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.

Why Death is a Blessing

The Bible guarantees us 4 score years and ten, or 70 years. But I notice that older people are in no rush to leave. Nor would I encourage it. But there are many reasons we need to leave, gracefully and on time.

First and foremost is that each new generation has different cultural concerns and they need their 40 years to manage the nations, businesses and families – just as we did. Each decade brings new problems, from the explosion of technology and learning to the shifting status of nation-states. Change is the rule of life and we must learn that lesson and then give it to the younger ones.

A Time to Rest

Second, each generation deserves a time of rest to enjoy the grandchildren, to travel or hobbies or just hang out on the front porch with old hunting buddies. Older people often mention this as something they look forward to.

God has Term Limits

Third, if people lived forever the older ones might not be willing to give up their seats of power and thus holding back the entire community.  God has term limits – why not us? Can you imagine having Hitler, who died in 1945, still prowling around trying to cause trouble, if he managed to escape international law.  We would be crying, “Hey, let’s move on here.”

Focus on Making Things Right

Fifth, many individuals put off God until the end of their lives.  Some people put it off too long and leave before they have a chance to make things right.  And not just right with God.  There are dead people in my family who did not have a chance to accept forgiveness or to offer it. They left with a major work of life undone.

The Need for Peace

Finally there is the issue of Peace.  We are all promised it and death brings peace. I’ve seen people stand at a gravestone and shout anger, or grief or a list of regrets but it floats off in the air like yesterday’s yellowed newspaper scraps. If you are wise, you turn around and leave the cemetery and say, “Peace go with you and I will continue on my road.”



Slander Changes Your Identity

That phrase was proven to me years ago when I had to endue lies about me among a circle of friends. If someone lies about you for any reason, it is because you are a threat to them in some way, a way you may not even realize. You may know something about them that they do not want noised about in public. Or they may think you know something about them.  You can be totally ignorant of their motives.

Slander establishes control over other people for someone’s or something’s own purposes.

Then it happened again recently. I was in the library and said to an acquaintance, “I miss seeing you.”  I was pleasant and I actually like this person a lot even though we only see each other 3 or so times a year. She snapped back at me, “Well I am here much of the time,” as though I was upset or blaming her.

Then I remembered the newspaper article which came out about me.  It was false but my lawyer said it would cost$7,000 dollars to fight the newspaper.  I didn’t have the money.  He looked around for some financing from companies which handle First Amendment cases and could find none.

So I lost a friend because she believed the newspaper.  Did she come to me for the facts?  No, she should have, and it made me sad because I realized the world is filled with people who do not know the truth. And even worse, believe they do! And worse than that – make no effort to learn the truth about the people around them.

News media must fear something to be so one-sided.

We look at American culture and see lies everywhere. The FBI spent $16 million dollars trying to find one shred of evidence that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to fix the election in 2016. They haven’t.  A waste of money but people still believe it. Almost all political discussions begin with the words, “That’s not true.”

And consider God – who is more lied about than anyone I can name. That actually makes sense. The Bible tells us we are sinners and that if we don’t straighten up, we face eternal punishment. It is easier to say that is a lie than to face the issue straight on. Much of what you read about religion is doctored to fit someone else’s need to escape exposure.

The Bible is always under attack.

Scientists  come up with one theory after another to trash ideas  of creation or invent ones that leave God out. Psychologists will tell you something is a “lifestyle choice” which is little more than a predatory lust which damages both you and the victim in the end.

I’ve given up reading about the prescriptions I take.  Someone somewhere has a reason to believe they are poisoning me.  Another person says they are a miracle cure.  Since I have been taking them for 10 years I think I might be doing OK.

Being an adult has responsibilities.  You must find out the truth yourself.  If someone is lying about the government, the President, the Congress or the legislation being currently discussed, you can read all sides yourself.  You do not need to rely on bias from anywhere.  If you think there might be a shred if truth that you and the human race is headed for hell, look the stuff up!

And simple answers won’t do.  Important issues have many sides and if we want to learn and be stable in our living we must settle on truth for ourselves.

God Knows All Languages

What about the People who Never Hear about God

What about the People who never hear the Gospel?  That is a common question religious teachers hear. Most of the time I believe we hear the wrong answer.

Different Levels of Faith

God’s playing field is made level by Him asking us to live at the level of faith given to us.  And it is different for everyone.

Romans 12:3 CEV I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you.

