    with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire.
Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
    that attack her and her fortress and besiege her,
will be as it is with a dream,
    with a vision in the night—
as when a hungry person dreams of eating,
    but awakens hungry still;
as when a thirsty person dreams of drinking,
    but awakens faint and thirsty still.
So will it be with the hordes of all the nations
    that fight against Mount Zion.Be stunned and amazed,
    blind yourselves and be sightless;
be drunk, but not from wine,
    stagger, but not from beer.
10 The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep:
    He has sealed your eyes (the prophets);
    he has covered your heads (the seers).11 For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I can’t; it is sealed.” 12 Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”13 The Lord says:“These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
14 Therefore once more I will astound these people
    with wonder upon wonder;
the wisdom of the wise will perish,
    the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
15 Woe to those who go to great depths
    to hide their plans from the Lord,
who do their work in darkness and think,
    “Who sees us? Who will know?”
16 You turn things upside down,
    as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
    “You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
    “You know nothing”?17 In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field
    and the fertile field seem like a forest?
18 In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll,
    and out of gloom and darkness
    the eyes of the blind will see.
19 Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord;
    the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
20 The ruthless will vanish,
    the mockers will disappear,
    and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down—
21 those who with a word make someone out to be guilty,
    who ensnare the defender in court
    and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.22 Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the descendants of Jacob:“No longer will Jacob be ashamed;
    no longer will their faces grow pale.
23 When they see among them their children,
    the work of my hands,
they will keep my name holy;
    they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob,
    and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding;
    those who complain will accept instruction.”New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.Philippians 3No Confidence in the Flesh3 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 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 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.Following Paul’s Example15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.New International Version (NIV)
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Let’s start with digital currency, most people have no clue what this means and at a glance they see no problem with this it will spend the same as cash or checks they say………they say…….Its not about if you can spend your digital money or not, ITS ALL ABOUT CONTROL OF HOW YOU SPEND EVERY RED CENT. Most people do not look at their credit card statements anymore they just pay the bill.(think of your credit card as digital currency) take a hard look at the statement, the credit card company know exactly when you go somewhere where and what time you go there what you spend your money for hen you ger there.

This will be what will happen in a digital currency country, The government will know when where why what time what date you spend your digital currency on. If you go to purchase anything they deem not needed by you your digital currency will be denied at the vendor. When you get paid by your employer if the government thinks you are being paid too much it will be lowered, on the other hand, others for many reasons many good and many bad their share of digital currency will not be limited.


The push for electric cars is the same, control, knowing exactly where you go when you go, if you are speeding your speed will be reduced or your car turned off, you will charge it at appointed charging stations operated by the government.

This means you the citizen will be under complete government control, where you live where you go where you work how many children you have what school you go to where you buy food and clothing, YOU WILL NOW BE THE HAVE NOTS, The haves (the government and all associated families and business that make up the new world order will live like kings}


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Imagine if you will…….

It’s 2035 America has switched to all-electric vehicles and fossil fuel is outlawed.

A cat 5 hurricane has just hit the southeast united states. The news media is screaming power may be out for weeks……or even months because all the power company trucks run on electricity and are sitting in parking lots and stalled on highways unable to get to the power outages, The sun has not shined for days leaving solar fields useless, Most of the windmills in the windmill farms are blown over or blades striped off by the cat 5 hurricanes. All the stores, pharmacies hospitals Doctors’ offices are closed because there are no fossil fuel generators to supply power, all the delivery trucks are sitting along the highways with dead batteries, no food water ANYTHING being delivered, All guns have long been taken from honest Americans only criminals and rouge policemen have guns and murder and looting is rampant………

America, have we gotten so caught up in ourselves that we can not Imagine this.

Wake up America before it’s too late!

