Category Archives: Bible Lessons – mini

Little Bible lessons under 500 words. You or your group can look up the passages, discuss the scripture and develop your own questions.

God is the One who Divides

Political complaints frequently start with the word divisive. The implication is that this is something wrong. But a look at the scriptures tells us another truth – that God spent a good deal of His time dividing, light from dark, day from night, good from evil, and the major division of nations from each other.

Would that modern nations would keep their greedy paws off other nations.  Separate nations were God’s original decision and when the early humans tried to bring in political globalism, God divided them into separate languages.

He divides their tongues, in other words He pits people against each other when they are out of order. (Psalm 55:9) He divides foolish virgins from wise by checking their supply of end time oil. He divided the land of Israel into individual parts for the tribes.  (Joshua 13) There is no mention of Palestine or their claim to this land. Period.

Controversy is healthy. General George S. Patton said, “When everyone is thinking the same thing, someone is not thinking.” Arguing is unhealthy because it goes nowhere.

God separates the angels who defied His rule and sent them to Hell, limiting their access to humans and truth.

He divided the soldiers who were not astute and prepared for war leaving only a handful to fight the war.  But that way when they won the battle they knew it was God!

Solomon suggested that he slice the baby boy into two parts after the mothers were fighting over ownership. Solomon was wise; he knew the real mother was the one who would not harm her child. Division will force you to make a choice for good or evil.

He divided the Red Sea so the escaping Hebrews could flee Egypt.  Hebrew comes from a word meaning “to cross over.”  And that is what we do – cross from death to life either as Jews or Christians.

He said every kingdom that is divided against itself shall not stand.  There are many kingdoms in this world. Civil war has decimated some of them already.

He separated sheep – those who obey – from goats, those who say, “But, But, But.”

He said He would divide families too; some will follow Christ, others will not. To make a decision is to divide yourself from those who disagree. Decisions have consequences. You obey or pay.

The Science Guy says that my state has the largest varieties of flora in the nation. God loves diversity. Look at His creation. But when it comes to God’s Laws, there are no divisions.

The Bible says God hates divorce but He never says that about separation. Separation is common and often a requirement for progress. Paul and Mark separated, and the Kingdom grew larger for it. The church at Jerusalem found itself scattered, and the gospel spread like wildfire. Catholics and Protestants separated and the world is dotted with churches from the Fiji Islands to the Arctic Tundra.

God does everything except separate Himself from His creation. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” He said. Prisoners may find Jesus standing right there in their cell. This is the mistake Deists make their mistake; they think God abandoned His work. But if you are paying attention you’ll find Him everywhere.

Some politicians plead for an end to division. No way! Why do they want unity? It may well be something we do not need for our society. We need make no deal with the devil. If a government will stick with what God wants (not God in charge as a theocracy) we will be happier for it.

The Peace Fallacy

Five hundred years ago Martin Luther and some brave supporters decided it was a time for war, a war against corruption in God’s church.  That time has come again, and this time for the same reason – humanism not holiness has become the goal of church life and theology.  The result is now as it was for the Roman Catholic church, a fleeing from church pews of confused and harried members.

Much of what passes for Christian doctrine is mealy-mouthed-go-along-get-along human psychology.  It’s a watered down gospel.  But believers instinctively know that this is not the truth and only 30% of believers now attend a church.  They have all kinds of reasons but most often you’ll hear this: “The church doesn’t speak to me anymore.” Nor can it when it has lost its core message.

Jesus’ detractors, and they are many, may tell you that the Prince of Peace does not engage in war. Not so. The church is to war against evil wherever it is to be found. What you are not told is that Jesus reigns as the prince of peace when he is at peace with all men; clearly that has not happened.

Warring man, hate-filled, angry, self-willed, ambitious, greedy man is still at war with God much as he has been since the beginning of time, and perhaps even before then. War is not inevitable; it has a purpose. War allows mankind to define good.

And God has not promised peace for those who have no peace inside their hearts. Politicians often make peace their platform and then two things can happen when they are elected. (1) A foreign nation decides to attack or promote a war or (2) The political parties need an enemy so their followers will start or continue a fight.  Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of unity.

