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If I were to ask you the question: “If you were to die right now, are you 100% sure that you would go to heaven?” What would be your reply?
Many have said: “No one knows for sure.” or “I’m 95-99% sure.” “I don’t know.” I run into a few who say with surety: “I am sure I would go to heaven.”
I would like to share with you, from the Bible, God’s Word, how you can be 100% sure.
I John 5:13 says: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”. Notice the word “know.” When you know something you are 100% sure.
Now, how can you know? To simply determine this, one must know what the Bible says in regard to salvation. Some believe that their religion will save them …. But they are not sure of heaven either. Many will say that “I must do the best I can.” Others: “Keep the 10 commandments.” This all amounts to a system of good works.
I submit to you, that if our religion or good works would save our souls – then why did Jesus die on the cross? Let’s see what the Bible says about our good works.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”.
Galatians 3:1-3 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
In Romans 11:6 we read: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work”.
Now, I realize that if I put all of the verses on works from the Bible in this post – it would be very lengthy. Would you read it all? The verses above basically teach us that our good deeds do not save us – we cannot save ourselves – we need the salvation that the Lord provides for us.
Galatians 3:24-25 regarding the Law – reads as follows: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster”.
Here we read that the Law was given to show us what sin is. The Law was our teacher, to teach us right from wrong. Why? So we could be saved by faith.
One day, someone took their Bible and shared with me how to be sure of heaven. Allow me to share it with you. It changed my life and my destiny.
First of all – in the Book of Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”
Vserse 12 reads: “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one”. Then verse 23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” I thought “I’m in a bad spot. If I am not good or righteous and am a sinner, I have no hope. What will I do?”
The person went on to share with me the following. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He explained that God loved me so much that He sent Jesus to die for me. Jesus Christ paid for all my sins, He took the punishment for me, so that I wouldn’t have to.
The, he went to Romans 6:23 which reads: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Hmmmm I’m going to die one day, where will I go?
Being a sinner, I would surely go to hell. But I read and was told that God has a gift for me. That gift is eternal life and it comes from Jesus Christ. God’s gift does not come through me or my goodness or my keeping the 10 Commandments, but it is a GIFT.
O.K. How do I get God’s gift? Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” God’s gift is received by us when we acknowledge that we are a sinner;
and then we receive Christ into our hearts and lives.
Verse 13 reads: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Whosoever means ANYBODY can be saved and it by faith in what God did for us. Whosover means YOU.
In II Peter 3:9 we are told that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. You see, God’s will is for folks to be saved and NOT to perisy = spend eternity in hell. My friend, God loves us so much that He made a plan for mankind. That plan was for us to have eternal life – to be saved – to go to heaven. That plan was for God to come to this world as Jesus Christ – God’s “only begotten son.” He went to the Cross paying the price for every sin that you and I ever committed. He arose the third day, conquering death, hell and the grave fou you and for me. He offers us salvation, a FREE GIFT – forgiveness of sins and a home in heaven. He says that if we believe and receive, we shall be saved.
My friend, would you, now receive Jesus Gift of salvation? If so, the following prayer can be of a help to you. It is not just reciting some words, but it is belief in your heart.
“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. Please forgive me of all my sins. I now ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart and save my soul. In Jesus name, A-men”.
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Introduction: Date of this Book
-Year from the Creation, 3004.
-Year before the birth of Christ, 996.
-Year before the vulgar era of Christ’s nativity, 1000.
-Year since the Deluge, according to Archbishop Usher and the
English Bible, 1348.
-Year from the destruction of Troy, 185.
-Year before the first Olympiad, 224.
-Year before the building of Rome, 247.
The Word PROVERB means: in some original sense of superiority in mental action; properly, a pithy maxim, usually of metaphorical nature; hence, a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse):– byword, like, parable, proverb. An easier definition would be: “A lot of truth in a short sentence.”
Human Writer: The bulk of the Book of Proverbs was written by Solomon (so were Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon).
In the Bible, (up to Song of Solomon,) most of the Books were written by men of some status in this world. After Song of Solomon, most of the Books were written by the common man.
The job of the giving of the Law was given to men of esteem and might. The job of evangelizing the world is generally done by the common man; the weak and the lowly; I Corinthians 1:26-27.
