Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thomas Wheeler - Thessalonian Sanctification

1 Thessalonians 1
(5) Our Gospel...
     Not another: there were many going around.
     It is distinct, because it brings power--the power of God.
          "(Needed) to change a life that is self-oriented to a life that is focused on others."
          Given the moment we trust Christ.
(6) Joy from the Holy Spirit
     Real, supernatural joy.
(8) "God's primary method of evangelism is a changed life."
     We are a new creation, this refers to personal sanctification.

1 Thessalonians 2
(15-20) Takes note of persecution.
     God's sovereignty is trusted, there is no need for retribution.
     Spiritual warfare, we are sometimes beset by spirits.
     Our great hope = people. Even in the midst of tribulation. We need interaction with people.

1 Thessalonians 3
(2) Paul sends Timothy since he could not go himself.
     (P.) was hindered, but (T) was not.
(6&7) Faith & Love
     (F) w/o (L) is insufficient.
     There must be mutual (L) and concern for one another.
(12) What does Paul say about love?
     "We never get to a place where we don't need to continue increasing in it."
The Three Essentials
          Achieved through the work of the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 4
(1) Paul taught them:
     (3) The will of God
          Sanctification: To be set apart, not to neutrality, but to God.
          Wheeler used the illustration of My Heart, Christ's Room
          Be serious with sin
     (4) We are a testimony to God with our bodies.
          Be proactive about the Christian life.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Faith starts with F: Life of Daniel

A Few Facts
   Daniel was one of few who did not have flaws recorded in scripture.
   He was a contemporary of Ezekiel, who considers him an example of righteousness.
   Daniel is a writing prophet, he does not interact with Israel actively as compared with other prophets.
     > It is speculated that he was influential in securing Cyrus' decree for the return of the people.
   Foremost theme in Daniel is God's Sovereignty.

6 Incidents of Faith

1. Dealing with Food (Dan. 1:5-8)
   Daniel is young and takes a small, humble stand. He does not demand religious tolerance or proclaim his God, he asks for a temporary test of 10 days (Dan 1:12) to avoid defiling himself with the king's food. God blessed them both in health and in knowledge (Dan 1:17).
        Faith does not need to be pushy.

2. Dream of the Figure (Dan 2:1-5)
    Note that Daniel was in trouble before he knew what was going on (Dan 2:12-15). He did not panic, however, he responded to the shocking news by requesting time, assuring the king that he can get the interpretation and holding a prayer meeting.
        Faith recognizes where the power comes from.
3. Fiery Furnace Incident (Dan 3:13-19, 25)
     This is the second life-threatening instance in a very short period of time. Here, there is no time or need for more prayer. Bowing down to idols is obviously wrong, there was no need to wait for instruction from God, they already had it. There was no room for compromise.
        Faith finds confidence in God's principles.
[Dan marveled that Nebuchadnezzar, after all this evidence, simply consented to the Hebrew God. He only had tolerance for Him, rather than devotion.]
[Calvin continued this thought with the fact that Nebuchadnezzar was simply supportive, but did not own God as his God.]
[Walter wondered how much time passed between the furnace and the lion's den. He wondered if people would have heard and remembered this instance.]
[EDIT: Scholars say that there were around 66 years between the two incidents.]

4. Dream of the Felled Tree (Daniel 4)
     Written by Nebuchadnezzar, perhaps as a testimony of sorts. When he calls Daniel in to interpret, Daniel is troubled (Dan 4:19). (N.) tries to console him, but the interpretation will be bad for (N.). Daniel had an obvious concern and love for (N.), and does not want this to come to pass. The truth can be difficult to say and may hurt. Daniel, as God's prophet, must deliver the message. Daniel also provides (N.) with some advice (Dan 4:27), something he does not do in any other interpretation. Daniel does not mince words, but is not abrasive or condemning.
        Faith need not be abrasive, it is always humble.
[Calvin notes the irony in the occurrence related in the passage since even the animals know who their God is and (N.) had to become like an animal in order to learn.]

5. Fingers of God (Daniel 5:32-End)
     Note that Daniel did not work for honor, he worked for God's glory and out of respect to the king which God has set up. Daniel diffuses a potentially explosive situation mainly with the help of the testimony he had built up. Before actually interpreting the writing, he exposes the sin and proclaims judgement. This is the closest that Daniel comes to resembling a fiery OT prophet. We as Christians can call out sin, but the closest to pronouncing judgement we may come is by adding the caveat, "if you do not repent." This is because God's grace is great, and He is willing to receive a repentant sinner.
        A well-built testimony of Faith only grows bigger.

6. Den of Ferocious Lions (Daniel 6:10-13)
     This is Daniel's greatest moment. It is no coincidence that Daniel says the least at this time. He lets his walk  do the talking for him. He continues his godly routine of prayer. Prayer fosters a strong relationship with God. Also note that faithfulness to God does not equal disparaging the government (Dan 6:21). Daniel obviously disagreed with the edict. Daniel even practices civil disobedience. But his respect for government stays intact.
        Faith does not have to speak, but it must act.

