Psalm 23: Our Beautiful Shepherd – The Lord

David was a shepherd, so he knew what the shepherd’s work and the sheep are like. Therefore, He was able to bridge that God is a Shepherd who cares for His Flock – His People. Let’s see the amazing imagery he gives us and how we can understand how he wrote this Psalm.

Psalm 23The Shepherd’s WorkApplication for life
The Lord is my shepherdSheep can recognize their shepherd. Care for them means ownership of them.We are like sheep under God’s care who belong to Him.
I shall not wantSome sheep wander off to greener lands, but this is dangerous.God meets my deepest needs.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:The shepherd has a crucial role to make sheep feel safe, and they will not rest until they feel safe from threats.God makes me free to rest, especially in Him.
he leadeth me beside the still waters.Sheep refuse rapid currents of waters, as they don’t swim well. Therefore, the shepherd needs to find calm water.We can drink of God’s Holy Spirit who is water to our thirsty souls.
He restoreth my soul:Some sheep struggle to get up quickly, as they may be dehydrated. The shepherd may have to prod the sheep or help it get up.God cares for and keeps the heart and mind of those who love Him and that He loves.
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Sheep, like humans, are creatures of habit. By overgrazing, they can destroy their own pastures and must be led to a new land. But only shepherds know the best way to get there.God will always lead us on the right path according to His Promise.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with meValleys on the way to high pastures often have the best grasses, but there are many hidden dangers that may lurk for sheep.God knows and deals with the fears and deadly dangers of life for us.
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Sheep need to learn to trust their shepherd. The shepherd’s rod protects them, disciplines them, and saves them. It is meant as a tool to guide them.God’s discipline, guidance, and protection keeps His People safe.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemiesUsually shepherds must prepare the pasture to remove poisons, toxins, and other bad things to ensure clean eating. Predators can wait ready to pounce on unsuspecting sheep.God provides for our hunger, even when enemies surround us.
thou anointest my head with oilFlying insects can cause problems for sheep especially during the summer. Oil is a natural bug repellent that can also heal the skin.God takes care of our bodily needs.
my cup runneth over.The good shepherd is willing to take the sheep to better grazing areas and water sources.Our provision from God is abundant.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my lifeSheep can aid in the fertility of the land and can transform wilderness into fertile fields. The good shepherd makes blessing follow his sheep.God’s goodness and Magnificent grace will be with us our entire lives.
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.Sheep are taken back to the shepherd’s property during the fall and winter.We shall be with God for eternity.

The Old Testament’s view of the shepherd

  • God is the Shepherd (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23; 80:1).
  • God’s appointed leaders are under-shepherds (Ezekiel 34).
  • Many people in the Old Testament were actually shepherds for their jobs: Abel, Moses, David, Abraham, Isaac, Rachel, etc.
  • Foreign leaders were occasionally called shepherds because of their leadership of God’s People (Isaiah 44:28).
  • The prophets used shepherd imagery pointing to the Messiah’s coming (Ezekiel 34:22-24; 37:24; Isaiah 40:11; Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:31; Mark 14:27).

The New Testament’s view of the shepherd

  • Jesus is our Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:34), our Good Shepherd (John 10:1-30), and our Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20).
  • Jesus had compassion on the large crowds that came to see Him because they were as sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34).
  • Jesus used sheep and shepherds in His parables (Matthew 12:11-12; 18:12-14; 25:31-46).
  • Jesus commissioned His Disciples to care for His sheep (Matthew 10:6; 10:16; John 21:16-17).
  • Jesus is the lamb of sacrifice (John 1:29; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 5:6).
  • Elders are shepherds under Christ (1 Peter 5:2).