The human writers, so far, were Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David and Solomon. Later, we will read Books written by: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Amos etc. In the New Testament: common men – fishermen. There are exceptions; Luke the physician, but they are very few and far between.
The Apostle Paul writes: “not many wise men ….”
A Book of Practical Wisdom
The Psalms are a great help to our devotional life while the Proverbs have been referred to as: “Laws from heaven for a life here on earth.”
Central message: The practical wisdom of God
Six basic divisions in the Book of proverbs
- Instructions to sons: chap. 1-7 2. Praise and wisdom: chap. 8-9 3. The folly of sin and wickedness: chap. 10-19 4. Warnings and instructions: chap. 20-29 5. The words of Agur
- 6. The words of King Lemuel.
The Structure Of A Proverb
There are three main types of Proverbs
- Contrastive: This is the most common type; it is known by the striking contrast of the two members joined commonly by the word “but. “ Chapters 10-15 are predominately of this type.
Proverbs 10:27 is an example of this.
- Completive: Here, the second “member” agrees with the first and carries that idea or thought to completeness. The word “AND” is the common connector. Proverbs 16:3 is a good example of this.
- Comparative: Here we find a striking comparison between the two thoughts, ideas or members. The word “THAN” is a common connector between them. A good example of this type Proverb would be Proverbs 15:16.
How To Read The Proverbs
The Proverbs are meant to be read with thought and not to rush your way through them. Read a few Proverbs and then think on what you have read and consider the truths that you have just read. Let them sink into your mind and soul Let’s look at a few Proverbs and see the Truths contained in them.
Proverbs 1:7 – When we begin to fear God – we will begin to learn. Fear is “moral reverence”
Proverbs 1:10 – Don’t fall victim to those who will tempt you to do wrong.
Entice means to “lure.”
Proverbs 3:5-7 – TRUST – Faith in the New Testament – faith is to believe.
Trust means take refuge in – lean on – roll on – to stay upon
The word TRUST is found 152 times in the Old Testament
Proverbs 4:18-19 – Are you walking down His path of Heavenly knowledge and love?
Are you growing in it?
Proverbs 6:16-20 – Tells us what God hates. We ought to hate what God hates and Chapter 8:13 also tells us that very same thing.
Proverbs 9:9 and 10:8 tells us about the giving and receiving of instruction.
Proverbs 13:20 – Be careful who we associate with. Just as a tree frog or a chameleon acquires the color of what it adheres to for a short time, in the same way, man is influenced by those who you associate with.
Proverbs 15:32 – learn to take constructive criticism and use it to improve your life for the Lord.
Proverbs 17:22 & 15:15 – Remember Readers Digest “Laughter is the best medicine?”
Learn to laugh: even at yourself.
Proverbs 18:24 – The way to make friends is to be one.. Take the initiative, go and talk to folks.
Proverbs 21:19 – Much to be said about making the little woman happy.
Proverbs 22:1-3 – Great instructions
Proverbs 23:1-7 – Godly council of who to avoid – our heart – our desires
Proverbs 23:29-33 – A warning against fermented beverages
Proverbs 24:17-19 – Instructions to us about our enemies
Proverbs 27:1 – None of us are guaranteed of another today
Proverbs 28:9 – It pays to listen to the Word of God
Proverbs 31:10-31 – The Virtuous woman
Proverbs 1:5-7: Receiving God’s Word
- Brings wisdom and knowledge
- Fear – reverential trust with a hatred of evil – Proverbs 8:13
- Fear is the beginning of wisdom – Proverbs 9:10 – 10:8 – 13:1
- hatred of evil – Proverbs 1:10 – Ephesians 5:11
Brings Instruction – Proverbs 9:9
- Not to turn away – Proverbs 28:9 & 14
- To confess sin – Proverbs 28:13
- To those who reject instruction – Proverbs 12:15 – 13:20 – 13:18
- It’s our spiritual food
- for strength
- to grow in grace
- to learn
- May we ever read and study and hold dear the precious Word of God.
