Sunday, November 30, 2008

November 30th - The Holy One of Israel

Prayer Requests
Black Friday Preaching Results
Students Who are Sick
Pastor Aaron Preaching

Isaiah 6
As a follow-up from Disciple Now this class period will be devoted largely to Isaiah 6, but also to tie it back into 1 Thessalonians, we'll spend some time on Isaiah 6:13, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled." The holy seed is its stump.

There were some things that we skipped over during D-Now that I really think we should have spent time on. Overall I really enjoyed the weekend, I hope you did too.

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

Isaiah was probably in the Temple when he had this vision. King Uzziah, the king who had brought Israel to a high level of prosperity and security had died and Israel was mourning his death. Isaiah looked and saw that God was high and lifted up, meaning God was higher than Uzziah, and that God was still seated on the throne. God was and is still in charge.

God's robe symbolizes a lot of God's attributes; righteousness, majesty, splendor, and that the train of his robe filled the whole temple, which was a HUGE building, shows that he has an overabundance of all of it.

Psalm 93:1 The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.

Compare a well known story of the prodigal son, who went and lost everything and was covered in filth and ran home, what was the first thing his father did after forgiving him?

Luke 15:21-22 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.

God's righteousness is often referred to as a Robe and one that he clothes others in, compare a few others.

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

2 Chronicles 6:41 Let your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let your saints rejoice in your goodness.

Who is a priest? All Christians, it is a ministerial title for those who are ministers of the Most High God.
Who is a saint? Anyone who has been saved and is being sanctified.
Who is our Great High Priest? Jesus Christ.

Two of my favorite verses are Job 29:14 and Romans 13:14, they say, "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me, and my judgment was as a robe and a crown." In other words, the judgment is as the King. How do you put on righteousness? Paul said, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, make no provision for the flesh, to satisfy its desires."

When Isaiah saw God's robe filling the Temple, it was symbolic of God's righteousness covering his people.

Isaiah 6:2-3 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"

Compare this picture to Revelation 4:8, And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!"

The eyes that the angels are filled with are likely symbolic of their extensive wisdom, since they have eyes all around and within, they are able to see the grandeur of God as well as their own createdness. With their extensive wisdom, look at what they do, they worship God forever.

They are covering their faces and their feet. When covering their faces, I think they are specifically covering their eyes, acknowledging the Splendor of God. I think when covering their feet they are acknowledging their created-nature.

And which God are they calling to? They aren't just proclaiming any God, they give language to specify the God they are talking about, the Lord of hosts, the God of all the earth, the one who was before all things, is living, and is coming back to earth. They are talking about the One True God, the Triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 6:4-5 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"

Isaiah did the right thing when he encountered God, he recognized his sinfulness and God's holiness. Let's compare some other verses:

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling has seized the godless: "Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?"
Luke 12:5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

The reason that sinners are afraid of God is because he is big, and holy, and offended, and righteousness, and the just judge who by no means will clear the guilty. All of these things are great things, but if they are pointed at you then they are terrifying. Consider a police officer, who keeps the peace and punishes bad guys. If you're not a criminal, then he is on your side, but if you are a criminal, he is your enemy.

Why was Isaiah so afraid? His one admission was a big one, "I am a man of unclean lips...", James really expounds on this idea well,

James 3:4-12 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

This is the James who usually says things with precise and concise statements, and yet he goes on and on about the tongue both wrecking our soul and also a bad tongue proving the lostness of our soul. Jesus said that out of the mouth the heart professes. By Isaiah admitting to having unclean lips, he was proclaiming his absolute depravity.

The same thing with us, when we blaspheme God's name or swear or gossip, we're showing our sinfulness. Woe to Isaiah? Woe to us!

Isaiah 6:6-7 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for."

Notice who did wasn't Isaiah, it was the angel. There is nothing we can do to clean ourselves up, we need a working of God to regenerate and sanctify our souls. This coal touching Isaiah's lips didn't save him, since everyone who has ever been saved is saved by Christ's payment, but it did cause the cleansing of Isaiah's soul. His faith in God that God would take care of him led to his salvation and his sins were paid for 700 years down the road on the cross of Christ.

Notice also that this coal was probably painful. A lot of times the sanctification process is painful, nobody promised it to be easy.

Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

The outward indication of Isaiah's inward cleansing was his willingness to minister for God. Unfortunately, Israel was pretty far gone by this time, and the message Isaiah was given to preach wasn't one of redemption, but of punishment.

Isaiah 6:9-13 And he said, "Go, and say to this people: "'Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears,and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said: "Until cities lie waste without inhabitant,and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again,like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled." The holy seed is its stump.

Israel had a thumping in store for them, first by Assyria, then by Babylon, and ultimately by Rome. Isaiah's message was just to deliver this message.

A few years later Jeremiah would preach a similar message as Babylon was invading Israel. Jeremiah preached 50-some years without a single recorded convert, and at one point he got pretty angry at God for that, here is what he said,

Jeremiah 20:7-11 O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me.8For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, "Violence and destruction!" For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, "I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name, "there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side!" Denounce him! Let us denounce him!" say all my close friends, watching for my fall." Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him." But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.

When you're preaching, just like Isaiah and Jeremiah, you are not guaranteed converts, but we're preaching for the glory of God, not the conversion of men. It is a theme of Israel not responding to her prophets, and they got thumped by Assyria, and God saved them, then by Babylon, and God saved them, but finally by Rome, and God didn't save them.

So to get back to 1 Thessalonians 2:16 God's wrath has come upon the Jews at last.

There was a promise of salvation to Israel, so why weren't they saved?

Romans 9:4-8 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

I don't fully understand why Israel was cut-off, but they were certainly given ample opportunity to repent and be saved. The Israel that was promised salvation was spiritual Israel, not national Israel. This has worked out very well for the Gentiles.

Romans 11:11-12 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

There is a little circle, that Israel was cut-off so that the Gentiles could be saved, and the Gentiles were saved to make Israel jealous so they would repent and be saved. Now how did God do it?

Grafting was normal in Palestine/Israel. Wild olive shoots grow up everywhere. The major difference between an olive tree and an olive shoot is if someone has taken the time to prune the shoot to grow into a fruit-producing tree. An olive shoot will never produce fruit on its own though.

Romans 11:17-24 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

A dying branch on an olive tree can kill the whole tree, so it is absolutely necessary for the vine-dresser, also called a husbandman, to cut off dying branches. Once the branch is cut off, an olive shoot can be stuck to the tree and the tree will adopt the while shoot and then the shoot will produce fruit.

Who is the vine in all of this? Jesus.

Who is the vine dresser? God the Father.

John 15:1-6 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned."

The branches have to abide in the vine, because the vine is the source of all their nourishment and life. A branch apart from the vine is no good for anything other than to be burned in the fire.

So, Gentiles have been saved in place of the branches of Israel. Consider that we're all in prison, waiting for our ransom to be paid. The jailer comes in and says, "You're free to go, your $100 million ransom has been paid by Jesus Christ." Half of us get up and leave, the other half say, "That's not who we were waiting for, we'll wait for the next $100 million payment by someone other than Jesus Christ." There isn't going to be another payment, they are lost.

There are three kinds of Jewish person:
1. Messianic - Trust that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. The Old Testament prophets would fit in here. I'm certain Isaiah would rather worship God at Summit than at a Jewish Synagogue of today.
2. Orthodox - Claim to follow the Old Testament. They are waiting for the coming Messiah, they reject that it was Jesus. Most are expecting Elijah.
3. Talmudic - This is the majority of Jews today. They've abandoned the Old Testament and are following oral tradition. Of this type of Jew Jesus Christ was pretty harsh:

Revelation 2:9 I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

Ultimately salvation is only through Jesus Christ. The Jews that have rejected him are not the Jews of promise and will not be saved. One sign of the end of the age is that many Jews will come to salvation in Jesus Christ, the Bible says they won't even have to tell each other that Jesus is the Messiah, they will just know. (Hebrews 8 and Romans 11)

One of my friends sometimes calls the church of Jesus Christ, "Israel." We don't have the land promises and such, but we have been grafted into the promise of salvation given to Israel. It's not a term I'd use for a congregation, since it takes too long to explain...I think it's taken three class periods to get to this point...but it isn't wrong to refer to the church today as Israel.

