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Young Peoples Bible Class


September, October, November 2016

The Quarter Ahead


The Sovereignty of God

UNIT I: The Sovereignty of God
Sept. 4The Kingdom of PeaceIsa. 11:1-9
Sept. 11The Mountain of GodIsa. 25:6-10a
Sept. 18The Foundations of the EarthIsa. 40:21-31
Sept. 25The Everlasting CovenantIsa. 61:1-4, 8-11

UNIT II: The Sovereignty of Jesus

Oct. 2The Express Image of GodHeb. 1:1-9
Oct. 9The Builder of the HouseHeb. 3:1-6; Matt. 7:24-29
Oct. 16The Great High PriestHeb. 4:145:10
Oct. 23The High Priest ForeverHeb. 7:1-3, 19-28
Oct. 30The Author and Finisher of Our FaithHeb. 12:1-13

UNIT III: Jesus: Alpha and Omega

Nov. 6Making All Things NewRev. 21:1-8
Nov. 13The New JerusalemRev. 21:9-14, 22-27
Nov. 20Living WatersRev. 22:1-7
Nov. 27Alpha and OmegaRev. 22:12-21

Edited and published quarterly by

Rev. W. B. Musselman, Founder
ISBN 978-1-59843-599-3

Lessons based on International Sunday School Lessons; the International Bible Lessons
for Christian Teaching, copyright 2013 by the Committee on the Uniform Series and
used with permission. Edited and published quarterly by The Incorporated Trustees of
the Gospel Worker Society, Union Gospel Press Division, 2000 Brookpark Road,
Cleveland, Ohio 44109-5812. Mailing address: P.O. Box 6059, Cleveland, Ohio 441011059.

Ohio sunset

The Quarter Ahead

The texts for this quarter look at Gods sovereign plan to
redeem humanity from the curse of sin and death. Though we
may not always see Gods work or understand His purposes, we
can trust that He is faithful and is working out His plan
according to His will.
The first unit looks at Gods sovereignty. The texts from Isaiah
cover the prophecy of a coming Messiah and the new covenant
that God made with humanity through the work of Jesus. Lesson
1 gives us a vision of Gods presence among His people. It
looks back to Eden and forward to the new creation. In lesson 2
the new covenant of peace was foretold. The Jewish people had
a prophecy of the new creation nearly eight centuries before
Jesus came to earth. Lesson 3 tells us that the strength with
which God created the world will be given to those who follow
Him. And in lesson 4 we will see Gods future plan for an eternal
covenant with humanity. God knew long ago how He would
redeem humanity through His Son and how He would recreate
His very good work that was marred by sin and death.
In the second unit we will look at passages from the book of
Hebrews and see that Jesus fulfilled all the Jewish hopes. At the
beginning of lesson 5 we will see that Jesus is greater than any
of the prophets of the Old Testament or even the angels of God.
Through Jesus, all things were created according to Gods will.
The sixth lesson covers passages from Hebrews 3:1-6 and
Matthew 7:24-29, connecting the idea of Jesus as the Builder of
Gods house and the parable of the wise builder that Jesus told
at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Lesson 7 will show us
that Jesus is the Great High Priest who accomplished everything
that the Law of Moses foretold. He completed the purpose of
the law through His life, death, and resurrection. Lesson 8 will
help us to understand how Jesus priesthood both completed the

law and surpassed it. Finally, in lesson 9 we will see how Jesus
leads us to be children of God who are disciplined by Him out
of love.
The third unit covers texts from Revelation showing how Jesus
will complete the sovereign plan of God to restore humanity to
relationship with Himself. Lesson 10 will show us that Gods new
covenant will be fulfilled in the new creation. In lesson 11 we will
learn that the New Jerusalem will be the home of both God and
humanity together. Lesson 12 begins the final chapter of
Scripture by telling us that the hope of Eden will be restored.
The tree of life will be the food for all humanity. In the final
passage of the quarter, lesson 13, we will see that Jesus is both
the beginning and the end of Gods plan.
Sin tainted Gods purpose for creation. Since the Fall, God has
been working to redeem His lost people. The Jewish people,
Jesus, the church, and the new creation are all part of Gods
sovereign plan to save us.
James T. Wood.

PLEASE NOTE: The Incorporated Trustees of the Gospel Worker Society, Union Gospel
Press Division, most earnestly endeavors to proclaim fundamentally sound doctrine. The
writers are prayerfully selected for their Bible knowledge and yieldedness to the Spirit of
Truth, each writing in his own style as enlightened by the Holy Spirit. At best we know
in part only. They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the
scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Acts 17:11).

The Tree of Life


Throughout the Bible the tree of life symbolizes Gods ultimate

plan for humanity. He created Adam and Eve in His image and
placed them in the Garden of Eden with the command not to
eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but God
never forbade them from eating of the tree of life. Until sin
entered the world, humanity had access to the tree of life and,
in the resurrection, we will have access to the tree of life once
again (cf. Rev. 22:2).
Death is the ultimate power of sin and the ultimate effect of
the curse. The tree of life is the opposite of the curse of sin.
While we live in the old creation that is marred by sin, we live
under the constant threat of death. Any person could die at any
moment, so we struggle daily to survive. We celebrate new life
when a child is born because it proclaims that God continues to
create good things in the world. But we mourn each death
because sin has claimed another victim, even if it is only until
the resurrection.
The tree of life appears throughout Scripture. In the first Psalm
the metaphor of a tree planted by flowing water and yielding
good fruit is compared to a righteous person. And in Proverbs
3:18 wisdom is a tree of life that the wise person should hold on
to. In Ezekiel 47:12 the prophecy of the Water of Life flowing out
of the temple of God includes trees that bear fruit all year long
and whose leaves bring healing, a theme that appears again at
the end of Revelation (22:2).
For the Jewish people, the tree of life was popular in artwork
and literature that depicted Gods resurrection of His people. The
idea of an afterlife as depicted in Revelation did not exist at the
beginning of Israel. Early Jews thought of the house of the

dead, or Sheol, as the end of all people. Through the prophets

the Jews learned more about what happens after death, but
even at the time of Jesus the Pharisees and Sadducees
disagreed on whether or not there would be a resurrection. The
Sadducees continued to reject any notion of the afterlife while
the Pharisees believed that God would raise the dead.

Jesus, through His death on the cross, became the Tree of

Life. He paid the ultimate price of sin for all time. Through Him
the way back to the tree of life was opened up again. What was
lost in Eden had been found again through Christ.
But we are not yet around the tree of life and eating its fruit.
We will not gather there until the final resurrection at the end of
time. Until then we are caught between the curse of sin, which
is death, and the promise of new life in the resurrection. We
dwell in a world that is fixated on mere survival, but we have as
our destiny a full, rich, blessed life in Gods kingdom. We live at
odds with the world, and that is part of Gods sovereign plan.
Because we are different from the world, we can demonstrate
the reality of Gods Word. We live not merely for survival but for
Gods glory, and we work with Him in reversing the curse of sin
and death. We know that we will eat from the tree of life, so we
work to feed the hungry today. We know that the leaves of the
tree of life will bring healing, so we comfort the sick today. We
know that God will light the world with His presence, so we visit
the imprisoned and lonely today. We live out of a different reality
for a different purpose than those around us. Our hope in God
gives us the strength to help those who are struggling to survive.
The tree of life also gives us a trajectory for our future.
Common depictions of heaven show beatific angels playing harps
on clouds and the assumption is that we will join them and
become static for all of eternity. But the tree of life proclaims
almost the opposite. Life is growth and change while sin and
death are stagnant. In this life we struggle against the pull of the
grave that seeks to silence every voice and make everyone
exactly the same, but in the next life as we eat from the eternal
fruit of the tree of life, we will reign with God (Rev. 22:5). Just
as Adam and Eve reigned over the Garden of Eden, so we will
reign in the new creation. The stagnation of death will be erased
and we will start life anew.
What will you do in the new creation? How will you reign with
God? Perhaps you will tend a great garden as Adam and Eve

did and work to produce the best fruit and create the most
beautiful landscaping for people to enjoy. Perhaps you will write
engaging, lovely songs that all people want to hear and sing.
Perhaps you will build the most beautiful houses. Perhaps you
will explore the ends of the new earth or perhaps you will chart
all of the new heavens. The joy and activity of our resurrected
lives will be endless in both variety and interest. The tree of life
means that we will continue the purpose for which God created
the world, a purpose that was interrupted by sin and death.
In the new creation there will be a New Jerusalem, a new
temple (God the Father and the Lamb [Rev. 21:22]), a new
Mount Zion, and a new heaven and earth, but the tree of life will
have endured from the beginning of time until the end. The
temple was needed to provide a place for God and humanity to
interact even though sin had separated us from God. The holy
mountain served as the refuge of Gods people and the symbol
of His might. The city of Jerusalem was founded as a city of
peace where the nations could come together and worship God.
Heaven and earth were created by God as a very good creation
for humanity to reign over, but all of it was marred by sin.
Creation has been groaning and crying out for release from the
curse of sin (Rom. 8:22) and awaiting the coming of Gods
children. You and I, as we follow God and are formed into His
image, are the purpose of creation and the heirs of the Tree of
Life. We have a responsibility to creation to live out our purpose.
Today we must work with God to reverse the effects of the
curse. We must work to give a lost and hurting world glimpses
of future glory. We must show that our destiny is not death but
life. Every time we worship God in the midst of suffering, we
proclaim life. Every time we feed the hungry, clothe the naked,
and care for the sick, we proclaim life. Every time we give our
time and money without expecting anything in return, we
proclaim life. We proclaim to ourselves, to God, and to the world
that our hope is not in this old creation but in the Tree of Life.




