Taking the Gospel to the World – From Jerusalem to the End (Journey the Word 10)

Pentecost and the Beginning of Ministry

Book of Acts

Acts was a book written by Luke around 63 A.D., addressed to a man named Theophilus. Acts appears to cover a lot of the history of the first church. Much of it is about the spread of the gospel throughout Jerusalem over to Rome. Luke also notes a lot about the Holy Spirit’s involvement and role in the early church. That is where Luke starts to note on in the beginning of Acts, that through the Holy Ghost, Jesus gave commandments to the chosen apostles. The believers, especially those addressed by Jesus in 1:8 are promised to receive power after the Holy Ghost comes upon them. The Holy Ghost shall come upon believers by baptism in the Holy Ghost, as stated in 1:5.

Soon, Luke writes about the disciples going into the upper room, in when the day of Pentecost comes, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (2:4). They were all amazed (as in shocked) when this happened and thought each other was drunk with new wine. However, Peter corrected them and then noted a prophecy that God will pour out His Spirit upon man in the last days, bringing gifts of the Spirit.

Next, Peter begins the first sermon for the church. Peter proclaimed in his sermon that Jesus is the Messiah, attributed to His resurrection from the cross. Peter brought a message of repentance (as he does with most of his teachings we see) to three-thousand people who were saved on the day of Pentecost. He blamed the people for crucifying Christ. When they questioned him about this, Peter answered them telling them to repent and be baptized. This could be so their sins are remitted, and then he fills them with the Holy Ghost. What was amazing is that the Lord added people to the church daily, the church had regular attendees, and the people gave regularly to support the church. The church’s mission was being actively fulfilled.

Soon (in chapter 3), Luke notes Peter healing a crippled man, who was apparently incurable. Jewish leaders were then outraged and started opposing the ministerial work they had done. Those that witnessed the healing were in awe and gathered around Peter. Peter then administered his second sermon, by telling them too that they crucified Christ and need to repent and be baptized. Jesus was the long-promised Messiah, which Peter claimed frequently. At about five-thousand total now preached to, John and Peter were arrested for their preaching about Jesus.

After Peter and John were released from their arrest, they came and spoke to the people. Soon, everyone there was filled with the Holy Ghost. They had many signs and wonders among the people, from healing the sick, casting out unclean spirits, etc. Soon, the apostles were arrested and put in the common prison. The angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and instructed them to speak in the temple. So, they did. Someone reported they were in the temple, so they were bound again. They claim to obey God, not men. The apostles were then beaten and warned. However, they did not cease to teach/preach.

Soon, they recruited seven men (of honest report). Stephen and Philip were appointed as the first two deacons. Over time, Stephen was arrested and then stoned, and then the disciples were witnessing in Judaea and Samaria – baptizing and filling people with the Holy Ghost. Philip converted an Ethiopian man and baptized him. After that, Paul (aka Saul) was found to be quite a persecutor toward the disciples. The Lord blinded Paul and questioned him. He told Paul to go meet Ananias, who would then restore his sight, after filling him with the Holy Ghost. Soon, Paul would begin preaching at Damascus before heading to Jerusalem. The Jews wanted him killed.

Peter did a few other miracles, such as healing Aeneas and raising Tabitha from the dead. Later, foreign missions would begin for Paul and Barnabas, who departed from Antioch to first Seleucia and then to Cyprus. Soon, they moved to preach in other areas, such as Perga and back to Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and once again back to Antioch. Paul was stoned, but not killed.

Next, Judas (aka Barsabas) and Silas were sent to help Paul and Barnabas. Barnabas soon requested that John (aka Mark) would come along, but Paul thought otherwise. Therefore, Paul and Barnabas separated. John went with Barnabas to Cyrpus, while Silas went with Paul to Cyprus. Then, eventually, Paul selected Timotheus for work. Later, Paul and Silas were imprisoned, where they converted a fearful, suicidal guard. Soon, the magistrates let the two of them go.

Now, Paul and Silas went on another missionary journey to Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, and back to Antioch. A Jew named Apollos began preaching at Ephesus and then to Corinth, before John’s disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost. Miracles were done in Ephesus by Paul, before an uproar broke out. This caused Paul to have to break up this uproar, before he went to Caesarea and then to Jerusalem. Once he went there, he was arrested again. The Jews plotted to kill Paul, and he was tried before a few rulers before it was decided he done nothing wrong.

Paul would then sail for Rome. While on his journey, he came upon stormy seas and a shipwreck before he was finally able to reach Rome. Once there, he continued to preach, heal, and rebuke unclean spirits as he had always done. This ends the book of Acts by Luke, where Luke ends it without conclusion.

Timeline of events in the Book of Acts

  • Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:1-11).

  • Matthias was chosen to be an apostle in place of Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:12-26). Peter cited Psalms 69:25 and 109:8 as the reasons for selecting this apostle.

  • Pentecost: The Holy Spirit filled disciples and 3,000 were saved (Acts 2). Jesus promised the Comforter would come and be with His People forever, in that the Disciples would be baptized with the Holy Spirit (John 14:16; Acts 1:5). This also fulfilled Joel’s prophecy that God would pour out His Spirit on all people (Joel 2:28-32).

  • Peter and John performed miracles and faced persecution (Acts 3-5).

  • 32 AD – First Christian Martyr: Stephen is killed in Jerusalem (Acts 6-7).

  • Persecution caused believers to disperse (Acts 8:1-4). The disciples become witnesses in Judea and Samaria just as Jesus said (Acts 1:8).

  • Philip preaches in Samaria and baptized an Ethiopian man (Acts 8:5-40).

  • 37 AD – Conversion of Saul (Paul)(Acts 9:1-19).

  • Saul’s early travels (Acts 9:20-31; Galatians 1:15-18).

  • Peter took the Gospel to Cornelius; Gentiles are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10-11). Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would be a light for the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6; Luke 2:32).

  • Herod Agrippa had James put to death and imprisoned Peter (Acts 12:1-19).

  • 44 AD – Herod Agrippa died (Acts 12:20-24).

  • 47-49 AD – First Missionary Journey: Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13-14).

  • James wrote his epistle.

  • Jerusalem council: Gentiles are not required to obey Jewish religious laws (Acts 15). During the Council, James cited Amos 9:11-12 about the Gentiles being included in God’s Plan. Paul wrote Galatians.

  • 49-51 AD – Second Missionary Journey: Paul, Silas, and a few others (Acts 16-18). Paul wrote 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

  • 52-57 AD – Third Missionary Journey: Paul, Timothy, and a few others (Acts 19-21). Paul wrote 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Romans.

  • Paul is arrested and appeared before Felix. He was sentenced to two years in prison for preaching the Gospel (Acts 21-24).

  • 59-60 AD – Journey to Rome: Paul was sent to Rome to stand trial (Acts 27-28). While imprisoned, Paul received Word from the Lord that Paul would testify about Christ Jesus in Rome (Acts 23:11).

  • 60-62 AD – Paul spent two years under house arrest in Rome and shared the Gospel (Acts 28:30-31). Luke wrote the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.

1 & 2 Timothy

1st Timothy

Paul begins the letter by addressing Timothy, his own son in the faith (meaning Paul was his spiritual father and leader). Right away, Paul warns against false doctrine, telling Timothy to “teach no other doctrine.” We find out that the O.T. Law is for the lawless and unrighteous people (unsaved, probably), rather than the righteous man (saved, probably). Too many times, Jewish leaders, false teachers, Pharisees – for example – tried to push the Old Testament Law onto believers, causing them to be led astray. Paul then instructs that prayer, thanksgiving, etc. be made for all men, including kings and those in authority, and for ourselves to lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Next, Paul talks about how women should conduct themselves in the church. Women should have modesty, especially in apparel, and sober. Women should also not have braided hair with gold or pearls, or other costly things in it. Additionally, women should not interrupt in the church while the teacher is talking, and should let the church leader be a leader over her. She should not take authority over the church (unless she is appointed to do so).

Now, Paul beings in chapter three by talking about the qualifications for overseers in the church. A bishop, Paul states, should be blameless, married to one wife, vigilant, sober, well behaved, hospitable, and able to teach. They should also not be given to wine, nor greedy, but rather patient, not a brawler or covetous. Bishops should rule well their own home, with children in subjection. The bishop should not be a novice and have a good report among men of being righteous. A deacon, as Paul writes, should be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy, be able to hold revelations of faith or God in their mind, blameless, have grave wives, not slanderous, sober, and faithful in all things. Additionally, deacons should be married to one wife, rule their children and house well, and be bold in the faith of Jesus Christ. Overall, the standards listed for both bishops and deacons ensure they live good moral and spiritual lives.

Next, Paul gives more warnings about false teachers and those that will depart from the faith. Many teachers are liars and fakes, he warns. Timothy is instructed to teach the Word of God. After that, Paul gives advice about widows, and how they should be treated. Elders should be treated with double-honor, especially if they work hard in the Word. He also notes on respect to be given to servants. Soon, Paul writes about false teachers again, talking about their personality before warning about the love of money. Paul then encourages Timothy to fight the good fight of faith, following after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. In addition, those that are rich should not be high-minded or trustful in uncertain riches, but that they give freely. Paul finishes the letter with final words to Timothy.

2nd Timothy

Paul begins the letter with the usual greeting before telling about desiring to see Timothy. Paul begs Timothy to stay faithful and continue the good work, encouraging him to have no fear, but power, love, and a sound mind. He then instructs Timothy to guard the gospel, holding fast to the original writings and teachings of it. Timothy must keep faithful to legitimate doctrine, and stay away from false teachers. Timothy should stay close to faithful men, endure hardness, and remember that Jesus is the seed of David – raised from the dead, so he shall endure all things for Christ’s sake.

Next, Timothy is instructed to study to show himself approved unto God, as a worker who rightly divides the Word of Truth without shame. Then, Paul warns him of the coming departing of the faith by men, and that men will take part in many unrighteous acts as a result. Paul then instructs Timothy that all Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. This is given so that the man of God may be perfect and throughly furnished unto all good works.

Then, Paul commands Timothy again to preach the Word of God. He writes to let Timothy know that men will not endure sound doctrine, so the word needs preached in season, out of season, to reprove, rebuke, and exhort. Finally, Paul claims he has fought the good fight of faith and finished his course. He knows of his crown of righteousness that the Lord shall give himself and to all them that love his appearing. After his final greetings, Paul states that the Lord shall deliver him from every evil work, so that he will be preserved unto His Heavenly kingdom. He then does his farewell to end the letter.

Paul had many thoughts overall in prison, and this letter was no different. Paul knew that in his own suffering, he would benefit one day no matter what in the kingdom of God. However, Paul was very intent on the destruction of false teachers and their fake doctrines. This letter serves as just one of them that warn strictly against false teachings. Seems like Paul wanted to encourage his spiritual son Timothy to persevere in the faith, to stay true to God’s Word, to have good diligence in his work, and to avoid confusing doctrines. Paul’s sufferings made his own will stronger to tell Timothy to be strong in the faith and guard against false teachings. Paul was getting ready for execution soon, it seems, so he was intent on letting his companion Timothy know his last feelings and instructions.

Jesus spoke that Scripture is the inspired Word of God, which means that it should be taught with all accuracy and detail to the text. When someone perverts the text and causes confusion, they are insulting the wisdom and knowledge of God. We must (as Christians) safeguard the good and true Word of God to full accuracy.

Titus

Starting the letter, Paul greets Titus, before talking about the qualifications of elders. Therefore, Titus was to appoint elders in every city. The elders needed to be blameless, married to one wife, and have faithful children who are not unruly. For bishops, they had to be blameless, not self-willed, meek, not given to wine, not a brawler (or striker like other texts), and not given to lucre (money). In addition, bishops should be hospitable, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate, steadfast in the faithful Word, and a teacher.

Next, Paul instructs how to deal with false teachers. Paul wants their mouths to be stopped, and that they should be sharply rebuked. After that, Paul teaches that Titus should speak sound doctrine. Also, that the aged men and women (elders probably), should be sober, grave, temperate, and sound in faith and love and patience. Aged women should especially behave in holiness, not accuse falsely, not given to much wine, and teach good things. They should also teach young women to be sober, to love their husbands and children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, and obedient to their own husbands. Young men should be like the young women in the same way. All should have a pattern of good works, as well as other things. Paul also instructs concerning servants, which usually centers on the topic of respect.

