30 October 2017


Theme: Unity in Christ

Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-31

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: God desires for His followers to be united around their mission in Christ.
Think: View all believers as teammates in the mission to spread the gospel.
Do: Cultivate unity with other believers in order to spread the gospel

Notes and questions:
B1 1 Corinthians background
C1 Map
C2 About the city
D1 Made money from hauling goods from Lechaeum to Cenchrea.
D2 God was Aphrodite (Love and beauty)
D3 1,000 slave girls servicing the men at the temple
D4 Rome conquered and destroyed it
D5 Julius Caesar built a new city on this site in 46 BC
D6 Paul came to preach about 51 AD
D7 Pluralistic city with many cults
D8 Large population of Jews
D9 Legendary moral depravity (that was the heathen's opinion)
C3 About the church
D1 Luke wrote about their time in Corinth in Acts 18
D2 Paul was there with Apollos, Aquila, and Priscilla
D3 Paul wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians while there
D4 The church had many questions for Paul
D5 Paul had concerns about the beliefs and activities of the church
D6 Paul had to rebuke the Corinthians on false ideas and actions about the church, fellowship, the gospel, ministry, lawsuits, sexual sins, marriage, worship, spiritual gifts, the Lord's Supper, etc.
D7 The church needed correction about the doctrine of the resurrection
D8 1 Corinthians was written in Ephesus
D9 1 Corinthians was written about 55 AD
B2 Unity needs and is based on
C1 Truth
C2 Humility
C3 Scripture interpretation
C4 Faith
C5 Doctrine
C6 What else?
B3 Can you worship with
C1 Lutheran
C2 Church of Christ
C3 Seventh Day Adventist
C4 Roman Catholic
C5 Calvinist
C6 Arminian
C7 Pelagian
C8 Emergent
C9 New Apostolic Reformation
C10 Rob Bell
C11 Pope Francis
C12 Hebrew Roots
C13 Orthodox
C14 Episcopalian
C15 A Democrat
C16 A Republican
C17 A Libertarian
C18 A Socialist
B4 Could you be a member of all the above?
B5 Corinthian unity problems
C1 Not based on doctrine
C2 Not based on lifestyle
C3 Not based on socio-economic status
C4 Based on a “pillar” of the church as Paul, Christ, Apollos, or Cephas
C5 What is the main problem with this elevating a person and aligning with them?
B6 1 Corinthians 1:10-17,
C1 1 Corinthians 1:10 NKJV  Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. Is this even possible today?
C2 1 Corinthians 1:11 NKJV  For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you.
D1 Contentions:
E1 Is used 9 times in the New Testament
E2 Is the Greek word: ἔρις eris
E3 Means: arguing
E4 They are not discussing issues; they are in each other’s face in argument. These arguments were emotional enough that they were causing splits in the church.
D2 When is something a conviction? When is something a convenience? What is the difference?
D3 What are convictions based on? What about convenience?
D4 Daniel 1:8 NKJV  But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
E1 Is this conviction or convenience?
E2 What was his conviction based on?
E3 It was based on God’s law given through Moses. Was Daniel “saved” by keeping this law?
C3 1 Corinthians 1:12-13 NKJV  Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ."  (13)  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
D1 What was the core problem with the brethren? Pride?
D2 What is the solution?
B7 1 Corinthians 1:18-31,
C1 1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV  For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
D1 Why is the message of the cross foolishness?
D2 Can we save ourselves?
D3 Why did Jesus have to die?
C2 1 Corinthians 1:19-22 NKJV  For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."  (20)  Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  (21)  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.  (22)  For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom.
D1 What is the wisdom of the wise and understanding of the prudent?
E1 No matter how wise in philosophy or examination can the truths of God and His ways be known?
E2 God reveals them so that even a child can understand them.
E3 God’s wisdom is so awesome that it makes the wisest of the wise seem foolish.
D2 How does God make the wisdom of the world foolish?
