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Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

September 24 - Morning

"The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.  And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours." - Luke 4:5-7

The Ruler of the Kingdoms of the World


The word “world” is “oikoumene”, which refers to the “inhabited world” - not the whole planet or the worldly system identified with the Greek words “ge” and “kosmos.” “Oikoumene” was used to refer to the Roman Empire (i.e., the inhabited world of that time), which indicates Satan controlled the Roman (146 BC- 476 AD) system as he also had controlled the previous five major world empires:
  • Egypt (1450-745 BC),
  • Assyria (745-612 BC),
  • Babylon (612-539 BC),
  • Persia (539-330 BC),
  • Greece (330-146 BC).
These six empires are likely six of the seven heads on the beast referred to in Revelation 13:1:
“I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.”

According to Paul’s words written to the Corinthians in 56 AD, Satan is the "god of this age.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
In today’s text verse above, Satan is offering Jesus an opportunity to begin his reign as Messiah under Satan’s authority in Satan’s kingdom. Theoretically, Satan pictures Jesus bypassing his mission of salvation in order to begin his Messianic rule of the earth.
Satan’s power and authority in the world is often mentioned in Scripture:
“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” - John 12:31

“I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me” - John 14:30

“the prince of this world now stands condemned.” - John 16:11

“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” - 1 John 5:19

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, “ - 2 Corinthians 4:4

“…in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” - Ephesians 2:2

“The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.” – Revelation 13:2

In Luke 4:5-7 Satan claims to have been given the world’s:
  1. "exousia" - Authority, Control, Mastery, Influence, Jurisdiction, Strength
  2. "doxa" - Glory, Dignity, Honor, Splendor
The word “worship” is “proskyneses” and literally means “bend the knee to.” To receive what Satan offered, Jesus would have had to submit to him. Adam had already done this when he bent his knee to Satan by listening to Satan’s words instead of God’s. Satan was given the authority and splendor of the world when Adam bowed his knee to him.
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'ot (Hb) - Sign (Eng) - the Hebrew word 'ot means "sign" or "symbol." The word referred to the variety of ways that God communicated with his people. It could be a monument of twelve stones piled up from the Jordan to commemorate a historical event. Prophets could predict events that would serve as 'ot (signs) to confirm their message. Jesus and the early church had 'ot to confirm their message.
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Am I presenting the savior to the world?
Do the people in my world know the savior has come to save them, not condemn them?
Today I will let someone know that Jesus came to save them, not condemn them.



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Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




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Personal

Open doors for economy growth

Church

Minister to the lonely
Minorities
Oman - continued Christian freedom



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The steps leading up to the synagogue in the citiy of Korazin in northern Israel near the Sea of Galilee. The gable from the front of the roof is sitting on the top of the stairs. (click on image for larger size)
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Diagram explaining three false views of the Trinity. (click on image for larger size)





Someone to Quote

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"Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it." – Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French mathematician, physicist

Something to Ponder

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Concerning the variety of views in life and Christian teaching there would be more light and less heat generated if those involved in the debate understood history.

Here’s a Fact

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In 2008 an ostracon was found at Khirbet Qeiyafa (biblical Shaarayim of 1 Sm.17:52), a ancient city in the hill country of Judah. The inscription on the clay ostracon dates from the days of the Judges (1000 BC) and agrees with the social climate and political events described at the end of the book of Judges and in the early chapters of 1 Samuel.
It speaks of:
- oppressive judges,
- weeping widows
- oppressed children
- the establishment of a kingship by the chief men.
(more)

Proverb

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"An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips." - Proverbs 24:26

Coach’s Corner

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The Lord is always with you. He is ready to guide you and desires to counsel you. 

Ezra 9
New International Version (NIV)
Ezra’s Prayer About Intermarriage
After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”
When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered around me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice.
Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed:
“I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.
From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today.
“But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.
10 “But now, our God, what can we say after this? For we have forsaken the commands 11 you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: ‘The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. 12 Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance.’
13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this. 14 Shall we then break your commands again and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor? 15 Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”
John 10
New International Version (NIV)
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.
40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
Esther 6-7
New International Version (NIV)
Mordecai Honored
That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
“What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.
“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.
The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.
His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”
“Bring him in,” the king ordered.
When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?”
So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’”
10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”
11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”
12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, 13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.
His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!”
14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.
Haman Impaled
So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.”
King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”
Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen.
The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.
Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.
The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”
As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.
Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”
The king said, “Impale him on it!”
10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.

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