Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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October 11 - Morning

"They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: 'By what power or what name did you do this?'
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: 'Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.'
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”'

- Acts 4:7-12

No Other Hope of Salvation


Peter and John were arrested and brought before the Jewish Sanhedrin, including the deposed high priest Annas and his son-in-law, the current high priest, Caiaphas. Peter and John were being charged with healing a lame man in Jesus’ name. Clearly the crime was not healing a lame man, but doing it in Jesus’ name. The Sanhedrin asked Peter and John:
            “By what power or what name did you do this?”
When Peter answers them he makes three important points:
First, Peter’s theme continues to be Jesus’ resurrection because the resurrection of Jesus proves the court of heaven had overthrown the Jewish court’s decision to crucify Jesus. Peter says, “Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from that dead.”
Next, the leaders rejection of Jesus and God’s choosing of Jesus is prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus is the stone the builders (Sanhedrin, Annas, Caiaphas, etc.) rejected as they built their Jewish system, but Jesus is also the cornerstone that God has used as the first stone of a new building (church) which all the following stones must be aligned with.
And, finally, the salvation of the Jewish nation can only be found in Jesus. Indeed, Jesus is the source of individual salvation and our personal right standing with God. But, this message that Peter is presenting to the Jewish leaders is probably not predominately focused on their individual salvation (although that would also be necessary), but probably focused on the Jewish national security. If the Jewish nation persists in rejecting Jesus, the servant/messiah, then there is no hope, no deliverance, and no salvation for these builders who have rejected the Jesus as the stone. Jesus will become the first stone, the cornerstone, of a brand new building called the church and the Jewish nation will be overthrown in 70 AD.
Peter and John are dismissed from the Sanhedrin, but they are first charged, “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18)
'olah (Hb) - Burnt Sacrifice (Eng) - the Hebrew word 'olah that is translated "burnt sacrifice," comes from the root word 'alah which means "to go up," or "to ascend." Thus, that which goes up from being burnt on the altar was 'olah, or a burnt sacrifice.
I will present Jesus today as the hope of salvation.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Family friends and their children

Church

Long for Christ's return
Terrorism
Romania - relevance of Christianity to the youth



Gold lampstand setting near the Western Wall in the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem. (click on image for larger size)
An illustration of the Sennacherib Prism that details the Assyrian King's account of his military interaction with Judah's King Hezekiah. The prism's text says in part:
"In my third campaign I marched against Hatti. Luli, king of Sidon, whom the terror-inspiring glamour of my lordship had overwhelmed, fled far overseas and perished. As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to his strong cities, walled forts, and countless small villages, and conquered them by means of well-stamped earth-ramps and battering -rams brought near the walls with an attack by foot soldiers, using mines, breeches as well as trenches..." (click on image for larger size)





Someone to Quote

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone - except God." - Billy Grahm

Something to Ponder

The last mention of the Apostle John in the book of Acts is when he goes up to Samaria during Philips revival in Acts 8:14 about 34 AD.
The next time we hear of John is over fifty years later when he writes his gospel and First, Second and Third John around 85 AD.

Here’s a Fact

There is a description in both the Babylonian Talmud and the Tosefta from the Tannaitic period (70-200 AD) of an incident involving Rabbi Eliezer and one of Jesus' disciples that took place sometime between 60 and 95 AD. Part of the text says: "Once I was walking along the upper market of Sepphoris and found one of the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth and Jacob of Kefar Sekanya was his name. He said to me..."

Proverb

"The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath." - Proverbs 11:23

Coach’s Corner

God says, “Do not fear,” he doesn’t mean to say there is nothing to fear, but that there is something greater than fear to believe. 

Esther 6
New International Version (NIV)
Mordecai Honored
That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
“What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.
“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.
The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.
His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”
“Bring him in,” the king ordered.
When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?”
So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’”
10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”
11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”
12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, 13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.
His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!”
14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.
Acts 9
New International Version (NIV)
Saul’s Conversion
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews,[a] but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
Aeneas and Dorcas
32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”
39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.
Matthew 8:1-13
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy
When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
The Faith of the Centurion
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
Footnotes:
  1. Matthew 8:2 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

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