Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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July 11 - Evening

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
    or you yourself will be just like him.
Answer a fool according to his folly,
    or he will be wise in his own eyes."

- Proverbs 26:4-5

The Paradox of Arguing with a Fool

 Do not drop to the level of a fool and engage the fool in an argument or an emotional debate. It will do no good to speak to the fool (see Proverbs 26:3) and when the debate is over your argument will have made you the fool. This is the basic meaning of Proverbs 26:4.

But, the negative result of not answering the fool as advised in Proverbs 26:4, is that if you do not answer the fool the fool, and his supporters, will consider that you have conceded to the “superior” logic and “brilliant” argument of the fool. The fool will have appeared to have outsmarted you and become the sole keeper of wisdom. This is where Proverbs 26:5 comes in:

“Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes."

To prevent the fool from thinking he is wise, you must answer at his level, which means, you will have to speak the language of a fool. For a fool to understand you must use their value system, address the goals they seek and compare their logic with an equally foolish logic. You cannot answer in the language of wisdom because wisdom speaks to a different value system, seeks significant goals and uses a higher form of logic. Answer a fool by speaking his native language…foolishness.

Paul does this in 2 Corinthians 11 when he realizes the Corinthian believers are not understanding his level of ministry, but are willing to follow false apostles. So, Paul admits he will speak to them as a fool and be self-promoting and boastful in order to compete with the values, the goals and the logic of the lower level honored among fools. Paul says,

“I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness….I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves!... To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that! But whatever anyone else dares to boast of — I am speaking as a fool — I also dare to boast of that….” - 2 Corinthians 11:1, 16-19, 21
Planos (Gr) – deceiver (Eng) – the Greek word planos signifies “wandering,” “leading astray,” “seducing.” Planos is used in 1 Timothy 4:1 to describe evil spirits. In 2 John 7 (2x) and 2 Corinthians 6:8 planos is used as a noun.
I will not argue with a fool.
I will refuse to be drawn into a heated exchange of words when the positive meaning cannot be heard.
I will seek the Lord's wisdom and guidance when it is necessary to reason with the unreasonable.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


For peace and contentment



An ancient wine press in a private field outside of Bethlehem.
1 Samuel 13 detailed on a map where Samuel Rebukes Saul and Jonathan's attack of the Philistines.

Someone to Quote

"What has always made a Hell on earth has been that man has tried to make it his Heaven."
- Friedrich Holderlin

Something to Ponder

The Early Bishops in Rome

Linus of 2 Tim. 4:21 led church in Rome. Irenaeus says apostles placed him
Cletus killed by Domitian
Clement, in Phil.4:3 exiled and martyred around 98.
Evaristus, 100-109
Alexander I, holy water introduced, made additions to liturgy. Beheaded by Trajan.
Sixtas, ruled during Emperor Hadrian
Telesphorus, (125-136) listed celebrating Easter on Sunday not Passover; martyred
Hyginus, organized ranks and positions in church; Gnostics Valentine & Cerdo came to Rome.
Pius I, born a slave; brother, Hermas, wrote Shepherd; Excommunicated Marcion (142-155)
Anicetus, (155-166) visited by Polycarp concerning Easter; Manichaeism; martyred.
Soter, wrote to Corinth, martyred
Eleutherius (174-189) – dealt with Montanism
Victor I, (189-198), asserted Roman Church authority; imposed Roman’s Easter date by threatening excommunication; Latin replaced Greek.

Here’s a Fact

Revelation 2:12 mentions Pergamum. This ancient city was 16 miles east of the Aegean Sea. Building that were built between 195-150 BC and stood when John wrote in 96 AD are still visible. These structures include a large altar to Zeus built by Eumenes II around 170 BC on the south side of the upper city. It was 112 feet x 118 feet. The remains of this altar have been reconstructed and are displayed at the Pergamum Museum in East Berlin. Many scholars consider this to be the “seat of Satan” that John refers to in Revelation 2:13, but John might also have been referring to a temple dedicated to Caesar that stood in Pergamum in 96 AD. (Pictures and Details HERE) (Details and Image)


"Ill-gotten treasures are of no value, but righteousness delivers from death."
- Proverbs 10:2

Coach’s Corner

The greatest miracle is salvation. The godliest spiritual manifestation is the transformed soul.