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The Book Of Psalms
Introduction: The Psalms were the inspired prayer and praise Book of the Nation of Israel. The are revelations of Truth: not abstractly, but in terms of human experience. All of the chapters of these Psalms were set to music to worship God.
They are expressions of man’s feelings: from joy to sorrow; from happiness to depression and perplexity. They show the feelings that can arise from about every type of human experience; not just from a few thousand years ago. They can be applied to every time period; to every life and every situation.
The Book of Psalms provides for our emotions and feelings guidance – the same kind of guidance as the rest of the Bible provides for our faith and our actions. Hebrew poetry is vastly different from the poetry of our day and age.
The title “Psalms” comes from the Septuagint and it means “Songs to the accomplishment of a stringed instrument.” Psalms means: “all metrical compositions fitted to be sung.” There is a spiritual message in the Book of Psalms. Many times over, we see where distress and “feeling low” turns to singing and praise because the Psalmist turned to God in prayer.
The promises of the Psalms are primarily Jewish and are suited to a people under the Law. There are also spiritually true in Christian experience also, in the sense that they disclose the mind of God and the exercises of His heart toward those who are perplexed, afflicted or cast down.
Author: The Holy Spirit – I Peter 1:21
Human writers: David – Asaph – Solomon – Moses – Jehoshapat – Hezekiah – Ezra – Heman – Ethan; most were written by David.
Great Themes of this Book: are: Christ – Jehovah – the Law – Creation – future of Israel – and the exercises of a renewed heart.
For the purpose of this study, we will look at some Biblical principles as well as some selected passages and selected Psalms.
- Selected Passages
- The Words of the Lord – Psalms 12:6
- Only God can forgive your sin – Psalm 32:1-2 & 5
- vs 5 – we must acknowledge and confess
- then – God forgives – vs 1 & 5
- Psalms 34:8 – taste and see …
- Jesus is the “Bread of Life” He is the “Living Water”
- We must come to Him and receive Him as our own personal Saviour.
- I Peter 2:3 – taste, here, means to experience
- tasting, as used in this passage , is a figurative word
- Other passages: Psalms 34:1-3 – Psalms 51:1-4 – Psalms 55:17 – Psalms 88:1-3
- Psalms 91:2 and 92:1 – Psalms 100:3-5 – Psalms 103:1-4 – Psalms 118:8 – 119:9-11, 18, 33-40 – Psalms 119:89, 97, 103, 111, 127, 140, 160
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Introduction: This is most likely the oldest Book in the Bible. It was written before the Law was given. It deals with the age old question: “Why do the Godly suffer?” The first 17 Books of the Bible, ending with Esther, are historical Books. We now come to the Books of poetry, beginning with Job and ending with the Song of Solomon.
In a very short time frame, Job loses his wealth, possessions, family (except his wife), and his health. Often, folks wonder: “Why do good people have awful disasters or terrible things happen to them?” They may notice that those who are not saved; lived wickedly; or seemingly good folks; very rarely or never have those things happen to them.
This Book teaches us that we do not always understand why things happen to us the way they do. It also teaches us that God is not obligated to explain why.
Human writer: unknown. Matthew Henry, author of one of the finest Bible commentaries every written, believed that Elihu (one of the characters in this Book) was most likely the writer. However, no one knows for sure. The one fact that we do know, is that the Book of Job is in the Jewish Cannon of scripture and the author is the Holy Spirit.
Job was a man of great wealth and influence. He honored God by staying faithful throughout all of his sufferings. It is easy to remain faithful as long as all goes just the way we want it to go. The test of our faith and character comes when we are going through great trials and sufferings. Job was “run through the mill,” as we might say. Throughout discouragement, he was 100% faithful to God and God’s Word.
Principal characters: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar: = Job’s detracters. Job’s wife, satan, Elihu
- The Introduction: chaps. 1
- Perfect and upright: 1:1-4
- perfect: whole heartedness for God. Sincerity; this does not mean nor refer to “sinless perfection.” Morally pious in his actions, life, thinking.
- feared God: reverent. He was a righteous man with the Truth of God.
- Eschewed evil: vs 1
- Job avoided evil; he hated it; withdrew from evil.
