Bible Studies



What is involved in the term ‘I’m saved’?

The word includes the idea of being safe, made whole, healthy, rescued.

This means to be saved requires a Saviour. 1 Timothy 1:12-17.

But who needs a Saviour when there isn’t any sense of being in danger? Unless we have a sense of the holy character of God and our accountability to Him this need may never arise. That is dangerous. For one day all of us will appear before Him and receive His assessment of how we measured up to His standard. What is that? The life lived by Jesus – unblemished even under suffering. He is the standard from which we fall. Romans 3:23. The result is death, cut off from the Lord God. Not obliteration but denial of sharing His heaven. The alternative is far from pleasant.

The good news is that Jesus has the power and capacity to lift us up to His standard. He can make us acceptable and deliver us from judgement and dismissal.

What do we need to know and believe about Jesus? John 20:31. Therefore read John’s gospel.

How do we meet the Saviour?

Through hearing the Gospel. Romans 1:1-4. 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.       1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

What is the response to this message that transforms a life and destiny?

Romans 10:5-17 Faith which leads to a commitment witnessed to by confession of Christ as Lord and Saviour.

 Repentance for offenses done to Him and His word.

Baptism Acts 2:38, 1Peter 3:18-21, Romans 6. Baptism by immersion is an outward demonstration of the inner experience which is only seen by Heaven and Hell. The Holy Spirit has taken your faith in Christ Jesus and changed your life 2 Corinthians 5:17.

 This then leads us to worship Him and remember Him as He has requested through Communion.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

This then transforms a believer from the kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of the Son. Colossians 1:13.This is beautifully stated in Titus 3:4-8. 2:11-14.

We are called upon to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour 2 Peter 3:18 as expressed in the New Testament writings. Compare 1 Peter 1:1-9.  2 Peter 1:1-11.                                 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10 etc.

1 John 5:1-13 This is a reading vital for your understanding of what difference from an eterinty perspective Jesus makes when He is our Lord and Saviour.

The key word is always ‘Believe.’ It isn’t merely acknowledging the person of Jesus. It is the power of conviction which leads to a commitment to trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and to live a life worthy of being called by His Name.

(Ray Hawkins.)




Rambling through Romans. 1.
Reading. Romans 1:1-6.

Paul makes a play on his former and present lifestyle when he uses the word ‘Separated’. As a Pharisee he was separate from the ‘common or profane’ people. Now he has been separated from religious tradition and self righteousness unto the Gospel.

What is meant by the Gospel?

The word means ‘Good News’.

However there are various aspects of God’s Good News.

Mark 1:14, 15.           13:10.        Rev. 14:6.        2 Cor. 4:4

To those who realise they have fallen short of God’s standard just what good news do they want to hear? That they have been forgiven, cleansed and raised up with the power to meet God’s standard. How can that happen without the Lord God compromising His holiness and justice?

The problem was dealt with by Jesus. Romans 5:6–11.

Underline the words or phrases which give you a sense of hope and peace.

How can I enter into this new realm? Romans 5:1–5.

From God’s perspective He offers ‘Grace.’ What He requires from you and me is ‘Faith’
Ephesians 2:1–10.

 The gospel of the Kingdom relates to Israel as a nation.

What then is good news to the Gentiles? C/- Ephesians 2:11-13.  3:1-7.   Rom. 15:15,16.

This could only be realised after the resurrection.

What is the call of the Gospel?

1 Cor. 4:15….Begotten through. 

2 Thess. 2:14…called by.     

 The Gospel had been promised within the scriptures.

Both aspects…the good news of the Kingdom

and the good news of redemption in, through, with and because of Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:21-23, 26-33.    26:1-6.

This is why throughout Acts the preachers say, “It is written…” Their message flowed from the conviction that the 39 books of their scriptures, Genesis to Malachi revealed Jesus as the Messiah. This was done through promise, symbol, sacrificial system and prophetic insight. Check Psalm 22. Isaiah 53 as examples. The Church still does this today. We have another 27 books supporting such claims.

 2 Corinthians 1:20. The promises of God are ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ.

 Closing quote from Haldane’s epistle to the Romans.

‘Jesus Christ was made or became the Son of David; but He did not become, but was declared, defined, or demonstrated to be the Son of God.’    Emphasis his.


Study 4.                                The Coming Evil Prince Foretold          Daniel 9:26 –27

In Daniel 9:26 there are two defined as ‘Princes’. One is cut off. That is Jesus at the cross. The other is a warrior intent on destroying Jerusalem and Israel. He is part of the 4th Empire. The book of Revelation unmasks him. This study looks at his war against Israel.

When we read about the ‘End Times’ we tend to see it as a series of events. In part that is true. However, life and world events isn’t like that. It is more chaotic and complicated. When you read the End Time accounts keep this is in mind, the world is in turmoil. God is pouring out the judgements of the seals, the trumpets and bowls. What a terrible time. The sadness is compounded by the fact that the hearts of people were so hard or possessed by the occult they would not or could not repent.

Daniel 9:27. What makes it possible for this Covenant between Israel and the Anti-Christ?  There must have been some threat to Israel’s security. Ezekiel 38 & 39 offer a clue. Joel 2:1-11, 20. (This is a separate army from the armies in Joel 3).
The ‘Evil Prince’ offers his support and security to the nation. During this 3 yr period certain things take place which arouses the wrath of this prince. It also reveals his true heart and purpose.

The raising up of 144,000 Israelite evangelists who believe in Christ Jesus.   Revelation 7:3-4 (Rev.14:1-5. Their character). Their mission field 7:9-14.

During this period are two un-named witnesses in Jerusalem. Rev.11:1-6. 
The moral and spiritual state of the world is defined in Rev. 9:20-21.
It is also a prosperous world for those with the 4th Empire’s mark. Rev.18:9-19.

During this period the Nation of Israel begins turning to Jesus as their Messiah. Joel 2:28-32.
This arouses the wrath and jealousy of the evil Prince for he wants to be worshipped and seen as the messiah. So, he breaks the covenant by killing the two Witnesses Rev. 11:7-13.

He sets up his image in the temple. Matthew 24:15-22.
Then he seeks to destroy the nation as it refuses to worship him. Many flee to the mountains. Rev 12 presents the spiritual and the physical realm of this warfare.
Rev 12:1-6 combines history and prophecy. Notice the Church and the Cross are not in sight. This is the account of Satan’s attempts to eliminate Israel, the Messiah of Israel and to make void the promises of God to Israel.

Rev 12:7-9 reveals the spiritual battle in Heaven. Satan is cast out of his realm, mentioned in Ephesians 2:2. He then concentrates his wrath through the ‘evil prince and his team to destroying Israel, Rev 12:13-16. Two protective sources come to Israel’s aid. Verse 14, wings of a great eagle (is this God in action) and verse 16, the earth. Is this understood in the light of Matthew 25:31-46?
The dragon and the 4th Empire then look elsewhere to destroy Christ Jesus’ disciples/saints. Rev.12:17.

The real purpose of this onslaught is Rev. 17:14a.
How do you make war against the invisible God? By trying to destroy His people, degrade His word and deny His existence by usurping His place where Yahweh’s name was set, Jerusalem and the Temple.
The climax of this hatred and warfare is revealed in the prophets. Joel 3 and Zephaniah 3, plus Zechariah 4 speak about the nations under this evil prince assembling to destroy Israel as a place. Little do they realise God has been drawing them together for Judgement.

This terrible time which is called ‘The Great Tribulation’ has two purposes. It is similar to a spiritual surgery on the hard heart of Israel. Its heart is circumcised and God is able to give them a new heart.
The other purpose is to fulfil God’s promised judgement upon a world which chose the dragon and his empire and rejected the crucified Jesus. The world called God a liar (making Him as the devil), it corrupted His worship, desecrated God’s Word, Law and creation, violated God’s land and endeavoured to corrupt and destroy the chosen Nation of Israel.

Psalm 2 is a prophetic invitation and a dire warning.



Study 3.
Daniel 2:41-42.  Revelation 12:3. 13:1f. 17:3, 7,12,16.

The Fourth Empire and the Key Players.

There is so much information about the End times it is impossible to put it into some type of sequence. There are various views, all Biblically referenced and yet not all in agreement.

 I want to give an overall picture of this final Empire and makes some brief comments on the key players.

Daniel 2:33-35: Notice the degeneracy of the Empires.