Scripture Lesson Text

ISA. 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of
Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit
of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and
might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the
LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither
reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and
reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall
smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the
breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and
faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard
shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion
and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall
lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for
the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the
waters cover the sea.


The Kingdom of Peace

Lesson: Isaiah 11:1-9
Read: Isaiah 11:1-9
TIME: about 733 B.C.

PLACE: Jerusalem

GOLDEN TEXTThey shall not hurt nor destroy in all my

holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge
of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).

Lesson Exposition
God has always had a good plan for the world. Sometimes it
may not seem that way when wars rage around the world,
politicians bicker, and people fear death and disease. When the
worries of the world weigh heavily, it can seem as if darkness
and evil are all that there is. Christians can know they have a
future hope; that God will bring all His children home to heaven.
But that can lead to hopelessness and despair while the world
still suffers under the curse of sin.
Yet God has always had a good plan for the world. He
created the world and called it very good (Gen. 1:31). And
even after sin entered into the world, God continued working to
redeem what was lost, to reconcile broken relationships, and to
reverse the curse of sin and death on creation.
Even though it may feel as if darkness is winning, Christians
can be confident in Gods plan and purpose. He knew, far in
advance, how He would unravel the effects of sin on the world.
He knew, centuries before it happened, that He would send His

Son, Jesus, to redeem the world.

In the Hebrew language the word Messiah means Anointed
One. Anointing was an ancient custom indicating honor and
special selection. The kings of Israel and Judah were supposed
to be anointed by the prophets of God (as Samuel anointed
David). But over the centuries the idea of an anointed king came
to be associated with the One whom God would send to save
Messiahs line (Isa. 11:1). When the people of Israel thought
about the Messiah, they thought of the glory days they had
experienced under kings David and Solomon. But God had far
more in mind for them than even the reigns of their greatest
kings. Often when we hear of Gods promises, we can compare
them to our past experiences. But Gods plan and His blessing
are so much greater than we can imagine (cf. Eph. 3:20).
Messiahs Spirit (Isa. 11:2). For the Jewish people, the Spirit
of the Lord was a proclamation of Gods presence and His
approval. When King Saul lost Gods Spirit (I Sam. 18:12), the
people knew that he was no longer Gods chosen king. When
Jesus came, as predicted by Isaiah, He showed the world the
power of the Spirit. When He left He did so with the promise
that all His followers would get a measure of the Spirit
themselves (John 16:7). The power and honor of the kings of
Israel has become, through the work of Jesus Christ, the
promise of every Christian.
Messiahs attitude (Isa. 11:3-4). The Messiah, Jesus Christ,
came and showed the world an example of living by the Spirit of
God. He judged people by their merits, instead of their
appearances; He offered hope to the poor and justice to the
oppressed; and He did not abide the wicked.
Jesus example of life, both seen in Isaiahs prophecy and in
the Gospels, teaches us how to live by the Spirit of God. Our
treatment of the poor and oppressed is a key indicator of our

obedience to God. When we are empowered by the Spirit of

God, the image of God is being formed in us (cf. Gal. 4:19).
Jesus showed us the perfect example of the image of God, and
the Holy Spirit empowers believers to follow the example of
Christ. We stand with Jesus as our Saviour and example as we
seek to bring reconciliation to a lost world. We may not be able
to solve all of the problems that plague us, but we can treat the
poor and oppressed with dignity. We can judge people rightly
instead of listening to rumor and hearsay. We can live by the
Spirit, even as Jesus did.
Messiahs justice (Isa. 11:5). The final attributes of the
Messiah that Isaiah predicted in this passage are His faithfulness
and righteousness. Both are important aspects of Gods
personality. God is completely righteous; He is sinless and hates
all sin. But at the same time God is completely faithful; He loves
His people without condition or reservation.
When Jesus came to earth He came showing both aspects of
Gods personality: grace and truth (John 1:14). Neither can be
ignored, and as we strive to follow the example of Christ, we
must strive to be gracious and truthful, righteous and faithful,
forgiving and just.
The result of the coming Messiah, as predicted by Isaiah,
would be for the world to be at peace. Predator and prey would
lie down together, and children would have no fear of wild
animals. We know that this prediction was not fully realized when
Jesus came, but that does not make it untrue. The work of the
Messiah in redeeming the world is not over. Gods sovereign plan
continues even today. In the future the beauty and peace of
Eden will be restored. Jesus has already won the victory, but the
curse of sin and death is not yet fully lifted.
Animals at peace (Isa. 11:6-7). The peace of the animals
described by Isaiah shows the fuller meaning of the idea of
peace in the Old Testament. For the Jewish people, the word

peace meant much more than no violence. For them it meant

wholeness, completion, and the fulfillment of Gods plan.
As we work to be people of peace in the world, we are not
simply working to stop violence but to help our world become
whole and complete, the way God made it to be in Eden and
wants it to be again.
People at peace (Isa. 11:8-9). The Hebrews had a deeper
understanding of the word knowledge than we do today. To
know someone meant a full, intimate, marriage-like understanding.
So Isaiahs prediction that the knowledge of God will fill the earth
reminded the Jewish people that God would bring the wholeness
of peace through His presence.
We can only be people of peace if we work to know God fully
through His Holy Spirit promised by His Son (John 15:26).
James T. Wood.

1. What was Gods declaration about creation before sin
entered into the world?
2. What did anointing mean to the ancient Jews?
3. Why do you think the Jewish people would be
concerned with the lineage of the Messiah?
4. Why do you think the Messiahs treatment of the poor
and oppressed is so important?
5. How do the faithfulness and righteousness of the
Messiah show the image of God?
6. How does the knowledge of God bring about His
7. What role does the Holy Spirit play in fulfilling His
James T. Wood.


1. The Messiah came from a line that seemed defeated
and dead, like the stump of a tree (Isa. 11:1).
2. Gods Spirit was on the Messiah, and the Spirit
empowered Him (vs. 2).
3. True justice will prevail under the Messiah because He
is perfectly righteous (vss. 3-5).
4. Even the animal kingdom will be at peace under the
Messiahs reign (vss. 6-7).
5. All creation will coexist in harmony in Gods future
kingdom (vs. 8).
6. There will be no cause for violence or harm under the
Messiahs rule (vs. 9).
Stuart Olley.


They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for
the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the
waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).
Sadly, as we look around at the growing wickedness in our
world, it can be tempting to become discouraged even as
The Prophet Isaiah surely must have dealt with discouragement
as he saw Judahs growing corruption and the exile to Babylon
they would face (Isa. 39:5-7).
God, who loves His people deeply, however, has the final word
in all matters. With God, nothing is hopeless despite how things
may appear.
In the golden text, Isaiah offered Gods people a message of

encouragement for the future. That same message is for you and
me today.
Isaiah foretold a time when Jesus Christ would deliver His
people from evil and from the fear of evil.
The reason for this widespread peace among men is the
knowledge of God that will be greatly dispersed throughout Israel
(cf. Ezek. 36:26-28). Without knowledge people are destroyed
(Hos. 4:6), but with it they are blessed.
The peace that will be prevalent is so measureless that it is
likened to the waters [that] cover the sea. It stretches beyond
where the eye can see and is limitless to what it touches.
The whole earth will eventually experience such peace (Hab.
2:14) The Prince of Peace, will reign (cf. Isa. 9:6).
Those who listened to Isaiahs message back then had the
same choice as we who read it in our Bibles today. We can
believe it and trust God, who holds everything in his power (Ps.
62:11), or we can reject it and face the future with great anxiety.
Christine M. Morrison.