- I Thessalonians 5:20 “Abstain from all appearance of evil”
- The Tempter – 1:6-12
- Vs 10-11 – satan says that Job was only good because he was prosperous
- The goal of the tempter / temptation
- Vs 11 – to get Job to curse God to His face
- the devil tries to get man to blame God for your troubles
Vs 6: sons of God
- some say fallen angels – some say good angels and refer to Genesis 6:2
- not correct
- Luke 20:35: angels are sexless beings
- We have here, in the case of Job, the same grand assembly held, as was before, in that of Ahab; I Kings 22:6-23. These were prophets – Godly men who were now in heaven.
The Temptation Vs 13-19
- Everything Job had was all lost in one day
- four tragedies at once
- Job didn’t know any explanations of why he was to go through these trials – tragedies hard times etc. Romans 8:28-29
- his friends had no idea of God’s conversations with satan
- they had no idea of the outcome of Job
- we also, have no idea of God’s plan – purpose – outcome, for our lives
- if he had known and if we knew, we would not have to exercise faith in God
- faith is what God wants us to have – Hebrews 11:6
- if God revealed everything to us, we would panic and do our own will.
- God’s purpose for us would be side tracked by us
- since we don’t know the beginning and the end of our trials ahead of time: we must continue in faith to a faithful God and His Word
- satan does his best to get Job to curse God
- he uses Job’s wife Job 2:9, as well as the attack on Jobs health Job 2:7-8 Revelation 12:12
Job’s Response: Job 1:20-22
- He worships God vs 20
- rent his mantle – tore his coat or robe
- shaved his head
- Job felt the anguish – grief – bitterness of what had just happened to him
- yet, he, Vs 20 – worships God – he fell prostrate on the ground. He humbles himself before God
- Job knows that all he ever got and had – he got from God Vs 21
- Vs 22 – Job did not sin nor blame God for what had happened
Satan Attacks Job’s Health
- Boils: 2:3-8
- potsherd – vs 8 – a piece of earthen ware / pottery
- to sit in the ashes is the deepest mourning / humility
- Skin for skin – vs 4
- a man will part with all that he has, to save his own life
- the devil basically says that Job has only lost material goods
- he lost his children – but not his own skin or life – yet he still has his health
- Vs 5 – give him bad health and he will curse God
- God allows satan to tempt Job but he cannot take Job’s life
- Job remained faithful – Vs 10
- The next several chapters deal with Job’s “friends”
- chapter 3:11 through end of chapter 38 are an exchange of conversations
- Job’s wife has turned against him – 2:9 – now his “friends”
- Job’s friends
- the basis of the discourses are that there MUST be some great sin in Job’s life
- why else would Job be going through all of this
- they accused Job of being a hypocrite – Matthew 7:3-5
- they base their arguments on their experience and assumptions
- Elihu: chapter 32-37
- he speaks to Job – not as a judge – but as a brother
- he shares with Job
- man has no right to demand explanations from God
- God does chastise – but with the purpose of restoration and spiritual healing
- Elihu appeals to Job to change his current attitude
- accept the suffering with a view of God bringing something good from this
- submit to God’s will – allow God to fulfill His plan for Job’s life
VII. The End Result Of Job’s Faithfulness
- God’s multiplied blessings
- chap. 42:12-13: he received more than he lost
- chap. 2. 42:15-17: he had a long, full life
Conclusion: God did not answer Job’s questions concerning his sufferings. The same with us, God does not owe us an explanation. The purpose for God allowing Job’s many sufferings, was to bring Job to the end of self and to trust wholly in God. This was brought about by Job’s submitting to God and repentance: Job 42:1-6. What satan meant for harm /evil – God made something good out of it. Faithfulness pays off in the end – Proverbs 28:20. God blesses, just hang in there, trusting, serving, staying faithful. Don’t blame God for what the devil does. Keep your heart right with God and keep your focus /eyes, on Jesus.
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The Book Of Esther
Introduction: This story takes place in the Persian capitol of Shushan. The time frame is between Ezra chapters 6 and 7. Esther was an orphan, the cousin of Mordecai; her name means “star” in the Persian language. This Book tells us how Israel, as a race of people, was saved from extinction.