Jesus’ actions in response to normal shepherd duties

Duties of the ShepherdJesus’ Work
Lead the sheep to safe water and pastures.Calls His Disciples to follow wherever He leads (Matthew 4:18-22; John 10:4-9).
Protects the sheep from predators, pests, and other dangers.Warns, intercedes, and rescued His People (Mark 8:15; John 17:12-15; Matthew 20:28; John 10:15).
Feeds the sheep, which also involves removing poisons and toxins from the food.Feeds the crowds of people, for He Himself is the Bread of Life (Matthew 14:13-21; 15:32-39; John 6:22-71).
Cares for weak or sick lambs.Cares for the weak and sick (Matthew 14:14; 14:34-36).
Disciplines the wayward sheep and retrieves the lost.Rebukes His Disciples whenever needed, and fins those who have lost their way (Matthew 14:29-31; 16:23; Luke 22:31-34).
Protects the cultivated land and crops from the sheep.Guides His Disciples in the way of caring about others (Luke 6:27-36).
Prevents over-grazing.Teaching His Disciples to be wise and harmless (Matthew 10:16).

Our Foundation in Christ Jesus

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment” – Hebrews 6:1-2.

Principles of our foundation according to the Bible:

  • One must become as a little child to enter the Kingdom of God (Matthew 18:3). This is the condition for entry, but not something people should be forever.
  • We should then go on to perfection, as in maturity (Hebrews 6:1-2).
  • We do this in the stature and fullness of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:13).
  • Putting away childish things is part of growing up (not only in life, but also the Kingdom)(1 Corinthians 13:11).
  • Christ gives us both the promise and the means to do just this. It does not mean we leave behind the doctrine of Christ, we just leave the constant study of the doctrine of Christ once we have digested it.
  • Peter in 1 Peter 2:2 called it that as newborn babes desire the milk (this involves the Gospel of Jesus Christ basics). However, Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 that some cannot handle the meat of the Word of God. But after the milk, you are supposed to have the meat. When you let the Gospel of Christ in your life, it begins to change you and nourish your spirit (the milk). We always have the milk now. Since we have the milk, we must desire the meat. The meat involves letting your life change to how the Bible admonishes – practicing and applying to your life Biblical principles and promises. By letting your life change being governed by the Bible, you are consuming the meat. Some people cannot handle the truth, though, which is why Paul said some of them cannot handle it.

The foundation in Christ Jesus

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isaiah 28:16).

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).

Once we let the Word of God take root in our lives by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we must continue to grow as trees grow once their roots are digested/buried in the earth. For the Christian, everything is rooted and grounded in Christ Jesus. This comes first in the Person of Jesus Christ, and then in the teaching of Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. After the teachings, we follow the work of Jesus Christ, for He is our All in all, the Alpha and the Omega.

John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:10 that the axe must be laid to the tree. This is referring to the Garden of Eden incident where man chose to eat from the wrong tree. The work of Jesus Christ involves cutting us away from the wrong tree when we place our faith in Christ Jesus for Salvation. That Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the Law – and God intends that we who are in Christ Jesus be cut off from that tree so we can be placed onto the Tree of Life just how He originally intended. We can only do this by trusting in Jesus Christ. We eat of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ through Communion/Salvation with Him, and that means we eat of the Tree of Life and receive the seed that plants us. Jesus evidenced this in Matthew 13 when talking about the tilling of the ground, and how each believer is represented in their spiritual growth.

How do we honor the Person of Jesus Christ then? Look in 1 Corinthians 3:11 above. Paul wrote his statement about that to the Corinthian people, because others were trying to build onto the foundation of Jesus Christ, when that wasn’t necessary. Some found their work destroyed, as the people strayed off doing their own things instead of focusing on the Person of Jesus Christ. Anyone laying foundations other than Jesus Christ are false prophets or false teachers that seek to make their own kingdoms instead of relying on the Kingdom of God.

Isaiah prophesied this in 28:16 as we read above. Peter quoted that in 1 Peter 2:6. The Messiah, Jesus Christ, is the Chief Cornerstone. He is the first one to be laid as the foundation, and then all others line up with Him. Some preachers have called this, “Coming into alignment.” He is the precious stone, not made of any old material on Earth, but of the abundance of God. Better than a pearl of great price. We do read in the Book of Revelation that He is the Alpha and Omega. This tells us then that Jesus is not only the Chief Cornerstone, but also the Capstone. He lays the foundation, and covers all of us in His Love. How awesome that is!

