May 22, 2022. I Timothy 4:1-5

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UNHOLY DECEPTION. I Timothy 4:1-5. 05/22/2022. #10.

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

1. Apostasy

                a. Paul tells Timothy that there will be a departure (apostia) of the faith by some in the end times

                                a1. One of the marks of the end times is deviation from Bible-based faith

                                a2. Many different ways to err

                b. The origin of heresy is demonic temptation

                                a1. Paul doesn’t state that the deceived can blame demons for their errors

                                a2. Seduced by doctrines of demons

                c. 3 levels of doctrinal deception

                                a1. Rejection of Christ and the Bible

                                a2. Corruption of biblical doctrine

                                a3. Replacement of biblical Christianity with false religion

                d. By pursuing minor errors, big errors emerge

                e. 2 areas of deviation:

                                a1. Following deceiving spirits (clever arguments sound good, plausible, and desirable, but are lies)

                                                b1. Outright lies are easier to spot

                                                b2. Subtle deceptions = easy to fall

                                                a2. Doctrines of demons = inventing unbiblical dogmas

2. Many ways to fall

                a. Characteristics of the deceiver:

                                a1. Speaking lies in hypocrisy (pretend to be believers, but undercut the ministry with false teachings, working inside the church, even in leadership and teaching positions Acts 20:25-32)

                                a2. Seared conscience = no guilt, shame, or remorse in teaching error and deceiving the saints

                b. Satan does his most damaging work from inside the church, pulling people away from true faith

                c. Replacement of spirituality with keeping rules

                                a1. False piety (forbidding marriage) of outward dedication

                                a2. Keeping religious rules about diets, dedication days, taboos,…

3. Beware of false teachers

                a. Everything wholesome is to be received from God with thanksgiving

                b. Forbidden by religious decree things that God has given is cultish

                                a1. Teaching that abstaining from certain things is holiness is trying to replace true spirituality with legalism (Matthew 23)

                                a2. Legalistic churches have many rules about dress, days, activities, hair, etc.

                c. True sanctification restricts sin, but not liberty

a1. Romans 14-15 the Christian walk is one of freedom to enjoy God’s creation

                                a2. Christianity is a relationship with God through Jesus, and not a religion of rules

                d. Prayer, Bible study, worship, and service is holy

Key verse:  Acts 20:25-32

25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. 32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

May 22, 2022. I Kings 6:14-38

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THE TEMPLE and GOD’S CHARACTER. I Kings 6:14-38. 5/22/2022. #15.

1 Kings 6:14-38

New King James Version

14 So Solomon built the temple and finished it. 15 And he built the inside walls of the temple with cedar boards; from the floor of the temple to the ceiling he paneled the inside with wood; and he covered the floor of the temple with planks of cypress. 16 Then he built the twenty-cubit room at the rear of the temple, from floor to ceiling, with cedar boards; he built it inside as the inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place. 17 And in front of it the temple sanctuary was forty cubits long. 18 The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with ornamental buds and open flowers. All was cedar; there was no stone to be seen. 19 And he prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple, to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord there. 20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid it with pure gold, and overlaid the altar of cedar. 21 So Solomon overlaid the inside of the temple with pure gold. He stretched gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. 22 The whole temple he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the temple; also he overlaid with gold the entire altar that was by the inner sanctuary. 23 Inside the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 One wing of the cherub was five cubits, and the other wing of the cherub five cubits: ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. 25 And the other cherub was ten cubits; both cherubim were of the same size and shape. 26 The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub. 27 Then he set the cherubim inside the inner room; and they stretched out the wings of the cherubim so that the wing of the one touched one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. And their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. 28 Also he overlaid the cherubim with gold. 29 Then he carved all the walls of the temple all around, both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. 30 And the floor of the temple he overlaid with gold, both the inner and outer sanctuaries. 31 For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood; the lintel and doorposts were one-fifth of the wall. 32 The two doors were of olive wood; and he carved on them figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees. 33 So for the door of the sanctuary he also made doorposts of olive wood, one-fourth of the wall. 34 And the two doors were of cypress wood; two panels comprised one folding door, and two panels comprised the other folding door. 35 Then he carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers on them, and overlaid them with gold applied evenly on the carved work. 36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams. 37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. 38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

