27 May 2015

Bible Study--Thessalonians

wheat field 1 thess 4


A1 Scripture

B1 Furthermore we plead with you, brothers, and urge you by the Lord Jesus that just as you received from us how you must live your life and please God, and that this would increase more and more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your purity. You must stay away from fornication. Each of you must know how to take control of his body in purity and honor, not in the passionate lust, like the Gentiles, who don't know God, have. Let no one go beyond these limits and take advantage of his brother in any thing, because the Lord is an avenger of all these, as we also forewarned you and earnestly testified. For God has not called us to be impure but to be pure. Therefore the one who despises, doesn't despise man but God, who has also given us his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, WEL).

B2 Finally then, brothers, we request of you and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, that you should abound more. For you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from fornication, that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God, that no one should transgress against and to defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger concerning all, just as we told you before and solemnly testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in sanctification. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has given His Holy Spirit to you. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 EMTV)

A2 Outline--Continue in the process of sanctification

B1 A pleading--build on what you have, increase

B2 Commandments--the Kingdom Laws

C1 Purity

C2 No fornication

C3 Self-control

C4 Not to take advantage of brethren

B3 A judgment and punishment

C1 Jesus is Judge

C2 There is a Judgment Day

C3 He is the avenger

B4 A call

C1 To be pure

C2 Not to despise these rules

C3 God is witness

B5 A giving--the Holy Spirit

A3 Notes

B1 A pleading

C1 The word pleading is erotao and means to ask with emotion and seriousness, thus plead, beseech, and entreat.

C2 Compare Mark 7:26, John 4:40, and John 17:9 for examples.

C3 The plea here is for the Thessalonians to live by God's rules and to obey them consistently.

B2 A law

C1 The legislator and King of these laws is Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church

C2 Obeying these laws is good and pleases God.

C3 Our consistency needs to increase.

C4 Sanctification

D1 The Greek word is hagiasmos and means purification. In the Christian sense it would be a purity as defined by God.

D2 Sanctification means to make holy. Holy is not to sin in thoughts, desires, words, or deeds.

C5 Given by Jesus and passed to the Christians by the Apostles and those who were taught by them.

C6 Will of God

D1 There are consistent rules of the Kingdom.

D2 Humans rebel against these rules.

C7 Some ways to grow and stay in sanctification

D1 Don't sin in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds

D2 No fornication

E1 Lustful passion

E2 Something non-Christians are prone to

D3 Don't defraud brother

E1 Brother means fellow Christian either male or female

E2 Basically it is to cheat someone out of something.

F1 Selling something as high quality when it is junk.

F2 It is a form of lying to induce another to buy something when they don't need it or use it.

F3 It is getting rich at someone's expensive.

F4 It is taking advantage of someone.

F5 It is making false promises about something that is not true.

F6 It is deceiving another for financial (or some other) gain.

F7 It is false promises.

F8 It is not paying what was promised whether it be wages or anything else. James 5;4

B3 A judgment and punishment

C1 Jesus is the judge. 2 Timothy 4:1, Matthew 16:27, Acts 10:42, Acts 17:31, etc.

C2 There is a Judgment day. Matthew 10:15, Matthew 11:22, 2 Peter 2:9

D1 There is no judgment based on the balance scale as in "I have done more good than bad, so God will let me in heaven."

D2 It will be based on God's rules primarily the Ten Commandments (a summary of God's law).

D3 Even one sin leads to punishment, and all people have committed many sins every day of their life.

D4 Consider the list in Romans 1:28-32 or Galatians 5:19-21

C3 Jesus is the avenger

D1 Avenge is to pay back something for the harm they did. In this case Jesus pays back those who have ruined creation by their sins. Jesus is the one who punishes. Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 1:18, Ephesians 5:6, 2 Thessalonians 1:8

D2 Paul has warned them and testified of these things when he was there.

B4 A call

C1 To be pure

D1 This is pure by God's standards not ours. We are not to compare ourselves to another and think we are better. We are to compare ourselves to God's rules.

D2 Pure is without spot or stain. The only one who did this correctly is Jesus Christ. The rest of us must confess our sins and ask forgiveness from the one we offended, sinned against. That one is God.

C2 To not despise these rules

C3 God is witness

D1 He knows what we say.

D2 He knows that we are telling the truth.

B5 A giving--the Holy Spirit

C1 All Christians have the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:9

C2 The Holy Spirit is a gift to us. Acts 2:38

C3 The Holy Spirit helps us.

D1 Teaches us 1 John 2:27, 1 Corinthians 2:13

D2 Prays for us Romans 8:26

D3 Clarifies our prayer Romans 8:27

D4 Helps us to respond verbally, gives us a wise answer. Matthew 10:20

D5 Convicts of sin John 16:8

D6 Encourages us 1 John 3:24, 1 John 4:13

Saul Is Converted

saul is converted


A1 Theme--Jesus will build His church


A2 Objectives

B1 Describe Saul's conversion.

B2 Contrast Saul/Paul before and after his conversion.


