Part 1. Adam, Noah,
Historical Events in the Time of
Creation and the Ancient Patriarchs,
Creation. God created the physical, temporary universe, and Gen. 1-2.
God began His new creation, which is spiritual, eternal, and without sin:
· Jesus' resurrection, in which believers participate, began the New Creation. Matt. 28.
· It will be complete with the new heavens and earth that await us, Rev. 21 -22.
· We are reborn spiritually into it (Jesus with Nicodemus), John 3:1-7.
Give thanks to God for the good things He created for us in the old creation.
Proclaim with joy that we enter God's new, spiritual and eternal creation by participating in Jesus' resurrection, who was the firstfruits of the new creation, (1 Cor. 15; 2 Cor. ). There is no other way (John 14:6).
The first Adam yielded to Satan's temptation and disobeyed God, bringing death upon man and separation from the God (original sin): Gen. 3.
The final Adam Jesus spurned Satan's temptation, bringing life and reconciling mankind with God:
· Jesus the "final Adam" (1 Cor. ) resisted Satan's temptations, Matt. 4.
· Jesus, living in us, enables us to resist Satan and overcome the world, John 16 - 17.
Jesus obeyed the
Father's will in
Confess our sins to God and repent (1 John 1:8-10).
Resist Satan, using the armor of God in the power of the Holy Spirit (James 4:7; Eph. 6).
Old Testament worship required the shed blood of an innocent victim:
· The first murderer Cain slew Abel when God rejected his bloodless offering but accepted Abel's, Gen. 4.
· God slew the High Priest's sons who entered His presence without the blood--Lev.1 0.
Worship includes the blood of Christ the eternal 'Lamb of God':
· Jesus shocked the Jews saying we must eat His flesh and drink His blood, John 6:26-59.
· Jesus told a Samaritan woman that we must worship God in Spirit and in truth, John 4.
Worship recalls Jesus' blood sacrifice for our sins (Matt. 26:26-28).
· Celebrate Communion the way He requires (1 Cor. -17; -32).
· We can praise God with our lips until we're hoarse, but if we don't obey Him our praise is vain (Matt. 15:6-9).
God sent a flood to punish the wicked human race with physical death (Noah), Gen. 6 - 9.
God warns of a "second death" if we fail to repent--eternal separation from God in hell:
· John the Baptist called men to repent, in preparation for Christ the promised Messiah, Matt. 3.
· God punishes unrepentant sinners in the lake of fire (final judgment and 'second death'), Rev. 20:11-15.
Let our Heavenly Father's
compassion and kindness leads us to repentance
· Repent from our sins and believe in Christ (Mark ).
God created races and different cultures at the
· Men tried to remain united in one proud society but God separated them into many languages, Gen. 10.
All races and cultures praise God before His eternal throne in glory, Rev. 7:9-17.
Make disciples of all nations (cultural people groups, Matt. 28:18-20).
· Trust in God, not in man's political power (Zechariah 4:6).
· Appreciate the different races and cultures, which are recognizable in heaven throughout eternity. Their God-given variety beautifies the 'Bride of Christ--people of all nations, tribes and languages (Rev. 7:9-12).
God promised to bless all nations in a descendant of the believer Abraham:
· Abraham believed God, who counted his faith as righteousness, and God promised the blessings through the believer Abraham's seed--a descendant, and seals it with a serious covenant, Gen. 12:1-7; Gen. 15.
· God promised Abraham a son through a miraculous birth, and Abraham believes Him, Gen. 15:1-6.
God fulfills His promise to bless all nations through Abraham's seed Christ, who saves from sin and heals:
· Mary accepted to give birth in a miraculous way to a Son and her Savior, Luke 1:26-56.
· Jesus healed a demonized man and many others because they have faith, Mark 1: 21-34.
· Jesus healed, and forgave the sins of, a paralytic because of the faith of his caring friends, Mark 2:1-12.
· God poured out his Holy Spirit on Jews from many nations, who receive Christ (Pentecost), Act 2.
· God poured out His Holy Spirit on gentiles, opening the way for all races to be saved, Acts 10:44-48.
We receive God's forgiveness through faith, not by our own merits (Eph. 2:8-10).
· We are Abraham's heirs. We receive the blessing promised to him, by believing as he did (Gal. 3:6-12; -31).
