Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

September 30 - Evening

"Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” - Matthew 18:18-20

The Shekinah Glory is With the Believers

In the gospels and throughout the New Testament God indicates he has chosen the church, and the individual members of the church, to be his vehicle of operation in the earth. As Abraham was chosen in Genesis 12:1-3 to begin a nation that God would indwell to bless all nations with Truth, so the church has been chosen for the same purpose at this time in history. God established the church to be God’s avenue of access in the earth.
In today’s text seen above (Matthew 18:18-20) no individual person or church office (pastor, board, prophet, etc.) is mentioned. The people with the responsibility and with the access to God are merely identified as “two of you on earth” and as “two or three gather in my name.” The general members of the church are identified here as the ones binding, loosing, asking and receiving all the while they are in the presence of God.
If there were one clear qualifying requirement for the “two of you on earth” to manifest effectively this power and authority it would be to “gather in my name.” Jesus says he will be present with any group of two or more in the church when they meet in his name.
To understand what Jesus is saying we need a little background to provide some historical and cultural context. In the Old Testament God expressed himself to and through Israel. Israel was God’s vehicle for moving in the earth to bless the nations (Genesis 12:2-3). God’s presence (also called “glory” or “Shekinah”) rested with Israel from the day he entered their tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35) in the wilderness through the days at Shiloh when the Ark of his Presence was captured by the Philistines (1 Samuel 5) until David brought the Ark into Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6) and Solomon built the Temple that God filled with his Shekinah Glory (2 Chronicles 7:1-2).  Any prophet that arose to speak for God came from Israel (for example: Jonah went to Assyria, Jonah 1:2; Jeremiah was a prophet to the nations, Jeremiah 1:5; etc.).  Paul says to Israel belongs “the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises…the patriarchs…the Christ.” (Romans 9:4-5)
The rabbis of Jesus time had held to a doctrinal statement that is recorded in the Mishnah:
“If two sit together and words of the Law are between them, the Shekinah rests between them” - Mishnah Aboth 3:2

Jesus is God. Jesus is the glory. Jesus is the Shekinah. In fact, John begins his gospel saying:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory.” (John 1:1-2, 14)

With this insight we can now read Jesus’ words to his church:
            “Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

Jesus says the Shekinah is now with the church and the Shekinah manifests when two believers (not just apostles, or pastors, or popes, or elder boards) meet, he is with them. Jesus is commissioning the church and its individual members to be the vessels of his glory and the vehicles of his ministry to the nations!
With this understanding of our responsibility to the world we read and believe:
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
“Because where two or three believers from the church gather in my name (Truth) then I, the Shekiah Glory, am with them.”
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Orthotomeo (Gr) - Rightly Divide (Eng, KJ), Correctly Handles (Eng, NIV) - Orthotomeo is a compound word made up of orthos which means "straight," and temno meaning "to cut" or "to divide." In secular Greek the word orthotomeo referred to "cutting straight" or "dividing straight" as when:
- a butcher correctly cut (
orthotomeo) the portions of meat
- a farmer cut straight (
orthotomeo) furrows while plowing
- a seamstress sewed a straight (
orthotomeo) seam
- a carpenter cut (
orthotomeo) the straight board In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul tells Timothy to orthotomeo, or "correctly handle" the Word of Truth.
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Do I recognize that today God is moving through his church?
Today if God is doing a work in the world it is most likely through believers?
I will act and pray as if I am God's instrument to minister to the people of my generation here on earth.

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Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

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Wisdom and insight


Social Justice
Papua New Guinea - evangelize the next generation

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Looking north across the Temple Mount in Jerusalem at the general area of the outer courts. The altar of burnt offering would have set on the left side of this photo. (click on image for larger size)
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Illustration showing Solomon's expansion to the north of David's city of Jerusalem. (click on image for larger size)

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Someone to Quote

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Something to Ponder

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Some of the Bible manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls are 2,300 years old. There are copies or portions of every Old Testament book (except Esther) that agree with the text of our Bibles in the 21st century.

Here’s a Fact

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In 324 AD Emperor Constantine ordered Eusebius of Caesarea to produce 50 copies of the Old and New Testaments for use in Constantinople. This was the first full collection of our Scriptures.


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Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues." - Proverbs 17:28

Coach’s Corner

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Do not let religion and ritual replace relationship and reality. 

John 15
New International Version (NIV)
The Vine and the Branches
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
The World Hates the Disciples
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
The Work of the Holy Spirit
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
Malachi 3-4
New International Version (NIV)
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.
“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings.
You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God
13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.
“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
The Faithful Remnant
16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
Judgment and Covenant Renewal
“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.
“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

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