God said “Peace. Peace. There is no peace for the wicked.” And that rather settles it doesn’t it.  Until wickedness is obliterated there will be wars, small or large, local or international, racial or economic or territorial, wars will continue. Until then we can have peace in our individual hearts.  The result is Joy. People may see it on your face.

The Joy of the Lord is your strength. This season of peace, if no where else have it in your heart.

Isaiah 57:19-21 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. 20 But the wicked are like  the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.


Curse what God is doing, and it Backfires

For a solid year hundreds of individuals have cursed President Trump, wished him dead, even carried his blood-dripping head photo around as a war prize.  Anyone who had a platform thought it was open season on a man elected while they were congratulating themselves on the assumption they had won.The many-sided Donald Trump

What is happening here? This is about curses, and the Bible has a lot to say about how this works. It always backfires!

There is a little known the story of Shimei. When King David was struggling against his son Absalom for the leadership of Israel, Shimei cursed David for many things he believed David had done wrong- such as replace King Saul, war against his son, and some other behaviors. In all cases, Shimei was wrong. David has followed God’s plan and done it His Way.

David showed considerable restraint; he could have had the man’s head then and there, but he said, “Maybe God sent him to curse me.” David knew something we don’t – that to curse against what someone is doing as obedience to God is actually cursing God. Whoops!

Shimei later genuinely repented and asked David’s forgiveness which he received. But as David turned the Kingdom over to his son Solomon, he reminded him that Shimei needed to be dealt with. That was smart because then whatever judgment followed would not be personal -it would be a decision done lawfully.

Shimei’s punishment was that he could never leave Jerusalem, a City of Refuge where your sins and lawbreaking were not accounted to you – like a Sanctuary City today.  You are safe from the law there. But Shimei became cocky and forgot that he was protected. He left Jerusalem and lost his life as a consequence.

Today after much prayer by the American church, President Trump shows up on the scene. He is not David but he is a soldier for law, order, and righteousness to bring about reforms and change in what had become a broken system in every area of national government where he has had the authority to makes changes.

Donald Trump was not even a saved believer before his election. He had been “christian” as so many are, as a cultural choice from Scots ancestors. His subsequent salvation surprised many. But the Media, celebrities, editors, Democrats, Congressmen and foreign voices have since cursed the man.  And what happened?

Sex sins and violations of law, pedophiles and others are exposed on both coasts, in public causing loss of careers and positions of leadership from the TV news to sitting Congressmen. If I were a political official who had a hidden past I would be keeping my mouth shut and laying low, hoping no one found out. To curse President Trump is a ticket to public humiliation and loss.

God doesn’t go around making fools of people in public. That is not His first choice. He wants to cover your sins privately just between the two of you.

BUT, if human beings through warning after warning do not knuckle up to truth, God will bring them into public display.  The Democrats assumed they could continue the cover-ups with a Hillary win. The court cases against all kinds of treason and thievery have just started.

If an entire political party can believe they can get away with this, we too as lone human beings can also think we are going to get away with something. This whole scenario is a public lesson in how truth will win out.

God will soon be wrapping up the Church Age and making major changes. As a young  kid once told me 45 years, “I’ve read the Bible. Jesus is coming back and He’s really ticked off.”

But during this time we all have a chance to get right with God. Don’t throw it away.

Why should I pay 10% (tithe) to God?

Of course you don’t “have” to pay God anything, but if you want a blessing from Him, it’s another story. The principle of giving God 10% of your income goes back thousands of years. It was the way for Jews to support their religious system as well. But most of all, it was a blessing for the giver. Abraham started the tithe to God.

Hebrews 7:2-6 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.

And when you bless God, He blesses you back. Many Christians are only half-happy (or 90% unhappy) living without blessings. Maybe this has something to do with it? Furthermore, not giving God His due carries with it a curse.

Malachi 3:8“ Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘ In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.

God has no blessings for robbers. In addition, the money given to God’s work must be His work. This is called, in scripture, the storehouse. A storehouse holds seed grain. The seed is the word.

Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

That is your requirement too – that what you give to God will involve His Word, not just any ‘ole charity. (Not everything that is tax deductible glorifies God.)

Years ago I left a church. I felt a sense of loss – I had some fine friends there but God told me, “I cannot bless you because I WILL NOT bless them.” There was no Word of God going out from that church. It was all social work and social work is man’s work. It was not a storehouse.

Here is the storehouse passage.

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Finally, there is the issue of a good conscience. Sometimes we just do things because we want to be able to respond to God when He asks us – did we do everything we could when we were alive? These are called ordinances – we don’t do them in order to be saved. We do them because they are part of the witness of a Christian life. Your friends see it, your employees, your children, your neighbors. It shows you, God and others that you are serious about obeying God. In this passage, we are baptized in water occasionaly because we want the answer of a good conscience.

1 Peter 3:21-22 You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.

[from The Message version of the New Testament.]

Experiment with God. Give a tithe and see if you don’t see a change. And what do you have to lose anyway? You can pump up your faith and learn about His Kingdom at the same time.

Why Soldier Suicide – How to Change It

This is the 3rd time I have published this post. Still, 22 soldiers each day commit suicide.  It can be stopped.

The chaplains in the Armed Services are being silenced again about faith foundational issues at a time when we learn that 22 former soldiers each day commit suicide. Who is in charge here? This is scandalous. This article about soldier suicide shows how moral and historical ignorance has led to hopelessness and despair. It is not necessary. These men and women can be counseled and preserved.

As thousands of soldiers waited in New York City in 1943 for the troop transports for Europe they saw the rousingly popular musical Oklahoma! and got one last taste of American life, often to die on D Day the following June.

Those soldiers knew what they were dying for –“wind sweeping down the plain,” for carnivals, and romances and grandmas apple pies at the state fair. They were dying so a nation enduring 2 theaters of war would survive, for little churches which preach God and country and faithfulness. They expected to come home – many did not. They had hope in their future and confidence that their service would preserve their homeland. They expected the girl they left behind to be there for them. And so did she.

That soldier no longer exists – but he still goes off to war, and he comes back – and kills himself? Why?

The answer is almost too easy. It is not simply because the family farm has been sold, the state fair is mostly auto shows, the church has been preaching diversity and his parents are divorced. That is bad enough in itself. But the man himself, just a boy really, has no roots in real America. His moral judgment has been tarnished by a wanton and indifferent culture, by teachers who praise marginal students, by gutless courses, and paper mache theologies. The man with roots in the real America is not there any more.

But he goes to Afghanistan and finds a culture that is supremely confident in itself… a male enemy and his religion that not only have open contempt for law and order, but also women and family, an “alpha” male society based on the scruffiest principles of overblown ego and violence. He has a new male model for himself. He is in awe of men who can kill a woman at will, or lock little girls in a school and then burn it down. Violence in the home is common, even applauded. This is power! In the clash of Muslim-American culture, he is co-opted and returns a totally different person.

The sweet little thing he married leaving 2 children to rear has been running her own show for a year or more. Her authoritarian ways, her final decisions, her paying the bills, discipline, repairing the car – what happened to his male headship – out the window! The romance of being an alpha Muslim male which he picked up in the violence drenched desert takes over. Bang – the kids are dead, or his wife, or in final frustration, he copies the Muslim model of worship of suicide. He is a trained killer, after all, and he kills himself hardly realizing that suicide is a public confession of failure. Like Hitler. He is a now one-more-sacrifice to a foreign god.

In the 1980s a revealing PSTD study of Vietnam Veterans and female rape victims showed their trauma and symptoms to be identical. The study put the 2 groups together in a successful therapy. The main trauma was betrayal- the woman betrayed by a trusted male, the soldier betrayed by a slothful government. Today’s soldier has no more trust in an appeasement-government than the soldier of the 60s. It is friendly political fire to disarm the soldier in the presence of live ammo and committed foreign foes.

The battered wife in Dayton, Ohio has a better chance of survival in a half-way house with her kids protected by agencies and police than guys in Fallujah. No one has their back! But if he takes on the coloring, the morals, the standards of the death-obsessed Muslim; he has a new identity and possibly survival. He regains a sense of self, however false and unworkable.