Destroyed wind turbine after a storm
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  1. I.                                WHAT IS THE BIBLE?
  1. 1.       The Bible is God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).  It was written over a period of about 1600 years by over 40 different human authors, who were under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
  • 2.       The word “Bible” (biblos) means “book.”  Even though the Bible is one book, it has two major parts–The Old Testament, which is comprised of 39 individual books, and the New Testament, which is comprised of 27 individual books.  The word “Testament” (Heb. Berith; Gk. Diatheke) means “covenant, or arrangement between two parties.”
  • 3.       God gave the Old Covenant or Testament to Moses for the people of Israel (Exodus 24).  Later, the prophet Jeremiah announced that God would make a new covenant with all His people (Jeremiah 31:31-34), which Jesus did at the Last Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-25; Matthew 26:28).
  • 4.       Today, all people are required by God to live under the New Covenant or New Testament.
  • “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law” (Galatians 3:24, 25).  (See also Hebrews 7:19; 8:6; 9:23).
  • 5.       Although we live under the New Covenant, we should still study the Old Testament because it is the inspired Word of God.  It teaches us about the nature of God, and it provides us with examples of how we are to live and not to live (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).
  1. II.                              WHY STUDY THE BIBLE?
  1. 1.      I could plead with you to study the Bible for personal edification; I could appeal with you to study the Bible for personal happiness; I could beseech you to study the Bible because it would be the most fulfilling and rewarding educational experience of your life.  But ultimately the main reason why we should study the Bible is because it is our duty.
  • “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
  • “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
  • “For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).
  • 2.      For a Christian, Bible study is not an option.  It is our duty. 
  • III.                            WHY DO SOME PEOPLE DISREGARD BIBLE STUDY?
  1. 1.      It is true that in some places the Bible is not easy to understand (2 Peter 3:16).  But for the most part, the Bible is simple to read and understand.  If we can read the newspaper, we can read the Bible.  In fact, I would venture to guess that more difficult words and concepts are expressed on the front page of a newspaper than on most pages of the Bible. 
  1. 1.      The Bible is the most relevant and exciting book that has ever been produced. 
  1. a.      Martin Luther once said, The Bible is alive, it speaks to me.  It has feet, it runs after me.  It has hands, it lays hold of me.
  1. 1.      Reading is something we can do in a leisurely way, something that can be done strictly for entertainment in a casual manner.  But study suggests labor, serious and diligent work.
  • 2.      Most people read their Bibles but do not study their Bibles.  Reading the Bible is valuable (Nehemiah 8:2, 3) and there is a time and place for it.  But Studying the Bible is also valuable and is necessary in striving to understand God’s truths (Ezra 7:10).  This class is going to be geared towards learning how to study not read the Bible.
  • V.                             BASIC TOOLS RECOMMENDED FOR BIBLE STUDY.
  • Listed below are some basic study tools that I recommend for Bible study.  This is not an exhausted list.  There may be many other good books on the market that are not listed.  The * sign at the end of some of the references means that they are expensive. 
  1. 1.      When studying the Bible, we should use not just one translation but many well-chosen translations.  We should do this in order to get the best possible meaning from the text.
  • 2.      We should buy a Bible that is as close as possible to the original Hebrew and Greek wording as it left the inspired writers hand and a Bible that we can understand.  Below, are some of the best translations on the market.  This is not an exhausted list.
  • The New American Standard Version.
  • The New King James and King James Versions.
  • The Revised and New Revised Standard Versions.
  • The New International Version.
  1. 1.      A Bible dictionary provides valuable information about all aspects of the Bible.  It provides historical, chronological, archaeological, geographical, social, theological, and biographical information.
  • The New International Dictionary of the Bible (Zondervan).
  • New Bible Dictionary (Eerdmans).
  • The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Eerdmans).*
  • Zondervan’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible (Zondervan).
  1. 1.      A word study book provides definitions for the Hebrew and Greek words.
  • A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Arndt & Gingrich (Chicago).* You must know the Greek alphabet in order to use this volume. 
  • Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nelson).
  • Expository Dictionary of Bible Words by Lawrence Richards (Regency).
  • The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates (AMG).
  • Dictionary of New Testament Theology by Collin Brown (Regency).*
  1. 1.      The best way to buy commentaries is to buy them one at a time when you begin to study a specific Bible book.  Each commentary is normally written by one author and expresses his or her interpretation of the Bible book.  Commentaries that are based on the Greek and Hebrew texts are the best.
  • The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Set (NIV, Regency). 
  • The Word Commentary Set (Zondervan).*
  • The Living Word Commentary Set (ACU Press).
  • The New International Commentary Set (Eerdmans).
  • The New Century Commentary Set (Nelson).
  • I have mentioned four tools for Bible study: a good Bible translation, Bible dictionary, word study book, and commentary.  Of course, there are other kinds of tools, but for studying the Bible these are the essential ones.
  • VI.                           MATTERS TO CONSIDER WHEN STUDYING THE BIBLE.
  1. 1.      As we come to hear what God has to say, we need to talk to Him.
  • David prayed, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from your law” (Psalm 119:18).
  1. a.      This ought to be our prayer as we come to study the Bible.
  • 2.      In our prayer we should invite the Holy Spirit to join us in our study.
  1. a.      After all, the Holy Spirit according to (John 16:13) is here to guide us into all truth. 
  • 3.      In our prayer we should ask for forgiveness of sins.  If God used holy men of God to write His book, He wants holy men of God to interpret His book.  If one is not in a proper relationship with God, it is not realistic to think he will be able to interpret the Bible correctly.
  • “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways” (Psalm 119:15).
  1. 1.      There is no way we can meditate on God’s Word unless we clear our minds of worldly concerns.


In Image Magazine, Tim Curtis writes, on the last day of 1944, Hiroo Onoda, a young lieutenant in the Japanese army, arrived on the island of Lubang, about 75 miles southwest of Manila.  His assignment was to conduct guerilla warfare against the American forces who were expected to attempt a landing on Lubang and the rest of the Philippines within the coming weeks.  When the Americans did mount a successful offensive on Lubang about a month later, something which to them was little more than a “mopping up” operation, Lieutenant Onoda led a small group of soldiers into the jungle and began the mission for which he had been trained: to conduct a covert operation of disruption against American forces for as long as possible.

Onoda was a man of exceptional valor and loyalty.  Like many Japanese soldiers in World War II, he was prepared to take his own life rather than surrender, but in his case, specific orders were given not to take his life.  He was to stay alive as long as he could in order to do maximum damage to the enemy.  As he made his way to Lubang, he recalled the promise of his division commander: “Whatever happens, we’ll come back for you.”  Onoda vowed to himself, “I will fight till that day comes.”  It did indeed finally come…30 years later. 

On March 10, 1974, on the orders of his former commander, Hiroo Onoda formally surrendered to the Philippine authorities.  For 30 years he had manned his post, unaware that the war had ended just six months after he had gone into the jungle.  Two others had been with him for portions of that time.  One died after 10 years, and the other was killed in a gun battle with Philippine police about a year before Onoda surrendered.  At the time he was found, Onoda was making plans to survive another 20 years in the jungle.

One of the most remarkable things about Onoda’s story was that several attempts had been made to find him and bring him home to Japan.  Once Japanese officials learned that Onoda was continuing to fight a war that had long since ended, search parties spent months at a time trying to locate him.  Leaflets and newspapers were dropped from helicopters.  Loud speakers blared messages from several family members, including his father.  Onoda, convinced that Japan would never surrender, misinterpreted these attempts to find him.  He even twisted things around to believe that the Japanese army was using these efforts to secretly encourage him to stay in the jungle, the very opposite of what they were trying to do.  In his autobiography, No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War, Onoda wrote that he and his two comrades “developed so many fixed ideas that we were unable to understand anything that did not conform with them.  If there was anything that did not fit in with them we interpreted it to mean what we wanted it to mean.”