A3 Scriptures

B1 Acts 8:1-3--Saul starts persecution of God's people

B2 Acts 9:1-33--Saul's conversion

B3 1 Timothy 1:13--Characteristics of Saul/Paul pre-conversion

B4 1 Corinthians 15:9--Paul's past

B5 2 Corinthians 5:17--Paul's grief

B6 Galatians 1:10-17--A summary of Paul's life


A4 Notes

B1 Acts 8:1-3--Start of persecution

C1 Saul

C2 Persecution of Jerusalem church

C3 Most scattered throughout a wide area

C4 Stephen buried and mourned

C5 Saul is successful at arresting men and women and bringing them to prison

B2 Acts 9:1-33--Saul's conversion

C1 Traveling to Damascus

C2 Jesus's message to Saul.

C3 Jesus's instructions to Saul.

C4 Jesus's instructions to Ananias

C5 Saul preaches

C6 Saul persecuted

C7 Saul escapes

C8 Saul goes to Jerusalem where he is persecuted and sent away by the brethren

B3 1 Timothy 1:13--Personal characteristics of Saul/Paul pre-conversion

B4 1 Corinthians 15:9--Paul's view and grief from his past.

B5 Galatians 1:10-17--A summary of Paul's life

C1 How he learned the correct Gospel

C2 His life as a dedicated Pharisee

D1 Persecutor of Christians

D2 Further advanced than most of his age in

E1 Zeal

E2 Education

C3 How God brought about his salvation

D1 Chosen

E1 This is by foreknowledge Romans 8:29-30, 1 Peter 1:2

E2 Foreknowledge is knowing beforehand, before it happens. Foreknowledge is NOT God's decree. Some believe that in essence God decreed everything that comes about and has a very good memory so it is perfect. This definition is not foreknowledge that God truly knows the future. Yes, God is that type of being that truly knows the future. God does, however, predestinate, preordain, some things that will happen as in the case of Jesus being the Messiah and would die as the Passover Lamb.

D2 Here it is most reasonable to understand that God know Paul would believe and initiated salvation, open his eyes and heart to the truth and knew that Paul would believe and trust in Jesus Christ.

C4 "...set me apart..."

D1 Truly knowing the future that Paul would believe, God then chose Paul to be the missionary Apostle to the Gentiles.

D2 Compare Jeremiah 1:5, Acts 13:2, etc.

D3 For further information see here.

C5 "...called me by His grace..."

D1 The Greek word for called is kaleō and means an invitation.

D2 The Greek word for grace is charis and means something that is not deserved or earned. It is something that is pleasing and delightful.

D3 God did not have to do this; He wanted to do this. Most do not respond with faith.

C6 The three years in Arabia, of which we know little.


A5 Questions

B1 Who is left in Jerusalem? (Apostles and a few others) Why?

B2 Where was the persecution started? (Jerusalem)

B3 Where were the believers scattered? (Though out Judea and Samaria)

B4 Is this soft or hard persecution? (Hard) What is the difference? Have you ever experienced persecution?

C1 Soft

D1 Loss of job

D2 Loss of educational opportunities

D3 Financial loss

D4 Ignoring

C2 Hard

D1 Death

D2 Rape

D3 Burning and loss of house/possessions

D4 Imprisonment

D5 Torture

B5 What is the motivation for persecuting? (Jealousy, hate, pride, etc.)

B6 What is Saul going to Damascus? (He wanted even more imprisonments)

B7 Who is agreeing with his travels? (High priest)

B8 Where on the journey did Paul have this experience? (As they drew close to Damascus). Why there?

B9 What was the first thing that happened? (Bright light)

B10 What was the next thing that happened? (Jesus's voice)

B11 What did Jesus say to Saul?

B12 Did Saul answer Jesus's question? (No) What did he say to Jesus? (Who are you Lord?)

B13 What did Jesus answer?

B14 What did the others traveling with Saul hear? (Voice) Did they understand what was being said? (No)

B15 What was the first proof Saul had repented?

C1 Did not go to synagogues.

C2 Did not arrest anyone.

C3 Obeyed Jesus's command.

B16 Was his response faith of works? (Faith to believe and works proving his faith)

B17 Was Ananias excited about what Jesus wanted him to do? (No, but he did it anyway)

B18 How does the actions of Saul and Ananias apply to us?

B19 What were the things that Ananias to tell Saul?

C1 Go to Judas' house and talk to Saul

C2 Saul is a chosen instrument of mine

C3 To tell/teach about Jesus to Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel

C4 How much he is to suffer because of Jesus's name

C5 Pray for Saul's healing

B20 How did Saul respond?

C1 Talked to Ananias

C2 Allowed Ananias to pray for him

C3 Was baptized

C4 Ate food

B21 What is filled with the Spirit?

C1 All Christians have the Holy Spirit

D1 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

(Romans 8:9 EMTV)

D2 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!"

(Galatians 4:6 EMTV)

C2 Filled is empowerment to do God's will

B22 What were Saul/Paul's personal characteristics pre-conversion?