· We witness for Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit to people of all nations (Acts 1:8).
· We pray for physical healing in Jesus' name (James -16).
· Allow God to heal or give us another form of grace instead, as he did for Paul (2 Cor. 12:7-10--God does not heal everybody, or no one would die and be with Him in heaven!)
Abraham's faith led to good works and God's promises that gave the basis for both the Old and New Testaments:
Abraham let his
Abraham by faith took
his workers to battle against five kings to rescue
· Abraham's faith resulted in the birth of Isaac, through whom God established his covenant of grace, Gen. 21.
· God tested Abraham's faith, telling him to offer his only son Isaac--the heir of the promise--as a sacrifice, Gen. 22.
· In a temporary lapse of faith Abraham tried to fulfill God's covenant of grace by his own efforts Gen. 16 - 17. The result is that Arab Muslim descendants of Hagar's illegitimate son Ishmael still fight against Abraham's descendants through Sarah.
Jesus requires faith for us to be born again, receive healing, and find God's blessings:
· Jesus explained to Nicodemus that by faith we must be born again of the Spirit , John 3.
· Jesus healed the servant of a believing army captain, Matt. 8:5-17.
· Jesus healed two blind men because of their faith, Matt. 9:27-38.
Our salvation by faith results in good works, or our faith is not genuine (Eph. 2:8-10; James -24).
· Resist the doubts such as caused Abraham to try to fulfill God's covenant of grace by his own works, which led to Ishmael's birth and, through his Arab descendants, gave rise to Islam, the world's most legalistic religion (Gal. 3:6-12; Gal. 4:21-31)
· Seek daily renewal--pray and read God's Word daily--let God's Holy Spirit renew us day by day (2 Cor. 4:16).
God rewarded those who were good stewards of what He had given them:
· Abraham gave tithes of property recaptured from raiders to the Christ-like priest Melchizedek, and refused to take any of the property of the captors, Gen. 14:11-24.
· Boaz instructed his reapers to leave grain on purpose for the poor gatherer Ruth, Ruth 2.
God promises treasure in heaven for those who give generously for His work and for those in need:
· The poor widow gave even though she needed the coins for her own living, Luke 21:1-4.
· Barnabas sold his property and gave it to those in need, Acts 4:33-37.
· The Good Samaritan cared for his enemy, Luke 10:25-37.
· Jesus illustrated good stewardship with His parable of the faithful stewards, Luke 19:11-27.
· Jesus illustrated bad stewardship with His parable of the unfaithful steward, Luke 16:1-8.
Be good stewards and manage well what God has given us, whether money or goods (1 Cor. 4:2).
· Give cheerfully. God does not want what we give grudgingly (2 Cor. 9:6-15).
God answered prayers of faith:
Abraham made a magnificent
plea of intercession for
· Solomon made a moving prayer of dedication of God's temple and His people, 2 Churn. 6; 7:1-4.
· Ezra's made a heartfelt prayer of confession of sin on behalf of his people, which resulted in a national renewal, Ezra 9; Ezra 10:1-19.
God answers our prayers of faith:
· Peter and John healed a lame man by praying in Jesus' nameand were jailed for it, Acts 3 - 4.
· A Fathers' simple prayer for faith and healing of his demon-oppressed son, Mark 9:14-29.
· The sinful tax collector's brief prayer, Luke 18:9-14.
· Jesus told us how to pray (including the Lord's Prayer--'Our Father'), Matt. 6:1-15.
· Jesus prayed for His apostles and for us, John 17.
· Jesus yielded in prayer to the will of His Father, to give His life for us, Matt. 26:36-46.
Jesus told us to pray in His name, so that our joy may be full (John ).
· The apostle Paul told us to pray without ceasing (1 Theses. ).
· The apostle John told us to confess our sins to God (1 John 1:8-10).
Abraham sent his servant afar to seek a believing bride--Rebecca--for his son Isaac, Gen. 24.
God sent the Holy Spirit to seek a believing bride--the church--for His Son Jesus:
· Jesus promised the Comforter, who will convince us of sin and reveal Christ to us, John 14:15-26; John 16:7-16.
· The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and the first church is started among the Jews, Acts 2.
· The Holy Spirit came to the gentiles and the first gentile church is born in Cornelius' house, Acts 10.