  1. 1.      Too often, people study the Scriptures looking for ideas that support their own interpretation of the Bible.  In doing this, they misinterpret God’s intended meaning. 
  1. a.      Baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29).
  • b.     Kitchens in church buildings (1 Corinthians 11:22, 34).
  • 2.      We must go into Bible study with an open mind and allow God’s Word to dictate its own meaning.  We must never bring our own theological heritage to the texts as we read them.
  • VII.                         HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE.
  • The best way to study the Bible is to study it one book at a time.  If God wrote us a letter, wouldn’t He expect us to read that letter from the beginning to the end?  It wouldn’t make sense if we only read bits and pieces. 
  1. 1.      Read a book two or three times without using any study aids.
  1. a.      Focus on the book as a whole.
  • b.     Seek to understand its meaning as a whole.
  • 2.      When reading the book, look for several things:
  1. a.      Theme or the purpose of the book.
  • b.     Who wrote the book and why?
  • c.      To whom it was written?
  • d.     Book’s outline.
  1. 1.      Determine the passage boundaries.
  1. a.       What is a passage?
  • (1)       A passage is a group of verses that usually has one major idea.
  • (2)       It varies in length.
  • (3)       It could consist of two sentences or it could consist of a whole chapter.
  • b.      Example:
  • (1)       (1 Corinthians 1:1-9) is one passage.  It is the greeting section.
  • (2)       (1 Corinthians 1:10-17) is one passage.  It is describes the division that was taking place in the church in Corinth. 
  1. 1.      Read the passage several times to try to figure out what it says.
  1. 1.      After reading the passage several times, try to determine what style of literature it is.
  • 2.      God chose to use almost every available kind of literature to communicate His Word to us.  Below are some examples of the different types of literature God uses.


  1. 1.       Discoursive literature involves a presentation of ideas in an argumentative or logical form.  It presents the truths in terms of a “chain of logic” or “ideas.”  Many times, commands are found in this type of literature. 
  • 2.       The gospels and epistles use a great deal of discoursive literature.
  • 3.       How do we interpret discoursive literature?  We must carefully observe the logical development expressed within the book or passage.  We must be able to “trace the argument” in the book.  Each major argument of the writer should be treated as a paragraph within the passage.
  1. a.      (Read Matthew 5:43-48)  What is the primary teaching of this passage?
  • We are to love our enemies.
  • b.     (Read Ephesians 4:26, 27)  What is this passage teaching?
  • We must not sin when we get angry.  We need to resolve our anger before we go to bed at night.
  • c.      (Read 1 Corinthians 5:1-12)  What is the primary teaching of this passage?
  • A man in the church was having a sexual relationship with his father’s wife, which was a sin, and the church was ignoring the situation.  Paul told the church not to tolerate flagrant sin because leaving the sin undisciplined will have a dangerous influence on other believers (5:6).  Paul encouraged the church to put the man out of their fellowship (5:2, 5, 13) so that the man would repent and turn back to the Lord (5:5).


  1. 1.      The Bible contains more of this type of literature than it does any other kind (over 40% of the Old Testament is narrative).
  • 2.      Narratives are stories.  Their purpose is to show God at work in His creation and among His people.  The following Old Testament books are largely or entirely composed of narrative material: Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Jonah, and Haggai.  Moreover, Exodus, Numbers, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Job also contain substantial narrative portions.  In the New Testament, large portions of the four Gospels and Acts are narrative.
  • 3.      How do we interpret narrative literature?  Below, are several principles for interpreting narratives.
  1. a.      A narrative does not always directly teach a doctrine (Matthew 1-3).
  • We must not strive to build doctrines with narrative literature. 
  • b.     A narrative usually illustrates a doctrine or doctrines taught proportionally elsewhere.
  • For example, in the narrative of David’s adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11) you will not find any such statement as “In committing adultery and murder David did wrong.”  You are expected to know that adultery (and murder) are wrong, because this is taught explicitly already in the Bible (Exodus 20:13, 14; Matthew 5:27f).  The narrative illustrates through King David the effects of adultery. 
  • According to (Mat. 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:17-34), we are to partake the Lord’s Supper.  But how often are we to partake of it?  According to the narrative passage in (Acts 20:7), we are to partake of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. 
  • c.      Narratives record what happened — not necessarily what should have happened or what ought to happen every time.   What people do in narratives is not necessarily something we must always follow. 
  • In (Acts 2:45; 4:34, 35), we have an example of the early church selling their possessions and giving the money to the poor.  Is that a doctrine that we as Christians must follow today?  No.  The Bible does not command us or teach us elsewhere to sell all of our possessions and give them to the poor.  This narrative account simply explains how the early church gave to the poor.
  • In (Acts 1:26), the early disciples cast lots to determine who would replace Judas as their next apostle.  Does this mean we should cast lots when making decisions?  No.  The Bible does not command us in this passage or in any other passage to cast lots.  This narrative account simply explains how the early disciples made their decision in choosing Matthias as their next apostle.
  • 4.      We need to be very careful when interpreting and applying narrative literature.  A good applicable narrative usually illustrates a doctrine that is taught elsewhere in Scripture.  Not every narrative passage applies directly to us today.


  1. 1.      The parable employs the principle of analogy.  This is indicated by the significance of the word “parable” which is a combination of the Greek terms “para” and “ballo” and therefore connotes “that which is thrown or put forth beside something else” (hence analogy).  A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.
  • 2.      Thus a parable consist of two parts, the spiritual truth which is being illustrated and the brief narrative which is used as the vehicle to illustrate it.
  • 3.      How do we interpret parabolic literature?  We must recapture the “punch” or the “primary teaching” in each parable. 
  1. a.      (Read Lk. 16:19-31)  What is the primary teaching of this passage?
  • This parable is in the context of money (Read Lk. 16:13-15).  The Pharisees considered wealth to be a proof of a person’s righteousness.  Jesus startled them with a story where a diseased beggar is rewarded and a rich man is punished.  Just because your wealthy doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed a place in heaven. 
  • b.     (Read Mt. 18:21-35)  What is the primary teaching of this passage?
  • Since God has forgiven us of our sins, we must forgive our fellow man when he sins against us. 


