Spiritual Training

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October 10 - Morning

"When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language...'we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!' Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, 'What does this mean?' " - Acts 2:6, 11-12

A Sign That the Church Age Had Arrived


Just as Jesus had promised and the Old Testament had foretold, the Holy Spirit of God was poured out from heaven and given to the believers. This occurred fifty days after the resurrection on the Jewish holiday of Pentecost. It was the closing of the old age and the beginning of a new one. A sign accompanied this transition so the Jewish people could recognize this as an event of prophetic fulfillment. A sign was given in order to confirm the presence of God and to cause the people to ask, “What does this mean?”
In Acts 2:1-4 the Holy Spirit manifested as a violent wind to fill the Upper Room where He separated into flames of fire which entered each of the disciples. The result that day was the sign of tongues that “amazed and perplexed” the Jews who asked, “What does this mean?”
For the feast of Pentecost in 30 AD Jerusalem's normal population swelled from 100,000 to 1,000,000 as it often did for Jewish holidays. Jews from many nations and with many native languages filled Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside. When the crowd heard “this sound” they “came together in bewilderment.” Luke uses the words “bewilderment,” “amazed,” and “perplexed” to describe this crowd of Jews who said:
            “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

Luke described it this way:
            “each one heard them speaking in his own language.”

The Jews were not “bewildered,” “amazed,” and “perplexed” because they heard someone in the streets of Jerusalem speaking a foreign language, since it would be amazing if the Jews did not hear someone in Jerusalem during Pentecost speaking their foreign language.
What amazed the Jews that day was that each individual Jew heard all of the people from the Upper Room speaking his own language. And, so did everyone else! And, they said, “we hear them all declaring the wonders of God in our own language.” So, the miraculous sign was not that the disciples spoke in tongues, but that the Jews heard whatever any of the disciples said in their own language!
There wasn’t a group that spoke Greek gathered around Peter who was speaking Greek while another group that spoke ancient Chaldean gathered around John who was speaking Chaldean. No, instead each individual Jew heard all of the disciples “declaring the wonders of God” in their own language. The Jews said:
“We hear them (or, all of them) declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

Then, the purpose of the sign kicked in:
“Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, ‘What does this mean?’”

This was a fulfillment of a prophecy spoken of by Isaiah in 730 BC that had also announce the coming Assyrian invasion of 722 BC, but now it also announced the transition from the Jewish age to the church age on this day in 30 AD. Isaiah had written:
"Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, to whom he said, 'This is the resting place, let the weary rest' and 'This is the place of repose' - but they would not listen." - Isaiah 28:11-12 (also quoted in 1 Cor. 14:21)

This passage from Isaiah was referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians when Paul says:
"Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers." - 1 Corinthians 14:22

On the day of Pentecost in 30 AD tongues served as a sign to the Jews that they would be set aside and the church would be given the keys of the kingdom as Jesus had said:
"I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven..." - Matthew 16:18-19
'azab (Hb) - Forsaken (Eng) - the Hebrew word 'azab means "to forsake," "to abandon," or "to lose." Jeremiah and others accused Israel of 'azab of the Lord, the Law and the Covenant. This, of course, led to judgment, punishment and the destruction of society, but God promised his people that he would never 'azab them (Deut. 31:6, 8).
Do I prepare for daily events and plan ahead for life's natural requirements? Organization time and maintenance of property is an expectation of godly man. I will organize events and provide maintenance for my possessions.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Spiritual gift

Church

Health of leadership
Secretary of Education
Romania - large and growing evangelical population



Remains of the towers that guarded the Gihon Springs water source for the city of Jerusalem. (click on image for larger size)
Map of the Hittite Empire (click on image for larger size)





Someone to Quote

“That all the people of the earth may know…” – Gideons’ Mission Statement

Something to Ponder

87% of North Americans call themselves Christian.

Here’s a Fact

The writers of the Gospels record the names of the Jewish High Priests at that time to be Annas and Caiaphas. Josephus also mentions these same men serving as the high priests at the same time in his writings.

Proverb

"The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions."
Proverbs 12:27

Coach’s Corner

Men are not heroes at birth. They are prepared overtime and become heroes in those crucial moments. 

Esther 5
New International Version (NIV)
Esther’s Request to the King
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”
“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”
“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”
So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared.
As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”
Haman’s Rage Against Mordecai
Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.
Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife,
11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”
14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.
Acts 7
New International Version (NIV)
Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin
Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?”
To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’
“So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
11 “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.
17 “As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. 18 Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.
20 “At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.
23 “When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’
27 “But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? 28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.
30 “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31 When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.
33 “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’
35 “This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.
37 “This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’ 38 He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.
39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. 42 But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:
“‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings     forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
43 
You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek     and the star of your god Rephan,     the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.
44 “Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. 45 After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, 46 who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
48 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:
49 
“‘Heaven is my throne,     and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord.     Or where will my resting place be?
50 
Has not my hand made all these things?’
51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”
The Stoning of Stephen
54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Matthew 5
New International Version (NIV)
Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.
The Beatitudes
He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,     for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,     for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,     for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,     for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,     for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,     for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,     for they will be called children of God.
10 
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,     for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
The Fulfillment of the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Murder
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Adultery
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Divorce
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
Oaths
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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