God had a plan for His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to come into this world. In that plan, He protected Israel, His chosen people. Even though Israel had been persecuted; been out of God’s will, God still would not let any nation or tyrant kill all of them.
Remember, God has a Divine plan for you, just as He has for Israel and had for Esther. God’s plan will not fail. If you refuse to allow God to lead you and make you usable, God will use someone else instead and you will miss all the blessings, rewards and usefulness.
Central message: The providence of God. Even though Israel was out of God’s will, they were NEVER out of God’s hand. God knew what would happen before it happened, therefore, God arranged the details of history to provide for Israel’s deliverance.
Typologies in the Book of Esther:
Jews = a type of the worldly Christian. They could have left Persia with the other Jews, but chose to remain. They preferred the worldly pleasures of Persia over doing the will of God.
Worldly wisdom made it seem as if to stay in Persia was the “thing to do.” That decision almost brought the race of the Jews to extinction.
Haman = Plotted the extinction of the Jews: a TYPE of the “man of sin” II Thessalonians 2:3
The Antichrist will be the last and worst enemy of God’s people.
Esther = a type of Christian sold out to God. She was used by God protect Israel. She was willing to obey the Lord and do what was necessary to save Israel from destruction; even if it meant losing her own life.
Mordecai = He represents the Jewish remnant that will be preserved during the Great Tribulation Period. He would not bow to Haman just as the Israelites will not bow to the beast of Revelation, who is typified by Haman.
Mordecai weeps, fasts and mourns as the Jews will do in the Tribulation before the Second Coming of Christ as their King.
Esther 4:15-17 … vs 16b “… if I perish, I perish.” OR … What will I lose by serving God? She took her chances with God. She was willing to die in order to obey God.
She realized that God’s will was more important than her own will.
Esther was willing to “do the right thing” regardless of the consequences.
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Introduction: The children of Judah had been carried into captivity by Babylon. Some men that had gone back to Judah, had come back to Shushan; the winter residence of the King of Persia, Artaxerxes. The Temple had been rebuilt and worship reestablished; the walls of Jerusalem was still in ruins. If the city was to survive, the walls had to be rebuilt, so God raised up Nehemiah for that task.
All of this took place about 446 B.C. … about 2,450 years ago. Nehemiah was the king’s Cup bearer – a high position. This was a high paying job; he was held in high esteem and he was very influential at his job. Nehemiah never wore a crown; never commanded an army; never conquered a country. He was not noted for oratory or philosophy; yet he was a pious, praying, man of God and he served the Lord very well. He was a greater man and more honorable than any of the Roman consuls or dictators; greater than the Greek philosophers – such as Plato, who lived during this same time period.
Nehemiah records, in this Book, the works of his hands but the worship of his heart in the management of public affairs. From the 20th year to the 32nd year of the king, Nehemiah was governor of Judah. This is the last historical Book of the Old Testament.
- Rebuilding Of The Walls
- Nehemiah views the ruined walls – 2:11-16
- Nehemiah encourages the people to build the walls 2:17-20
- Their opponents ridicule them – 4:1-3
- Spiritual lessons from this part of the Book
- I Corinthians 16:9 God opens doors and the enemy doesn’t want you to succeed
- II Timothy 3:12 God’s people will suffer persecution – be ridiculed etc.
- Nehemiah responds by taking it to God in prayer – 4:4-6
- Their opponents get angry with them – 4:7-8
- Vs 7 – very wroth = hot – incensed – burning up
- Vs 9 – Nehemiah prayed and had a continual watch
- Opposition within – vs 14 – fear of the enemy
- God’s people were afraid which led to discouragement
- vs 20 – an encouragement to trust in God – faith
- Opposition by craftiness – chapter 6
- vs 2 – mischief
- vs 6,7 – accused of rebellion
- Nehemiah’s reply – vs 8
- The wall is completed – 15
- The People Revived And Reconstructed
- The Law was read and explained to the people – chap. 8:-12
- NOTE: vs 1,3,4,5,6,8,10
- The reading of God’s Word sparked a revival among the people
- Hebrews 4:12 – Word of God is ……
- The people fast and repent – chap. 9
- the Word of God should bring folks back to the God of the Word
- Psalms 12:6 – 119:9 & 11, 16, 18, 30, 33 – 40; 89, 97, 127, 140, 160, 164.