Attempting to correct this after he returns is a mammoth job when it could be more easily addressed before he ever goes. Despite the sincere efforts of the armed forces bureaucracy to bring “readjustment’” the results are minimal because the effort is at the end, not the beginning of the deterioration process. They must learn that their Western God is not dead – He’s not even sleeping.

This is not complicated. Train the warriors in American values, constitution and morals before they face the enemy as victims, not later. If young soldiers do not know who they are to begin with how can they be restored to a place that never was.

Solders need a moral foundation based on clear-cut historical reality so the man who fights in 2012 is as well prepared to face his enemies as the man of 1944.

{PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder.}

Would You Consider?

As thousands of soldiers waited in New York City in 1943 for the troop transports for Europe they saw the rousingly popular musical Oklahoma! and got one last taste of American life, often to die on D Day the following June.

Those soldiers knew what they were dying for –“wind sweeping down the plain,” for carnivals, and romances and grandmas apple pies at the state fair. They were dying so a nation enduring 2 theaters of war would survive, for little churches which preach God and country and faithfulness. They expected to come home – many did not. They had hope in their future and confidence that their service would preserve their homeland. They expected the girl they left behind to be there for them. And so did she.

That soldier no longer exists – but he still goes off to war, and he comes back – and kills himself?…

View original post 622 more words

How to buy a Bible and which version?

It’s gift giving time. That cheap Bib le with the small print is no one’s favorite.  You can do better.

The most accurate translations according to many are those of the Lockman Foundation; they are the Amplified version and the New American Standard.  If you are going to pay $75.00 for a Bible you want one which will last.  Larger print is good for both tired eyes and wide margins for writing notes.  After all, you can expect God to speak to you when you read His word, and you’ll want to record that.

Another standard is the New King James which has all the old, familiar words but old fashioned words are eliminated, such as looketh, thee, thou, many words not currently in use.  Unfortunately that also means you may lose some of the meaning.  Thou means one person and thee means you’all, and sometimes that makes a difference in interpretation.

You can also find a dozen versions in many languages on Bible  Of course you can’t write on it!  But you can print it out with fat margins and double space for more notes.

The Message is a very modern, almost ‘mod’ version but it is also clear and readable for teens.  The Jerusalem Bible is a translation for Catholics which is good too.  Many Bibles have footnotes which are helpful.  A red letter version, Jesus’ words are in red, is esp. good for new Bible readers.

There are many denominational versions popular with particular churches such as NIV, Dake’s Bible, you can check them all for size of type and notes.  The Phillip’s New Testament is popular; he died before finishing the Old Testament.

A concordance is a must and you will get maps too most of the time.  Israel is the size of tiny little New Jersey.  That makes the Middle East War more frightening.

A leather binding is expensive but it will last a very long time.  My leather cover bit the dust after about 36 years.  In addition a large book with a hard cover is hard to read; pages flip back together if you put it down and it is heavy to boot.  So the supple cover is better.

Finally several Bible societies also print inexpensive paperback bibles, occasionally just the New Testament, but be sure to look for Psalms and Proverbs since these are popular with everyone. And you can find many Bibles online at

If the Bible scares you, read the Proverbs 1st, or the book of John, or any of the little John books to get your feet weet  Blessings will follow.

The Prayer that God will Probably Ignore

Jesus said these important words and many of his believers rely of them to be honest and true.

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
So we usually say our prayers and end it with this sentence. “We ask all this in Jesus’ name.”
But there’s a hitch.  If we ask something “in someone’s name” it means that person has already agreed to honor the request.  After all, you do not buy something with a charge card if your name is not on that card, because it is your name, and your name only means you will pay the bill!  Your name is your promise to back up what you said. And if you do this with another person’s card without their permission you are actually stealing!
So what if you don’t know what God has said? Then perhaps we should not be praying until we know what his will is.
This is the prayer that you can occasionally hear. “If it be thy will oh Lord, do this and such, heal so-and-so and” on and on.
In other words, the pray-er does not have a clue what God’s will actually is and just throwing out a hopeful prayer that maybe, just maybe God will honor the prayer even though it is not prayed in faith.
Here is what Jesus said about healing. Matthew 8

And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

The leper asked the right question.  Was it Jesus’ will to heal him.