1. Of wood and gold

                a. This passage describes the temple

                                a1. Unlike most temple representations

                                a2. Far more elaborate than the tabernacle

                b. The value of the material is beyond comprehension

                                a1. Not artificially assign meaning to each item

                                a2. Quality, durability, and beauty all represent the nature and essence of God

                c. 5 main materials:

                                a1. Stone (polished limestone or granite) – hard, durable, and costly

                                a2. Cedar wood – makes up the walls (resistant to decay, long lasting, beautiful)

                                a3. Cypress – used for flooring and doors (harder than cedar and more durable; used in ship building; resistant to splitting or splintering)

                                a4. Olive wood – doorposts and frame (a wood that bears fruit)

                                a5. Gold – overlays walls, floors, and doors (no wood or stone are showing; gold is app.

                                      $1800/oz. today)

                d. Precious stone is covered by precious cedar and Cyprus and cedar which in turn is covered by even more precious gold

                                a1. God is all precious and glorious throughout his being

                                a2. Comprehensive: stone is from the minerals of the earth bonded with water and earth;

                                      wood is of life nourished by water and earth; gold is a precious metal from the earth

2. Decorations of the temple

                a. Notice that God loves depictions of his creation

                                a1. These are not graven images (not for worshipping, but for honoring creator)

                                a2. Flowers, palms, vines, etc.

                b. Cherubim = not like depicted in pictures

                                a1. 2 cherubim = each 15’ high with 15’ wingspan, standing side by side with one wing of each cherub touching a wall and the other wing touching the wing of the other cherub

                                a2. These cherubim are different than the cherubim on top of the ark of the covenant

                c. If the cherubim were standing in front of the ark, the priest would have to pass under the adjoining wings to approach the ark (as the covering cherubim stands before God in heaven – Ezk. 1)

3. Nothing to compare with it

                a. Solomon took 7 years to build the temple (from the 4th year of his rule to the 11th year

                b. There were larger structures in the ancient world (the pyramids, Temple of Diana, Hanging Garden of Babylon, etc.), but none more glorious

                c. Nothing could compare with grandeur of temple

                                a1. Nothing can compare with God

                                a2. The temple reflected the glory of God

May 15, 2022. I Timothy 3:14-16

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THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. I Timothy 3:14-16. 05/15/2022. #9.

14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles,

Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

1. Conduct within the body

                a. Paul wanted to see Timothy, but was not sure when he would come

                b. Paul wanted to make clear how the church should probably run

                c. Conduct = manner of life (way of living)

                d. Christian living is comprehensive in belief, doctrine, behavior, attitude, purpose, and deeds

2. The ground of truth

                a. Paul just gave the qualifications of church leadership

                b. Now Paul refocuses attention back onto the foundation of the Christian life

                c. It is God, not the church, that is the pillar and ground (foundation) of all truth

                                a1. God is not only the reason for all things, but he directs all things

                                a2. God does not give us the prerogative to decide what to believe, how to run the church, or how to behave

                d. God defines godliness, ministry, and purpose

3. Christ as the foundation

                a. Paul states that Timothy is a steward of the mystery (hidden secret of godliness)

                                a1. The mystery centered in God’s plan through Jesus revealed to man

                                a2. The OT is God’s plan predicted and Christ is God’s plan revealed

                                a3. No controversy (agreed upon)

                b. One of the greatest passages defining the deity of Christ:

                                a1. Manifested (revealed) in the flesh

                                a2. Justified (declared to be righteous) in the Spirit

                                                b1. Spirit confirms person and ministry of Christ at his baptism

                                                b2. Spirit anointed disciples to proclaim his message at Pentecost

                                                b3. Spirit testified of him through the apostles and Word of God

                                a3. Seen by angels

                                                b1. Angels announced his birth

                                                b2. Angels proclaimed his resurrection (Hebrews 1:1-14)

                                                b3. Angels taught his 2nd coming at his ascension

                                a4. Preached among the nations (starting with Paul) and continues to today

                                a5. Believed on in the world

                                                b1. Christ’s church is global

                                                b2. Every nation has believers

                                a6. Acts 1 received in glory and sits at the right hand of the father (Heb. 4)

                c. We have a glorious savior and message

                                a1. Church = to be a glowing testimony for Christ in behavior, belief, and service                 a2. A focus on the Savior gives vibrant life

Key Verse: Hebrews 1:1-14

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. The Son Exalted Above Angels

5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You”? And again:

“I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”? 6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” 7 And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.” 8 But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.” 10 And: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.” 13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

May 15, 2022. I Kings 6:1-13

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THE TEMPLE. I Kings 6:1-13. 05/15/2022. #14.