The Beatitudes explained

The Beatitudes are the name of the first part of Jesus’ teachings for the Sermon on the Mount. The descriptions and instructions are given for those who are to live in the Kingdom of God. Now, the Beatitudes are not absolute instructions or laws, they are the results of entering the Kingdom of God. God is to intervene in history and produce people just like those described in the Sermon on the Mount.

The idea behind using Kingdom of God is the phrase, “God is King” from Psalm 47:7. Kings, especially ancient, had absolute power over their entire dominion, and Hallelujah! God has absolute power over all Creation (His Dominion).

Kings typically provided protection for the people in their territories, provide what their subjects need, maintain order in the Kingdom (especially in legal matters), and represent the deity (God usually).

The Now and the Future Kingdom

The Gospels were clear that the Kingdom of God was a present experience (Luke 11:20; 17:21). Jesus’ teachings, healing, miracles, and other ministry were manifestations of the Kingdom. However, we see in many of the letters to different territories from the apostles made it clear that the Kingdom of God was also a future experience, as Jesus Returns. What it seems the Scriptures are clear about is that we have a limited experience of the Kingdom of God; however, the fullness of the Kingdom of God will be in the future.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven/God

Matthew 5:3

The “poor in spirit” are those who recognize they have a need for God in all things, and like the poor and destitute who need others, the poor in spirit know only God can save and protect them from anything.

What the world is saying…

Humanity’s religions value the “spiritual master” or “spiritual guru”. People think if they know and do the right things, they can find their own spiritual salvation. People can find answers to their problems if they could just recognize it.

WHAT JESUS SAYS

Jesus told us that the opposite is true. Those that are spiritually dry before God are happier, because they realize that they can rely on God’s strength, in which He cannot fail. This means that His believers cannot fail then either, as they have the certainty that in the Kingdom of God, The Messiah is in charge and in control.

See other verses: Isaiah 29:19; 61:1; Luke 6:20; Matthew 18:4.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they will be comforted

Matthew 5:4

“Those who mourn” are those people wishing for God to send His Messiah, in hopes God will restore His Kingdom and set the world right and free. We are told in Isaiah 61:2-3 that the Messiah would come to comfort those who mourn and provide for those who are grieving in Zion. These people understand the mess the world is in and seek God’s redemption. Their comfort comes in knowing that the Messiah has come, in which the redemption they hoped for will occur soon.

What the world is saying…

People need to avoid grief and pain. The pursuit of happiness is valued above other things, and hiding pain and reality is best. Nothing is solved, but pretending to be happy is sufficient.

WHAT JESUS SAYS THOUGH

In his austere contrast, Jesus asserted that the true way toward happiness has to come through a radical shift in thought process of people – a repentance in other words – so we can see ourselves for who we really are. Once people are broken in life, God’s Will can be so much more accomplished, because people actually recognize who they really are, and why God chose them to be on this Earth: For His Purposes! This is the absolute utmost importance in the Kingdom of God and what will be a true sense of happiness. Only after recognizing the sorrow of trying to trust in the world is when we can recognize that God comforts us by His Spirit and that we can trust in Him and His Strength. Knowing the Messiah has come to offer redemption is the greatest comfort for those who mourn. If you are broken and contrite, God has a plan to bring you comfort… Be patient and wait for the Lord’s relief for your suffering.

See also: Isaiah 61:2-3; 66:13; John 14:1; 16:7; 16:20; Revelation 7:17.

Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the Earth

Matthew 5:5

We see this similarly in:

  • Psalm 37:11, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
  • Psalm 32:1-2, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” This notes all who the Lord has forgiven. Those poor in spirit are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Proverbs 8:34-35, “Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.”
  • Psalm 41:1, “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” We remember Jesus’ note about being merciful in Matthew 5:7.

What the world says…

The proud and strong inherit the earth. Only those clever enough or confident enough in their abilities inherit what life has to offer. Gaining wealth, power, and respect is part of gaining the world. Some assert that gentleness does not get you far.