Next, Paul teaches Titus to make the people obedient to higher authority, to be good overall, and without sin and unrighteous acts. Paul finishes the letter emphasizing good works that the members of the church should learn to maintain good works for necessary uses. After that, Paul does his quick farewell to end the letter to Titus.

The pastoral letters to Titus and Timothy emphasize good, sound doctrine, without false teaching. Both pastors were very much warned against false teachers and Paul made it very clear to watch out for them. Titus was left in Crete to set elders in order, so Paul wanted things to be done right. With an emphasis commonly in Paul’s letters of faith, hope, and love – we see the same type of teachings here. Seemed like a lot of Paul’s ministry work centered on faith, hope, and love. This brought a good, solid foundation for the church – that sadly, has rarely been adopted. Even with the foundation in place, people still planted churches in future generations centered on legalism and Old Testament Law, rather than God’s grace and love through Jesus Christ and the beautiful blessings that each of His people acquire. God plants His grace on people, because He loves them.

1, 2, & 3 John

1 John

John begins the letter by talking about the Word of Life being made to manifest eternal life into God’s people. He also explains, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” He first addresses an issue in verse 8, where he says, “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” He goes on to say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Next, John declares that Jesus Christ is our advocate, and that we should keep His commandments. That is, we should love one another, but not the world. We should not love the world, because the spirit of the antichrist dwells in the world. John warns the audience of those who deny the Son, Jesus Christ, and for His people to not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

Now, in chapter three, John puts out a couple ways Christians can classify themselves as children. To be children of God, it is important to be saved, as His people are under the “Spirit of adoption,” according to Romans 8:15. Also, in Romans 8:16, it says “the spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” After this, John identifies the children of Satan as those who disobey or transgress the law. It says in verse 8 that those who commit sin are of the devil, since the devil sinned from the beginning. The Father sent the Son to destroy the works of the devil. Now, John speaks again of the children of God and who they are. They are ones who practice righteousness, do not commit sin, and that they love one another.

Next, we learn several valuable things from John. One of them is that if you hate your brother, you’re a murderer – and no murderer has eternal life. In addition, whatever we ask, we shall receive from Him, because of keeping His commandments. We learn in the next chapter that “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Next, John instructs that love be of God, because God is love. If we love on another, God dwells in us. We learn several other things about love. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear” (4:18a). We learn throughout 1 John that God loved us before we loved Him. Also, that it’s because God loved us that we love Him.

In chapter five, John instructs about faith being so important, that the victory we have being born of God, we use to overcome the world by faith. It is because of our faith in Jesus Christ that we overcome the world. John acknowledges the trinity in verse 7 and 8, before stating that we have life through God’s Son. John then declares why he wrote this letter in verse 13, “that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” He then gives his audience assurance that “if we ask anything according to His Will, He heareth us.” John then gives his final testimonies and instructions. We can be sure that we are of God, and we know the Son of God is come and given us understanding that we are in Him. He testifies in 5:20b, “this is the true God, and eternal life.” His final warning is to “keep yourselves from idols.” A lot of what John was hitting at is that the world is a slave to evil and wickedness, and that we must remain in Him, if we have hopes of surviving spiritually and being children of God.

2 John

John once again warns against false teaching as he did in 1 John. We learn also in this letter that truth and love are inseparable. We should walk in truth, not just admire it. We should also love one another, a genuine love. Therefore, John starts the letter with his greeting before talking about walking in truth, and that we had a commandment from the beginning to love one another. The love we have, we should walk in it. Next, John talks about the deceivers who have entered the world who do not confess Jesus as Christ. These deceivers are an antichrist. John warns next that those who transgress and abide not in the doctrine of Christ do not have God. However, those that do abide in His doctrine do have both the Father and the Son. The warning right after that is if these deceivers come to your house with this kind of (false) doctrine, do not receive him or help him out. That is how this second letter ended.

False teaching is a major problem in the body of Christ today, because people are focused on their own will, instead of humbling to God’s Will. John points out that even in his day, false teaching is prevalent. He also speaks to keep an eye out for those that practice unrighteousness and do not hold true to the apostolic truth. This can be reflected to a contemporary principle of watching out for false teachers (and prophets), especially in the last days before the Lord’s coming. John seemed to have some kind of apostolic love toward the “elect lady,” as he spoke that he loved in truth. John seemed to end the letter early, because he expected to see the “elect lady” soon. So, John’s letter, in a quick summary, went like this: He encourages the people to persevere in love and belief in God, to have nothing to do with false teachers – not even to support or give them hospitality, and then a hope to see them soon.

It also seems that John has a strong will against those who deny Christ, as in verse 9, we also see this in 1 John 2:23. This is to be expected by someone who loves Christ so much. John was a very faithful disciple, so seeing his love manifest into feelings of discontentment against those who do evil, speak falsely, and deny Christ. John is a good example of a disciple who was well trained in the beautiful teachings of Jesus Christ. John teaches this audience these things, because he is setting the example that the Lord crafted in him to make other people more like disciples of Jesus.

3 John

John starts the letter addressing Gaius and wishing him prosperity. He praises Gaius’ faithfulness and charity unto the church. This is because he helps missionaries faithfully. This sets a good example of other Christians, which is why John praises it. It also allows other audiences to realize the importance of helping missionaries. Now, missionaries are not beggars, they are simple people doing God’s work by carrying the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. Therefore, it is important to support their endeavors. Next, John comments on another leader, Diotrephes, who is like an opposite of Gaius. Diotrephes was someone who did not receive John well, thus firing malicious words, and not being content with himself enough to help people in the church. Lastly, he comments on Demetrius, another leader, who had good reports from all men. People loved Demetrius. John claimed that Demetrius does well. John ends the letter letting Gaius know he would see him face-to-face soon (which is probably why the letter was short).

When it comes to walking in the truth, as John wrote in verse 3, this literally means to be good in your faith so much that people observe and testify of you. Gaius was a man that John thought mentionable as walking in the truth. Of course, Diotrephes was rebuked, mainly for undermining an office in the church and preventing people from being hospitable. Moreover, it is only right to not imitate evil (but rather to do good of God). Demetrius was another good example just like Gaius, which is why he was also mentioned.

It is important in the body of Christ, that God’s people do not mock the example of Diotrephes, but rather take on a better approach like Gaius and Demetrius. Therefore, we, as Christians, should support missionaries and help those who are in need. While doing this, we heed John’s warning in 2 John, where he warns about false teachers. If we heed those warnings, and give faithfully – then we will also walk in the truth, prosper, and be in good health. By supporting the Great Commission, we are doing the Will of God for all His people. We can expect to be blessed in this degree as stated, if we do God’s Will.

As such, we can put labels on these three men. Then, we can know what people would follow as an example. Gaius was a dependable leader in the church, who helped people. Diotrephes was the dominating or controlling official. Last, Demetrius is the kind messenger, who seems to have a good heart like Gaius. These are great examples.

Revelation

Jesus speaks unto John initially telling him that He is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the ending. The Lord directs John to a vision and tells him to write down all he sees and then to send it to the seven churches in Asia: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. When John saw the glory of the Lord Jesus before him so magnificent, he fell at His feet. The Lord told him not to fear. The Lord had seven stars and seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars represent angels who were assigned to each church, while the seven golden candlesticks are the actual churches. Next, Jesus addresses each church, telling of what good or bad things they have done, how they can improve, and the rewards and consequences of their further action. This seems to be in hopes to improve the churches and strengthen believers to prepare them for the end times.

Soon, John sees a door open in Heaven, to which a voice calling him in. He saw God on His throne, with a rainbow surrounding it. Twenty-four elders were sitting around the throne with white robes and crowns of gold worshiping the Lord. There were also four beasts surrounding the throne as well, worshiping the Lord God at all times. Next, God is seen holding the book with the seven seals and asks who is worthy to open it. The only one found to be able to open it was the lamb that was slain. The Lamb (Jesus presumably), came and took the book. The Lamb was then worshiped.

Then, the Lamb began opening the seals, the first six actually. The first revealed a white horse ready to conquer, the second a red horse that was to rake peace from the earth (and was armed with a sword), the third a black horse that had scales in his hand, the fourth a pale horse that was Death sent to kill the fourth part of the earth, the fifth were martyrs crying out for vengeance to the killers of themselves; which they were given rest and told to wait, and the sixth revealed a great earthquake, black sun, blood red moon, starts falling from the sky, and mountains moved. High-ranking men, such as kings and wealthy people hid themselves. These men requested that mountains and rocks fall on them so they did not have to see the face of God or partake in the wrath of the Lamb.

Before the seventh seal was opened, 144,000 people were sealed on their foreheads declaring ownership from God, which was done by four angels at the four corners of the earth. Then, a great multitude of people came to salvation in Christ. Soon, an event begins called the great tribulation. Next, the Lamb opens the seventh seal, and silence was in Heaven for half an hour. Seven angels with seven trumpets lined before God. Each began blowing their trumpet. After the first trumpet blew, hail, fire, and blood rained on the earth. After the second blew, the sea turned to blood. After the third blew, the waters were polluted by a great star from Heaven (star was called Wormwood). Then, the fourth blew, the sun, moon, and stars were darkened. Now, after the fifth trumpet was blown, a bottomless pit of locusts was opened in the earth, and swarms of locusts came out to torment non-believers. The locusts were instructed to not bother believers in the faith.

After the sixth trumpet blew, four angels were released to kill one-third of the population of earth. In addition, 200 million horsemen were released to kill one-third of the earth as well. Still people would not repent and come to believe in the Lord. An angel then came giving John a scroll to eat, so that he may prophesy before people. People were still in unbelief and unrepentant. Two witnesses were sent to preach, which were two candlesticks. A beast that came up from the bottomless pit destroyed them. The two candlesticks arose a few days later and flew up to the heavens, and an earthquake was released upon the earth killing 7,000 men. The seventh trumpet finally sounded that the world has become the kingdom of Christ to which he reigns forever.

Next, a story began about the woman (people of Israel) and the dragon, who was Satan. This tells of Satan’s fall from Heaven probably, which included taking a third of the angels with him, after warring with Michael and his angels. The dragon was cast out of Heaven, and then became an accuser of the believers. Soon, the dragon begins war on earth, persecuting Israel (for the woman brought forth the child, who was Jesus). A beast then rose up out of the sea, which was wounded eventually then brought back to life, thus mocking the power of Christ (probably the beast is the antichrist). He seeks, after regenerating, to make war with the saints. The beast then commands worship. Another beast soon appeared which would direct people to worship the first beast. They would then mark those of worshipers with the number 666 on their right hand or forehead.

Now, the next two chapters, 14-15, introduce judgments that will occur in chapters 16-18. In chapter 14, 144,000 outstanding believers in Heaven are shown next to the Lamb. The last half of the tribulation, an angel proclaims the gospel of Jesus, to call people to fear God. Those are warned if they worship the beast, they will meet their doom, which was permanent. The angel also warns the saints to stay faithful, as they will probably die. Next, in chapter 15, seven angels had the seven last plagues. These were final judgments. Many believers were noticed to have had victor over the beast, and so they worshiped.

In chapter 16, the seven vials of the wrath of God were set to be unleashed. The first one poured out was sores upon men, the second was that the sea became blood, the third poured out blood becoming of rivers and fountains, the fourth activated fierce hear from the sun that would scorch men, the fifth poured out darkness upon the seat of the beast, the sixth poured out over the river Euphrates would dry the waters to prepare for kings to come. This prepare for them to come to Armageddon, before the seventh poured out a great earthquake – to which also hail and stones the weight of talents fell upon them.

Next, a great whore appears, which represents Babylon (a kingdom of false religions). The whore was then explained, before it was to be destroyed. This brought the doom of Babylon, and those who loved Babylon mourned over its death, while heaven rejoices. Praise was brought before God for His judgment, before a marriage supper was held for the Lamb. Soon, Heaven opened to bring forth Christ, Faithful and True He was called, to which He came to make war. The war will end swiftly as the beast and the ungodly are destroyed.

An angel then came from Heaven with the key to the bottomless pit. He took the dragon, and bound him for a thousand years. He was to be there, without deceiving the nations, for one-thousand years before being released for a while. Meanwhile, those who stayed faithful to Christ will reign with Christ for a thousand years. When the thousand years finish, Satan is loosed, and goes and deceives the nations – Gog and Magog – to gather them for battle. Fire came down from Heaven and devoured them. Satan, along with the beast and the false prophet, are cast into the lake for fire to be tormented night and day forever.

