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Joel 3 begins with a promise of restoration and then proceeds to a legal scene in which God produces evidence against the nations which will result in their judgment. As you read, keep in mind that this climactic judgment scene describes events that will take place in the last days. The Messiah will reign from Mount Zion in Jerusalem. As someone ha…
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All of Joel is prophetic. Some have been fulfilled already, lending to God’s plans revealed through Joel’s writings. He is a true prophet. The parallels to current events are many, and Joel’s prophetic Word is fulfilled now. “Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither you have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head.” …
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We all live in a world that is becoming more and more anti-God and it is ripe for judgement. If you haven't noticed you haven't been paying attention! Joel's message to Judah (and to us) is reaching its conclusion. For the past few weeks, we've been looking at the prophecies of Joel, and have examined the conditions of the 'day of the Lord' that ar…
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In the passage we are studying today (2:14-29), we see God reversing the pain and misery that he earlier brought upon the disobedient children of Israel, and warned would be worse if there were no repentance. Even in the midst of judgment, the opportunity to repent was given. If the people would demonstrate genuine repentance, the Lord stood ready …
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As Joel warns of an invading enemy coming to conquer His people, God lays out an ultimatum for the Jews in the passage today: “Deliverance for obedience.” It is a call for them to return unto Him, if they are to survive and remain in good standing with God. His agape’ is not at risk; it’s because of His agape’ that He makes this offer to them.…
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As we finish up chapter one and begin chapter two in the book of Joel this week, we find the prophet Joel, who was as a spiritual watchman over Judah, pleading with the nation to repent. In Joel 2:12–19, he pleaded with the nation to turn to the Lord in genuine repentance as the only way to avoid the devastating destruction of the coming “day of th…
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The prophet Joel functioned as a spiritual watchman over Judah. In Joel 2:12–19, he pleaded with the nation to turn to the Lord in genuine repentance as the only way to avoid the devastating destruction of the coming “day of the Lord” (Joel 1:15). The prophet’s call began like so: “‘Even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, w…
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We are beginning our study from the book of Joel. The overriding theme of the Book of Joel is the Day of the Lord, a day of God’s wrath and judgment. It's importance to the canon of Scripture stems from its being the first to develop this oft-mentioned biblical theme. While Obadiah mentioned the terrifying event first (Obadiah 15), Joel’s book give…
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As we embark on a study of the Prophet Joel, Judah, the setting for the book, is devastated by a vast horde of locusts. This invasion of locusts destroys everything—the fields of grain, the vineyards, the gardens and the trees. Joel symbolically describes the locusts as a marching human army and views all of this as divine judgment coming against t…
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This week's study is from the third epistle of John. Third John was one of five New Testament books written by the apostle John. This is the last of his three letters in the New Testament. It was written to a man called "the wellbeloved Gaius," a believer who was an early church leader (3 John 1:1).While Gaius was dealing with certain troubles in h…
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Today we study a most personal letter from John to a fellow believer. It reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s letter to Philemon, regarding Onesimus; full of love, and hope for personal and spiritual growth for both of them. John’s well-beloved Gaius received this personal letter that was deemed important enough to be included in the Cannon of the Bibl…
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This week we are in the second epistle of John, sort of a continuation of the overall theme of 1 John, a "recall to the fundamentals of the faith," adherence to the truth (v. 4), love (v. 5), and obedience (v. 6).John continues to remind believers of the fundamental truths of Christianity, while warning them of the dangers of deception. In his seco…
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In Galatians 1:6-9 we learn how to test the teachings of others. It is a test to the authenticity of any “new” doctrine. If it is not already in the Bible, believers are to be suspicious of it, and search the scriptures like a Berean (Acts 17:10-11).
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This week we are picking up our study of 1 John 5 from verse 10. In this final section of 1 John (5:13-21), John the things every believer can and should know. Seven times the word know appears. Christianity is not an “I hope so” or “I think so” faith. It is an “I know so” faith because what has been revealed in the Bible was given to us by God, a …
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The Apostle John began making his point in the beginning of this Epistle, and now he drives the point home for us in this second half of 1 John 5. From “whosoever” meaning me, to an “assurance” of salvation if we believe.
