Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bible Study #726

The goal of Bible Study is not just learning, but living If you are saved, you will have a desire to be holy, a hunger for the Word, the inner witness of the Spirit, and a desire to share Jesus. These are the birthmarks of the believer. #726 5 May 15 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven . . . Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me . . . Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you Matt 5:10-11-12 Grateful for . . . . THE WORD OF GOD ! (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) (\0/) Greetings! The purest form of righteousness is pursued by disciples who know that their good deeds will demand great sacrifice and will result in pain rather than immediate reward. This is the epitome of the kingdom righteousness demanded by the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus pronounced that the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who suffer for righteousness. In the Greek text, theirs is shifted from its normal position at the end of the clause to the beginning instead. This gives the pronoun a special emphasis indicating that the kingdom belongs to righteous sufferers and to them alone. Those who always endeavor to evade persecution are not true disciples and will not have a share in the kingdom because true disciples follow Jesus even at the cost of their lives (16:24-27). The kingdom of heaven is the reign of God in the person of Jesus the Messiah. Righteous sufferers are subjects of God’s rule through their submission to Jesus’ authority. Jesus inaugurated this kingdom during His ministry, but it will be consummated in the end times. Jesus’ words show that persecution is typically either verbal or violent. Verbal forms include insult and slander. The word persecute includes acts of physical violence like the slap of Matt. 5:39. Jesus promised that the cost of discipleship will be offset by the enormity of the reward the disciple enjoys in heaven. Jewish leaders rejected and vehemently persecuted the OT prophets, and Jesus repeatedly denounced this persecution (21:34-36; 23:29-37). By treating Jesus’ followers in the same way they had treated the prophets, Jewish persecutors unwittingly bestowed on them a prophet’s honor. May God bless you this week! ♥ Memory verse for this week: Ephesians 4:13 This week's Trivia's: [answer's below . . ] 1. In Jesus' parable of the talents, how many were given to the first servant at the beginning of the story - 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10? 2. Which of the following was a prophet of God - Habakkuk, Hagar, Hezekiah or Hananiah? Something to think about: [a note from Max Lucado] God is often more patient with us than we are with ourselves. We assume that if we fall, we aren't born again. If we stumble, then we aren't truly converted. If we have the old desires, then we must not be a new creation. If you are anxious about this, please remember, “God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again” (Phil 1:6) * * * * * * * * * You can reject God's love, but you can't keep Him from loving you * * * * * * * * * BIBLE MEDITATION: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor.15:58 DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: Where are the courageous children of God who will speak on their Father’s behalf—speak of His Truth, His mercy, His love? Psalm 119:46 says, “I will speak of Thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.” They have a saying in the country: “What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket.” What happens when you are up against a wall? Do you back down and deny your faith? Or do you stand firm despite the verbal assault on your beliefs? ACTION POINT: 1 Peter 3:14-17 has the prescription for a fearful heart: “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” from the Ministries of Love Worth Finding . . . by Adrian Rogers * * * * * * * * * If you are not sealed by the Spirit, you will be branded by the beast * * * * * * * * * We have begun another journey and will learn from the book "Hard To Believe" written by John MacArthur. In his book John helps us to understand the high cost and infinite value of following Jesus. GBY . . . . . . . . . . HARD TO BELIEVE . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 10 . . TRAITORS TO THE FAITH . . LOOKING FOR A HANDOUT . . A defector from the faith seeks personal gain, not an opportunity to worship. We see this in the action of the crowd after it realizes Jesus has left and traveled to Capernaum. Did those people all return to where He fed them and preached the day before because they wanted to worship? No, they wanted free breakfast! In a time when getting enough to eat was a difficult, endless job, free food was an instant ticket to ease. The crowd went to Capernaum for the wrong reason; John 6:25: “And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’” They came to the other side of the lake probably expecting breakfast. All they could think of was personal fulfillment through His miracles: meet my needs, supply what I want, feed me. Then the next verse: “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” It’s an indictment: “You’re here for one thing, and that’s because you’re hungry.” The Greek word for “filled” is used of animals and means to be “foddered up.” These people were real candidates for the prosperity gospel. “Make me wealthy, make me prosperous, make me successful, fulfill all my desires, and do it now . . . I demand it!” Jesus continued, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (Jn 6:27). He was saying, “You’re looking for the wrong stuff! You’re talking about breakfast, and I’m talking about eternal life.” How many people do the same thing every day: come into the church and turn their backs on eternal life? That’s why we have to preach on hell. That’s why we have to warn people about what is to come in the next life. People need to understand what they’re doing. It’s fine to be drawn in by the crowd and fascinated by the supernatural power of Jesus. But at some point, you must worship and come to grips with eternal matters. This point deeply concerns me about most of the popular evangelical fads today. What kind of people are they attracting? Lured by the crowd and the promise of something supernatural, thinking only of earthly things with little desire for true worship, but plenty of