Daniel 2:40: The mindset is ‘Crush’.

Daniel 2:41-43: What type of a kingdom?

I’m inclined to think this has serious implications for this Kingdom in the light of the following accounts. Judges 6:3-6, 33. 7:12, 19-22.

1 Samuel 14:18-20.

2 Chronicles 20:23.  Ezekiel 38:21.

 The ten toes (revealing its baseness) is clarified in Daniel 7:7 as a ‘beast’. What are its characteristics?______________________________________________

Ten toes = ten horns = Daniel 7:24.

Three of them are uprooted by ‘a little horn’.

Daniel 7:24 classes them all as belonging to the one kingdom.

(We will look in more detail at this ‘little horn’ later.)

Now to get a better understanding of this fourth Empire read Revelation.

Rev. 12:3. Here is the animating power of the four Empires (and other minor ones) How described. Who is he? 12:9____________________________

 Rev. 17:8 ‘The Beast emerges from the abyss.’

Rev. 17:9 = 7 heads = 7 hills = 7 kings.
One is still present, one yet to come. That indicates 5 have come and gone. Then comes the 8th (the little horn)

Rev. 17:12. Ten horns = ten kings of???

They weren’t around in John’s time. It points to a future time.

Rev. 17:14. Their intent. (Considered in more detail later)

Rev. 13:1. ‘Coming out of the sea’ = Revelation 17:15. A Gentile.

Rev. 13:3. One of the ‘heads’ was fatally wounded. C/- 14 = The Beast.

What does this point too? Is it the Fourth Empire or the Little Horn? One embodies the other although it seems to point to the 4th Empire.

Rev. 13:11. ‘Coming out of the earth’ = An Apostate Jew (?)

How is he described? Revelation 13:11-18.

Rev. 16:13-15. This ‘beast’ is the false prophet.

Rev. 17:1. The ‘prostitute’. Counterfeit religion. Mystery Babylon 17:5. 18.

Some see this city as a code word for Rome.

I believe it is the real Babylon rebuilt.

Rev. 17:2. 18:2-8. Her seductive power. The cup = Revelation 18:6.

Rev. 17:16. The destruction of this City and her power.

It is twofold. The 4th Empire brings her to ruin.

However, God brings the ultimate judgement. Rev. 18:8.

C/- Jeremiah 51:62-63.


Summary of Leaders in the 4th Empire.

1.     The re-appearance of the ‘Iron/Clay’ features of the Roman Empire.

2.     Ten un-named kings reduced to seven by emergence of ‘little horn’.

3.     The ‘Little Horn’ or the Anti-Christ.

4.     The beast from the earth, the false prophet.

5.     The ‘prostitute’, False Religion with centre in Babylon.

6.     The Dragon, Serpent, Satan, the Devil – the power/ruler of the ‘Beasts’


Next Study. The Fourth Empire’s war.




Study 2.
Daniel 2: 17-45.          Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of the Times of the Gentiles.


Daniel 2:31-35.      The dream defined through the Idol imagery.


Babylon =                 Head of gold.


Media/Persia =       chest and arms of silver.


Greece =                   middle/thighs of bronze.


Rome =                      legs of iron with feet mixed with clay.


 Daniel interpreted the Stone ‘cut from the mountain not by hands’ as both a judgement upon the Gentile Empires and Heaven’s coming Kingdom.


Daniel 2:44-45. (Read also Daniel 7:1-28 This vision came years later and deals with same scene.) The Idol represents the Worlds view. The ‘beasts’ (monsters) reveal God’s view of the Empires.

The Bible only pictures 4 Empires. Rome, which divided into two areas, Italy and then Turkey is the end time’s one. Does this create a problem for us today? Rome’s rule has gone. The Stone hasn’t come. What’s happened?

 This chapter must be read in-conjunction with Daniel 9:24-27.

It speaks of a set period of time. ‘Seventy weeks’ of years which = 490 years.

‘Sixty-nine weeks’ = 483 which culminated with the crucifixion. (Daniel 9:26a)

Daniel 9:26b – 27 tells of another who is to come and fill out the final ‘week’ of seven years. Has that happened? No. Does that mean Daniel got things wrong?

Certainly not.
The book of Revelation deals with the final seven years.
But Daniel didn’t mention a delay.
In chapter 12:1-13 Daniel reveals the great tribulation which Revelation 6-19 deals with. (also Matthew 24:15-22. Luke 21:20-24. Notice Luke 21:24 The Time of the Gentiles is mentioned. That is the period Daniel saw concerning the Idol and the Beasts. It began under Nebuchadnezzar and ends under the destruction of the 'Anti-Christ, leader of a renewed 4th Empire.
Paul sees that coinciding with the last Gentile convert to Christ coming to faith, Romans 11:25).

What has happened that has left seven years ‘hanging’?

Remember Jesus came preaching the coming of the Kingdom of God. It was prophesied that He would sit on the throne of David (Luke 1:32).
That requires a nation in the land governing its own affairs.

What happened that delayed the fulfilment?
The legal claimant to the throne, Jesus, was crucified and rejected. His resurrection didn’t change this unbelief and rejection.
Was God surprised? No! He used it for a greater purpose.

Then in A.D. 70 and 135 Israel as a nation was expelled from the land. The temple was destroyed and the records of Davidic descendants perished. The only place you can find a true record for the claimant to the throne is in the genealogies by Matthew and Luke concerning Jesus.

The Devil thought he had triumphed. Why?
There was no Israel nation as it was dispersed. The land was a no go zone for them. The temple destroyed and not built even to-day. The nominated heir to the Throne was rejected.
His smirk of victory was a vain thought!
What happened was God’s surprise. He caused the Church to be born. This was never spelt out in the Jewish Scriptures. It was a mystery – once hidden in Christ but now unveiled.  Ephesians 3:1-13.  Romans 16:25-27.  Colossians 1:24-28.

 The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ isn't land locked. The Church is universal. It isn’t a nation, it is ‘The body of believers with Christ as Head’ the Church therefore is not defined and confined by land. Ephesians 1:20-23. Christ is the King of the Jews/Israel (yet to be fulfilled).
He is 'Head of the Church'.

This period of the Church is called the age of Grace. Israel as a nation has been sidelined until the Church’s role has been completed and it is caught up to be with the Lord 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

 Then God’s time begins ticking again to complete Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and Daniel’s vision of the end times. That has become known as the time of the revived Roman Empire.

We will look in more detail about the ten toes/ten horns later.
-------------------------------------- 


Study 1.  Daniel – the man’s character.

Daniel is one of the only characters in the Bible without something adverse revealed about him. This isn’t saying he was perfect. It simply means God wasn’t interested in making it know.

Daniel 1:3-4. He was either of royal or noble bloodline.

 His age is considered mid-teenager years.

His captivity began after King Jehoiakim’s overthrow. 1:1

The names of the faithful four imply godly parents.

Daniel = God is Judge.                                 Hannaniah = Yahweh is gracious.                 Mishael = Who is what God is.                  Azariah = The Lord helps.

The 1st test to these teenagers comes about food.
At 17 years how would you have handled this or any other test of commitment?

Meat was probably 1st offered to the Babylonian idol. Unacceptable.

God honoured their stand, 1:11-17. 

Daniel was a man of prayer. From teenage years through to old age.

Daniel 2:17-19. 46-49.  6:10.   9:3. (identified with his nation)

Daniel 5:13-29 in old age he shows his strength of character and fearlessness.

Daniel 6:3. How would you define this term? What do the following verse say to you?

                 4.

                 5.

Remember Daniel is no longer a teenager. What we learn about testing times from Daniel’s life is you don’t handle the lion’s early on. However, being faithful to the ‘food/idol issue’ will equip you later to face the ‘lions’.

Daniel 9:1-4f What does this reveal about the man and his faith?

Daniel 10:11 This was said in his old age.
He had remained faithful through turbulent times and against fierce opposition.

‘Greatly beloved’ is not used for others.  Beloved is, but without ‘greatly’.


Daniel 12:5-13. Daniel’s unanswered request.

Is it revealed in Revelation 5:1-6:1?

Background Reading to Daniel

Leviticus 26.    Moses’ prophecy. 

Deuteronomy 8:1-20. (9:1-7) Moses’ warning.