Next came the great white throne judgment, where people were judged according to their works. Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, which was second death. Those not found in the book of life were cast into the lake of fire, as well. In chapter 21, John notes the new Heaven and new earth, as the first heaven and earth are passed away. There is no sea. Soon, a New Jerusalem descended out of Heaven, which was magnificent in every way. The Lord and the Lamb was the temple of the New Jerusalem, and there was no need for the sun or the moon, because God’s glory was so bright to have lit up the city completely. There were more glorious things about it, as well.

The Lord declares that He shall come quickly. John then fell down in worship before the feet of the angel that showed him these things. The Lord spoke more declaring who He is, what He will do, etc. An invite to come to the Lord was after this, which mentions that the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Then, a warning is given for those who modify anything in the book. The book then concludes with the assurance that the Lord Jesus will surely come quickly.

Timeline from the Pastoral Epistles to Revelation

  • 62 AD – James the brother of Jesus was martyred. Paul was released from house arrest in Rome. Paul then travels through the Mediterranean visiting churches. Paul wrote 1 Timothy and Titus, and Peter wrote 1 and 2 Peter.

  • 64 AD – Emperor Nero began persecuting Christians. Paul and Peter are soon imprisoned in Rome. Paul wrote his last epistle, 2 Timothy.

  • 66 AD – Jewish uprising began in Jerusalem against the Romans.

  • 66-68 AD – Paul and Peter were martyred in Rome. The books of Hebrews and Jude were written.

  • 70 AD – Romans plundered and fired the Temple in Jerusalem causing great destruction.

  • 80 AD – Domitian was made emperor and carried on persecuting Christians.

  • John wrote the Gospel of John, and 1, 2, and 3 John.

  • 92-94 AD – John is exiled to the Island of Patmos. John also wrote the Book of Revelation.

  • 100 AD – John died in Ephesus.

The Lord Jesus Christ – Bethlehem to Jerusalem (Journey the Word 9)

Our Lord Jesus Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem, what a joyous experience. Here are the takes on this story. Only Matthew and John’s takes are included to avoid redundancy, repetition, and length.

Matthew

Matthew, the tax collector, was the writer of this gospel book. The date it was finished was around the 60s A.D. The beginning of Matthew starts with a genealogy of Jesus all the way back to David and Abraham. This shows that Jesus has a kingly and covenant heritage through David and a covenant heritage through Abraham. The Davidic Covenant ensures the promise of a king to sit upon his throne forever, according to 2 Samuel 7:8-13. The Abrahamic Covenant ensured all families of the earth to be blessed, according to Genesis 12:3.

Now, Jesus’ birth was prophesied unto Joseph by the angel of the Lord, which appeared to Joseph in a dream. Jesus was then born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the reigning days of King Herod. The angel of the Lord again appeared to Joseph telling him to take Mary and Jesus with him and flee to Egypt, to escape the killing of Jesus by King Herod. Once Herod died, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph telling him to take Mary and Jesus with him to Israel. Jesus now lived in Nazareth.

Next, Matthew writes of John the Baptist, who told the people to prepare the way for the Lord, making the path straight for Jesus to come. Jesus then came unto John to be baptized. John appealed to Jesus, insisting the Jesus should baptize him instead. However, Jesus insisted back and John proceeded with the baptism of Jesus. During the baptism, God and the Holy Spirit were also with Jesus.

Satan then meets Jesus in the wilderness. This is for Jesus to be tempted, after Jesus just completed fasting 40 days and nights. Jesus successfully defeated the temptations of the devil by using Scripture. Through this, we discover and know that Jesus came to be a savior first, and then a king.

Jesus began His ministry in Galilee, where He first taught for people to “repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (4:17). Jesus then called four disciples: two of which were Peter and Andrew, who He instructed to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. Next, Jesus came upon James and John, whom He also told to follow Him. Now, all four of them began following Him. Jesus began teaching in synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and healing the sick and diseased.

Next, Jesus taught at the Sermon on the Mount. Through the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught God’s principles for righteousness. Jesus began with the Beatitudes, to show people how they’re blessed. He also taught on being salt and light of the earth. Then, He moved forward through the Sermon on the Mount to teach on anger and reconciliation, adultery, divorce, oaths, revenge, love for enemies, giving to the poor and needy, prayer, fasting, laying up treasures in Heaven, being free from worry, judgments, hypocrisy, the Golden Rule, false prophets, and God’s Will.

When Jesus finished teaching at the Sermon on the Mount, He healed many people including a leper, the centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, and a paralytic. Jesus next added Matthew, the tax collector, as His disciple. Jesus had called twelve disciples total, giving them power to cast out unclean spirits and healing the sick and diseased. Jesus thoroughly instructed the disciples, which involved preaching the kingdom of God and that they would suffer and be persecuted for His sake.

Upon more teaching and healing, Jesus also casted out more demons. Next, Jesus began teaching on the kingdom of Heaven and told parables (stories) about it. Matthew records fifteen parables, twelve of which began with “the kingdom of Heaven is like…” Jesus spoke of the kingdom of Heaven being like the sower, the tares, the mustard seed, the leaven (in the dough), the hidden treasure, an expensive pearl, and a dragnet.

After that, Jesus had to deal with being rejected in His own country, Nazareth, and then His friend, John the Baptist, was beheaded. Next, Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fish. Then, after teaching some more, Jesus fed four thousand more people with seven loaves and a few fish. Through these miracles, persecution increased from the Pharisees and others. Jesus began the building of the Church through Peter (and the other disciples). Jesus then predicted His own death, noting He’d be raised again on the third day.

Next, Jesus healed and taught more parables. Then, Palm Sunday came around. During this time, people celebrated Jesus as king/messiah, waving Palm Branches and other forms of celebration for Him. Soon after, Jesus went into the temple and overturned the merchant’s tables, because they were doing business in the temple. Jesus ordered the merchants to leave. The Pharisees and other persecutors saw this and took note of it. Because of this, the Pharisees started testing Jesus to find flaws in His teachings. However, Jesus knew what they were up to and didn’t fall to their tests.

Jesus then taught more parables and other things, including the Great Commandment to love God and neighbors. Next, Jesus prophesied about His Second Coming. He also prophesied for His people to be ready, which was taught through the parables: of the faithful servant, of the ten virgins, and of the talents.

After this, Matthew writes about the plot to kill Jesus, which involved the chief priests, scribes, and elders unto the high priest Caiaphas. They wanted to take Jesus through subtlety, and arrest Him. Judas then went to one of the chief priests, and made a deal with him to betray Jesus.

Next, the Last Supper began, which was part of the feast of unleavened bread. Jesus gathered with His disciples, and administered His body and His blood for the remission of sins. Jesus knew of Judas’ plan for betrayal, and Peter’s expected denial of Him. Later, Jesus was betrayed and arrested, came before Caiaphas to be judged, and was denied by Peter. After Jesus came before Pilate and was voted to be crucified, Jesus was delivered over for crucifixion.

During the stages of the crucifixion, Jesus was mocked, beaten, and whipped. Then, Jesus was crucified at Golgotha in the middle of two thieves. After a while of hanging on the cross, Jesus cried out before the Lord and gave up His spirit (and died). He was placed inside a tomb of His own, where He resurrected from three days later. Many had come and found the tomb empty.

Soon after, Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples (for Judas betrayed Jesus and was no longer a disciple as a result), where He commissioned them to go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This would end Matthew’s writings about Jesus.

John

John’s gospel, different from the other three, is about Jesus, the Son of God. John wrote this book between 80-95 A.D. According to John 20:31, he wrote it with the intention to prove Jesus was the Christ, the promised messiah for the Jews, and the Son of God. Also, that Jesus wants to lead believers into a life of divine friendship with Him. John also places an emphasis of the sonship of Jesus with the Father.

The book begins with an introduction to Jesus and to the book itself. First, we recognize that Jesus had no beginning, but that He was in the beginning already with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. He is the Word, which means he came to declare and tell about God. Also, that “all things were made by Him, and in Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (1:3-4). Then, in 1:14, we find that He was made flesh and dwelt among us (as the Son of Man). Law and truth came by Moses, but Jesus brought grace and truth (1:17). What’s amazing is, those who received Him can become sons of God, if they believe in Him (1:12).

John began about Jesus’ ministry by talking about John the Baptist first. He notes the prophet Esaias called out to everyone (during John’s baptizing scene) that Jesus is coming, and to make His way straight. Then, the next day, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming and announced Him – before baptizing Him. John the Baptist, even birthed in flesh before Jesus, said that Jesus was before Him – acknowledging that Jesus pre-existed before His fleshly birth.

The next day, Jesus came upon Andrew and Peter, and they wanted to know where He dwells. So, Jesus told them to “come and see.” So, they began following Him. The day after that, Philip and Nathanael began following Jesus as well. Jesus was then called to a wedding in Cana of Galilee, where He would then turn water into wine. This was the first of His miracles noted by John. Soon, during the Jews’ Passover, Jesus went to Jerusalem for the temple. There, He set foot in the temple, where He found people selling merchandise of sorts. Jesus formed a whip and then drove them all out of the temple and overthrew their table they were selling on.

Jesus taught many, including Nicodemus about new birth and the kingdom of God. Soon, He taught about God loving the world so much, that He was given, and for those who believed in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. Also, that He didn’t come to condemn men, but to save them rather. Those who don’t believe are condemned already. Those who do evil hate the light and those who do truth come to the light. Jesus then taught a woman of Samaria about the water that leads to everlasting life. Also, that the true worshippers should worship God in spirit and in truth.

Next, after teaching a bit, Jesus then went to convert a group of Samaritans (and speak of His own rejection as a prophet), and forward to Cana to heal a nobleman’s son (who was dying). Jesus then traveled to Jerusalem, where He healed an impotent man who was afflicted for thirty-eight years. Soon, Jesus proclaimed before people that He was equal with God, and that He shares the same purpose for doing things. Later, when Jesus went to the land near the sea of Tiberius, where He fed five-thousand people with five barley loaves and two small fishes. Jesus made claim the following day that He was the bread of life, which the Jews rejected. Jesus stated that the Father draws people to Him, and that they don’t have life in them unless they eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus (which foreshadows the communion).

Next, John notes that many of His disciples left His side. Jesus knew also, after Peter confessed Him as the Son of God, that Judas would betray Him. Soon, Jesus went up to the temple during the feast of the tabernacles, where He taught about the doctrine of God, Moses’ law of circumcision, about being sent from the Father, and that the Spirit is living water. Then, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives early in the morning, where He saw the scribes and Pharisees, whom He had trouble with in the past in regards to persecutions of His teaching and miracles. He also saw a woman with them who had sinned in adultery. Jesus was writing on the ground with His finger, when the scribes and Pharisees came over and were telling Him that the woman should be stoned because of violating Moses’ law. They kept bugging Jesus, until He stood up for the woman and said, “he that is without sin among you, let Him first cast a stone at her.” They left Jesus and the woman alone. Jesus told the woman she was not condemned, and that she should “go and sin no more.”

Jesus then taught about many things, such as Himself being the light of the world, unbelief, and about being the children of Abraham. Apart from this teaching, healing a blind man, and dealing with the troubling Pharisees – Jesus spoke about being the door of the sheep, that He is the good shepherd: also giver and taker of life. Soon, the Jews wanted to take and arrest Him, but Jesus escaped.

Now, Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, was found sick, and Jesus was told about it. Jesus waited two days, and then came to visit Lazarus – only to find Him dead. Later, Jesus came to where Lazarus was laid, and raised him from the dead, which made the Pharisees very angry. The chief priests and Pharisees gathered before the high priest, Caiaphas, where they plotted to have Jesus killed. Later, after being anointed by Mary, Jesus came to Jerusalem on a donkey, where people celebrated Him with palm branches. Jesus then had some trouble with the Jews and Gentiles concerning their service and belief patterns.

Now, during the feast of the Passover (the last supper in the other gospels), after the supper was done, Jesus humbled Himself and washed the disciples’ feet. He then taught about the great commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.” He also prophesied that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed. Next, Jesus taught about Himself being the way, the truth, and the life to which no one comes to the Father but by Him. Those who ask in His name, He shall give to them. He also promised that the Holy Spirit will come upon them, and shall be with them to comfort them. After that, Jesus taught that He was the true vine and His people were the branches. Also, that through abiding in Him, He shall abide in His people also. He then spoke of the great commandment again, before teaching on persecution.