Follow Up Question:

Why is God Jealous? I was asked last weekend why God is a jealous God, and I thought it was something that I should relay to this class.

Imagine I came to class and nobody was here, I sat down to wait, and Dave came by, and I asked, "Dave, where's my class?" and he said, "Oh, I had a new guy who wanted to teach, but I didn't have any students to give him, so I gave your class the option of where they wanted to go, and he offered them food, so I guess they went with him." So I thought...hmmm...well, ok, so I sat down and read my Bible and prayed some, but got bored and decided to go see what he was teaching.

I find the class, and he's got a Dr. Seuss book opened and I ask, "Dr. Seuss? Is there a theological implication to that?" and he answers, "No, I just like it, and I didn't have time to prepare a lesson." I ask, "Well where's the food you promised?" and he says, "We already ate it," and points to an empty bag of M&M's.

At this point, beloved, I would be jealous. Not because he stole my class, but because of the quality of instruction you were getting. I know you all are well on your way to being great ministers of God, and his teaching you fluff would stifle your growth. My knowledge of your abilities and burgeoning wisdom would lead me to want you to keep growing, which is why I try to challenge you with deep lessons.

That is why God is a jealous God, he has worked hard and knows what is best for his people, and when they run off to infinitely lesser things he gets jealous. I hope that makes sense.

See you next week!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 23rd - Class Canceled

We did not have class today due to D-Now schedule restraints.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, be safe in your travels, see you next week.

Here are some things to be thankful for, gifts of God through his Son Jesus Christ.

Colossians 3:12-17

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16th - Noah's Sons and History

Prayer Requests
Jim Jones (not the cult leader) passed away this week, his ministry will be sorely missed
Pastor Aaron preaching on Romans 6
Allen Hardage's Restaurant
Preaching at KSU
Melissa - In a Cult
Disciple Now
National Revival

Last Week
Paul got mad at the Jews, why? They were blaspheming the name of Christ.
What's another term for Jew? Semite.
Where does that name come from? Noah's son.

Correction from Last Week
The Lamech who had two wives was not Noah's father, there are two Lamechs. Lamech means Peasant, this might give us a look into the pre-flood culture, that there were two Lamech's at the same time, they might have been stripped of their personal humanness to be called by their social caste. Maybe...don't build a church on that idea though.

Names in the Bible
In the Bible names usually mean things. Jesus means God Saves, Saul means Big and Paul means Small. Adam means man and it came from Adamah which means ground.

Adam is an individual man, where-as mankind is Ish. Man and woman are sort of an attempt to show the Hebrew variations of man and woman, it misses something neat though. Man is Ish, Adam said he'd call woman Ishah, because she was taken out of man. Ishah isn't just Ish with an ah added, Ishah is close to Hebrew for soft, which is Isha...the length you hold the last vowel makes a big difference in which word you're saying. Adam made a play on words. Some of have also said that the ah on the end makes the word softer...that's how Hebrew works though, add an -ah and it usually becomes feminine.

We're going to be looking at a lot of names today, and we're going to be staying almost exclusively in Genesis 4 and 5.

Noah was from Seth's lineage, we're going to be looking at Cain's lineage today. I used to think this was a mistake in the Bible, or at least superfluous, because it tells us all of this stuff about Cain's family, which was wiped out in the flood, but of course there are no mistakes in the Bible and all of this is absolutely trustworthy, I'll show you why.

Genesis 4:19 And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.

Lamech was the first to say, "If one wife is good, two wives must be extra good." He was the first to break the marriage covenant. He also killed someone, this story may mirror John the Baptist's story when Herod had him killed for John telling Herod that he couldn't marry two women. Again, don't build a church on this.

Lamech means Peasant
Adah means Dawn or Brightness
Zillah means Shadow

Usually in the Bible, the name given first is the first born or first wed or predominant person. Using that logic, Adah was probably Lamech's first wife, and a legal wife. Which makes Zillah the adulteress. Keep that in mind.

Genesis 4:20 Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.

Jabal means Shepherd

Remember that the Semites became the shepherds? Jabal's daughter must have married Shem.

Genesis 4:21 His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.

Jubal means literally a trumpet, but figuratively a Musicician.

Remember the Japhethite's became your artsy people. Jubal's daughter must have married Japheth.