(The Law and Covenant given at Mt Horeb/Sinai is God’s basis for dealing with Israel in the Land. He has spelt out what He foresaw and therefore warned the Nation of the consequences. The Babylonian siege and captivity are foreshadowed in the above readings.)

 Isaiah 1:1-20.  Date of Isaiah’s ministry.

Isaiah 2:12-21. Isaiah’s prophecy.

2 Chronicles 33:1-20.

2 Chronicles 36:1-21.

 Jeremiah repeatedly stresses the Nation’s indifference to and rebellion against the Law.

Jeremiah 6:19. 9:12-16.                                                                                                           

Jeremiah 7:1-34.

Jeremiah 25:1-14. Declares 70 years in Babylon.

Jeremiah 29:1-32.

Ezra 1:1-11.

The Nebuchadnezzar period.

This Babylonian king assaulted Judah and Jerusalem three times.

2 Kings 24:1-7.  First time.

2 Kings 24:8-17. Second time. Daniel /others taken to Babylon.

2 Kings 24:18- 25:21. Third time.  (Jeremiah 37:1 – 39:18.)

[Ezekiel’s comments re city also. The departure of the Glory of the Lord from the temple paves the way for Nebuchadnezzar to destroy the city. Read Ezekiel 8:1-6.  9:3. 10:1-19.  11:22-23. The significance of where the ‘Glory of the Lord’ stops is understood from references to the End times. C/- Zachariah 14:3-4 and Acts 1:6-11]

Jeremiah in Jerusalem. Considered by many a traitor.

Ezekiel in the midst of Jewish captives in Babylon.

Daniel and three friends within the Babylonian court scene.

Chronology.

Deuteronomy and entering the land around 1406 B.C.

Isaiah between 740 – 680 B.C.

Jeremiah between 626 – 586 B.C.

Daniel written around 530 B.C.

 Nebuchadnezzar’s assaults.

Nebuchadnezzar reigns (?) from 604 – 562 B.C.

1. 605 B.C.  Makes Judah a vassal state 605 B.C.

2. 598 B.C. Judah revolts. Jerusalem besieged. Many deported to Babylon.

3. 589 B.C. Zedekiah’s revolt 587 B.C. City and temple destroyed.




___________________________________________________________________
The Lord’s Prayer #8.                                  Forgiveness

Read Matt. 6:12 and Luke 11:4.

There’s a slight difference in use between debts and sins.

Matthews word = a debt requiring satisfaction. How can we who are broke make any repayment?

In Matthew’s account it is “Forgive us our debts…” Opheiletes in Greek.

Forgiveness required a ‘sending away’ or a ‘dismissing’ of the debt.

In Luke’s account it is “Forgive us our sins… Hamartia in Greek.

Forgiveness here required being lifted up after falling short.

Forgiveness under the Jewish system also required a sacrifice of an innocent animal.

Leviticus 4:2 Sin of ignorance.  This required repentance and sacrifice. Notice the difference between some groups. Why?

4:3. by Priest. 4:13 by nation 4:22 by ruler 4:27 people.

In 4:20. Atonement. This means a covering. The sin required death (c/- Romans 6:23a) but the sacrifice covered the offender. God saw the penalty was paid. That’s the significance of the cross of Christ and our atonement. He is our covering. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. 1 John 2:1-2.

Then followed a peace offering which was sweet smelling. This sacrifice is symbolic of the fact that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross has made us a sweet fragrance to the Father. Ephesians 5:2. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16.

 Between person and person there would also be need for restitution and even a penalty. The fourfold law. Exodus 22:1.  2 Samuel 12:6   Would this be applicable within our judicial system today?

In Luke’s use of the word forgiveness (Remission) there is medical implications. He uses it more than all other N.T. writers combined. It speaks about the relaxation of disease Luke 4:39. The implications and motivation Matt.6:14. (Not mentioned in Luke).

This prayer points to that fact of God’s faithfulness in honouring His word about restoring the Kingdom. Micah 7:8-20.  Ezekiel 37:1 – 39:29. That being the case it means that Israel needs to extend forgiveness to surviving nations.

Who, therefore, are their (Israel’s) debtors?

Joel 3:1-6.

Zechariah 14:2-5, 16-19.

Luke 21:5-24.

Following the horrors of the great tribulation the surviving nations will need to be forgiven. Isaiah 12:1-6.  2:1-5. The proof that Israel has been forgiven its rebellion, indebtedness and falling short of their Covenant relationship will be evidenced in the way they offer forgiveness to the Gentiles. Micah 7:18-20    

What is the natural attitude to those who have committed such horrific acts against you or your country? The Lord’s Prayer is cutting across this outlook. It is a healing process based upon personal deliverance from ‘debt’ to God.

This doesn’t belittle the hurt, shame, pain and scars on the soul. Jesus still bears His scars inflicted by Jew and Gentile. So too will individuals and the Nation coming out of the great tribulation (or any type of conflict). The coming Kingdom promises much, will deliver all God promised. I wonder though can we grasp the emotional and spiritual healing and grace required by men and women on that day?

The grace and power required can only be resourced by God.

In this era Christians are under a similar demand but based upon a personal knowledge of the grace, mercy and forgiveness secured for us by Christ Jesus.  Ephesians 4:32.  Colossians 2:12-13. If we fail to forgive God still forgives us for His Son’s sake. However if we don’t forgive we rob ourselves of God’s blessing and may incur discipline. We also belittle Christ’s honour and authority to the one’s we refrain from forgiving.







Series: The Lord’s Prayer.  #7             Give us this day our Daily Bread.

Bread plays an important role in the history of Israel. It can mean ‘food’ in general but has particular reference to the Manna in the wilderness. Remember Elijah being fed by the Ravens. 1 Kings 17:1-15.The testing time upon the Nation would be three years and six months.

Q:1.     Why is it ‘give us” rather than ‘give me’?

            Yes it includes the individual but seems to refer to the nation in a particular situation. In many cultures the individual is not of great significance. It is the Nation. However if the individual dishonours the community the whole suffer until the perpetrator is dealt with. E.g. Achan. David.

However, could this reference point to the time of the great tribulation?

Daniel 12:1.   Matthew 24:21.  Revelation 13:1-18.

            There’s a sense of urgency implied here also. No ‘please’. Simply ‘give’.
                   
Q:2.     What is meant by ‘this day our daily…?

            It is strange for us to pray this in our welfare state or affluent society. We may need to rearrange the words and simply thank God for what we can so easily obtain.

            Therefore there must be a deeper meaning behind these words.

            The Greek word for daily here is only used twice. Luke 11:3

            Epiousios means ‘the bread of us belonging to the morrow give us each day.         

            Bullinger in his commentary in 'The Companion Bible' thinks Jesus coined this word.

            The people are praying for the food of the coming kingdom to be granted today. That is: ‘God we are being attacked and crushed on all sides. You promised to intervene and bring us to your banqueting table. Isaiah 25:6-10. They are crying out for sustenance and longing for the Kingdom to come! When you read through the book of Revelation it is easy to understand their desperate situation and the longing for God's intervention.

Q:3.     What is meant by ‘bread’?

            It may imply the manna provided in the wilderness. The Lord provided that.
            This is the promise also in Revelation12:1-6, 13-17. (note verses 6 & 14 and its duration.).
            Who is the 'they' who would feed her, Israel, in that place?      

We began the study of this prayer emphasising its relationship to Israel. It is dealing with the Father’s promise concerning a coming Kingdom. However that Kingdom is not going to come peacefully. The prophets and the Revelation stress that. Therefore this section of the prayer may be for the scattered and hidden Nation in desperate need of food.
Is this another insight into how this is done, in part, from Matthew 25:31- 40?

On a devotional level consider: 
'Bread' can be a term which embraces so much more. It refers to food. It could also refer to Jesus, John 16:32-33.  Matthew 26:29.    Luke 22:14-18. Acts 2:42

As Christians there isn’t any reason not to pray this prayer in a general sense. However we need to keep it in context. It is about coming days of trial and the nation’s turning again to the Lord.



The Lord’s Prayer:#6                 Your Will be done on earth

The will of God finds expression to Israel; to the Church and to you as an individual. When we say this prayer we are actually praying alongside of Israel.

How do we know the Will of God in relation to this earth?

He has spelt it out. We have witnessed some of its fulfilment. Describe from your knowledge of Scripture and history.
However, there are still many issues yet to come.

