Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

September 5 - Evening

"Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation." - Joel 1:2-3

The Locust, the Babylonians and the Lord will Invade

Joel lived during the most devastating locust invasion of the land of Judah. Joel begins his book petitioning the leaders (elders) and all the people of the land to consider what he is about to write since nothing like the current locust invasion had ever happened. Never in their lifetime or in their national history had locust been so thick and destructive. The land was being overrun with locusts and the locusts were destroying not only the crops, but anything they could devour. Joel then tells the elders and the people of the land that this destruction along with his words need to be considered, remembered and handed down to future generations, because future generations will see this contemporary event reenacted at least twice:
  1. the Babylonian invasion that was looming on Judah’s historical horizon
  2. a day in the distant future when the Lord himself would invade not only Judah, but the whole world.
The locust invasion in Joel’s day was judgment for national sin. Likewise, the coming Babylonian invasion would also be judgment on a rebellious, complacent nation. If the locust devoured the land, but the Babylonian invasion was much more severe, how unbelievable must the judgment in the distant future be on that day Joel called the Day of the Lord? In fact, in 2:11 Joel asks:
“The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it?”
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diatheke (Gr) – covenant (Eng) – refers to a will or a contract which is an unchangeable document or agreement that cannot be altered or canceled.
In Luke 22:20 Jesus said the cup represents his blood which sealed a new covenant with God for man.
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Are you preparing the next generation to have the knowledge of a Christian society and not just a foggy memory of a post-Christian age? I will advance the knowledge of Christianity among those from the next generation.

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Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Matthew 2 (4 BC)

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For my work


Morocco - a loving Christian response to an earthquake open doors among the Berber minority

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A tomb in the Kidron Valley traditionally called the Pillar of Absalom or Absalom’s MonumentIt was constructed during Jesus’ lifetime. The Bordeaux Pilgrim referred to it as the Tomb of Hezekiah in 333 AD. It was first associated with Absalom by Benjamin of Tudela in 1170 because of 2 Samuel 18:18. The actual person or family for whom this tomb was prepared is unknown. The architectural style includes both Egyptian and Greek influences, which would have come from the two kingdoms that dominated Judea between 300-100 BC. The Egyptian influence came from the Ptolemys of Egypt, and the Hellenistic style from the Seleucids, who were Greeks ruling in Syria. The lower square is cut from the bedrock. It is topped with a finely-cut circular stone with a conical top that was cut from one single stone. Directly to the left of this tomb is an eight-chambered catacomb with well-preserved carved stone. The catacomb is called the Cave of Jehoshaphat. The Pillar of Absalom may have been a monument for the burial chambers in the Cave of Jehoshaphat, cut into the cliff behind it.
(click on image for larger size)
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The three crucial, and, the only, passes through the mountainous foothills of Mount Carmel to enter the historic Jezreel Valley (or, the Valley of Armageddon). (click on image for larger size)

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Someone to Quote

"No one, then, can be a believer and at the same time be licentious." – Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD)

Something to Ponder

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Marriages were arranged and brides were selected by the family in bible times. Love came after marriage. The modern western view of sifting through people in order to find one to fall in love with and then marry is different.

Here’s a Fact

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Joseph Caiaphas (mentioned by Josephus and Mt. 26:3,57; John 18; Acts 4:6; etc.) was the high priest that oversaw Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin. In 1990 the Caiaphas family tomb was found with a beautiful ossuary (box) inscribed with the name “Joseph Ben Caiaphas” with the remains of a 60 year old man inside.


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"He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge."
Proverbs 14:26

Coach’s Corner

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Often our failures are only failures because we stopped.

Matthew 2
New International Version (NIV)
The Magi Visit the Messiah
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,     are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler     who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
The Escape to Egypt
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,     weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children     and refusing to be comforted,     because they are no more.”
The Return to Nazareth
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene.
Ezekiel 30-31
New International Version (NIV)
A Lament Over Egypt
30 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Wail and say,     “Alas for that day!”

For the day is near,     the day of the Lord is near— a day of clouds,     a time of doom for the nations.