Yes, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  That is a given for the sweep of humanity.  But we are not judged on every point – only on those we learn about.  It means that the woman living in a harem somewhere in Egypt, protected and kept from the world and information is a person judged by an entirely different standard than the college student in New York City, or the farm worker in Yemen.

Not everything God ever said applies to you and your life. He made new eyeballs for the blind man, but not for the rich man. He required a statement of faith from the Syrophoenician woman but not from the centurion. Lazarus he raised from the dead, but not the rest of the dead at that time.  Jesus has different strokes for different folks.

Obedience to the revealed will of God is the standard by which each of us is ultimately judged. How can He do this? God is not unfair. If you have little information and little faith that is what you are expected to utilize in your search for God. To whom more is given, more is expected. (Luke 12:48 TLB “But anyone who is not aware that he is doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater.)

Some guy on radio said that God does not put people in categories, so I, being challenged, went to the Bible.

God has a large group of categories.
called disciples
chosen friends
faithful servants
little children virgins with oil
fathers virgins without oil
young men bride
wicked born again
willfully ignorant royal priesthood
covenanters chosen generation
cursed men pleasers
beloved crucified with Christ
mother in Israel reconcilers
counselors prophets
overcomers slaves
nursing fathers deluded
poor fools
apostles helpers
evangelists watchmen
teachers lost
masters chosen people
Why do we need to know this?

God has called us to grow.  Paul said we are to move from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) There is no static position for the Christian, or for that matter the non-Christian as well.  Life is a test, and where we go after we die, and how we exist now depends entirely on the progress we make in this life towards understand ourselves and our relationship to God.

For example, the book of 1st John speaks of little children, young men and fathers.  These are three groups of warriors …  those who have been called to fight the good fight against their own sinful nature and then as missionaries of the Kingdom taking on the devil and ever present evil in the world. It does not necessarily apply to you right now – although that may be your later call.

Christianity is not passive.

Christianity is proactive and risk-taking. There is no prolonged languishing in church to sit, soak and sour while the preacher does all your spiritual work for you.  No wonder ministers break down. 1,500 leave the ministry every week.

Good mental health requires you to change as time and circumstance change. The rigid and stubborn die first.

#Christianpsychology #Christiangrowth #Godsays #Life is a test

Read more essays at https://www.WouldYouConsider.net

Different Kinds of Knowing

Most languages differentiate between simply acquaintance, intuitive feelings  and real knowledge.  But most Bibles do not offer an explanation of which verb “to know” is under in any passage which means the translator must do the work.

Different Verbs for Know

Here is an example of why the King James can be confusing:
Acts 19:15  the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
There are two different words for ‘know’ here, so let’s translate this again:
Acts 19:15 Jesus I know, and Paul I’ve heard about, but who are you?
In English we say I am getting to know you, or the first level of interpersonal relationship. We could also say that the first few years of schooling are getting to know words and numbers. We memorize at this level but there is no foundation of understanding; information is impersonal, understanding is personal.

Ginosko vs. Ouida

Greek, the language of the New Testament, has two words for knowing – ginóskó: to come to know, recognize, perceive and ouida, a word reflecting the knowledge of personal experience.
Ginosko is a root common in English seen in words such as knowledge or agnostic.  It means perception or understanding; it goes deep into the personality.  Believers respond occasionally to the question, How do you know you are saved and they reply, “I know that I know that I know.” For the non-believer it isn’t much of an answer but for other believers, we all understand.
Oida according to artists is an acronym for Observe, Imagine, Discover and Apply by looking at the natural world and creating something new based on your appreciation.  Writers would not use this word for knowing God; they use gnosis instead.
Here are some Bible verses that use the word ginosko:
Genesis 2:9   And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Notice that God did not give man knowledge if physics and French literature, just good and evil.  On this foundation mankind was to make good decisions enforcing good and resisting evil. Clearly this did not happen.

The Sexual “Know”

Luke 1:34   Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Here is a common use of the word ‘know’ in King James English, the sexual “knowledge” of two persons required to be exclusive to them. You do not hear it much these days but Bible readers need to understand this usage.
The Book of First John has 31 references to the word know. It profiles all the things believers should know, and how you, the reader can discern the difference between truth and lies.
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
In this case the truth that is missing is Jesus who is the way, truth and life.  (John 14:16) The passage is telling us that the person is not born again.