After teaching some more and being in deep intercession with God, Jesus was then betrayed by Judas and arrested. Jesus was brought to trial before Caiaphas, before being denied by Peter three times. Jesus then came before Pilate, who didn’t find Him guilty. After trying to reason with the people, the people voted Jesus to be crucified over Barabbas the robber. People chose Barabbas, that is, over Jesus to be called innocent or free from crucifixion. After this incident, Pilate took Jesus for scourging, and then brought Him back before the people – assuring them that He was guilty. When Pilate saw he had no choice, he handed Jesus over for crucifixion – where Jesus was mocked and beaten. The time came soon after for Jesus to be crucified, where He later gave up His spirit and died. He was placed inside a tomb, to where He would arise in a few days.

Mary Magdalene was the first to see that Jesus was gone from the tomb. She went and got Peter, who came with another disciple or group of people – and saw that Jesus was gone. Later, Jesus appeared to Mary, and then to His disciples. Thomas was doubtful, so Jesus allowed him to feel with his finger on His hands, and his hand to His sides – to which Thomas believed.

Soon, Jesus showed before the disciples again, where He ate with them and met with Peter about feeding His sheep & continuing to follow Him. John, to end the book, claimed that Jesus did many other things, but that the world couldn’t contain the books that should be written.

Do not be conformed, says the Lord, to the world

What the world saysWhat Jesus says to do instead
Those competent and “have it all together” are valued.Those desperate and needy are accepted (Matthew 5:3); Come all to Jesus those who are weak and burdened, and you will receive rest (Matthew 11:28).
Suffering for any reason should be avoided.Suffering for righteousness is expected, and believers will be rewarded (Matthew 5:10-12).
Treat others the way they treat you.Show enemies forgiveness and love (safely please)(Matthew 5:38-48).
Do good things to get people to notice you and be praised for it.Do good things quietly, not worrying if people are impressed, because you know your reward will be in Heaven (Matthew 6:1-6).
Stockpile as much wealth as possible.We store up treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
Spending time obsessing over food and clothing, and other such matters.Concerned with spiritual and eternal matters (Matthew 6:33).
Point out the flaws of others and critique no matter how much it hurts.You focus on your own troubles and shortcomings (Matthew 7:1-5).
Go with the crowd of the world.We are called to follow the narrow road that leads to life and eternal life (Matthew 7:14).

Life of Christ timeline

  • The Angel spoke to Mary that she will bear a son through the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26-38). The Angel tells Joseph to take Mary as his wife (Matthew 1:18-25).

  • 4 BC – Birth of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem (Luke 2:1-7).

  • Shepherds visit Jesus who was lying in the manger (Luke 2:8-20).

  • Eventually, when Jesus happens at the Temple, He is recognized as the Messiah (Luke 2:21-38).

  • Magi from the East visit Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12).

  • Joseph and Mary took Jesus and fled to escape from Herod. They went to Egypt. Eventually, they returned to Nazareth once Herod died (Matthew 2:13-23).

  • Jesus’ Baptism: Jesus is baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22).

  • Jesus resists satan’s temptations in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).

  • First miracle of Christ Jesus: Jesus turns water into wine (John 2:1-12).

  • Jesus’ first cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13-25).

  • Jesus talks with Nicodemus about Salvation (John 3:1-21).

  • Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-42).

  • Jesus heals the official’s son (John 4:46-54), heals and forgives a paralyzed man (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26), heals a man at the pool of Bethesda during the second Passover recorded in Scripture (John 5:1-47), and heals a centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10).

  • Jesus called Disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11).

  • Jesus dined with “sinners” (Matthew 9:9-13; Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32).

  • The Sermon on the Mount: Jesus teaches with authority (Matthew 5:1-7:29; Luke 6:20-49; 11:1-13; 16:16-17).

  • Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17).

  • Pharisees accused Jesus of being in league with satan, and Jesus countered them (Matthew 12:22-37; Mark 3:20-30; Luke 11:14-28).

  • Jesus calmed a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25).

  • Jesus cast demons from a man to send into a team of pigs (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39).

  • Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter and healed a woman that touched his cloak (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56).

  • Jesus fed 5,000 people (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15). The third recorded Passover in Scripture is noted.

  • Jesus is seen walking on water (Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56; John 6:16-21).

  • Jesus taught His Bread of Life sermon (John 6:22-71).

  • Jesus healed a Canaanite woman’s daughter (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30).

  • Jesus fed 4,000 more people (Matthew 15:29-39; Mark 8:1-10).

  • Jesus healed a blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26).

  • Peter called Jesus the Messiah – The Christ – The Son of the Living God (Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21).

  • The Transfiguration: Where Jesus is seen in Glory (Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36).

  • Jesus spared the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11).

  • Jesus sent out the 70 disciples (Luke 10:1-24).

  • Jesus visited the home of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42).

  • Jesus healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17) and healed a man born blind (John 9:1-41).

  • Opponents of Jesus try to stone Him for blasphemy (John 10:22-42).

  • Jesus mourned over Jerusalem (Matthew 22:37-39; Luke 13:31-35).

  • Jesus dined with Pharisees and then healed a man who had dropsy (Luke 14:1-24).

  • Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44), and then the Sanhedrin plotted to kill Jesus (John 11:45-57).

  • The rich young ruler talked with Jesus (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30).

  • Jesus healed Bartimaeus and another blind man (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43).

  • Jesus visited Zacchaeus the tax collector (Luke 19:1-27).

  • Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume (Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8).

  • SUNDAY – The Triumphal Entry: Jesus entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19).

  • MONDAY – Second cleansing of the Temple done by Jesus (Matthew 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-46).

  • TUESDAY – Pharisees dispute with Jesus in the courts of the Temple (Matthew 22:15-45; Mark 12:13-27; 12:35-40; Luke 20:20-47). Jesus commended the widow’s offering (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4). The Olivet Discourse: Jesus taught on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:1-25:46; Mark 13:1-37; Luke 21:5-38).

  • WEDNESDAY – Judas Iscariot agreed to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:1-5; 26:14-16; Mark 14:1-2; 14:10-11; Luke 22:1-6).

  • THURSDAY – Passover: Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17), The Last Supper: Jesus and the disciples share their final meal together (Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-30; John 13:18-30). Soon, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial (Matthew 26:1-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-38; John 13:31-38).

  • MIDNIGHT – Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46). Soon, Jesus is arrested as Judas betrayed Him (Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-12).

  • FRIDAY – Jesus stood trial before Annas, Caiaphas, and then the Sanhedrin (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54; John 18:13-14; 18:19-24). Peter denies Jesus three times (Matthew 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18; 18:25-27).

  • DAYBREAK – The Sanhedrin condemned Jesus (Matthew 27:1-2; Mark 15:1; Luke 22;63-71). Jesus then stood trial before Herod and Pilate (Matthew 27:11-26; Mark 15:2-15; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-19:16).

  • The soldiers beat Jesus, mocked Him with the Crown of Thorns, and Simon helped carry Jesus’ cross (Matthew 27:27-32; Mark 15:16-21; Luke 23:26-32; John 19:1-3; 19:17).

  • 9:00 AM – The Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross (Matthew 27:33-44; Mark 15:22-32; Luke 23:33-38; John 19:18-24).

  • 3:00 PM – Jesus died on the cross (Matthew 27:45-56; Mark 15:33-41; Luke 23:44-49; John 19:28-37).

  • SUNSET – Jesus’ Body is placed in the tomb (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42).

  • SATURDAY – Roman guard is posted at the tomb (Matthew 27:62-66).

  • SUNDAY – Resurrection of Jesus Christ: Women find the tomb empty where Jesus was laid, and Peter and John come to find it empty as well (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-10).

  • Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, other women, two men on the road to Emmaus, and to His Disciples two times (Matthew 28:8-10; Mark 16:9-14; Luke 24:13-49; John 20:11-31).

  • Jesus dined with his disciples after a miraculous group of fish are caught (John 21:1-14). Jesus restored Peter to “Feed my sheep” (John 21:1-25).

  • The Great Commission: Jesus called His Disciples to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20).

  • ASCENSION: Jesus ascends to Heaven 40 days after His Resurrection (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:3-11).

Rebuilding the Kingdoms: From Exile to Return (Journey the Word 8)

For almost 20 years, the Babylonian Empire invaded Judah, destroyed homes, killed people, caused famine, and took survivors to distant lands to hold them as prisoners of war. We saw prophets arise during this era, such as Daniel and Ezekiel. Leaders such as Ezra and Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem to help the exiles rebuild the community.

Daniel

Daniel 1-12

Daniel was taken captive as a teenager by the Babylonian army at about 605 BC. He was then deported from Jerusalem to the capital of Babylon. Daniel was dedicated to living to God’s Standards, not the world, which caused many problems. His first test was whether he would eat foods that violated God’s Law. Most of the religions of that era were pagan and Daniel wanted no part of them. This means they ate strange foods, none of which Daniel wanted.

Zealous in lieu of God’s Law, Daniel protested the foods. But, his important time came when he interpreted a dream by Nebuchadnezzar about the statue. Later in his years, Daniel would be in prayer often to God, and when caught, Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den, only to be miraculously saved by God.

The book of Daniel recorded a story also of Daniel’s friends being saved from the furnace: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Obedience to God trumped Earthly kings… Hallelujah! Soon, we would witness many prophecies related to the end times that Daniel had given.

Ezekiel

Ezekiel 1-48

A priest named Ezekiel lived among exiles in Nippur, which was a Jewish settlement near the Kebar River around Babylon. Ezekiel was taken captive from Judah to Babylonia (the Akkadian state) around 8 eight years after Daniel was taken. Even though Ezekiel’s book is much larger than Daniel’s, we know more about Daniel than we do Ezekiel.

Ezekiel was called by God to be a prophet… “Watchman.” A watchman is in a high tower vigilantly monitoring the area of responsibility. The book of Ezekiel consists of many judgment prophecies and laments, because there were visions of Israel’s future restoration – a dream many Jews and others have had. The first 32 chapters of his book show the prophet giving God’s Warning to Judah and other nations of a suffering coming.

Judah’s suffering would be because of their idolatrous ways, sexual sins, exploitation of vulnerable people, and alliances with pagan nations. The remainder of the book occurs after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonian Empire, which was around 586 BC. Ezekiel, instead of giving stern warnings, offers messages of hope and restoration. Death is never the final judgment for God’s People. Ezekiel had a final vision in 571 BC, about fifteen years after the fall of Jerusalem. There was hope to see the end of the exile, and Ezekiel would not live to see that end.

The Kingdoms in Daniel

The StatueThe Four BeastsThe Kingdoms
Head of fine gold: Babylon was the most powerfully wealthy kingdom.Lion with Wings of an Eagle: These images were popular in Babylonian architecture and currency.Babylonian Empire: 605-539 BC (King Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar)
Chest and Arms of Silver: Media and Persia were the second great power, and they defeated Babylon.Bear with Ribs in its Mouth: This seems to illustrate Persian dominance over Media.Medo-Persian Empire: 539-332 BC (King Cyrus to Darius III). Persia is symbolized as a ram.
Belly and Thighs of Bronze: bronze is less than gold so it is inferior.Leopard with Four Wings and Four Heads: The speed of Alexander’s conquest of Persia. The heads could indicate a division of Alexander’s empire in four distinct provinces after his death.Greece: 332-63 BC (Alexander the Great and the four divisions). Greece is symbolized by a goat.
Legs of Iron; Feet of Iron and Clay: Divided kingdom was as strong as iron. Most scholars think it was the Roman Empire.Beast with Ten Horns: The horns are ten kings that would arise from this kingdom. Then little horn would speak against God’s People and persecute them. During this king’s reign, God would set up an everlasting kingdom.Divided Kingdom: The Roman Empire in 63 BC through the time of Jesus.
Rock Cut from a Mountain: A rock unmade from human hands that would strike the statue and shatter it. The rock became a mountain that filled the entire Earth. This symbolized Jesus initiating the Kingdom of God.The Son of Man: Daniel’s vision noted “One like a son of man coming from the clouds of Heaven”. He had all glory that people worshiped him.Everlasting Kingdom: Jesus was referred to as the Son of Man, and John had a vision of Jesus Christ ruling in the Heaven.

Ezra and Nehemiah

Ezra 1-10; Nehemiah 1-13

The Book of Ezra opens with the fulfilling of Jeremiah’s prophecy – After seventy years of exile, the Jews would return to their home. The Babylonian Empire fell to Persia in 539 BC. God worked on the heart of King Cyrus of Persia to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem and even rebuild the Temple.