Those of you reading this lesson may have few personal
memories of the twentieth century, but the memories you do
have are perhaps of peace and prosperity. Yet as peaceful as
the century often was within the borders of the United States, it
was bathed in blood around the world. The world, which hoped
that it had fought the war to end all wars in the centurys early
years, went on to face more terror and bloodshed than during
any other century in history. The kingdoms of this world could
not provide peace.
In the midst of the bloodshed, faithful Christians carried on the
missionary task by pointing to the true kingdom of peace. When
then-dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin, brutally killed 300,000 of his
own people, Festo Kivengere had to flee his country. Yet this

Christian later wrote a book with the amazing title, I Love Idi Amin
(Revell). In it he wrote, On the cross, Jesus said, Father, forgive
them, because they dont know what they are doing. As evil as
Idi Amin was, how can I do less toward him?
In 1973, Kivengere went to minister to three men who had
been unjustly sentenced to death by firing squad. When he
approached them just before their execution, wondering what to
say, he was shocked by what transpired. We approached them
from behind, and as they turned to look at us, what a sight!
Their faces were all alight with an unmistakable glow and
radiance. Before we could say anything, one of them burst out:
thank you for coming! I wanted to tell you. The day I was
arrested, in my prison cell, I asked the Lord Jesus to come into
my heart. He came in and forgave me all my sins! Heaven is
now open, and there is nothing between me and my God!
Please tell my wife and children that I am going to be with
Jesus. Ask them to accept him into their lives as I did. The
other two men told similar stories, excitedly raising their hands,
which rattled their handcuffs (Quinn, Festo Kivengere,
Dictionary of African Christian Biography,
uganda/kivengere). With such a spirit, these believers witnessed
to the coming kingdom of peace.
All people long for peace, and the task of missions is to
proclaim the kingdom of peace, which only God can establish.
And since God is the one who establishes this kingdom, the
joyful task of missions is to proclaim what God has done in
order to make this kingdom a reality. God sent His Son, Jesus,
who died on the cross, rose from the dead, and is coming again
to reign.
Performing this task is exactly what we find the apostle to the
Gentiles, Paul, doing at the end of the book of Acts. He was
preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which
concern the Lord Jesus Christ (28:31). Paul was ministering in
the heart of the empire that had established what it considered
to be peacethe Pax Romanabut this did not satisfy mans

soul. There had to be something greater. There had to be a

peace that penetrated to the heart of the world, and this, Paul
said boldly, was found in Jesus alone.
Missionaries go to the ends of the earth with the message of
hope. They point to a Branch of kingly lineage, lifted high for all
to see. Missionaries foresee all peoples brought into harmony at
the foot of the cross. And when the King returns, the kingdom of
peace will cover the globe as the waters cover the sea.
Jason Parker.


M.Gods Offer to Solomon. I Kings 3:3-9.
T.Gods Delight in Solomons Request. I Kings 3:10-15.
W.Live Together in Peace. I Pet. 3:8-13.
T.Partakers of the Divine Nature. II Pet. 1:3-11.
F.Pursuing the Mind of Christ. Phil. 2:1-11.
S.A Kingdom of Justice and Righteousness. Ps. 72:1-7.
S.Peace in Messiahs Kingdom. Isa. 11:1-9.



SEPTEMBER 11, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

ISA. 25:6 And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make
unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the
lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well
7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the
covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over
all nations.
8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will
wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people
shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath
spoken it.
9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we
have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we
have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his
10 For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest.


The Mountain of God

Lesson: Isaiah 25:6-10a
Read: Isaiah 25:1-12
TIME: 700695 B.C.

PLACE: Jerusalem

GOLDEN TEXTThe Lord God will wipe away tears from off
all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away
from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it (Isaiah

Lesson Exposition
There can be no doubt that sin separates God from humanity,
but that has been the condition of humanity since Adam and
Eve. Many do not give any thought to the idea of being
separated from God. It is something that commonly does not
come to mind. An adopted child who has never known her birth
parents has no frame of reference for knowing what it would be
like if they came back into her life. We cannot know what we
have never had, and we have never had an unseparated
relationship with God.
Because of sin and its effects on the world many constantly
struggle with fear. They fear wicked people doing wicked things.
They fear disease. They fear succumbing to wickedness
themselves. Most of all, they fear death. Death is the ultimate
separation from God and it is all humanity has ever known.
In a context not all that different from our own, Isaiah gave a
prophecy from God. The Jewish people feared the wicked. They

also feared diseases and death. So God used the voice of Isaiah
to paint a picture for them of what they had always been
missing. Isaiah told them of Gods presence among His people.
Isaiah told them of how things were meant to be. He told them
about what none of us can remember, but all of us long for.
The picture of the banquet of God on His holy mountain is
beautiful and enticing. It is the picture of humanitys past in Eden
and its future in heaven. But it is also a picture of the image of
God that each person was created to bear in the world.
In Jerusalem, on His holy mountain (cf. Isa. 24:23), God will
invite all the nations to dine with Him. The Jewish people were
called by God to be His special representatives in the world, but
they misconstrued that calling as favoritism. God wanted the
Jewish people to be a light to the nations, and He wants the
same thing for Christians today. The banquet feast of God is
open to everyone who would follow Him. It is not a select meal
only for Jews in Jerusalem, but for every son and daughter of
God around the world. Today we can remind people of Gods
open generosity by welcoming strangers to our table and sharing
meals with those not like us. A simple meal can be a powerful
picture of Gods welcoming spirit for all the nations and people
of the world.
Death can be terrifying. Even though thousands of people die
every day all over the world, we are still afraid of it. We are
afraid of death because it is not natural. God created humanity
to live with Him in Eden. Death is a result of sin entering the
world and cursing Gods good creation. Isaiah foretold the end of
death itself. Jesus conquered death through the cross and His
resurrection, but even today we still suffer under the curse of sin
and death. Isaiah reminded the Jewish people (and reminds us
today) that although the curse may be defeated, it is not yet

When we go to a funeral or sit by a hospice bed, we mourn
the effects of death in the world. We weep at the loss of life.
We grieve for those who suffer. We share the sorrow of the
world at each passing. But we do not admit defeat. We do not
despair or lose hope. For we know that God will, ultimately and
in His own time, defeat death completely. We know that the
burial shroud will be destroyed, the coffins will be emptied, and
the tombs will all stand open. The smell of decay will be
replaced with the sweet aroma of life. We have a hope, even
though it is not yet realized.
God, in His wisdom, is allowing the world to go on for a time.
We, in faith, remember that death is not permanent and the
curse of sin has no lasting hold on us. God is greater than our
greatest fear and, in the end, He will set us free.
We do not like waiting. We have difficulty being patient. We
live in a world that demands everything now. Yet Gods plan to
release us from sin and death has not yet been completed.
Isaiah waited for God to finish his work and never saw it
completed. Jesus was born eight centuries after Isaiah and
conquered sin and death, but we are still waiting today for Gods
plan to be finished. Christians have waited more than two
thousand years, and we will wait longer still. But when we have
waited, and God has finally delivered His people from death and
sin, we will be able to fully rejoice in Gods work.
God has a purpose in your life. He created each one of us for
a reason and with a specific task (Eph. 2:10). But it may not be
clear to you what that purpose is right now. It may not be clear
in ten years or twenty or fifty. But Gods plan does not require
human timing. We may want things to happen quickly, but God
knows when things need to happen.
Trust in Gods timing and in His plan. He is working for your
deliverance and shaping you to bear His image in the world for

His glory. Even if you cannot see it now, know that God will
complete His work of bringing peace to the world, the peace of
shalom, the Hebrew word that means wholeness, completeness,
and fulfillment. Gods mountain of peace is where all of humanity
will find fulfillment. It is where all of humanity will be able to rest
in God, knowing and being known by Him.
Sin and death have separated us from God. They stand as
constant reminders of the sin of Adam and Eve, humanitys fall
from grace, and the loss of fellowship with God in Eden. But
God has promised that we will return there. Even though we
face death every day, God reminds us, through His Word, that
death is not final. We will one day rejoin Him and bask in His
James T. Wood.