Jesus “Not Knowing You” is Important

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Holy Spirit Baptism

Finally there is spiritual knowledge imparted in the Holy Spirit Baptism:
I Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
This kind of knowledge comes straight from the spirit of Christ to your spirit and then to your brain. Many people confuse the baptism of the Holy Spirit with knowledge that is obtained through study or from another person. But Holy Spirit directed information is especially helpful to you because it empowers you to apprehend situations and truths when others do not.
How often have you heard someone say, “I get bad vibes about that guy” and later it is discovered that he had hidden problems.  That kind of intuition is given by the spirit.  Very often small children have this feeling as well.
If you want an instructive Bible study, find a concordance and look up every use of the word know and tie them all back to the original Greek.  It will be an eye opener.

How the Internet Confuses us about Space-Time

This morning, 5 a.m. I received a letter from South Africa – a woman wanting a dream interpretation. After I answered that, I spent time chatting with a computer guru in South Asia. I realized that this kind of international use of time and space is one of the reasons so many people think socialism is OK.
 
They have been living in the world of internet where time and space mean so little. It is one global internet government. But that does not translate to the intimate world of my local police, fire, and animal control. Government is not global, and cannot be. Besides it was tried once and was a mammoth failure.

The Facebook Dilemma is Theological

PBS tonight (10/29/18) had a 1 hour show on their issues with Facebook data collection and usage. The problem is that Zuckerburg’s goal of getting the planet to communicate with each other openly is that he did not take into account that there are evil workers in the world today and many of us out here do not want to “friend” them in any way. Nor do we want them to have our data and private messages.

This is also the dilemma of Millennials and other younger people who have not been taught what evil is. They have assumed it is the creation of culture rather than an intrinsic factor in the universe. And one man, even with 2,000 employees, has no ability to police anything that large or determined to corrupt.  The road to Facebook hell is paved with good intentions.

Tomorrow they’ll have another 1 hour continuation.

What is the “Will of God”

There are Three Wills of God
For the Human Race
  • The will of God for all human beings. That includes the demand  (1) that the human race believe in Him as Creator (2) He wishes all men to be saved and none perish, which depends on the action of the individual.  (3) that all repent of their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness based on their forgiveness of those who have wronged them (4) that all confess sins.  Confess means to “speak with” or simply to agree with God’s assessment of your situation before him.  If God says you have larceny in your heart,  He wants your knowledge of your inner self so when you agree with Him about your real condition, you are on the road to change.

I taught a Bible study years ago where the only thing they seemed to learn was how to confess someone else’s sin. So I quit!

For an Individual
  • The second will of God is what He desires for you personally, and all 7 billion individuals of planet earth. God has a plan for every human life. (Jeremiah 29:11) New believers often ask this question when they are eager to grow in Christian knowledge and power. Telling them that the will of God is given in the 32,000+ verses of the Bible is a little overwhelming, even though it is true.  The Bible is the will of God, but individual verses do not apply equally to all individuals at once.  To the rich man he did not say,  Your daughter is healed this very hour, or to the blind man He did not say, sell all you  have an give the money to the poor. God’s commands are individually specific. Expect to hear from Him.
For Nations (Ethnos) (Acts 17:26)
  • The third will of God is His desire for individual nations to fulfill their destiny on earth. One of these caveats is that nations are to keep their hands off other nations. God is not a globalist; He repeatedly refers to “ethnos” in the Bible as being His way of having a variety of cultures, individuality and responsibility for nations. Many nations are so badly governed the people have little control over their nation’s destiny. In democracies however, we have both the option and the accountability for what our government does as a unit and how it handles international affairs.

One scripture simplifies what God wants for every person: “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”  That’s a word we rarely hear; it means there is something in your heart or mind or body that needs to be cleaned up. To sanctify means to make holy, and to make holy means you have access to the presence of God in a great way than you did before. If you fail to go through the cleansing process, your life is marred and you do not enjoy the fullness of God’s promises.

Some people wander around the desert of personal sin, guilt, blame and error and never get anywhere near the promised land. But if you persist, you’ll find the plans of God.

The happiest human beings are those who live in the plans God has for them.  God knows better than you do what you are called to do. Many non-Christians find that place anyway, or live on the edge.

God is in the Details

After you learn what God wants you to do in life, then the next part is living in the sure revelation that your decisions about that life are on target. This is the hardest part of all. It involves the detail of a life – how to spend money, where to live and work, how to use your time comfortably. More often than not it is just “being led.”