C1 Blasphemer

D1 How did Paul blaspheme? (Wrong concept of God and God's will)

D2 What commandment did Paul break? (3rd--"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7 NKJV)

C2 Persecutor

C3 Insolent, that is, verbal abusive, bully, insulter, etc.

B23 Did Paul think he was worthy to be an Apostle? (No, 1 Corinthians 15:9)

B24 Why did Paul still grieve over his pre-conversion activities.

B25 How can we know and learn the correct Gospel? (The Apostles--including Paul--were taught by Jesus himself).

B26 What is most impressive about Saul/Paul's conversion?

B27 Can even the most evil person be forgiven and regenerated?

22 May 2015

Why Unanswered Prayer?


praying on the street


Photo credit: TheeErin / Foter / CC BY-ND


Why is it that our prayers are not answered?


Consider these verses:

  1. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:24 EMTV)

  2. "Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone that asks receives, and he that seeks finds, and to him that knocks, it shall be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 EMTV)

  3. …You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2 EMTV)

  4. For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that the things which he says are coming to pass, whatever he says shall be his. For this reason I say to you, all things whatsoever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive them, and they will be yours. (Mark 11:23-24 EMTV)


Why is wrong here? God promises doesn't He? Consider what the supporters of "name it, claim it" have to say here, here, and here (The last is a "Life Coach"). But! Where's reality? Does God HAVE to do everything we ask? No. Even Kenneth Hagin Ministries has to ask for donations.


It is so bad with these people. Consider this quote from Fredrick Price, "If you have to say, 'If it be thy will' or 'Thy will be done.' If you have to say that, you are calling God a fool" (Frederick Price). Jesus said, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10 EMTV Compare Matthew 26:42).


For some more in depth articles on the Word of Faith, Positive Confession, and etc. movement see
, here, and here.


So why does God not answer our prayers? When we pray for healing, why does He sometimes not heal? When we pray for money that we need, it does not come? When we pray for rain, it does not rain?


D1 Sometimes God's will is "no.

E1 It is better for the Kingdom of God to say "no."

E2 The need of another person may be different by answering you "no," the needs of another person please Him to answer "yes." Example, you may pray for rain but another prays that it does not rain. God, who knows best, sends rain. The answer to your prayer is "no" but to the other "yes."

E3 Even the Lord Jesus had the answer to His prayer as "no." Matthew 26:39

D2 Sometimes we have the opportunity.

E1 God opens the way, but we refuse because of fear, etc.

E2 God opens the way, but we are hindered by the devil in some way (1 Thessalonians 2:18)

D3 Sometimes God's will to wait. (John 11:3, John 11:6, John 11:43-44)

D4 Sometimes we have sin. (Psalm 66:18,

E1 We have neglected God's rules and counsel (Proverbs 1:28)

E2 We do not have mercy on others. (Proverbs 21:13)

E3 We despise God's Word, the Bible. (Proverbs 28:9)

E4 We have unconfessed sin (Isaiah 1:15)

E5 We are stubborn and do not humble ourselves that God is right and we are wrong. (Zechariah 7:13)

E6 We are selfish or greedy and want more for the sake of having more/hording. (James 4:3)

D5 Sometimes we do not have faith. (James 1:6-7)

D6 Sometimes we do not treat our wife that way God wants us. (1 Peter 3:7)

D7 Sometimes we give up. (Luke 18:1)

D8 Sometimes we are not sincere (Hebrews 10:22)

D9 Sometimes an answered prayer will may us proud. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Sunday School Lesson--The Gospel Spreads

Gospel spreads

A1 Theme--God is sovereign over all things.


A2 Objectives

B1 Explain how the Gospel spread in Samaria.

B2 Explain how the Gospel spread to Ethiopia.

A3 Scriptures

B1 Acts 8:1-8

B2 Acts 8:26-40

B3 Romans 8:28-30

A4 Notes

B1 Saul

C1 Was one of the establishment

C2 A Pharisee

C3 Zealous for God

C4 Ignorant of God's truth

B2 Persecution--Why

C1 Someone's standard is what they think is best

C2 Relativism philosophy

D1 Everybody is right in their own eyes

D2 Their standard is the best

D3 So who wins? The one with the gun

C3 Best solution? Truth

C4 Truth rejected leads to chaos.

C5 The one suffering must

D1 Entrust himself to God (1 Peter 4:19)

D2 Pray for help

D3 Pray for enemies (Matthew 5:44)

B3 Philip

C1 Preacher

C2 Deacon

C3 Faithful

C4 Godly

C5 Full of the Holy Spirit

A5 Questions

B1 What did Saul think of Stephan? (Wanted him dead). Why?

B2 Does God want persecution to spread the Gospel? (No, He wants people to repent and believe the Gospel. Persecution is happening and people are scattering, but God does not ordain persecution to spread the Gospel. God wanted the High Priest to repent and believe as well as his family, the elders, the Scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the carpenters, the business men and women, etc. God wants persecutors to repent and believe. A good example of this is Saul (Paul).