1. What is the one thing that all people, throughout history
and around the world, fear?
2. For what purpose did God call the Jews to be His
people? Did the Jews accomplish that purpose for
which He called them?
3. How can we Christians demonstrate Gods generous
and welcoming nature?
4. Do you think a Christian should mourn for those who
have died? Why, or why not?
5. What is the worlds attitude toward waiting? What is
Gods attitude toward waiting?
6. How does the Jewish understanding of peace differ
from the rest of the world?
James T. Wood.


1. There will be a great celebration at the culmination of
Gods salvation plan (Isa. 25:6).
2. There will be a magnificent feast at this celebration.
3. God will defeat the power of death in the future
kingdom (vss. 7-8).
4. There will be no more crying, for there will be nothing
left to mourn for.
5. God will remove the reproach of His people, Israel.
6. Gods promised salvation for His people will finally be
complete (vs. 9).
7. Gods hand will rest on the mountain, providing security
for His people (vs. 10).
Stuart Olley.


The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and
the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the
earth: for the Lord hath spoken it (Isaiah 25:8).
In Scripture, mountains are referred to as both literal
geographic locations (Exod. 3:1-5; Deut. 4:11-14) and as
figurative references to Gods kingdom (Heb. 12:22; Rev. 14:1).
This weeks lesson title, The Mountain of God, refers to the
unhindered and majestic kingdom of God at the close of human
history as we know it.
In the verses prior to the golden text (Isa. 25:1-7), the prophet
praised God for His love, protection, and faithfulness to His
word. Isaiah recognized Gods sovereign control over all matters.

Gods chosen people, the Jews, and their land have been
under attack for thousands of years. A look at current news
reveals that things have not changed in this regard.
Isaiah knew that despite how things appeared at the time, God
promised a glorious future to those who belong to Him. Psalm
125:1 tells us, They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount
Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
Israel will eventually be delivered from the targeted attacks and
rebukes of others. Likewise, all believers will one day live free
from oppression in Gods heavenly kingdom (cf. Rev. 7:15-17).
How could Isaiahs listeners trust the message he gave? What
assurance could they put in his words? They could simply
believe who the message came from, for the Lord hath spoken
Unlike man, God does not lie (Num. 23:19; Titus 1:2) or
change His mind (Mal. 3:6). Isaiah knew this, for he knew and
trusted God. Do you?
Christine M. Morrison.

I live in the shadow of what is promoted as Americas
Mountain, officially named Pikes Peak. Before the days of
explorer Zebulon Pike, Ute Indians lived in its environs for
generations beyond memory. They believed that the whole world
was created at this spot by the Great Spirit, who poured down
ice and snow to create the majestic mountain. Bands of Utes
used to make annual pilgrimages to the area now known as the
Garden of the Gods and Manitou Springs. This was the land of
their birthplace as a people.
This kind of belief is not unique to the Utes. Throughout
history, all around the world, people have looked to mountains as
places of contact with the divine. For those of us who know the
Bible, it is not surprising that this is so. From the giving of the

law at Sinai (Exod. 3:1-2, 12) to Jerusalem (Ps. 48:2) to the

revealing of the New Jerusalem when the kingdom of God is fully
manifested (Rev. 21:10), God has identified His meeting place
with men as a mountain.
Although it is a mountain of judgment for those who reject
God, it is the mountain of feasting and eternal life for all who
trust in Him. It is the mountain of honor and abundance. It is the
mountain of refuge and rest. It is the mountain of hope, for this
is the mountain of the one true God, the Maker of heaven and
earth. It is the mountain of salvation for all of Gods people.
Isaiah prophesied, It shall come to pass in the last days, that
the mountain of the Lords house shall be established in the top
of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all
nations shall flow unto it (Isa. 2:2). The Lord promised to bring
foreigners to His holy mountain. He would make them joyful in
His house of prayer (56:7).
When Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzars dream of the
great image, he spoke of a stone which shattered the image of
the kingdoms of this world and then grew to become a great
mountain, filling the whole earth. That mountain is the kingdom of
God, which shall never be destroyed (Dan. 2:44).
When Jesus came to earth and began his public ministry, he
began preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying,
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:14-15). Through Jesus work,
these prophesies find their ultimate fulfillment in the New
Jerusalem, which John saw in a vision on a great and high
mountain (Rev. 21:10).
Missionaries are guides to this mountain. They go after the lost
sheep, wandering in the wilderness of this world, saying Repent
ye, and believe the gospel (Mark 1:15). Missionaries call men,
women, and children to lift up their eyes from hopelessness,
despair, and shame to Christ and His kingdom.
Pikes Peak, as majestic as it is, cannot give this hope. Mount
Olympus failed to give this hope; Machu Picchu failed; Mount

Kailash failed. No mountain of this old creation can give this

hope. Only on Gods mountain will all tears be wiped away and
all our hunger satisfied.
Since you are young adults, I would like to set before you the
vision of being a guide to this glorious mountain. What better
way to invest your life than by bringing people from shame and
despair to hope and joy in Christ?
Jason Parker.


M.Praise for Deliverance. Isa. 25:1-5.
T.Do Good on the Lords Day. Luke 14:1-6.
W.Take the Lowly Place. Luke 14:7-11.
T.Invite the Needy. Luke 14:12-14.
F.Gods House Will Be Filled. Luke 14:15-23.
S.The Good News to Proclaim. I Cor. 15:1-11.
S.Gods Banquet Feast. Isa. 25:6-10.



SEPTEMBER 18, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

ISA. 40:21 Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it
not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood
from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the
inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out
the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent
to dwell in:
23 That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges
of the earth as vanity.
24 Yea, they shall not be planted; yea, they shall not be
sown: yea, their stock shall not take root in the earth: and he
shall also blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the
whirlwind shall take them away as stubble.
25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith
the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created
these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he
calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for
that he is strong in power; not one faileth.
27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Isra-el, My
way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from
my God?
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the
everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the
earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of
his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no
might he increaseth strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young
men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their
strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall
run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


The Foundations of the Earth

Lesson: Isaiah 40:21-31
Read: Isaiah 40:1-31
TIME: 700695 B.C.

PLACE: Jerusalem

GOLDEN TEXTHast thou not known? hast thou not heard,

that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends
of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no
searching of his understanding (Isaiah 40:28).

Lesson Exposition
In the ancient world, the concept of one Almighty Creator was
unique to the Jewish and Christian followers of God. They found
themselves beset on every side by idol worshippers that
constantly strove to appease the gods. The ancient polytheism
said far more about the condition of humanity than anything else.
They were selfish and warlike, so they told myths about gods
who were the same.
Today we see very little direct idol worship. The image of the
spiritual world that is common today is that of a beneficent force
that guides and loves everyone. Some will call that force the
universe, others angels, and others will mistakenly call that force
Since the beginning of the world, God has sought relationship
with humanity. He walked in the Garden with Adam and Eve, He
reached out to Noah, He called Abraham out of his home, He
spoke the Law to Moses, and He continued speaking to the

Jewish people through the prophets. Yet today the impersonal

divine force that people describe is not the God of the Bible
who wants to have a relationship with His creation, but a distant
force that cannot be known or understood. Into both contexts,
the message of God, through Isaiah, reminds us of His true
GOD THE CREATORIsa. 40:21-24
Though the Bible can, at times, seem repetitive, that repetition
was designed to help the audience hear and understand the
message. As you read Scripture, think about the meaning and
purpose of the repetition. See the repeated points as being
highlighted or in bold text.
God is the only Creator (Isa. 40:21-22). Isaiahs prophecy
reminded the Jewish people that God was above all. He did not
create out of struggle or chaos, but with power and order. Isaiah
contrasted the picture of the ancient gods with the reality of God
Almighty. Today we might focus more on Gods love for us or His
intentional forethought in creating the world.
For the ancients, they did not know of other worlds in the
solar system or the galaxy, so their description of God focused
on what they could see. Today we might say that God scattered
the galaxies across the universe and placed each planet around
its star. The more we come to know about the size and
complexity of the universe that God created, the more we ought
to be in awe of the power of the Creator.
God is the Ruler of kings (Isa. 40:23-24). The prophecy of
Isaiah started with the large idea of God having power over
creation and then moved to the more personal concept of Gods
power over the rulers of the world. In the past the rulers had
nearly limitless power: pharaohs could command armies of slaves
to build pyramids, kings could conscript anyone to fight for them,
the mighty conquered the weak, and the poor suffered.
Today we have democracies around the world and a middle
class that stands between the power of the rich and the