E1 The word scribes is understood by most to be the learned teachers of Israel– the Scribes.
E2 Why don’t they know?
E3 What was wrong with Nicodemus? John 3:10 NKJV  Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
D3 Why does God state that He will destroy the wisdom of the wise? How does He do this?
D4 How does this apply to the Gospel?
C3 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 NKJV  For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;  (23)  but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,  (24)  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
D1 What is preached? A person, Jesus Christ. What is the importance of this compared to signs and wisdom?
D2 What should we do– signs, wisdom, or preach Christ crucified?
D3 Do miracles and philosophy bring people to Christ?
D4 Why is the crucifixion troubling to most people?
D5 What is Christ to us who are saved?
D6 Is there unity in the Gospel?
D7 How can there not be unity?
C4 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 NKJV  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.  (26)  For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  (27)  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;  (28)  and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,  (29)  that no flesh should glory in His presence.
D1 How is God’s foolishness wiser than men and the weakness of God stronger than men?
D2 Are you glad the Scriptures state, “...not many wise...mighty...noble are called?” It could have not any wise, mighty, or noble are called.
D3 Why did God do things this way?
C5 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NKJV  But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—  (31)  that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.
D1 What 4 attributes of Jesus are listed?
D2 What does “...glory in the Lord” mean? One thing it means is not to glory in ourselves. What else?
B8 What idea or principle should be our unity? The gospel of Jesus Christ.
C1 There is only one Gospel. Note: believed God, God saw, and God reckoned to righteousness. Moses wrote it, Paul wrote twice, and Peter wrote. Jesus preached it, the Apostles preached it, and Paul preached it, so did Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets.
D1 Abraham:
E1 Genesis 15:6 NKJV And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
E2 Romans 4:3 NRSV  For what does the scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
E3 Galatians 3:6 NRSV  Just as Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
E4 James 2:23 NRSV  Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," and he was called the friend of God.
D2 The prophets, Apostles, and Paul preached the same:
E1 Joel 2:32 NKJV  And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.
E2 Acts 2:21 NKJV  And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
E3 Romans 10:13 NKJV  For Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
C2 All the prophets preached the same Gospel: Acts 10:43 NKJV  To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.
C3 The gospel
D1 No one is good. The standard is God’s Law (Exodus 20).
D2 The penalty for breaking God’s law is death– physical, spiritual, and eternal.
D3 God initiates salvation, for no one seeks God (Romans 3).
D4 The Holy Spirit brings conviction, opening every human’s eyes, mind, and heart (John 16:7-9, Acts 16:14, John 6:44, 1 Peter 2:9, etc.). The Old Testament teaches it as well: Psalms 40:6 NKJV  Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
D5 The idea of repentance is to turn, so we admit we are not good, we admit we cannot do good works to be saved, we admit we will be punished and go to hell; God is right; I am wrong.
D6 Belief: John 3:14-18 NKJV  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  (15)  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  (16)  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  (17)  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  (18)  "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
D7 Praying, calling out, asking for forgiveness: Romans 10:13 NKJV  For "Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
B9 Next week:
C1 Pure in His eyes
C2 Theme: Purity in Christ
C3 Scriptures:
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