The judgement upon the occult city of Babylon. Isaiah 47:1-15. The primary reason: Verse10b.
Spelt out in graphic detail Revelation 18 is the final judgement.

Then the Nation of Israel and others who stood with her (Matthew 25:31-46.) will share in Isaiah 25.
Isaiah 25:6. What is the mountain mentioned? C/- Isaiah 2:3.
What has the Lord prepared?
Is there a relationship between this feast and the parables of the Wedding feast?

Isaiah 25:7. How did He destroy the Shroud of Death?
1 Corinthians 15:20, 50-56. We share in this by faith now and taste its reality later.
Isaiah 25:8. That which we sense is heaven (Revelation 21:3-4) has come to earth.
Who is ‘His people’?
What defined their disgrace?
How has it been removed?
Isaiah 27:1. This new era begins with the Sword of the Lord dealing with the serpent and the dragon.
The Serpent =The Dragon = Revelation 12:3, 9. (Devil means slander. Satan means Adversary.)

Isaiah 27:6. What is the fruit mentioned here?
Isaiah 33:24 Two wonderful features mentioned here are…
*The ultimate realisation of God’s dealing with a diseased Israel.(Check Isaiah 1.)
Hosea 14:1-7.
*The power of forgiveness granted through the cross and resurrection of Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 53 reaches its climax in the Will of God on earth as it embraces the redeemed nation of Israel and the saved Gentile nations.
Isaiah 11:9. What will be the spiritual atmosphere of life on earth?
Isaiah 12: 1. The Song to be sung that day.






The Lord’s Prayer. #5. Thy Kingdom Come.

What do we understand by 'Thy kingdom come...' when we pray? Do we really mean it? Are we conscious of the fact that it points to a period of time when Jesus as Lord and Saviour will rule the world from Jerusalem?

What do you think the Disciples ‘pictured’ when they heard Jesus say it?
I …Isaiah 9:6, 7.
Ii … Daniel 7:13, 14.
Iii ... 2 Chronicles 13:5. Iv ... 1 Chronicles 28:5.
V … Zechariah 14.


Remember at Mt. Sinai Yahweh invited Israel to be a nation of priests.(Exodus 19:6) The people feared God from what they had seen and so were reluctant to accept such a ‘blanket coverage.’ So the Lord chose descendants of Levi to do this. The curse of Genesis 49:5-7 on Levi was turned into a blessing because of Exodus 32:26-28. c/- Numbers 1:49-5. 3:6-13.

The nation was to be God’s light to the Gentiles. It would be the ‘body’ through which the Messiah would come to deal with the issue of Sin and Death. It was also to be the custodians of God’s commands and Scriptures to future generations. Psalm 147:19-20.

When we celebrate the coming of Christ, the time we call Christmas, read how those intimately involved saw its outcome. Luke 2:28-32. 1:29-33.

After the crucifixion and resurrection Jesus spent ten days with His followers. Then in Acts chapter 1 we read about His ascension. The disciples asked a very important question in Acts 1:6. It related to the very promises of God regarding the Kingdom.

Some imagine the Disciples were misguided. What is your view? How would you interpret Acts 1:7? Was He evasive in His response implying they were wrong or was He calling them to simply get their priorities right?

The Lord was giving the Nation’s leaders’ a chance to change their mind about Him. Jesus knew the outcome. However the leaders would never be able to say that they never had the chance. It was a missed opportunity Acts 3:17-21

Do we realise that when we pray this prayer we are praying for the climatic events of history as expressed in the prophets? Joel 3. Zephaniah 3. Zechariah 14 plus many other passages reveal future events.

When we say this part of the Lord’s Prayer we are, in many ways, making a declaration of spiritual and moral warfare. For this world is under the influence of the Wicked One 1 John 5:19.

Also, due to our own wayward human nature and enjoyment of various aspects of unrighteousness we will often resist God’s rule in our own life, even as Christians. Do we honestly want to do what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33?
How much more those who outside of His control and are hostile to His Son and His promises will resist Christ’s kingdom.

What would you consider to be features of God’s Kingdom on earth?
Isaiah 2:1-4. 11:1-9. Ezekiel 36. etc

Is there a distinction between the Kingdom of God and the Church?
The Kingdom of God permeates the Old Testament and the Gospels.
Some imagine that The Church is the ‘New Israel’ and inherits the promises given to ‘old Israel.’ However the Church is unknown in the Old Testament (though reading back into it we may see some symbolisms elative to it. Eg. Enoch’s rapture Genesis 5:21-24. Joseph marrying a Gentile bride. Genesis 41:45.)

However Ephesians 3:1-11. The Church is God’s Surprise! Romans 16:25-27.
The Church is called ‘The Body. Christ is its Head.
He isn’t the King of the Church but the King of Israel.

To confuse the two and make the Church the possessor of the Kingdom leads to all types of spiritual and theological confusion. Wrong interpretation of Scripture leads ultimately to saying God has rejected Israel. This in turn leads to a rejection of their legitimacy as a Nation and their right to the land God promised.

To have that view is to make null and void the prayer you (may) pray which says ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be your Name, your kingdom come…





The Lord's Prayer #4  Hallowed be your Name.

Hallow means ‘to set apart.’ It is distinct from other items or people.
The term ‘sanctify’ also defines this word. How then would you set apart the Name of God?

First, you need to understand what is imbedded in that term.
When applied to God ‘the Name’ reveals more than a ‘handle’ which separates one name from another. E.G. Bill and Ron are names but we wouldn’t think of sanctifying their names. When we consider the Name of God we are actually referring to His person, His character, His word.

The warning in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:7‘You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name’. (NRSV)
Jesus in Matthew 28:19–20 unveils the mystery, majesty of God. John 10:30: Jesus stresses this Oneness. It refers to the very essence of God which John 4:24 mentions is ‘Spirit.’

Notice it is ‘The Name’ singular. The Godhead could never have been conceived by humanity. Islam can only come up with a solitary, aloof, ‘god’. Pagans have unlimited numbers. Compare the Romans’ gods on Mount Olympus.
This is endorsed in Genesis 1:26. The term for God is ‘Elohim’ is a uni-plural noun.
Isaiah 6:3 implies this fact.

Second, how does a person take the Name of God in vain?
This is much more serious than swearing with His Name. It summarises deliberate disregard for God’s character and commands.
Leviticus 18:21 (20:23) 19:12. 22:2. 24:10-23.
Deuteronomy 28:58-59. Jeremiah 14:13-15

These judgements come upon those who profess to be God’s people, those who know His teaching, who have seen His work. Is there any hope for forgiveness, a new beginning? The best example is 2 Timothy 1:12-17. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Third. What positive acts are there whereby a person can ‘Hallow His Name?
1 John 5:5-12. The letters by the Apostles outline the moral and spiritual behaviour which honours the Lord God. They deal with the total person, mind, soul, body. We hallow God’s Name with holy worship, stewardship, relationships and ministry. Read them.

Reflect again on how the prayer begins. Only those who are Family can ‘Hallow His Name.’ What a privilege we have. To dishonour it may not sever our relationship, but it does bring judgement.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Lord’s Prayer: ‘… In Heaven…’

This is #3 in this series on the Lord’s Prayer.

Where is heaven? Most people simply point skywards. Who is there? God of course, angels and people are some of there responses. How do you get there? By dying and meeting Saint Peter at the ‘gate’. Even a Catholic bishop said on an Australian Q and A program that he expects atheists to be there.

However what are some insights the Bible reveals about this realm?

Heaven and earth were created. Genesis 1:1. Nehemiah 9:6.
Therefore the place where God has His throne must be outside of His creation.

When Solomon was building the temple he was captivated by this thought. 2 Chronicles 2:6: ‘Who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him?’

Reigning from His realm implies it was unscathed by Satan’s rebellion and Adam’s treason on earth. What is God’s environment like?
Revelation 4:1-11. What are some things you notice?
Revelation 4:8. What word describes His character? What does He deserve?

1 Timothy 6:16. He is surrounded and dwells in …?
Deuteronomy 4:24. ‘The Lord your god is a devouring fire, a jealous God. Hebrews 12:29
Matthew 5:48. Jesus made a very demanding requirement however you view it: Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

If we are honest with ourselves the above features about God creates tension and unsettles any aspect of our thinking we are good enough to stand in His presence.
Remember Romans 3:23 ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’

How can we measure up?
We cannot?
If anyone is going to enter God the Father’s realm He must provide the way. He must provide the power. He must provide the ‘measuring up standard’. He must give life to those He considers ‘dead in sin’.(Ephesians 2:1) He must provide forgiveness to those (all of us) who have offended Him. He must give us clothing which will endure His presence, that is righteousness. He must give us His fragrance.