B3 How dedicated was Saul to find, imprison, and torture Christians? (He traveled to various places)

B4 Saul/Paul was ignorant (I, who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I was shown mercy, because, being ignorant, I did it in unbelief, (1 Timothy 1:13 EMTV)), so what method of interpretation did he use, what was the real final authority for him, and why and how did this happen? Does it happen today? (Paul interpreted Scripture by his theological training).

B5 Who is Philip? (Deacon and preacher to the Samaritans).

B6 Who is Simon? (A magician who became a Christian then coveted the Apostles thinking he could buy God's gifts). Are gifts a work?

B7 What was Simon's main sin? (Covetousness)

B8 Why did Peter rebuke him so harshly? (Simon's sin was very serious).

B9 Should preachers and others rebuke today? (Yes, sin still occurs).

B10 What was Philip's next assignment? (The Ethiopian eunuch).

B11 What was the eunuch reading? (Isaiah 53:7-8)

B12 How did the eunuch respond to Philip's teaching on this passage? (He believed)

B13 Why is faith important? (Without it we cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6).

B14 Where did Philip go after preaching and baptizing the eunuch? (Preaching in other cities, Acts 8:40)

B15 Is the Christian life one of ease, riches, health, wealth, and emotional happiness? Why do the TV type preachers teach this? (They make people feel good and to get more money by a good sales pitch).

Bible Study

1 Thess 3:11

A1 Scripture

B1 Now God and our Father himself and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. And may the Lord have you increase and be abundant in love towards one another and towards all just as we do toward you. For the purpose that He may strengthen your hearts to be unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his holy ones. (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, WEL)Now

B2 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, lead us directly to you. And may the Lord make you to increase and abound in love toward one another and toward all men, as indeed we also do toward you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 EMTV)

A2 Outline--Paul's Prayer

B1 May we see you again

C1 The answerer to prayer

D1 God our Father

D2 Lord Jesus Christ

C2 The director (how we can see you again)

B2 May He bless you

C1 Love (may it

D1 Increase

D2 Abound

C2 Love (to

D1 Each other

D2 All

C3 Purpose (for

D1 Strengthen hearts

D2 Being unblameable in holiness

C4 Holiness

D1 In God's presence

D2 At the coming

E1 Of the Lord Jesus Christ

E2 With His holy ones


A3 Notes

B1 Desire

C1 To see these believers who want to grow, have been growing, and are growing in the faith.

C2 To see their growing faith

B2 Acknowledgment

C1 The desire to see them is one thing but to be able to get there is another.

C2 Their weakness, God's strength

C3 It is interesting that it is not recorded that they did get to see one another.

C4 Unanswered prayer

D1 Sometimes God's will is "no.

E1 It is better for the Kingdom of God to say "no."

E2 The need of another person may be different by answering you "no," the needs of another person please Him to answer "yes." Example, you may pray for rain but another prays that it does not rain. God, who knows best, sends rain. The answer to your prayer is "no" but to the other "yes."

E3 Even the Lord Jesus had the answer to His prayer as "no." Matthew 26:39

D2 Sometimes we have the opportunity.

E1 God opens the way, but we refuse because of fear, etc.

E2 God opens the way, but we are hindered by the devil in some way (1 Thessalonians 2:18)

D3 Sometimes God's will to wait. (John 11:3, John 11:6, John 11:43-44)

D4 Sometimes we have sin. (Psalm 66:18,

E1 We have neglected God's rules and counsel (Proverbs 1:28)

E2 We do not have mercy on others. (Proverbs 21:13)

E3 We despise God's Word, the Bible. (Proverbs 28:9)

E4 We have unconfessed sin (Isaiah 1:15)

E5 We are stubborn and do not humble ourselves that God is right and we are wrong. (Zechariah 7:13)

E6 We are selfish or greedy and want more for the sake of having more/hording. (James 4:3)

D5 Sometimes we do not have faith. (James 1:6-7)

D6 Sometimes we do not treat our wife that way God wants us. (1 Peter 3:7)

D7 Sometimes we give up. (Luke 18:1)

D8 Sometimes we are not sincere (Hebrews 10:22)

D9 Sometimes an answered prayer will may us proud. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

B3 May He bless you. Paul ends this part of his letter with this thought.

C1 Love

D1 The importance of love

E1 We have a need for someone to love us (even narcissists)

E2 God's love for humans is genuine. It is not as the Calvinist teach that humans are only decreed this and that.

E3 God wants true, freely given love. It is not as the Calvinists who teach that humans are only decreed to love.

E4 God wants Christians to love each other. This kind of love is caring and kind. See 1 Corinthians 13.

E5 God wants us to love non-Christians and our enemies. Matthew 5:43-48

E6 God wants our love to increase. This is something that God works into our lives from the things we experience.

D2 Our verse deals with Paul's continued desire to have the faith and maturity of the Thessalonian Christians to grow.

C2 Unblameable

D1 We are not sinless in this life. 1 John 1:8, Proverbs 20:9, Isaiah 53:6, etc.

D2 Unblameable means

E1 Faultless

E2 The idea is we have an attitude to do God's will. When we do sin, we repent, confess, and have faith that He has forgiven us.