Seek those that God has chosen to be His bride, the faithful, even in distant lands (Matt. 28:19-20).
The sovereign God granted grace to those he chose, not because of their good works:
· Jacob deceived his brother Esau but still receives God's blessing, Gen. 27 - 33.
· The following long story provides insight into ancient Hebrew culture, before they received God's law:
Ψ Jacob deceitfully robbed Esau of his birthright, Gen. 27.
Ψ Jacob worshipped God and saw a ladder to heaven; God repeated to Jacob promises made to Abraham. Gen. 28.
Ψ God punished Jacob's deceit--Laban deceived him, Gen. 29.
Ψ Because of Jacob's faith God blessed him with wealth and children, even though he did bad things, Gen. 30.
Ψ God protected Jacob from the wrath of both Laban and Esau; Jacob wrestles with an angel, Gen. 31 33.
Jesus forgave and blessed bad people because of their faith, not their works:
· Jesus forgave a sinful woman, Luke 7:36-50.
· Jesus explained with a parable that God calls both good and bad to feast with Him, Matt. 22:1-10.
· Jesus ate and drank with sinners, whom He came to save, and was criticized, Luke -32.
Thank God for forgiving us because of our faith, not our deeds (Rom. -30; -18).
· Take the good news of salvation to bad people as well as good, because Jesus came to seek the lost (Luke ).
Joseph served as the advocate for the sons of
· Joseph gained power and pleads with Pharaoh for his brothers who sold into slavery, Gen. 37 and Gen. 39 - 45.
· The following is a long story and you may deal with it in small parts. It contains lessons on forgiveness, purity, family ties, intercession and God's provision. Joseph's was a prophetic figure of Christ:
He was a shepherd,
Jesus serves as our advocate before the Father, even though we have sinned against Him:
· Jesus is the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, Luke 15:1-10.
· Jesus prayed to His Father to forgive those who crucify Him, Luke 23.
· Jesus told His disciples why we must forgive others, Matthew 18:15-35.
Pray in Jesus' name--He is our advocate with the Father, pleading for us (John ; Rom. -39).
· Forgive those who sin against us (Matt. 6:14-15; Eph. 4:32).
Events in the Time of Moses the
God prepared a deliverer to lead His people out of slavery in
· Miraculous events surrounded the birth of Moses, and the attempt to kill him, Exodus 1 - 2.
God prepared Moses in
Midian to be a leader of his people, called him from a burning bush to return
Moses' first miracle
was to convert water into blood--a curse upon
God provides a savior to deliver His people from the slavery of sin.
· Miraculous events surrounded the birth of Jesus, and the attempt to kill him, Matt. 1:18-25; Matt. 2.
· Jesus' preparation and baptism, and recognition by the Father that He is God's beloved Son, Matt. 3:13-17.
· Jesus' first miracle was to convert water into wine--a blessing (contrary to Moses first miracle) John 2.
Trust in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ to forgive and bring God's blessing (John ).
God instituted the annual
Feast of Unleavened Bread
It was to help His
people remember throughout the ages how He delivered them from slavery in
· The death angel saw the blood on the doorposts and passed over the houses of those who believed in God.
Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper to affirm His New Covenant in His blood, Luke 22.
· We celebrate this to help us remember throughout the ages how He delivered us from sin by shedding His blood.
We take part in Jesus' body and blood when we celebrate this new Passover feast (1 Cor. -17).
Jesus leads us out of the slavery of sin and death by His resurrection from the dead, Luke 24:
· Christ gives us eternal life because believers join Him in His resurrection, John 11.
We trust Christ alone--the only life-giver--to give us immortality (1 Cor. 15).
Moses provided food and water in the desert through God's miracles:
· God provided manna to eat, from heaven, Exodus 17:1-7.
· God provided water, from a rock, Num. 20:1-12.
Jesus provides the bread of life (His own body) and the water of life (the Holy Spirit) to believers:
· Jesus feeds 5,000 miraculously, then offers His flesh as bread from heaven for eternal life, offending many, John 6.
· Jesus promises God's Holy Spirit, to live in us, John 7:37-39 and counsel us, John -26.
Seek the true bread from heaven, not material, and receive God's Spirit (Matt. 6:31-34; John 20:21-23).