desire for personal prosperity, they do not understand eternal issues. Until they do and confess their need, they will never be saved. THE QUEST FOR POWER . . Spiritual defectors make demands on God. They come barreling into church with the attitude (whether spoken or not): “Okay, God, I’m going to give You six months to deliver, and if You don’t, I’m outta here!” John 6:28: “Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’” What they were really saying was, “All right, our first demand is: Give us the power! Are You saying You’re not going to make our breakfast? Then give us the power to do it ourselves, so we can work the works of God.” This is identical to Acts 8:18-19. Simon saw the power of God displayed through Peter and he offered to buy it, more or less, saying, “I want that power. How much?” many people in Christian churches are trying somehow to get the power—and speakers are encouraging them! They say, “Folks, we want you to get the power.” Then, wild, crazy things go on with people jumping and hollering and screaming and flipping and flopping all over the place for one basic thing: they’re trying to get the power. I think about this when I watch those frantic, overdressed evangelists on television, raving and promising people power. Then people in the crowd, in a mindless acquiescence to an altered state of consciousness—wanting to desperately to get the power that they’ll do anything the speaker suggests—fall over in a faint. It’s a sad situation when people want the power more than they want the Person. No one on earth can have the power of Jesus Christ to do what He did, and anybody who promises otherwise is lying. God granted the power of Jesus Christ only to the apostles and those who followed in the apostolic age to establish His messiahship. You will never have the power to heal the sick or raise the dead, walk on water, or cast out demons. But anyone can be saved who believes in Him. The Lord’s response to the people’s question came in John 6:29: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” But they were not interested in that believing stuff, so in verse 30 they made another demand: “Therefore they said to Him, ‘What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?’” In other words, “Do some more miracles and tricks to prove You’re worth our faith.” What they were really thinking about was how they were going to put Him in a corner. “We believe in You, Jesus, if You make breakfast.” They had just seen a monumental miracle, and they wanted more. Thrill-seekers never have enough signs and wonders. That’s the sad thing about trying to draw people into Christianity with the promise of a miracle. The promise of miracles sustains shallow disciples, but it never satisfies them. The people were saying to Jesus, “Come on! Do a really big one!” How big? Verse 31: “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert.” Now we’re getting to their real objective. “As it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” They were getting irritated, so they said, “You think You’re so great because You fed twenty thousand people once. Not bad. But Moses gave manna daily to millions for years! Can You top that? How can You be greater than Moses? You fed us one time, and Moses fed us for years.” (Whoever was articulating this for the crowd was pretty sharp.) Jesus’ answer in John 6:32 was far superior to their question: “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.’” He said, in effect, “FYI, Moses didn't produce that bread, he just directed the collection of it; and it was only manna,” which must have been some sort of nutritious angel food cake. Jesus continued, “For the bread of God is He who comes down from haven and gives life to the world” (v. 33). Moses’ bread was for physical nourishment, but Jesus was the bread of spiritual nourishment. Manna couldn't prevent death. The whole generation, including Moses, died in the wilderness. Manna was for Israel; Jesus was for the world. “Yes, I am greater than Moses, because the bread that I give will satisfy your soul.” Verse 34: “Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’” In other words, “Just keep giving it to us if it will end our hunger.” They never go the point. All they wanted was to make demands and have Jesus meet them. Now we get to the real issue. The crowd was pouring after Him, following Him, and He began to sort them out with the truth. The truth divides people. The more fundamental the truth, the deeper and wider the division. The goal of Christian preaching—the goal of presenting the gospel, the goal of the church—is not just to open the door wow ode that we can suck everybody in and make them feel comfortable. The goal is to preach the truth to as many people as possible, so that we can sort out the true from the false. next week: . . NO PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP . . and . . MUMBLING MOCKERS . . and . . DIVINE HUNGER . . * * * * * * * * * He is more than able to accomplish in you and me what He wants you and me to be * * * * * * * * * PARABLE OF THE HIDDEN TREASURE * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over the it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matt. 13:44 PALESTINE WAS A BATTLEGROUND for centuries; therefore families would commonly bury clothing, food, household valuables, money, and jewelry to protect them from plundering enemy soldiers. Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrote, “The gold and the silver and the rest of that most precious furniture which the Jews had and which the owners treasured underground was done to withstand the fortunes of war.” When the owners of such treasures died or departed the country, the valuables would be forever lost unless someone accidentally discovered them. Given that history, this parable’s hidden treasure was probably long forgotten until the man found it as he passed through the field. The man was so joyful at his find that he was willing to sacrifice everything in order to possess it, the metaphor for God’s kingdom. That is the point of Jesus’ parable, not the ethics of what the man did, as some Christians wrongly suppose. Such observers think the man was unethical not to have told the field’s owner about the treasure, since it rightfully belonged to him. But the man was not unethical. First, he obviously knew the owner was not aware of the treasure or he would have first offered it to him. Second, rabbinic law