C3 Holiness

D1 This is the holiness that we receive from the sacrificial Lamb of God.

D2 We need to have this holiness, or we cannot enter and live in heaven.

C4 Coming of the Lord Jesus with all His holy ones.

D1 His return is promised. Acts 1:11, Daniel 7:13-14, Matthew 24:30

D2 First coming--as suffering Messiah to procure salvation.

D3 Second coming

E1 Rapture

F1 For saints

F2 For rescue

E2 Judgment

F1 With saints

F2 For judgment and sentence

D4 More detail can be found here.

D5 For the differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming read here.

18 May 2015

Can we judge?

"Judge not, lest you be judged." (Matthew 7:1 EMTV)

"But test all things; hold fast that which is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21 EMTV)


There is a difference between making a decision and making judgment.

  1. A decision is to choose between two preferences. Do I eat ham and eggs or biscuits and gravy?

  2. A judgment deals with a standard; is it met or not? The speed limit is 25. I am driving at 45. Am I right or wrong? The standard is 25, so the decision would be that I did not meet the standard. This is judgment.

If we are to decide or judge something, it depends if there is a standard?

The word for "judge" is krinō. This means to make a formal decision according to an established standard. It is usually used in the official sense of law.

The word for "test" is dokimazo. This means to test something against a standard. An example would be "And another said, 'I bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you, have me excused." (Luke 14:19 EMTV). This person who has bought five yoke of oxen has a criteria of what he wishes for oxen. He is going to test drive them to see if they meet that criteria. When we test all things, we have a criteria, too. It is the Bible—the things that Jesus and the Apostles taught us.

The judging idea of Matthew 7:1 refers to a standard. What standard do we use? If we use the standard of the Bible and understand what a person is doing or not doing, then we can and must (according to 1 Thessalonians 5:21) come to a decision if it is right or wrong.

The example that Jesus gives in Matthew 7 is a person is judging another person according to a standard and condemn them, but the judge does NOT judge themselves by that same standard. Two different standards are being used. One standard to condemn another person, and one standard to excuse another. This is why Jesus condemns this type of judgment. There is to be only one standard—the Bible in its plain, normal sense.

Some things that we can judge.

  1. Worshipping false gods

    1. There is only one God—Yahweh

    2. All other gods are either manmade or demonic

      1. Sports

      2. Money

      3. Fame

      4. Ourselves

      5. Science

      6. Philosophy

    3. The most usual is ourselves. We decide which is best or most comfortable and worship that

  2. Blasphemy

    1. One can say Jesus Christ reverently, which is OK, or say it as a curse word, which is wrong.

    2. Be sarcastic, etc.

  3. Cursing mother or father

    1. This could be considered any type of abuse.

      1. Physical

      2. Verbal

      3. Emotional

      4. Financial

    2. It could be taking advantage, manipulating, our parents.

  4. Murder

    1. This could be taking the life of another human willfully as in

      1. Abortion

      2. Starvation

      3. Weapon

    2. Hate. Jesus considered hate to be wrong as in "But I say to you that whoever gets angry with his brother without cause will be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Empty-head!' will be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ' fool!' will be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22 EMTV)

  5. Adultery

    1. This could be physical.

    2. This could be mental. Matthew 5:28

  6. Stealing

    1. This could be taking what is not ours.

    2. Some examples could be objects, time, affection, waste, etc.

  7. Lying

    1. Not telling truth when asked as in a criminal case.

    2. A "white" lie.

  8. Coveting

    1. This is envy.

    2. Some examples would be

      1. I want Joe's farm. 1 Kings 21:1-4, 1 Kings 21:15-16

      2. I want Joe's wife. 2 Samuel 11:1-4

      3. I want Joe's money.

17 May 2015

9 reasons for unanswered prayer



Some Bible teachers/preachers teach that God has to/must answer our prayers. This is false, because even the Lord Jesus himself had unanswered prayers. "He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." (Matthew 26 39 EMTV).


  1. Sometimes God's will is "no.

    1. It is better for the Kingdom of God to say "no."

    2. It is better for some other person as in he/she/they may need you where you are.

    3. Even the Lord Jesus had the answer as "no." Matthew 26:39

  2. Sometimes we have the opportunity.

    1. God opens the way, but we refuse for fear, etc.

    2. God opens the way, but we are hindered by the devil in some way (1 Thessalonians 2:18)

  3. Sometimes God's will to wait. (John 11:3, John 11:6, John 11:43-44)

  4. Sometimes we have sin. (Psalm 66:18,

    1. We have neglected God's rules and counsel (Proverbs 1:28)

    2. We do not have mercy on others. (Proverbs 21:13)

    3. We despise God's Word, the Bible. (Proverbs 28:9)

    4. We have unconfessed sin (Isaiah 1:15)

    5. We are stubborn and do not humble ourselves that God is right and we are wrong. (Zechariah 7:13)

    6. We are selfish or greedy and want more for the sake of having more/hording. (James 4:3)

  5. Sometimes we do not have faith. (James 1:6-7)

  6. Sometimes we do not treat our wife that way God wants us. (1 Peter 3:7)

  7. Sometimes we give up. (Luke 18:1)

  8. Sometimes we are not sincere (Hebrews 10:22)

  9. Sometimes an answered prayer will may us proud. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

14 May 2015

How do we handle persecution?