God provided elders to shepherd his people, Exodus 18:12-27.
God provides elders to serve as pastors or co-pastors in His churches, Acts 14 (notice verse 23).
Church planters name and train elders in new fields that lack experienced leaders (Titus 1:5-9).
· We obey the leaders that watch over us in God's churches (Heb. )
God engraved Ten Commandments in stone--the basis for
· Those who disobeyed the Old Testament law were put to death, Num. 25:1-11.
· God promised a New Covenant--His laws will be written in men's heart instead of on stone, Jeremiah 31:31-34.
The Lord Jesus Christ our Supreme Commander ordered us to obey His commands--the basis for our conduct in the New Covenant, Matt. 28:18-20. we do:
· Jesus is the rock foundation; obedience to His words is the only way we build on it Matt. -29.
· The first church obeyed all of Jesus' commands in their most basic form, Acts 2:37-47:
· They repented, believed, and received the Holy Spirit, Mark 1:15; John ; .
· They were baptized and began the new transformed life that it initiates, Matthew 28:18-20.
· They loved one another, as seen in their fellowship and care for the needy. Love includes God, our neighbor, fellow disciples, the needy--in a practical way--and enemies (forgive), Matt. 22:36-40; John 13:34-35, Luke 10:25-37; Matt. 5:43-48.
· They broke bread (Communion, related to our worship), Matthew 26:26-28; John .
· They prayed (this includes private and family devotions, intercession and spiritual warfare), John .
· They gave (this includes stewardship of our time, treasure and talents), Luke .
· They made disciples (this includes witnessing for Christ, shepherding, teaching the Word, training leaders and sending missionaries), Matthew 28:18-20.
· Jesus' main commands for us are to love God and man, which sum up all the Old Testament laws, Matt. 22:33-40.
· Jesus rebukes Pharisees enforcing commands of men and neglecting commands of God, Mark 7:1-23; Matt. 23.
We are now led by the Holy Spirit, who produces the fruit of holiness in us (
· We avoid the legalism of the old law of death, and embrace the New Covenant of life and freedom (2 Cor. 3:3-18).
· Let the Holy Spirit convince us of our sin (John 16:5-15).
God's old covenant had a special day of rest and worship:
· God set apart the seventh day, looking back at His rest after the old physical creation, Exodus 20:8-11.
· God commanded His people to slay a man who gathered firewood on the Sabbath day: Num. 15:30-36.
God's new covenant has a special day of worship:
· Believers worship on the first day, when Jesus rose again, looking forward to the new, eternal creation, Acts 20:7.
· Jesus announces the new covenant, Luke 22:13-20.
We follow the New Covenant. It liberates us from the law of death, which we could not fulfill (2 Cor 3:6-9).
· We avoid the legalism of old law, which required circumcision and keeping special days (Gal. 4:8-10; Gal. 5:5-14).
We are free to
worship on any day: (
God punished those who worshipped the golden calf, Exodus 32.
God will punish those who worship idols with terrible plagues, at the end of the age, Rev. 9.
Flee from idolatry of any form, which includes greed (1 Cor. ; Col. 3:5).
God offered the Israelites the blessings of the Promised Land but for lack of faith they failed to possess it:
· Twelve spies probed the land, but the people feared to do so and wandered in the desert for 40 years, Num. 13 - 14.
The apostle Paul offered the message of salvation to King Agrippa, who refuses to believe, Acts 26.
We seek the Lord while He may be found, Isaiah 55:6-7.
God ordered Moses to erect a sanctuary where He would meet with His people, in the
· God gave strict instructions for making this tabernacle and the clothing of the priests, Exodus 25 - 31, Exodus 35 - 40.
· The entire book of Leviticus explains the sacrifices and priests service in the sanctuary.
· The sanctuary had three parts, each with its furnishings, listed below, Exodus 40.
Ψ The outer court for worshippers. It had an altar for burnt offerings, and a water tank for priests to wash (Exodus 38). The altar symbolized the cross of Christ and his sacrifice that gained eternal salvation and ended the need for animal sacrifices (Heb. 9 -10). The tank may be compared to baptism, by which all believers wash and become priests of the New Covenant.
