A happy message – God’s promises are so much bigger than we can ever imagine – taught by Joy Pollard

A happy message – God’s promises are so much bigger than we can ever imagine –taught  by Joy Pollard

Bible study 7/26/13

Joy said, when someone comes to you with a mess and you want to tell them off, don’t. If they call and leave a frantic message, wait and return the phone call after a few days. A lot of times, if you wait there is a second message saying never mind.

God’s promises are so much bigger than we can imagine.

We looked at a few instances of the incredible promises and provision of God.

Exodus 25:1-8 AMP And the Lord said to Moses, Speak to the Israelites, that they take for Me an offering. From every man who gives it willingly and ungrudgingly with his heart you shall take My offering. This is the offering you shall receive from them: gold, silver, and bronze, blue, purple, and scarlet [stuff] and fine twined linen and goats’ hair, rams’ skins tanned red, goatskins, dolphin or porpoise skins, acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for anointing oil and for sweet incense, onyx stones, and stones for setting in the ephod and in the breastplate. Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.

God says, speak to the Israelites to give me an offering and from those who willingly and ungrudgingly give them take the offering. God orders an incredible list of stuff – gold, silver, dolphin skin, ram’s skins dyed red, acacia wood, etc. It was a very specific order to PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THE DESERT, and before that, THEY WERE SLAVES for 400 years. He knows He will get it.

When we ask God for things, we are afraid to ask for too much. We ask for a little, but say, if it’s not too much trouble.

These offerings God asked come from people happy to give it.

Where did all this stuff come from?  The Egyptians.  After the death of the first-born sons of the Egyptians, the Egyptians were happy to get rid of the Israelites and the Israelites asked the Egyptians for these things. God had it all planned before the exodus occurred.

Exodus 12:33-36 The Egyptians were urgent with the people to depart, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We are all dead men. The people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. The Israelites did according to the word of Moses; and they [urgently] asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver and of gold, and clothing. The Lord gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they gave them what they asked. And they stripped the Egyptians [of those things].

Exodus 35:30-35 AMP And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, Jehovah hath called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And he hath filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; and to devise skilful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of skilful workmanship. And he hath put in his heart that he may teach, both he, and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of workmanship, of the engraver, and of the skilful workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any workmanship, and of those that devise skilful works.

God says that He has specific plans for the tabernacle. There would be intricately wrought work for the Tabernacle, carvings, beaten metal, garments. And these were to be made by people who spent 400 years making mud bricks, and they did not spend their evening passing down the skills. God raised up a workman – Uri is from Hur – Hur is one of the ones who held Moses’ arms up during a battle. Uriah (Uri) means light, Bezalel means in the shadow of God. 

God called Bezalel by name and not because Bezalel had training in the stuff. What God did was fill him and a helper with the Holy Spirit so that he had the gifting to make these items for the tabernacle – and God also raised up helpers for the work.

Joy said, be careful when you go to God that you don’t shorten His hand. Don’t say I know I can’t do this so it’s not going to happen. Pray this is what I want and the Holy Spirit inside can make it happen.

Psalm 138:8 AMP The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, endure forever—forsake not the works of Your own hands.

God will perfect those things that concern me.

James 1:17 AMP Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].

God says if it concerns you, God will perfect it and He knows what concerns yo. God is no respecter of persons. If God does something for someone, He’ll do it for me. God is Jehovah Jireh – God is my provider. We have to be careful not to limit Him.

Even if we don’t do it with our mouth, we limit God’s hand by our thought life. We ask God to do it and we tell him how to do it – do it this way, I need a raise at work and I don’t get one. Don’t limit the amount of God’s promises and method of His provision.

What a powerful and good reminder of God’s power and provision.

Have a blessed day.

Heather

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Betrayal – John 13 – taught by Pastor Don Moore

Betrayal – John 13 – taught by Pastor Don Moore

Notes from Bible Study taught on 7/26/13

Betrayal – the word in Greek means to take someone and turn them over to someone else. Spiritually turning the relationship and heart over to someone else with a negative view, not handing them over with the truth. Blaspheming, being hypocritical, not a love relationship, or turning them over with offense, hatred, or insult. Handing over because of an emotional level.

Judas is handing over Jesus to betrayal. He is not reporting what Jesus is in truth, but spreading disinformation about Him.

The betrayer distorts and magnifies their impression of who they think the person they’re betraying is. Instead of handing over the truth, they’re giving a reflection of their (the betrayer’s) anger and distortion.

A son who betrays the father uses a different image of the father – an image formed by the son’s hurt or offense. The son maligns or blows out of proportion the person who is betrayed.

It is important to look to the motivation of the betrayer. Betrayal usually doesn’t lead to reconciliation. It leads to destruction and separation.

Some people think that, by betraying the person, they will fix the person, control, or manipulate them. It is a desperate act of frustration.

Judas wanted Jesus to use His special power to control the Roman Empire. When he realized Jesus was not going to do that, Judas betrayed Jesus.

You don’t usually get the truth about why the betrayer did what they did because the betrayer usually vacates the scene. The heart of the betrayer that was once compassionate for you, now turns passionate against you.

The betrayer is a liar.

Hurt people hurt people. When an act of betrayal is done in the mind, they don’t trust your efforts to heal the situation. Some emotional responses are so destructive. You cannot approach the betrayer for reconciliation; the betrayer has to approach you and tell you how to restore the situation. Sadly, their demands are often impossible to meet and the betrayal stands.

What is the spiritual way to deal with betrayal?

1. Focus on – I’m going to walk in love.

Proverbs 25:21-22 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat;
 and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head,
 and the Lord will reward you.

2. Resolve – I will not go to combat over this.

When the devil shows you the holes in your betrayer’s armor, you might be tempted to hit back, but don’t.  Brother Kenneth Hagin was frequently attacked for his faith message. When asked how he dealt with it, Brother Hagin said, yes, the attacks hurt. It disgusts him that they are applying negativity to this. But he resolved never to respond, defend himself from attack, counter it, or answer his critics.

3. Pray for patience and peace in yourself.

The enemy, satan, wants you to make a disruptive response. Betrayal is a deadly poison. If you eat it, it will poison you.

Someone asked Pastor Don if he prays betrayers out of the congregation.

He said you don’t pray out a person who planted or seeded betrayal, unless that seed begins to sprout. If the seed of betrayal sprouts and begins to hurt the other members of the congregation, then you may need to pray the person out. If nothing comes of the betrayal, then keep the person in, you never know when God can work on a person and bring about the healing necessary for them to grow beyond betraying. And if they are close to you, you are aware of what they are doing. The devil wants you to spend your ministry defending yourself so you get distracted from genuine ministry.

In the establishment of a ministry or church there is a honeymoon period of about five years. In the latter stages of a ministry, no matter how good or effective you are, satan aligns against you so you have to defend your work instead of finishing what God sets for you to do. The flesh of people will rise up to attack you and make you defend yourself.

Pastor Don gave the example of Creflo Dollar, when the devil caused one of his children to attack how he disciplined his children. The devil tried to destroy Creflo’s ministry, but Creflo Dollar chose not to speak against this child’s accusation, not to defend himself, not to do anything. The problem disappeared. Had Creflo Dollar said anything it would have become a bigger issue and might have destroyed his ministry.

The devil tries to stir up the church to nullify control, family, funds, etc.

Judas fulfilled the plan of God. Don’t look at the one thing they messed up on, look at the whole picture.

Betrayal will happen to all of us on two levels. 1) Realistic – they will lie about us and plant seeds of betrayal and 2) they will invent you and then use their invented image of you to vent on you.  An example is if a person was abused by their father, they will try to make you into the image of their abusive father or into the image of a perfect father that they desire – you can’t be either of those so they vent on you.

When betrayal happens ask the question, why are they saying this about me? Then say, wow, I can do this. I can walk in love, I don’t have to repeat evil for evil, and I can have the patience to wait it out.

When Jesus gives the bread to Judas, He tells Judas – go and do what you planned to do.

When you are betrayed, don’t take the blame – the ball is in their court.

Your response to betrayal shows your character. Don’t respond to the act of the betrayer. Tell them this an action you made, you initiated it.  When someone gets in your face, you need to respond, but don’t respond to the betrayal act. Rather, respond to the character of the betrayer.

Regarding Judas’ character – Judas had the money purse, he was a thief, greedy, a deceiver. We can get confused about things based on character.

We can’t stop betrayal. It doesn’t initiate from you. The devil finds someone with a flame and inspires them to attack you.