25 October 2017

Joseph, the faithful man who saw tomorrow

Theme: Integrity in temptation

Genesis 39:1-23
Genesis 45:1-28
Genesis 50:22-26

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Joseph made difficult but wise decisions that led to God’s future blessings.
Think: I consider my integrity to be more important than my feelings and desires.
Do: Choose what is good and right and refuse every temptation that would call me away from God.

Notes and questions:
B1 What is temptation?

C1 Our life before believing in Jesus: Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, (20) idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, (21) envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

C2 Our life after believing in Jesus: Galatians 5:22-24 NKJV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (24) And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

C3 Are there different desires, yet different struggles?

C4 Is temptation the same as sin? See Hebrews 4:15 NKJV For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

C5 Can a non-christian resist sin? How about a Christian, or an atheist?

B2 What to do in temptation

C1 Pray to be delivered from temptation: Mark 14:38 GNB And he said to them, "Keep watch, and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

C2 God limits the strength of the temptation: 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

C3 Resist: Genesis 39:7-12 NRSV And after a time his master's wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, "Lie with me." (8) But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, with me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand. (9) He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (10) And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her. (11) One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house, (12) she caught hold of his garment, saying, "Lie with me!" But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.

C4 How did the Lord Jesus resist temptation?

D1 Hebrews 4:15 GW We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn't sin.

D2 Luke 4:1-4 NKJV Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, (2) being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. (3) And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." (4) But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

D3 Hebrews 4:15-16 GW We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn't sin. (16) So we can go confidently to the throne of God's kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.

D4 The dog resists temptation?

E1 How?

E2 Why?

B3 Genesis 39:1-23,

C1 How can we avoid temptation?

C2 What does this verse say about Joseph and Potiphar? Genesis 39:3 GW Joseph's master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made everything he did successful.

C3 How would you handle the lies and false accusations? Genesis 39:13-19 NRSV When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, (14) she called out to the members of her household and said to them, "See, my husband has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice; (15) and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside." (16) Then she kept his garment by her until his master came home, (17) and she told him the same story, saying, "The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to insult me; (18) but as soon as I raised my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside." (19) When his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, saying, "This is the way your servant treated me," he became enraged.

C4 Why didn’t Potiphar ask Joseph for his side of the story?

C5 What is most significant about this verse? Genesis 39:21 NRSV But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.

C6 Genesis 39:23 NRSV The chief jailer paid no heed to anything that was in Joseph's care, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper. What character trait is God approved in this verse?

C7 What did Potiphar think when Joseph was promoted to his position by Pharaoh?

B4 Genesis 45:1-28,

C1 Genesis 45:5-8 NRSV And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. (6) For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. (7) God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. (8) So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Calvinists use this verse to teach that God exhaustively decrees all things.

Does this verse teach that or does it teach that this situation with Joseph was sovereignly guided? Is every event in life exhaustively decreed? Is this passage descriptive or prescriptive?

C2 What is the importance of having Dad (Jacob) there?

C3 Genesis 45:21-22 NRSV The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey. (22) To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments. Why did Joseph give more to Benjamin? Was that the right thing to do?

C4 How does this verse apply? Proverbs 11:8 NKJV The righteous is delivered from trouble, And it comes to the wicked instead.

C5 Jude 1:24-25 NKJV Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, (25) To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

D1 We all stumble, but this would be a permanent stumbling.

D2 Why does God keep us?

D3 How does God do this? Hebrews 7:25 NKJV Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. Also read: 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 GNB Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. (8) We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; (9) there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.

C6 How do we know how to do and what is the right choice in our everyday situations?

D1 The Bible

D2 Some things we must do, as Hebrews 11:6 NKJV But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

D3 Some things we must NOT do, as Colossians 3:21 NKJV Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

D4 We have principles we can apply to the situation, as 2 Corinthians 6:14 NKJV Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

D5 We have examples of those who made choice

E1 Bad choice: Luke 22:3-6 NKJV Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. (4) So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. (5) And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. (6) So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.

E2 Good choice: Luke 18:13 NKJV And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!

E3 What other examples can you think of?

B5 Genesis 50:22-26,

C1 Timeline

D1 Joseph goes to Egypt– 17 years old

D2 Joseph in Potiphar’s service– until he was ~27-28 years old

D3 Joseph in prison– ~30-31 years old

D4 Joseph promoted by Pharaoh– ~30-31 years old

D5 Joseph asks for His father, Jacob to come to Egypt– Joseph ~39-40 years old and Jacob ~ 130 years old

D6 Joseph dies– 110 years old

C2 Genesis 50:24-25 NKJV And Joseph said to his brethren, "I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." (25) Then Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.