WHAT JESUS SAYS

It may seem like meekness is a disadvantage; however, it is wonderful in God’s Eyes. God invites you to trust in Him, and this gives you certainty that His Plans will work and accomplish what He has promised for His People.

See also: Isaiah 61:1; Numbers 12:3.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled

Matthew 5:6

Similar to how poverty leads to hunger, spiritual poverty can lead to hunger for righteousness. Jesus is talking about people who desire God’s Rule over their life, which brings justice for all. God will satisfy the hungry and thirsty for righteousness. This fulfills God’s Promise in Isaiah 65:13, “My servants will eat… my servants will rejoice…”

How the Old Testament described righteousness: This was a legal relationship, such as in law, courts, judges, etc. It meant ethical or good or fair behavior. It described also a covenant relationship, in which God would relate and do right toward His People.

How the New Testament explained righteousness: It was similar to how the Old Testament explained it, and Paul expanded the legal part of this. Because of Jesus’ atoning death on the cross, God justifies sinners. This does not mean God makes people righteous, but that God has applied Christ’s righteousness to us so we can become legally acquitted of the penalty of sin, which is death.

Jesus reflected righteousness in the covenant concept to described what is restored: the relationship between God and humanity; 2. Relationship between humans and Creation; 3. Human relationships.

What the world says…

Hungering for right things is playing a fool. Things don’t just change, and sometimes setting aside honor to do what is inconvenient may be needed. Quit worrying about what is right, and just get what you need. Look out for number one!

WHAT JESUS SAYS

Jesus gives the promise that those who are starving for righteousness will be satisfied, for His Kingdom is characterized by righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

See also: Romans 14:17; Isaiah 55:1-13; 65:15; John 6:48.

Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy

Matthew 5:7

Mercy is part of God’s Nature. People experiencing God’s Mercy are indeed grateful to Him, and this seeks to cultivate a merciful attitude in return to God.

What the world says…

People want justice, and want to condemn other people to make themselves feel better. The world idolizes the arrogant and merciless in sports and athletics, and also idolizes wealth and fame, and movie celebrities. Mercy is a liability, because of how costly it is, which prevents people from managing their goals.

WHAT JESUS SAYS

Jesus challenged the world’s thinking on this matter, in which mercy is an essential quality. Mercy described Jesus’ life, as God has mercy on us. Jesus bridges giving and receiving mercy, and recognizing that God is truly merciful and cannot be bought by our mercy. Receiving God’s most precious act of mercy is great, which is eternal life.

See also: Psalm 86:15; Joel 2:13; Psalms 103:8; 145:8; Luke 6:36.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God

Matthew 5:8

Seeing God is one of the greatest hopes for a believer; however, only the pure in heart will have this blessing. Purity of heart is not a personal effort, and is not part of maturity. A pure heart is one free of sin, and only Christ Jesus can clean us of sin. God gives a pure heart, as we desire and He grants us.

What the world says…

Culture devalues a pure heart, whereas instead people search for pure water, pure air, pure food, etc. Having a polluted heart is not a problem for the world.

WHAT JESUS SAYS

Jesus said that it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out (Matthew 15:11). True happiness is only in the presence of God. It inspires those living in the Kingdom of God to want to seek God.

See also: Exodus 33:20; Psalm 24:3-4; 51; Hebrews 12:14; Revelation 22:1-4; 1 John 3:2-3.

Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God

Matthew 5:9

Peace is always central to the Kingdom of God; therefore, those normally at war with each other would become at peace, and all things are made right especially when peace occurs. We are also made adopted children of God when we are saved.

What the world says…

Get peace at any price, and give peace a chance. Peace means the ceasing of conflict, and the world wants to be free of war. World peace will solve all problems. Some seek personal peace through many ideas: Music, drugs, meditation, destressing methods, etc.

WHAT JESUS SAYS

Jesus promised His Disciples peace before Ascending. His peace is a clear sign that the Kingdom of God is within our grasp or midst. Only Jesus makes that peace possible, and only in Him are we adopted children of God.