Three-Fold Spiritual Life

1. From chapters 2-7 Daniel interprets dreams for other people. He Foster's wisdom in others. In other words, he is a minister.
2. From chapters 8-12, Daniel's dreams are interpreted to him by an angel. He is a Follower of God's things. He is learning.
3. Throughout the book, it is apparent that Daniel has a healthy prayer life. His Fellowship with God is constant.

Three Things I Learned

1. Daniel was related to king David (1 Chron. 3:1)
2. Daniel's reactions were appropriate for his circumstances.
3. Daniel was a prophet without interacting with the people: lead with actions.

Key Principles

Be sensitive to the Spirit, he uses your circumstances to further His influence.
Pray when you can, but when there's no time, make sure you take a stand for God's Word.
Ultimately, God is your judge (meaning of Daniel's name). While He positioned everything as they are (thus, demanding respect) total devotion to Him is required above all else.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Frank Gomez, Sr.: Testimonies

On preaching at funerals, "Say what you gotta say so they don't feel we have an agenda."
> Speaking from experience, as he and his friends are known as religious people.

When people approach him with consolation, his response is, "Yes, they are in a better place. But do you know Who they're with?"

John 3:1-3
> We are born from above. We must reject all others and embrace Christianity.

Jeremiah 23:16-19
> (F.)'s fear is that ppl will think he is making things up, like Jeremiah.
> There is no need for interpretation with Black & White verses.
> With our style of lay preaching, our pocket is not affected by our message.

2 Corinthians 4:1-5
> (P.) has the same worries. He makes sure he is very clear with the reader.

Conclusion: We are a big example to a lot of people, and they're always looking. Let's be ready.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Closure: Matthew 4

> Jesus
> Spirit
(R) Devil
> The Tempter (devil)
< Devil
(R) God
"_" Moses
"_" David
> Angels
(R) John (the Baptist)
"_" Isaiah (the Prophet)
> Simon (Peter)
> Andrew (his brother)
> James (son of Zebedee)
> John (his brother)
> Zebedee
< Zebedee
> Multitudes

           Same area he was baptized in.
     Holy City
           Jerusalem. Herod's temple = Addition to God's plan & Unnatural (retaining walls).
     Exceeding High Mountain
           Cliffs of Jerico, presumably.
     Galilee = Region, like saying "South Florida"
     Nazareth --> Capernaum = towns, like "Pembroke Pines, Perrine" 
     (Zabulon / Naphthali) = Tribes of Israel, kinda like counties "Broward, Dade"
           Ancient trade route between the two was called "Way of the Sea"
     Sea of Galilee
           Capernaum was right on the sea. Served as Jesus' home-base.
           Traditionally, they stayed in Peter's house (Mt. 8:14)
     Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, Beyond Jordan
           Areas to the East, South, & Southeast.
           Underscores Jesus' popularity. Note that Samaria is not mentioned even though it is sandwiched between these regions. Displays the unpopularity of the Samarians (no contact with them). Also coordinates with John's gospel and the fact that Jesus was not famous there.

When? End of first year of ministry, beginning of the second.
     Yr 1 = Preparation (wilderness / Cana)
     Yr 2 = Popularity (Galilean Ministry)
     Yr 3 = Persecution (Jesus retires from public eye)
     Passion week = (Death, Entry, Resurrection)
          - Dr. Gary Cohen

At this point, Jesus is about to make a name for Himself.

First Things: Spiritual Warfare (1-11)
     Holy Spirit leads Him into temptation (he had no lust to lead him)
     Temptation itself is from the devil.
          He picks on our weaknesses (spiritual, physical, emotional, mental..)
     Making bread from stones
          There is nothing morally wrong with this. The only problem is a bad source.
[Jonathan states that our reliance is to be on God, not anything else.]
[Joe related this issue to one of dominance, where Satan was trying to dictate to Jesus what to do.]
     Pinnacle of the Temple--Jump!
          Quotation from Ps. 91:11-12: omitted a part that implies in ordinary ways.
          That portion of the temple was unplanned by God and supported by unnatural means. It is a picture of what Satan was trying to do: 1) make Jesus do something that was not according to His Father's will and 2) bring attention to himself in a superfluous way.
          The only test we can serve to God is in our tithe: Mal. 3:10
     Worship of Satan
          Absolutely contrary to everything that God had instituted.
          Satan is not dumb, though he is very delusional.
     God can supply our every need -- He chooses to supply Christ's need with Angels.
[Andrew pointed out the irony of the fact that if Christ followed Satan, He would have eaten bread, but by going through temptation, he received heavenly sustenance.]