A1 Theme--God uses people to accomplish His plans.


A2 Objectives

B1 Describe why the apostles were persecuted.

B2 Describe how the apostles responded to persecution.


A3 Scripture

B1 Acts 4:1-31--Peter and John before the Sanhedrin

B2 Acts 6:8-15--Stephan accused of blasphemy

B3 Acts 7:51-60--Stephan finishes his speech and then is stoned to death


A4 Notes

B1 As the Jewish leaders opposed the Lord Jesus, so they opposed His followers. Jesus's followers

C1 Taught the teachings of Jesus, whom the leaders hated and His teachings which they hated.

C2 Lived as Jesus taught them.

C3 Praised Jesus.

C4 Accepted Jesus as the promised Messiah.

C5 Taught that people are sinners that needed to repent.

B2 The Sanhedrin (See here and here

C1 Also known as the Council or leaders of the priests

C2 The highest court of Israel

C3 Consisted of 71 individuals

D1 Qualifications


C4 The Jews use Numbers 11:16-24 as to the origin of the Sanhedrin

C5 Members included

D1 High priest

D2 Members of privileged families of the High Priests and others

D3 Elders

D4 Scribes

D5 Included Pharisees and Sadducees

C6 The Acting High Priest was the head of the Council

C7 Council (Sanhedrin) Meeting

D1 Sat in semicircle (everyone could see everyone else)

D2 Two men stood at the front to record the votes

D3 Accused stood near them

B3 Peter and John before the Sanhedrin

C1 Setting

D1 At the time of prayer (9th hour= 1500), a crippled man, his faith, and his healing.

D2 On Solomon's porch

D3 After healing, Peter preaches a sermon.

D4 The priests, etc. do not Peter's preaching about Jesus and His resurrection.

D5 They arrest Peter and John.

D6 The questioning of Peter and John

E1 "By what name or power did you do this?"

E2 The Holy Spirit then helped Peter give a message to these people.

E3 Peter did not become a coward like he did in his denials. He clearly states the fact boldly (this is God's help), "...let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name this man stands here before you whole." (Acts 4 10 EMTV) In this Peter gives glory to Jesus.

E4 That is not the answer these rejecters wanted. Peter drives home the point that they are guilty of killing their Messiah. "This is the 'stone which was rejected by you, the builders, which became the chief cornerstone.' (Acts 4 11 EMTV)

E5 He also points out that there is no salvation except through Jesus. "Nor is there salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven which has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4 12 EMTV)

D7 The healed man was standing there. They knew him. They knew that he had been healed.

D8 The Sanhedrin holds a meeting. They agree to forbid the disciples to preach Jesus.

D9 Peter and John tell them that they must and will tell the truth about Jesus. It makes no difference what the leaders say. "But Peter and John answered them and said, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than God, you be the judge. (Acts 4 19 EMTV)

D10 Peter and John are let go.

D11 They return to the group and tell them everything that had happened.

D12 They pray for boldness.

D13 God answers. "And when they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4 31 EMTV). Filling with the Holy Spirit is preaching Jesus and living for Jesus without compromise.

B3 Stephan

C1 He was falsely accused.

C2 He was falsely tired, convicted, and murdered.

C3 His sermon convicted the Jewish listeners, but they would not repent. They resisted God's Spirit just like their forefathers had done.


A5 Questions

B1 What are some reasons that persecution (soft or hard) is not good?

B2 What are some reasons that it is good?

C1 Increased commitment

C2 Sifts the true from the false

B3 Why did Peter and John go to the Temple? (To pray).

B4 Who did they meet just before entering? (An older than 40 crippled man).

B5 What did this man ask? (Money)

B6 What did the Apostles give? (Healing in Jesus's name).

B7 Does God still heal in this manner? (Sometimes).

B8 Who is glorified by this healing? (Jesus)

B9 What made the priests so angry? (Jesus)

B10 Why? (They did not believe)

B11 In this context what makes people angry at Jesus today? (They do want to believe).

B12 Is it ok to not obey our leaders? (Yes, when they forbid preaching Jesus or living for Jesus).

B13 How does God give boldness today? (The same way)

B14 What kind of persecution do we face today?

C1 What is persecution and some other general facts.

C2 World watch list rankings and explanation.