Ψ The Most Holy place--only the high priest could enter, once a year. A huge red veil, symbolizing Christ's flesh, separated it. It held the most sacred Ark of the Covenant, a box overlaid with gold, with cherubim (holy angels) on top. God's visible glory glowed above it--indicating the presence of God among His people, symbolizing Jesus.
· The people offered blood sacrifices as a temporary atonement for their sins, in the tabernacle court, Exodus 29:36-41.
· The High Priest's sons offered strange fire, without the blood, in the Most Holy Place and God slew them, Lev. 10.
Only the High Priest
· King Solomon centuries later replaced the tabernacle, a huge portable tent, with a magnificent temple, 1 Kings 5 - 6.
Jesus, by His death, resurrection and ascension, entered the heavenly tabernacle as our present High Priest:
· Jesus, by becoming a man, being tempted and suffering, became our perfect High Priest, Heb. 2:14-18.
· Jesus, who lives forever, replaces the old High Priest and all the related sacrifices and services, Heb. 7 - 9.
Draw near to God with confidence, persevere and encourage other believers (Heb. 10).
Part 5. Israel in the desert, Joshua, Gideon
Family. God instructed parents to teach their children his laws, Deut. 6:1-9.
Jesus gave instructions for marriage and blessed little children, Matthew 5:31-32; Matt. 19:13-15.
Cultivate loving, respectful family relationships.
· Husbands are to love their wives, who are to submit to their husbands (Eph. -33).
· Paul instructs children to obey their parents, and fathers to instruct their children in the faith (Eph. 6:1-4).
God told Moses to forbid witchcraft, contact with the dead or talking with spirits, Deut. 18:9-12.
· King Saul consulted with the Witch of Endor about a battle and God ended his reign, 1 Sam. 28:6-25; 1 Sam. 31.
Christ overcomes all evil spirits, including Satan:
· Jesus cast many demons out of the Gadarene men, and into pigs, among many others, Matt. 8:28-34; Matt. 12:22-32.
· Christ in the last days will destroy Satan and his reign forever, Rev. 12; Rev. 20:1-10.
Avoid all witchcraft and pray in Jesus' name for demonized persons (Gal. -21; Luke 10:9).
God forbade unholy war booty to be brought in His holy camp; jewels and precious metals passed a trial by fire: Num. 31.
God warns that we cannot take contraband into heaven--our works will be tried by fire: 1 Cor. 3:10-15.
· Jesus warns against greed and clinging to riches, in His parable of the rich fool, Luke 12:14-31.
Lay up treasures in heaven instead of riches on earth (Matt. -21).
Some used their wealth to serve God, others coveted it wrongly or used it selfishly:
Balak paid Balaam to
· Wealthy Nabal selfishly denies food to David's hungry soldiers, but God changes the situation, 1 Samuel 25.
King Hezekiah showed
off the royal riches to messengers from
· King Solomon had great riches, many wives, and indulged in every pleasure, but found it all empty, Eccl. 2:1-11.
Jesus warned of hoarding wealth with a parable of a selfish rich man who woke up in hell, Luke 16:19-31.
Believers with wealth, or who desire it, heed God's warning that wealth will cause us pain (James 5:1-6).
Events in the Time of the Judges of
Joshua conquered for God, defeating in battle the pagan nations that occupied the Promised Land:
· God commanded Joshua to be courageous and drive out the idolatrous nations from the Promised Land, Joshua 1:1-11.
The pagan city
· God let Joshua's army be defeated temporarily because of a traitor's idolatry, Joshua 7 - 8.
· Joshua defeated several strong kings in military campaigns, to occupy the land, Joshua 9 - 11.
The apostles conquered for God, defeating Satan as they take the gospel to the pagan nations of the world:
The church in
· Paul and Barnabas take long missionary journeys, into distant lands and other cultures, Acts 13 - 14; Acts 16 -21.
· Paul proclaims Jesus to Jewish leaders and skeptic rulers Festus and Agrippa, even though it means prison, Acts 20 -26.
Send the apostles that God gives your church to neglected fields (Eph. -12; Acts 1:8).
· Today's apostles continue to drive Satan back as God's kingdom spreads throughout the earth (Rev. 15:4).
· Face God's enemies with courage, and bear the suffering that it brings (Matt. -42).