Spiritual message from the Book of Nehemiah: We work for the Lord in our physical labors; yet we must also have the Word of God. People that truly work for God will seek understanding from the Word of God. Understanding and obeying God’s Word brings joy to us as we labor for God. Without Ezra’s teaching and Nehemiah’s leadership, the Jewish religion and community might not have survived.
Practical lesson from Nehemiah: Planning and organization are necessary to effectively carry out the work of God. Under Nehemiah’s reforms, a lot was accomplished through his skills of organization, in which he followed God’s guidance.
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Introduction: Ezra, Nehemiah, Ester, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, all record the return of the Jewish remnant to Palestine and to Jerusalem. About 50 years after the fall of Jerusalem, the Jews came under Persian rule. The Persians were conquered by the Babylonians; now, the Jews were subjects to Babylon.
In 538 B.C., Cyrus issued a decree permitting and encouraging all people in exile, in his domain, to return to their home lands. The first group of Jews were led by Zerubbabel and Joshua in 536 B.C. Ezra led another group in 458 B.C. and he restored the Law and the rituals.
Most of the nation remained in Babylon on their own free will because they were prospering there. The number that returned to Palestine was a very small percentage of the exiled people. This is a shame to those who stayed in Babylon. God had prophesied that He would raise up a king that would decree that His people would return to the Land that God had given to them.
The Israelites were 70 years in captivity and God had given them opportunity for them to return to their homeland. This was with the help of three Persian kings: Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes. God uses the leadership of five Godly Jews to build the second Temple and to restore proper worship in Jerusalem. Those five were: Zerubbabel, Joshua, Haggai, Zechariah and Ezra.
The Book of Ezra covers about 80 years of history. Three others Persian kings; Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes, have virtually nothing said about them. They cover a 58 year period of history in which these kings tried and failed two times to conquer Greece. This is the same time period in which the events of the Book of Ester takes place.
- The Return Under Zerubbabel
- Go to Jerusalem to build the House of the Lord 1:3
- we work to build the House of the Lord
- there is a building referred to as God’s House – a particular meeting place
- there is the building up of the people who make up God’s House
- winning souls to Christ and baptizing them
- building up of people
- building up the numbers of the congregation
- building means: to instruct, to encourage
- to mold and to shape that we may be like Jesus and do His work
- In the Old Testament, the House of the Lord was the Tabernacle in the Wilderness then it
was the Temple
- God gave specific instruction on how it was to be built and operated
- God gives specific instructions in the New Testament for the Local, New Testament Church
- Hindrances To The Work Of The Lord
- The people praised God because the Temple was to be restored – Ezra 3:8 & 11-13
- The enemies work at destruction – 4:1-5
- vs 2- “let us build with you.”
- enemies try to get inside the work and destroy it from within
- always remember … God builds … satan destroys
- vs 3 – the leaders of the people refused to let them “help”
- vs 4-5 – the enemies fought from the outside
- enemies can be the obvious – N.C.C. & W.C.C. – Communist party; local clergy; associations etc. Their goal is to lead all church to become “one”
This breaks down the doctrines of the local church etc.
- enemies can be subtle and sly – gossip – sowing discord – undermining of the pastor; undermining of the teachings of the local church – working behind the scenes to “change” the way the church believes or operates etc.
- the enemies purpose is to destroy
NOTE: from the end of chapter 6, till the beginning of chapter 7, there was a 60 year gap. It was here when Zerubbabel dies; at the beginning of chapter 7, Ezra comes to Jerusalem. It is during this 60 year time span when the Book of Ester takes place.