1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. 2 Now the house which King Solomon built for the Lord, its length was sixty cubits, its width twenty, and its height thirty cubits. 3 The vestibule in front of the sanctuary of the house was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the width of the vestibule extended ten cubits from the front of the house. 4 And he made for the house windows with beveled frames. 5 Against the wall of the temple he built chambers all around, against the walls of the temple, all around the sanctuary and the inner sanctuary. Thus he made side chambers all around it. 6 The lowest chamber was five cubits wide, the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for he made narrow ledges around the outside of the temple, so that the support beams would not be fastened into the walls of the temple. 7 And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built. 8 The doorway for the middle story was on the right side of the temple. They went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle to the third. 9 So he built the temple and finished it, and he paneled the temple with beams and boards of cedar. 10 And he built side chambers against the entire temple, each five cubits high; they were attached to the temple with cedar beams. 11 Then the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying: 12 “Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

1. Building of the Temple

                a. Finally, the Temple is built

                                a1. Many years of planning & collecting material the Temple is started

                                a2. 418 years after the Exodus (app. 1450 BC), the temple began (1032 BC) in Sol.’s 4th year

                b. The Tabernacle is retired & its furnishings will be transferred to the Temple

                c. The Temple plan was that of the Tabernacle, but the dimensions were greater

                                a1. Temple proper: 90’ x 30’ x 45’

                                a2. 3 stories of side rooms for priests & storage (each room 7.5’ to 9’ wide)

                                a3. 2 outer courts (one where the priests made sacrifices & one for the people)

                d. The Temple building was divided into 2 rooms:             

                                a1. The Holy Place (60’ x 30’)

                                a2. The Holy of Holies (30’ x 30’)

                e. The Holy of Holies contained the Ark of the Covenant

                                a1. Divided from Holy Place by a veil

                                a2. High Priest entered the H of H once a year on the Day of Atonement

                f. Ziv = 2nd month in sacred calendar

                                a1. April-May (after 1st month of Nisan, which contains the Passover)

                                a2. Eighth month in seasonal calendar, which begins in Sept. (Tishrei), the month of Yom

                                      Kippur (Day of Atonement)

2. The Temple Mount

                a. The Temple was a small portion of the Temple Mount, which covered 35 acres

                b. Chambers were built into the wall around the entire Temple complex (many rooms)

                c. Zerubbabel’s temple was not as elaborate or expansive (temple was the same dimensions

                d. Herod the Great expanded the Temple, which was still unfinished when it was destroyed in 70 AD

                e. All the quarried stone was shaped & finished at the quarry, so there was no chiseling on site

                f. The support beams rested on narrow ledges outside the wall, so the beams would not rest in the wall

3. Temple etiquette

                a. The temple was a fixed structure, unlike the Tabernacle, so it had to stand on that particular spot

                b. God tells Solomon, that the Temple will only be useful if he obeys God’s commands & statutes

                                a1. The building provided no protection

                                a2. The building dispensed no grace

                c. God would perform his word given to David, if Israel would obey & honor God

                                a1. God’s words were superior to the temple

                                a2. Disobedience desecrated the temple

                d. David received an unconditional covenant

                                a1. Like the covenant with Abraham, God would fulfill his word to put David’s descendent on throne

                                a2. Blessings are always conditioned upon obedience to God

                e. God would stay dwell among Israelites as long as they walked in his ways (Deuteronomy 28)

                f. Romans 8 eternal life to the believer is unconditional

                                a1. Blessings upon the believer is conditioned upon our submission to God

                                a2. Tools can neither save, nor make one holy

May 8, 2022. Mother’s Day 2022

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ESTHER, QUEEN OF PERSIA. ESTHER MOTHER’S DAY 2022.

2 Kings 2:15-18 [New King James Version]

15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him. 16 Then they said to him, “Look now, there are fifty strong men with your servants. Please let them go and search for your master, lest perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” And he said, “You shall not send anyone.” 17 But when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, “Send them!” Therefore they sent fifty men, and they searched for three days but did not find him. 18 And when they came back to him, for he had stayed in Jericho, he said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not go’?”