  1. 1.       Biblical poetry has three main characteristics.  First, it utilizes figurative language (ie. Is characterized by “a chain of images” or “imagery”).  Second, it is emotional in nature.  Third, it employs parallelisms of different types.  Psalms, Proverbs contain the most poetic type of literature.
  • 2.       How do we interpret biblical poetry?  We must not take every word in poetry literally.  Instead, we must realize that the poet employs flexible language and that he expresses feelings rather than rigid logical concepts.
  1. a.      (Read Psalm 17) Does God have wings?  No, wings represent “shelter” (63:7; 91:4).  This image comes from the animal world, comparing God’s protective care to that of a bird with its young. So David was praying to God for care and protection from his enemies.


  1. 1.      The term “apocalypse” literally means “uncovering” or “revelation.”  Apocalyptic literature is a genre characterized by the use of symbolism and imagery and contains descriptions of fantastic visions that describe unseen realities or events to come.  The books of Ezekiel, and Daniel in the Old Testament and the book of Revelation in the NT are good illustrations of this type of literature.
  • 2.      How do we interpret apocalyptic literature?  In interpreting apocalyptic literature, it is imperative that we do several things:
  1. a.      First, we need to remember that apocalyptic literature uses a great deal of imagery.  We should seek to understand what the imagery teaches before we try to understand its language as a literal description of reality.
  • (1)        Who are the seven golden lampstands (Rev. 1:20)?  The seven churches.
  • (2)        Who is the great dragon (Rev. 12:9)?  Satan.
  • (3)        Who is the harlot or the woman in (Rev. 17:18)?  Rome.
  • b.     Second, it is essential that we seek to establish what an apocalyptic passage must have meant to the original audience who heard it read for the first time.  Ask questions like:
  • (1)       How did it speak to their situation?
  • (2)       What would it have meant to them? 
  • (3)       What was the original writer trying to convey to his audience?
  1. 1.      When the writer wrote a passage, he had a purpose in mind.  There is a central theme to every passage.  It is up to us to figure out what that purpose is.
  • 2.      After we read the passage several times, we should ask and answer the question,
  1. a.       What is the writer trying to say?
  • b.      What is the major idea of this passage?
  • 3.      The theme of a passage could be a word or a phrase that expresses the essential idea.
  • 4.      The theme could be found in the beginning, center or end of a passage.
  • 5.      What is the central idea or theme of these passages?
  1. a.      (Read Mt. 6:25-34)  The central idea is “do not worry about your life” (v. 25).
  • b.     (Read Mt. 8:1-4)  The central idea is “immediately he was cured of his leprosy” (v. 3).
  • c.      (Read 1 Cor. 1:18-25)  The central idea is “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (v. 24).
  • 6.      Once we find the theme, it is easier to understand the teachings of the passage.
  1. 1.      The Bible is a book, which communicates information verbally.  That means that it is filled with words.  Thoughts are expressed through the relationship of those words.  Each individual word contributes something to the whole of the content expressed.  The better we understand the individual words used in biblical statements, the better we will be able to understand the total message of Scripture.



  1. 1.       Example:
  • “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent” (1 Tim. 2:11, 12 NIV).
  • “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:11, 12 KJV).
  • 2.       If you were studying this passage, what words do you think need to be defined in order to understand the interpretation of the passage?
  • Silence.
  • Authority.
  1. 1.      Before you can study a word in its original language, you must first find out what that word is in its original language.
  • 2.      There are several ways to do this.
  1. a.       You can look that word up in the Greek or Hebrew text.
  • b.      You can use an interlinear Bible.
  • c.       You can use a computer software package.
  • d.      You can use a concordance.
  • e.       You can use a Bible word dictionary.
  • f.         You can use a Bible that has the Strong’s numbering system.
  • 3.      Once you have identified the word in its original language, you then begin to see what the scholars say about it.
  1. a.      What does the NIV Concordance say about the word?
  • It says that this word is used four times in the NT.
  • It is translated quiet, quietness, settle down, and silent.
  • b.     What does the Vines Complete Expository Dictionary of OT and NT Words say about the word?
  • It says that the word means “quietness” when used as a noun.
  • c.      What does the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible say about the word?
  • First, it has a transliteration of the word to help you better pronounce the word “hay-soo-khee’-ah”.
  • It says it means “stillness, quietness, or silence.”
  • d.     What does the Complete Word Study Dictionary of the NT say about the word?
  • In the sense of stillness, it means, “silence.”
  • 4.      At this point, does the word mean “quietness, silence or stillness.”  Since a word can have different meanings, how do you know which definition should be used. 
  1. a.      First, go to each verse in the NT where that word is used and see how it was defined in that context.

(2 Thess. 3:12)

  • “For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.  Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing” (2 Thess. 3:11-13 KJV).
  • “We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat.  And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right” (2 Thess. 3:11-13 NIV).