God brought faithful aliens to be included among
Rahab hid God's spies by faith, and was spared when the city of
Moabitess widow Ruth
out of love for her mother-in-law Naomi came to
Syrian army general
Naaman, after battling his pride, bathed in
Christ's church embraces all nations:
· Jesus tested, and then rewarded, a Sidonian woman's faith, Matt. 15:21-28.
· Jesus heals the servant of a Roman Centurion because of the army captain's faith, Luke 7:1-10.
· The apostle Paul makes missionary journeys to many nations, Acts 13 - 14; Acts 17 - 20.
Jesus commands us to evangelize and make disciples of all nations, Luke 24:46-48; Matthew 28:18-20.
God used weak persons to defeat the strong:
· Gideon with 300 soldiers followed God's surprising instructions and defeated a huge army, Judg. 6 - 7.
· The shepherd boy David defeats the Philistine giant, 1 Sam. 17.
God uses weak and flawed persons to do great things:
· Peter denied Jesus, but God used him mightily after he received the Holy Spirit, Matt. 26: 31-35, 69-75.
Confess our sins and weaknesses to God.
· Trust in God's power, not in man's wisdom and wealth (1 Cor. 1 - 2).
· Pray for strength, like Paul who said "I can do anything through Christ's strength" (Philip. ).
· Wage spiritual warfare by using the spiritual armor and weapons that God provides, (Eph -18)
Part 6, Ruth, Job, Samuel
God enabled faithful women like Ruth, Deborah and Esther to do His work:
Deborah led a
courageous military campaign to free
· See also the entire books of Ruth and Esther.
God enables faithful women to do His work:
· Mary agreed to be the handmaid of the Lord and sang a magnificent prayer of praise, Luke 1:22-56.
· Priscilla made tents with her husband and thus helped to start several churches, and mentored Apollos, Acts 18.
· Dorcas made clothes for the poor, Acts 9:36-43.
Respect and honor women, and praise virtuous women of faith (Proverbs 31:10-31; Eph. -33).
· Encourage Christian women to do ministries for which God has gifted them (example, Philip's daughters, Acts 21:8-9).
God let evil people punish his erring children, and also let righteous people suffer:
· The book of Judges gives examples of how God's people fell into idolatry and other sins, then God let pagans oppress them. When they repented, God sent a deliverer and they lived in peace--until they sinned again, repeating the cycle.
Samson, in spite of
his moral weakness, let God use him to free
· The Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and put it in the fish-god Dagon's temple. On the third day Dagon's head broke off, just as Jesus entered the old serpent Satan's former realm of death, but crushed his head to free the prisoners as He rose the third day. Cows, with no man to lead them, returned the Ark to Israel, just as the victorious Christ appeared to His disciples after he rose, and ascended to glory, 1 Sam. 4 -6.
· Job was a righteous man but suffered greatly and questioned God but never turned against him, Job 1 - 42. (This is a very long story and needs to be summarized or taught in parts. The key chapters are Job 1- 4 and 40 -42).
God allows us to suffer, so we can share His glory later, and punishes those who oppress His children:
· King Herod beheaded John the Baptist and slew James and others, but later was eaten by worms, Acts 12.
stoned Stephen to death in
· Paul the Apostle suffered beatings and stoning from Jews, was robbed and shipwrecked, 2 Cor. 11:22-33; Acts 27 - 28.
Rejoice when we suffer for Christ, because our reward in glory will be great (1 Peter -19).
· We suffer in the world because it hated Christ and hates us, but we will be rewarded (John -27; Rom. -39)
· Bear the cross that Jesus gives us (Luke -26).
Events in the Time of the Kings of
God prepared His prophets and leaders, such as Joseph, Moses and Daniel in different ways:
· Hannah gave her child Samuel to the High Priest Eli, to serve God; he received a startling message for Eli, 1 Sam. 1 - 3.
· The Israelites begged Samuel to anoint a king to lead them and he warned them of what would happen, but they persisted, so he anointed Saul, a strong warrior, to the great pleasure of the people: 1 Sam. 8 - 10.
Saul reigned well,
defeating many of
· David, like Moses, learned to be a good shepherd herding his father Jesse's sheep as a lad, 1 Sam. 16; 1 Sam 17:33-37.