See also: Psalm 4:8; Isaiah 9:6; Romans 5:1; 12:18.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of God

Matthew 5:10

Just as the Kingdom of God belongs to those poor in spirit, it also belongs to those who are persecuted because of righteousness. Enduring opposition is important, because it shows that we stand up for what we truly believe in!

What the world says…

Principles are good, but not if they get you killed or cause grief. Righteousness is not valued in the world. Standards for right and wrong are not governed by what God desires, people get away with what they can do for their own desires.

WHAT JESUS SAYS

Jesus made it clear that the disciples would experience persecution, and it may seem that loneliness and isolation are part of what is doing right; however, your reward is in Heaven. He sent the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us, so we are not alone. He is always there. He will always be there… You understand?

See also: 1 Peter 3:14-15; 5:10; Luke 6:22-23; John 15:18-21.

Blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed

John 20:29

Jesus spoke about the Resurrection here, where it’s one thing to see the risen Christ as many of His Disciples had, but it is another to believe today based on these eyewitnesses. There are blessings in recognizing Christ has risen and truly believing the eyewitnesses.

What the world says…

Nobody knows what happened 2,000 years ago. People can’t just resurrect from the dead. Skeptics note the Bible’s contradictions.

WHAT JESUS SAYS

Jesus said that He IS the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25). We have testimony of the apostles and t he ministration of the Holy Spirit.

See also: 1 Peter 1:8; John 1:12; 17:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15.

It is more blessed to give than to receive

Acts 20:35

Giving to those in need leads to more happiness than receiving. The life that continuously takes without giving is selfish, and this leads to greater unhappiness. Meeting people’s needs is the road to a blessed life.

What the world says…

Look out for number one, cater to your own needs, target your own pleasures. Get what you can now. If you are generous, people will take advantage of you. You make it on your own. You cannot please everyone, so just please yourself.

WHAT JESUS SAYS

Jesus says He came to serve and He urges His Believers to do the same. He wants us to have the joy of serving others, and serving God, and to delight in what He has called them to do. We are blessed when we follow our Master’s example (Christ’s example), for a servant is not greater than his Master.

See also: Matthew 6:1-4; Luke 6:38; 22:24-30.

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).

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).

Do not be deceived! – 15 guidelines the Bible instructs

In this broken and fallen world, hope is always for us Christians as we have our joy and peace in Christ Jesus our Lord! The following is a list of guidelines the Bible instructs to avoid deception in this turbulent world.

  1. Death never solves anything, is not the end, and was not God’s intent in the first place (Matthew 25:45; 2 Peter 3:1-18; Ezekiel 18:23).
  2. Giving up on life or in life is the worst choice, because there are so many helpful resources to boost your life. We mourn in hope in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:14).
  3. Sin may please at first, but proves its destruction and it sacrifices many good things (Romans 7:11; Hebrews 3:13; Galatians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 6:9).
  4. Criminality is an abomination to the Lord (2 Timothy 3:13).
  5. Violence is never the answer and does not solve anything (1 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 3:3; Proverbs 3:29-31; Titus 3:2; Psalm 11:5; Galatians 5:19-21).
  6. God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).
  7. Bad company corrupts moral character (1 Corinthians 15:33).
  8. Do not turn away from the Lord to serve other gods (Deuteronomy 11:16).
  9. Do not trust in vanity (Job 15:31).
  10. Watch out for false prophets who bring false visions and lying messages (Lamentations 2:14). Beware of prophets who promise peace to those who pay them, but threaten war for those who don’t pay them (Micah 3:5). Also beware of false teachers who try to mislead you from the truth of God’s Word with their mankind philosophies (vain philosophies/new age beliefs).
  11. People are deceived when they don’t know the Scriptures or Power of God (Matthew 22:29).
  12. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon Earth (Matthew 6:19).
  13. Beware of those pretending to be Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:19; 2:18).
  14. Hypocritical judgment should be avoided (Matthew 7:1-5). This means that you should not point fingers at someone for a thing they did wrong, when you are guilty of doing that same thing at the moment (unless you repented and have not been doing it long enough that you can dissociate yourself from it).
  15. Lacking humility (Matthew 5:3; James 4:6; 2 Peter 3:17-18).