Pastor Don is not talking about a spirit of correction.

Job 23:10 But He knows the way that I take;
 when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

Pastor Don had to officiate at a funeral so Joy Pollard taught the last few minutes of the Bible study. I will put her teaching on another post.

Have a blessed day,

Heather

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John 13 – Betrayal taught by Pastor Don Moore

John 13 – Betrayal taught by Pastor Don Moore  

Bible study taught on 7/19/13

The greatest problem Jesus had to face affects all of us at some point – betrayal.

At this point in John, Jesus is drawing closer to the Cross.

John Chapter 13:15-17 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

What happens to Jesus will happen to us as we imitate Christ if we want the best.

John 13:18  “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’

This happens in Jerusalem at Passover. The Christians call this time Easter – a holiday named after oestre – an goddess that required virgin sacrifices and sacrifices of children. According to mythology, this goddess came to earth in a large egg filled with bunnies and chicks.

The night before the official Passover the Rabboni would get together with his disciples and students, then after this feast, they would go to celebrate Passover with their families. The Passover Meal is similar to the Jewish marriage celebration. This is a picture of marriage decreed by God. A young man and a young lady were brought together by their fathers. The fathers would agree about whether the two young people would make a good couple. The young lady would be invited to come to dine at the home of the young man. The couple would get together with a chaperone and talk – then they would return to the dinner.

The young man would take a loaf of bread and give a covenant speech talking about what he was going to promise the bride. How he would provide for her financial and emotional needs for the rest of her life, to be faithful and obedient. If the bride-to-be accepts the covenant, the young man will stay and build a home for his future bride while the bride returns to her parents house and waits for the groom to come and get her. Usually the house the groom builds is attached to his father’s house. After all is prepared, the father tells the groom to go and get his bride. – Just like Jesus went to prepare a mansion for us.

The bride-to-be would then make her promises. I promise to be faithful and waiting for you. I commit to be pure, chaste, and prepare myself as a bride.

The couple would then eat the bread.

Then, as a sign that the covenant is accepted, the couple would share a cup of wine. If the woman drinks the cup, the couple are considered married, even though the marriage ceremony won’t occur until later after the husband has prepared the place for the bride and the husband’s father tells the groom to go and get his bride.

If the woman turns the cup upside down and gets up, then there is no marriage vow and no covenant.

Unlike today, the couple, when married would go to a separate room and hundreds of people would wait. The married couple would have sex and then proudly display the sheet that confirmed that the marriage was consummated and that they had become one flesh, sharing bodily fluids.

The devil has tried to change this, saying that sex is private and no one should know that the couple has sex or not. That sex should be hidden shamefully. The Jewish wedding ceremony lasted seven days. 

During this Passover meal Jesus is coming together with the apostles and he’s going to act out this weeding ceremony. Jesus is the groom coming for the bride – the saints – for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. He shares the bread and the cup with all the apostles except one – Judas who never took the cup so was not in covenant with Jesus.

There is an error in the Church that all the saints (all who are saved) will be the Bride of Christ. You can’t find the saints, the Bride, and the Church in one sentence in Scriptures.

The Church organism that Jesus planted has members of the Body of Christ called saints. Jesus is coming for His Bride.

There is a parable of the ten virgins – there are five wise (prepared with enough oil), five foolish (unprepared, not enough oil) –  none of these are called the bride.

Jesus’ Bride is accompanied by five wise virgins (saints, pure). The five foolish are also born again, but not prepared for the coming of the Groom.

For the last fifty years the Church as been saying that all believers will be raptured, but the Bible doesn’t say that.

The Bride of Christ is an exclusive orthodox group of people, more spiritual than the wise virgins. It doesn’t say in Scripture that the Bride is asleep.

After Revelation, Chapter 6, the word “church” doesn’t appear again.

There is a judgment in Revelation – the Judgment throne of Christ, the Great throne judgment, and everyone will be judged.

Then there is a 1000 year reign of Christ after the Great tribulation.

In the book of Daniel – Chapter 12, God reveals the end times.

Barna had done surveys and shown that only 43% of people preaching have a Biblical point of view.

What is a Biblical World View? 1) you believe the Bible is the Word of God and is a reflection of the Spiritual Word of the Lord. 2) Jesus was born, died, and rose again, that HE died for our sins, 3) Jesus lived a sin-free life, 4) the virgin birth, 5) the trinity – One God – the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.

There is confusion in the church regarding the Bride, the Saints, the Church – as a choice the pastors and ministers choose not to preach the foundational reality of persecution and rejection. They would rather let the five foolish virgins feel as if they are as sanctified and holy as the wise virgins – they don’t want to lose church members. This is not true, the five foolish virgins were not permitted into the wedding.

Revelation 21:2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Notice, this verse doesn’t say “church”.

Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

The Bride becomes the tabernacle in the same way that the woman is a tabernacle for her man.

Revelation 21:10-13 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,  having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.

Twelve tribes.

Revelation 21:7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Overcomers inherit all things.

Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

How can ministers today turn a blind eye to politically correct sins? It isn’t one type of sexual immorality – homosexuality, adultery, but rather ALL sexual immorality. Not only immorality, but sorcerers, liars, idolaters, will be cast into the lake of fire, the second death.

We want to obey God and be married to Christ.

2 Chronicles 7:14  if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

This is a conditional promise – IF , if who? MY people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from their wicked ways … God will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.

John 13:19 Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.

Jesus is prophesying that He is Adonai, God, Elohim.

John 13:20 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

In the power and name of God. If God sends someone it’s just as if Jesus sends someone. Any born again believer is a sent one. Right behavior and the Word of the Lord comes to us to bring commitment and correction.

John 13:18 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’

Psalm 41:9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
 who ate my bread,
 has lifted up his heel against me.

Sickness comes to us all but Christians deal with it differently. Sometimes things happen to us because we don’t have the strength to make a determination. We read to apply our will power to tell our body and mind to do what we know needs to be done.

Jesus gave Judas the money purse, so he was like a church trustee.

This allusion to lifting up the heel goes back to Genesis and the prophecy God made after Adam and Eve were tempted by satan.

Genesis 3:14-15 So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this,
 you are cursed more than all cattle,
 and more than every beast of the field;
 on your belly you shall go,
 and you shall eat dust
 all the days of your life. And I will put enmity
 between you and the woman,
 and between your seed and her Seed;
 He shall bruise your head,
 and you shall bruise His heel.”

God is pleased with Jesus and Jesus’ integrity.

John 13:21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

This was prophesied 1000 years before Jesus came. People knew it intellectually. Some people close to you who say they are for you will betray you. Jesus knew Judas would betray Him.

John 13:22-23 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.

John is speaking about himself in the third person – one of His (Jesus’) disciples whom Jesus loved. A bit of pride there – so that we would hold John in high esteem.

John 13:24-26 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

After the piece of bread (the bread shared during the wedding supper – before the cup seals the covenant). After the bread, satan enters Judas. Judas eats the bread, and then leaves to set in motion the betrayal. The bread would have been dipped in olive oil (symbol of the Holy Spirit).

John 13:27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”

Judas could have willed to change his heart, but he didn’t. Jesus told Judas to go and do what Judas planned to do quickly – because He knew Judas’ heart didn’t change. Jesus did not let Judas drink the wine – if Judas had, he could have repented and be forgiven.

Pastor Don said betrayal is part of every divorce, separation, and spiritual schism.

The way we see Jesus deal with betrayal is the way we want to deal with it if it comes across our path.

The Holy Spirit is loosed on the church and so is persecution and betrayal. A sense of betrayal must be experienced through process – annoyance, offence, wrath, then we turn the problem to God. The Wrath of God and the Power of God deals with it.

We did not cover the following verses this week, but I’m including them to complete the scene.

John 13:28-30 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.  Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.

 Praying your day is blessed.

Heather

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Servanthood – taught by Caroline Cirualo

Caroline Cirualo taught an great Bible study on Servanthood on 7/10/13. She graciously sent me her notes – I’m posting them here – including her highlights. Check out the questionnaire at the end of the study. Hope your day is blessed. = Heather

Servanthood

What led me to this bible study?

Genesis 24:1-14   Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. How many things?   So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all  that he had,   (Administration)

“Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”     (Abe’s strong answer)   adamant    Not where I came from

But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there. The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there.” So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.   Two more times

My point is 500 miles……It’s hard to get people to DRIVE 50 miles in the car
Did he say:   Are you kidding me?