(Acts 22:2)

  • “Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence…” (Acts 22:2 KJV).
  • “Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”  When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.  Then Paul said…” (Acts 22:2 NIV).
  • From this word study, I conclude the Greek word (hesuchai) means “quietness and not total silence.”  This passage is not teaching that women cannot say anything for instance in Bible class.  Woman can ask questions and make comments just like men can.  However, women are to learn in quietness and not assume a lead teaching role over men.
  • “Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.  But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet” (1 Tim. 2:11, 12 NAS).
  1. 1.      The word “context” is composed of two Latin elements, con (“together”) and textus (“woven”).  Therefore, when we speak of the context, we are talking about the connection of thought that runs through a passage, those links that weave it into one piece.
  • 2.      Finding the context of a passage is very important because it brings an understanding of the underlying thought of the passage.  When we discover the context, we discover the thought that the writer had in mind. 
  • 3.      How do you identify the immediate context of a passage?
  1. a.      Read the passage thoroughly from beginning to end and study it until you become familiar with its basic thrust.
  • (1)        The worst mistake a Bible student can make is interpreting a portion of a passage while neglecting the context.
  • (2)        (Read 1 Corinthians 5:6-7). 
  • If you read these two verses without looking at the context your initial interpretation may be that it is a sin to allow yeast to make its way into a batch of dough.
  • To understand the context of these two verses you must start reading and studying (5:1-13).  A man in the church was having a sexual relationship with his father’s wife.  Paul told the church to disfellowship this man, so that his sin would not spread through the church and influence others.  The yeast in verse 6 is sin and the batch of dough is the church.
  • b.     To find the context, read carefully the material that precedes and the material that follows the passage.
  • (1)       (Read Luke 15:11-32). 
  • (2)       Why did Jesus tell this parable?
  • This parable is in the context of (15:1-2).  The Pharisees did not like the fact that Jesus associated with sinners.  In the Pharisees way of thinking, sinners were considered unclean and unfit for the kingdom of God.
  • Jesus in the parable of the Prodigal Son taught the Pharisees an important lesson about God’s attitude towards sinners.  In this story, the prodigal son represents sinners in general; the older brother represents the self-righteous Pharisees; and the father in the story represents God.  Jesus’ shows us in the story that God accepts and forgives sinners who repent and return to Him.  God cares about sinners.  In fact, He gets excited when sinners repent.
  1. 1.      Once we determine what a passage is teaching, we should find out what other passages say about the same subject.
  • 2.      How can we find other passages related to a topic?
  1. a.      Use Bible study tools.
  • (1)        (Read 1 John 1:9).  If you want to find out more about confession of sin, go to specific resources and look up the information.
  • Thompson Chain Reference Bible.
  • Naves Topical Bible.
  • The International Bible Encyclopedia.
  • 3.      Once you discover what the Bible says about a topic, it will help you better understand the passage you are studying.
  1. 1.      In Bible study, when we come across names of characters, we should find out more about them.
  • 2.      How do we conduct a biographical study?
  1. a.       Use a Bible Dictionary.
  • (1)        (Read Acts 10:1).  Who is Cornelius?
  • According to The Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Cornelius was a devout Roman proselyte, the first representative Gentile introduced to the gospel of grace.  For us to truly appreciate Acts 10, we need to know that Cornelius was the first Gentile convert–a significant theological implication.  We can learn a lot of information by conducting biographical studies.
  1. 1.      Once we have studied a passage carefully, it is then time to determine its application.
  • 2.      To apply a passage carefully, we need to ask several important questions.
  1. a.      Does this passage apply to me today? 
  • (1)        We need to realize that some passages are cultural in nature.  Some passages do not directly apply to us today.
  • (2)        (Read 1 Tim. 5:23). 
  • Some people take this passage as a Bible command to drink wine. 
  • Why do you think Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine?  Perhaps contaminated water had led to Timothy’s illness and that is why Paul wanted him to stop drinking water only and drink a little wine.
  • This passage is not an invitation for us to drink wine.  It is a passage that applied directly to Timothy and not us.
  • 3.      If the passage applies to us today, we need to ask several questions.
  1. a.       Are there commands to obey?
  • b.      Are there examples to follow?
  • c.       Are there principles to live by?
  • d.      Are there sins to forsake?
  • e.       Are there errors to avoid?
  • f.         Are there any thoughts about God?
  • g.      What is this passage teaching me?
  • (1)        (Read Acts 19:1-7).
  • How would you apply this passage?  To me, the example I would follow is that if you feel that your first baptism was not for the right reasons, then you should be re-baptized for the right reasons.  This passage gives an example of re-baptism. 
  • (2)        (Read 1 Cor. 7:29-35).
  • How would you apply this passage?  Paul urges all believers to make the most of their time before Christ’s return.  Every person in every generation should have this sense of urgency about telling the Good News to others.  Paul is saying, “Don’t spend all your time and energy on your family.  Some of your time must be devoted to the Lord and His Will.
  • (3)        (Read Ex. 34:6-7).
  • What application do you find here?  This passage tells us about the nature of God.  We learn more about Him.  This is a teaching passage.  It teaches us about God.


  1. 1.       I hope and pray that these lessons have helped you understand how to study the Bible.
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: Unmarried Couples Living Together

This is an answer to a question Toni wrote when she was a ghostwriter for gotquestions.org

Question 35999: Unmarried Couples Living Together

            First, be very clear on one point – What you told your friend is not close-minded or simply your opinion, but the very Word of God. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery”. (Matthew 5:27) Premarital sex falls into the same category. Any sex outside of marriage is against God’s will.

On the other hand, Matt 7:1 tells us, “Stop judging others and you will not be judged.” Also, the bible tells us in Romans 14:1 to accept Christians who are weaker in their faith and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. Additionally, gentleness is always more persuasive than accusation. Be sure that your motivation is loving and not self-righteous. Romans 14:4 says, “Who are you to condemn God’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord so let Him tell them whether they are right or wrong.” But, they were talking about what pleases God and we know that breaking the Lord’s commandments is not pleasing to Him.

This is tough because we do not know if your friend is a believer behaving badly, (John 3:36), or a nonbeliever behaving normally according to secular standards. “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” I Corinthians 2:14

So if she is a nonbeliever – Romans 3:3 says, “What if some did not believe {and} were without faith? Does their lack of faith {and} their faithlessness nullify {and} make ineffective {and} void the faithfulness of God {and} His fidelity to His Word?” Of course not! As Christians, we know that premarital sex is sin. But unless we are dealing with another believer, it will fall on deaf ears to tell her that. Instead, pray for her whenever you think of her and let God turn her heart and show her His purpose for her life.