Jabal and Jubal were born to Adah, the legal wife, they were not born from a sinful union. That is not the same for their half-brother.

Genesis 4:22 Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

Tubal-cain means Follower of the Striker, or figuratively Blacksmith
Naamah means Demon

Every word in the Bible is there for a reason. At first I couldn't figure out why Naamah was in the Bible, but look at what happened later. Ham either married Tubal-cain's daughter or possibly he married Naamah. Either way, Ham's sin, along with Lamech's sin, led to Canaan's curse to be a slave to the Semite's and Japhethites.

Two Things to Learn
1. Sin is serious; it not only affects you, it affects generations to come. Lamech's sin directly effected his (at least) Five-Time great grandson Canaan.

2. What God has given is good; music and livestock/agriculture are good, but what man makes is not so good. One example is the automobile. Our ability to drive long distances has done terrible damage to community, we now get to hang out only with people we like, where-as before the car, you'd just go to your closest church, you'd have to be aquainted with your neighbors. Now we don't, we only hang out with people we like and that has wrecked our empathy.

Reader's Note - We talked briefly about the social group called the Emo's, and how important it is to befriend them because they are in need of empathy, and this is the Christlike thing to do.

So lets look at some things. (This table was impossible to put on this website)

Sons of Noah
Shem - Israel & Palestine / Shepherds / Religious & Spiritual
Ham - Africa & Asia / Slaves / Inventors
Japheth - Europe / Musicians / Artsy & Philosophical

Abraham's Wives
Sarah - Semite - Isaac - Israel
Hagar - Hamite - Ishmael - Islam
Ketureh - Japhethite - Lots of Sons - Everybody Else

Remember the promise made to Abraham before he had children.

Genesis 17:4-7 Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

Salvation was promised to the descendents of Abraham. It was God's plan all along to save from the Semites, Hamites, and Japhethites.

Galatians 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Jews were expecting salvation only for them, but that was nearsighted.

The Synoptic Gospels
Matthew - Jesus the King - To the Semites
Mark - Jesus the Servant - To the Hamites
Luke - Jesus the Physician - To the Japhethites

Matthew -
- To the Jews
- As a Baby kings were afraid of Jesus
- Lord of the Sabbath
- Sermon on the Mount - Showed his authority

Mark -
- To the Gentiles
- Jesus -
- - Feeding
- - Healing
- - Cleansing
- - Submissive to God

Luke -
- To the Gentiles
- The Science of Jesus
- Authority over
- - Nature
- - Death
- - Sin

Who is John written to? Everbody!
What's John's two purposes? Jesus is God; Love One Another

Who visited Jesus?
1. Shepherds - Semites
2. Wise Men - From where? Asia. Hamites
3. Greeks - John 12. Japhethites

To at least continue in the theme of 1 Thessalonians, lets read 2:17-20 with our last remaining minutes.

1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy were torn away from the church, and Paul's anger at the Jews was compounded by his experience in Corinth.

Even though they were separated in body, they were still with them in heart.

Charles Spurgeon said this, A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your names on hearts, not on marble.

I was shocked when reading this passage that Paul was boasting and glorying in this church. We are supposed to boast only in Christ...but who is the church? The body of Christ. I boast on this class all the time, especially since I've heard from several of your parents that you're sharing your faith and inviting friends to church. I'm very proud of you for doing that.

Follow Up
- Hand out some Gospel tracts this week.
- Next week will be mostly for D-Now follow-up, if we have time we'll look at a little bit at the vine of Christ and the branches of the church.
- I've strayed far from 1 Thessalonians, but I think these lessons are important to fully understand who the church is, who the Jews are, and who Israel is. I don't know how much time we'll have next week, but in preparation, please read John 15 and Romans 9-11, and reread 1 Thessalonians 2:14-20.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November 9th - Paul's Indictment Against the Jews

Prayer Requests
-Pastor Barry Barnett in Wisconsin who is facing prison time for spanking his son.
-Pastor Aaron preaching on Romans 5-6
-Jessica's Dog
-Disciple Now
-Leon's Back

Text - 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

When was 1 Thessalonians written? AD51
Where was it written from? Corinth
Who made up the church at Thessalonica? Gentiles, probably no Jews; they were either run out of town or killed.

