Wednesday, March 9, 2011


We started the iMarriage series last week. We viewed the preview video. If you do not have a study guide, come to class this week and pick one up. This weeks lesson is on expectations.

1. What are the expectations of your marriage?
2. Have these changed with time?
3. Where did they come from?
4. When did your desires in marriage become expectations?

Read 1Peter 2:21-3:7

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

John 3:1-21

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him."
3In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.a]'>[a]"
4"How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"
5Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spiritb]'>[b] gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, 'Youc]'>[c] must be born again.' 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
9"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.
10"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.d]'>[d] 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.e]'>[e]
16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,f]'>[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.g]'>[g] 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."h]'>[h]
This may be the most important blog entry we have ever studied. Many bible scholars think the bible, (especially the New Testament,) can be summarized in these verses. We all know 3:16, but the rest of these verses are very important as well.
Nicodemus was a pharisee, a religious ruler. Jesus' conversation with him gave his ministry legitimacy. In vs. 3 we are introduced to the concept of "born again." Vs. 5 explains that this re-birth is by the spirit, (through Christ.) In vs. 1-15 Jesus explains that physical and spiritual life is different. We are born into the world physically from our mothers, but we are born spiritually through Christ. It is our spirits that will leave this world one day and join Christ in heaven. All people will not be re-born, all spirits will not leave the earth. This is a complex thought and we will discuss it more at Transitions next Tuesday.
Re-Read vs. 16-21. We all know 16, but the verses following explain that verse and it's importance. Jesus was not sent here to condemn, but to save. The light is here, and the Spirit is the light. The problem is that it is more difficult to hide things in the light, and that is why we are afraid of it. Here is good news- We don't need to hide our lives because God knows all! Jesus came to give us the light so that we can find our way from sin and evil, the Light is not for God to see us more clearly.
1. What does Jesus mean by "born again."
2.What does Jesus mean by going to heaven through Him?
3.Why would we chose the darkness of evil over the light of Christ?
Prayer- Lord, Thank you for giving us your Son to show us the way to you. May we use that light to see our paths, both here on earth and in Heaven. Go-Fight-Win. Amen

Monday, November 30, 2009

Revelation 8-9

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 8

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer

1When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

2And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

3Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. 4The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. 5Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

The Trumpets

6Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

7The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

8The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11the name of the star is Wormwood.[a] A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

12The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

13As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!"

Revelation 9

1The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss. 2When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. 3And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. 4They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

7The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. 8Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lions' teeth. 9They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle. 10They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. 11They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.[



12The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.

13The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns[


] of the golden altar that is before God. 14It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, "Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates." 15And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.

17The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. 18A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. 19The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

20The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.

The seventh seal is about to be opened, (in John’s vision,) and the first thing is quite. This is ominous. If the heavens and angels take a moment of silence, something is about to break loose. It does!

You have fires that burn a third of the earth, floods of blood, blazing stars from heaven, and bitter springs. After the sun and moon were affected as well, an eagle cries woe. What could be worse?

How about a plague of giant locusts? This is starting to follow the plagues that proceeded the exodus. What will follow? How about demonic cavalry? Two hundred million strong they take out another third of the world. So what do the survivors do? They started worshiping false gods. People can be so stupid.


1. Why do you think there was quite before the trumpets started to sound?

2. Why would John pick locusts as a plague?

3. How did he count two hundred million, or did he just overhear this ?

4. Why are the people not repenting?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Revelation 6

Relax, Read and Reflect.

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 6

The Seals

1I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" 2I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

3When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" 4Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

5When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart[a] of wheat for a day's wages,[b] and three quarts of barley for a day's wages,[c] and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

7When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!" 8I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

12I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

15Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"

The scroll of life is about to be opened- be afraid. The Lamb-(Christ) open the first six seals. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are released. The white horse symbolizes a conquering power no one can resist. The red horse symbolizes bloodshed. The black horse represents famine, (and it follows war.) The pale green horse represents pestilence and death, and that follows famine. The pale green does not mean total destruction.

The last part of this chapter deals with the fifth and sixth seals. These deal with the prayers of the martyrs in heaven, and how they affect what is happening on earth. They ask "how long?" and are told to wait a little longer. Gulp!

The sixth seal brings a great earth quake and the sun turns black. This is a great symbolism, but what is it describing literally? One thing- everyone is afraid of what will happen next.


1. Is there a reason the first four seals are in that order?

2. Why are the martyrs told to wait?

3. Is the sun turning black because of something natural (volcano perhaps,) or something spiritual.?

Prayer- Lord-Help us remember that we are not immortal. We need you for eternal life, and we look forward to being with you -forever! Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Revelation 5

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 5

The Scroll and the Lamb

1Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."

6Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song:
"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth."

11Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12In a loud voice they sang:
"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!"

13Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:
"To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!" 14The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.

What is the scroll? The scroll contains the fixed purposes of God for the future. The scroll is sealed-unopened. Therefore, no one knows what it says, no one knows the future. The angels and the creatures of Heaven were waiting for someone who was worthy to open the scroll. Only the King, the lion, the Messiah would be qualified.

Then the slaughtered lamb appears. You guessed it, the lamb is Christ. Christ sacrificed for us and our sins. As the Lamb prepares to open the scroll the Angels start singing a new song. This signifies that change is coming.


1. Why would the Angels wait until John arrived to reveal Christ?

2. What will the scroll reveal?

3. Are we ready?

Prayer- Lord, help us prepare. Even though only you know the future, remind us that we all should strive to have you in our lives daily. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 4

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our minds and open our hearts and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 4

The Throne in Heaven

1After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." 2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. 3And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. 4Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. 5From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God. 6Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." 9Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."

This is the Apostle John's vision, or revelation, of Heaven. He is being given the tour. The 24 thrones and elders probably represent the twelve apostles and the twelve patriarchs of the old testament. The lighting and thunder- that should be God. Then we get into a description of some of the creatures in Heaven, (angels?)They are praising God and singing.

This is what the angel showed John. How does this this vision compare with what your vision of Heaven? I doubt if any of you have the same vision when it comes to angels.


1. If the disciples have 12 thrones in heaven, does that mean there is one for Judas?

2. Why would the flying creatures be full of eyes? Why are they singing?

Prayer- Lord, help us keep a vision, or revelation, of what heaven is. Help us use that vision here on earth. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Revelation 3

Relax, Read and Reflect

Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.

Revelation 3

To the Church in Sardis

1"To the angel[a] of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[
b]of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Philadelphia

7"To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 11I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

To the Church in Laodicea

14"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

The Spirit is still having John write to the rest of the seven churches. Each still contains an address, a condemnation, (or a commendation,) an admonition and ending with a promise. The churches in the fifth through seventh letter represent a very small church in a small town, (Philadelphia,) and a large church in a wealthy town, (Laodicea.)

Every one of the seven churches have problems. John points these issues out and then warns them to fix these problems.


1. Why would John feel obligated to point out the problems in the church when he knows he will not personally be around to see the changes?

2. Are the problems the early church faced different from what we face today?

3. How do we treat criticism of our church?

Prayer- Lord, Help us look at ourselves and our fellowships. Help us create and maintain a vision that will bring us,(and others) closer to you. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.