1. Esther becomes queen

                a. Esther has no choice but to obey summons to be

                    taken as King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) to be placed in his harem (a maiden’s destiny was not her own)

                                a1. Esther must make the best of her situation

                                a2. God had obviously chosen her for this task

                b. God choses women to serve him is various tasks

                c. Several aspects not ideal: (1) king was divorced (2) polygamy (3) king intimate with Esther and other women before marriage (4) king = not a believer

                d. Esther and others prepared for a year before met king

                e. God moved king to pick Esther

                                a1. Esther did not reveal that she was a Jew

                                a2. 1 Peter 3:1-6 – Esther was lovely and gracious

2. Mordecai and Haman

                a. Mordecai, Esther’s uncle and surrogate father, overheard a plot to kill the king, so he told Esther

                b. Haman, a prince (not 1 of inner 7), sought to advance (enormous ambition)

                c. Mordecai refused to bow down before Haman

                                a1. Haman manipulates to king into signing a decree to kill the Jews

                                a2. He builds gallows to hang Mordecai

                d. Haman is forced to honor Mordecai, who had saved the king, by leading the royal horse with Mordecai on it in royal robes throughout the city

3. A time such as this

                a. Mordecai put on sackcloth and ashes to grieve

                b. Esther sent a servant to find out why Mordecai Mourned for she did not know about the decree

c. Esther had not been called before the king for a month

                                a1. To go unbidden earned execution

                                a2. Only if the king held his scepter = spared

                d. Esther tells Mordecai that it is illegal for her to go to king

e. Mordecai tells Esther that she would not be safe if all the Jews perished and another will rise up to save Jews

                f. Esther states that she will go, but the Jews must fast

                                a1. Her bravery is typical of godly women protecting their families

                                a2. The courage of godly women is inspiring

4. Clever to save

                a. Esther hatched a daring plot

               b. Esther reveals that Haman plotted to kill her and Jews

                                a1. In a fury, the king has Haman hanged

                                a2. The Jews were allowed to defend selves

                c. Jews killed many enemies and Esther Feast of Purim

Key verse: 1 Peter 3:1-61 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

May 8, 2022. I Kings 5:13-18

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TEMPLE BUILDERS. I Kings 5:13-18. 05/08/2022. #13.

13 Then King Solomon raised up a labor force out of all Israel; and the labor force was thirty thousand men. 14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts: they were one month in Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the labor force. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand who carried burdens, and eighty thousand who quarried stone in the mountains, 16 besides three thousand three hundred from the chiefs of Solomon’s deputies, who supervised the people who labored in the work. 17 And the king commanded them to quarry large stones, costly stones, and hewn stones, to lay the foundation of the temple. 18 So Solomon’s builders, Hiram’s builders, and the Gebalites quarried them; and they prepared timber and stones to build the temple.

1. Gonna build a Temple

                a. Now that Solomon had secured a contract for material, he needed to gather a labor force

                                a1. There were no building machines

                                a2. Had to use the six simple machines used from antiquity: wheel, wedge, incline plane,

                                      screw, lever and fulcrum, and pulley

                                a3. Oxen, horses, donkeys, and mules provided extra power and muscle

                b. Solomon wanted to expedite the project, so he gathered a massive labor force (7 years to build – cathedral at Chartes took 600 years to build)

                c. Shows God’s blessing on Solomon when he could afford such a payroll

                                a1. 183,300 worked on the Temple

                                a2. Need either massive time or labor force to expedite an enormous project

                d. God gave Solomon great engineering skills to do the job

2. A massive undertaking

                a. Sol sent 30,000 men in 3 shifts to work alongside Hiram’s men in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains

                b. 70,000 men were used to transport wood and other material from source and port to Jerusalem

                c. 80,000 were used to cut and shape stone blocks

                                a1. Stone carving is laborious, heavy, slow work with each stone cut out of the mountain, shaped, and fitted

                                a2. The work must be precise to work

                                a3. Carved images or scrolling on the stone took skilled artisans

                d. 3,300 foremen oversaw the work

                e. God blessed the work

                                a1. The work was well planned and organized with each stone precisely cut to fit in exact positions in the building