Acts 18:5-8 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was occupied with the word, testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus. And when they opposed and reviled him, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." And he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. His house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.

Paul quoted or alluded to eight different Old Testament Books in this brief event, he wanted to let the Jews he was speaking to know that he was abandoning them in accordance with scripture. He was MAD, I don't think that can be stressed enough...he was so mad that this anger showed up in his letter to Thessalonica at the same time.

He shook the dust from his garments, which was a Jewish custom of saying, "Not only am I through with you and your synagogue, I don't even want the dust from your synagogue to touch me."

The big passage he was quoting was from Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 33:1-6 The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.

This is called a sin of omission, when you commanded to do somehting, and you don't. In this case, it is preaching the truth if you know the truth, otherwise, if you know the truth, and don't preach it, then God will require an account for why you didn't preach. Paul did preach, and they didn't listen, and according to this passage, his duty was fulfilled and he was clean of the blood of the Jews. He began preaching to the Gentiles, which was his primary calling.

Galatians 1:15-17 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

Jesus Christ is ingenious in this, that he sent the smartest Rabbi that ever lived not to the Jews whom he could have done a little good with, but to the Gentiles so they would understand the Old Testament in relation to the New Covenant as explained by a Rabbi who had been studying it his whole life.

So Paul went next door, right next door, according to Acts.

Then what happened? Crispus got saved, the highest Jew in Corinth, the person Paul had likely been seeking to convert since arriving in Corinth. This was probably God's way of saying, "See Paul, I'm in control, if you're obedient, then I will take care of my church, because, after all, I'm the one building the church using you as a tool."

First Thessalonians 2:14-16 was written at the same time as the preaching we just heard about in Corinth, and the anger expressed there carries over into Paul's letter.

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But God’s wrath has come upon them at last!

Now, first of all, who are these Jews? Another name for Jews is Semites, and that name comes from the very first chapters of the Bible.

- Adam
- Seth - Yes, Seth married his sister...before the Gene pool was corrupted by sin there was nothing wrong with this and it was not socially weird at the time.
- Enosh
- Kenan
- Mahalalel
- Jarod
- Enoch - Extra righteous and was raptured...and no, I did not know Enoch, I'm not quite that old.
- Methusaleh - The oldest man ever to live, most likely died in the flood.
- Lamech - Not the Lamech who had two wives.
- Noah - Righteous in God's eyes, had three sons whom had three wives. More than likely if we search Genesis 4 we could find out a lot about the wives, but I didn't have time when preparing this lesson. (See the next lesson)

Noah had three sons.
- Shem's descendents are known as the Semites, they are Jews and Samarians
- These are your spiritual people in history.

- Ham's descendents are known as Hamites, they were the most prolific inhabitors and make up the regions of Africa, Southern Asia, America (Native Americans), and Canaan.
- They are known mostly for their inventions and servant attitudes, including being slaves to both the Semites and Japhethites.

- Japheth's descendents are known as Japhethites, and they are those that inhabited Europe and Northern Asia.
- They are known for being Artsy and Philosophical.

Every people group today can be traced back to these peoples, as was prophecized in Genesis.

Genesis 9:19, 25-27 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed. "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers." He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant."

What happened was Ham started to sink back into the old sinful ways of pre-flood, and they couldn't have that. So Noah cursed Ham, and not only Ham, but his grandson Canaan to show that this curse was genetic and not just against Ham. God ordained slavery and has used it to teach us valuable lessons in history.

How many races are there? ONE, there are many ethnicities, but only one race, all men are created in the image of God and none are to be esteemed above others.

Does God love any people group because of the color of their skin? NO!

In fact, Simon Peter was fairly certain that Jesus had only come to the Jews, then he saw a Samarian saved, and so he figured Christ came only for the Semites, but he was called to preach to some Gentiles, Greeks who were of the Japheth line. Before he preached this, Philip got an Ethiopian Eunich saved, which is a Hamite.

Acts 10:34-44 So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God is no respector of persons, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ ( he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name." While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.

God saves from each of these people groups, but we see just how in control God is from start to finish of History. For example, Abraham first married Sarah, a Semite, then he married Hagar from Egypt, a Hamite, and finally he married Ketureh, who tradition tells us was a Japhethite.