III. The Return Under Ezra
- Ezra is their leader – chapter 7
- Their journey to Jerusalem – chapter 8
- approximately 1,500 priests and head of houses went to Jerusalem with Ezra
- an unknown number of women and children also went with him
- Sin in the camp
- chap. 9:1-2 – lack of separation from the world
- the response from Ezra – vs 4-6
- he was astonished – vs 4
- he begins to pray – vs 5
- he is ashamed – vs 6
- he blushes = embarrassment – vs 6
- acknowledgment and confession of the peoples sins – vs 6 – 7
- Grace – vs 8
- God is a God of grace
- He revives from sin and bondage
- Hope – chapter 10:1-2
- when a person repents of their sins and turns back to God – He revives them
- Jeremiah 17:7 – Psalms 39:7 – Titus 1:2
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Introduction: In the Hebrew Bible, the Books of I and II Chronicles are called “The Affairs of the Days.” They are a Chronicle which arranges, in order, the events from the time of Adam to Nehemiah. Basically, both I and II Chronicles deal with the same happenings as recorded in I and II Samuel and the both Books of Kings.
These Books give us the genealogies of Israel and the events of the Southern Kingdom (Judah.), to the time of the Babylonian captivity. I and II Chronicles are one Book in the Jewish Canon of Scriptures and were most likely written during the time when Israel was held captive by Babylon.
Why Genealogies? They preserve the racial purity of Israel – the priesthood – and worship. We find these Books dealing mostly with Judah and the City of Jerusalem, due to the fact that this was the kingdom and the city where the Temple was constructed.
It is also important to note: – as we studied in Genesis – man and this earth are not billions nor millions of years old. Approximately 4,000 – 5,000 years have gone by from the time of Adam till the time of Christ. From Christ until this day – approximately 2,000 have past. This puts the earth and man at approximately 6,000 years old.
What about the time span to make the Grand Canyon and other such wonders of this world? Didn’t they take millions of years to be formed? Answer: No. God created Adam and Eve as adults – not as babies. He created the Garden of Eden as a garden with grown trees – animals etc.
Certainly God could have – and did – create the Grand Canyon etc. in their mature state – not taking millions of years etc. as the evolutionists would have us believe.
Author: The Holy Spirit: Ezra is believed to be the human writer. The closing verses of II Chronicles are repeated in the opening verses of the Book of Ezra.
Purpose: These two Books were written to restore hope and proper order to the Jews returning from Babylonian exile. David is gone – no longer King. The Temple is burned.
Ezra gave emphasis to the fact that the Davidic line was still with them – this gave them the hope
of the Messiah to come. Hope that the Kingdom would one day be restored eternally and centered at the City of Jerusalem. Ezra also emphasizes their past, which led them to their dispersion because of their own apostasy.
The Temple would be rebuilt first – not David’s throne – not the City – not any secular symbol. The Temple would be a Divine symbol to reassure the Jews and show the world that God had given the Nation of Israel special promises that He will fulfill. This story serves both as an encouragement and as a warning.
Divisions of I Chronicles: I. Genealogies – chaps. 1-10 II. The Reign of David – chaps 11-29
- Genealogies – chaps. 1-10
- Chapter 1 – Adam to Jacob
This gives the place of Israel in world history.
Focus is given to the line of Jacob – but includes line of Esau
The divine choice of Israel is in view here.
- Chapter 2 – Jacob to David
The chosen line of Jacob (Israel) to King David – the greatest King of Israel.
It includes the line of Caleb
- Chapter 3 – The sons of David
Included here is the post – exile – showing that the chosen line of David still existed and
- Chapter 4-8 – Genealogies of the tribes of Israel
A review of this and their allotments in the Land
- Chapter 9 – Post-exile resettlement
- The Reign of David – chaps 11-29
- Anointed By God – chaps. 10-12
- The Ark of the Lord – chaps. 13-16
- God’s Covenant with David – chaps. 17-21 – note 17:7-15
- Preparations for the Temple – Service of the Temple – Levites – Priests – Singers and Porters
Divisions of I Chronicles: I. Solomon and the Temple chaps. 1-9, II. Kingdom of Judah – 10-36
- Solomon and the Temple
- Solomon – chap. 1
- Construction of the Temple – chaps. 2-7
- Fame of Solomon – chap. 8
- Solomon and Queen of Sheba – chap. 9
- Kingdom of Judah
- The Kingdom is divided into Judah and Israel – chap. 10
- Judah’s twenty Kings – chap. 11- 36:13
- Judah’s exile to Babylon – chap. 36:14-21
- Decree – 36:22-23 found in Ezra – the connection