We do hope this was ultimately useful to you. We do hope that you will no longer be deceived by the enemy in this life, and that you can live happily! Praise the Lord!

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.

Jesus teaches on character – Part 2

Mark 8:31 says, “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”

It seems that Peter was commonly lacking of faith and understanding, and indeed in need of the Lord’s wisdom imputed upon him. His lack of faith and understanding led him to many problems (some may think it is ridicule), but Jesus helped Peter understand what is best by correcting him. Thankfully, Peter was teachable enough to “stick around” for Jesus’ admonitions, to which, since he was willing to endure, it appears Jesus trusted Peter, especially when Peter finally admitted that Jesus is “Thou art Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Therefore, Jesus said to Peter, “Thou art Peter… upon this rock I will build my church.” Peter sees the truth and through Spiritual eyes, and this is what brings Peter though his failure.

It is good to note that Peter is not the foundation, but Peter would have a big part in the Church. We see the shakiness of the Church just as the shakiness of Peter’s life. This was likely Jesus teaching us that there is a weakness of the flesh, and that the Church would become strong and solid, but also shaky. Peter was simply a man that lacked understanding and faith, much like what we were before becoming a Christian – to which, Jesus helps to transform and renew so that we may be pleasing unto Him!

Now, John the Beloved caught the soft side of Jesus, the side that longs for our Love (to which, John’s personality must be a loving kind), and he shares is in John 6:68-69, “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Responses to Jesus’ activities

Transfiguration

The Transfiguration was a literal event that happened to the Disciples in a vision (Peter, James, and John), to which, Jesus had taken them to a high mountain after a time of teaching and after the confession of Peter that Jesus was the Son of the Living God (the Christ). Luke 9:33, “And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.”

Foot Washing

Peter’s reaction is noted in John 13:8, “Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” From foot washing, we can learn that Jesus is teaching us Humility and cleansing of the inner man, to which, wiping the feet is a very humble act and involves service to another individual. When we do this, we are showing that we “servants” are not greater than our Lord, therefore, we should humble ourselves as equals one to another and serve each other.

But Master, what shall we have?

We see this recorded in Matthew 19:27-30, “Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.”

Peter here seems to have a bit of self-centeredness, to which, Jesus answers him anyway by addressing all of them at one time who were there. Peter wants to know what they will have if they decide to follow Him then (abandoning everything). Jesus noted that those who make sacrifices for the sake of Jesus will find that what they receive in eternity is far greater than anything lost in the present world; sacrifices such as wealth, status, family or friends, however, in the age to come, they will reign with Christ!

Jesus is Alive!

Matthew records that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the sepulchre at the end of the Sabbath around dawn. The Angelic guard that met them at the tomb gave them a message, “Go quickly, and tell his Disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.” After this, there is an account of the women meeting Jesus – note that they are able to touch Him, for they hold Him by the feet and worship Him. Matthew then records that the “eleven” went away into Galilee unto the mountain where Jesus appointed to meet them. Therefore, they meet Him there and worshipped Him – however, some had doubted. The special message for Peter is noted in Mark, as there is an addition in the statement the Angelic guard said to them, “But go your way, tell his Disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”

Jesus and Peter’s final meeting

The conversation around the fire between Peter and Jesus involved Jesus asking Peter, “Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” Peter replied then, “Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee,” (Jesus is re-establishing His relationship with Peter, returning Peter unto Himself). After Jesus asked him this a few times, Peter replied and was grieved, “Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee.” Then, Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

It seems that because Peter denied Jesus thrice, Jesus is requiring a triple confession of Love from Peter. Original calling was “fishers of men.” This current calling is “lambs and sheep.” The teaching technique of Jesus is usually first physical, and then Spiritual. First, there was the involvement of reeling people into Jesus, and then the second was feeding His flock. The third confession was what seemed the Lord was looking for from Peter, to which, Peter was filled with uneasiness and grief. He was then sure that He loved the Lord.