subjugation of the poor. But God still rules over them all. No
government, no business owner, no military leader can stand
against God. They are like weeds that uproot easily and blow
away in the wind.
There is no comparison to God. In the past kings and
emperors attempted to elevate themselves to the level of a god,
but the Lord Almighty rejected that comparison. Today many
attempt to reduce the image of God to something we can
comprehend, be it laws of physics or impersonal spiritual forces.
The reduction of our image of God serves the same function
today as the elevation of the kings did in the past. Gods
response is still the same. He cannot be compared to anyone or
God commands the stars (Isa. 40:25-26). The ancients
looked up at the sky and saw hundreds of thousands of stars
twinkling in the night. With modern telescopes we have seen that
our galaxy has perhaps one hundred million stars, and our
galaxy is just one of perhaps a hundred million galaxies in the
universe. God still commands them all. Though the number of
stars that we can see has increased exponentially, the power of
wisdom of God has always been greater and will always be
greater than what we can see or comprehend.
God cares for Israel (Isa. 40:27). It is this ultimately powerful
God who commands creation, kings, and stars who cares for
you and me. The Jewish people at the time that Isaiah
prophesied were being threatened to the north by the Assyrian
Empire, and to the east by the Babylonian Empire. They looked
around and wondered if God even cared about them.
Today it can be tempting to doubt Gods power or His wisdom.
The world is full of violence, greed, corruption, and decay. We
may not know Gods ultimate plan, just as the Jewish people did
not understand the coming captivity or how God would be
glorified, but we can know that God has a plan and cares for

GOD THE STRONGIsa. 40:28-31
God Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, is not distant
or impersonal, nor is He without power. He cares deeply for you
and has the power to change your life.
God does not grow weary (Isa. 40:28-29). Gods power is
beyond our understanding; it is without limit and without ceasing.
Gods power is a gift He gives to His people.
God gives strength (Isa. 40:30-31). God does not promise us
understanding in the face of our doubts; neither does He
guarantee the world will work in the manner we want it to. He
does not say that we will be without struggle or hardship in our
lives. But He does promise to give us strength. The God of the
universe and all in it, the God beyond compare, the Lord of
kings and rulers cares about you and will give you His strength
when you are weary. He will not forget you or forsake you.
James T. Wood.

1. How does our world today attempt to reduce the
power of the Almighty God?
2. Why is it important to know that God created the
entire universe without struggle and without chaos?
3. Why do you think the kings in the past tried to be
gods? How is that same attitude seen in those who
are considered the powerful in our world today?
4. What events that you see in the world today can
cause people to be tempted to doubt Gods power
and plan?
5. How do you feel knowing that the power of God that
made the universe is the same power that He uses to

strengthen you when you are weak? How does this

help you face hardships and struggles?
James T. Wood.

1. All creation pales in comparison to Gods vastness (Isa.
2. There is no one who can compare to God (vs. 25).
3. God knows all creatures and people that have ever
existed (vs. 26).
4. We should not doubt that God still cares about us
even when life is very hard (vs. 27).
5. Gods strength and power do not dissipate as ours do
(vs. 28).
6. God can give us strength when we become tired (vss.
7. Patiently waiting on the Lord brings us strength (vs.
Stuart Olley.


Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the
everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the
earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of
his understanding (Isaiah 40:28).
The Prophet Isaiah cried out a message of comfort and hope
to Gods people in Jerusalem. Restoration would come (Isa. 40:136

2, 9)!
Although Gods remnant people suffered great loss and exile at
the hands of their enemies, as they turned back to God and
trusted Him, they would experience restoration.
In the golden text, Isaiah asked his listeners questions that
pointedly served to remind them of the character of the God
they served. The prophet seemed to be astounded that the
people needed to be reminded that the God of the universe, the
Creator, who is above all, is in control of all things (Isa. 40:22).
God does not forget His people (Isa. 44:21), nor does He tire
or grow faint, giving up as men do. He is strong, always
present, and available to help (Ps. 46:1).
Likewise, there is nothing that takes God by surprise. His
understanding is beyond limits (Job 12:13; Ps. 147:5), as are His
wisdom and plans.
Sometimes we too need to be reminded of Gods wonderful
love, grace, power, and mercy. We should not be hasty to
criticize Isaiahs crowd of listeners, for if we are honest, we
could identify with them.
Staying encouraged in dark times requires a faith that begins
and is anchored to the one true God, who will not leave or
forsake you (Heb. 13:5).
Believer, take heart, for God does not grow weary or faint.
Even better, He promises (Isa. 40:31) that those who trust in Him
will not, either!
Christine M. Morrison.

There are roughly seven billion people on earth right now. Of
those, approximately three billion have limited access to the good
news of Jesus Christ. What will it take to make disciples of
these people? A lot of work.
Missions is, quite simply, a lot of work. On a personal level, it

is work that demands my life, my soul, my all, to paraphrase

Isaac Watts (When I Survey the Wondrous Cross). Missionaries
experience the strains of being a stranger, of feeling alone, and
of learning a foreign language, which sap inner strength.
Often, adjusting to a new climate and a different lifestyle drains
physical strength. My missionary friend Michael remembers the
simple difficulty of not being able to sleep. The oppressive heat
and humidity of his new home made it nearly impossible for him
to rest. With the lack of sleep, all other problems, which would
not have seemed insurmountable in themselves, became
On an organizational level, missionary work couples limited
resources with constant demands upon those resources. The
task is huge, and the laborers are few. Everyone who takes the
Great Commission seriously staggers at times with how much
work there is to be done.
Isaiah 40 speaks words that are a tremendous encouragement
to Christians with Great Commission mindsets. The incomparable,
everlasting Creator God never gets weary, and He is the one
who gives strength to His people.
Recently, I came across the story of Dr. William Leslie, who
served in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. He
began his work as a single man in 1893 and married the woman
who nursed him to health in 1896. Dr. Leslie and his wife Clara
worked hard for the well-being of the Congolese people.
Once, in an interview with The New York Times, Dr. Leslie
described the cruel treatment that the Belgians inflicted on the
Africans. With my own eyes I have witnessed many of the most
horrible examples of cruelty practiced upon the poor natives in
that country. I have seen natives with one hand cut off and I
have seen them with both cut off, and in many cases the poor
victims were children (Niederkorn, Missionaries from Congo
Confirm Atrocities, The New York Times, November 24, 1909,
In 1912, Leslie founded a mission station and clinic along the

Kwilu River in order to reach the Yansi people with the gospel.
Seventeen years of hard labor and frequent danger followed. In
the end, Dr. Leslie returned from the field a discouraged man,
believing that he had done little to advance the gospel in the
heart of Africa. He could not have been more wrong.
The mission work continued at Leslies Vanga mission. Recent
reports indicate that to this day, over a century after Dr. Leslie
founded the mission, there is a network of churches preaching
and teaching the gospel among the Yansi people (
Our God is never weary. Though the task of missions seems
overwhelming, and the work far more than we can do, He
continues to accomplish His sovereign work.
Jason Parker.


M.Prepare the Way of the Lord. Luke 3:2-6.
T.Saved from Death. Isa. 38:9-20.
W.Gods Word Stands Forever. Isa. 40:1-8.
T.The Shepherds Tender Care. Isa. 40:9-11.
F.Gods Incomparable Wisdom. Isa. 40:12-14.
S.To Whom Will You Liken God? Isa. 40:15-20.
S.The Everlasting God and Creator. Isa. 40:21-31.



SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

ISA. 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because
the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the
meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to
proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to
them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day
of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them
beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of
praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees
of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up
the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities,
the desolations of many generations.
8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt
offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an
everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and
their offspring among the people: all that see them shall
acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD
hath blessed.
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in
my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a
bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride
adorneth herself with her jewels.

11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the

garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth;
so the LORD GOD will cause righteousness and praise to
spring forth before all the nations.


The Everlasting Covenant

Lesson: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Read: Isaiah 61:1-11
TIME: 700695 B.C.

PLACE: Jerusalem

GOLDEN TEXTI the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for

burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I
will make an everlasting covenant with them (Isaiah

Lesson Exposition
Gods promises are sure, but too often we have difficulty
seeing how they might be true. We are not the only ones. The
Jewish people wondered how God could still love them since He
allowed them to be taken into captivity among the Babylonians.
The lesson that Isaiah left for the Jewish people that we can
apply today is that the best predictor of Gods faithfulness is not
our present circumstances, but His past faithfulness. God has
always been faithful so even if it appears otherwise, we can trust
that He will continue to be faithful.
The Jewish people were chosen by God to be His
representatives on earth, but they did not understand what God
wanted from them and took His choosing to mean that they
were better than the rest of the world. So when other nations
conquered them, it rocked the very foundation of their identity

and caused them to doubt their understanding of God.