How?
That is the wonder of His grace and what the Father achieved on our behalf in sending Jesus to become the Christ on Calvary. (That is part of my Devotionals ‘The Bethlehem Warrior’ and ‘Captured by Calvary’.)

Consider the following passages : Romans 5:1-11. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.
Ephesians 2:1-10. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21.

The way the Father is able to bestow all this is because Jesus rose from the dead and is able to represent us in Heaven. How do we make Jesus our Lord and Saviour? It is the ‘currency’ heaven has decreed, Faith. 1 John 5:10: ‘Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.’

In John 17:24 Jesus prayed that His disciples should be with Him, where He is. Where is that? With the Father. So Heaven is reserved for those who know Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour.

What then can we expect is the atmosphere of Heaven? To name just a few:

Psalm 16:11. Joy.
Revelation 14:1-4 Songs and music
1 Chronicles 16:27. Glory and honour.
Psalm 111:3. Righteousness.

The doxology of Jude 24,25 express the gratitude of God’s redeemed. Notice how you stand before Him because of Jesus Christ victory in your life.

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.


Next week. The Majesty of ‘the Name.’
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Some Background and Insights to the Lord’s Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer is so simple a child can understand it.
It is so complex a scholar cannot plumb its depth.

The two accounts. Matthew 6:9-13. Luke 11:2-4.

Why the differences?
‘Viewed as a whole…the Lucan version has preserved the oldest form with respect to length, but the Matthean text is more original with regard to wording’. Joachim Jeremias in his ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.

Matthew wrote Aramaic. Luke in Greek.

Matthew wrote to the Jewish people who were steeped in the ritual of godly prayers.
Luke addressed pagan converts without the Jewish concept of prayer.
It would require teaching ad practice for those who came out of paganism to appreciate the majesty and depth of this prayer.

Jesus was a Rabbi. Each Rabbi and his disciples formulated their special prayer bond. Maybe this was behind the disciples of Jesus request to teach them to pray. The ‘Lord’s Prayer’ can be seen in this light as a special devotional gift between Jesus and the disciples.

George Strecker in ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ said the Lord’s Prayer in its original meaning required a person to be aware of Jesus’ central thought in His proclamation. That was the approaching dominion of God. Therefore within the Lord’s Prayer are essential elements of Jesus eschatological view. Remember Jesus burst upon the scene proclaiming, “Repent, the Kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Matthew 4:17

Eschatological means ‘A doctrine of the last or final things, especially death, judgement, heaven and hell’. Greek ‘eschatos =last, final. Mark 1:14-15, gives the time and place: ‘After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news.”’

A strange fact.In Church history the prayer is unknown outside of Matthew and Luke and the 2nd century manuscript called the didache (teaching) of the 12 apostles. The next time we hear of it is around 350AD. J. Jeremias ‘As a constitutional part of the Communion liturgy, the Lord’s Prayer belonged to that part portion of the service in which only those who were baptized were permitted to partake’.

It was not heard outside of the Church. It was a special relational prayer of those who had made the break and left paganism by confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Could this imply this prayer was something meaningful and special that the disciple of Christ didn’t want it contaminated by profane use?

What does that say about our use of it today?
Is there a danger of falling into the trap Jesus warned about in Matthew 6:5: ‘Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have their reward.’

Matthew 6:7: ‘When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; they think that they will be heard because of their many words.Do not be like them …’

How can we make it regain its meaning?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Lord’s Prayer. #2  What is meant by ‘Our Father…’?

When the people of Israel spoke of God the term was YHWH. (We spell it Yahweh or Jehovah) They had the privilege as a Nation to call Him ‘our Father’. This was due to His specific creative act in forming the nation.

‘Bara’ defines this act. It is the same word used for the creation of the world. It defines the power of God to create from nothing and form it to His purposes.
Isaiah 43:1a. 7a. 15.

YHWH’s term for Israel. Hosea 11:1. C/- Exodus 4:22. Deut. 32:6.18. Isa. 63:16. 64:8.

How was this nation formed? Through the genes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob!
God has allowed Himself to be surnamed as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Whilst there is a national implication to this term, there is the more meaningful spiritual/relational requirement. Romans 2:28-29.

This is underscored by Jesus discussion with Nicodemus. John 3:3.

The personal assurance for an Israelite that God was his/her Father was a heart and faith matter. Joseph and Mary were true children. Judas was the betrayer and Caiaphas was the High Priest who condemned Jesus to die. Then after the resurrection refused to repent and tried to cover-up the resurrection testimony. These two typify people of the nation who were not true Israelites in God’s sight.

When speaking to the people of Israel the apostles emphasised the need to be born from above. 1 Pet.1:22-23. 1 John 5:1-5. This was necessary due to personal sin and rebellion against the Lord God. They could call God, “Father” in the sense He was their Creator on a National level. Jesus was saying there was a more intimate relationship available. This would make it possible to call God “Father” in a family context as either a son or daughter.

When talking to Gentiles the wonder of calling God ‘our Father’ was possible because of His adopting us into His family. Read Ephesians 2:1-3 and 2:12-14 to understand the situation outside the Nation of Israel.
Ephesians 1:5.
Galatians 4:5-7
Romans 8:1-17.

Paul uses the legal language of the Roman system to highlight the wonder of God’s grace to us.
However we cannot claim God as our Father unless His DNA is in us. How can that happen?

Galatians 3:23-29.
Ephesians uses the terms ‘in Christ’ ‘Christ in you’ He is our DNA. John 1:12-13.
The gift of the Holy Spirit also expresses our DNA credentials. 1 John 4:13-16.

The wonder of Calvary comes wrapped up in the privilege we have every–time we pray ‘Our Father…!

Coming - Hallowed by your name.


Rambling through Romans. 1.

Reading. Romans 1:1-6.
The Good News in Romans

Paul makes a play on his former and present lifestyle when he uses the word ‘Separated’. As a Pharisee he was separate from the ‘common or profane’ people. Now he has been separated from religious tradition and self righteousness unto the Gospel.

What is meant by the Gospel?
The word means ‘Good News’.
However there are various aspects of God’s Good News.
Mark 1:14, 15. 13:10. Rev. 14:6. 2 Cor. 4:4

To those who realise they have fallen short of God’s standard just what good news do they want to hear? That they have been forgiven, cleansed and raised up with the power to meet God’s standard. How can that happen without the Lord God compromising His holiness and justice?

The problem was dealt with by Jesus. Romans 5:6–11.
Underline the words or phrases which give you a sense of hope and peace.
How can I enter into this new realm? Romans 5:1–5.
From God’s perspective He offers ‘Grace.’ What He requires from you and me is ‘Faith’ Ephesians 2:1–10.

The gospel of the Kingdom relates to Israel as a nation.
What then is good news to the Gentiles? C/- Ephesians 2:11-13. 3:1-7. Rom. 15:15,16.
This could only be realised after the resurrection.

What is the call of the Gospel?
1 Cor. 4:15….Begotten through.
2 Thess. 2:14…called by.

The Gospel had been promised within the scriptures.
Both aspects…the good news of the Kingdom
and the good news of redemption in, through, with and because of Jesus Christ.
Acts 13:21-23, 26-33. 26:1-6.

This is why throughout Acts the preachers say, “It is written…” Their message flowed from the conviction that the 39 books of their scriptures, Genesis to Malachi revealed Jesus as the Messiah. This was done through promise, symbol, sacrificial system and prophetic insight. Check Psalm 22. Isaiah 53 as examples. The Church still does this today. We have another 27 books supporting such claims.

2 Cor. 1:20. The promises of God are ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ in Christ.

Closing quote from Haldane’s epistle to the Romans.
‘Jesus Christ was made or became the Son of David; but He did not become, but was declared, defined, or demonstrated to be the Son of God.’ Emphasis his.




When Jesus Christ Returns.
Study 10. Reading John 14:1-6.

The Bible from Genesis to Malachi said “Someone is coming.” The Gospels declare that “Someone has come and He is Jesus.” The rest of the Bible promises “Someone will come again and it will be Jesus.” Acts 1:6-11.