Peter asked how many times Jesus’ followers should forgive other before taking action. Jesus replied and said that action was not to be done for an alternative for forgiveness. That is, believers do not take action against offenders, and that forgiveness shall be issued no matter how many times offenders do them wrong. We need to accept this view that no matter how much people do us wrong, we should forgive (and even forget). Matthew 18:21-22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”

Jesus teaches disciples character – Part 1

1 Peter 1:7 says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

We talk about Peter’s character growth in this first part of a few part series. We will be discussing the different ways Peter grew in spiritual character in Christ Jesus. Here in this part, we will talk about the background of Peter.

Peter’s background

Peter’s names:

  • Simon: who people knew him to be and who he though he was.
  • Peter: who he was as a Christian – somewhat still carnal.
  • Cephas: who God desired him to be: stable, steadfast, and reliable.

Lessons from his naming:

  • We have an idea of who we think we are.
  • We are a person that others know us to be.
  • We can become that which God desires us to be.

Peter appeared to be interested in becoming a fisher of men, instead of being a fisherman as he was – to which, this was a calling from God to use his skills of fishing in ministry, so that he may help transform people and distribute His Word. He received in-person training from Jesus Himself, which had to not only be humbling, but also rigorous (positive kind of rigorous, but rough nonetheless). This showed that Peter was drawn to God’s Call through Jesus.

He learned to trust Jesus in several accounts:We see in Luke 5:4-11, Jesus was telling Peter to drop his net(s) in, and he protested that they were fishing all night, however, Peter trusted anyway – and by doing so, they reaped a bountiful harvest. In addition, in Matthew 14:22-33, Jesus is seen walking on the water. The water was tossing the ship the Disciples were on, and they became fearful when they saw Jesus. Peter wondered if he should come to Jesus, and Jesus allowed him and gave him the power to walk on the water, but then the wind became boisterous, and Peter lost his faith as he thought he would fall in. Jesus said to him, “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Through this, it caused the Disciples to worship Him, exalting Him as truly the Son of God.

In the former, Peter is the impetuous, courageous, restless, flamboyant, ambitious of challenges and power; and in the latter, we see him patient, restful, forbearing, trustful, loving, and with the old buoyancy and courage purified, and the different it makes in his ways. Simon Peter, in the former, saw his Lord transfigured; and in the latter, Cephas, is transfigured by the boundless grace of God. The crude, tactless, ill mannered, brash, brassy, stumbling, disobedient, and offending Disciple was retrained through Jesus’ lessons, in that he held Jesus as precious to him.

Simon was the one that needed a lesson of faith (as in the ship incident), because it didn’t seem as if James and John had any problems believing Jesus, however, Peter did, as he questioned Jesus when He said drop in the nets. When Jesus chose us to be His Disciples, He stepped in to our ship, and taught us how to have faith, and that through simple acts of faith, we will reap a bountiful harvest – and though we may toil all night, joy shall arise in the morning!

It seems that through some of the different ways of Jesus teaching him to have faith; it seems Peter continually needs to be brought under subjection, because of his carnal ways. Jesus teaches him, however, to be more firm, to which, is done through the marvelous works of Jesus. At first, he didn’t trust Jesus’ word, because he claimed that they toiled all night for fish but to no avail. Through risking it, Peter cast the net anyway, and reaped a harvest. Dropped to his knees before Jesus, saying that he was a sinful man, for he is astonished at the Lord’s power (to which, he could not believe). Peter has fear, but Jesus calms him, telling him his call from God to be fishers of men.

Later, Peter is called Cephas, which means, “a stone.” This is prophesying his call further from God. His soul would be strong, unyielding, and firm in purpose. Cephas is defined as, “strong, bold, stable, grounded, converted.” Later, in his writings, we see Peter learning many different lessons in his journey of “discipleship” – to which, he calls the trial of our faith more precious than gold that perishes even when tried by fire (1 Peter 1:7), acknowledges Jesus as the precious cornerstone over all of us lively stones (1 Peter 2:4-7), and recognizing the problems of the lust of the world and being converted away from them (2 Peter 1:4). Lastly, he was concerned for his faith, and prayed for it that it would not fail (1 Peter 5:10-11).