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December 9 - Evening

"For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence....he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself...he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
- Hebrews 9:24-28

Christ's Three-fold "Appearing"

The writer of Hebrews identifies three phases of Christ’s ministry:
  1. Past Appearance - “He has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.”
  2. Presently Appearing – “He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence.”
  3. Future Appearance – “He will appear a second time…to bring salvation.”
His first appearance came “at the culmination of the ages.” This phase is synonymous with Paul’s phase “ends of the ages” in First Corinthians 10:11 and Galatians 4:4, and Peter’s “end of the times” in First Peter 1:20. Here in Hebrews “the culmination of the ages” seems to be speaking, along with Paul’s “ends of the ages” and Peter’s “end of the times,” about the culmination of the Old Testament age which includes the age of the Levitical priesthood, the age of the earthly tabernacle/temple, the Law of Moses, etc. This would mean the time that follows this passing age would be a new age. This new age is the church age of today which places Christ in heaven serving in the real temple where he appears before God for believers during their time on earth. But, even this church age will pass when Christ appears a “second time” on earth “to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”
The Greek word for "salvation" referred to deliverance from things like war, a storm, disease, an enemy or traveling difficulties. In the New Testament "salvation" speaks of deliverance from sin and God’s coming wrath. Isaiah speaks of both of these salvations. The first is the deliverance from sin spoken of in Romans 5:1, 6, 8 which matches Isaiah’s words about the Messiah’s first appearance:
                “He makes himself an offering for sin…He bore the sin of many.” – Isaiah 53:10, 12

The second deliverance is from God’s wrath spoken of in First Thessalonians 1:10, and also, Romans 5:9. This is found in Isaiah’s words concerning the Messiah’s second appearing and the salvation, or deliverance, that will take place at that time:
ISAIAH: “Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?
: “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.”
: Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress?
: “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing.
Theopneustos (Gr) - Inspiration (Eng) - theopneustos is Greek compound word made up of theos, which means God, and pneo which means "to breathe" or "blow." Theopneustos is used once in the Greek New Testament and that is in Second Timothy 3:16 where it is translated "inspired by God."
Since Christ has delivered me from sin, I will walk in righteousness today.
Since Christ is appearing before God for me, I will pray today.
Since Christ will deliver me from the coming wrath, I will rejoice today.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text




Peace among members
United States of America

This is the view looking east down into the Kidron Valley from the base of the southeast corner of the Temple Mount.
(Here is an picture looking up at the southeast corner of the Temple Mount from the exact spot down in the Kidron Valley that is seen in the photo above.)
Details of Western Wall Tunnels along the west side of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount retaining wall from the New Testament times. (Details)

Someone to Quote

"The one who retains the rule of the truth received through baptism unchangeable in his heart will surely recognize the names, the expressions, and the parables taken from the Scriptures [by the gnostics] but will by no means acknowledge the blasphemous use which these men make of them." - Irenaeus, 184 AD

Something to Ponder

"Under Nero, Christianity was ruthlessly condemned. You may weigh its worth and nature even from the character of its persecutor. If that ruler was a godly man, then the Christians are ungodly...If he was not a public enemy, we are enemies of our country...Now, although every other practice that existed under Nero has been destroyed, yet this of ours has firmly remained."
- Tertullian, 197 AD

Here’s a Fact

Paul was under arrest and in prison in Rome two times.
The first time was in Acts 28:18 during the years 60-62 AD when he was under house arrest. During this time he was allowed to live outside the military camp where he rented his own living quarters according to Acts 28:30. This mild treatment recorded by Luke would make sense because: Paul was a Roman citizen; Festus and Agrippa had both given favorable verdicts on Paul's case while he was held in the fortress in Caesarea; Afranius Burrus, the praetorian prefect overseeing Roman prisoners from the provinces in the years 51-62 AD, was recorded in history as an honest man.
The second arrest is recorded in 2 Timothy when Paul was arrested and detained in Rome during Nero's persecution. Paul was at this time held in the tullianum (Mamertine or Mamertinum Prison), the underground execution cell of the prison in Rome. (Details 1, 2, Image)
(Panoramic View of the Mamertine Prison)


"A large population is a king's glory, but without subjects a prince is ruined."
- Proverbs 14:28

Coach’s Corner

Just like the best teacher knows he is merely a student sharing his studies with others, so a good student must also be teaching. 

1 Corinthians 10:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.
Galatians 4:4
New International Version (NIV)
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
1 Peter 1:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.
Romans 5:1
New International Version (NIV)
Peace and Hope
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 1:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
Romans 5:9
New International Version (NIV)
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
2 Timothy 3:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
2 Timothy 2
New International Version (NIV)
The Appeal Renewed
You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
11 Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,     we will also live with him;
if we endure,     we will also reign with him. If we disown him,     he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,     he remains faithful,     for he cannot disown himself.
Dealing With False Teachers
14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Romans 10
New International Version (NIV)
10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,     their words to the ends of the world.”
19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,
“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;     I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20 And Isaiah boldly says,
“I was found by those who did not seek me;     I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But concerning Israel he says,
“All day long I have held out my hands     to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

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