The Galilean Ministry Begins (Rest of Chapter)
We have Jesus' first message recorded here: Verse 17
     Same as John the Baptist's message. Had they heard it before? NO.
     Jesus confirm's John's message. Repentance is the core of the gospel.
           It is a complete turn away from one thing, towards another.
           It's not: To believe Jesus came, A temporary show, A facade used in Church
           Repentance: This is your life, changed
Repentance: A microcosm (18-22)
     Jesus calls them, how many fishermen heard but did not respond?
     (20, 22) They left their nets (Profession), boat (Possessions) & Family (Paternal Relations)
          Follow Christ = He fills those roles.
Beginning of a Ministry (23-25)
     Christ's ministry is outlined here in 3 parts: Teaching, Preaching & Healing.
           Preach = to tell what  (you must repent)
           Teach = to show how  (how to repent)
     General healing in this passage, the message is what's important.
            Christ heals in order to remove roadblocks to repentance. For us to repent, a miracle must occur.
Good news, repentance is possible!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Prophet Elijah. Reggie Thayil

1 Kings 16:29-19:21 - Passage Lookup - New American Standard Bible -

Based on Hebrews 11:32-34
Where is Elijah in this passage? Consider...

(18:17-19) Who is the troubler?
There are two camps/ideas about the root of (I)'s problems
(21) Faltering b/w the gods... there's a lot of ignorance.
Causes Elijah to feel all alone
(40) Elijah sees major victory

Everything turns by Chapter 19
(4) (E) prays for death --> major low point
He gets comfort from G
(10) He feels loneliness / aloneness
Even though G is with him.
(E) desperately needs G's compassion

We want to be like Daniel, with great faith and devotion, but we are more often like Elijah: weak, made strong.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Proverbs 13 - Calvin Fritchey

Verse 1: Wise Son = Listen to Dad
> Receive your Father's teaching and get a full, long, peaceful life.
> If a son thinks they know everything, they may reject their (F) teaching.
> Don't despise your (F) teaching or rebuke--it's for your good.

Verse 12: Hope Deferred
> It is when someone promises you something, but you have to wait for it.
> Our hope is not something earthly. (Our hope is set in heaven)
> Our hope is the Lord Jesus & He does not disappoint.

Verse 24: Discipline, Do I Hate My Children?
> Here is means actual physical deterrent: Spanking
> Kids will learn, their foolishness will leave.

Verse 13: The World's Teachings Are Contrary to God
> Sometimes kids need to be made to do something.

My Conclusion
> W/ God's Word we can be wise children and good parents, making sure we call the right things good.
> Rest in the hope we have in Christ

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Closure: Matthew 3


> John (the baptist)
          Greatest prophet
          Related to Christ
          Knew the past (Word of God)
          Prophesied in his dress & diet
          Provided new prophesy
"_" Isaiah (the prophet)
> Crowds
> Pharisees
> Sadducees
(R) (Father) Abraham
(R) One (Jesus Christ)
(R) Holy Spirit
> Jesus
> Spirit of God (Dove)
))) God (Voice only)


     Wildernes of Judea
          20 mile stretch from the Jerusalem-Bethlehem Plateau to the Dead Sea
          This is the Area of the Qumran Community, producers of the Dead Sea Scrolls
          It can be inferred from the locale that in addition to Pharisees and Sadducees, we also have the Essenes involved in the Spiritual landscape of this chapter.
     Jerusalem, all Judea, Region around Jordan (locals gathered around)
     The Jordan River
     Galilee --> Jordan
          Galilee is far North. Nazareth is in Galilee (Jesus of Nazareth fulfills prophecy)

"In those days..." When?
     Approx. 30 years after chapters 1&2
     How do we know?
          John the Baptist is Jesus' cousin
          Jesus is grown and beginning his ministry


1. Verses 1-6. John & the Crowd
     John was an authority
           He had the word of God
           He had confidence in the word of God
           He was not ashamed of his clothing, diet... anything
     Why Baptism?
           Important symbol for the Jews: ritual purifications. They had personal baptismal baths (Mikvet) in their homes which both men and women used.
           All gospels start with this symbol -- Synoptics show it as happening, John presents it as a memoir.

2. Verses 7-12. John & Religion. BUT
     The message changes -- not his authority
            God's word stands firm
      The (P.) and (S.) should have known God's Word better -- Vs. 8
             Let God affect your life = bearing fruit
      Spirit & Fire
              Christ gives his Spirit to those who believe
              Reject his Spirit, all you can get is his fire. Christ's judgement is likened to a flame of fire. See that the passage goes on to describe judgement.
[[Joe mentioned that in Revelation, Christ's judgement is so intense that the people cry out for rocks to crush them in order to avoid facing it. But there is no escape for the unjust.]]
[[Andrew pointed out that the (S.) denied the Spiritual realm, effectively placing them at odds with Christ.]]

3. Verses 13-17. John & Jesus
     This is the only time John backs down in humility.
          Our knowledge and intimacy with Christ should lead to humility
     Why was Jesus baptized?
           Not for his sin/repentance
[[Andrew suggested that Christ's baptism was an expression of humility.]]
           3 suggestions: (1) Christ was associating with repentant Israel, proving it was a good thing, (2) He was confirming John's ministry & (3) Jesus was fulfilling His Father's will.
     Jesus's first words in Matthew are in verse 15 = Fulfillment
           Jesus receives confirmation in the form of His Father's pleasure. This is direct fulfillment of Psalm 2:7
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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