Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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October 13 - Morning

"But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women...When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 
When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them;  they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."
- Acts 8:12, 14-17

The Spirit in Samaria


In fulfillment of Jesus’ direction to take the gospel from Jerusalem to Judea, and then, to Samaria, Philip takes the message into the land of the Samaritans. The border of the country called Samaria, which lays north of Judea and south of Galilee, is a mere 16 miles from Jerusalem. The city of Samaria itself is about 35 miles north of Jerusalem.
Philip, one of the men selected early to distribute the food to the widows in the church, leads the Samaritans to a saving faith in Jesus by sharing the knowledge of the kingdom of God and the Messiah. When the Samaritans accept Jesus as the Messiah Philip confirms their faith with the act of baptism, a sign of separation from their past and an allegiance to their new association with Jesus Christ. These Samaritans have been saved, or born again and placed in the church, the body of Christ.
When news of this reaches the apostles in Jerusalem, Peter and John travel the short distance to Samaria, a land they are familiar with, at least, since the days of traveling with Jesus. In John 4 Peter and John saw the woman at the well lead her town out to meet Jesus and, later, when the Samaritans rejected Jesus in Luke 9:54, this same John wanted to call fire out of heaven Elijah-style to consume the Samaritans. But, now Peter and John go to meet a group of believing Samaritans that came to the faith through the ministry of Philip.
The text says the Samaritans had not yet received the Holy Spirit, but yet they have been born again by the Spirit. According to Romans 8:9 the Holy Spirit is already dwelling in the Samaritans when Peter and John arrive:
"If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

The Samaritans have received the Spirit of God just like Jesus said to the woman at the well concerning individual salvation when he compared the Holy Spirit to water:
“The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14

The manifestation of the Holy Spirit that occurs among the Samaritans when Peter and John arrive is not the work of salvation, but instead, these believers are being filled with the Holy Spirit, which means the Holy Spirit is manifesting himself through them. The result of a believer being filled with the Holy Spirit is actions of ministry.
Jesus also spoke of this work of the Holy Spirit in terms of water:
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ” – John 7:39
Zera (Hb) - Seed (Eng) - the Hebrew noun zera means "seed." In the Old Testament zera is used to refer to something planted. The thing planted could be a plant seed placed in the ground, semen placed in a womb or a thought (such as Word of God) planted in a mind. The noun zera come from the verb zara which means "to plant," "to sow," or "to scatter." Zera can also be used to refer to the generations resulting of semen in the womb which would be the future generations or descendants.
Have I experienced the water of salvation? If so, have I experienced the Holy Spirit that saved me flowing through me like a river? I will desire the Holy Spirit to flow through me and I will allow the Holy Spirit to bring the water of life to others through my actions.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Right words for the right moment

Church

Opportunities to share the gospel in church and in community
USA and Israel relationship
Russia - increasing racist nationalism



Hill country of the land of Benjamin
(click on image for larger size)
The land of the Israel during the six Syrian Wars predicted by Daniel in 536 BC and recorded in Daniel 11:6-35 that occurred in 274-168 BC between the Ptolemy's in the south and the Seleucid kings in the north.
(click on image for larger size)





Someone to Quote

"In most parts of the Bible, everything is implicitly or explicitly introduced with
"Thus saith the Lord".
It is... not merely a sacred book but a book so remorselessly and continuously sacred that it does not invite - it excludes or repels - the merely aesthetic approach. You can read it as literature only by a tour de force... It demands incessantly to be taken on its own terms: it will not continue to give literary delight very long, except to those who go to it for something quite different. I predict that it will in the future be read, as it always has been read, almost exclusively by Christians.

- C.S. Lewis

Something to Ponder

When Joseph arrived in Egypt around 1900 BC, thirty of the greatest pyramids were already standing.

Here’s a Fact

The oldest known inscription or reference to "Israel" is on the Pharaoh Merneptah's Stela (an upright engraved stone, in this case, 10 feet tall) which was carved around 1210 BC using hieroglyphs and images. It was found in Western Thebes, Egypt in 1896. (details, photos)

Proverb

"A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil."
- Proverbs 13:19

Coach’s Corner

The most productive way is to obey. Just like it is best to do the job right the first time.

Esther 8
New International Version (NIV)
The King’s Edict in Behalf of the Jews
That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.
Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
“If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”
King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up. Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”
At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. 10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.
11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies. 12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.
The Triumph of the Jews
15 When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. 16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
Acts 13
New International Version (NIV)
13 
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
On Cyprus
The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.”
Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
In Pisidian Antioch
13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”
16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Fellow Israelites and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our ancestors; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt; with mighty power he led them out of that country; 18 for about forty years he endured their conduct in the wilderness; 19 and he overthrew seven nations in Canaan, giving their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.
“After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.
21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you suppose I am? I am not the one you are looking for. But there is one coming after me whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’
26 “Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the cross and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:
“‘You are my son;     today I have become your father.’
34 God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay. As God has said,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’
35 So it is also stated elsewhere:
“‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’
36 “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
41 
“‘Look, you scoffers,     wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days     that you would never believe,     even if someone told you.’”
42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him.
46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles,     that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 12:1-14
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

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