Under Zerubbabel’s leadership and Joshua the High Priest, a new foundation was laid to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Haggai and Zechariah called upon the people to resolve and rebuild the Temple. The rebuilding resumed in 516 BC, which was seventy years after its destruction. God was now truly with His People.

Six decades forward, Ezra is introduced as one devoted to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord. He liked to teach the decrees and laws of the Lord, and even led a large group of exiles on a four month nine-hundred mile journey from Babylon to Jerusalem. Ezra instituted spiritual and social reforms to ensure that this new community in Jerusalem would obey God’s Law and avoid the sins that originally led to the exile.

Meanwhile, in Susa, the Persian capital, Nehemiah was a servant of Artaxerxes. Being a cup-bearer meant he held an influential position as a confidant to the King. He persuaded the king to let him go to Jerusalem to lead the rebuilding of the Temple. Nehemiah and the people overcame opposition in trying to rebuild the Temple and city walls. New life was brought to Jerusalem and it was amazing.

Esther

The Book of Esther, written around 460-400 BC by an anonymous author, covers a period after the exile during the reign of King Xerxes. The Book talks much about a person named Esther who was chosen to become queen, about a plan that was crafted to destroy the Jews (and how it occurred), and about the triumphant Jews.

In the beginning of the book, an exhibition of riches was displayed before the officials and citizens, which lasted for many months. The current queen, Queen Vashti, was asked by the king to display her beauty before drunken men at this banquet, but she refused. This was defiance of the king’s authority, so therefore, she was removed from power. Soon, many young and beautiful women in the land were brought together in the palace, so that the king might choose one of them to be a queen. Among those women was a Jew, whom was also an orphan, named Esther. However, she didn’t make it known she was a Jew. After all the preparations, the women were brought before the king, and then he chose Esther and crowned her.

Now, a man named Haman, the king’s chief minister, had begun to demand people to worship him. Mordecai (cousin of Esther), refused to do this, because he was a Jew and worshiping Haman was against his religion. Haman wanted revenge because of this, and therefore decided to kill all of the Jews. Haman then gained the king’s permission to do so after he spoke that killing the Jews would greatly increase the royal treasury. The king trusted him that he gave Haman his ring, so that Haman could sign legal documents and put things into order. However, Haman had to wait for eleven months before proceeding (to kill them). Haman decreed he would do it, which disturbed many of the people. Mordecai knew that Esther was a Jew and only she could help, so he asked Esther to have the king cancel the decree. God wanted His People alive, and so the urgency was great for Esther to do this, even though she’d be risking her life. However, she agreed to approach the king thusly, and attempt to get the problem resolved.

After a few days had passed, Esther invited the king and Haman to a couple of dinners, in hope to get favor from one or both of them. Haman was positive about the queen, likely flattered that he may have gotten the queen’s approval for killing the Jews. Haman then asked for a royal favor, in hopes to get Mordecai killed right away. However, when Haman made the request to the king, the king was hesitant because Mordecai had saved his life at an earlier time. The king wanted to reward Mordecai, as we see in chapter six. However, Haman didn’t know about the reward, it seems, so Haman was astonished that the honor would go to Mordecai (not execution). Haman was humiliated and felt betrayed by the royal family. Later that night, another dinner was between the king, queen, and Haman, where Esther brought the case before the king that Haman had been plotting to kill the Jews (admitting she was also Jewish) and killing her, and therefore the king was angry because of it. Haman began weeping with anguish before the king, which was interpreted by the king as rape or other form of tactic by Haman to hurt the queen. Therefore, the king wanted Haman immediately executed.

Next, we see Mordecai promoted to chief minister. However, the king’s decree (from Haman’s proposal to kill the Jews) was still intact, but the king gave Mordecai and the queen power to counteract it with a new decree. Therefore, they acted promptly, and gave the Jews permission to do anything they could to defend themselves against attacks on the day (of war against them). When the day came for the Jews to be attacked, only a few of the enemies actually attacked them. However, the Jews fought hard, it seems, and were even given an extra day to defend themselves and get revenge on the enemies. After the Jews won (and survived by the grace of God), a feast was thrown in celebration (which was done every year after that, as well). The book concluded quickly by talking about the reign of Mordecai, and how he helped the Jewish people under his leadership. Mordecai continued rule for many years.

Timeline of events between the exile and return

  • 605 BC – Daniel is taken captive to Babylon (Daniel 1).

  • Daniel interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream about the statue (Daniel 2). The powerful rock that destroys the statue represents the establishment of God’s Eternal Kingdom. The angel Gabriel told Mary that Jesus would rule over this Kingdom forever (Daniel 2:34-35; Luke 1:31-32).

  • God protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3).

  • 597 BC – Ezekiel is taken captive into exile.

  • 593 BC – Ezekiel is called by God to be a prophet/watchman (Ezekiel 1-3).

  • Ezekiel prophesies God’s judgment upon Judah (Ezekiel 4-24).

  • Ezekiel prophesied God’s Judgment on the nations (Ezekiel 25-32).

  • 586 BC – Fall of Judah: Babylon conquered Judah and destroyed the Temple (2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36).

  • 585 BC – Ezekiel received news that Jerusalem had fallen (Ezekiel 33).

  • Ezekiel prophesies God’s restoration of Israel (Ezekiel 34-39).

  • Ezekiel has a vision of a glorious future Temple (Ezekiel 40-48).

  • 571 BC – Ezekiel recorded his last prophecy (Ezekiel 29:17-21).

  • Nebuchadnezzar ends up insane, but soon sanity would return and he worships God (Daniel 4).

  • Daniel has a vision of four beasts, especially “one like a son of man” (Daniel 7). Jesus answered affirmatively in being the Messiah, referring to Daniel’s prophecy of being the “Son of Man” (Daniel 7:13; Mark 14:62; Revelation 1:7; 1:13).

  • Daniel has a vision of a ram and goat (Daniel 8).

  • 539 BC – Daniel interprets the writing on the wall as King Belshazzar’s downfall (Daniel 5).

  • Daniel’s vision of an “abomination” and “seventy sevens” (Daniel 9). Jesus spoke that the abomination of desolation would be a sign of the end times (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15).

  • 538 BC – King Cyrus of Persia allowed exiled Jews to return to Judah (Ezra 1).

  • First Return: Zerubbabel and the High Priest Joshua led the exiles to Jerusalem (Ezra 2).

  • God protected Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6).

  • 535 BC – Daniel recorded the last prophecy of a vision of a man (Daniel 10-12).

  • The Temple foundation was laid, but not as glorious as the first Temple (Ezra 3). Temple construction stalled (Ezra 4).

  • Haggai and Zechariah convince people to continue rebuilding the Temple (Ezra 5:1; 6:14). Zechariah prophesied in his book many things about Jesus Christ that were fulfilled by Him.

  • 516 BC – Temple reconstruction is completed (Ezra 6).

  • Queen Esther saves her people from being annihilated (Esther 1-8).

  • Purim (Feast of Lots) is established (Esther 9-10).

  • 457 BC – Second Return: Ezra led the exiles to Jerusalem (Ezra 7-8).

  • Ezra institutes social and spiritual reforms (Ezra 9-10).

  • Nehemiah heard that Jerusalem’s walls were torn down (Nehemiah 1).

  • 444 BC – Third Return: Nehemiah led the exiles to Jerusalem this time (Nehemiah 2).

  • Under the governance of Nehemiah, the walls of Jerusalem are rebuilt (Nehemiah 3-7).

  • Ezra read the Law and the people confessed their sins (Nehemiah 8-12).

  • Nehemiah went to Persia for a short time and then returned to Jerusalem (Nehemiah 13).

  • Malachi called for a spiritual renewal in Judah. Malachi prophesied that a special prophet would prepare the way for the Messiah, which was fulfilled in John the Baptist (Malachi 3:1; 4:5; Matthew 11:10; Luke 7:26-28).

  • Joel prophesied about the coming Day of the Lord. When the Holy Spirit would come in power upon the disciples, Peter identified this as Joel’s prophecy on pouring out His Spirit upon all people (Joel 2:29; Acts 2:16-21).

The Division of Israel and the fall of Judah (Journey the Word 7)

After King Solomon died, tribal loyalty had fallen hard. Civil war broke out between the ten northern tribes and two southern tribes. What was once unified by King David was now very separate.

Kings and Prophets

1 Kings 12-22; 2 Kings 1-25; 2 Chronicles 10-36

Rehoboam claimed kingship over the region of Judah. This was called the southern kingdom. People were quite involved in very sinful activities. In the northern kingdom, Jeroboam was made ruler. Since Jerusalem and the ark of the covenant was in the south, Jeroboam decided to set up new gods and new temples for people to worship.

Just as Aaron once set up a golden calf idol, Jeroboam set up two of them and told people they can worship them. Rehoboam and Jeroboam were considered wicked kings, and caused many problems that angered the Lord. God sent prophets to deal with their rebellion with words of warning. Even with military threats from Assyria and Egypt, Israel was still prosperous.

Especially prominent were King Ahab of Israel along with Queen Jezebel. Jezebel brought Baal worship with her and killed the prophets of God. She even threatened to kill Elijah for defeating her Baal priests on Mount Carmel. However, God intervened for Elijah. Therefore, Elijah was taken into Heaven by a whirlwind. Jezebel and Ahab suffered violent deaths. The Kingdom of Israel had fallen to Assyria in 722 BC, and Judah had fallen to Babylon in 586 BC. Jeremiah saw the fall of Judah and lamented.

Jonah’s story

Book of Jonah

God called Jonah to go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it. Bringing God’s judgment on an enemy of Israel was ideal; however, Jonah just ran away from the idea. He boarded a ship to a deep sea and was thrown overboard by the crew. He was then swallowed up by a huge fish, which saved him from drowning.

Once God commanded the fish to release Jonah, he obeyed God’s Word and went to Nineveh – to which they believed his message. They repented, fasted, and made changes to their lifestyle right away.

At the end of the book, Jonah complained to God, as he knew God was compassionate, which was why he fled in the first place. God asked him should He not have concern for the city of Nineveh.

Timeline of events during the Division of the Kingdom

  • Division of the Kingdom: After Solomon died, the kingdom divided into Rehoboam of the Southern Kingdom (Judah) and Jeroboam of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) (1 Kings 12-14; 2 Chronicles 10-13).

  • About 900 BC – Israel’s King Ahab and Queen Jezebel killed the Lord’s prophets (1 Kings 16 and 18).

  • About 800 BC – Elijah and Elisha prophesy to the land of Israel (1 Kings 17-21; 2 Kings 1-8, 13; 2 Chronicles 21).

  • Jonah spent three days and nights in the belly of a huge fish (Jonah). Jesus said that like Jonah, He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:39-40).

  • Amos and Hosea prophesy to Israel. Micah prophesies to Israel and Judah. Isaiah prophesies to Judah. Because of Jesus being Messiah, nations would receive God’s Promises just as Amos prophesied (Amos 9:11-12; Acts 15:15-17). Jesus as Messiah was called out of Egypt just as Hosea prophesied, came out of Bethlehem just as Micah prophesied (Hosea 11:1; Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4-6; 2:15). Jesus also declared that the prophecy in Isaiah 61 was about Him (Luke 4:17-19).

  • Fall of Israel: Assyria conquered Israel (2 Kings 17).

  • 716 BC – King Hezekiah restored the Temple, observed Passover (2 Kings 18; 2 Chronicles 29-32).

  • Hezekiah is healed from his illness, and Isaiah prophesies to him (2 Kings 19-20; Isaiah 36-38).

  • Nahum prophesies Assyria’s destruction.

  • Zephaniah prophesies the coming day of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:2 tells us the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

  • King Josiah found the book of the Law and brought revival to Judah (2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34-35).

  • Jeremiah prophesies to Judah before and after the fall to Babylon. Jeremiah also spoke of the New Covenant that God would make with His People. Jesus announced that during the Last Supper (Jeremiah 31:31; Luke 22:20).

  • The last four kings of Judah after Josiah were evil (2 Kings 23-24; 2 Chronicles 36).

  • Habakkuk prophesied to Judah.

  • 586 BC – Fall of Judah: Babylon conquered Judah and destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem (2 Kings 25; 2 Chronicles 36; Jeremiah 52). Jeremiah writes his Lamentations while Obadiah prophesies against Edom.

The Kingdom Unified – From Samuel to Solomon (Journey the Word 6)

Hannah had no children, and cried out to the Lord to help her with her barrenness. The Lord granted her a child, and who was born was named Samuel. Now, Samuel heard God’s Call at a very young age.

