Posts Tagged ‘ simple man of God ’

VerseD: Romans 12:1

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1, ESV

We are not our own. Our lives belong to our Lord, so we must no longer seek our own pleasure and comfort. Instead, we are to share the Gospel and love on this fallen world for the glory of God.

Nothing New: The Church’s Foundation: Part 4: Essene and Heard


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 (the foundation of why we learn from history) 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 and third lessons were combined in the post two weeks ago, with a look at when the Church was founded and the various forms of leadership Jesus dealt with. Previous was a look at how he rebuked those in leadership.

Again, here are my notes:

Nothing New: The Importance of Church History

Lesson 7: Christ and the Church’s Foundation – Modern Comparisons

The leadership in the time of Jesus included the entirely secular yet pagan Roman Empire, the hyper-religious Pharisees, the super-compromised Sadducees, the fastidious Essenes, and the rebellious Zealots.

Briefly, how do we see nothing new in our leadership?

Modern comparisons:

  • The Divided leadership (remember that there can be bleed-over from group to group):
    • Pharisees – Got a lot right, but added a lot.
    • Sadducees – The compromised
    • Essenes – The Preservation of Scripture
      • Mainly felt like they had to separate from corrupt society.
        • Essentially lived in communes (Yeah, kinda like hippies, but also very little like hippies.)
        • Not completely absent: Still had people living in town
          • Could help with supply runs, news of events, keep tabs on society.
        • Their main goal was the preservation of the Torah, other important writings, and godliness.
          • Think of Qumran, the place of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These were those people!
      • Messiah – Oh, he was coming soon!
        • Probably understood better than most what the Messiah was going to be like, expecting more of a great religious leader.
          • Most closely associated with Pre-Millennialism today.
          • Most likely played a large role in creating copies of the gospels and letters of the New Testament.
          • Probably disappeared as a sect because most believed their Messiah had come and obeyed the Great Commission
      • See Mark 14:12-16: Was this man possibly an Essene disciple that Jesus planned with to avoid confrontation with the Pharisees and Sadducees? (Also, people living in Jerusalem were required to share space with pilgrims during the Passover, so it could just be some “random guy” and Jesus used foreknowledge to tell Peter and John what to look for.)
      • Modern comparisons:
        • Obviously Monks, much of the Catholic priesthood and nuns
        • Many evangelical churches/denominations obviously fit this description of being largely separated from though still amongst society.
        • Some mainline denominations match up, especially those that have split over compromises with society
          • i.e. Anglican Church North America splitting from the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada (the breaking straw being the ordination of practicing homosexuals and allowing for gay marriage)
        • Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Churches and the like
          • Obviously more extreme, being King James Only-ists: all other translations/versions are satanic and lead to corruption.
          • The most extreme examples of this would be Westboro Baptist Church (basically the Phelps family) and its spiritual successor Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, AZ (pastored by Steven Anderson)
        • For a different extreme:
        • New Apostolic Reformation and other ultra-/super-charismatic churches and movements
          • Yes, they are under this list, too. Stay tuned for more!
          • They definitely separate themselves out as different.
            • The Seven Mountain Mandate demands they work toward “reclaiming” the seven major areas of society until the whole world is under Christ’s authority. So, separate but only in how they do things.
          • Also copy scripture, but typically by making drastic changes.
            • The most recent example is probably The Passion Translation. It is not really a translation, more of an untrustworthy paraphrase that makes some drastic changes. (Still in progress: only has the Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, and the New Testament.)
        • Most cults that separate and add to Scripture
          • These are the crazy people who obviously get brainwashed/do the brainwashing and often lead to dangerous and even deadly practices.



VerseD: Matthew 10:16

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Matthew 10:16, ESV

We are not only to be concerned about those in the world, but many within the fold of Christianity are deceitful and wicked servants of evil while putting on a good show of righteousness.

VerseD: 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13‭-‬14, ESV

Men have been given a bad rap in our society.
Be like the godliest Man of all, Jesus:
  • Defend the truth
  • Defend the defenseless
  • Worship God in it all
  • With all things love God and others

VerseD: Proverbs 29:4

By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.
Proverbs 29:4, ESV

Playing favorites, disobeying rules and laws, not setting appropriate limits: all of these can destroy a nation … or a family or business or friendship or church.

Remember: as Christians, we will one day reign with King Jesus. We are all royalty through Him.

VerseD: Hebrews 10:35-36

Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
Hebrews 10:35‭-‬36, ESV

Why do people think skipping, avoiding, or leaving church when life gets hard is helpful or preferable?

God uses the Church to strengthen, encourage, and help us when in need. Then we remain ready for our Lord’s return.

VerseD: Proverbs 22:4

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.
Proverbs 22:4, ESV

Sure, some have gotten rich following God, but the real promise here is that we find true riches and honor in the resurrected Christ. Apart from Jesus, we have nothing.