Spiritual Training

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March 14 - Evening

“Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.” - Judges 2:16

Temporary Deliverance Does Not Produce Renewal

The Lord was against Israel as he was against the Canaanites. Even though Israel was chosen by the Lord and his favored people, their own volitional rebellion prevented the Lord from assisting them. The Lord cannot side with evil. Israel failed to operate in the Lord’s covenant and found themselves outside his boundaries in disorder, divided and confused. In fact, Israel’s Divine Warrior, the Angel of the Lord, is described as fighting against Israel – “the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them” in his covenant with Israel.

But, even without Israel’s repentance the Lord, in his mercy, found an alternative to help relieve some of Israel’s hardship and suffering. The Lord raised up individual men (and, women) who could bring some kind of assistance in the form governmental management or military encounter through the avenue of a human being.

The sopetim, or, judges, rulers or military heroes, whom the Lord raised up, were mere temporal deliverers who relieved Israel of some of their problems. This temporary deliverance would give Israel a chance to reorganize, seek the Lord and strengthen their soul. Not until the day of Samuel does a judge actually make some kind of contribution to their society in the form of teaching and instruction. (Deborah came the closest before Samuel.) A mere military victory or momentary deliverance from oppression does not renew the soul or transform a life. Temporal relief removes an outer burden, but does not strengthen the inner man (or, men) in a society. Thus, with mere temporal deliverance, without the filling of the soul with the knowledge of the Lord, the Israelites were simply being lifted out of the murky depths of despair by the individual judges only to be set on its banks where they would slip again into the sea of despair. And, with each deliverance, Israel would slip quicker and quicker each time back into their chaos.
Apollumi (Gr) – Perish (Eng) – apollumi is a Greek word that means “to destroy.” In Matthew 5:29-30, Luke 5:37 and Acts 27:34 apollumi in the middle voice refers to things perishing. In Romans 2:12 and 1 Corinthians 1:18 apollumi in the perfect tense is literally “the perishing.”
Do I seek God for deliverance or for renewal?
Do I want God to solve my problems or do I want God to give me insight and understanding?
I will seek the Lord, who is my deliverer, so that I might know him and understand his ways.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text


For joy


Vision and Support for effective World Missions
Military Generals

A view of the Mediterranean Sea with the walls, ramparts or glacis of ancient Ashkelon on the left. The grassy, rectangular area setting in the glacis is the location where the god calf of the Philistines was found. The location is marked by a post/stake. (Details of Ashkelon. Calf god photo, details)
This is an illustration of the City of David showing the location of the royal palace, the Stepped Stone Structure (or, Millo), and the Gihon Springs. The Temple Mount is in the top right corner. The location where the bullae were found that belonged to Jeremiah's persecutors from Jeremiah 38:1 is identified. (Bullae images. Details here and here.)

Someone to Quote

“The article of justification must be sounded in our ears incessantly because the frailty of our flesh will not permit us to take hold of it perfectly and to believe it with all our heart.” – Martin Luther

Something to Ponder

Events from 1800-1900

• Jehovah's Witnesses (1884), Mormons (1830), Seventh Day Adventist (1844) Christian Science (1892) are established.

• New philosophies emerge:
  1. Marx's communism
  2. Darwin's evolution
  3. Freud's psychology
  4. German higher criticism of Scripture's authenticity

• By 1900 there had been sixty-two generations of people since Christ.

• By 1900 34% of the world is Christian, 51% of the world has been evangelized, and Scripture is printed in 537 languages.

Here’s a Fact

In Acts 18 Paul is in Corinth for 18 months. While in Corinth Paul is brought to trial by the Jews and his case is heard by Gallio, the Roman Proconsul of Achaia (Acts 18:12-17). We know that Gallio’s biological father was Seneca the Elder, the Roman writer and rhetorician, and that Seneca the Younger, who was also a well-known writer and politician, was Gallio’s brother. Gallio was born in Spain and named Marcus Annaeus Novatus, but when he was adopted by Lucius Junius Gallio, a Roman senator, his name was changed to match that of his adopted father, Gallio. According to an inscription in Delphi, Greece, Gallio was proconsul of Achaia in 51-52 AD, the years that match the time Paul was in Corinth (fall of 50 AD until the spring of 52 AD).