You could do little else than tell your friend that she is living in sin. Now, just show her Christ in your lifestyle and pray, continuing to love her, asking for God’s blessing on her life and a gradual turning of her heart for her eternal sake.

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Lay speaker class

Good Morning.

I’d like to read from the 116th Psalm, verses 12-14

What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?

            I will take up the cup of my salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.

I will pay my vows to the Lord. Now in the presence of all His people.

Let’s pray:

Thank you Father for your Word and for your love. Bless us this morning as we seek wisdom from your word and power from Your Holy Spirit.  In Jesus name, we pray.


David was right when he said that our experience of the past two weekends was rewarding. Actually, that’s an understatement. The people involved with the Lay Speaker’s program are a group of dedicated, truly spiritual people who put together a wonderful program for us.

When some of you asked me, “How was school”, all I could say was, “Well, I thought it was very interesting… but possibly out of my league.” That too…was a gross understatement. But, nevertheless, I went and put on what I call my “Paper Lion Suit” and pretended at least partial nonchalance. That’s my survival tactic when I’m really scared witless. So…now you can probably better understand why I titled my talk: 

Who Do I Think I Am?

Although I enjoyed the experience of being at Lay Leaders school, after the fact, I really was a somewhat reluctant participant.  If you can picture the old vaudeville image of the truly rotten performer who is yanked off the stage by this huge hook around his neck, that’s a good visualization of how God got me there that morning!

The basic group consisted of a bunch of people and so we were divided up…And, of course, David and I were each put into different classes.

We were first directed to introduce ourselves and tell a little bit about jobs and families, which I guess was okay…you know, somewhat uncomfortable for us introvert types, but a pretty normal request in a new group and all… But then… as an  “ice breaker”, and I almost couldn’tbelieve this, our teacher told us to give a five to ten minute impromptu presentation about our the two most important people in our lives that had been the most influential to us through our spiritual growth. Nothing like jumping in with both feet!

 In the face of everyone’s testimonies, right off the bat, I was glaringly different from everybody else in my class…. They each had all these lovely recollections of generations of loved family members who had provided them with these wonderfully strong, nurturing backgrounds. We won’t go into my background, but believe me it wasn’t anything like there’s. So, from almost the first hour of class, I felt myself to be somewhat lacking…Somehow less qualified to position myself for leadership than the others because I never had any nurturing type experiences as a point of reference or source of confidence as they had.

            But like the psalm I read to you, I still felt gratitude towards God that I needed to express. When I asked what I could do to show my appreciation to God, I had ended up there in that class, so in some way, I did belong there.

So…Though I might have come from a very different childhood and environment than my classmates, it wasn’t really about that… or even about who was less or more qualified. For me, it was just about loving the Lord for what He has done for me and needing to share Him with others.

I once had an angry, bitter heart. God healed me of that dark outlook on life and that was a tremendous blessing. But that’s another long story and not what I’m here to talk about today. I’ll just say that God’s ability to heal anythingmatters. …It matters a lot.

I learned about forgiveness when it was next to impossible to be forgiving. Because, you see, that lesson was for my benefit.  My forgiveness wasn’t really for those who I eventually forgave. That’s the part of it that is so important  –. That God literally changes us from what we were into what He wants us to become and it’s always better.

We are actually transformed by the word of God and the love contained within it…And unless we are willing to proclaim that fact, we are being selfish children.

A lot of what Paul wrote to his friends from his confinement in a Roman jail became quite literally, food for my thought. I’m sure you all know the verses I’m referring too, where Paul more or less says,

            Brothers, as I close this letter, let me say this one thing more: Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right.  Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in othersThink about all you can praise God for and be glad about.

Those words… those words inspired by the Holy Spirit did literally change my way of thinking. And so dismal, angry thoughts were eventually replaced with happy, life-giving ones. Christian thoughts… delivered from resentment and shame. All I had to do was accept His healing and simply choose to fill my mind with His goodness through the power of His word.

So great…But that has to mean more than just sitting around all day having nice thoughts.  There has to be some effect…some action…that my Christian thinking and living has on the world around me. The beauty that has been disclosed to me is not meant to be held as my own personal secret.

In Matt 5:13-16 Jesus said,

You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.

You are the world’s light – a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to seeDon’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see… so that they will praise your heavenly Father.

I can’t let my uplifting thoughts go unrealized, which they will if I’m not taking some action to share them and give them life. So then I must do something, take some action. 

Serving God with singleness of purpose and putting the concerns of His kingdom first are actions that follow His will and free me from anxiety over any lesser things.

Jesus tells us not to accumulate treasures on earth and not to even worry about our lives at all.  He illustrates His point by comparing what He gives us to God’s provisions for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field. We may not know them word for word, but we all know those verses:

Basically, He tells us not to sweat the small stuff but to use our energies more wisely. To seek God and His ways and everything else will take care of itself.  But, we so often overlook this instruction.

We are progressive people, becoming more and more educated, more and more capable – We acquire more and more prestigious things, all the while puffing our chests out further and further. Either that – or we’re worried sick because we’re not as accomplished as so and so, or we haven’t acquired the new car or overpriced house on the lake.

Whether we are situated on the outside or the inside of that treadmill, the resultant anxiety is the same. Worry has become natural to a lot of us – As natural as eating or sleeping. Why I know a lot of people and I’ll bet you do too, who couldn’t possibly get through a day if they didn’t have something to worry about. It’s almost as if worrying was a part of their nature.

Does this tendency to worry have anything to do with what Jesus means in the seventh chapter of Matthew were He talks about entering heaven through the narrow gate? He says that the highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide enough for all the multitudes who choose its easy way. But the gateway to Life is small, and the road is narrow and only a few ever find it. Do you suppose we will find it by worrying?.

We are literally required as children of God to abandon concern for anything other then our spiritual growth and the commission given to us of telling the world about Him.  God is God. He knows what we need and only He controls tomorrow. So are we going to actually obey God…or just think about our striving to be obedient? That was the decision I had to make – You know, actually “Walk the talk.”