said finders could keep what they found. Third, had the man been dishonest, he would have gone off with the treasure without any thought of buying the field. But he realized that a field with treasure—the kingdom—was so valuable that he sold all else to obtain it. Nothing is more important for us than possessing that treasure also. Ask YOURSELF What treasures of the kingdom have you stumbled upon recently? When you see them, what are you motivated to forsake in order to more fully and consistently experience the power, joy, and freedom of living in pure fellowship with God? * * * * * * * * * If you learn to trust God, He will be there to meet your need * * * * * * * * * The Many Names of God: Each of the many names of God describes a different aspect of His many-faceted character. Here is one of the better-known names of God in the Bible: EL-GIBHOR: “Mighty God” (Isa 9:6) – the name describing the Messiah, Christ Jesus, in this prophetic portion of Isaiah. As a powerful and mighty warrior, the Messiah, the Mighty God, will accomplish the destruction of God’s enemies and rule with a rod of iron (Rev 19:15). * * * * * * * * * Trials and testings cause us to endure and trust God * * * * * * * * * Q & A With McGee . . Do the sacrifices outlined in Leviticus apply to us today? No, they are pictures for us. They're God's portrait of the Lord Jesus Christ. All those offerings--not just the sin and trespass offerings, but there was the burnt offering, the peace offering, and the meal offering--they all depicted the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. They're a picture book for you and me to look at and learn something about what Christ actually did for us when He died upon the cross and what God requires of us as sinners: We're to come and accept Christ as Savior. This is a picture book. All of these things happen unto them as examples for us (see 1 Cor. 10:6) * * * * * * * * * There is no one so good they need not be saved .. there is no one so bad that they cannot be saved * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new . 2 Cor. 5:17 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Answers to this week's Trivia's: 1. In Jesus' parable of the talents, how many were given to the first servant at the beginning of the story - 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10? A. 5 Matt. 25:15 2. Which of the following was a prophet of God - Habakkuk, Hagar, Hezekiah or Hananiah? A. Habakkuk * * * * * * * * * Answers to Questions about Heaven . . . David Jeremiah Q. Do our souls “sleep” until the resurrection at the Rapture? When a believer dies, his body goes in the grave and “falls asleep.” But his soul does not sleep; his soul goes to Paradise (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; Luke 23:43). In Scripture, “falling asleep” is a softened term for the believer’s death. For instance, when Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers, he said: “I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thess. 4:13). Paul wasn't talking about falling asleep, like we fall asleep at night. He was describing the death of Christians. In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “to fall asleep” is koimao, which means “to recline.” This same word was also used to describe someone who slept in a hotel for one night and the next day would get up and continue his or her journey. This is a beautiful image of what happens to believers’ bodies when they die. Their body goes to sleep, awaiting the resurrection at the Rapture—while their soul goes to be with our Lord in heaven. * * * * * * * * * Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith in God. Until next time remember, "Keep looking up!" God loves you and yours, He really does! Nancy <\\\>< Remember: A man may go to heaven….. Without health, without wealth; Without fame, without a great name; Without learning, without earnings; Without culture, without beauty; Without friends and without ten thousand other things---- But he can NEVER go to Heaven without Christ. ~ This is a FREE e-mailing ~ This Bible Study is sent to subscribers only according to our strict NO SP*M policy. If you appreciate the information contained in this letter, please forward it to your friends. If you have acquired this letter from a friend and want to subscribe: Send an e-mail with Subscribe on the subject line to: If you do not want to receive these Bible Studies, please send an email with 'unsubscribe' on the subject line to No hard feelings This week's Quiz: God’s Little Things The Bible says that God uses foolish things to confound the wise, and He uses weak things to confound the mighty. Nothing is too small for God to use for His glory. Of course, we have to be willing to let Him use us. What do you know about these little things God used? 1. Because Rahab believed in God and hid the Israelite spies, God told her she would not perish in Jericho if she bound a ____ in her window. Josh. 2:18 a. new rope c. bundle of straw b. loom d. scarlet thread 2. How many stones did David take out of the brook when he went to fight Goliath? 1 Sam. 17:40 a. 3 c. 5 b. 4 d. 6 3. Shamgar was a judge of Israel who used what to slay six hundred Philistines? Judges 3:31 a. an ox goad c. a sling b. the jawbone of an ass d. a shepherd’s staff 4. To show that Aaron was His choice for high priest, God made Aaron’s rod: Num. 17:1-8 a. longer c. turn into a snake b. shorter d. blossom 5. Samson used what to slay a thousand of Israel’s enemies? Judges 15:16 a. an ox goad c. a sling b. the jawbone of an ass d. a shepherd’s staff 6. When a prophet’s widow needed money to save her sons, Elisha multiplied her last pot of: 2 Ki. 4:1-7 a. oil c. meal b. corn d. wheat 7. When Jesus needed to pay the temple tax, He directed Peter to find a coin where? Matt. 17:24-27 a. in a nearby field c. in the middle of the road b. in the mouth of a fish d. in a tree 8. When the poor widow gave her two mites, she gave: Mk. 12:42-44 a. what the temple required c. all she had b. money that she had found d. what the priest told her to give 9. When Moses asked the people to bring offerings for the making of the tabernacle, they brought gold: Exo. 35:5, 21-22 a. bracelets c. rings b. earrings d. all of the above 10. When Elisha succeeded Elijah, what did he receive of Elijah’s as a symbol of his succession? 2 Ki. 2:9-13 a. a mantle c. a ring b. a rod d. a robe

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