10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. TEN   10 poopin camels……… NO DOGGIE BAGS!                                                                                                                                                          Camels are very strong and can carry loads weighing more than 900 pounds although it is more typical for them to carry no more than 450 pounds.   X 10  is  4500lbs

And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. 11 And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. 12 Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.

13 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

A CAMEL DRINKS 25 TO 30 GALLONS OF WATER   X 10  is  250 gallons                                                                    Eliezer is looking for a woman with a servants heart and is servant minded..

Normal ‘amble speed’ for a walking camel is 3mph; a working camel will typically cover 25 miles a day.                         20 plus days

A camel’s poop is so dry you can use it immediately to start a fire.

But what exactly is servanthood?                                                                                            Servanthood is the state, condition, or quality of one who lives as a servant.  (Not just on Sunday, Special occasions etc. one who lives as a servant

A  servant is first of all one who is under submission   to another.

For Christians, this means submission to God first, and then submission to one another.                                                                                                                                  Then, as one in submission, the servant is one who seeks to meet                                                the real needs of others or of the person they are serving.

To put it another way, servanthood is the condition or state of being a servant to others, of ministry to others rather than the service of self.

Christ’s plan and that which produces maximum blessing to the world and to the church is s   servanthood.

The Lord Jesus came as a servant with a commitment to serve.                                                              Just think, if He had come to be served, with a self purpose, our redemption could and would never have taken place.   Keep the perfect law of Moses.

Jesus said, Mark 10:45                                                                                                                                     45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”    (Are we servant minded?)

Today, unfortunately, there is much more concern for self-fulfillment than there is for truly serving God and others  as seen in the life of Jesus.

True servanthood has one motive…To please God!

We must be careful that  the underlying motive and goal is not some form of self love,     then one’s service is in reality hypocritical.

This type of service is really aimed at serving selfish ends—usually in the futile pursuit of personal significance through something like praise, power, or status.

If we serve with an expectation of return, we’re not serving, we’re investing.”

How do we serve?    Either we will seek to serve ourselves, a choice that  nullifies our capacity to live as disciples, or we will learn to live as servants out of a faith relationship with God through Christ.

In Matthew 6:24, the Lord stated it this way,                                                                                               “No one is able to serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. No one is able to serve God and possessions”

When we serve money/possessions/status/ etc., we are really serving ourselves and our own desires for how we expect to benefit. This desire then controls our values, priorities, and pursuits rather than God.

Matthew 20:20-28                                                                                                                       20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.   21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?”   She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”    22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”     They said to Him, “We are able.”

23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”

24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.  (some people serve for authority)

26 Yet it shall not be so among you;  who is you!    but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but    to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.                                                                    Footnotes:Matthew 20:22 NU-Text omits and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with.

  1. Matthew 20:23 NU-Text omits and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with.

    (what do you think the disciples were thinking?
    They were thinking that such status would give them happiness and significance, they wanted positions of authority, praise, and power.

Our Lord’s answer showed that first of all they had been wrongly influenced by the attitudes of the world (vs. 25). Rather than thinking with the mind of Christ ….

Philippians 2:5                                                                                                                                      Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

True discipleship involves submission and service.   Are we a disciple?

Matthew 23:11-12                                                                                                  The greatest among you will be your servant.  12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Greatness in God’s kingdom is never to be found in position or power OR in the praise and opinions of men,     but in servant-like service to others.

Luke 22:24-27  A dispute also started among them over which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 So Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called ‘benefactors.(ONE that confers a benefit)  ’ 26 But it must not be like that with you!   Who is you!!   Instead the one who is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the one who serves.                                    27 For who is greater, the one who is seated at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is seated at the table?   But I am among you who is I?  (leaders of leaders, king of kings, lord of lords)   as one who serves.

John 13:1-5, 13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.   And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them  with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”  Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”

Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

John 13:12-17   12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?      Do you get it?

13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them   Who is you?

Here, in the upper room on the night before His crucifixion the Lord Jesus dramatically drove home the issue and nature of what it means to be a servant.

Imagine the scene.                                                                                                                                         All had been prepared for this last meal with the disciples with the exception of one thing.                                                                                                                                    According to the custom of the day a servant, with a basin of water and towel in hand, would wash the feet of the guests who had walked down the dirty, dusty roads of Palestine.        This was expected part of hospitality

But who would take the position of this servant and perform the task?   Can’t you just see the disciples looking around expecting someone else to do this, but never for a moment considering it themself.

Then out of the blue, as a perfect picture and lesson of servanthood, the Lord Jesus rose to the task, laid aside His outer garment, put a towel around his waist, took water in a basin and began washing the feet of the disciples, all of which was a fitting analogy of yielding His privileges and assuming the role of a servant

The source of Jesus’ actions lay in His knowledge and security of who He was and where He was going .

Jesus was completely aware of His sovereign authority, His origin, and coming destiny as He submitted and depended by faith in what the Father was doing and saying.  Are you aware of your authority and destiny?

In that confidence, He voluntarily took the place of a slave and washed the feet of His disciples.

His thinking and action contrasts sharply with the self-seeking insecurity of the disciples, none of whom were willing to pick up the towel and take the place of a servant    When you are Secure in Christ,,easy to be a servant  like Jesus ,,.Self seeking hampers servanthood

Christ’s security, His love, and His confidence in the Father allowed the Lord Jesus to assume the position of a servant, an amazing example of condescension (vss. 4-6).

This attitude, faith, and action   portrayed His entire  ministry on earth  

   Philippians 2: 1-9                                                                                                                      Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.     Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

This provides us with the perfect example of what He wants to do in our lives.

This also demonstrates how servant living is accomplished in us—through faith and understanding of who we are in Christ and by confidence in the  eternal glories of the future.

After Jesus finished washing the feet of the disciples, He returned to His place and made this very pointed application:

Having pointed to His actions as an example for them, Christ then drove home an inescapable lesson, here defined as a “solemn truth.

If He, their master and the One they worshipped, assumed the role of a servant to minister to others, then certainly they must likewise take the towel of servanthood and minister to others rather than seek to elevate themselves. This principle also applies to us.

COULD STOP HERE

Conditions that Hinder Servanthood

What are some of the hindrances to developing a servanthood mentality.

The desire for status or to feel important is a tremendous barrier to biblical servanthood. This is very evident in the reluctance of the disciples to take the towel and the position of a servant as seen in John 13.

Human strategies to meet one’s own felt needs pose another hindrance to servant living. Everyone faces the problem of meeting their felt needs by using their own solutions,  defense and escape mechanisms  (i.e., the things people do to protect their self image or how they want to people to feel about them).                                                                                                                         Rather, our need and responsibility is to trust the Lord for our acceptance, our ability, our production, and our strength.

A poor concept of one’s self-worth, along with a faulty source for developing our self-worth, forms another hindrance to effective servanthood.

People often seek their self-worth from the opinions of people rather than by the value God places on their lives according to His Word.

Seeking  happiness from the world rather than in the Savior and His purpose and call on one’s life is another cause for failing to live as servants.

This results in a lack of commitment and wrong priorities and pursuits which will leave little or no time for the Lord or ministry to others and the body of Christ.

CAN STOP HERE

 

Consequences in the Absence of Servanthood

What, then, are some of the consequences of a lack of servanthood in the body of Christ?

1. The opposite of a servant’s heart is self-seeking, which leads to consequences like jealousy, envy, disunity and division.

Leonard Bernstein, the celebrated orchestra conductor, was once asked, “What is the hardest instrument to play?” Without a moment’s hesitation he replied, “Second fiddle. I can always get plenty of first violinists. But to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm, or second French horn, or second flute, now that’s a problem! And yet if no one plays second, we have no harmony. Without the servants heart we have no harmony

Failure to get involved in ministry.   The absence of a servant’s heart causes people to simply  sit back while expecting others to serve them.   Some see the minister as someone paid to minister to them.   The attitude is, we are here to be ministered to rather than we are here to be equipped for ministry.

1 John 3:1-3  (AMP)                                                                                                                                    3:1   See what [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.   Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.  And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

What is the message here?

1 John 3:1 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.

  1. 1 John 3:2 Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown, A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments.
  2. 1 John 3:2 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.

What we need then, is to seek John’s sense of well being and happiness from his identity in Christ and not from people or from position

Man’s obsessive pursuit of significance produces thinking and behavior that runs counter to the values and behavior that are consistent with Christ-like servant living.

