Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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October 19 - Evening

"When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters received us warmly. The next day Paul and the rest of us went to see James, and all the elders were present. Paul greeted them and reported in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to Paul:
'You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law. They have been informed that you teach all the Jews who live among the Gentiles to turn away from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. What shall we do? They will certainly hear that you have come, so do what we tell you. There are four men with us who have made a vow. Take these men, join in their purification rites and pay their expenses, so that they can have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.' "

- Acts 21:17-24

Paul Delivers Financial Support to Jerusalem Christians

Paul arrived in Jerusalem in 57 AD. Paul and Luke, along with the seven representatives (Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius, Timothy, Tychicus and Trophimus in Acts 20:4) from the churches (Berea, Thessalonica, Derbe, Asia) that provided money for the offering to the believers in Jerusalem met with James (Jesus’ brother) and the elders of the Jerusalem church.
Paul and his eight Gentile friends share with the Pastor James and the Jewish elders in the Jerusalem church the great things God is doing among the Gentiles who accept the message of Jesus. These Gentile believers have brought a substantial financial gift to help relieve the financial poverty the Jewish believers have had to endure due to their being rejected by Jewish society for having accepted Jesus as the Messiah (1 Cor. 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8:1-9:5; Romans 15:25-28, 31). Imagine these eight uncircumcised Gentile men (the seven mentioned above plus Luke) testifying in front of the leadership of the original Jerusalem church about the Messiah Jesus, the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and, then, handing them a large sum of money collected from Gentiles from Greece and Asia in order to help the Jerusalem believers!
The response of the leaders of the Jerusalem church is to point out to Paul that his behavior has convinced many of the Jews that Paul had abandoned the Law of Moses and was encouraging other Jews to do so also. The Jewish leaders advised Paul to take a vow, go to the Temple Mount and make an offering to help squelch these rumors. Paul followed their advice, the Jews start a riot and Paul spends the next five years in prison…57-59 in a prison in Caesarea and 60-62 in a Roman prison. And, Paul never sees Jerusalem again.
Rhizoo (Gr) - Rooted (Eng) - the Greek word rhizoo means "rooted, strengthened with roots." Rhizoo is used to express the image of being constant and firmly established such as the foot of a mountain. Ephesians 3:17 says we are to be rooted in love. So, while the Word of God is the seed that grows, we now know love is the soil in which that seed will grow. (Remember the sower sows the seed in soil that produced 30, 60 and 100 fold? The seed, was always the same, what varied was the soil, or the love.)
Do I study and understand the Word of God? This is the seed for spiritual growth.
Do I live a life of love or selflessness? This is the soil where the roots of truth grow deep and rich.
I will know and understand Truth. I will love and consider others before myself.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


Discernment concerning truth and deception


Religious Liberty
Saudi Arabia - very poor record of religious freedom and human rights

Water is still found under the vaulted rooms that supported the Byzantine church which was built over the northern pool around 350. It was destroyed in approximately 614.
The area of the Pools of Bethesda has always had a source of water. In the days of the Old Testament, the area was outside the city of Jerusalem to the north. It had a large pool that shepherds used and was called the Sheep Pool. The gate on the north side of Jerusalem was thus called the Sheep Gate. In the 700’s BC a dam was built to turn the spring into a reservoir that would collect rain water which could then be channeled into the city. The area was associated with sheep, sacrifice, and the Temple because of its proximity to the Temple.
The Hasmoneans added a second pool on the south side of the dam and covered the channel to improve water quality. This site was uncovered in 1888 by K. Schick, but it had been known about since the days of the Byzantines and Crusaders, as evidenced by the remains of the church that was built over it. No ancient Jewish writers refer to this pool, although Josephus did write of the Pool of the Sheep-market. Some early Christian writers recorded a spring of water here that flowed with a red, ruddy color that some people have tried to associate with the blood of the Temple sacrifices. The spring that feeds the pools has been located, and water still collects in the lower areas.
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Caesarea Philippi
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Someone to Quote

"The golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters is not intellect, but obedience." - Oswald Chambers

Something to Ponder

Sometimes young people live as if they were in their final moments of life, rather than at the beginning preparing for it.

Here’s a Fact

Antiquity did not have an atheistic philosophy like the modern western world deals with. Atheism is a recent philosophy and is merely a passing fad when considered with world history in perspective.


"Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise." - Proverbs 19:20

Coach’s Corner

The more you follow and obey the Lord, the more you will begin to understand the Lord. 

James 2
New International Version (NIV)
Favoritism Forbidden
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. 11 For he who said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “You shall not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker.
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith and Deeds
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Matthew 16
New International Version (NIV)
The Demand for a Sign
16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees
When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
Jesus Predicts His Death
21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
28 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

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