"The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning."
- Proverbs 14:6

Coach’s Corner

Spirit, soul and body…that is who you are. You cannot experience success and fulfillment while you are without God, ignorant and out of shape.

Acts 18
New International Version (NIV)
In Corinth
18 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.
One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” 11 So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.
12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”
14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.
Priscilla, Aquila and Apollos
18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He himself went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews. 20 When they asked him to spend more time with them, he declined. 21 But as he left, he promised, “I will come back if it is God’s will.” Then he set sail from Ephesus. 22 When he landed at Caesarea, he went up to Jerusalem and greeted the church and then went down to Antioch.
23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul set out from there and traveled from place to place throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. 28 For he vigorously refuted his Jewish opponents in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Messiah.
Acts 18:12-17
New International Version (NIV)
12 While Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews of Corinth made a united attack on Paul and brought him to the place of judgment. 13 “This man,” they charged, “is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law.”
14 Just as Paul was about to speak, Gallio said to them, “If you Jews were making a complaint about some misdemeanor or serious crime, it would be reasonable for me to listen to you. 15 But since it involves questions about words and names and your own law—settle the matter yourselves. I will not be a judge of such things.” 16 So he drove them off. 17 Then the crowd there turned on Sosthenes the synagogue leader and beat him in front of the proconsul; and Gallio showed no concern whatever.
Matthew 5:29-30
New International Version (NIV)
29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Luke 5:37
New International Version (NIV)
37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.
Acts 27:34
New International Version (NIV)
34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.”
Romans 2:12
New International Version (NIV)
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
1 Corinthians 1:18
New International Version (NIV)
Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Jeremiah 38:1
New International Version (NIV)
Jeremiah Thrown Into a Cistern
38 Shephatiah son of Mattan, Gedaliah son of Pashhur, Jehukal son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur son of Malkijah heard what Jeremiah was telling all the people when he said,
Judges 4
New International Version (NIV)
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. Because he had nine hundred chariots fitted with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the Lord for help.
Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”
Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.
12 When they told Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 Sisera summoned from Harosheth Haggoyim to the Kishon River all his men and his nine hundred chariots fitted with iron.
14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot.
16 Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth Haggoyim, and all Sisera’s troops fell by the sword; not a man was left. 17 Sisera, meanwhile, fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was an alliance between Jabin king of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite.
18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come, my lord, come right in. Don’t be afraid.” So he entered her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.
19 “I’m thirsty,” he said. “Please give me some water.” She opened a skin of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him up.
20 “Stand in the doorway of the tent,” he told her. “If someone comes by and asks you, ‘Is anyone in there?’ say ‘No.’”
21 But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent peg and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay fast asleep, exhausted. She drove the peg through his temple into the ground, and he died.
22 Just then Barak came by in pursuit of Sisera, and Jael went out to meet him. “Come,” she said, “I will show you the man you’re looking for.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera with the tent peg through his temple—dead.
23 On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24 And the hand of the Israelites pressed harder and harder against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him.
Deuteronomy 10
New International Version (NIV)
Tablets Like the First Ones
10 At that time the Lord said to me, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden ark. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Then you are to put them in the ark.”
So I made the ark out of acacia wood and chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hands. The Lord wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me. Then I came back down the mountain and put the tablets in the ark I had made, as the Lord commanded me, and they are there now.
(The Israelites traveled from the wells of Bene Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried, and Eleazar his son succeeded him as priest. From there they traveled to Gudgodah and on to Jotbathah, a land with streams of water. At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance, as the Lord your God told them.)
10 Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I did the first time, and the Lord listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you. 11 “Go,” the Lord said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
Fear the Lord
12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

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