It invariably leads to defensive and protective behavior patterns that put self above others.50

(3) Finally, another important element in living as servants is living according to the perspective of eternity, having eternal goals and values.

If this was true with the Lord Jesus, and it was, then it must also be so with us

Right here we must see the difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant. When we choose to serve, we are still in charge. We decide whom we will serve and when we will serve.                                                                                                                                    But when we choose servanthood, we give up the right to be in charge. There is great freedom in this.  If we voluntarily choose servanthood, then we cannot be manipulated. When we choose servanthood, we surrender the right to decide when we will serve, where we will serve or who we will serve.    We become available to our Lord and Savior when HE wishes..

SEE QUESTIONNAIRE

1. What is the definition of servanthood?

2. How can servanthood be selfish?

3. What are the two options regarding servanthood that Jesus gives us in Matthew 20:20-28?

4. In Luke 22:24-30, what do we learn about our preoccupation with self-centered interests?

5. What is the result of our impatience and our desire to be served now?

6. How does Jesus model servanthood in John 13:1-5 and 12-17?

7. What is Paul’s warning to us in Philippians 2:3-5?

8. In developing a servant’s heart, what two concerns might stand in our way?

9. What does the search for personal significance produce?

10. If we are not constantly checking our motives for serving, what might our results be?

11. What happens if we do not find our significance in Christ?

12. Please list the three conditions that hinder servanthood?

13. What are the consequences of the absence of servanthood? Be specific.

14. According to Philippians 2:5-8, why did God the Father exalt His Son, Jesus?

15. In developing a servant’s heart, what reality must we face and how do we deal with it?

16. In what areas are you serving the Body of Christ?

17. What drew you to serve in these areas?

18. Describe the feelings you experience when serving in these areas?

19. What motivates you to continue serving?

20. What kind of praise do you receive from others for the service you perform?

21. How does praise make you feel?

22. Would you continue to serve in an area where your work was not recognized? Why?

23. List the areas of your life in which you are served?

24. How do you react when others fail to serve you in these areas?

25. What must you do, beginning today, to acquire an authentic heart of a servant?

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Question – if someone is sick, who sinned? taught by Pastor Don Moore

Question – if someone is sick who sinned? Taught by Pastor Don Moore

Notes from Bible study 7/5/13

Someone asked about if sickness is sin related. Pastor Don answered.

When someone disagrees, look at the facts, don’t attach character, relationship with Jesus, or motivation to the discussion for that will cloud out the truth.

John 9:1-2 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

In the Jewish culture, they believed any sickness or infirmity is caused by sin, that the power of sin was so great to cause a person to be born blind. They were over-focused on causality.

Science runs through the carnality of the mind of man.

The disciples were asking a broad question and they had wisdom enough to ask Jesus for an answer.

John 9:3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

Notice the comma …nor his parents sinned (comma) but that….  There is a break in the thought. Sin is not the issue. People answer the question through a failure of a belief system, but that is not what the Word says. The parents are out of the question. The son is out of the question. What matters is that the works of God are revealed in him.

This does not mean God made the guy blind so Jesus could heal him. So how?

John 9:4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

There is an urgency – night is coming and no one can work when it is night. Jesus must do the work of God, bringing light into darkness and healing those who are sick.

No Scripture says God goes around and causes birth defects so Jesus can heal them.

The work of the Father is revealed – the work of the Father is to heal, not to make people blind.

We read verse 4 in the Amplified.

John 9:4 AMP We must work the works of Him Who sent Me and be busy with His business while it is daylight; night is coming on, when no man can work. 

When people pray and are not healed, they carry an emotional load, and that leans toward what they believe instead of what Jesus said.

Notice it does not say “I” (Jesus) must work, but rather WE. This is said to whomever wants to do the work of the Father in faith.

The causal aspect of blindness was not Jesus’ focus. The cause is not the concern. Revealing the Father, fixing it, pushing back the darkness and night were Jesus’ concerns.

If belief in results and output is greater, why focus on the causal? The only time to be concerned about cause is if there is resistance to the healing power.

Jesus rebuilt the man’s vision no matter what the cause.

We looked back at John 9:3-4 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

What is said in verse four is reflected in verse three. A problem can arise when we try to attach purpose to a situation. Some people glorify their sickness because of a misinterpretation of Scripture. They say things like I’m sick for the glory of God. Or I’m sick so God can heal me and get glory.  Well – No – God gets greater glory if you are healthy and doing His Kingdom work. And being a good sick patient and cheerful is good, but God would get greater glory if you were miraculously healed.

God did not make the man sick so that He could get glory healing the man in the future. The devil is the source of sickness, disease, and death. The devil made the man blind. But God healed the man defeating the devil’s plan and getting glory.

If we get wrong theology in our head we end up blaming Jesus for what the devil did.  This gives people a picture of God as a bad father.

Yes, God will chastise, test, and challenge us, but He doesn’t destroy us in the process.

It is not a sin issue when someone is born with a birth defect.

Be careful what we attribute to God. If we are clumsy and fall off the porch, don’t blame God.

God wants mankind to have free will to give Him control.

In an aside, Pastor Don said a rabbi told him there were forty Psalms that people sing the right melody to. (Heather’s comment – wish I knew which ones)

When faced with a situation ask: is God in this? Do I have a peace in this? If the yoke is hard and the burden is not easy, it is not of God. Leave your circumstance with God, thank Him for doing it through you, and walk in obedience.

Malachi 4:1-3 “For behold, the day is coming,
 burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. 
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,”
 says the Lord of hosts,
 “that will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name
 The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
 with healing in His wings; 
and you shall go out 
and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked,
 for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet
 on the day that I do this,”
 says the Lord of hosts.

Jesus comes with healing in His wings.  Pastor Don illustrated how the prayer shawl has tallit (knotted strings representing the laws and the commandments) hanging from the corners. The woman with the issue of blood reached out to touch the hem of his garment – that tallit.  If you put a prayer shawl over your head and close it in front of you, you have your prayer closet. If you spread your arms wide while wearing a prayer shawl it looks like wings.

God gives us an anointing for the time we are living in. He is not shocked by what is gong on in the world or in the Body of Christ. Fear not.

Have a blessed day.

Heather

 

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Comments on our thought life made after Susie’s presentation by Pastor Don Moore

Comments on our thought life made after Susie’s presentation by Pastor Don Moore

Notes from 6/29/13

The book of James speaks about the tongue. Pastor Don said we must look in the mirror and acknowledge our part in the process. Look in the mirror and see how we contribute to circumstances and situations. Use our faith to motivate our willpower.

If we aren’t looking in the word, we can’t apply the Word to our lives.

We need to pray. Pray to God to give us willpower. Pray to be like we were created, in the image and likeness of God. Jesus did the will of the Father habitually.  Practice the changes you are making to align yourself with the will of God. Practice until they become habit. Do it for 30 days – it takes 30 days to change a habit.

Put stuff away and make space.

Most people pray and don’t get an answer. God is not a microwave God, He is more interested in relationship. We need to habitually pray and stay in faith, even if an answer is not immediately forthcoming.

In the book of Daniel, Daniel prayed for answers. It took the angel 21 days to reach Daniel because the angel had to fight satan to get to Daniel. If Daniel had lost faith, stopped praying and believing, the angel would not have come.

Our soul man is our mind, will, and emotions.  We are body, soul, and spirit. God promised us that He would take His laws and place them into our hearts.  When the word heart is used in the Old Testament it means the inner man – the innermost being of man.

Paul tells us that the Spirit connects with our soul (mind, will, emotions).  But the Spirit also has a soul – mind, will, emotions.

Galatians 5:16-26 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 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. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

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As a Man Thinketh in His Heart so is He – Prov 23:7 by Susan VanWagenen

Susie taught this Bible study 6/29/13. It was incredible and detail-filled. I asked her if she could email me a copy of what she wrote to teach from. This is her transcript. I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed the whole Friday Bible study class – Heather.

As a Man Thinketh in His Heart so is He – Prov 23:7

How many of us think that our thoughts are benign?  After all, they are just “thoughts” aren’t they?  It’s not like we are actually “doing” something, we’re just thinking about it.  However, if we delve into the anatomy of thought, we might be surprised by what thoughts really are and how they can affect us, not only spiritually and psychologically, but physiologically as well.

Thoughts are basically electrical impulses, chemicals and neurons.    Thoughts can be measured and they affect every area of our lives. They influence every decision, word, action and physical reaction we make. Thoughts can be positive or negative, and it matters a great deal which type we chose to entertain.

