Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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October 30 - Evening

"I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ,but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people."
- Romans 16:17-18

Keep an Eye on Smooth Talking People

This admonition in Romans 16:17 to avoid divisive people and false teachers follows a series of greetings and an encouragement to the believers to use the "holy kiss," a sign of unity and trust. The maintenance of unity and peace in a church community requires attention and intentional work. To maintain peace and unity in the church certain personalities must be anticipated and the leadership alert to the problems they can cause.
In the midst of the peace and unity in the church of Rome Paul sends a sharp warning to be on the lookout for trouble by people who are divisive and people who teach contrary to the Apostolic doctrine. When these people are spotted they should be avoided:
“Watch out for those who cause divisions…contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” – Romans 16:17-18

“Watch out for” is the verb skopeo and means “to pay close attention to” and “to keep an eye on.“ (Skopeo is used on a positive note in 2 Cor. 4:18; Gal. 6:1; Phil. 2:4; 3:17)
People who cause division are associated with false teaching, and false teaching is associated with division. Paul says the motivation for creating division is not service to Christ or service to the people, but service to “their own appetites.” They do this for power and money, both of which satisfy a craving appetite: one, control and authority; and, two, food and material gain.
The method divisive people use includes smooth talk and flattery. By saying things that attract people the divisive person gains trust and followers who are more interested in how they feel emotionally than knowing the truth that could be used to evaluate people and situations. It is easier to tell the people, “we love you,” than it is to actually teach them the truth. Many people would rather hear a false teacher tell them, “We love you,” than to hear a loving teacher tell them the truth.
Proskollao (Gr) - Joined (Eng) - the Greek word proskollao is a word used three times to describe the marriage of a man and woman in the Greek New Testament. In fact, it is the Greek word chosen by the translators of the Septuagint (LXX, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) to translate the Hebrew word debaq, or "cleave" in Genesis 2:24. The word proskollao means "to glue" or "to cement together." When something is "glued" or "cemented" it was not done to merely hold together for a temporary period, but was "cemented" with the intention of being together permanently.
Do I use words to divide, even when I speak smoothly?
Do I use flattery to manipulate?
I will speak kind and gracious words that edify, but I will not use smooth talk and flattery in order to manipulate, divide or to advance evil.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Perseverance in service to the saints
Illegal Aliens
Somalia - church went underground in 1991

The glacis that support the city walls of ancient Ashkelon of the Philistines. The gate is to the left of the photo under the white roof. The Mediterranean Sea is to the right of the photo. The rectangular area in the lower 1/3 of the glacis with the pole was the location where the calf god was found. See details of the calf god found at this location here, photo.
(click on image for larger size)
The location of Calvary and the tomb of Christ in relation to the wall of the 30 AD city of Jerusalem on the west side of the city. Calvary and the location of the tomb are now inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
(click on image for larger size)

Someone to Quote

"Prayer does not change the purpose of God.  But prayer does change the action of God." - Chuck Smith 

Something to Ponder

Council of Toledo (1229) - the Bible is placed on the Index of Forbidden Books

Here’s a Fact

An impression from a seal in clay (a Bulla) from 700-800 BC came to light in the 1990's. The bulla reads:
"Belonging to Ahaz son of Yehotam, King of Judah"
Ahaz was the King of Judah from 732-716 BC (2 Kings 16) This was the king's seal and most likely was made by him to seal a document.An impression of a fingerprint remains in the clay bulla and is likely the fingerprint of King Ahaz himself. (details)


"The righteous detest the dishonest; the wicked detest the upright."
- Proverbs 29:27

Coach’s Corner

Compassion was one of the emotions that moved Christ to interact in people’s lives. We should also experience compassion for those in despair and have the courage to engage their situation with hope and action. 

1 Corinthians 9
New International Version (NIV)
Paul’s Rights as an Apostle
Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord? Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?
But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.
Paul’s Use of His Freedom
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
The Need for Self-Discipline
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
Mark 10
New International Version (NIV)
10 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.
Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”
“What did Moses command you?” he replied.
They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”
“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
The Little Children and Jesus
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
The Rich and the Kingdom of God
17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”
20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time
32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
The Request of James and John
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39 “We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with,
40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”
So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”
50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.
51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

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