Samuel, Saul, and David

1 Samuel 1-31; 1 Chronicles 1-10

Samuel led Israel as a prophet and the last judge of the era of Judges. People had begun to reject God as King, and demanded a king. But God warned the Israelites that unpleasant things would arise if a king were to rule. However, the people still insisted, so Samuel was to anoint a man named Saul to be Israel’s first king.

The Spirit of God came strongly upon Saul, as he was a man that could lead the kingdom well. However, he eventually disobeyed the Lord and ignored God; therefore, Samuel prophesied that the kingdom would not endure anymore for another man was to be chosen to take his place as king. David was the next man in line for the throne.

David was a shepherd, and a humble man who received the Spirit of the Lord once it departed from Saul. David quickly rose to prominence and power in Israel and defeated a giant Philistine warrior named Goliath. Saul and David warred each other, and Saul nearly killed David – so David fled Jerusalem.

David moved through the wilderness of Judah, and lived as a fugitive from Saul. David built a militia of 600 men strong. He raided different towns and lived with the Philistines for a while, which were the enemy of Israel. Soon, David, a shepherd boy, would become a man of war. Saul and his sons died in the battle against the Philistines, which allowed David to take the throne. God directed David to go to Hebron, and David obeyed.

King David

2 Samuel 1-24; 1 Chronicles 11-29; 1 Kings 1-2

In Hebron, David was made King of Judah, where he reigned for seven and a half years. The rest of the tribes made David king over all of Israel. His first act as King was to make Jerusalem the capital and bring the ark of the covenant into the city as well. When the ark entered Jerusalem, the sound of celebration could be heard! David would also write almost half of the 150 Psalms.

God blessed King David, giving him rest from enemies, and made a covenant with him. The Davidic Covenant would mean that the Kingdom would reign forever. Bringing national unity was something David had done that Saul could not do.

But King David did do something foolish, which was sleeping with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. David tried to conceal the fact that Bathsheba was pregnant, and had Uriah to die on the battlefield so that David could marry Bathsheba. God confronted David by Nathan the prophet, and David confessed his sin of abusing the flock of God. David prayed for mercy in Psalm 51. David received forgiveness from God, but there were consequences of this sin.

The series of troubles that occurred included one of his sons assaulting his daughter. Another son named Absalom attempted to usurp David’s throne and call himself king. Disloyal leaders in his kingdom attempted another coup. War between Israel and the Philistines would occur again, and a plague caused thousands in Israel to die. David would rule for forty years in Israel, and would allow his son Solomon to inherit the throne.

King Solomon

2 Chronicles 1-9; 1 Kings 3-11

Solomon reigned during a time of national prosperity and economic flourishing in Israel. Solomon began his kingship by asking God for wisdom. During his reign, he expanded the boundaries of Israel, and achieved many economic successes along with building the first temple in Jerusalem. The Ark of the Covenant would be placed in the Most Holy Place in the Temple.

Solomon’s wisdom was heavily recorded, and can be read in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and two Psalms (72 and 127). King Solomon married over 700 foreign wives and had 300 concubines. Not sure how wise that is, but definitely something to consider there. Royal marriages were usually a way of forming political and economic alliances between different nations to foster an era of trust. Solomon apparently desired to strengthen his kingdom by these marriages.

Incidentally, Solomon would fall into sin, by which he set up multiple places of worship for the gods of these many wives he had. Solomon’s heart would slowly turn toward these deities, and was no longer fully devoted to the Lord. During most of his reign though, Israel remained prosperous and unified. However, the kingdom was fragile and about to dissolve when Solomon would die.

Timelines of Events from Samuel to Solomon

  • 1100 BC – God gives Hannah a son named Samuel (1 Samuel 1).

  • Samuel heard God’s Call (1 Samuel 3).

  • The ark is captured temporarily by the Philistines. The High Priest Eli died (1 Samuel 4-6).

  • Samuel led Israel as a judge and prophet. Samuel and David were heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:32).

  • 1051 BC – Israel demands a King, so Samuel anointed Saul (1 Samuel 8-10).

  • Saul disobeyed God, so God rejected Saul as king (1 Samuel 13 and 15).

  • Samuel anointed a young shepherd named David to be the next King (1 Samuel 16). David was from Bethlehem and Jesus was born in Bethlehem… What a coincidence! (1 Samuel 16:1; Matthew 2:1).

  • David kills Goliath with a slingshot (1 Samuel 17).

  • David married Michal and befriended Jonathan (Saul’s son) (1 Samuel 18).

  • David spent 14 years as a fugitive after Saul tried to kill him (1 Samuel 19-30; Psalms 18, 56, 57, 59, 63, and 142).

  • Samuel died (1 Samuel 25:1) and David married Abigail (1 Samuel 25).

  • 1011 BC – Saul and Jonathan died in battle against the Philistines (1 Samuel 31; 1 Chronicles 10).

  • David is made king of Judah in Hebron and ruled for 7.5 years (2 Samuel 2).

  • David becomes king over all Israel and conquered Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5; 1 Chronicles 11).

  • David brought the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6; 1 Chronicles 13-16).

  • Davidic Covenant: God made a covenant with David (2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17).

  • David slept with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed so David could marry her (2 Samuel 11).

  • Nathan rebuked David, and David repented of his sin (2 Samuel 12; Psalm 51).

  • Absalom attempted a coup, but was killed in battle (2 Samuel 15-18; Psalm 3).

  • A plague occurred but then ceased, when David bought the threshing floor of Araunah and built his altar there (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21).

  • Nathan and Bathsheba urge David to make Solomon the new king (1 Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 28).

  • 971 BC – David died after a 40 year reign (1 Kings 2; 1 Chronicles 29).

  • Solomon is made King and received wisdom from God (1 Kings 3; 2 Chronicles 1).

  • 960 BC – Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem on the threshing floor of Araunah (1 Kings 5-8; 2 Chronicles 2-7; Psalm 30).

  • 950 BC – The Queen of Sheba visited Solomon and admired his wisdom and wealth (1 Kings 10; 2 Chronicles 9).

  • Solomon foolishly married many wives and worshiped their gods (1 Kings 11).

  • 931 BC – Solomon would die after his 40 year reign (1 Kings 11; 2 Chronicles 9).

The Promised Land: From Joshua to Judges (Journey the Word 5)

Joshua, one of the two spies with a good report about Canaan, challenged the Israelites to have courage, but the Israelites did not want to enter the Promised Land. About forty years later, Joshua stood on the outlying areas of the Promised Land, for God had given His People another chance at entering.

The Canaan conquest

Joshua 1-24

Joshua was Moses’ successor to lead the Israelites into Canaan. God promised to never leave him nor forsake him. God parted the Jordan river so the people could enter across dry land, which was similar to the Red Sea being parted for Moses and the Israelites as they left Egypt. The conquest for Canaan would begin with breaking down the walls of Jericho.

When Jericho fell, Rahab and her family were spared because of their faith and assistance to Israel. Soon, Joshua and his army would move through central Canaan. When they were near Shechem, which was between Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, Joshua and His People assembled to worship God. Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal, and the priests presented offerings to the Lord while Joshua would read the Law of Moses. Reading the Law reminds people of the Mosaic Covenant.

Soon, Joshua would conquer cities in southern Canaan, and have many victories in the north as well. The Israelites quickly settled in Canaan, and different territories they were able to annex throughout the land to specific tribes of Israel. Lastly, Joshua would bid farewell as he died at age 110 and buried in the Promised Land.

The Time of the Judges

Judges 1-21

Since Joshua died, the tribes were without a central leader, and even though the Lord was their King, they needed someone to rule the people on the earth. Now, the book of Judges notes there was much sin and deliverance. To rule the people, Judges were needed over the tribes.

Idolatry was rampant during this time, as people believed in different deities that ruled over many facets of life. Especially prominent was Baal and Ashtaroth during this era. The Israelites turned to these other gods, instead of our One True God. Therefore, God sent oppression because of Israel’s sins. During their time of desperation, they cried out to God, and eventually God raised up a leader to deliver Israel from the oppression.

The most notable judges included Deborah, Gideon, and Samson. Deborah helped lead Israel to defeat King Jabin, Gideon led extraordinary military victories, and Samson helped accomplish God’s purpose of breaking the dominance of the Philistines over Israel.

With the success of each judge, Israel had experienced times of peace; however, Israel eventually went back to idolatrous ways, which caused more wars and oppression.

We see this cycle happen to Israel in the book of Judges, which occurs throughout human history interestingly:

Sin and disobedience => Oppression => Repentance => Deliverance => Peace (and it restarts after this).

List of Judges

#JudgeYearsCaptivity/Servitude
1Othniel40The children of Ammon and Amalek served Eglon for 18 years.
2Ehud18none
3ShamgarN/Anone
4DeborahAbout 40Shortly after the 40 years of peace after her reign, the Israelites were allowed to be oppressed by the Midianites, Amalekites, and children of the East. God chose Gideon to free the people and condemn their idolatry.
5Gideon40none
6Abimelech3none
7Tolah23none
8Jair22none
9Jephthah18none
10Ibzan7none
11Elon10none
12Abdon8none
13Samson20none

Ruth’s story

The book of Ruth seems to be set during the latter part of the judges’ reign. The story begins with a famine, which caused Naomi and family to move from Bethlehem to Moab. Naomi’s husband and two sons died in Moab. Naomi needed to return to Bethlehem, and therefore, Ruth joined her.

While in Bethlehem, Ruth worked among the poor, and obtained leftovers in grain fields. Boaz heard of Ruth’s unwavering dedication to Naomi, and had compassion for Ruth. By the end, Boaz married Ruth, which was neat to see God’s Love shining through this story.

Timelines of events during Joshua and Judges

  • 1406 BC – Joshua succeeds Moses as Israel’s leader (Joshua 1).

  • Israelites spy the Promised Land, Rahab hid them (Joshua 2). Rahab was a hero of faith and righteousness (Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25).

  • God parts the Jordan and lets the Israelites walk on dry land (Joshua 3-5).

  • Israelites march around Jericho for 7 days, and the walls fall down, and they conquer the city. Rahab and family are spared (Joshua 6).

  • Israel renews their covenant at Mounts Gerizim and Ebal (Joshua 8:30-35).

  • Gibeonites tricked Joshua into a peace treaty (Joshua 9).

  • Joshua divided the land among the Tribes of Israel (Joshua 13-22).

  • Israel renews the covenant and Joshua dies (Joshua 23-24).

  • 1300 BC – Israel forsook God. Soon, Othniel, Ehub, and Shamgar would be judges to lead Israel (Judges 1-3).

  • Deborah was a judge who partnered with Barak to defeat oppressors (Judges 4-5).

  • Gideon defeats the Midianites (Judges 6-8). Barak and Gideon are listed as heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:32).

  • 1200 BC – Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon lead Israel (Judges 10-12). Samson fought the Philistines with incredible strength (Judges 13-16). Jephthah and Samson are heroes of faith (Hebrews 11:32).

  • About 1100 BC – Idolatry, violence, and war happened among the Tribes of Israel (Judges 17-21). Ruth married Boaz and has a child that is the ancestor of King David (Ruth 1-4).

The redemption of the people from Egypt to the Wilderness (Journey the Word 4)

We see now in the journey that we travel to the exodus story, where God redeemed His People from slavery and brought them to the Promised Land. This was part of the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God wanted people to trust Him, and we will see the results of that.

Moses and the Exodus

Exodus 1-18

We see the book open up to the descendants of Jacob. God blessed them, but Egyptian rulers saw that success as a threat and were suspicious. To prevent further population growth, Pharaoh ordered every Hebrew newborn boy to be thrown in the the Nile. Moses was born around this time, and he was to be thrown in the Nile. Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in the river, and rescued and raised him. Moses would grow up a member of Pharaoh’s household.

Moses’ life would be unexpectedly interrupted when he was older, as he fled Egypt as a fugitive. He became a shepherd in Midian after this. God called to him in a burning bush, in which Moses was instructed to go back to Egypt to confront Pharaoh and demand he release God’s People. Therefore, Moses and Aaron (his brother) went back to Egypt to confront Pharaoh.

God sent nine terrible plagues upon Egypt, but after each, Pharaoh still refused to release God’s People. The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart to prove He is God Alone. The tenth and final plague was the worst one, where the death of the firstborn sons occurred. Pharaoh had killed the newborn sons of Israel, so God wanted to lay to rest the newborn sons of Egypt. Only households with the blood of the perfect lamb across their door posts would be freed of this destruction. God’s Spirit came and took out the sons of Egypt. Finally, when Pharaoh’s own son died in this plague, Pharaoh relented to let God’s People leave.