D1 What character traits do we see in Joseph?

D2 Why was Joseph so confident that the children of Israel would go back to the promised land?

D3 How can we be confident to go to our promised land?

C3 How did integrity affect Joseph’s life?

B7 Next week:

C1 Undivided

C2 Theme: Unity in Christ

C3 Text: 1 Corinthians 1:10-31

16 October 2017

Job, the man whose integrity God tested

Theme: Integrity under fire

  • Job 1:13-22
  • Job 2:1-10
  • Job 27:1-6
  • Job 31:5-8
  • Job 38:1-7
  • Job 42:1-6

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: Job maintained his integrity while going through great pain and adversity.
Think: Condition my thinking to respond to every difficulty with faith and integrity.
Do: Strengthen my walk with Christ daily so my relationship with Him will grow during times of testing.

Notes and questions:
B1 Job’s character
C1 Blameless
C2 Upright
C3 Fears God
C4 Avoids evil
C5 Blessed with wife, daughters, sons, and riches.
B2 Job 1
C1 Job 1:6-7, MEV Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Adversary also came among them. 7 And the Lord said to the Adversary, “From where have you come?” Then the Adversary answered the Lord, saying, “From roaming on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.”
D1 Sons of God are angels. The Adversary (satan) was also there. This is the satan who was the guardian angel before he sinned.
D2 Was God ignorant of where satan has been, and what he was doing?
D3 What is the adversary doing while he is roaming the earth? 1 Peter 5:8 NKJV  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
C2 Job 1:8-11, Why did satan accuse Job of being protected? Why was he accusing God of protecting Job? Did satan really think that Job would sin without this protection?
C3 Job 1:12, Does satan need permission to harass us, tempt us, prosecute us?
C4 Job 1:13-19, What did Job lose? Could any of us live through such a thing?
C5 Stress may cause:
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom
  • Guilt
C6 Which may lead to:
  • Angry outbursts
  • Constant worrying
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Carelessness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty getting along with others
  • Lack of energy
  • An inclination toward mistakes
  • Withdrawal from others
  • Thoughts about death and suicide
  • Hiding from responsibilities
C7 Job 1:20-22, What was Job’s response?
B3 Job 2:1-10,
C1 Again the satan comes, and God asks him, “What have been doing?” Sassily, he answers God. Are there people who spoke to Jesus like that? Are there people with that attitude today? Where do they get that attitude?
C2  God then gives permission for further testing--this time against Job’s body.
C3 What does the devil hope to get from all this sorrow? What is God teaching us through this history of Job?
C4 Mrs. Job,  His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die.” Job 2:9, MEV. What has happened to Job’s wife?
B4 Job 27:1-6,
C1 Who does Job blame for all his problems? Who does Adam blame for his problems? Genesis 3:12 NRSV  The man said, "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate." Who gets the most blame for disasters in society and personal life today? Why do we do that?
C2 Why do Job’s friends insist that Job has sinned? Why do they insist that Job is not telling the truth?
C3 Job, under persecution, maintains his integrity. He will not lie to receive their friendship. How do the saints maintain integrity under persecution?
C4 What causes people to lose their faith today?
C5 Do you know someone who has lost their faith? How would you counsel?
D1 Perhaps there is more to god than meets the eye. I lost my love and trust in god just by looking around and seeing all the pain and suffering good people endure. The injustice, the senseless violence, the sexual slavery, the illnesses. All because god allows it. How could I EVER have faith in such an evil, heinous and despicable entity. he won't be there for you either.
D2 Accidents kill and maim people every day. I remember an instance where a beautiful little 2 year old girl fell into a sewer and drowned in excrement. It broke my heart. Multiply this by thousands and you can see we have a god that revels in the pain and suffering of all his creatures, and all the while pretends to love us.
It doesn't make sense to me. They say God has a plan for everyone, so he has planned for us to do everything. Which would mean we have no free will. Just the illusion of freewill, if everything is pre planned. Furthermore, why would God be upset with us for sinning, IF HE PLANNED IT TO HAPPEN?! The same with Judeus! HE WAS MEANT TO BETRAY JESUS! WHY WAS HE PUNISHED, FOR FOLLOWING GOD'S PLAN?
Another thing is this. How can I trust a God, if that God killed millions of people because they simply pissed him or her off? They say everything in the bible is true, so god DELIBERATELY FLOODED THE EARTH BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE ANNOYING HIM, EVEN THOUGH HE PLANNED THEM TO DO JUST THAT?! How do I know he won't kill me?
My prayers, even when I needed God most, even when I had severe anxiety attacks and had to stay at home for a month to adjust to medication, when I prayed, nothing happened. NOTHING. My prayers weren't answered. I just bought medication. That fixed the problem. Prayers have never helped me. Ever. The odd time could be when I prayed to find lost things, but even then I would have found them regardless after looking for a bit longer. If I need something done, I feel as though no amount of praying will help me. I need to solve my problems myself.
I personally feel as though God has flawed logic, and is unreliable. Who knows, maybe he'll kill me for writing this, but then again, he PLANNED me to write this. Right?
C6 Knowing what Job faced, how would you answer the above 3 people and their complaints about God?
C7 How do the following verses apply to suffering?
D1 Matthew 5:10-12 NRSV  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  (11)  "Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  (12)  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
D2 1 Peter 4:12-16 NRSV  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  (13)  But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.  (14)  If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.  (15)  But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker.  (16)  Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.
D3 Luke 8:11-15 NKJV  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.  (12)  Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.  (13)  But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.  (14)  Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  (15)  But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.
C8 Why did these continue in the faith?