A sword will come against Egypt,     and anguish will come upon Cush. When the slain fall in Egypt,     her wealth will be carried away     and her foundations torn down.
Cush and Libya, Lydia and all Arabia, Kub and the people of the covenant land will fall by the sword along with Egypt.
“‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘The allies of Egypt will fall     and her proud strength will fail. From Migdol to Aswan     they will fall by the sword within her, declares the Sovereign Lord.

“‘They will be desolate     among desolate lands, and their cities will lie     among ruined cities.

Then they will know that I am the Lord,     when I set fire to Egypt     and all her helpers are crushed.
“‘On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt’s doom, for it is sure to come.
10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt     by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
He and his army—the most ruthless of nations—     will be brought in to destroy the land. They will draw their swords against Egypt     and fill the land with the slain.
I will dry up the waters of the Nile     and sell the land to an evil nation; by the hand of foreigners     I will lay waste the land and everything in it.
I the Lord have spoken.
13 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘I will destroy the idols     and put an end to the images in Memphis. No longer will there be a prince in Egypt,     and I will spread fear throughout the land.
I will lay waste Upper Egypt,     set fire to Zoan     and inflict punishment on Thebes.
I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium,     the stronghold of Egypt,     and wipe out the hordes of Thebes.
I will set fire to Egypt;     Pelusium will writhe in agony. Thebes will be taken by storm;     Memphis will be in constant distress.
The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis     will fall by the sword,     and the cities themselves will go into captivity.
Dark will be the day at Tahpanhes     when I break the yoke of Egypt;     there her proud strength will come to an end. She will be covered with clouds,     and her villages will go into captivity.
So I will inflict punishment on Egypt,     and they will know that I am the Lord.’”
Pharaoh’s Arms Are Broken
20 In the eleventh year, in the first month on the seventh day, the word of the Lord came to me: 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. It has not been bound up to be healed or put in a splint so that it may become strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt. I will break both his arms, the good arm as well as the broken one, and make the sword fall from his hand. 23 I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries. 24 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him like a mortally wounded man. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh will fall limp. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he brandishes it against Egypt. 26 I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Pharaoh as a Felled Cedar of Lebanon
31 In the eleventh year, in the third month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:
“‘Who can be compared with you in majesty?

Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon,     with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest; it towered on high,     its top above the thick foliage.

The waters nourished it,     deep springs made it grow tall; their streams flowed     all around its base and sent their channels     to all the trees of the field.

So it towered higher     than all the trees of the field; its boughs increased     and its branches grew long,     spreading because of abundant waters.

All the birds of the sky     nested in its boughs, all the animals of the wild     gave birth under its branches; all the great nations     lived in its shade.

It was majestic in beauty,     with its spreading boughs, for its roots went down     to abundant waters.

The cedars in the garden of God     could not rival it, nor could the junipers     equal its boughs, nor could the plane trees     compare with its branches— no tree in the garden of God     could match its beauty.

I made it beautiful     with abundant branches, the envy of all the trees of Eden     in the garden of God.
10 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, 11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside, 12 and the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it. Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys; its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land. All the nations of the earth came out from under its shade and left it. 13 All the birds settled on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived among its branches. 14 Therefore no other trees by the waters are ever to tower proudly on high, lifting their tops above the thick foliage. No other trees so well-watered are ever to reach such a height; they are all destined for death, for the earth below, among mortals who go down to the realm of the dead.
15 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day it was brought down to the realm of the dead I covered the deep springs with mourning for it; I held back its streams, and its abundant waters were restrained. Because of it I clothed Lebanon with gloom, and all the trees of the field withered away. 16 I made the nations tremble at the sound of its fall when I brought it down to the realm of the dead to be with those who go down to the pit. Then all the trees of Eden, the choicest and best of Lebanon, the well-watered trees, were consoled in the earth below. 17 They too, like the great cedar, had gone down to the realm of the dead, to those killed by the sword, along with the armed men who lived in its shade among the nations.
18 “‘Which of the trees of Eden can be compared with you in splendor and majesty? Yet you, too, will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth below; you will lie among the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.
“‘This is Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

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