                                a2. All 3 groups (Jews, Phoenicians, and Gebalites) working well with each other (Gebal = a town at base of Mt. Herman, whose men were stone masons)

                f. Solomon showed a marked skill in organizing and supervising major building projects

                                a1. Solomon loved building so much that he kept building structures

                                a2. Building with a valid beneficial purpose is good, but building for self-satisfaction

                                      alone is wasteful and vain

3. The complete ministry

                a. Ministry requires all kinds of skills (evangelism, counseling, teaching, finance, child skills, care sick and elderly, music, administration, planning…)

                                a1. 1 Cor. 12 not everyone is gifted and tasked the same (all the skills fit to make a whole)

                                a2. The builder and preacher all play a part in the success of the ministry

                b. Solomon was not only given an abundant of gifts, but also the ability to recognize gifts and others and to use those skills effectively

                c. As exciting as building the temple was, the edifice was tool for a greater purpose (focus for worship)

                                a1. Tools are to be used to honor God                                 a2. Tools and aids are not sacred in themselves, nor is the activity sacred (offerings, communion, music, scripture, etc.), but is an aid

May 1, 2022. I Timothy 3:8-13

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THE CHURCH DEACON. I Timothy 3:8-13. 05/01/2022. #8.

8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

1. The church care givers

                a. Deacon = helper, one who ministers, a servant

                b. Two uses of the word deacon

                                a1. General term of anyone who serves or helps others (like Phoebe in Romans 16)

                                a2. The office of deacon (a position)

                c. Acts 6:1-7 – the office of deacon was produced out of necessity (to solve administration issues)

                                a1. The apostles and elders (see Acts 15) taught the Word and prayed

                                a2. Temporal issues (food, care giving) had to be managed as well

                d. Like Jethro’s advice to Moses (Ex. 18), the apostles needed helpers to take care of flock

                                a1. Office of deacon was created

                                a2. Deacons were to help elders care for assembly (financial, practical, solutions)

2. Different office, but the same standards

                a. Even though deacons are different than elders, they are held to the same standards

                b. Deacons are to be reverent, sober, and not greedy

                c. Double-tongued = back biting, gossip, rumors

                d. Similar to elders: not a drunkard, covetous, or able to be accused of wrongdoing (blameless)

                e. New requirement: holding onto the mysteries (hidden secrets) with a pure conscience

                                a1. The mysteries = previously hidden secrets of God’s plan of salvation (the gospel)

                                a2. With a pure conscience = not drifting from the faith (a true unwavering faith)

                                a3. A tacit belief that can be swayed will not stand (many fall away from true faith)

                f. Must test a man’s faith before he is a deacon

                g. Not only are the children of deacons to be in submission, but the wives are to be holy as well

                                a1. Wives of deacons are not to be gossips, slanderers, quarrelsome, accusers, drunkards, or unfaithful

                                a2. An unruly wife disqualifies a man to hold the office of deacon

                h. Like elders, a deacon is to be the husband of one wife, and able to rule his house well

                i. A deacon is to have a good reputation and to be known to boldly claim the faith to others

3. Not by might, manipulation, or mandate

                a. The qualifications of church leaders are purely spiritual, chosen by examining their lives

                b. Deacons are not politically elected, an inheritance, by popular appointment, or of necessity

                c. A church runs well if it has godly leadership, but it falters under immature selfish leadership

                    (humility of serving others)

                d. Spiritual leadership makes the church different from all other organizations

                e. The flock is follow the leadership in godliness

May 1, 2022. I Kings 5:1-10

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CEDARS FOR SOLOMON. I Kings 5:1-10. 05/01/2022. #12.

1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved David. 2 Then Solomon sent to Hiram, saying: 3 You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the Lord put his foes under the soles of his feet. 4 But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. 5 And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to my father David, saying, “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for My name.” 6 Now therefore, command that they cut down cedars for me from Lebanon; and my servants will be with your servants, and I will pay you wages for your servants according to whatever you say. For you know there is none among us who has skill to cut timber like the Sidonians. 7 So it was, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly and said, Blessed be the Lord this day, for He has given David a wise son over this great people! 8 Then Hiram sent to Solomon, saying: I have considered the message which you sent me, and I will do all you desire concerning the cedar and cypress logs. 9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; I will float them in rafts by sea to the place you indicate to me, and will have them broken apart there; then you can take them away. And you shall fulfill my desire by giving food for my household. 10 Then Hiram gave Solomon cedar and cypress logs according to all his desire.