From Acts 1:11 what do we understand about Christ Jesus’ return?

Zechariah 14:1-5 describes that day.

In the Bible there are at least 320 references to this event. In Titus 2:13 it is called…?

This study outlines three words associated with the second coming of our Lord Jesus.

The word ‘Appearing.

The Greek = epiphany. Means to shine, become evident.

1 Timothy 6:14. 2 Timothy 4:8.

When He returns it will be in the splendour of His holiness and Truth. His first coming saw Him as the suffering servant of Isaiah 53! Now He returns as the exalted conqueror.

This event will be visible. Luke 21:25-28.

The word for ‘Uncovering.’Greek = apokalupsis. Means an unveiling. The one now unseen yet declared within the Scriptures will one day be revealed. The book of Revelation (the apocalypse = the unveiling) gives further details of the countdown to history’s climax. Within its pages you are given an insight into the power and authority of the One before whom all Creation will bow. To Him all will acknowledge Him as Lord. Only those however who by faith call Him Saviour and Lord before His return will share His kingdom.

This will not be a happy time for men and women who have rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. It is the prelude to judgement. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12.

This word is used as an encouragement to Christians suffering for their faith. 1 Peter 4:12-17.

The word for ‘Presence.’Greek = Parousia. Means presence. It is a technical word for the arrival of a person. It is often translated ‘coming.’ The return of Jesus is scoffed at by unbelievers while for believers it is our great hope. What does 2 Peter 3:3-15 say on this matter and how you should live?

There are many aspects to the return of the Lord Jesus which you will understand over time. However it is for us not a time to fear but a time which motivates faith, holiness and service. 1 John 2:28-3:3. 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

When He returns the promises of Isaiah 2:1-4 and 9:6,7 will begin.





What Jesus is Doing Now.

Study 9. Reading Hebrews 2:14-18. 4:14-16.

“It is finished!” That is the triumphant cry of Jesus on the cross. He had conquered Sin and its penalty on our behalf. He had broken Satan’s control over Humanity. He had secured our redemption. He would rob Death of its power and fear in His resurrection.

When the Lord Jesus ascended to His Father’s presence a new ministry was waiting.

Hebrews 9:24.

The Nation of Israel had a worship system centred first in the Tabernacle then in a Temple. Each feature of the worship pointed to some role Jesus would fulfill. His ministry is in the Heavens and from Hebrews 4:14 how is His role defined?

Why is this so important to us in our daily lives? Hebrews 2:16-18. 4:15,16.

In the Old Covenant only priests could exercise the various duties of service and worship under the authority of the High Priest. Jesus being our High Priest means we have become…1 Peter 2:1-10.

Why was it necessary for God to institute a new worship system under a new high Priest? Hebrews 7:1-24 explains.

Because Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament sacrificial system, among other things, and rose from the dead He has the power of unending life. God the Father appointed Jesus to a newer and more glorious High Priestly role which is our guarantee of our acceptance and of our prayers being heard. Hebrews 7:25.

Hebrews 7:26-28. What other things do you learn about Jesus as our high Priest?

There are some who imagine they need to approach God through a special person, alive or dead, who has personal merit to be heard. However what does 1Timothy 2:3-6 say?

There is no other Name under Heaven or in Heaven whereby we can find salvation and there is none other who is our mediator and High Priest.

Another feature of the High Priestly role of Jesus is found in 1 John 1:6-2:2.

How would you describe it?

Why is this so important to us? In the course of our faith journey there will be times when we will stumble and fall, take wrong turns, be self indulgent and disobedient. This creates guilt shame and doubt which are seized by the Devil to blackmail us into living defeated, negative and hypocritical lives. The Lord understands our tendencies to fail so prays for us, defends us and through our repentance and confession lifts us up and helps us move on. Read what Jesus did for Peter in Luke 22:31,32. Do you know his failure? Do you know what he rose to become? Is this an encouragement to you?``

Therefore Hebrews 10:19-25 is our response.





How God shares your Life.
Study 8. Reading John 14:15-27.

A fascinating revelation about the God of the Bible is His desire to share Himself with His creation. He spent time with Adam and Eve until they violated His command (Genesis 3). In the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy a recurring theme is God in their midst. In both Testaments is the promise that God would always be with His people and never forsake them. This is beautifully summed up in the name given to Jesus, Emmanuel meaning God with us.

How is this possible?John 4:24.

God is the greatest mystery and beyond our fathoming. We could never understand Him unless He made Himself known. In Matthew 28:19, 20 we are given an insight into this mystery. God is one, Deuteronomy 6:4. However that Oneness and the Name hold within itself the majesty and mystery of God. One in essence yet three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In John 14:16 we meet this mystery again. What is Jesus’ prayer and promise?

The Greek word for ‘another’ means another of the same type or quality. Therefore the Comforter is of the same essence as Jesus and the Father.

What is His relationship to a believer according to verse 17?

Notice the other name for the Comforter in verse 26.

What is part of His ministry in a disciples life? Therefore what is required of you for this to occur?

Read John 16:8-11. What is the Holy spirit’s ministry when the Gospel is preached?

From John 16:13, 14 Whose words and person does the Holy spirit glorify?

How do you know the Holy Spirit abides in your life?

Acts 2:38 is a promise.

1 Corinthians 12:3 provides assurance. Compare 1 John 4:2, 13-15.

Galatians 3:3 stresses what principle?

Hearing, believing and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour allowed God to … (Ephesians 1:13,14.

His indwelling of your life makes you…1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.

Therefore with Him in your life you will mature as a believer with a heart for God and a willingness to honour Him. You have the power by your response to God’s word to … (Ephesians 4:30) because the Scriptures are … (Hebrews 4:12) or we can be … (Ephesians 5:18.

You will know the Holy Spirit’s indwelling by the way you love and live for Jesus Christ



The Christian’s Passover.


Study 7. Reading Exodus 12:1-11. 1 Corinthians 5:7.


There are seven ordained Feasts in the Bible for Israel. Each one has special historical and spiritual significance. The one on which the others are ‘built’ is called the Passover. Each Feast has a spiritual and eternal reality behind the physical celebration. As with other Biblical events and customs their fulfillment is found in Jesus as the Messiah.

The Significance of the Passover.It’s a celebration of safety from Judgement beneath the blood of the lamb.

Exodus 12:12,13.

It’s a celebration of deliverance from bondage. Deuteronomy 16:1-3.

It’s a celebration of a new beginning. Exodus 12:2.

It’s a celebration of a journey to a promised land. Genesis 15:13-16.Exodus 12:40-42.

The Fulfillment of the Passover.

One of the most precious titles for Jesus is…John 1:29.

The night before the Passover Jesus celebrated the event in an upper room. There He took the emblems and used them to explain what was to happen to Him on the next day. This would have confounded the disciples and at the same time preparing them for a new era.

Read Matthew 26:17-29.

The unleavened bread became a symbol of…Matthew 26:26.

The cup of wine became a symbol of…Matthew 26:27, 28.

When He was crucified it was as our substitute. Isaiah 53. 1 Corinthians 5:7.

His death and resurrection delivers believers from judgement. Romans 3:23-26. 6:23.

His death and resurrection delivers believers from Sin’s bondage. Romans 6:6-18.

His death and resurrection marks a new beginning for believers. 2 Corinthians 5:14-17.

His death and resurrection makes believers pilgrims. 1 Peter 1:1-4.

The Celebration of the Christian’s Passover.From the very beginning of the Christian Church it practiced two acts of devotion. These became know as Sacraments meaning oaths of allegiance. The first is Baptism. This is a non repeatable sacrament for those who have heard about, believed in, repented from sin and confessed faith in Jesus Christ. The second is the Lord’s Supper/Communion which is the Christian’s Passover.

Acts 20:7 indicates its regularity.

1 Corinthians 11:23-30 has a number of important teachings and warnings about taking Communion. Verse 26 highlights… verses 27,30 warns against…?

When the Church gathers together for worship, reaching and Communion it is honouring the Lord’s desire for we do this in remembrance of Him. The Lord’s Supper is all about Jesus Christ. It is centred upon the Cross.

Each time we celebrate what He has done for us we also anticipate the fulfillment of what He said in Matthew 26:29. Isaiah 25:6-9.