Who helped Jesus carry his cross? Simon of Cyrene. Cyrene is in North Africa, Simon was a Hamite, this fits perfectly into the prophecy of Genesis 9 that Hamites will serve Semites (Jesus) and Japhethites (Roman Soldiers). A beautiful redemption story in this, is that while Simon carried the cross, there was never an indictment against him for it, and later he likely became a deacon in the church at Antioch, and his father Rufus became a respected member of the church at Rome.

So that's who the Jew's are, Semites. (We'll talk a bit more about this next week, I realized afterwards that I missed a lot of neat and useful things)

Remember, Paul was a Jew. So to jump back into First Thessalonians, the word of God is at work in believers, imitating the church at Judea. Being called imitators of Judea is a compliment, it means that Thessalonica was seeing people saved and being faithful. But, also this was a reminder that persecution was not just limited to Thessalonica, but that Judea had been thoroughly persecuted by non-Messianic Jews.

Jews killed Jesus, but remember that this was a plan of God. We ought not hate Jewish people because of what their ancestors did, but we also must not overlook their sins of continuing to blaspheme the name of Jesus Christ. We know this was a plan of God because we are told so in Acts 2, but we can also see God's hand at work at the trial of Jesus, when there is a murderous thief on stage named Barabbas with Jesus. His name is not a coincidence at all, Barabbas means "Son of Fathers" or to interpret a little, the sons of men stood against Bartheo, the "Son of God". The Son of God was holy, righteous, and pure, the sons of men are unholy, wicked, and defiled. The crowd chose themselves over God, as every people group would have done; this Sunday School class, given the chance in 1st Century Jerusalem, would have cried out for the crucifixion of Christ and the release of ourselves, it is our nature, and yet Christ died for us anyways.

The Jews have gotten the brunt of the blame because they were the ones who were actually there and actually did it.

Paul indicted them on killing Jesus and the prophets. Included in this indictment was John the Baptist, James the Lesser, and who else? Stephen. Who killed Stephen? Paul was instrumental in his murder and yet Paul was so angry he didn't realize he was indicting himself in this letter with the Jews. I think he realized this soon enough and we'll look at why shortly.

They displeased God and opposed mankind by hindering the preaching of the Gospel.

1 Timothy 2:1-7 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

God desires all men to be saved, and yet the Jews were standing against this. (This passage also has good context with the election, don't forget to pray for Obama and his cabinet for wisdom and salvation; and George Bush in his last days in the White House, give him the boldness and wisdom to set-up godly stumbling blocks to oppose Obama's godless actions)

The Jews sinned and sinned and sinned and sinned some more; and the wrath of God has come upon them at last, according to Paul. This is manifested most frighteningly in their being cut-off from salvation.

Now, running out of time, when was First Thessalonians written? AD 51, when was Romans written? AD 60. So 9 years later Paul had changed his tune slightly;

Romans 9:1-3 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

If Paul could have given up his salvation so that Israel would have been saved, he would have done it. That is true love! I believe Paul wrote Hebrews as a last ditch effort to see Jews saved, he didn't sign it because if he had, then they wouldn't have read it because it was from someone they considered totally apostate and their enemy.

We're out of time, we will jump back into this next week and probably go through chapter 3 verse 5.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November 2nd - Service for Men

Prayer Requests
Pastor Aaron Preaching
Dave Sloan safe return
Leon in the Yucatan

Text - 1 Thessalonians 2:7-13

A little bit of context, remember that Paul, Silas, and Timothy went into Thessalonica preaching the Gospel free of charge and working themselves to pay for their food and lodging. While they could have charged those at Thessalonica for the Gospel, this passage we will see why they were preaching free of charge.

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil: we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

The spiritual life mirrors the physical life, there is a conception in which the seed of faith is planted, followed by gestation, rebirth, infancy, adolescence, and adulthood.

Matthew 13:1-13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

John 3:3-7 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

When you are born again, your flesh is filled with the Holy Spirit. This is a major life-changing event and when it happens, you’ll know. Many Christian churches that are no longer adhering to the Bible have abandoned this language because it doesn’t happen to them and therefore they think it must be symbolic. But being born-again is as extreme and life-changing was when you were born the first time.