· David became a strong warrior but King Saul became jealous forced him to keep running and hiding. God used this to teach David to trust in Him (as many of his Psalms reflect), 1 Sam. 18 - 31. These chapters contain many war stories.
· Isaiah saw a frightening vision of the Lord in His temple and felt so sinful that he fell, Isaiah 6.
many things, including being put in a pit when he prophesied that
God prepares His leaders:
· Peter and the other eleven original apostles spent three years accompanying Jesus the Master, Mark 3:13-19.
Paul the apostle
suffered many things, and spent time in
We should continue to develop our skills as we serve the Lord, and make willing sacrifices:
Moses left the riches
· This preparation includes studying the Word of God, like you are doing now, and teaching it to your family, your people, and newer leaders (2 Tim. 2:2).
God let good leaders like David and his son Solomon rule His people when they turned from idols and obeyed Him, but let bad kings reign cruelly when they worshipped idols. Most of the kings were bad.
· Solomon begins his reign by asking God for wisdom. His wise decisions attract people from afar, 1 Kings 3; -34.
· Solomon built God's temple and brought the Ark of the Covenant to it with great pomp and ceremony, 1 Kings 8.
· The Queen of Sheba comes far to see Solomon's glory and is astonished by his wisdom and wealth, 1 Kings 10:1-13.
idols and taught God's laws to all
Josiah the boy King listened
to his advisors and brought spiritual renewal to
· Hezekiah, like the kings Uzziah and Asa, brought Judah 2 Chron. 29 - 32.
God gives good shepherds to serve His flocks when they follow His Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit:
Paul told his
apprentice Titus to name the right kind of elders to pastor the new churches
Part 7, Jeroboam, Ahab, Elijah
God sent His prophets to warn bad kings and the people to repent:
· Solomon's foolish son Rehoboam refused to ease the people's harsh taxes, which provoked Jeroboam and the northern tribes to separate, dividing the kingdom--Israel in the North and Judah in the south, 1 Kings 12.
Jeroboam, first king
Many kings followed
Jeroboam's bad example. Ahab allowed almost all
Elijah also challenged
the prophets of Baal to meet with him and Ahab on
· Elijah fell into despair at feeling alone but was nourished by God's angel, 1 Kings 19.
· Elijah convinced the most evil king Ahab to repent, 1 Kings 21.
· Ahab spurned the prophecy of Micaiah and caused his own violent death, 1 Kings 22.
· Elijah brought fire from heaven down upon the messengers of evil King Ahaziah, 2 Kings 1.
· Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire but the Lord passed on his powers to his apprentice Elisha, 2 Kings 2.
· Elisha by God's power enabled a poor widow to pay her debts, 2 Kings 4.
· Elisha by God's power enabled the Syrian army captain Naaman to be cleansed of leprosy, 2 Kings 5.
Elijah by God's power
caused the defeat of the invading army from
God's punishment and the fall of
The kings and people
grew more evil and
· Jonah, the first missionary, was sent to another nation and, until God taught him to obey, resisted God's command, Jonah.
Jesus warned His followers against bad leaders--wolves that lead God's people astray:
· Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep to reveal the joy in heaven when a sinner repents, Luke 15:1-10.
· Jesus illustrated God's grace, which leads men to repent, with His parable of the Wasteful Son, Luke 15:11-32.
· Peter proclaimed the gospel and calls the large group of listeners at Pentecost to repent, Acts 2:1-41.
· Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath and hypocritical religious leaders resented that He did it on the Sabbath day, John 9.
· Saul of Tarsus imprisoned Christians and caused their death, but converted and became Paul the apostle, Acts 9:1-31.
· Jesus warned of wolves, who would pretend to be devout Christian leaders but are false, Matt. 7:15-20.
· John the Baptist warned Herod about his adultery. Herod imprisoned and later beheaded John, Matt. 14.
· Jesus warned of the leavening of the Pharisees--self-righteousness and rules of men, Luke 12:1; Matt. 15:1-20.
Paul warned the
· God, through the prophecy of John, warned of an Anti-Christ's ruthless persecution of believers, Rev. 13.
· John's visions also warned of terrible judgments coming upon men who do not repent, Rev. 16 - 18.
· John's visions also promised a glorious 'wedding feast' in heaven for those who repent, Rev. 19.
· John's visions reveal the final judgment of the unrepentant, before God's great white throne, Rev. 20.