Phil 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Why does God want us to think on positive, true, wholesome things?  Maybe it’s because he understands our makeup better than we do.  Maybe it’s because He knows that if we dwell on deceptions, lies and ugly, negative situations and circumstances, it will be unhealthy for us.  Perhaps it’s because he knows that thoughts will develop into emotions, and emotions will develop into attitudes, and the combination of thoughts, emotions and resulting attitudes will impact our bodies in either a positive or negative way.

Up to 80 % of physical, emotional and mental health issues today could be a direct result of our thought lives.  A thought can become physically, emotionally or spiritually dangerous.  Our thoughts can become toxic, and toxic thoughts are like poison.  Toxic thoughts are thoughts that trigger negative and anxious emotions, which produce biochemicals that cause the body stress.  They are stored in your mind, as well as in the cells of your body.

Stress is a global term for the extreme strain on your body’s systems as a result of toxic thinking, like patchy memory, severe mental health issues, immune system problems, heart problems and digestive problems.  Stress is the direct result of toxic thinking.  When you are under extreme stress, chemicals flood your body and create physical effects caused by intense feelings.  When you internalize wounded emotions, you allow a seething mix of anger, hostility and resentment to develop.  For this reason, hostility and rage are at the top of the list of toxic emotions; they can produce real physiological reactions in the body and cause serious mental and physical illness.

For instance, your immune system kills most cancer cells.  But if you are intensely worried, depressed, anxious or angry and constantly thinking of the event or person who caused you to be in that state, you can make stressors (or toxic thoughts) become stronger, causing the wrong quantities of chemicals to be released.  These chemicals flow through the body and can distort the DNA of the immune cells, which make them less effective in killing cancer cells.  Although this is an extreme example, it shows the relationship among your thought life, stress and your immune system.

There are 3 stages of stress:  1) Temporary Stress – sweaty palms, fast heart beat.  2) Prolonged Stress – when temporary stress isn’t released after the initial short burst and starts becoming harmful to your system.  3) Chronic Stress – exhaustion from the constant state of heightened alert.

Temporary stress is not problematic, but prolonged and chronic stress will affect your heart, immune and digestive systems.  Neurologically, your heart is sensitive to what you think and feel.  Your thoughts directly affect your heart.  Stress is a major contributor to hypertension, angina, coronary artery disease, strokes and aneurysm.

Negative thoughts are fear driven.  In fact, research shows that fear triggers more than 1400 known physical and chemical responses.  This activates more than 30 different hormones and neurotransmitters combined, throwing the body into a frantic state.  Is it any wonder the God constantly tells us not to fear, not be become anxious?

2Cor 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

So you can break the cycle of toxic thinking.  You can reverse the affects of toxic thought.  How?  By doing what the Word says – casting down imaginations, casting down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and capturing every thought and making it obedient to Christ.

What you choose to think about can foster joy, peace and happiness or the complete opposite.  In fact, your thoughts create changes right down to genetic level, restructuring the cell’s makeup.  You may have been told that you are bound to a fate predetermined by your genes, but in fact, you are not a victim of biology.  The brain really can change.

God has given us a design of hope: we can switch on our brains, renew our minds, change and heal.

Let’s look at the heart for a minute.  It is actually like a second brain.  It has its own independent nervous system, which science refers to as the “brain in the heart.”  There are more than 40,000 neurons (nerve cells) in the heart, which is as many as are found in various parts of the brain.  In effect, the brain in your heart acts like a checking station for all the emotions generated by the flow of chemicals created by thoughts.  Remember, thoughts create emotions.  The heart checks the accuracy and integrity of your thought life, it considers and “thinks” about information received from the brain, and it has opinions of its own.  It literally functions like a conscience.  The signals your heart sends to your brain influence not just perception and emotional processing, but higher cognitive functions as well.  The voice of your heart is a gentle nudge, or a sense of warning.  Always listen.

When I read about this, it was a surprise to me – it may be a surprise to you too.  But really, we shouldn’t be surprised at all.  The Word of God often refers to the “thoughts of the heart”.

Isa 10:7 –  Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so;

Prov 23:7 – For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he;

Mat 9:4 – And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

Gen 6:5 – And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually.

Mat 15:19 – For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Heb 4:12 – For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

And that’s only a few scriptures that talk about the thoughts of the heart.

I get really excited when medical science confirms God’s word.  Dr. Caroline Leaf wrote “Who Switched Off My Brain”.  In it, she clearly illustrates how the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience support Scripture – that you can renew your mind, you can break the cycle of toxic thinking and you can break unhealthy patterns.

Toxic thoughts affect the immune system.  Resentment, bitterness, lack of forgiveness and self-hatred are a few of the toxic thoughts and emotions that can neurologically trigger immune system disorders.  Toxic thoughts/emotions generate cytokines, which are known to produce fatigue and depression and they interfere with the body’s natural healing process.  Small amounts of day-to-day stress confuse your immune system, effectively setting in motion the autoimmune response that causes your body to turn on itself.

In the King James Version, the word forgive appears 56 times.  Most of the scriptures in the Old Testament refer to God forgiving the sins of His people, but in the New Testament the scriptures not only refer to God forgiving us but also to our forgiving others.  It is not only spiritually necessary for us to forgive, but also medically necessary because unforgiveness makes way for any number of diseases, especially autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.

Eph 4:31 (Amp) – Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind).

Toxic thoughts affect the digestive system, which is why dietitians and nutritionists tell you never to eat when you are angry.  Toxic thoughts/emotions create a poisonous cocktail that damages your health and can cause digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cramping, ulcers, leaky gut syndrome, and irritable bowel syndrome.  But the good news is that you can learn to manage your thoughts and emotions making your thoughts life-giving, not life-threatening, which means you will be far less likely to suffer sickness and disease.

Positive habits and negative habits are built through the exact same process in your brain.  The only difference is that the thoughts release different quantities of chemicals.  But negative thoughts need not control you.  You can build new healthy thoughts over the old, toxic ones and remove the emotional sting at the same time.  That’s because thoughts can be measured, they occupy space, they change and grow, shrink and adapt.

Your 5 senses, sight, sound, smell, touch and taste, connect your external and internal worlds.  They are the doorway into your intellect, influencing your free will and emotions, which alerts and activates attitude.  Attitude is a state of mind that influences our choices and what we say and do as a result of our choices.  The good news is – you can choose to reject the presently-activated thoughts and incoming information.  You can choose to say things like, “I choose NOT to think about this issue anymore,” and those temporary thoughts will fade away.

No thought should ever be allowed to control you.  If you don’t get rid of the thought, you reinforce it.  The same parts of the brain activated by action, are the same parts of the brain activated by simply thinking about an action.  A healthy thought and a toxic thought can both be built with mental rehearsal.  Meditation is on the positive (pleasant things, God’s Word, beauty, etc.) but rumination is on the negative (rehashing and rehearsing hurt).  Meditate often – never ruminate.  Mat 7:21 – For from within, out of  the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders;  Mat 5:28But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.  He couldn’t be thinking about adultery in his heart if he had not already thought about it in his head.

But we can literally tear toxic strongholds down by choosing to bring the thought into conscious awareness for analysis, and then changing it through repentance and forgiveness, and replacing it with the correct information – especially the Word of God.  Your heart is in constant communication with your brain and the rest of your body, checking the accuracy and integrity of your thought life.

When you think about a thought, each time the thought is dominating your conscious mind, you can do something with it.  You can choose to keep it the same or change it.  Although we cannot control our circumstances, we can control our reactions to those circumstances.  We have been given a divine gift – an opportunity to break free from the chains of toxic events in our past or lies we have believed about ourselves and our potential.  Positive reflection, based on God’s word – thinking deeply – thinking to understand – rehearsing – repetition – can create a lasting change.

Dr. Leaf shares this, “You can be presented with all the reason, logic, scientific evidence and just plain common sense in the world, but you won’t believe something is true unless your brain’s limbic system allows you to feel it is true.  You can’t imagine and feel one way and speak something different without a lack of integrity operating in your brain. For instance, Rom 10:9-10 – Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart. 

Our perceptions of life shape our biology.  Prov 23:7 – For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  Scientifically, a process called “retranscribing neuroplastically”, enables conscious thoughts to be modified right down to the level of genetic expression in your DNA.  The spiritual aspect of this process is the “renewing of your mind” – Rom 12:2.