Study 6. You Are a Witness for Jesus.

Reading 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10.

A witness is a person who has a first hand account of some incident, issue or drama about which someone needs to know and confirm. In the realm of faith this is also true. You are a witness through first hand personal experience of hearing about and responding to the call of Jesus Christ.

Who has called you as a witness to what you have heard and believed? Acts 1:8

How would you apply the geography mentioned in Acts 1:8 to your scene?
Reflect a moment upon the significance of Jerusalem. What had been the experience of Jesus and the disciples in that city in recent weeks? The Lord now tells them this is the starting point for their testimony. In the place where you once denied Jesus or were indifferent to Him is your starting point to be a witness unto Him.

To what do you testify either by word or lifestyle?
John 20:31.
Read the account of Thomas’ confession. John 20:24-29.

Galatians 1:1-5. 6:14,15. speaks about?

1 Corinthians 15:1-8. highlights…?

The outworking in a believer’s life of faith in Jesus Christ is recorded throughout the letters of the New Testament. These letters contain encouragement to continue to grow in God’s grace and knowledge. They also offer warnings about the dangers you will face which will try and spoil your witness to Jesus.

Read 1 Peter 4:1-5. How did Peter encourage his readers in their Christian life?

Read 1 Peter 4:12-19. What is to be your attitude under difficult circumstances?

Read Ephesians 4:17-22. Describe the Bible verdict on the lifestyle of non Christian’s of Paul’s day. From verse 20 what began to change those who turned to Jesus from that lifestyle?

Read Ephesians 4:23-32 and list some of the practical effects that faith in Jesus has upon your heart, mind and behaviour.

If a person claimed to be a disciple of Jesus but over time there wasn’t any transformation in his lifestyle what would it be saying?
You will be a witness unto Jesus. Whether you are a good or bad witness depends upon you. God has given you the Bible, the Church and the Holy Spirit to enable you to be a true and faithful witness to the power and love of the Lord Jesus. Only disobedience, unbelief and ignorance will make you a false witness.



Baptism – A Double sided Drama.

Study 5. Reading Acts 2:29-38.

We live in a world of symbols. Each one points to a greater reality behind the simple sign. This is true in bible things. In the Old Testament the animal sacrifices were symbols (types, pictures) of a greater reality. That was the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
For us there are two very significant symbols of a deeper spiritual reality. One is baptism by immersion in water the other is sharing in the Lord’s Supper. This study seeks to help you understand the deeper reality behind a beautiful, simple and dramatic act of baptism.

Acts 2:38 and Romans 10:9-10 tell us some things we need to do before baptism. What are they?
Why do you believe these are important in the Lord God’s sight?

How many baptisms are there? Ephesians 4:4-6.
Therefore the physical act of being immersed in water is linked with the spiritual.
The physical is mentioned in Acts 8:26-38. 10:47-48. 16:11-15, 16-33.
The spiritual is highlighted in Romans 6:1-11

Romans 6 is a wonderful passage.
It calls us to understand what takes place in the spiritual realm when we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Because the wages of sin is death we must experience this judgement. If we were to suffer it in our own righteousness we would perish. However, in the wisdom and mercy of God He considers a believer to have shared in what?

The spiritual is mentioned in the letters and help explain the dramatic but unseen things that have taken place which only God’s realm and the Devil’s realm have witnessed. The angels rejoice while the demons fear. Read the following passages and reflect upon their meaning in your life.

1 Corinthians 12:13. Who does the baptizing? Where does He place the believer?
Another description of His work is pictured in Galatians 3:27. Who is our covering?
This is the significance underscoring Galatians 2:20.

When Jesus was crucified and then rose again from the dead what did He achieve according to Colossians 2:13 - 14?

Therefore every time a believer is baptized he is testifying to that triumph in his own life and reminding the powers of Darkness of their ultimate defeat and doom. Colossians 2:11-13.

1 Peter 1:18-22 presents another dimension to baptism.
How would you describe what Peter is writing?

Baptism is often called a sacrament. This word means an oath of allegiance and comes from the Roman military usage. When you are baptized in water you are declaring your allegiance to Jesus Christ. You declare Him Lord of Creation; Lord of Salvation; Lord of Life and Death; Lord of your life.

Are you willing to express your faith and allegiance to Jesus in this way?



The Christian’s Authority.

Study 4. Reading. 2 Peter 1:12-21.

By what authority do we as Christian live our lives, seek to witness to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Why do we believe the Bible is inspired, unique and powerful in transforming lives, families and communities? There are many reasons ranging from historical, archaeology and language. However, even with all those as supportive evidence we accept the Bible’s testimony by faith and know its integrity from obedience.

The primary purpose of the Scriptures. John 5:39.
From the opening chapters to the closing one the person and work of Jesus is woven into its pages. In essence the 39 books of the Old Testament declare Someone is coming. He is un-named but pointed to in shadows, metaphors, prophecy and promises. Hebrews 10:1-10 points to this fact.

Romans 15:4 shows a secondary reason for the Old Testament. Do you think there will be some good material in the old Testament to help you live the life God requires? Can you think of some?

The 4 Gospels speak about the Someone who has come. His name is proclaimed. It is Jesus. In Luke 2:8-35 is the account of His birth and another insight into His mission. The promises to Eve, Abraham, Moses, David and to Israel especially through Isaiah about the promised One were all centred in this Jesus.

The book of Acts is the history of the early Church with a special emphasis on the preaching and teaching of Paul about Jesus. A key phrase is ‘It is written.’ Acts 1:20. 15:15. Jesus Himself used the Old Testament to help 2 men understand what was written about Him. Luke 24:13-27.

The 22 letters talk about Someone who is coming again.
We will consider this in another study.
The powerful purpose of the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
Compile a list of the things Scriptures does in your life.
How is this possible?
Simply because the Word of God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12.
To what is it likened?
What does it reveal?
Is this one reason why people don’t want to read it?

In 2 Peter 1:1-4 it is said that knowledge of our Lord has certain effects. That knowledge is only found in the Bible and requires right discerning by comparing Scripture with Scripture

There are many aspects to the Word of God in its impact within a believer’s life, outlook and relationships. Psalm 119 is a poem dedicated to the wonder of God’s word in the life of the Psalmist and by inference into your life also.
Read the following verses. Ps.119:11, 25,28, 81, 89,146,175.



Salvation’s Guarantee.


Study 3. Reading John 17:1-3,9-11,20-24.

After you have made your commitment of Faith in and to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour the enemy of your spiritual life will seek an opportunity to counter-attack. What ‘arrow’ do you think might be the first one he fires at your mind? It happened in Genesis 3:1-4. How would you describe this weapon in one word?

Life’s cruelty will make you doubt God’s goodness. Financial problems will make you doubt His providence. Relationship meltdowns can cause you to doubt His character. When faced with differing views of the Bible doubt rises to question the Bible’s inspiration. The answer to these and other ‘arrows’ fired at you is in 2 Timothy 1:12.

The Character of God is our Assurance.

Isaiah’s answer to Israel’s doubts about God’s faithfulness. Isaiah 49:13-16.

Jeremiah’s confidence in God even in the midst of judgment. Lamentations 3:19-24.

Paul’s assurance to the Thessalonians. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:3.

What aspects of God’s character are highlighted?

Peter’s assurance to the scattered believers. 2 Peter 1:1-11.

From verse 4 how have we escaped the corruption of the world?

In 1 Peter 1:3-5 who is the one who keeps us?

From that reading what have we been guaranteed?

The Legal Pronouncement by God is our Assurance. Romans 8:29-39.

The setting is a Roman law court in which a believer is being accused. His salvation is being threatened. Paul assumes the role of our attorney and presents the work of Jesus Christ on the cross as our plea.

List what Jesus has done for you from the above passage.

In 1 John 2:1-6 notice his description of Jesus and our responsibility.
The sinful nature has a strange response to the Lord’s guarantee to those who have put their trust in Him. This sinful nature (Galatians 5:16-25) imagines because of the guarantee it can behave as it desires without fear of rejection. This indicates either unbelief or spiritual stupidity both warned against and condemned in the Scriptures.

Galatians 6:7,8. Romans 6:1,2. Hebrews 10:26-31 1 John 5:10-21.




The Prayer life of Jesus on our Behalf.

Re-read the passage in John mentioned above. What does it say to you?

Hebrews 7:25.