It’s a bit unnerving to consider what Jesus says in Matt 7:21.

Not everyone who says to me Lord ,Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

For most of us, it’s easy to designate things like lying or deliberate cruelty, or murder, as sins…Those are pretty clear-cut and we can simply decide not to commit them. But worrying is also sinful. Jesus says it is. And that’s just not something most of us think of when we think of being sinful.

For example;

All I could do, from the time we were given the assignment to get up in front of everyone and give a ten minute sermonette, until… well, from that Saturday till the following Tuesday afternoon, was to consider all the possible subjects I could speak about and then worry my heart out about my inability to do it.

My thinking went something like this:

How in the world did I get myself into such a predicament?

Whatever possessed me to think myself capable of preaching to anybody else?

I have no credentials or special talents in relation to public speaking – What was I thinking?

Who in the world do I think I am?….And on and on like that till I had a knot the size of a melon gripping my stomach. It wasn’t until I forced myself to stop and look at how worried and fearful I had become that I was able to actually start to work on this assignment.  But before I could do it, I first had to hand it over to God – Truly leave it with Him.

You see, all the worrying in the world wasn’t going to make me the least bit more capable.  Only God’s grace could do that.  Only when I turned the outcome over to Him could I envision myself speaking clearly and comfortably without having a heart attack from the stress.

Again, my answer came from His Word: (Phil4:13)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

So when the temptation to second guess my situation – to beat myself up with thoughts of inadequacy comes, I have to see that for what it really is.  Its just another way that Satan has of creeping into my thoughts and stealing my confidence and perverting my good intentions until I think myself foolishly presumptuous.

Who do I think I am to stand up and preach the Word of God? Well… I’m predestined to adoption as a child of God, purchased and redeemed by the blood of Jesus and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise who guarantees my inheritance into heaven.  That’s who I am and there is no room for false pride or insecurity in the power of that!

All I have to do is ask the Father to give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.  Because then the eyes of my understanding are enlightened and I recognize the nature of His calling in me which is far above any puny negative power.

 So I can answer the question of whether I should presume to be here with faith. (Eph 2:8) For by grace I have been saved through faith, and that not of myself, but it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest I should boast. For I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that I should walk in them.

So, I put on the armor of God… that I may be able to stand and open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel. I am not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. Jesus said that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers few. So, like others of us here, I have heard the Holy Spirit call me and I have chosen to be among the few.

And I believe that we are called with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. (2 Tim1:9)

I’d like to close with one final Bible quote from Matt 12:31

Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

When the Holy Spirit calls, we can only obey.

Praise God and may He so richly bless each of you.

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Why should I get baptized?

why should I get baptized

“Why should I get baptized?” is an important question for Christians to answer. From the earliest days of the Christian church, baptism has been a foundational step of faith universally observed by believers immediately following salvation (Acts 2:38418:1238).

The act of baptism by immersion in water outwardly expresses the inward experience of change that happens in the life of every believer at salvation. It demonstrates that the old way of life has ended, and a new life of faith in Jesus Christ has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17). Baptism is important because it provides a visual testimony—a public declaration to the world—that symbolically identifies the new believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Bible supplies several reasons why baptism is an important step in the Christian life:

Baptism is an expression of saving faith. Like a stamp of validation, baptism represents our salvation experience and the magnificent work of Jesus Christ in dying for our sins and rising for our justification: “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead” (Colossians 2:12, NLT).

Baptism is God-ordained and commanded by Jesus. As part of His Great Commission to the church, Jesus gave these instructions: “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” (Matthew 28:19–20). Baptism is an integral part of Christian discipleship and is meant to be an ongoing practice of the church.

Baptism is an act of obedience to our Savior, expressing our desire to please God. The word Christian means “Christ-follower.” Since Christ called us to baptism and set the example by being baptized Himself (Matthew 3:16), neglecting to be baptized is disobedience to the command of Christ.

Baptism unites us with Christ by identifying us with His death, burial, and resurrection: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3–4). When we repent of our sins and come to faith in Jesus Christ, baptism testifies of our union with Him.

Likewise, baptism represents our death to the old life of sin and our new birth into resurrection life and freedom from bondage to sin: “Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin” (Romans 6:5–7, NLT).

Baptism also identifies us with the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12–13). It is an emblem that says we now belong to Jesus Christ and His people: “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes” (Galatians 3:26–27, NLT).

Baptism gives public testimony of the Holy Spirit’s inward work of washing away our sins: “And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21, NLT; see also Acts 22:161 Corinthians 6:11).

A correct understanding of baptism means comprehending that it is more than religious ritual or church tradition. The significance of baptism originates in the death of Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, who died in our place to pay for our sins, and who triumphed over death through His resurrection, securing for us new life in the Spirit and eternal life forever with God.

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Can a Believer Lose Their Relationship with Jesus?

Once a person trusts Christ as their Savior can they lose this relationship? Is the salvation that Jesus offers, either conditional or unconditional.

If is unconditional, then there is nothing we can do to lose it. If it is conditional, then there is some thing or some things that we can do to lose it. The real issue is, What does the Scripture say?

What Does The Bible Say?

As the Scripture is carefully studied we find that a true believer in Jesus is safe and secure eternally. The following relevant passages make this clear.

1.Never Perish

Jesus said those who believe in Him will never perish:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand (John 10:27,28).

These verses could not be stronger. Those who trust Jesus will never perish. Jesus said nobody will take believers out of His hand. This is because believers are securely held in the arms of God the Father.

2.Eternal Life

The Bible promises eternal life to all who believe in Christ. The most famous verse in the Bible says:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

The promise of eternal life is not true if it can be lost. There is, however, nothing conditional stated in this promise. If a person believes in Jesus they shall have everlasting life. Everlasting means forever.