Ezekiel 6
New International Version (NIV)
Doom for the Mountains of Israel
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against the mountains of Israel; prophesy against them and say: ‘You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Sovereign Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says to the mountains and hills, to the ravines and valleys: I am about to bring a sword against you, and I will destroy your high places. Your altars will be demolished and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will slay your people in front of your idols. I will lay the dead bodies of the Israelites in front of their idols, and I will scatter your bones around your altars. Wherever you live, the towns will be laid waste and the high places demolished, so that your altars will be laid waste and devastated, your idols smashed and ruined, your incense altars broken down, and what you have made wiped out. Your people will fall slain among you, and you will know that I am the Lord.
“‘But I will spare some, for some of you will escape the sword when you are scattered among the lands and nations. Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me—how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. 10 And they will know that I am the Lord; I did not threaten in vain to bring this calamity on them.
11 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Strike your hands together and stamp your feet and cry out “Alas!” because of all the wicked and detestable practices of the people of Israel, for they will fall by the sword, famine and plague. 12 One who is far away will die of the plague, and one who is near will fall by the sword, and anyone who survives and is spared will die of famine. So will I pour out my wrath on them. 13 And they will know that I am the Lord, when their people lie slain among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and on all the mountaintops, under every spreading tree and every leafy oak—places where they offered fragrant incense to all their idols. 14 And I will stretch out my hand against them and make the land a desolate waste from the desert to Diblah—wherever they live. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”
Amos 4-5
New International Version (NIV)
Israel Has Not Returned to God

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria,     you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy     and say to your husbands, “Bring us some drinks!”

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by his holiness:     “The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks,     the last of you with fishhooks.

You will each go straight out     through breaches in the wall,     and you will be cast out toward Harmon,” declares the Lord.

“Go to Bethel and sin;     go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning,     your tithes every three years.

Burn leavened bread as a thank offering     and brag about your freewill offerings— boast about them, you Israelites,     for this is what you love to do,” declares the Sovereign Lord.

“I gave you empty stomachs in every city     and lack of bread in every town,     yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.

“I also withheld rain from you     when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town,     but withheld it from another. One field had rain;     another had none and dried up.

People staggered from town to town for water     but did not get enough to drink,     yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.

“Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards,     destroying them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees,     yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.
“I sent plagues among you     as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword,     along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps,     yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.
“I overthrew some of you     as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire,     yet you have not returned to me,” declares the Lord.
“Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel,     and because I will do this to you, Israel,     prepare to meet your God.”
He who forms the mountains,     who creates the wind,     and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness,     and treads on the heights of the earth—     the Lord God Almighty is his name.
A Lament and Call to Repentance
Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:

“Fallen is Virgin Israel,     never to rise again, deserted in her own land,     with no one to lift her up.”
This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:
“Your city that marches out a thousand strong     will have only a hundred left; your town that marches out a hundred strong     will have only ten left.”
This is what the Lord says to Israel:
“Seek me and live;

    do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal,     do not journey to Beersheba. For Gilgal will surely go into exile,     and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.”

Seek the Lord and live,     or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire; it will devour them,     and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

There are those who turn justice into bitterness     and cast righteousness to the ground.

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,     who turns midnight into dawn     and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea     and pours them out over the face of the land—     the Lord is his name.

With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold     and brings the fortified city to ruin.
There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court     and detest the one who tells the truth.
You levy a straw tax on the poor     and impose a tax on their grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,     you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards,     you will not drink their wine.
For I know how many are your offenses     and how great your sins.
There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes
    and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times,     for the times are evil.
Seek good, not evil,     that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,     just as you say he is.
Hate evil, love good;     maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy     on the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:
“There will be wailing in all the streets     and cries of anguish in every public square. The farmers will be summoned to weep     and the mourners to wail.
There will be wailing in all the vineyards,     for I will pass through your midst,” says the Lord.
The Day of the Lord
Woe to you who long     for the day of the Lord! Why do you long for the day of the Lord?     That day will be darkness, not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion     only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house     and rested his hand on the wall     only to have a snake bite him.
Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—     pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?
“I hate, I despise your religious festivals;     your assemblies are a stench to me.
Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,     I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,     I will have no regard for them.
Away with the noise of your songs!     I will not listen to the music of your harps.
But let justice roll on like a river,     righteousness like a never-failing stream!
“Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings     forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
You have lifted up the shrine of your king,     the pedestal of your idols,     the star of your god—     which you made for yourselves.
Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,”     says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.

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