George Wagner, of Emmerich, was apprehended at Munich, in Bavaria, on account of four articles of the faith. First, That the priest cannot forgive sins. Secondly, That he does not believe that a man can bring down God from heaven. Thirdly, That he does not believe that God or Christ is bodily in the bread which the priest has upon the altar; but that it is the bread of the Lord. Fourthly, That he did not hold to the belief that water baptism possessed any saving power. As he would not renounce these articles, he was most severely tormented, so that the prince felt great compassion for him, and personally came to him in the prison, and earnestly admonished him thereto, promising that he would call him his friend all his life time. Thus also the tutor of the prince, earnestly admonished him to recant, and likewise made him many promises. Ultimately his wife and child were brought before him in prison in order, on this wise to move him to recant. But neither was he to be moved in this way; for he said that though his wife and child were so dear to him that the prince could not buy them with all his dominion, yet he would not forsake his God and Lord on their account. Many priests and others also came to him, to persuade him; but he was steadfast and immovable in that which God had given him to know. Hence he was finally sentenced to the fire and death.
Having been delivered into the hands of the executioner, and led into the middle of the city, he said: "Today I will confess my God before all the world." He had such joy in Christ Jesus, that his face did not pale, nor his eyes show fear; but he went smilingly to the fire, where the executioner bound him on the ladder, and tied a little bag of powder to his neck, at which he said: "Be it done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost;" and having smilingly bid farewell to a Christian, who was there, he was thrust into the fire by the executioner, and happily offered up his spirit, on the eighth day of February, A. D. 1527. The sheriff, however, surnamed Eisenreich von Landsberg, while returning home from the place!!of execution, traveling on horseback; purposing to apprehend others of the brethren, died suddenly in the night, and was found dead in his bed in the morning, having thus been removed through the wrath of God.