The guarantee of your salvation is in the person of Jesus Christ. The proof of your relationship with Him is revealed in your continuing to abide in Him. 1 John 2:6.

When Jesus Christ Returns.Study 10. Reading John 14:1-6.

The Bible from Genesis to Malachi said “Someone is coming.” The Gospels declare that “Someone has come and He is Jesus.” The rest of the Bible promises “Someone will come again and it will be Jesus.” Acts 1:6-11.

From Acts 1:11 what do we understand about Christ Jesus’ return?
Zechariah 14:1-5 describes that day.
In the Bible there are at least 320 references to this event. In Titus 2:13 it is called…?

This study outlines three words associated with the second coming of our Lord Jesus.

The word ‘Appearing.’The Greek = epiphany. Means to shine, become evident.
1 Timothy 6:14. 2 Timothy 4:8.

When He returns it will be in the splendour of His holiness and Truth. His first coming saw Him as the suffering servant of Isaiah 53! Now He returns as the exalted conqueror.
This event will be visible. Luke 21:25-28.

The word for ‘Uncovering.’Greek = apokalupsis. Means an unveiling. The one now unseen yet declared within the Scriptures will one day be revealed. The book of Revelation (the apocalypse = the unveiling) gives further details of the countdown to history’s climax. Within its pages you are given an insight into the power and authority of the One before whom all Creation will bow. To Him all will acknowledge Him as Lord. Only those however who by faith call Him Saviour and Lord before His return will share His kingdom.

This will not be a happy time for men and women who have rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. It is the prelude to judgement. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12.

This word is used as an encouragement to Christians suffering for their faith. 1 Peter 4:12-17.

The word for ‘Presence.’Greek = Parousia. Means presence. It is a technical word for the arrival of a person. It is often translated ‘coming.’ The return of Jesus is scoffed at by unbelievers while for believers it is our great hope. What does 2 Peter 3:3-15 say on this matter and how you should live?

There are many aspects to the return of the Lord Jesus which you will understand over time. However it is for us not a time to fear but a time which motivates faith, holiness and service. 1 John 2:28-3:3. 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
When He returns the promises of Isaiah 2:1-4 and 9:6,7 will begin.





What Jesus is Doing Now.

Study 9. Reading Hebrews 2:14-18. 4:14-16.

“It is finished!” That is the triumphant cry of Jesus on the cross. He had conquered Sin and its penalty on our behalf. He had broken Satan’s control over Humanity. He had secured our redemption. He would rob Death of its power and fear in His resurrection.

When the Lord Jesus ascended to His Father’s presence a new ministry was waiting.
Hebrews 9:24.
The Nation of Israel had a worship system centred first in the Tabernacle then in a Temple. Each feature of the worship pointed to some role Jesus would fulfill. His ministry is in the Heavens and from Hebrews 4:14 how is His role defined?

Why is this so important to us in our daily lives? Hebrews 2:16-18. 4:15,16.

In the Old Covenant only priests could exercise the various duties of service and worship under the authority of the High Priest. Jesus being our High Priest means we have become…1 Peter 2:1-10.

Why was it necessary for God to institute a new worship system under a new high Priest? Hebrews 7:1-24 explains.

Because Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament sacrificial system, among other things, and rose from the dead He has the power of unending life. God the Father appointed Jesus to a newer and more glorious High Priestly role which is our guarantee of our acceptance and of our prayers being heard. Hebrews 7:25.

Hebrews 7:26-28. What other things do you learn about Jesus as our high Priest?

There are some who imagine they need to approach God through a special person, alive or dead, who has personal merit to be heard. However what does 1Timothy 2:3-6 say?
There is no other Name under Heaven or in Heaven whereby we can find salvation and there is none other who is our mediator and High Priest.

Another feature of the High Priestly role of Jesus is found in 1 John 1:6-2:2.
How would you describe it?

Why is this so important to us? In the course of our faith journey there will be times when we will stumble and fall, take wrong turns, be self indulgent and disobedient. This creates guilt shame and doubt which are seized by the Devil to blackmail us into living defeated, negative and hypocritical lives. The Lord understands our tendencies to fail so prays for us, defends us and through our repentance and confession lifts us up and helps us move on. Read what Jesus did for Peter in Luke 22:31,32. Do you know his failure? Do you know what he rose to become? Is this an encouragement to you?``
Therefore Hebrews 10:19-25 is our response.




How God shares your Life.

Study 8. Reading John 14:15-27.

A fascinating revelation about the God of the Bible is His desire to share Himself with His creation. He spent time with Adam and Eve until they violated His command (Genesis 3). In the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy a recurring theme is God in their midst. In both Testaments is the promise that God would always be with His people and never forsake them. This is beautifully summed up in the name given to Jesus, Emmanuel meaning God with us.
How is this possible?
John 4:24.

God is the greatest mystery and beyond our fathoming. We could never understand Him unless He made Himself known. In Matthew 28:19, 20 we are given an insight into this mystery. God is one, Deuteronomy 6:4. However that Oneness and the Name hold within itself the majesty and mystery of God. One in essence yet three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In John 14:16 we meet this mystery again. What is Jesus’ prayer and promise?

The Greek word for ‘another’ means another of the same type or quality. Therefore the Comforter is of the same essence as Jesus and the Father.

What is His relationship to a believer according to verse 17?

Notice the other name for the Comforter in verse 26.
What is part of His ministry in a disciples life? Therefore what is required of you for this to occur?

Read John 16:8-11. What is the Holy spirit’s ministry when the Gospel is preached?

From John 16:13, 14 Whose words and person does the Holy spirit glorify?
How do you know the Holy Spirit abides in your life?
Acts 2:38 is a promise.
1 Corinthians 12:3 provides assurance. Compare 1 John 4:2, 13-15.
Galatians 3:3 stresses what principle?
Hearing, believing and accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour allowed God to … (Ephesians 1:13,14.
His indwelling of your life makes you…1 Corinthians 6:19, 20.

Therefore with Him in your life you will mature as a believer with a heart for God and a willingness to honour Him. You have the power by your response to God’s word to … (Ephesians 4:30) because the Scriptures are … (Hebrews 4:12) or we can be … (Ephesians 5:18.
You will know the Holy Spirit’s indwelling by the way you love and live for Jesus Christ





The Christian’s Authority.

Study 4. Reading. 2 Peter 1:12-21.

By what authority do we as Christian live our lives, seek to witness to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Why do we believe the Bible is inspired, unique and powerful in transforming lives, families and communities? There are many reasons ranging from historical, archaeology and language. However, even with all those as supportive evidence we accept the Bible’s testimony by faith and know its integrity from obedience.

The primary purpose of the Scriptures. John 5:39.
From the opening chapters to the closing one the person and work of Jesus is woven into its pages. In essence the 39 books of the Old Testament declare Someone is coming. He is un-named but pointed to in shadows, metaphors, prophecy and promises. Hebrews 10:1-10 points to this fact.

Romans 15:4 shows a secondary reason for the Old Testament. Do you think there will be some good material in the old Testament to help you live the life God requires? Can you think of some?

The 4 Gospels speak about the Someone who has come. His name is proclaimed. It is Jesus. In Luke 2:8-35 is the account of His birth and another insight into His mission. The promises to Eve, Abraham, Moses, David and to Israel especially through Isaiah about the promised One were all centred in this Jesus.

The book of Acts is the history of the early Church with a special emphasis on the preaching and teaching of Paul about Jesus. A key phrase is ‘It is written.’ Acts 1:20. 15:15. Jesus Himself used the Old Testament to help 2 men understand what was written about Him. Luke 24:13-27.

The 22 letters talk about Someone who is coming again.
We will consider this in another study.
The powerful purpose of the Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
Compile a list of the things Scriptures does in your life.
How is this possible?
Simply because the Word of God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12.
To what is it likened?
What does it reveal?
Is this one reason why people don’t want to read it?

In 2 Peter 1:1-4 it is said that knowledge of our Lord has certain effects. That knowledge is only found in the Bible and requires right discerning by comparing Scripture with Scripture

There are many aspects to the Word of God in its impact within a believer’s life, outlook and relationships. Psalm 119 is a poem dedicated to the wonder of God’s word in the life of the Psalmist and by inference into your life also.
Read the following verses. Ps.119:11, 25,28, 81, 89,146,175.


No comments:

Post a Comment