From Egypt to Mount Sinai, we see God had continued to demonstrate His care for the people, as He guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Imagine that!). When they were pursued by the Egyptian army, God parted the sea miraculously for the Israelites to pass on dry ground, and then destroying Pharaoh’s army with the walls of water. God provided them with manna and quail for food, which was enough for each day they were there. After about three months of travel in the wilderness, God led them to Mount Sinai.

The Ten Plagues

PlagueDescription
Water to blood (Exodus 7:14-25)The Nile turned into blood.
Frogs (Exodus 8:1-15)Frogs invaded everywhere, and when they died, they let off foul odors across the land. Truly disgusting.
Gnats/Lice (Exodus 8:16-19)Dust turned into small insects like maybe gnats, lice, etc.
Flies/mosquitoes (Exodus 8:20-32)These were flying insects of some kind. Psalm 78:45 referenced that they may have fed on the Egyptian people.
Death of livestock (Exodus 9:1-7)A plague was sent on the Egyptian livestock in the fields. However, the Israelites’ livestock was unharmed.
Boils (Exodus 9:8-12)Boils appeared on both Egyptians and their animals. Egyptians priests and healers could not be of service for them.
Hail (Exodus 9:13-35)A hailstorm had struck Egyptian lands, and some of Pharaoh’s officials left his side to be with Moses and Aaron.
Locusts (Exodus 10:1-20)Locusts had eaten every plant that was not destroyed in the recent hailstorm. The officials pleaded with Pharaoh just to listen to Moses and Aaron.
Darkness (Exodus 10:21-29)Intense darkness would descend upon the land for three total days (see a connection here?). It was so dark, it was described as palpable.
Death of the firstborn of Egyptians (Exodus 11:1-12:30)God’s Spirit would strike dead all of the firstborn males including Pharaoh’s son; however, those with the blood of the lamb on their door post would be spared (Passover).

Mount Sinai experience

Recorded in Exodus 19-40; Leviticus 1-27; Numbers 1-9

Moses alongside the Israelites spent two years camping at the foot of the Mount Sinai. At this mount, God called Moses up the mountain to meet with him, and Moses would become the mediator of the covenant between God and Israel. Moses represented Israel to God, and God to Israel. By Moses, God had given the Ten Commandments. Along with that, He gave the instructions for building the tabernacle and its furnishings, which included the Ark of the Covenant. Laws were given to govern people’s lives, worship, practices, priesthood, and society.

The Israelites needed to learn how to live with God in their midst, and observing the divine laws made it possible for sinful people to dwell with a Holy God. After two years in the desert of Sinai, Moses and the Israelites began the journey to the Promised Land, Canaan.

Wanderings in the wilderness

Numbers 10-36; Deuteronomy 1-34

The Israelites are continuing their journey through the wilderness “wandering”. Leaving lives of slavery in Egypt, these confident people journeyed to the Promised Land. Moses sent twelve spies to Canaan to explore the land. When the spies returned, they reported about not letting the Israelites go in, because it would be too dangerous. Caleb and Joshua urged the people to just trust in God and go anyway. Sadly, the people only listened to the ten spies who reported instead of Caleb and Joshua.

Soon, the Lord would declare to Moses that they would not be allowed in the Promised Land; therefore, the Israelites lived as nomadic as possible in the wilderness for forty years with many of them dying or growing very old. God miraculously fed them and gave them water along with victory over enemies. But also, judgment, plagues, and other consequences for sin came upon them. Once they repented, God healed and restored them.

Moses continued to urge them through the years to remain faithful to God and stay repentant, and to never forget the Lord. God did not allow Moses to enter the Promised Land due to sin; however, He gave Moses a view of the Promised Land from Mount Nebo just before Moses died.

The Ark of the Covenant chronology

  • 1446 BC – At Mount Sinai, Moses and the Israelites had built the ark and placed it in the tabernacle (Exodus 25; 40:1-33).

  • The Israelites took the ark with them and set up the tabernacle and ark at Shiloh (Numbers 4 and 10 and 14; Deuteronomy 10; Joshua 18:1).

  • 1406 BC – The priests carry the ark across the Jordan as the Israelites entered Canaan (Joshua 3 and 6).

  • The ark ends up in Bethel (Judges 20:26-27).

  • 1100 BC – During the time of Samuel, the ark is returned to Shiloh (1 Samuel 3:3).

  • Philistines captured the ark, but then are forced to return it (1 Samuel 4-6; 7:2).

  • The ark is taken to Kiriath Jearim, and stays for 20 years (1 Samuel 7:2).

  • Saul takes the ark in battle against the Philistines )1 Samuel 14:18).

  • 1004 BC – The ark remained in the house of Obed Edom for about three months (2 Samuel 6:10-11; 1 Chronicles 13:6).

  • King David brought the ark to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:1-15).

  • 960 BC – King Solomon built the temple and placed the ark in the Most Holy Place (1 Kings 8:1-9; 2 Chronicles 5:2-10).

  • 623 BC – During King Josiah’s reign, the ark was not in the temple, but once the book of the law was discovered, the ark was placed back in the temple.

  • Jeremiah prophesied that the ark of the covenant will not be a key in people’s minds anymore (Jeremiah 3:16).

  • 586 BC – Babylonians invaded Jerusalem and burned down the temple. The ark was likely destroyed or carried away into Babylon with other sacred items of the temple (2 Kings 25:13-17).

  • 516 BC – The exiles returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, but the ark is unmentioned (Ezra 4:11-12; 6:15).

  • At the time of Jesus Christ, there is no ark in the temple. The last mention is in John’s vision of the temple of God in Heaven (Revelation 11:19).

Timeline of Biblical events from Egypt to the wilderness

  • 1800 BC – Jacob’s descendants live in Egypt for 430 years – some of that time was slavery (Exodus 1).

  • 1526 BC – Approximate date Moses is born (Exodus 2:1-10).

  • Moses fled to Midian. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush (Exodus 2-4).

  • Moses confronted Pharaoh in Egypt with Aaron (Exodus 5-6).

  • God sent 10 plagues on Egypt (Exodus 7-12).

  • First Passover (Exodus 12:1-30).

  • 1446 BC – The Exodus – Israelites left Egypt (Exodus 12:31-42).

  • God led Israelites with pillars of cloud and fire (Exodus 13:21-22).

  • God parts the Red Sea (Exodus 14).

  • God turned bitter water into drinking water (Exodus 15:22-27).

  • God provided the people with manna and quail (Exodus 16).

  • Moses struck a rock and water had flown (Exodus 17:1-7).

  • The Israelites defeated the Amalekites (Exodus 17:8-16).

  • Mosaic Covenant: God gave the Ten Commandments, law, and tabernacle instructions to Moses while at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-31). Just as the giving of the Law marked the beginning of Mosaic Covenant, the giving of the Holy Spirit to believers was the sign of the New Covenant initiated by Jesus Christ (Acts 2).

  • Aaron constructed the golden calf idol (Exodus 32).

  • The Tabernacle and the ark of the covenant are built (Exodus 35-40). (See above for the timeline of the tabernacle and ark’s journey.)

  • First census occurs (Numbers 1).

  • Instructions are given for holy living (Leviticus 1-27; Numbers 2-9).

  • 1444 BC – Israelites left Mount Sinai (Numbers 10).

  • God sent fire, quail, and then plague (Numbers 11).

  • Miriam was punished with leprosy, but then restored (Numbers 12).

  • Twelve spies explored Canaan, and then the Israelites refused to enter at their warning (Numbers 13-14).

  • Rebellion and death happened in the camp (Numbers 16). Instructions are given for Aaron, priests, and the Levites (Numbers 17-19).

  • Moses struck a rock instead of speaking to it, which was in disobedience to God (Numbers 20).

  • People were healed by looking up to a bronze snake (Numbers 21).

  • The Israelites had victories (Numbers 21); Israelites camped at Moab and received Balaam’s blessings (Numbers 22).

  • Second Census occurs (Numbers 26).

  • The Tribes of Israel instructions were given (Numbers 27-36).

  • 1406 BC – Moses viewed the Promised Land from Mount Nebo before dying at 120 (Deuteronomy 34:1-12).

The chosen family – Abraham to Joseph (Journey the Word 3)

With the new beginning, which was after the flood, sin and corruption reigned in the world and waxed daily. God wanted to bring His Plan of redemption, but people would not let Him. God began forging it through one family, Abraham and Sarah.

Abraham and Sarah’s family

Genesis 12-24

Abraham and wife Sarah (eventually called Abram and Sarai respectively). Originating from Ur in Mesopotamia, a place of business commerce, and Abraham’s family was semi-nomadic. This means they chose to move where they found food and pastureland for their livestock.

Soon, God would call Abraham to migrate from Harran to the land of Canaan, and assured him with a covenant that God would bless him and his family. God reaffirms this covenant seven times over the course of his life.

The following promises are included in the Abrahamic Covenant:

  • Abraham and Sarah would have a son (Genesis 18:1-15)
  • All nations would be blessed through Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 12:1-3)
  • The land that God would show Abraham would belong to his descendants (Genesis 12:7; 22:15-18)
  • Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and also the sand on the seashores (Genesis 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-21; 22:17).

By faith, Abraham would make his home in the Promised Land just as a stranger in a foreign land would. Abraham and Sarah though were old and childless. A miracle was necessary if they were to succeed in God’s expectations. Sarah thought it would be a wise idea to have Abraham mate with Hagar, which would birth a son named Ishmael. He was the illegitimate child and not the child of promise either.

God was faithful, and birthed a miracle through Sarah, and that name was Isaac, the son of promise. This was 25 years after God made the covenant with Abraham. Now, Abraham’s faith in God increased after Isaac’s birth, as God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac – and Abraham was willing. Abraham believed God could raise the dead, but instead of letting Abraham sacrifice Isaac, God sent a ram in for slaughter in the thicket instead to prevent Isaac’s death.

Jacob’s family

Genesis 25-36

After Abraham and Sarah died, we see the Bible focus on Jacob and Esau. Later in Jacob’s life, God changed his name to Israel. “One that wrestles with God” is how it is mostly explained. One time Jacob and his mother Rebekah tricked an aged and blind Isaac into giving Jacob the blessing that belonged to Esau.

Jacob fled when Esau wanted revenge, and it would be 20 years before they see each other again. Laban tricked Jacob into marrying Leah, even though Jacob wanted to marry Rachel. Jacob married both sisters. Leah and Rachel were always competing for Jacob’s affection, and both had as many children as possible. This ended in twelve sons and one daughter in the end. They went as far as giving their slave women to him for more children.

Jacob would eventually glimpse into the heavenly realm, the dream of a stairway to heaven (Jacob’s Ladder). The Lord would reaffirm His Promises. After being 20 years away from his brother, Jacob would see Esau. Jacob was afraid of him and prayed for his life. However, Esau did not want revenge, but instead embraced and forgave him. Then, the Lord renewed his covenant promises of blessing with the family and chose to work with their broken lives by rescuing them from doom. This blessing would continue for many generations. Hallelujah!

Joseph in Egypt

Genesis 37-50

We see the story of Joseph unique, especially being from a broken family. Joseph chose to rely on God, even if the future seemed hopeless. Joseph’s brothers resented him, but Jacob favored him. His brothers decided to trap him and sell him to slavery, but then lie to Jacob that he had been killed by wild animals.

As a slave, Joseph was in Egypt with no status. However, he knew the Lord was with him. He was eventually placed in charge of Potiphar’s house, and one of Pharaoh’s officers. However, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of adultery, and was sent into prison. Nonetheless, he made it out of prison when Pharaoh had been notified that Joseph could interpret dreams. All it took was interpreting Pharaoh’s dream, and Joseph was made a high ruler in Egypt.

During the famine, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to gather provisions, and Joseph chose to forgive them. Eventually, Jacob and family migrated to Egypt by Joseph’s help. God’s Promises shall be faithful from thereupon.

Genealogy of Abraham’s family

Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 by Drnhawkins

Job’s story

The Book of Job tells the story of this upright man whose life was completely overthrown. God permits satan to take everything from Job, and he loses his riches, children, health, and more – but he never let his loyalty to the Lord slip.

Through the book, we see his friends try to empathize with him and try to help him diagnose his suffering. God never answers Job’s questions on his suffering, but in the end Job comes to trust that God still loves him and cares for him. With all of Job’s questions, God finally told him what he needed to know, and then God ended up restoring Job’s health with riches and blessing him with better health and more children. Job persevered and is a great testimony of the work of the Lord (James 5:11).