Gods favor and vengeance (Isa. 61:1-2). When Isaiah gave
his prophecy to the Jewish people and when Jesus read the
words of the prophecy at the outset of His ministry (Luke 4:1819), they both called back to the idea of the Year of Jubilee, or
the year of the favor of the Lord (cf. Lev. 25). Jubilee was a
time of absolute trust in God because all debts were forgiven
and all of the slaves set free.
We often fail to trust in God because our present
circumstances are dire. We may be without a job or dealing with
an illness or struggling to find a path in school. In the midst of
all that, God is still faithful, even when we cannot see it. God
will comfort the afflicted, help the poor, and free the captives. If
we are afflicted, we can trust Gods promise to help us. But if
we are not the afflicted ones, we are called by God to help Him
bring comfort to the poor and imprisoned (cf. Matt. 25:34-40). As
the image of God is formed in each of us, we bear the
responsibility to act in the same way that God would, offering
hope and joy to the downtrodden of the world.
Gods comfort and rebuilding (Isa. 61:3-4). The Jewish
people had been conquered, the temple of God razed, and the
city of Jerusalem destroyed. The Babylonians carried off the
Jews into captivity and left the ruins of the Promised Land to the
few stragglers that were not worth transporting to Babylon.
Everything that the Jews thought was supposed to happen had
fallen apart. They could not fathom the reasons for God allowing
them to be conquered and His temple destroyed. The loss of
Jerusalem seemed to the people like the loss of Gods presence
among them.
The world can seem as cruel today as it did for the Jewish
people in captivity. A young couple with small children might be
torn apart by unforeseen and unpredictable disease, leaving one
parent dead and the other struggling to mourn and cope with
raising children. Or the perfect life plan might lead a person
through school to start a career, only to have the job taken away

and all the years of training come to nothing. Our vision of Gods
plan may seem right, but when things do not go the way we
hoped, it is often easier to doubt God than our vision of Gods
God is faithful. He has always been faithful, and always will
be. Even when we are faced with the ashes of mourning and
the spirit of despair, God can and will turn death to life and
doubt into hope.
God made a covenant with His people through Isaiah, and He
continues that promise even today. The promise that the
descendant, or seed, of Israel would be a blessing to all the
nations was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. But the covenant did not
stop with the coming of Jesus just as the effects of sin and
death did not cease, even though He conquered them.
Gods everlasting covenant (Isa. 61:8-9). Gods plan and His
covenant exist to bring humanity back into relationship with Him.
The relationship was broken in Eden and will not be fully
restored until we join Him in heaven. But between now and then,
God has been working to reconcile humanity to Himself.
As we learn to be in relationship with God, we must also learn
to bear His image. Jesus explained what it means to love God:
we must obey His commands (John 14:23). So when the
covenant of God is explained in Scripture, it is often
accompanied by a description of God. In Isaiah 61 we see that
God is just, hates robbery, and is faithful. We must seek to
emulate God, love justice, hate sin, and remain faithful to Him.
God has promised to bless His people, but He does not bless
us simply to make our lives better. He blesses us so that we
can be a blessing to others. He blesses us so that the nations
will glorify Him for what He does. We have received the Lords
favor so that we can point others to that blessing.
Rejoicing in Gods blessing (Isa. 61:10-11). Rejoicing is not
always easy. The Jewish people were told to rejoice in God even

before He blessed them. They were told to rejoice in anticipation

of God fulfilling His promise to save them from captivity. It is
easy for us to rejoice when we have the blessing, but that is not
what God asks of us. He asks us to rejoice in His promises.
The image of marriage is used in Isaiah 61:10 to describe the
rejoicing, but it also serves to illustrate the promise. A marriage
is based on a promise of faithfulness that can only be fulfilled
through a lifetime of work. The rejoicing, that is the wedding
party, anticipates the faithfulness. We should anticipate that God
will keep His promises and rejoice in Him.
James T. Wood.

1. Why would Isaiahs audience have doubted the
promises of God? What situation caused them to
2. How was the Year of Jubilee meant to cause people to
respond to God?
3. What did the loss of the temple make the Jewish
people think had happened?
4. Who ultimately fulfilled the covenant recorded in Isaiah
61? Is His work complete today? When will it be
ultimately completed?
5. What is the purpose of Gods covenant with His
people? Why does He bless His people?
6. Why does God ask us to rejoice?
7. What does the imagery of marriage in Isaiah 61:10
James T. Wood.


1. When the Spirit rests on the Messiah, He will deliver
the downcast ones (Isa. 61:1).
2. The year of the Lords favor will bring vengeance on
evil (vs. 2).
3. The year of the Lords favor will bring comfort to those
who mourn (vss. 2-3).
4. Everything that has been ravaged will be restored (vs.
5. God will restore justice to the earth and will make a
new covenant with Israel (vs. 8).
6. God will honor His people Israel, among the Gentiles
(vs. 9).
7. God will cause righteousness to flourish everywhere
(vss. 10-11).
Stuart Olley.


I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering;
and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an
everlasting covenant with them (Isaiah 61:8).
Gods mercy puts a limit to suffering. He made a promise to
restore Israel (Isa. 61:4), to double her blessings (vs. 7), and to
enter into a binding agreement, or covenant, with them.
Because our God is holy, He loves judgment, that is, justice.
God loves the people He created and knows the destruction and
the separation sin causes between them and Himself (Isa. 59:2).
The Lord hates robbery for burnt offerings, meaning that He

hates empty, ritualistic religion. Empty ritual is void of true

worship and honorable giving and thus robs God of what is
rightfully His.
With God directing or guiding, His newly established people,
Israel, would glorify Him in their work (Isa. 60:21), and God
would be their Light forever (vs. 20). These truths are amplified
in Jeremiah 32:37-41.
What does God say to us today? He has judged sin already.
The Lord Jesus, although sinless Himself, was condemned in our
place (Rom. 8:3-4), freeing us from the wrath of God.
God wants to see our hearts engaged in worship, not merely
our lips. He does not care about the money we put in the
collection plate if it is not given from the heart.
As we truly let God be Lord of our lives, He directs our steps
(Ps. 37:23). We then walk in truth, uprightness, and love.
Finally, God will make an everlasting covenant. This covenant
is entered into through the blood of the Great Shepherd (cf.
Heb. 13:20), who came as a spotless Lamb (John 1:29). Have
you entered?
Christine M. Morrison.

The two young people looked out into the eyes of the admiring
congregation with a strange mixture of gratitude, anticipation, and
uncertainty. They were being commissioned as missionaries to a
restricted-access nation. They were truly delighted to serve as
ambassadors for Christ. Yet even with all of their careful
preparation, so much was unknown. What confidence could they
have that their work was worthwhile?
In Isaiahs prophesies, Gods harsh judgments upon Israel
seemed to signify failure concerning Gods plan of redemption for
the world. The Lord had entered into a covenant with Israel in
which she would be a kingdom of priests (Exod. 19:6),

mediating Gods saving glory to the world. All the rest of the
nations were strangers from the covenants of promise, having
no hope, and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12). Israel was
the key to Gods plan. When Israel failed to uphold the covenant
with God and God brought judgment, it seemed to bring into
question whether God would fulfill His great plan of redemption.
But God promised that He would make an everlasting
covenant, one that would not fail, and it is that covenant which
encouraged the Apostle Paul in his missionary work. Paul knew
that when Jesus began His earthly ministry, He quoted from
Isaiah 61. He also knew that before Jesus died as a sacrifice for
sins, He instituted the cup of the Lords Supper as the new
covenant in His blood (Luke 22:20). Paul knew that the Holy
Spirit had been given to the church by the resurrected and
ascended Jesus and that the Spirit was the One who made this
new covenant effective. Paul had great confidence that God had
committed Himself to this everlasting covenant and that He would
fulfill it!
This confidence is what gave Paul the courage to be a
missionary. He wrote, Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to
think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not
of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit
giveth life (II Cor. 3:5-6).
Jim and Shirley, like Paul, are able ministers of the new
covenant. Everything about missionary work today depends upon
Gods faithfulness to His covenant. When churches raise
equipment and travel expense funds for missionaries, they do so
in faith that God will honor His covenant. When missionaries train
themselves in the Scripture, in cross-cultural knowledge, and in
languages, they do so in the solid hope that God will use them
to accomplish His work.
When missionaries attempt to make disciples, they do so in
the confidence that the Spirit will make them able ministers.
When you pray that the Lord would send laborers into His

harvest fields, you know that you are praying in accord with
Gods settled purpose. Gods unwavering commitment to His
eternal covenant is the strength behind all missionary efforts.
Perhaps your zeal for missions has cooled lately because you
are not really confident that your prayers, your giving, your going,
or your sending really makes a difference. If so, remember Gods
sovereign commitment to His everlasting covenant.
Jason Parker.