You don’t say, “I prayed a prayer and that made me born again.” No, being born again is an act of the Holy Spirit, it cannot be forced by someone.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

Godly sorrow, or grief, is the acknowledgement that you’ve sinned against God and that he is justified in sending you to Hell for your transgression because you’ve offended his righteousness and blasphemed his name through your actions. Few people have a godly sorrow.

Worldly grief, or regret, is the acknowledgement that your sin has caused you or someone else sadness and that you’re sorry that your sin has hurt you. This regret is bad in God’s eyes and as it says, it leads to death, not to life. Many people have this wordly sorrow.

A godly sorrow results in what the Apostle John states in one of my favorite verses,

John 1:12-13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

This event is synonymous with the new heart that God promised Israel by the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:26-27), where-as the person who hasn’t been born again drinks iniquity like water (Job 15:16), the one born of the Spirit will hunger and thirst after righteousness. (Matthew 5:6)

Let’s look at Jesus’ birth,

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was born of the Spirit before he was born of the flesh. This is one of the reasons that he didn’t have a sin nature and was able to be perfect for his entire life. The biggest reason though was because he was God manifest in the flesh.

After a baby is born what does the mother do? Does she send it to work, or start teaching it immediately, or does she love it, and feed it, and tend to its every need so that it is healthy and happy? New Christians are the same way, someone shouldn’t get saved and then instantly be put in a pastoral position or sent out evangelizing.

1 Timothy 3:6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Paul realizes the correlation, the likeness, of physical birth to rebirth and compares himself, Silas, and Timothy to moms who took care of the new Christians in the same way a mother would take care of a new baby. This is another reason I think that Paul wrote Hebrews.

Hebrews 5:13-14 …everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

After their initial understanding of the Gospel and basic training on the word of God, they transitioned into teaching them how to live holy, righteous, and pure, both through word and through providing examples for them.

It is a constant struggle for me when preparing these lessons not to go too high for you guys so that it’s out of your reach, but I definitely don’t want to go too low and treat you like babies, because you’re not. If I ever say anything you don’t understand, please don’t hesitate to ask questions. One of our greatest failures in the last century, I believe, is adding the term teenager to our vocabulary. I think there are children, and there are adults, and children should transition into young adults around the age of 12-14 and start to be responsible for themselves. We are also seeking this transition in spirituality.

There should be a point, if it hasn’t happened already, where you are reading your Bible and you realize, “I don’t need Canyon or my parents to explain this to me, I can understand it on my own through the help of the Holy Spirit.” Do you remember when you were learning to ride a bike and you thought your mom or dad was still holding you upright then you realized that they weren’t but that you were doing it on your own? That’s what we’re going for, we want you to be autonomous in your ministry and relationship with God.

Paul states, “we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” We are representatives, ambassadors, for God and our lives should be becoming of his kingdom. We do this in our language, our actions, and our dress. As your spiritual leaders we at Summit are seeking the same things, sometimes it might not seem fair or reasonable, like not letting you dress up as something sinister on Halloween or making you put on a Summit t-shirt because your shirt is too small or has something vulgar on it, but we have our reasons which will hopefully become clear to you as you read your Bibles. Or if you have questions you can always ask, ultimately our goal is the glory of Christ and the sanctification, even salvation, of your soul…not that you can lose your salvation, but if you love the world and things of the world, it shows that you probably have never been saved and are in need of saving.

Continuing on… And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

The Bible is amazing, it is supernatural, it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error for its content. It is the final authority on everything it speaks of, it is not a science book, but when it speaks of science, it is accurate, it’s not a math book, but when it speaks on math, it is accurate, it is not a comprehensive history of Israel or the world, but when it speaks on history, it is accurate.

Who knows why education was so important to the Founding Fathers of the United States of America? They wanted you to be able to read this book. Every book, every chapter, every verse, every word is God breathed and as important as the rest.

It is the source of our knowledge, how God speaks to us, where faith comes from, it is our mission statement, our instructions for life, and a light for our path. Sometimes people will say it has errors in it, and at face value it might seem like there is one, but these errors are always easily harmonized.

For example, Can God create a rock so heavy that he himself cannot lift it?