1. A time to build

                a. David had wanted to build the Temple, but God refused for David was a “man of blood” (I Chronicles 28)

                                a1. David fought many wars and killed many men

                                a2. David was disappointed not the build it

                                a3. David began collecting material for the Temple, so his son could build it

                b. God has different tasks for different people

                                a1. We may want to do a particular ministry, but it might not be ours to do

                                a2. Acts 21:4 Paul = not to minister in Jerusalem

                                a3. Romans 12:4-6 the Spirit determines the gifts and the tasks (Acts 8)

                c. Solomon’s ascension to throne marked a change

                                a1. The end of turmoil in David’s household

                                a2. End of wars (peace on all sides)

                                a3. End of rivalries and divisions

                                a4. Unprecedented prosperity

                                a5. Solomon makes preparation to build the Temple

2. Lebanon lumber

                a. King Hiram of Tyre and David were friends

                                a1. Hiram was impressed with Solomon’s reputation

                                a2. Solomon sent him a request to purchase lumber

                b. Cedar and Cyprus trees grew in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, peaking at Mount Herman (9200+’)

                                a1. Cedar was a valued building material, but expensive since they grow slowly and prefer altitudes between 4,000 and 9,000 feet

                                a2. Cyprus was valued in ship building

                c. Hiram agreed to have his loggers (Sidonians) cut and transport trees as rafts down the Mediterranean Sea to Joppa for the temple

                d. Solomon paid 20,000 kors (3205 bushels or 30,000 gal.) of wheat + 125 gallons of pressed olive oil annually

                e. Solomon plans to build a great house for the Lord

                                a1. If Solomon builds the house to honor the Lord, his motives would be laudable

                                a2. If the temple became a testimony to Solomon’s great achievements than it would be

                                      a corrupt endeavor

3. For the Lord or for me

                a. It is important, whether in evangelism or a great project or building something for the Lord, that God will receive all honor and glory

                b. Christian endeavors are never about the glory of the leaders and workers involved in it

                c. Something dedicated to the Lord must be for usage for the Lord alone

                                a1. God determines what honors him

                                a2. To do a work in our own way to honor God pollutes the work (Aaron’s sons)

                d. Solomon and Israel had to keep the purpose of the Temple in mind at all times

                                a1. Jesus twice drove money changers out of the temple (Matthew 21)

                                a2. Ezekiel was shown the idol worshippers in the temple and the glory of God depart

                                      from it (Ezekiel 10-12)

                                a3. The temple of the Lord was not a lucky charm protecting sinful Judah (Jeremiah 7)

                e. A building, cross, altar, Bible, or sanctuary has no mystical power (tools for use or corrupt)

Apr 24, 2022. I Timothy 3:1-7

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THE CHURCH ELDER. I Timothy 3:1-7. 4/24/2022. #7.

1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

1. A desire to lead

                a. The bishop is an overseer

                                a1. The biblical bishop is not the same as a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church

                                a2. The bishop is the same office as elder or presbyter (Greek word for elder)

                b. Paul states that it is good to aspire to be an elder

                                a1. He does not discourage leadership ambition (desire to serve; not lord over)

                                a2. To aspire to be an elder is not to seek power or dominance, but service

                c. Elders are to serve alongside the shepherd (pastor) to teach, help, and guide the flock of God

                d. After the apostles passed from the scene, elders picked up their work as local church leaders (TITUS 1:1-9), just as missionaries, pastors, and teachers picked up the evangelism, church planting, and education functions of the church

2. Qualifications of the elder

                a. A desire to be an elder isn’t akin to a desire to control people or dictate to people

                b. Elders are God’s servants to take care of His flock spiritually as mentors, counselors, and care givers to help meet the needs of the saints

                c. In God’s wisdom he did not make the church a monarchy, republic, democracy, or federation

                d. The qualifications of the elder are not financial, social, or popularity

                e. The qualifications of the elder are spiritual

                                a1. Blameless – of the 6 Gr. words meaning blameless, this one lit. means “unable to lay ahold of” (irreproachable, unimpeachable, or unassailable)

                                a2. Husband of 1 wife (Romans 7:1-4; I Corinthians 7:39)