We have to remember that our behavior follows our thoughts, not the other way around.  Luke 6:45 – …for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.   The thoughts we entertain are processed by our hearts and come out of our mouths.  Analyzing and addressing our thoughts are key components of conquering the habits and behaviors that seem to hold us hostage.  It is up to us to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ – 2Cor 10:5.  The best way to do this is to acknowledge toxic emotions, face them and deal with them in a positive way. The process of writing consolidates the memory and adds clarity.  That’s why journaling is such a valuable tool.   Seeing your thoughts on paper and evaluating the way you think can help detoxify your thought life.

Emotions and thoughts are intertwined and inseparable.  Your feelings are the emotions attached to the thoughts.  It is not just your brain that stores memory; your body also holds memories in its cells – this is called the mind-body link.  There are only two types of emotions, love and fear.  All other emotions are variations of these.  Out of love comes joy, trust, caring, peace, contentment, patience, kindness, gentleness, etc.  Out of fear comes bitterness, anger, hatred, rage, anxiety, guilt, shame, inadequacy, depression, confusion, etc.  These emotions directly affect our bodies because of the amount of chemicals released depending on whether the emotion is love- based or fear-based.  Our brains and bodies function better when we experience love- based emotions.  The negative, fear-based emotions force the body into backup systems just to hold the fear in check.  Science and the Bible teach us not to fear.  “Fear not” appears in the KJV 144 times.  I think we should take it seriously.

Words arise out of your thoughts.  They are electromagnetic life forces that come from thoughts inside your brain.  They are influenced by your five senses and result from choices you have made.  They reflect your attitude.  They contain power and work hand-in-hand with your thought life, influencing the world around you and the circumstances of your life.  Framing your world with words is not just about positive speaking.  Your words have to be backed up with honesty, what the science of thought calls integrity.  What you do and say on the outside must reflect what you think on the inside.  A lack of integrity causes stress.

Prov 18:21 – Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Words kill or give life.  Our words affect not only us, but those who hear us, and we are responsible for the impact we have on others.  God’s Word and the science of thought make it clear that nothing good comes out of negative words.  Negative words can be more harmful to you than the person you say them to, because your mind formed the toxic thought, meditated on the words and spoke them – reinforcing them in your mind.  Because you created a negative stronghold, your body reacts with stress, and we all know that stress is a killer.

Choices can be toxic – like regret, doubt and unforgiveness.  Each of the choices we make concerning our thoughts, emotions, words and behavior, has consequences.  God gave us the gift of choice – He created us with free will.  Therefore, we need to take responsibility for our choices including our words, actions and behavior.  We can’t blame everyone else.   The new science of epigenetics has changed the conventional understanding of genetic control – “It’s in the genes” – and teaches that we are not, nor have we ever been victims of our biology.  You can switch your behavior and emotional genes on and off with the choices you make.  Deut 30:19 – …I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live…  God leaves the choice up to us.  It is up to us to train ourselves to slow down and consider all the options when making choices – this is a matter of discipline.

For instance, forgiveness is a choice, an act of your free will, which enables you to release toxic thoughts (anger, resentment, shame, grief, regret, guilt, hate).  There are over 100 scientific studies showing the healing power of forgiveness. When we don’t forgive, fear will raise levels of stress hormones and increase blood pressure and heart rate.  When people hold onto their anger, the stress response stays active, making them sick mentally and physically.  God’s Word and science show that changing how you think about past hurt can reduce its impact on you and the resulting likelihood of stress-related illness.  We change how we think through repentance and forgiveness.  We are not supposed to hang onto any negative emotions.  1Pet 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  The Lord is willing and able to help us – we must make the decision to let him.

There are 19 NT scriptures telling us to love one another.  1Cor 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.  Most of the translations I read use the word love instead of charity.  The Pulpit Commentary gives insight into why love is the greatest:

1. Love is the greatest, because it is the root of the other two; “we believe only in that which we love; we hope only for that which we love.

2. And love is the greatest because love is for our neighbours; faith and hope mainly for ourselves.

3. And love is the greatest because faith and hope are human, but God is love.

4. And love is the greatest because faith and hope can only work by love, and only show themselves by love. Thus love is as the undivided perfection of sevenfold light. Faith and hope are precious stones of one colour, as a ruby and a sapphire; but love, as he has been showing us throughout the chapter, is a diamond of many facets.

When you don’t give or experience love, there is a physical reaction in your brain expressed as stress in your body.  We are wired for love; it is as fundamental as hunger or thirst.  Love causes dopamine to be released which makes your thinking sharp and clear, it helps with focus and attention and promotes healthy thought growth.  New brain research shows that love deactivates the brain regions associated with negative emotions, social judgment and judgment of other people’s intentions and emotions.  Love helps us feel others’ pain and empathize with them. 1Cor 13 – Love is patient and kind, not jealous, proud, boastful or rude; it is not selfish, does not keep track of wrongs, is quick to believe the best, wants justice and never fails.

It is up to us to make a commitment to walk in love – to love others no matter what.  This kind of commitment requires practice, but the payoff is huge.  Give 100% without expecting anything back because that’s God’s way of doing love.

Prov 17:22 – A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.  Dr. Leaf says this, “ Having fun will detox your thought life, improve your health and make you clever to boot.  It’s one of the most powerful antidotes to stress you will ever find, and it’s free.”  Laughter releases feel-good chemicals that boost the immune system and almost instantly reduce levels of stress hormones.  Laughter gets both sides of the brain working together, it improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow and energy levels.  Humor shifts perspective.  In “What God Does to Your Brain”, Dr. Newberg gives 8 ways to exercise the brain – smiling is one of them.  He says that smiling interrupts mood disorders and enables the brain to maintain a positive outlook.  And that’s just smiling.  Laughter is smiling on steroids.

One last thing – we live rush, rush, hurry, hurry, busy, busy lives.  We suffer from the “acceleration syndrome” – the ever increasing pace of life (and that’s a scientific label).  This type of lifestyle creates toxic emotions, disrupts the autonomic nervous system, leads to erratic heart rhythms and a myriad of other health problems.  For the brain to function like it should, it needs regroup/consolidation time.  Relaxing is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity.  We need 10-20 minutes of some sort of down time every 1 ½-2 hours.  If we do not allow ourselves this recovery time, we will simply wear ourselves out.  No wonder so many people are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.

Changing the busy, busy, hurry, hurry habit is going to take practice and time, but we owe it to ourselves to find ways to slow down our pace.  There are over 1300 scriptures containing the word “rest”.  Maybe God is trying to tell us something.

So how do those of us who have a stuck “go” button learn to relax?  One way is to use our imagination.  Remember:  when you imagine something, it actually happens in your brain.  When you think of an activity in your mind, it has the same physical effect in your brain as if you were actually doing the activity.  So go fishing, make that hole-in-one, smell the flowers, do something restful and pleasant, meditate on the Word of God, pray.

Another one of Dr. Newberg’s brain exercises is “consciously relax”.  He also suggests yawning (yes, I said yawning).  Would you believe that yawning reduces anxiety and hypertension in the throat, relaxes you, stimulates alertness and concentration, optimizes brain activity and metabolism, improves cognitive function, increases memory recall, lowers stress, relaxes the body, improves voluntary muscle control, increases empathy and social awareness – among other things.  Who knew?  Yawn often.

God’s Word is our instruction manual.  He has everything in there that we need to function well spiritually, emotionally and physically.  Science is confirming the Bible, but the Bible isn’t the truth because science is showing evidence that it is.  The Bible is the truth and science is finally coming into agreement with it.  Praise the Lord!

We covered a lot of ground today and it’s almost impossible to boil it down to a to-do list, but I’ll try.

1) Practice thinking on positive, true and wholesome things.

2) Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

3) Forgiveness is spiritually and medically necessary – choose to forgive.

4) If you need an attitude adjustment (and who doesn’t) get one.

5) Don’t ruminate on negatives, meditate on positives.

6) Check how you’re reacting to circumstances – if you need an adjustment, consciously change your thinking.

7) Be real – if your thoughts and emotions are toxic, acknowledge them and determine to change.

8) Listen to your words, they reflect your attitude.

9) Take responsibility for your choices.  Don’t blame everybody else.

10) Love often – do it God’s way, expecting nothing in return.

11) Relax – it’s not just a luxury, it’s a necessity.

12) Laugh – laugh – laugh.