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1 John chapter 5 emphasizes the believer's ability to "overcome" the world (1 John 5:1–5) through the power of Christ. Overcomers are those who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. The term witness is the theme of verses (6-12). The passage concerns the witness or testimony of God and the Spirit to the world regarding the great truth of the deity o…
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Genesis 12:1–3 introduces the beginning of God's relationship with Abram; this is the earliest history of the nation of Israel. Without any recorded preamble, God shows up in Abram's life with a command to go away from where he is to an unnamed place. In the going, God promises to make Abram a great nation, to bless him, to give him a great name, a…
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This week we come to the fourth chapter of John's first epistle. Pastor Bob shares some insight from the writing of the epistles to first couple of chapters in the book of Revelation. It was written about 6 years after John's epistles. When looking at John's epistles, we can easily see why there was a need for Revelation 2 and 3. The Holy Spirit ha…
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In the Book of Revelation, John proved to us that he was an obedient servant in chapter 1:19. When told to “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” that is what he did, and with precision. He had seen all of Jesus’ Earthly ministry, and the first century of church history. He record…
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This week we'll finish up 1 John 3, from verses 10-24. Throughout his letter, John has been giving us tests to see if we’ve been truly changed by Jesus, tests of a true Christian. As we finish chapter three, here’s another one: do you love the brethren? If you don’t love others, there’s a problem. Christians are to be people of love. Love is a gift…
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True Christians are to Love One Another because in Christ we have been given the capacity to love. It is the characteristic of God, and therefore because we have been born of His Spirit, and have His abiding presence in our lives, we bear the same characteristics as our Savior. Loving others is evidence of a true believer.…
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As we begin our study today, starting in 1 John 2:26, John continues to contrast the differences between false and true Christians, false and true teachers, the spirit of antichrists, and the Holy Spirit. For the young believer, some who have not yet been taught much, it is many times difficult for them to sort out the differences. John wants to ma…
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Conviction is for the Holy Spirit to bring through the Word, and teachers are to supply encouragement from the scriptures.God’s program of “Doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16) never includes humiliation but is uplifting to the goal of a closer walk with Jesus.…
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1 John chapter 2 acts as a guide for all believers, reminding us that our relationship with God is reflected in our actions and love for others. In a world filled with distractions and false teachings, we are encouraged to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, abiding in His truth, and continually growing in spiritual maturity. As we walk in obedience and …
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One of the purposes of this Epistle was to stress the full though sinless humanity of Jesus and to assure believers of the certainty of their gift of salvation. A further purpose was to refute those in the church who were seeking to accommodate Gnostic philosophies and practices into their Christian faith and life. You can almost hear John's pastor…
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First John is one of five New Testament books written by the apostle John. The others are the Gospel of John, 2 John, 3 John, and the book of Revelation. This is the first of his three letters in the New Testament. Its recipients were clearly believers, but no specific audience is mentioned. Since John traditionally ministered among churches in Asi…
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Jesus speaks in verse 7, "Behold, I come quickly..." Then you see it in verse 12, “Behold, I come quickly.” And you get over in verse 20, and you read, “Surely I come quickly.” There’s a kind of urgency here it’s pressing the Christian to respond and take care of some very important things. It's also pressed with the urgency of warning to the unbel…
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Revelation then ends its description of the future and returns to more immediate commands from Jesus. The angel commends what John has seen as accurate and worthy of trust. This is followed by a statement reiterating the idea that "I am" is coming soon. This might have confused John, seeing as the words are those of Jesus, but it had been the angel…
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Chapter 22 takes us beyond those things that must take place (vv. 1–5). God’s redeemed people will find eternal rest and refreshment in and with Him. But the language used by John in this splendid word picture is comprehensive and provides a healing and glorious glimpse of what has been accomplished by the redeeming work of Christ. John speaks of t…
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Revelation then ends its description of the future and returns to more immediate commands from Jesus. The angel commends what John has seen as accurate and worthy of trust. This is followed by a statement reiterating the idea that "I am" is coming soon. This might have confused John, seeing as the words are those of Jesus, but it had been the angel…
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“He is risen!” These are 3 words that have changed the very outlook and trajectory of all humankind. These 3 words are the key to the Christian faith. Today in our study of God’s Word we come to Matthew’s text on the resurrection of Jesus. In this wonderful chapter, Matthew gives His account of the greatest event in the history of the world, the re…
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After the darkness and agony of the previous chapter, Matthew 28 is filled with life and worship and dismay. It also sets the stage for the birth of the church and the mission to follow. Jesus had died on the cross and was buried before sundown in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. The chief priests and elders received permission from Pilate to post …
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Jesus and the disciples have nearly completed their long journey from the region of Galilee in the north to Jerusalem. They have now travelled the last leg from Jericho to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, not far from Jerusalem's gates. Before entering Jerusalem, though, Jesus directs two of His disciples to go into a village where the…
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