· John's visions also reveal the new heavens and earth in which we will live and reign forever with Christ, where there are no tears, no curse and no pain, Rev. 21 -22.
Watch over the flock that God has given us to shepherd, starting with our own families (Acts -32).
· Name as leaders responsible, mature persons who have proven their ability, (1 Timothy 3).
· Shun those who cause divisions (Titus -11).
· Our congregation must avoid the common errors that weaken churches, that Christ warns us of in Rev. 2 - 3.
· Seek the Holy Spirit's daily renewal (2 Cor. -18).
· Assure suffering believers of their eternal reward (1 Peter 1:6-9; 1 John 3:1-3).
Lucifer "king of
Satan wars ceaselessly against God's people:
· Following a war in heaven, Satan was cast out of heaven with the other fallen angels that had joined him, Rev. 12:7-9.
· The devil tempted Jesus, Matt. 4.
· Jesus warned that Satan would send his evil spirits like birds to snatch the seed of the Word of God from our hearts, Matt. 13.
· Satan moved Judas to betray Jesus, John 13:21-30; John 18:1-12.
· Satan caused even believing Christians Ananias and Sapphira to sin, Acts 5:1-11.
Resist Satan and he will flee from us (James 4:7).
· Beware of Satan as he stalks us like a roaring lion, to see whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Part 8, Esther, Daniel,
Events in the Time of the
Captivity of the Remnant of
God protected the remnant that worshipped Him alone, while they were in captivity:
· Mordecai helped his niece, the brave Queen Esther, to plan the destruction of God's enemies, Esther (the entire book).
· God protected Daniel's three friends in the blazing furnace, Dan. 3, and Daniel in the lions Den, Dan. 6.
Jesus the Good Shepherd promises to keep His followers secure in His hands forever, John 10 :7-39.
Trust in God's infinite grace to keep His children in His hands forever, Rom 8:28-39.
God provided faithful leaders to restore His people and organize them to serve Him:
Cyrus King of
· The people who returned began rebuilding the temple with great shouts of joy and tears, Ezra 3.
Nehemiah asked King
Artaxerxes permission to rebuild
Nehemiah led armed
workers in rebuilding
· The people heard and heeded God's Word, confessed their sins and repented in the greatest national renewal in history, Ezra 8 - 9.
God gives gifts and power through His Holy Spirit for us to lead, serve one another and help the needy:
· Jesus ate with repentant sinners and brought God's grace to them, Mark 2:13-17.
· We use spiritual gifts in harmony with others' gifts to serve one another in the church body, in love, 1 Cor. 12:14-31.
· Paul told his apprentices to name and train other church leaders, to keep the process multiplying, Titus 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:2,
Plan by faith to mobilize our people for God's work (Eph -16).
· Commission and send new workers to where they are most needed (Acts 13:1-3; Titus 1:5).
Significant Events in the Time of Jesus' Earthly Life.
· Jesus' birth: Matt. 1-2; Luke 2.
· Jesus' baptism: Matt. 3.
· Jesus' temptation by the devil: Matt. 4.
· Jesus calls twelve disciples who later become the apostles: Matt. 4:18-21; 9:9-13; John 1:35-51; Mark -19.
· Jesus' transfiguration: Matt. 17.
· Jesus Institutes the Lord's Supper: Matt. 26:17-29.
Jesus' agony in
· Jesus' trials before several authorities: Mark 14:55-64; John 18:28-40; 19:1-16.
· Jesus' crucifixion: Matt. 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19:17-37.
· Jesus' burial: John 19:38-42.
· Jesus' resurrection and appearances: Matt. 28; John 20-21.
· Jesus' Great Commission to make disciples of all peoples, proclaiming repentance and forgiveness in the power of the Holy Spirit: Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8.
· Jesus' ascension: Luke 24:50-53.
Significant Events Following Jesus' Ascension to Glory.
· The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Jewish believers at Pentecost: Acts 2.
· Stephen is stoned to death after summarizing the history of the Old Testament Israelites: Acts 7.
· The first gentile church; Gentile converts also receive the Holy Spirit: Acts 10.
· The first missionary team: Acts 13 - 14.
· The first inter-church council: Acts 15.
· The final judgment: Rev. 20:11-15.