“Who Switched Off My Brain?”  By Dr. Caroline Leaf

“What God Does to Your Brain” by Andrew Newberg, MD

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John 13 – Jesus washes disciples’ feet (cont.) taught by Pastor Don Moore

John 13 – Jesus washes disciples’ feet taught by Pastor Don Moore

Notes from Bible study taught 6/21/13

John 13:9-12 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?

Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. He tells the disciples that only their feet needed washing because they were clean – not all (Judas was going to betray Jesus). So how were the disciples clean?

John 15:1-3 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

The disciples were clean because of the Word that Jesus spoke to them. The water is the Word. We saw that with Nicodemus. Jesus cleaned the disciples by pouring the Word on them.

The water of the Word brings us to the process of surrender to the Lord.

Betrayal is a destroyer of the Body of Christ. Some take the Word of God and twist it in the process of betrayal. Rebellion and betrayal are a process that happens over time. Offense is a bad thing to handle.

Mary Magdalene washes Jesus’ feet with her hair. Judas complains at the cost of the ointment Mary Magdalene used, but Judas was a thief. He did not see what Mary was doing.

Good teachers are not offensive except to one given to a spirit of offense. A leader brings correction. Sometimes correction is misinterpreted and people get offended. Peter experiences the truth of who Jesus is, the Messiah, the Christ. In his next breath, Peter tells Jesus not to go to the cross. Jesus rebukes Peter, saying get the behind me satan. Peter will deny Christ, but afterwards he will humble himself and stay with the body. Judas won’t do that.  Many people rebel, leave the church, and return to their own vomit, their old ways.

Judas got the feeling he is not on the same page with the disciples. Judas was a zealot, and wanted to overthrow the Roman Empire. This decision was made based on money and greed.

Sitting under the word is not enough. You can hear the Word, but something has to happen to get you cleansed by the Word. It has to go from your head to your heart.

Forty-nine percent of pastors don’t believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus or the supernatural powers of God.

John 13:12-17 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Servanthood – to be the boss, practice being the greatest servant. Ask yourself how can I humble myself to raise others up?

John 13:18  “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’

We went to Psalms to see where this passage came from to get a greater understanding. The Psalm was so good, we read it all, not just the one passage.

Psalm 41:1-13 Blessed is he who considers the poor; 
the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,
 and he will be blessed on the earth;
 You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
 You will sustain him on his sickbed. I said, “Lord, be merciful to me;
 heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.” My enemies speak evil of me:
 “When will he die, and his name perish?” And if he comes to see me, he speaks lies; 
His heart gathers iniquity to itself;
 when he goes out, he tells it. All who hate me whisper together against me;
 against me they devise my hurt. “An evil disease,” they say, “clings to him.
 And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.” Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
 who ate my bread,
 has lifted up his heel against me. But You, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up,
 that I may repay them. By this I know that You are well pleased with me,
 because my enemy does not triumph over me. As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
 and set me before Your face forever. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel
 from everlasting to everlasting!
 Amen and Amen.

Jesus has a great sense of outcome. We get depressed when we look at the present, but in the Lord we have to look at the outcome. We can’t be depressed if we are focusing on the future of what God put in our mind and imagination. We get depressed looking at the past or our current circumstances.

Right now things are not working right, we may be dealing with health issues, finances, troubles, emotional issues. God answers our prayers. God’s got a plan for us. Our outcome will be greater than our pressures.

Notice the prophecy –verse 9, has the resurrection around it. Psalm 41:9-11 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
 who ate my bread,
 has lifted up his heel against me. But You, O Lord, be merciful to me, and raise me up,
 that I may repay them. By this I know that You are well pleased with me,
 because my enemy does not triumph over me.

Too often we see the troubles in our present. As believers we know our enemy does NOT triumph over us. That doesn’t mean we won’t face troubles and challenges, but we will triumph in Christ. We only become depressed if we stay sitting in our mess. A bump in the road does not mean that you give up your future.

John 13:18-20 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’  Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.  Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

Jesus is speaking in the authority of the sent one. He says those who receive whomever Jesus sends receives Jesus, and those who receive Jesus receive the Father. Judas will dip bread, but will not share the cup. Judas does not receive the Lord.

Praying your day is blessed.

Heather

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John 13 continued – foot washing taught by Pastor Don Moore

John 13 Continued – foot washing taught by Pastor Don Moore

Notes from Bible study taught 6/14/13

John 13:5-6  After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”

Peter objects that the Lord over them as teacher is taking a slave position.

John 13:7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

When we watch someone carrying out a ministry role we assume we know what they are doing. When something different happens, a pastor’s actions can be misinterpreted.

What Jesus was doing had nothing to do with Jesus being a slave. A true leader is a servant. In the House of the Lord we forget why we are there. We are there to praise, worship, adore God, and demonstrate God’s glory.

The worship team singing worship songs is a ministry and it isn’t for the singers’ glory, but rather to be a blessing to the worship service.

An usher’s role is to enhance the spiritual experiences of the people coming in so that they can get into worship. An usher is not to be a policeman.

True worship is opposite of what tradition and culture teaches.

One cultural thing in most churches is an altar contains three seats – one high-backed seat flanked by two other seats. The pastor sits in the high-backed seat and other church “dignitaries” sit in the other seats. This is the rendition of the pagan Bema seat, a judgment seat. (In our church pastors and visitors sit with the congregation to worship, we don’t place someone in a position of high honor – respect yes, but we are all worshippers of God).

The Kingdom things do not look like the way the world looks. Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Pastor Don is willing to answer questions of those in Bible study and someone asked about a different translation of the Bible they came across – it turned out to be a jehovah witness bible.  Pastor has one in his office to show people the difference in translation – the JW bible is wrongly translated and Pastor Don pointed out two passages that were so radically different. We have to be careful of the translations we use because we don’t want to alter the truth of God. Only the JWs translate the John 1:1 the way they do – all others follow similar to NKJV. If you see a copy of the Bible called the New World Translation – STAY AWAY – it is the false teachings of JW. They translate the Bible to support their theology and it is a mistranslation.

John 1:1 NKJV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

Jaws dropped when we read the JW version of this passage.

JW bible In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god

The JW bible doesn’t say the Word was God; they say it is a god (notice the lower case) They deny the divinity of Jesus – as you go further into their mythology they say we are all angels and Jesus is an angel like us.

Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

The JW bible – note the difference from a truer translation: Philippians 2:5-8 Keep this mental attitude in YOU that was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and came to be in the likeness of men. More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake.

It is shocking to see such mis-translations.

Poor traditions put us in position to be in error. People interpret Scripture and put verses in that build themselves up. Mature Christians look at the Word and how it can correct behavior. Many hide behind their positions in the church.

We could not understand Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others until after Jesus went to the cross. Jesus took the position of doulos to elevate others.

The Pope should be a servant of the people. We can’t elevate Mary to co-redeemer. We can’t apply what WE think to the Word of God for then we get a form of worship that doesn’t line up with the Spirit and the truth.

Our ultimate goal is to act and see everyone as spiritual to us in the Body of Christ until they are Scripturally wrong. If someone is teaching in the pulpit and they are saying something that we think is not Scriptural, we can honor and respect them, but we must ask a simple question – show me where you find that in the Word. Prove it in the Word.

Revelation 22:12-19 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

We are not to take a verse out of context. Ask the person why did you do what you do?

If Ezekiel did not tell the people what God said, God would hold Ezekiel accountable.

Ezekiel 3:18-19 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

If the people hear the prophecy and don’t obey they are held accountable.

If we take our questions to the leader and he does not make correction but continues to walk in a Gospel of his own mind – that does not flow in Spirit and truth, we can’t feed that ministry or stay in it because it has the power to corrupt the mind.

We have to have a sense that there is a door where truth can come out.

Sadly today, there are many leaders (clergy) in the Church that are not Bible believers. Seminary education is more intellectual and asking questions. Skepticism is popular these days. There are pastors that don’t believe Jesus rose from the dead, and doubt many other Scriptural truths.

Someone in the group said, – with CONTEXT – if you take the TEXT out of Scripture all you have is the CON.

At the same time, every pastor can make an honest mistake or get something wrong. We are not to just listen to spot the errors – we’re not to become some sort of clergy police.

Pastor Don said there was a person who spoke from our pulpit and said that in the last days even the elect would be deceived. No one in the congregation caught the misinterpretation of the Scripture. Pastor Don never invited that person to speak again and spent several Sundays teaching the truth. Here is the Scripture that was taken out of context.

Matthew 24:21-24 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

What the passage says is that IF POSSIBLE – but it is not possible to deceive the elect.