C3 Information


Underlying impulses

Persecution engine

Tribal impulse

Islamic extremism

Other religious militancy

Tribal antagonism

Ecclesiastical arrogance

Secular impulse

Communist oppression

Aggressive secularism

Exploitative impulse

Totalitarian paranoia

Organized corruption


Drivers of persecution


Government officials at any level from local to national


Ethnic group leaders

Non-Christian religious leaders at any level from local to national

Religious leaders of other churches at any level from local to national

Fanatical movements

Normal citizens (people from the broader society), including mobs

Extended family

Political parties at any level from local to national

Revolutionaries or paramilitary groups

Organized crime cartels or networks

Multilateral organizations


"Pressure (squeeze) and violence (smash)

Pressure of persecution World Watch Research distinguishes two main expressions of persecution: squeeze (the pressure Christians experience in all areas of life) and smash (plain violence). Nevertheless, while it would seem that smash is the most prevalent and invasive expression of persecution, it is often the squeeze that is most prevalent and invasive. The WWL methodology, therefore, negates the idea that the more violence there is against Christians, the more persecution there must be. The WWL methodology also seeks to negate another assumption, which is that the most violent persecutors of the church are its main persecutors.

While smash can be measured and tracked through incidents of violence, squeeze needs to be tracked otherwise. It needs to be tracked by discerning how the act of Christian life and witness itself is being squeezed in all the different areas of life.

The WWL methodology has defined the 'five spheres concept' to track the expressions of persecution in different areas of life. These five spheres express the squeeze (pressure) in each sphere of life. A sixth building block expresses the smash (plain violence). The sixth block potentially cuts across all five spheres of life."

C4 Christian Persecution
(this link is from 2008 but still valid)

B15 What kind of persecution are you facing?

B16 How do we respond?

C1 Anger? (No)

C2 War, fighting, etc. (No)

C3 Patience and witness for Jesus? (Yes)

C4 We need God's help to face this. We cannot face it on our own. (These points are adapted by an article by Robin Sam.

D1 We were forewarned. John 15:20

D2 God will not leave us. John 16:33

D3 Those before us faced persecution. Hebrews 10:32-34

D4 Rejoice, patience, and prayer Romans 12:12

D5 We are blessed in enduring persecution James 5:11

D6 Prayer Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:14, 1 Corinthians 4:12, 2 Thessalonians 1:4

D7 Testing by persecution reveals if we have a real root into Jesus and His teaching Mark 4:17

D8 The Scriptures have been given in part to encourage us during those times of persecution 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3

D9 We will experience the grace of God Romans 8:35, 2 Corinthians 4:9, 2 Corinthians 12:10

D10 Is a testimony of the living Messiah--Jesus 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

B17 Will we be faithful? (O God, please help us).

B18 How do we encourage one another?

13 May 2015

What do you know about 1 Thessalonians 3:6-10?

1 Thess 3:6

A1 Scripture

B1 But now Timothy came from you to us and brought us good news of your faith and love, and that you always have good memories of us, greatly desiring to see us, just as we do you. Therefore, brothers, by your faith we were comforted about you in all our affliction and distress. For now we live, if you remain steadfast in the Lord. For what thanks can we again give to God for you, for all the joy that we enjoy in the presence of our God because of you. Day and night praying over and over that we might see your face and might perfect what is lacking in your faith. (1 Thessalonians 3:6-10, WEL).

B2 But now when Timothy came to us from you, and brought good news to us of your faith and your love, and that you have good remembrance of us always, longing to see us, as we also long to see you— because of this we were encouraged, brothers, in regard to you in all our affliction and distress by your faith. For now we live, if you stand firm in the Lord. For whatever thanksgiving can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we are rejoicing because of you in the presence of our God, night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and to perfect what is lacking in your faith? (1 Thessalonians 3:6-10, EMTV)

A2 Outline

B1 Timothy's report

C1 Came

C2 Good news

D1 Their faith

D2 Their love

D3 Paul and the preachers were not forgotten

D3 Wanting to see Paul and the preachers

B2 Paul and the preachers' response--comforted

B3 A condition--remain steadfast in the Lord

B4 Thanks to God

B5 Our joy

B6 Our prayers

C1 To see them

C2 To increase their faith

A3 Notes

B1 1 Thessalonians 3:6

C1 The word "good news" is euaggelizō.

D1 It means good news

D2 It is the same word as is translated "gospel."

E1 And it happened that on one of the days [while] he was teaching the people in the temple [courts] and proclaiming the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes approached together with the elders (Luke 20:1, LEB).

E2 And I saw another angel flying directly overhead1, having an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who reside on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and language and people, (Revelation 14:6 LEB)

D3 The good news here refers to the good news that Timothy brought to Paul and the preachers in Athens.

E1 You can tell that Paul is excited.

E2 One of Paul's main concerns is that the new believers continue in the Gospel, doctrine, and living the Christian life.

E3 Our text references their faith and love.

F1 Faith in this sense is the Christian faith which includes

G1 Doctrine

G2 The Christian life

F2 Love here is the love for

G1 God

G2 Brethren

G3 Paul and the preachers

D4 Cross references

E1 [Like] cold water14 upon a weary soul,15 [so too is] good news from a distant place. (Proverbs 25:25 LEB)

E2 But now, [because]3 Timothy has come to us from you and has brought good news to us of your faith and love, and that you always think kindly of us4, desiring to see us just as also we [desire to see] you, (1 Thessalonians 3:6 LEB)

D5 Regarding fellowship

E1 Our first fellowship is with God--Matthew 18:20

E2 Then each other

F1 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name. (Malachi 3:16, NKJV)

F2 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3, NKJV)

F3 BEHOLD, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! (Psalms 133:1, NKJV)

B2 1 Thessalonians 3:7

C1 It is a wonderful thing when news of someone's faithfulness to Christ brings encouragement to other believers.