On the 15th of November, 1527, Weynken, daughter of Claes, was brought prisoner from the castle of Woerden to the Hague, whither on the 17th day of the same month, came also the count of Hooghstraten, Governor in Holland. On the 18th, the aforesaid Weynken was arraigned before the governor and the full council of Holland. There a woman asked her
"Have you well considered the things which my lords proposed to you?"
Am. "I abide by what I have said."
Ques. "If you do not speak differently, and turn from your error, you will be subjected to an intolerable death." '
Am. "If power is given you from above I am ready to suffer." John 19:11.
Ques. "Do you then, not fear death, which you have never tasted?"
Am. "This is true; but I shall never taste death, for Christ says: `If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.' (John 8:51) The rich man tasted death, and shall taste it forever." (Luke 16:23)
Ques. "What do you hold concerning the sacrament?"
Am. "I hold your sacrament to be bread and flour, and if you hold it as God, I say that it is your devil."
Ques. "What do you hold concerning the saints?"
Am. "I know no other Mediator than Christ." (I John 2:19)
Ques. "You must die, if you abide by this."
Am. "I am already dead." (Gal. 2:19)
Ques. "If you are dead, how can you speak?"
Ans. "The spirit lives in me; the Lord is in me, and I am in Him." (John 14:20)
Ques. "Will you have 'a confessor, or not?"
Am. "I have Christ, to Him I confess; nevertheless, if I have offended any, I would willingly ask them to forgive me."
Ques. "Who has taught you this opinion, and how did you come to it?"
Am. "The Lord, who calls all men to Him; I am also one of His sheep; therefore I hear His voice." (John 10:27)
Ques. "Are you alone called?"
Am. "No; for the Lord calls to Him all that are heavy laden." (Matt. 28:11)
After many like words Weynken was led back to prison. During the two following days she was entreated and tempted by various persons, namely by monks, priests, women, and her nearest friends.

Among others, a woman came to her, prompted by sincerity, who commiserated her after this manner
"Dear mother, can you not think what you please, and keep it to yourself? then you will not die."
Weynken replied: "Dear sister; I am commanded to speak, and am.constrained to do so; hence I cannot remain silent about it."
Wom. "Then, ' I am afraid, they, will put you to death."
Ans. "Though they burn me tomorrow, or put me into a bag, I care not; as the Lord has ordained it, so, it must be, and not otherwise; I will adhere to the Lord."
Wom. "If you have done nothing else, I hope you will not die."
Ans. "As for me; it matters not; but when I come down from the hall, I cry bitterly; and it grieves me to see that these good men are all so blinded. I will pray the Lord for them."
Two Dominican friars also came to her, the one as a confessor, and the other as an instructor. The latter showed her the crucifix, saying, "See, here is your Lord and your God."
She answered, "This is not my God; the cross by which I have been redeemed, is adifierent one. This is a wooden god; throw him into the fire, and warm yourselves with him."
The other asked her in the morning of the day when she was to die, whether she would not receive the sacrament, adding that he would willingly administer it to her. She said: "What God would you give me? one that is perishable, and is sold for a farthing?"
And to the priest or monk, who rejoiced that he had read mass that day, she said that he had crucified God anew. He said, "It appears to me that you have fallen unto error."
Weynken replied: "I cannot help it, my Lord and my God, to whom be eternal honor, praise, and thanksgiving (Rev. 4:11), has thus given it unto me."
Ques. " What do you hold concerning the holy oil?"
Ans. "Oil is good for salad, or to oil your shoes with." I Tim. 4:4.
In the middle of the week she was brought before the Court, and when she came into the hall, the monk went up to her, and held the crucifix before her face, saying, "Do recant before sentence is passed." But Weynken turned from the crucifix, saying, "I adhere to my Lord and God; neither death nor life shall separate me from Him." (Rom. 8:39.)
As she stood before the judge, the monk whispered into her ear, "Fall down upon monk knees, and ask the Lord for pardon." She replied, "Be still. Did I not tell you, that you should not draw me from my Lord."
The Dean of Naeldwijck, subcommissary and inquisitor, read the sentence in Latin, from a document, and repeating it in Dutch, said briefly, that she was found to be in error with regard to the sacrament, and that she immovably adhered to it. Hence, he decided that she was a heretic, and delivered Weynken to the secular arm, with the protest that he did not consent to her death. He then retired from the council, together with his two associate ecclesiastics.
The chancellor immediately read, that she, as reported, had been found obstinate, which could not be passed by without punishment, and that she should be burnt to ashes; and all her property be confiscated. '
Then Weynken said,  "Has all been done now? I beg you all, that if I have harmed or offended any, you will forgive me."
The monk then said to her, "Now for once kiss your Lord and God."
She answered, "This is not my Lord."
As they were leaving the council chamber, the monk said to her that she should call upon our Lady to intercede for her.
She replied, "Our Lady, is well content in God."
Monk: "Call upon her."
Weynken: "We have Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of His Father. He prays for us," (Romans 8:34).'
On her way from the hall to the scaffold or place of execution, the monk said, "Behold for once your Lord, who died for you."
Weynken: "This is not my Lord and my God; my Lord God is in me, and I in Him."
Monk: "Consider! will you condemn all these lambs, and are they all condemned?"
Weynken: "Not all; judgment belongs unto God." (Heb. 10:30).
Monk: "Do you not fear the severe judgment of God?"
Weynken: "God comes not to condemn sinners, but to give them peace." (Luke 9:56.)
Monk: "Do you not, fear the sentence which you must suffer in the fire?"
Weynken: "No, for I know how I stand with my Lord."