Pastor Don said that there are times when, as we learn to teach the Bible, we make a mistake in interpretation. He doesn’t always come down strong, he waits until a teachable moment and then they will be able to hear their mistake. Most people will put a wall up before their heart opens.

John 13:8-9 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

Peter is still trying to tell Jesus how to wash him – still wants to be in control.

John 13:10  Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”

This “not all of you” is a reference to Judas.

John 13:11-12 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?

Jesus won’t be able to condemn or judge until Judas has an opportunity to change. At this point Judas could have decided not to betray Jesus. As Christians we must be patient with those who reject Jesus because later they may become better Christians than we are. We need to give people a fair opportunity to change.

Don’t close the door of hope for someone to be saved until their last breath. How do we know what God can do – and at their last breath they can change and believe in Him. God can remove the last obstacle to believe in with a person’s last breath.

John 13:13-17 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

It is possible to know stuff and not do it. That is a problem in the Church. Find the courage and strength to do what we are called to do so that we can better serve the Kingdom of God.

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John Chapter 13- foot washing and Judas’ betrayal taught by Pastor Don Moore

John Chapter 13 foot washing and Judas’ betrayal taught by Pastor Don Moore

Notes from Bible study of 6/7/13

John 13:1-3 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,

This is the event that ties Jesus’ work to its culminating crescendo – an expression of love. This supper (Passover meal) is a tying together of commitment and dedication of marriage between Him and His disciples in a similar way as a couple in the Jewish Wedding Covenant shares the bread and wine. Judas is not in covenant with Jesus for satan enters into Judas and Judas betrays Jesus.

In verse three we see Jesus knows He came from God and is going to God. We saw this with Jesus’ baptism when God said this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. Jesus knew all things were given into His hands because of the Covenant promises spoken and of all the prophecies given in the Scriptures.

Some things we know by faith that goes beyond our intellect. When we know by faith we have a solid understanding of it. Head knowledge does not always bring understanding of the important facts.

Your simple faith will work for you and you will see miracles under the unction of the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit, the level of power is different. Moses did not have sufficient power to part the Red Sea, but with the Holy Spirit’s aid the sea parted.

In church, there is a state of confusion. We are looking for a manifestation of faith through God, waiting for God to act and then we will have faith. We are not operating on our simple faith. We wait for God.  There is a problem.

For example if you want a great ministry, you wait for God to open doors, but you’re not using your simple faith to move in that direction. God won’t give miracles for people who don’t operate their simple faith.

The large majorities of miracles in the Bible occur on the basis of Jesus saying, “YOUR FAITH healed you.” The woman with the issue of blood declared that, if she could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would be healed. Jesus told her that her faith healed her.

Sometimes we have simple faith for things God did not put his seal of approval on. (Character issues)  Faith will work for you like electricity in the natural. It will work even on things that God isn’t totally approving – and the devil is glad to bring something into existence to bring us to self-destruction.

In our church, one woman wanted a house so bad she marched around the property and used her faith to declare the house is hers. Pastor Don saw the house and realized it was a home-owner’s nightmare, but the woman wanted the house. She and her husband spent years in that house struggling and things never worked out. Finally she realized she had made a wrong choice, they sold the house and moved into a more suitable abode. But here faith worked to get her the house that was not in her best interests.

Sin is not a problem for God – He forgives us our sins. What is a problem for God is consistency of sin and disobedience. We all make mistakes and sin, but God wants to see us seeking to live more in accord with His plan for our lives.

God dwells within us all the time but is not operating all the time. Work up simple faith. We have to operate our simple faith. God will not operate in the feeling realm. He operates in the “I know” realm based on faith.

Jesus – in verse three – knows by simple faith – He doesn’t need to reconfirm.

God wants us to operate in simple faith as disciples of Christ. Feelings come and go. Healing waits on where God can locate your faith. The Holy Spirit looks in the heart of man and administers healing for what is believed. God is looking for a place where you can agree with God. He is looking for what will cause you to release simple faith.

For some healing comes with laying on of hands, others it comes when the doctor prescribes pills and you believe those pills will heal you. God will meet you where your faith is.

FAITH TRANSFERENCE.  As we grow in faith we can transfer faith from one area to another. We may have faith that God can heal a headache – then we get a neck ache. We then transfer the faith for headache healing to neck ache healing. Our faith grows as we see both areas healed.

We don’t have total faith – some have faith for finances, but can’t believe for healing. Others may have healing faith but not see God healing their family relationship or finances.

Our goal is to grow our faith. We are all given a measure of faith and the Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The more we hear the Word of God and speak the Word of God, the greater our faith grows.

Change in our lives doesn’t occur because of intellectual knowing but by faith knowing.

Jesus said – My sheep know My voice.

Pastor Don said that sometimes a thought crosses his mind that is in a subject he wasn’t thinking about. If it is something he didn’t want to think about it’s probably God. For example, if he is thinking about going fishing and a thought comes that he should visit one of the church members instead of fishing – that thought probably came from God.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

God can supply our needs exceedingly, abundantly above anything we can think or imagine.

Simple faith draws on the Holy Spirit. The independent work of the Holy Spirit is sometimes manifested through a person to draw out of someone what we need to accomplish God’s will.

If praise is at a high level, God draws near to hear. He pays attention to praise and the angels of the house joins that praise and takes it higher. By God’s presence, we are blessed. God’s natural Spirit is a blessing. God wants us to get out of feeling and get to the higher echelons and higher revelation of truth.

Jesus never questions His relationship with His Father (God), the Father’s relationship with Him, and the Holy Spirit’s ability to operate on Him, or to call the Holy Spirit. He is confident in faith that God will never leave or abandon Him.

For healing ministry, confident simple faith will work even if it is not supernatural healing.  Our self-will tries to keep us where we are and to fight against attempts to change. Change is only possible when we are willing to surrender our will at the altar.

You can’t get the blessing you want without getting rid of the baggage God wants us to change.

FAITH AND PRESUMPTION.

We are often ruled by feelings. When we want to make a change there is pressure to take an estimated guess, bring the situation under judgment and make our own judgment and presumption of the situation. We think we know who, how, when, and why.  The truth is God knows and He may have a different idea. We set ourselves up as an idol.

Ask yourself, how did I arrive at that? Is it I feel strongly about that? No Scripture says when you feel strongly a certain way, God will do it. Presumptuous faith is not faith.

FAITH IS I KNOW – based on God’s going to do. Presumption brings disappointment. We ask for the wrong reason, for the wrong thing, at the wrong time. We can’t pressure God. God does something because God said it, but we can’t pressure Him. We don’t know when or how or in what condition.

If God hasn’t given us a Rhema Word about something, we just trust the written Word. If we don’t’ hear it as Rhema Word, we can’t presume it’s now. We can’t eliminate the sovereign will of God. Some things will wait until the millennial reign.

Some promises are not manifested now because we don’t confront our flesh. God doesn’t send a Word to depress or defeat. He will clarify or encourage with His Word.

John 13:4-5  …rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

Jesus takes the role of servant, the lowest level of servant. A doulos or slave would wash feet and wipe them with a towel girded around their waist, butt naked.

John 13:4-5 AMP  Got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He fastened it around His waist. Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the [servant’s] towel with which He was girded.

What He did caused Him to set aside His garments – this is prophetic, for Jesus set aside the garment of His divinity to come down as man. Jesus stepped out of his position of authority to the disciples and came to the disciples as the lowest level of slave, taking off the towel and using it to wipe the feet. Cleansing. This is a pre-enactment of the crucifixion. Jesus took the role of servant, stepping out of His position and authority to teach the apostles.

John 13:6-7 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

Simon Peter doesn’t want Jesus washing his feet. Jesus is doing this so the disciples learn what they need and are prepared for after the Cross. There’s some things that the leadership of the Holy Spirit and Jesus ask us to do and we don’t understand. Don’t debate. Obedience is not based on if we agree with what is proposed or accept it; obedience is the proper position for servanthood.

You can have a pastor who is out of order with God. For example a pastor directs the church to minister to orphans but that was not God’s plan for that particular church. If the people obey the pastor, even though it is not God’s plan for that church, God will honor their obedience to the pastor’s leadership.

We can be in theological error, people go off in their own mind and what they want, but not obey the Word of God. Or we can change our theology based on the opinions of people and our feelings, but the change is not theologically sound.

We ran out of time for this Bible study, but  will be looking at this more for a few more weeks.

Have a blessed day,

Heather

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