C2 Things about encouragement

D1 "From people--"And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus." (Acts 4:36, EMTV)

D2 From the Holy Spirit--"Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied." (Acts 9:31, EMTV).

D3 Christian leaders--"Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words." (Acts 15:32, EMTV).

D4 All of us to each other--"...but encourage yourselves every day, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13, EMTV).

C3 Affliction and distress

D1 Real Christians experience because they live and preach Christ

D2 Affliction

E1 Examples (See E3 below)

E2 Christ taught--These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but take courage, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33, EMTV).

E3 Paul and the preachers at Thessalonica. (Acts 17:5-9)

E4 The word affliction is thlipsis

F1 Literally means "pressure," that is, pushing down or squeezing something

F2 Used more for physical abuse than emotional abuse

D3 Distress

E1 The Greek word is anagkē

E2 It means constraint, that is, something that hold us back or preventing us from doing something

E3 It can be applied to emotional abuse, anguish, emotional pain whether from physical illness, disability, or even torture.

E4 Christians can expect these things because the natural person hates God, hates God's ways (lifestyle), and hates His rule and rules, so they fight against His representatives.

D4 How God helps us in affliction and distress

E1 His love. These hard things Christians face do not separate us from God. (Romans 8:35)

E2 His strength. We would falter and shrink under most afflictions but God strengthens us. (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)

E3 His deliverance. This doesn't always happen but does happen often. Even if we die, we go to heaven. (2 Corinthians 1:8-10)

E4 His example. The Lord Jesus suffered as well as us to the point of death. (John 15:18-20)

E5 His promises. He does promise to help. (Matthew 5:10)

E6 His training. God uses these things to strengthen our faith, weed out bad habits, and build character. (James 1:3, 1 Peter 1:7, Romans 5:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9)

B3 1 Thessalonians 3:8

C1 If

D1 Here stands as a condition.

D2 A condition for what? Life!

D3 The Bible clearly teaches that we can fall from faith even into apostasy.

D4 The blessings of God will come from our being steadfast.

D5 This can only happen with God's strength and Holy Spirit.

D6 We cannot do this on our own.

D7 This is not a work to "keep" our salvation, for we already have it.

D8 It does refer to, in its plain, normal sense, that if we want God's blessings our attitude must be to want to do God's will, ask in prayer, and believe in His help.

C2 Stand fast

D1 The Greek word is steko

D2 It means to persevere, to hand in there, to stand firm, to remain true regardless of what happens. We don't have a fair weather faith but a living faith.

D3 Some verses

E1 "Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he shall be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand." (Romans 14 4 EMTV). [The word in bold is this word; the non-bold word is different.]

E2 "Be watchful, stand fast in the faith, be courageous, be strong." (1 Corinthians 16 13 EMTV)

E3 "Therefore, my beloved and longed for brothers, my joy and crown, in this way stand fast in the Lord, beloved." (Philippians 4 1 EMTV)

D4 To stand fast is to continue in the same Gospel, same doctrine, and same lifestyle as taught by the Lord Jesus and the Apostles.

E1 These things do not change in time.

E2 They do not evolve.

E3 It is the same in every country and culture.

E4 Murder, for example, is wrong according to the Bible.

E5 It makes no difference where or when.

E6 The style of clothes is different in various cultures and time, which is OK.

B4 1 Thessalonians 3:9

C1 Thanksgiving

D1 The Greek word is eucharistia

D2 The word means giving thanks, thanksgiving. If I thank someone for something, I "eucharistia" them

D3 * things about thankfulness

E1 Jesus practiced it (John 11:41).

E2 Is a form/way of worship (Psalm 50:14, Hebrews 12:28).

E3 A grievous sin (Romans 1:21, 2 Timothy 3:2).

E4 Should be a common trait (Ephesians 5:20, 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

E5 When we worry, we should pray for help and be thankful (Philippians 4:6).

C2 Joy

D1 The Greek word is chara

D2 It means joy, delight.

D3 Paul is stating that because of the faithful steadfastness of the Thessalonians, he is so very happy, ecstatic even, and offers thanksgiving to God.

D4 Are we like Paul?

B5 1 Thessalonians 3:10 night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and to perfect what is lacking in your faith? (1 Thessalonians 3 10 EMTV)

C1 Praying to see them. It was important to Paul to see this for himself, to teach them more, and to enjoy their faithfulness to Jesus Christ. It is also important for the Thessalonians to have fellowship, to share the great things that God has helped them with, and to share what they have learned by studying God's doctrine.

C2 Perfect, that is, to find out if there were any deviations from what Paul had taught them and correct it.

C4 Lacking This refers to questions that have arisen regarding the things they have been taught.