M.A Light to the Nations. Isa. 42:5-9.
T.Anointed for Ministry. Luke 4:16-21.
W.Rejected by His Own. Luke 4:22-30.
T.His Light Has Come. Isa. 60:1-5.
F.The Everlasting Light of God. Isa. 60:19-22.
S.Everlasting Kindness and Mercy. Isa. 54:4-8.
S.Eternal Righteousness and Praise. Isa. 61:1-4, 8-11.



OCTOBER 2, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

HEB. 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners
spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom
he hath appointed heir of all things, by 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 on
the right hand of the Majesty on high;
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath
by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art
my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to
him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the
world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits,
and his ministers a flame of fire.
8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever
and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy
9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore
God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness
above thy fellows.


The Express Image of God

Lesson: Hebrews 1:1-9
Read: Hebrews 1:1-14
TIME: about A.D. 67

PLACE: unknown

GOLDEN TEXT[He is] the brightness of his glory, and the

express image of his person, upholding all things by the
word of his power (Hebrews 1:3).

Lesson Exposition
The first-century Christians were tempted to give up following
Jesus and return to Judaism due to persecution. The book of
Hebrews was written to encourage them to not give up on
Jesus, because He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.
Because of that, the author of Hebrews used many Old
Testament Scriptures and analogies to explain how Jesus is
superior to the Jewish law and customs, and how He connects
both the Old and New Testaments.
The Jewish people revered their prophets as messengers from
God, so the author of Hebrews began by reminding his Jewish
audience of their past traditions and showing them how Jesus
fulfilled the past.
Gods message (Heb. 1:1-2). Though we do not know
precisely who the author of Hebrews was, we do know that he
was a Jewish Christian who was well educated in Greek. He was

concerned for the other Jewish Christians who were tempted to

give up Christ and return to Judaism. He wrote a message of
encouragement from the perspective of an insider. Often we can
use our struggles to help encourage others. The author likely
struggled with the same temptations that he wrote about. As we
mature in Christ we can pass on what we have learned to
The text of Hebrews starts out with a reference to the
prophets that proclaimed the message of God to the Jewish
people. The author went on to point out that Jesus continued
delivering Gods message but did so as more than a mouthpiece
He did so as the Son and heir of the entire world. Though it
cannot be questioned that Jesus was a good teacher and moral
leader, He cannot be reduced to only a good teacher or moral
leader. He is Gods Son, and the universe was made through
The Son reflects the Father (Heb. 1:3-4). Faithful Jews even
today recite a passage from Deuteronomy (called the Shema)
daily. It begins with the words Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God
is one Lord (6:4). So the idea that Jesus is God came as a
shock to them. How, they wondered, could Jesus be God and
God still be one?
The writer of Hebrews showed that Jesus is the image and
glory of God, not a separate being but the exact representation
of Gods being. The work of Jesus in saving the world from sin
was the work of the one true God reaching out to His people to
restore relationship with them.
The Jewish people thought they understood Gods nature
because of Scripture, but they did not fully comprehend the
meaning of the words they recited daily. Even today we can be
tempted to substitute our understanding of Scripture for the true
meaning of Scripture. The ones who heard and accepted the
message of Jesus were the ones who were willing to trust God
more than they trusted their own understanding of God. We too
ought to keep our hearts open to learning, even when we think

we understand something well, so that we do not attempt to

contain God inside a box of our own understanding.
Angels served as messengers of God speaking to people on
His behalf. Just as the prophets were humans that shared Gods
message, so the angels are beings that shared Gods message.
Yet neither angels nor prophets are greater than Christ.
Jesus is the Son of God (Heb. 1:5-6). The angels are created
beings; Jesus is the Creator. The angels shared the message of
God; Jesus is the Word of God (cf. John 1:1-14). The angels
worship God; Jesus was worshipped by the angels.
When Adam and Eve fled Eden, they left a relationship with
God; they left His presence. We know that it is impossible for
anyone to see Gods glory and live (Exod. 33:20), so the angels
served as go-betweens to protect humanity from death in Gods
presence. But when Jesus came to earth, He brought the full
presence of God to humanity once again.
We do not worship a God who is distant, but One who is
constantly seeking us out. He has pursued us relentlessly, loves
us passionately, and works tirelessly to reconcile us to Himself.
Christianity is unique among all religions; only in Christianity does
God seek people. You are loved by the God who spoke the
universe into being with a word.
The angels are servants (Heb. 1:7). The author of Hebrews
contrasted the glory of the Son with the work of the angels.
Though we do not know much about the purpose and activities
of the angels, we do know for certain that the angels are Gods
It is popular in some circles to create whole hierarchies for the
angels and to imagine their activities. For fantasy stories such
ideas are not bad, but if the angels begin to supersede Christ,
then it becomes sinful. The Bible is quite clear; angels serve
both God and Christ.
The Son rules over all (Heb. 1:8-9). The writer of Hebrews

used repeated quotations from the Old Testament to make his

point about Jesus superiority to the angels. For him, and for the
Christians of the first century, the Old Testament was their entire
Bible and it gave them enough teaching to trust that Jesus is the
Messiah and the Son of God.
We are blessed to have the New Testament to confirm the
truth of the Old Testament, but it does not invalidate the Old
Testament. It simply amplifies and clarifies the message that is
throughout all of Scripture: God is seeking to restore humanity to
His image. Eden is our past glory and our future hope because
of Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh.
As we read and study the Old and New Testaments, let us
see the consistent, loving work of God who has always been
loving and faithful in His pursuit of humanity.
James T. Wood.

1. Why would the author of Hebrews begin his message
by referring to the prophets?
2. Do we know who wrote the book of Hebrews?
3. What Old Testament passage do faithful Jews recite
4. What is the difference between our understanding of
Scripture and the true message of the Bible? How can
we know the difference?
5. What role do angels play in communicating Gods
6. How is Christianity unique when compared with other
7. Why does the author of Hebrews quote from the Old
Testament so often?

James T. Wood.

1. In the past God revealed Himself through others,
speaking through prophets (Heb. 1:1).
2. In the last days, God revealed Himself through His own
Son Jesus, the Creator of the world (vs. 2).
3. When you hear and read about Jesus, you are hearing
and reading about God (vs. 3).
4. Jesus holds the universe together.
5. No created being compares to Jesus. The angels and
all creation are subservient to Him (vss. 4-7).
6. God has put Jesus on the throne forever. His reign is
characterized by righteousness (vss. 8-9).
Stuart Olley.


[He is] the brightness of his glory, and the express image
of his person, upholding all things by the word of his
power (Hebrews 1:3).
The golden text tells us that Jesus is the brightness of Gods
glory. This means Jesus puts forth light; He shines the truth of
God into our lives (cf. John 8:12; II Cor. 4:4, 6).
In extrabiblical literature the term express image refers to an
engraving on wood, an etching on metal, a brand on an animal
hide, an impression in clay, or a stamped image on a coin.
Jesus is the express image of God in that He is the perfect
imprint of the nature and essence of God in time and space. He

is the full revelation of God.

The sovereignty of Jesus is clear in Hebrews 1. God says of
His Son, Thou, Lord, hast laid the foundation of the earth;
and the heavens are the works of thine hands (vs. 10). The
universe and everything in it is constantly sustained by the Sons
powerfully effective word (Col. 1:17).
People who grew up neglected or abused may have a
distorted view of God. They get their concept of what God is like
from their human father rather than from Jesus.
In contrast, even the most loving human father who faithfully
submits to the Lord falls short of perfectly representing God.
Jesus, however, is God (John 10:30; 14:8-11). We can fully
trust what He reveals about God.
As believers, we have the great privilege and responsibility of
letting God express Himself through us to a lost and dying world.
We will not be perfect in our calling to represent God, but we
can point sinners to the One who is!
Christine M. Morrison.