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,

And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

Also in Matthew 8. Jesus announced his intention to heal.
The secret to answered prayers then is this – know first what God wants and then pray the prayer.

What does “taking the name of the Lord in vain” mean?

Quick answer: swearing.  But not the best answer.

Taking God’s name in vain means to use God to endorse words or actions for which He as no support.  Here are some examples:

1.  “God damn you – go to hell.”  God damns no one.  People choose hell for themselves by their life behavior and beliefs.  John 3:17 (we read verse 16 then ignore 17) “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

2.  We can state as God’s will something that is clearly false.

a.  There is no New Testament proof that Jews, as a group, go to hell.  They are God’s people.  The book of Romans chapters 9-11 clearly tells Christians to mind their own business. Besides, Jews have Muslim enemies enough without others butting in. Jews are God’s business and it is our job to pray for their nation and their safety.

b.  The Supreme Court heard a case involving the Westboro Baptist Church which was hassling funerals of soldiers with yelling and signs, like “God hates fags” “God hates abortion” “God hates America.”   It is true God hates sin, but sinners he accepts.  The plan of salvation is not complicated.  The members of this group have substituted their conclusions for what God is saying and doing.  There is no Biblical link between dead soldiers and what God hates or does not hate.

3. Final example.  “God told me you are to marry ____.”  Let God do his own talking please.  Can God tell you whom to marry?  Sure, but He tells the participants not others.  To butt into a marriage is called adultery, even if it is only in your mind or your words.  Find something else for your mind to do.  And if you are a man or woman who has been told this, back off and start thinking seriously about what is going on.  God wants to work through you for His glory.  He can lead you the whole way.

Westboro Cartoon

When the devil challenges you

Sometimes the devil will give you a free home Demon-stration.  It happened one Sunday. A man named Weldon came up to our table where we were having coffee and donuts before church.  He told Mike, a leader in the men of the church, what was wrong with their last meeting..  Clearly this was not God talking to us.

How did I know that?  He was taking away from the person and work of Jesus Christ, and saying that the believers had no power over the devil at some specific point.

I shot into the conversation “As the Father has sent me, so send I you.”  This is what Jesus did.  When he faced an evil spirit He quoted scripture. Jesus never treated the person as though s/he was the devil; He always spoke to the spirit inside.

Another man and wife sat down next to me and he started quoting scripture too. I was not to be shut up.  I said, “That is not true and I can prove it.”   Weldon took a step backward and away from me.  That is how I knew it was an evil spirit.  If he had been speaking for himself, he would have immediately replied, “OK, prove it.  I’m waiting.”  But he was afraid at this point.  He had been challenged by two of us, and was not getting anywhere with Mike either.

Mike meanwhile gave part of his testimony about experience with evil spirits.  Testimony is nice but it is not what Jesus did.  Testimony strengthens you but in no way deals with the devil.

Lessons from this:

1.I was happy to learn my church had leaders in it that the enemy wanted to challenge.  It means God is planing to use us in some way and good churches require more than good pastors.  They need many more to carry the load of real work of God.

2.Others spoke the Bible out loud without fear.  A fearful church has little future.

3. We need to ask God to expose false teaching in the church.  Otherwise it hides.  It gives us all a way to pray.

You have a future, and hope

Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

“Future” is a word in English derived from the verb “to be” meaning “about to be.”   Everyone has a future – it actually might not be one you’d like!

French: Car je connais les projets que j’ai formés sur vous, dit l’Éternel, projets de paix et non de malheur, afin de vous donner un avenir et de l’espérance.

But the French has a different take on this.  “Future” is translated as “avenir”  coming from two Latin words – “a” meaning “to”, and “venire” meaning “come.”  English-speakers use the word avenue.  An avenue is a path that God has planned for you. Our hope should be in that plan, the one He has selected.  The French translation makes His promise much more worthy.