Spiritual Training

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October 6 - Morning

"Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying: 
'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.' ”
- Matthew 26:27-29

Jesus Institutes the Cup

While Jesus was eating the Passover meal with his disciples in 30 AD he took one of the cups of wine used at the meal. There were four cups of wine traditionally used in this meal:
  1. The cup of benediction used at the beginning of the ceremony
  2. The cup beginning the meal after Psalm 113 and 114 were read (the first part of the Hallel, or Praise Psalms) and while a dialogue took place to explain the meaning of the meal.
  3. The cup after the meal and the prayer that was always said at the end of a Jewish meal
  4. The cup at the end of the reading of Psalm 115-118 (the end of the Hallel Psalms)
In Matthew 26:27-29 Jesus has taken one of these single cups and used the explanation portion of the Passover meal to introduce his own symbolism. He may have been using the third cup used at the end of the meal.
In Jesus’ teaching and symbolism the focus is removed from the blood of the Passover lamb and is instead focused on his blood that will be shed on the cross. Concerning the cup, Jesus’ disciples are told, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant.”  Before we become completely Christianized and insensitive to these words spoken by Jesus we must realize how shocking these words must have been to the Jewish disciples.  First, remember the blood of the Passover lamb was merely smeared on the doorposts the night before the Hebrews left Egypt around 1440 BC. The lamb’s blood was not eaten or drank. Eating blood or meat with blood in it was forbidden in the Mosaic Law. And, obviously human sacrifice and cannibalism were also forbidden, and the concept was surely repulsive. With this in mind we must understand that it was a very uncommon, unacceptable thing to say: “Drink this, it is my blood.”
Jesus commissioned an additional teaching into the instructional portion of the Passover meal to be used by his followers between his first coming to earth and his second coming. Jesus blood would authorize the New Covenant spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-37; 32:37-40; Ezekiel 34:25-31; 36:26-28
This adjusted portion of the meal that the church calls The Lord’s Supper, or Communion, is to serve a basic purpose: It is a simple, consistent explanation and reminder of Jesus’ work of salvation.
There have been many distractions, additional teachings and philosophies of men that have tried to gain equal footing alongside Jesus’ work on the cross. Other rituals and practices have desired a superior position as the prized object of faith in place of Jesus over the past 2000 years. But, these words and this cup bring us back to God’s plan of salvation through the work of his Son. Salvation is found only in the person of Jesus. Salvation is not a work Jesus instructs us to achieve. Salvation is not a list of things we must avoid if we want to go to heaven. As Peter preached to the Sanhedrin a few weeks after he had eaten this Last Supper with Jesus:
            “Salvation is found in no one else.” – Acts 4:12
Jesus had told the Jews in Galilee while he was teaching in their synagogue in Capernaum (John 6:59):
“I am the bread of life…I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”  - John 6:35, 53

Peter understood Jesus’ symbolism and replied:
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” – John 6:68-69
Jesus gives these words and this practice to his followers with the expectation that they will continue this instructional ritual until he returns with his Father’s kingdom on earth as he had promised. Jesus said this would be the last time he drank wine until he had physically returned to earth and the Kingdom of God had been set up:
“I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” – Matthew 26:27
Yayin (Hb) - Wine (Eng) - the Hebrew word yayin refers to a variety of wines in the Old Testament depending on the context. Wine, along with grain and oil, were the three staples of basic provision that God would bless his faithful people with (Dt.7:13). Yayin indicated blessing, joy and prosperity, but was dangerous when wrongly used and would turn God's best people into mockers when mishandled. Yayin, and plenty of it, was promised in the coming age of the Messiah's Kingdom of God on earth (Gen. 49:11, etc.).
Am I trusting my own works for salvation?
Have I accepted another means of salvation other than Jesus?
I believe that salvation is found in no one else. Only Jesus has the Words of eternal life for I know and understand that he is the Holy One of God.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


An elderly person


Grow in love for God
United States Marines
Poland - younger generation suffer from violence, immorality and loss of moral compass

Citadel in Jerusalem used by Hasmoneans, Herods, Romans, Byzantines, Crusaders and Muslims. (click on image for larger size)
The topography of Jerusalem.
(click on image for larger size)

Someone to Quote

“The Bible is the sheet-anchor of our liberties.” – U.S. Grant (A sheet-anchor is the largest, main anchor intended to be used in an emergency

Something to Ponder

More Bibles were created in the first 20 years (1455-1475) of Guttenberg’s printing press than the previous 1400 years.

Here’s a Fact

The book of Acts records the great Rabbi Gamaliel referring to Theudas before the Sanhedrin in Acts 5:36. Josephus also refers to Theudas when he writes:
"Now it came to pass, while Fadius was procurator of Judea, that a certain magician, whose name was Theudas, persuaded a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them he was a prophet and that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it; and many were deluded by his words. Fadius slew many of them and also took Theudas alive, and cut off his head, and carried it to Jerusalem." (Josephus - Antiquities of the Jews - Book 20 Chapter 5:1 )


"When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever."
Proverbs 10:25

Coach’s Corner

Honesty is important, but it is most important when dealing with yourself. 

Esther 1
New International Version (NIV)
Queen Vashti Deposed
This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush: At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.
For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality. By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.
Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.
10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.
13 Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times 14 and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.
15 “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”
16 Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.
19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. 20 Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”
21 The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 22 He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.
John 20
New International Version (NIV)
The Empty Tomb
20 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 2
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so,
and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
Jesus Clears the Temple Courts
13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”
18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

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