On the scaffold there stood one who said to Weynken, `Mother, turn to the people, and ask them to forgive you, if you have offended any." This she did. Then she assisted the executioners to put the powder into her bosom. Here the monk again tempted her with the cross; but she pushed it away with her hand, turned around, and said, "How you tempt me? My Lord and my God is above." She then went gladly, as though she were going to a marriage; and her face did not once betoken fear of the fire.
The monk said, "Will you not always and firmly adhere to God?"
Weynken said, "Yes, indeed."
Monk: "Now you will have to go into the fire; do recant."
Weynken: "I am well content; the Lord's will must be done."

Monk: "This is not the will of the Lord; the will of God is your sanctification."
The executioner said, "Mother, cleave to God and do not suffer yourself to be drawn away from Him."
In the meantime this pious heroine went alone undauntedly to the bench, and stationed herself at the stake at which she was to be burned, saying,
"Is the bench firm; will I not fall?"
The executioner then made ready the ropes with which he was to strangle her. The woman took off her neckerchief or veil, and put the strap around her neck.
Then the monk exclaimed: "Mother Weynken, will you gladly die as a Christian?"
Ans. "Yes, I will."
Ques. "Do you renounce all heresy?"
Ans. "I do."

Monk: "This is well. Are you also sorry that you have erred?"

Ans. "I formerly did err indeed, and for that I am sorry; this however is no error, but the true way, and I adhere to God."

When she had said this, the executioner began to strangle her, which when she felt it, she cast down her eyes and closed them, as though she had fallen into a sleep, and gave up the ghost, on the twentieth day of November, A. D. 1527.
B5 Job 38:1-7,
C1 Job 38:1-7 NKJV  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:  (2)  "Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?  (3)  Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.  (4)  "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.  (5)  Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?  (6)  To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,  (7)  When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
C2 What did Job have to learn?
B6 Job 42:1-6,
C1 Job 42:1-6 NKJV  Then Job answered the LORD and said:  (2)  "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.  (3)  You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.  (4)  Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.'  (5)  "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You.  (6)  Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes."
C2 Did Job learn what God wanted him to?
C3 Why did Job keep the faith when many do not?
C4 Will we keep the faith?
C5 Let’s always pray and encourage each other.
B7 Next week:
C1 Joseph, the faithful man who saw tomorrow
C2 Theme: Integrity in temptation
C3 Scriptures:
Genesis 39:1-23
Genesis 45:1-28
Genesis 50:22-26