Covenants of the Bible

Covenant nameScriptureWho involvedWhen it wasWhat it was about
AdamicGenesis 1:26-30; 2:15-17All of CreationAt CreationProvision for all Creation
NoahicGenesis 8:20-9:17God, Noah, every living thingAfter the floodNever destroying Earth with a flood again
AbrahamicGenesis 12:1-7God and AbrahamAbraham at age 75 (possibly 2091 BC)Descendants for many generations and the Promised Land
MosaicExodus 19:3-8God, Moses, IsraelAfter the ExodusBlessings if Israel obeys God’s Law
Davidic2 Samuel 7:4-17God and King DavidDavid’s reign (possibly 1,000 BC)Establish the throne of David forever
NewJeremiah 31:31-34; Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 8:6God, Jesus, and all who trust in Jesus as SaviorJesus’ death and resurrection (about AD 30)New relationship, eternal life, and the superior covenant.

Bible timeline of events (dates are always approximated)

  • 2100 BC – The story of Job. James mentions Job’s story as the example of persevering in God, and of God’s Compassion (James 5:11).

  • Abram’s father moves his family from Ur to Harran (Genesis 11).

  • Abrahamic Covenant – God called Abram to move to Canaan (Genesis 12:1-9)

  • In Egypt, Abram told Pharoah that Sarai was his sister, so God intervenes and rescues Sarai (Genesis 12:10-20).

  • Abram rescued Lot from captivity (See Genesis 13-14).

  • Abram gave a tenth of his money (tithe) to Melchizedek – the king and priest (Genesis 14-15). We see also in the Book of Hebrews how Jesus is the High Priest after the order of Melchisedec/Melchizedek (Hebrews 5-7).

  • Hagar bore a son with Abram, and named him “Ishmael” (Genesis 16).

  • God renamed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah respectively (Genesis 17). They were listed as people who had faith in the most trying of circumstances as they trusted God would fulfill His Promises (Hebrews 11:8, 11).

  • God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, but spared Lot (Genesis 19).

  • 2066 BC – Isaac is miraculously born to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21).

  • 2050 BC – Abraham sent Hagar and Ishmael away with God’s provision (Genesis 21).

  • God tested Abraham by telling him to sacrifice Isaac. God provides a ram to be sacrificed instead (Genesis 21). That attempted sacrifice was on Mount Moriah near the outside of Jerusalem – similar as to where Jesus was sacrificed (Genesis 22:2; 2 Chronicles 3:1; John 19:17-18).

  • 2005 BC – Rebekah bears twins: Esau and Jacob (Genesis 25:19-26).

  • 1991 BC – Abraham died at age 175 (Genesis 25:1-18).

  • Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:27-34).

  • Isaac lied about his wife saying she was just his sister (Genesis 26).

  • Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac into giving Jacob the blessing of the firstborn (Genesis 27).

  • Esau wanted revenge, so Jacob fled to Harran. Then he has a dream about the stairway to heaven (Genesis 28). Jesus referred back to this stairway when He declared Himself to be the path between Heaven and Earth – Jesus bridges the gap also from time and eternity (John 1:51).

  • Jacob married Leah and Rachel (Genesis 29).

  • Leah and Rachel compete for Jacob’s affection by having many sons (Genesis 30-31).

  • Jacob is renamed Israel while struggling/wrestling with the Angel of the Lord (Genesis 32). This occurred on his way back to Canaan.

  • Jacob and Esau reconcile after being apart for 20 years (Genesis 33).

  • 1900 BC – Rachel died after giving birth to Benjamin (Genesis 35).

  • Isaac died at age 180 (Genesis 35).

  • Joseph’s jealous brothers sold him to slavery in Egypt (Genesis 37). Stephen martyr told the story of Joseph in Acts 7:9-16.

  • Judah sleeps with Tamar (Genesis 38).

  • Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph, leading him to be thrown into prison (Genesis 39). Joseph interprets dreams in the prison (Genesis 40). Joseph is then made a top official in Egypt after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream (Genesis 41). Joseph’s brothers travel to Egypt to buy grain during the famine, and Joseph pays kindness to them (Genesis 42-45). Jacob’s family then came to settle in Egypt (Genesis 46) in about 1876 BC.

  • Joseph supplied food for the masses during the seven year famine (Genesis 47). God had worked through Joseph to save many lives. He did the same thing through Jesus Christ to offer Salvation to many people (Genesis 50:20; 1 John 2:2).

  • Jacob blessed his sons before he died (Genesis 48-49). Jacob is shown as an example of faith for blessing his descendants (Hebrews 11:20-21). Jacob’s blessing to Judah was that “the scepter will not depart from Judah”, which would indicate the everlasting Kingship (Genesis 49:10; Luke 1:33).

The world’s fallen state and the new birthing (Journey the Word 2)

Genesis 3-5 discussion – A FALLEN WORLD

Since we noted that the first two chapters of Genesis described the world as “very good” as it was created, we recognize things change in chapter 3 of Genesis. God placed the first man and first woman in the Garden of Eden, which was a place where they tended to God’s Creation and cared for the creatures living there. Both Adam and Eve were unclothed and did not have shame for it (Genesis 2:25).

As the image bearers of God, Adam and Eve could either trust in God’s Goodness and accept the immortality, or they could choose to know good and evil just as He but be given spiritual death for their disobedience (they were warned in Genesis 2:17). However, Eve was deceived by the serpent, and she chose the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – and Adam followed suit.

Soon, Adam and Eve would experience both good and evil, and began to feel shame. They hid from God, even though it was no use. Sinful choices bring consequences, and since decisions matter, it is important to choose the right decision and take a stance against sin. Because of their disobedient act, sin, death, suffering, disease, pain, and more evil entered the world. Now life became difficult, with hard work, broken relationships, physical pain, hard child rearing, etc. The world was forever changed at that moment. That is the value, though, on human decision making – to be able to cause that large of a change in the world… Imagine what we can do by speaking life! 🙂

There are different things that happened that were certainly tragic, such as Cain, who was jealous of Abel’s sacrifice being accepted by God, killed him because of it. This was the first murder.

Genesis 6-11 – Noah’s Ark

Many years have passed since the Adam and Eve lineage occurred with the fall of man. The human race at this point has increased rapidly, but also evil, corruption, violence, and suffering. God was grieved and wanted the human race destroyed and restarted. He sent a flood the world has never seen, which eradicated everything. In this undoing, God would fulfill one redemptive purpose.

The one man that found favor with God was Noah. God chose to save Noah and his family of this wrath, and assign them the task of building an ark to save two of each creature and his family. Finally when the waters receded, Noah and his family, as well as the creatures, exited the ark and walked into the “new world.”

God then made an everlasting covenant with Noah and all living creatures. He declared that He would never again destroy the earth in this fashion (the flood). The rainbow in the sky would prove this covenant to still be true, “sign of the covenant” – God will keep His Promise.

In this new place, it was not long before humans, including Noah and family, would begin acting sinfully again and reaping consequences.

Chronology of the Flood table

Days of eventsDescription on events happened
7 days before the floodNoah, his family, and the animals enter the ark
1st day of floodRain begins falling
40th dayRain stops; the earth is overflowing with water
150th dayWater begins to recede with the ark resting on Mt Ararat
224th dayMountain tops can be seen
264th dayNoah sent a raven, but it couldn’t find land
Day 271Noah sent a dove, but it could not find land
Day 278Noah sent a dove and it returned with an olive leaf
285th dayNoah sent a dove, but it does not return since it found land
Day 300Noah sees the ground drying up
Day 370 – finallyNoah and his family, along with the animals, exited the ark.

Timeline of events entirely from Genesis 1-11

  • Creation: Within 6 days, God created the world and human beings in His Image – He called it “very good.” (Genesis 1-2). In the future, God will create the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21).

  • God rested on the 7th day (Genesis 2:2). The Book of Hebrews spoke of the true Sabbath rest of peace for those that trust in Jesus Christ as Savior (Hebrews 4:1-11).

  • Adamic Covenant: God’s promise of provision for His Creation (Genesis 1:26-30; 2:15-17).

  • The Fall of Man: Adam and Eve broke God’s command of not to eat of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-7). In the Book of Revelation, the serpent who had deceived Eve was identified as satan himself (Revelation 12:9; 20:2). Paul also explained that death and sin entered the world through one man (Adam), but that death is not the final word, because if all men die in Adam, all men can be made alive in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22).

  • God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8-34). Genesis 3:15 pointed to the coming of Jesus Christ as the redeemer of the world who would defeat satan. (See also 1 John 3:8; Hebrews 2:14).

  • Cain kills his brother Abel in the first murder (Genesis 4).

  • Population, along with sinfulness/evil increases (Genesis 5-6).

  • At obedience to God, Noah built the ark (Genesis 6). The Book of Hebrews listed Noah as an example of faith in trusting God (Hebrews 11:7).

  • Noah and family, and pairs of creatures entered the ark (Genesis 7:1-5), God sent the flood to cover the earth (Genesis 7:6-24), and the flood waters receded allowing Noah and family along with animals to exit the ark (Genesis 8:1-19).

  • Noahic Covenant: God promised to never again destroy the earth in a flood with the rainbow being the sign of this promise (Genesis 8:20-9:17). In his vision of God’s Heavenly Throne room, John saw a magnificent rainbow (Revelation 4:3).

  • Noah planted a vineyard and became drunk with wine (Genesis 9:18-29).

  • Noah’s descendants populated the earth (Genesis 10).

  • At the Tower of Babel, God confused the language of the people and scattered them due to their prideful ways (Genesis 11).

The Beginning of it all (Journey the Word 1)

Welcome to the Journey the Word series. We are journeying chronologically through the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. This is the beginning of that series. Thank you for continuing to read our content. We do hope you enjoy this series, for it is going to be the longest series and one of the most important. Each post will be numbered in that same parenthesis “Journey the Word #” to help guide you to reading in the right Chronological order. 🙂 Enjoy!

The setting of the Bible itself is usually in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe (and occasionally Heaven). The conflict begins right from the start as God’s beloved creatures are ruined by sin. Adam and Eve’s rebellion is assuredly the curse that brought sin and death into the beautiful pristine world that is Earth. God has worked on redemption from there until present.

Much of this redemptive process always had the same recurring process: God attracts people to Salvation in Him by sacrifices made, then people fall away, God sends judgment or allows suffering, people come back to Him, and then the cycle repeats.

Because of this cycle of turmoil, God eventually sent Jesus to take the redemptive helm. He is the graceful one that imputed righteousness upon people that believe upon God and are obedient to believe that Jesus Christ took their sin away and gives them eternal life.

But still, with people’s decisive rebellion and ignorance, there is still yet another judgment awaiting that will be far greater, in which God will eventually have this world destroyed along with the existing heavens to birth a New Heaven and New Earth. However, God’s People are the winners and will be with Him in eternity to celebrate and be part of His Glory.

Genesis, which is the first book of the Bible and first in our chronology, represents the beginning of life.

Creation

Genesis 1-2

The first chapter in Genesis tells us how God brought form to the formless area, and had filled emptiness with life (AMAZING!). “Now the earth was formless and empty[…]and God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light'” (Genesis 1:2-3).

By the power of His Word, the speech from His Lips, God created light in the void, placed the universe with all galaxies, and made birds and fish to fill the air and seas respectively. Then, the first human being was born from the dust of the ground – simply amazing and extraordinary!

God is the creator who gives life to humanity and all living things. The world is His beautiful and “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31). God is the designer, the architect, the artist, the coder, and the life giver. He good, He is loving, and He takes delight in His Creation.

Acts 17:24-26 says, “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”

God created mankind in His own image (Genesis 1:27). He made the first man, Adam, from the dust of the ground, and then made Eve, the first woman, from Adam’s side. Their directive was to fill the earth and reign over God’s Creation.

Days of formingDays of filling
Day 1: God created the day and night by dividing the light from the darkness.Day 4: God created the sun, moon, stars, and other entities to fill the day and the night.
Day 2: God created the sky and waters by separating the waters from the sky.Day 5: God created the birds to fill the skies and the fish to fill the seas.
Day 3: God created the seas and dry lands by gathering the waters to separate from land. God made vegetation grow on the land as well.Day 6: God created humans and animals that would fill the land.
Day 7: God rested on the seventh day and blessed it and made it holy.