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Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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October 21 - Evening

"Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.”
Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?”
Paul answered: “I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews, as you yourself know very well. If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”
After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!”
- Acts 25:8-12

Paul Appeals to Nero's Court in Rome to Avoid a Trial in Jerusalem

Paul's trial in Caesarea before Felix was delayed, since Felix repeatedly postponed Paul's trial because the Jews were pleased that Paul was locked up in jail. Finally, Rome recalled Felix from Caesarea because of his incompetence in handling the violent conflicts between the Jews and the Greeks in Caesarea. Rome installed a new procurator named Festus. Festus arrived in Jerusalem where the Jewish leaders immediately bring Paul's legal case to his attention and ask that Paul be transferred to Jerusalem from Caesarea in order to continue his trial before Festus in Jerusalem. The Jews intended to have Paul attacked and killed while in route to Jerusalem, but since Festus is on his way to Caesarea he informed the Jews that he would hear Pau's case in Caesarea upon his arrival.
At this point, Paul had been held in a prison in Caesarea for 2 years (57-59 AD). During the trial Paul makes his basic argument to indicate that he has done nothing wrong against either the Jews or against Rome or against a temple ritual. Festus asked Paul if he would be willing to travel to Jerusalem to stand trial there. Paul does not want to make the journey back into heavy Jewish territory nor does he want to be tried in Jerusalem, the hot-bed of ritual conflict. Instead, Paul wants to keep his trial in the hands of the Romans, so he replies:
“I am now standing before Caesar’s court, where I ought to be one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!”

Festus checks the legality of Paul's request with his legal counsel, and decides:
"You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!"

With that legal verdict Paul is destined by Roman authority to set sail to Rome where he will have his case, which concerns his actions on the Jewish Temple Mount, heard before Emperor Nero in Rome.
One other thing worth noting concerns the issue of capital punishment. Paul's view of government’s authority to use the death penalty is found in the following words. Paul tells the Roman procurator:
"If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die."

Paul says that if he has committed a crime worthy of capital punishment, he will not argue a defense against it. He would willing accept the death penalty at the hands of the Romans if he had committed a capital crime. This agrees with Jesus statement to Peter concerning Peter's criminal use of a small sword the night of Jesus arrest. When Peter cut off the ear of the high priest's servant (Mt. 26:5Luke 22:47-51; John 18:10), Jesus says:
"Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword." - Matthew 26:52

Jesus was saying, all who use the sword for criminal activity, will die by the sword held by the authority of government. (Romans 13:4)
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Semnotes (Gr) - Gravity (Eng) - the Greek word Semnotes describes the nature of a thing or character of a person that causes it to deserve majesty, honor, respect, dignity and reverence. In the NT it is used to describe leaders in government, elders, deacons, wives.
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Do I plan ahead in anticipation for tomorrow?
Or, do I live for today, while neglecting any thought for tomorrow?
I will make plans and prepare a "store house" for my future.

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Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

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For desire to be productive


Gun control issues
Senegal - few evangelical believers

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A ceremonial stone box (lid most likely is missing) in Gezer, Israel that held the text of a covenant or an agreement between the parties that set up the stones or stele seen in behind the stone box
(click on image for larger size)
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The bend in the eastern Temple Mount wall (also, the wall on the east side of the city) where the Hasmoneans extended onto Solomon's 500x500 cubit platform around 150 BC. At the point of the arrow, the wall bends and begins to drift to the east (right). The different ashlar stones can still be identified.
(click on image for larger size)

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Someone to Quote

“In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity.” – Richard Baxter

Something to Ponder

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In 1630 the Roman Catholic Church pronounced Galileo a heretic for saying that the Sun is in the center and immovable, but that the earth moves with a diurnal action. They called his teaching absurd, philosophically false and an theological error. Galileo was then ordered to curse, and detest his error...But, in 1992 the Roman Catholic Pope John Paul II admitted that the church had been wrong for condemning and forcing Galileo to be silent concerning the movement of the earth around the sun.

Here’s a Fact

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An ossury box (bone box) in a tomb from the first century was found in 1968 just north of Jerusalem. The bones of a man who had been crucified was still inside. The right heel bone still had a 4 1/2 inch iron nail in it. The pointed tip of the nail had been bent and could not be removed for burial. The head of the nail contained the remains of a piece of olive wood which indicates a piece of wood was used on the outside the foot to help secure the victim. (Details)


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"In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has." - Proverbs 21:20

Coach’s Corner

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Take the approach that hardships are simply a form of training preparing us for a future that has not yet been revealed.

James 5
New International Version (NIV)
Warning to Rich Oppressors
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you.
Patience in Suffering
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
12 Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.
The Prayer of Faith
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
Mark 9
New International Version (NIV)
And he said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.”
The Transfiguration
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.
Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)
Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.
11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”
Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered.
22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
Causing to Stumble
42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44]  45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46]  47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where
“‘the worms that eat them do not die,     and the fire is not quenched.’
49 Everyone will be salted with fire.
50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

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