                                a3. Temperate – sober, self-controlled

                                a4. Sober-minded – serious, prudent

                                a5. Well behaved and hospitable

                                a6. Apt to teach – must be able to impart spiritual truths to others

                                a7. Not given to wine = not a drunkard

                                a8. Not violent = not quick tempered, vicious

                                a9. Not greedy = not materialistic (lover of $)

                                a10. Gentle = cordial, reasonable, patient

                                a11. Not quarrelsome = amiable, peaceable

                                a12. Not covetousness = not a lover of $

                f. Governing his house well (in control)

                                a1. Not meaning that his family is perfect

                                a2. Handles his household well

                                a3. Children should be under submission with respect and proper humility

                g. Not a new convert lest he be tempted like Satan

                h. Having a good reputation with unbelievers

3. Beyond measure

                a. It is wise mature men who can rule well

                b. Church leaders are to be spiritual mentors

                c. Elders are held to a high standard (achievable)

                d. This is the benchmark for all believers

Key Verse: Titus 1:1-9

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

Apr 24, 2022. I Kings 4:20-34

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BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE. I Kings 4:20-34. 4/24/22. #11

20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and rejoicing. 21 So Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, as far as the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. 22 Now Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal, 23 ten fatted oxen, twenty oxen from the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl. 24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the River from Tiphsah even to Gaza, namely over all the kings on this side of the River; and he had peace on every side all around him. 25 And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, each man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan as far as Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. 26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 And these governors, each man in his month, provided food for King Solomon and for all who came to King Solomon’s table. There was no lack in their supply. 28 They also brought barley and straw to the proper place, for the horses and steeds, each man according to his charge. 29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. 30 Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. 33 Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. 34 And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

1. God fulfills his promise

                a. Not only did Solomon receive great wisdom, but he also received riches and honor

                b. Both Solomon and his people greatly prospered

                                a1. The land was fruitful and secure

                                a2. Solomon’s fame spread throughout the East

                c. Solomon’s household expanded to the point of consuming large amounts of food

                                a1. 90 kors (cors) of grain each day (1 kor = 60 gallons so 5,400 gallons of grain/day)

                                a2. 30 oxen, 100 sheep, and much wild game

                                a3. Each tribe took turns supplying a month’s supply for the palace

                d. 40,000 stalls for chariot horses + 12,000 horsemen

                e. The abundance continued

2. Wisdom beyond the lot of man

                a. Kings came from all over the East to hear Solomon expound on nature, the weather, the earth, the sea, the cosmos, trees, gems, philosophy, etc.

                b. Solomon excelled over all the famous wise men of his age

                                a1. He wrote 3,000 proverbs and over 1,000 songs

                                a2. No man received more fame, honor, and wealth

                                a3. Solomon understood all things under the sun

3. Drowning in Abundance

                a. There is a danger of prosperity

                                a1. Things came easy for Solomon

                                a2. Never had anyone been so blessed

                                a3. Prosperity is a greater danger to most men than persecution or poverty is

                b. Prosperity is dangerous on multiple levels

                                a1. II Corinthians 12 we begin to think of ourselves as special and gifted

                                a2. Belief that prosperity had been earned and deserved

                                a3. People praise and flatter the prosperous and powerful man to gain favor with him

                                                b1. Tendency to believe the flattery

                                                b2. Greatness is viewed as an earned position rather than a gift from God

                                                      (I Corinthians. 4:7)

                c. Very few people can handle celebrity status

                                a1. God tested Solomon’s faithfulness by bounty just as he tested Job’s faithfulness by trials

                                a2. Solomon started well, but soon he wanted more

                d. Ecclesiastes 2 Solomon decided to see how much wealth he could accumulate, how many grand palaces he could build, how much he could expand his household, and how much glory he could obtain

                e. Solomon began to live a dualistic lifestyle

                                a1. He honored the Lord in public through prayers, offerings, and the Temple

                                a2. He honored himself through foreign wives who turned his heart, high taxes to fund

                                      his opulent lifestyle, and displays of wonder and glory

                f. Solomon’s heart slowly turned away from the Lord

                                a1. This did not happen all at once

                                a2. A man will either be consumed by God and His glory or by self and self-glory, for he cannot successfully do both

                g. Ecclesiastes 11:9-12:1 too late Solomon learned that serving the

                    Lord avoids the vanity of serving oneself