Archive for August, 2019

Matthew 7:1-2

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 7:1‭-‬2, ESV

Jesus never said “never judge.” He warned to use good judgment, but realize you invite judgment from others.

Judge yourself first according to Scripture, then help others do the same.

Seven Letters to Seven Churches-Ephesus Part 10

We may walk away, but God never does from His people.

Daniel

Truth in Palmyra

Revelation 2:1-7

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4

Part 10. Wow. I hope readers don’t mind us really taking our time and poking around a bit. Actually, it really doesn’t matter, as that is what I am going to do anyway! Writing blog posts is as much for me as for readers; it is my way of studying. We might say, my blog posts are my study notes. So, part 10 it is.

So, here we are again. Ephesus: hard-working, doctrinally pure, yet they have left their “first love.”

Today, we are going to just poke around very briefly in the language of our verse and talk about the significance of some of it. I have said before, and I will say again; I am not a Greek scholar and have never studied it as a subject. That is great if…

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VerseD: Psalm 91:2

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:2, ESV

Do not try and live this life in your own strength. The Lord wants to help you with your struggles and problems, to make your Joy’s complete.

Trust in God. Dwell in His presence.

VerseD: Revelation 21:4

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:4, ESV

God’s people, who trust in the Faithful One, shall find the end of suffering and loss when He renews Creation. We cannot fully comprehend the glory to come nor the bliss of God’s complete presence and peace in that Day.

VerseD: 1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you
1 Peter 5:6, ESV

Our Great Shepherd will give us a crown of glory (eternal life in glorified bodies) for humbly serving Him.

Do not demand authority or expect earthly rewards in this life. Merely lead others to the Shepherd King, Jesus, as a willing servant.

VerseD: 1 Chronicles 29:11

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
1 Chronicles 29:11, ESV

Our Creator is deserving of all praise and worship, if for no other reason than He has made it all and sustains it all.

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 1 (-ish)

I am currently the Youth Pastor for The Church Next Door in Prescott Valley, AZ. On Sunday, August 11, 2019, I took over teaching the adult Sunday School class before the regular service. (If you find yourself in North Central Arizona, specifically the Prescott Valley area, come join in from 8:45 to 9:45 AM, and then stay for the singing and sermon at 10!)

The second lesson ended up being rather short, so I decided to combine last week with this past week on here. So, here is the second-ish lesson notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 2(a and b): Christ and the Church’s Foundation

When was the Church founded?

“One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do riot mean the Church as we see her spread but through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes I our boldest tempters uneasy.”
-C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Letter 2, pp. 5-6 (HarperCollins, 1996)

Founded in Eternity, but also in time:

  • Matthew 16:16-18 – Is this the start?
    • Ekklesia – from ek (think of our “ex” or “out of”) and kaleo (kah-leh-oh – “to call or invite”)
      • i.e. “The Called Out Ones” or “The Invited Ones”
      • Not to be confused with Apostle – Apostolos, “Sent one”
  • Acts 2 – Is this the start?
    • Vv. 1-4 – The Holy Spirit is given to the gather believers for the first time
    • Vv. 14-40 – The first sermon is given
    • Vv. 41-47 – The first post-resurrection converts, meeting together, and group worship with new converts.
  • The Church is apostolic:
    • Matthew 28:18-20
    • We have been called out of the world to be sent back into the world.
      • On Christ’s authority
      • 2 Corinthians 5 (especially v. 20)

What did the Church grow from?

  • Roman occupied Palestine
    • Jews wanted freedom from pagan rituals and deities.They expected the Messiah to militarily drive out the pagans.
  • Divided leadership
    • Pharisees (means “separated ones”) – Believed in the full Hebrew canon (our OT), spiritual beings, the resurrection, and strict adherence to the Law.
    • Sadducees – Believed in the Law of Moses, denied spiritual existence, denied a resurrection, were willing to compromise beliefs with the government to avoid confrontation (and stay in power).
    • Essenes – Believed much the same as the Pharisees, but focused more on relationships and community, setting themselves apart to live communally and to copy the Scriptures, fully expecting the Messiah to come soon.
    • Zealots – Much like Essenes, but instead of copying Scriptures sought to fight the occupying government, even by violent means.

Next Time:

Christ confronts each of these groups, and we still see their mirrors today.

The Curse Reversed: The Parallels of Genesis and Revelation

Theologetics.org

“Satan Enters Eden” and “The New Jerusalem” by Gustave Dore

“The Bible says light appeared on the 1st day of creation. However, the sun and stars weren’t created until the 4th day. How can there be light and days with no sun and stars?”

Apologists have different ways of answering this question. I once even considered what’s called the cosmic microwave background. However, through further scripture reading, I believe the Bible has answered this question thousands of years ago.

I believe the “light” in Genesis 1:3 is the Glory of God.

The reason I believe this is because of the parallels in the books Genesis and Revelation. In Genesis we have the creation of the world and the Garden of Eden, God’s temple on earth. We also have the fall of mankind and the curse on man and the rest of creation where God dwelt and communed with man…

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Seven Letters to Seven Churches-Ephesus Part 9

Truth in Palmyra

Revelation 2:1-7

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Revelation 2:4

Well, here we are. Ephesus: Doctrinally sound, hard-working, willing to confront false teachers. Yet, Jesus had a rebuke for this church. They had left their first love. What might that mean? After all, they were doing ALL the right things.

First of all, let’s address the seriousness of this warning, when our Lord says He has something against us, it is good sense to listen close. To be failing in such a way is a very serious matter.

It’s really not hard to figure out what the first love is. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt…

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VerseD: Psalm 23:1-2

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Psalm 23:1‭-‬2 ESV

We can find all we need in God, the Comforter of our souls who has brought us peace in Christ. And one day we will enter His rest from this sinful world.