3. Present Possession Of Believer

Those who believe in Jesus presently possess eternal life.

I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life (John 5:24).

Salvation, therefore, is not something that is far off in the future—it is a present possession of the believer. Salvation is not looked upon as a day-to-day thing. We do not keep ourselves saved day after day. Scripture treats our salvation as something that is secure forever.

Eternal Life Defined

Thus eternal life has already begun for the believer. The Bible defines eternal life as knowing Christ.

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (John 17:3).

4.Nothing Shall Separate

The Bible says nothing shall separate us from Christ.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword . . . For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35, 38,39).

This passage makes it clear that nothing shall separate Christ from those who have trusted Him. Nothing. This includes the believer separating themselves from Christ.

5.Christ Remains Faithful

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day (2 Timothy 1:12).

The Apostle Paul stresses the fact that Christ is able to keep that which we have committed.

6.He Keeps Us From Falling

To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy — (Jude 24).

The idea here is that He is the one who keeps us from falling, we are not keeping ourselves.

7.Kept By God’s Power

The Bible says that we are kept by God’s power, not our own.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

8.We Have Been Glorified

The Bible already speaks of us as being glorified:

And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified (Romans 8:30).

9.It Is A Gift

Salvation is a gift. A gift is often confused with something earned. No one can earn their salvation, it is God’s gift to us.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).

It has been given to us by Christ, we had nothing to do with earning our own salvation.

10.We Are Joined To Christ

Once a person has been born again by the word and the Spirit of God he receives new life in Christ. God puts Christ’s righteousness on his account

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

11.Christ’s Sacrifice Is Adequate

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was adequate for our salvation.

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (Hebrews 10:14 ).

There is nothing that can be added or taken away from His sacrifice.

12.He Will Complete What He Started

The Bible says it is God’s power that saves us:

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

He started the salvation process, He will finish it.

13.Kept By God’s Power

Furthermore, that which keeps us saved is God’s power, not our own.

who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5).

We did not save ourselves, we do not keep ourselves saved.

14.We Are A New Creation

We are identified with Christ as a new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
And raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).

15. Christ Paid The Penalty Once

Jesus Christ has paid the penalty once and for all for sins. God will not demand payment for a second time. The Bible says:

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).
Since Christ has died for our sins we will never have to die for them.

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Hey Good Looking – Nobody’s Looking

By Toni Smothers


Colossians 3:12-14 tells us about some pretty gorgeous attire. “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” 

Did you notice that phrase, “over all?” (Not to be confused with “overalls” – that’s an entirely different look!) Well, Christian comedy aside, God instructs us all to put on love. It’s not something we fall into, like a free-fall off a cliff into the ocean. And love doesn’t fall on us, like a bucket of cold water over the head. Putting on love is a deliberate decision. It’s like choosing what to wear and then dressing for the day.

There are personal things to remember when getting ready. Things that you’d rather others not see. You know, unmentionables, like underwear or deodorant. (Gosh, I can’t believe I just mentioned those!)  But, and this is the super-neat part, the child of God gets to put on “God’s love” and wear it so that His love is the very first thing that others see when they look at you. Understand, your figure or fashion sense is so insignificant compared to your obvious happiness. Your sparkle, laughter and smiles are the features that attract others.   

Knowing all this intellectually, and ignoring the God sparkles for now; I have been known to stand almost comatose like a kid in a cocoon, carefully contemplating the contents of my closet. Besides being an outrageously contrived tongue-twister, this contemplation is not always a happy task for me. I bet you’ve already guessed that my clothes are a bit snug lately, so it often takes longer than I’d like to find an outfit that comes even remotely close to fitting my “current version.” No matter how long I moon over them, those too small clothes do not magically transform into larger ones. Just knowing that makes me respond with a little discontent. On some level of thought, (albeit irrational), my peevishness makes perfect sense to me.

I know, it sounds pretty weird, but since I’m the worst pack-rat in existence, it seems like there should be some value in those irritating garments that mock me. After all, some of those tiny clothes are authentic antiques. Funny thing is, many of them are back in style again. Yeah, well, a lot of good it does me. I can’t get my big toe into most of them. (Twisting and contorting is quite the unsightly sight, if you know what I mean.)

All right, I admit it, there’s no rational explanation I can offer for hanging on to those old clothes. It’s probably got to do with fond memories, (or delusions), of a perfect “Barbie-doll” body. Not to worry, though: Pride has a way of simmering down when thrown into the refiner’s fire. God’s not especially into our clothes, but He does want to supernaturally transform us through faith in Jesus. We can evolve, incrementally, into more loving people who shine with the joyful assurance that God grants whoever would earnestly seek him.

Whoever you are, whatever shape you are currently in, you can still rely on His perfect love every time. You see, when it’s from God, there are no physical qualifications or strings attached. He gives freely to all His children. And, (drum roll), His love even comes in an expandable fit!

Yeah, come to think of it, His garment of salvation grows right along with me. Christ’s unmatchable act of sacrifice wraps around me no matter what, so that even in my swollen state, (head included), He’s got me covered. It’s a most luxurious fit. But the absolutely incredible part is that my Savior calls me His own “beautiful bride!” You gotta love it!  

In Isaiah 61:10, the bible tells us what the well-dressed child of God is sporting these days: “He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.” I know one thing, I’ve never had to squirm and fight my way into God’s garments. (You know, I’ve always suspected that spandex is not of God!)

Anyway, my garments of salvation and my robe of righteousness came straight from God, through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. It’s Jesus’ robe I get to wear. I must say, I feel like a real winner in it.

Love is the ultimate accessory. It just kind of pulls it all together. Christ’s robe to cover me, God’s great love within me and His Holy Spirit to fill me, these garments surpass anything I could ever come up with. (And it certainly beats the skinny, “Twiggy” look.)

With or without the thunder thighs, try Jesus on for size. We’re talking one really great fit!

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