Obedience brings Blessings

One of the  greatest blessings in my  life was when I decided to sit in the middle seat in the plane which is usually the most uncomfortable.  The man next to me and I talked for an hour. I felt as those I had entered the kingdom of God and was in heaven with another believer. As  a writer isolated in a town of 1,000 in the high mountains, I see and talk to very few people that know anything about the Kingdom of God, much less actually live in it. God gave me that blessing out of the blue.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven (God) vs. Heaven

Defining Heaven vs. the Kingdom of Heaven or God

The gospels frequently mention both the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God.  Reading the King James Version, one might think these are two separate places, but there is a reason for the difference in language.

Matthew uses the term kingdom of heaven exclusively.  This is to be expected of a Jew who dares not mention the name of God.  Even today you will read statements from Jews who carefully put a hyphen or underline between G and D (G_d or G-d) as to not breathe the name of the Almighty.  On only five occasions in Matthew the Kingdom of God is used. Luke and Mark use the term Kingdom of God exclusively. The book of John uses the Kingdom of God only twice.

Kingdom of Heaven & Kingdom of God the Same

So what is it?  The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God refer to the same place but Heaven is a separate place. In heaven, God is in charge.  Jesus prayed for this version of heaven, that is where God is in charge come to earth so we can enjoy it here and now, not wait until after we die. From the Lord’s prayer:

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We are to seek it first so we can enjoy it here.

Jesus’ parables about the kingdom emphasized that with the proper attitude you could enjoy the kingdom right now.

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

What is The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God is defined in Romans 14:17.  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

No, we do not need to wait until we die to have righteousness, peace and joy or any part thereof.

Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The Kingdom is Won by Our Spiritual Warfare

Having sought the kingdom, how do you know you have a portion of it? You know you are a kingdom person by your warfare against the demonic world.

Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  I feel sure the Pharisees and Sadducees in Jesus’ time scratched their heads over this one. In fact they called him names!

The kingdoms of heaven (God) are distinct from Heaven, a place distinct from planet earth, our final reward.  While we have the demonic to deal with here and now, in heaven Satan and his henchmen are conquered.  In fact, because there is no evil in heaven, there is no reason for them to be there.  Evil is God’s way of requiring us to make a decision – on earth – of whom we are to worship and obey.

Today’s Victory is Over the Demonic World

The victory of the kingdom of God (heaven) is the victory over the demonic world.  This is shown in the scripture about Peter being given the keys to death and hell.

Matthew 16:  18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Read Peter 1 and 2

Now that I know that Peter was given the keys to handling the demonic world, I think I shall read the two books of Peter again.  I do not want to miss the Kingdom if it is so close by.

Antisemitism Brings a Curse

We talk of the trouble we bring on ourselves – drugs and alcohol, laziness, going with the wrong crowd, thinking we can get away with something, cheating. Mamma said this was bad and Dad whopped you good if he caught you, but there is something worse.

And that is to be cursed by God. Genesis 12:3 in a Christian Bible says this:

And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you,
And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you.
And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”

I quoted the Amplified Version just in case there was any doubt about how serious this is. When you go after God’s people you bring His wrath down upon you.  Of course you do not recognize it. You call it bad luck. Or maybe you’re in a mess because of your parents, or the lousy school system, or where you live, with drug dealers all around.

The Bible was written for everyone to read. It is in hundreds of languages; you can even find it free on the internet, in Vietnamese! No one is going to point a finger at God someday and say -Why didn’t you tell me that these Jews were special to you?

Most people know that if you mess with a man’s family you can expect trouble. Time was not so long ago that a fellow would come to the house to date a girl and Daddy would be sitting on the porch with a shotgun across his knees.  Some guys turned tail and ran.

If a natural father can do that, how much angrier will God be when you mess with His People?  And his Family is very large.  They live all over the world, and they don’t have name tags that say, My Daddy is God.

They tell me that antisemitism is on the rise. Well, let’s just check the TV weather man and the newspaper for floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, famine and drought.  This is one quick way God can get His message out.  (See the book of Amos for details.) And look what happened to Germany in the 1940s!

But, you complain, “I don’t do that; other people in my community do that. ”

Here’s the reason we face the music together.  Jesus said, “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” If you are part of a community that tolerates this you suffer along with everyone else.

You can’t change hearts and minds; that is a tough job. But you can warn people – as I have done here.

Click here for commentary regarding President Trump moving the US  Embassy controversy.

Click here for information linking Fascism, Islamism and Anti-semitism.

Link between Democratic Socialism and Antisemitism.

Why Americans Must Support Israel

Boycotting Israel – the Ultimate in Antisemitism