The greatest missionary moment in the history of the world
was when the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour. The
incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus was an
explosion of gospel light. As John said, In him was life; and the
life was the light of men (John 1:4). While God had made
Himself known to men from the beginning, never before had He
shown Himself in this manner. With that gospel light shining, the
missions movement was on its way from Jerusalem to the
uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
This mission only advances when ambassadors for Christ
preach the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God
(II Cor. 4:4). If people do not know of Christ, they cannot come
to know God. Sadly, however, Gods people have not always

done a good job of showing Gods glory in Christ to people who

have never heard the gospel message.
During the seventeenth century, Protestantism and Roman
Catholicism in Europe struggled toward dtente largely along
territorial and political lines. Understandably, this took a great
deal of effort. However, it also tended to produce a territorial
outlook that ignored or downplayed the spread of the gospel to
new peoples.
Baron Justinian von Welz (1621-1668), whose life changed
dramatically after his conversion to Christ, saw a glaring lack of
Protestant concern for missionary work. With his heart burdened
for unreached peoples, Welz proposed to form the Jesus Loving
Society, a group dedicated to global evangelization. This society
would function through the work of three groups. First, there
needed to be wealthy supporters who could fund the
missionaries. Second, there would be missions directors and
secretaries who would administer the efforts at evangelism. The
third group was the missionaries themselves, young men who
would go through focused training and then devote themselves to
spreading the gospel on a foreign field. Once they got to the
field, they were to study local customs, learn the language,
translate portions of Scripture, and send back reports to their
supporters. It was a bold and daring vision.
Welz did not succeed in putting this missionary machinery into
action. Although he published works arguing for foreign mission
work, most church leaders considered his ideas too radical, at
best. Unable to do anything else, he decided that he himself
must go to the mission field. He renounced his title to nobility
and his inherited possessions, and in 1666 he sailed for Dutch
Guiana, now known as Suriname. There he died in obscurity
(Dreisbach, Welz, Baron Justinian (1621-1688), www.gfamissions.
Welz was not able to stir up the churches to make Christs
glory known among unreached peoples. However, his ideas did
not die, for at their heart they reflect Christs purpose for His

church. We must shine the light of the glory of God in Christ to

the entire world. In the century after Welzs death, the Danish
College of Missions, the German Pietists Spener and Francke,
and, most famously, the Moravians, under the leadership of
Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, helped blaze the trail for the
modern missions movement.
Jason Parker.


M.The Word Made Flesh. John 1:1-14.
T.Showing Us the Father. John 1:15-18.
W.The Giver of Life. John 5:24-27.
T.Superior to the Angels. Heb. 1:10-14.
F.The Fullness of God. Col. 1:15-20.
S.The Agent of Redemption. Eph. 1:3-8.
S.The Brightness of Gods Glory. Heb. 1:1-9.



OCTOBER 9, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

HEB. 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly
calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession,
Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also
Moses was faithful in all his house.
3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses,
inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour
than the house.
4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built
all things is God.
5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant,
for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are
we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the
hope firm unto the end.
MATT. 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of
mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which
built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the
winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it
was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and
doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built
his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the
winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great
was the fall of it.

28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these

sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as
the scribes.


The Builder of the House

Lesson: Hebrews 3:1-6; Matthew 7:24-29
Read: Hebrews 3:1-6; Matthew 7:19-29
TIMES: about A.D. 67; A.D. 28

PLACES: unknown; mountain

near Capernaum

GOLDEN TEXTEvery house is builded by some man; but he

that built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).

Lesson Exposition
Buying a house is an incredible investment of time and money.
The standard house loan has a term of thirty years, nearly half
the life span of the average American. Building a house can be
an even greater commitment since it involves not only paying for
the land and building but also making decisions on all of the
construction as it happens.
In the ancient world a house was, if anything, more valuable
and precious than it is today. When the author of Hebrews and
Jesus used houses as metaphors for Gods work in the world,
they did so knowing that their audiences would respect the value
of a house and the hard work that it took to build one.
GODS HOUSEHeb. 3:1-6
In the book of Hebrews, we see the connection of the stories
of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The house that
God built thousands of years before Christ came to earth is the
same one that Jesus worked in and over which He presides and

reigns. Gods story has continued uninterrupted for all that time
and will continue until He chooses to come again. This is not a
story that has ended, but one in which we play an important
Christ is faithful (Heb. 3:1-2). The audience of Hebrews was
addressed as partakers of the heavenly calling, which applies
to all the followers of Christ today. We have a calling that is not
of human origin but came from God through Jesus Christ. God,
through His wisdom, uses the local church to represent Himself
in the world today. But we must not make the mistake of
thinking that the work of the church is anything other than a
divine calling given to us by Jesus Christ, the High Priest of
We, like Moses, are to be faithful servants in Gods house. Our
work is on earth, but the effects of the work are eternal because
of God dwelling within us through His Holy Spirit.
The builder is greater than the house (Heb. 3:3-4). The
Jewish people highly revered Moses for giving them the law that
was the foundation of their entire society. But the author of
Hebrews reminded the Jewish Christians that Moses simply
labored within Gods house; he did not build it.
Within the church today there are workers who have achieved
fame for their service to God. Yet those famous preachers and
pastors are not greater than God. They are worthy of honor as
servants in Gods house, but God is the One who built the
house. Servants may stumble, but God is faithful for eternity.
Moses served Christ (Heb. 3:5-6). The writer of Hebrews
made it clear that he was not opposed to Moses, who was
faithful to God as a servant in Gods house. Moses work pointed
not to himself, but forward to Jesus Christ.
What is taught about Moses in Hebrews gives us a good rule
for examining our own service to God. Moses testimony pointed
to Jesus, not himself. As we serve God, our testimonies should
point to the power of God working in our lives, not to our own

The author of Hebrews pointed out that Jesus is the Son and
Heir of the house of God. But he went further and let his
audience know that the followers of Christ are the house of God.
The Jews who followed Moses were Gods house, the followers
of Jesus in the first century were Gods house, and we today
are Gods house. We are the building that God is constructing as
His dwelling place. In the past, it was in the tabernacle or the
temple, but Gods intent has always been that He dwell among
His people.
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 57), taught about
how He came to fulfill the Law of Moses (5:17), and what it
would look like for His followers to fully obey the law.
The wise builder (Matt. 7:24-25). In Jesus parable, the wise
builder is the one who obeys His commands. The commands
that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount were
amplifications of the Law of Moses (cf. Matt. 5:21). Jesus took
the law and made it apply not only to actions but also to
We must learn the lesson that the Pharisees refused to learn
and that the author of Hebrews was desperately trying to
communicate to his audience: Jesus wants our full obedience.
But Jesus and God did not simply come up with arbitrary rules
to test us. They gave us commands to bless us and transform
us into the image-bearers of God that we were created to be.
The foolish builder (Matt. 7:26-27). The builder that Jesus
labeled as foolish was the one who heard His words and did not
obey. The Pharisees were foolish builders. They thought they
could use legalism to obey Gods law, but Jesus told them that
Gods law demands all of a person: heart, mind, body, and soul.
It can be tempting to look for loopholes in Gods commands to
determine how close we can get to breaking the rules without
actually breaking them. But Jesus called that a weak foundation.
If we are constantly looking for ways around Gods rules, then

when the storms of life come, we will not be able to stand firm.
Jesus authority (Matt. 7:28-29). The legalism of the Jews
stood in sharp contrast to the authority with which Jesus taught.
He gave instructions on how we can be transformed into Gods
image, not on how we can appease God.
Every other religion on earth requires that people accomplish
enough to earn salvation. But Jesus taught that we are not
earning anything; we have already received the free gift of
salvation. Our work of obedience is not based on earning
salvation but on working out that salvation into every aspect of
our lives. God has opened the way back to Eden for us. Our
obedience prepares us to be citizens of Eden both now and
James T. Wood.

1. Why did Jesus and the author of Hebrews use houses
as metaphors for Gods kingdom?
2. To whom does the credit belong for the work of Gods
3. What was the purpose of Moses testimony? What is
the purpose of our testimony?
4. How did Jesus reinterpret the Law of Moses in the
Sermon on the Mount?
5. What is the purpose of the rules in the Law of Moses
and the commands of Jesus?
6. How is Christianity unique among the religions of the
world? How should that affect our obedience to God?
James T. Wood.


1. Jesus is the center of the Christian faith (Heb. 3:1).
2. Jesus was faithful just as Moses was (vs. 2).
3. Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses (who was
faithful as a servant) since He built the house (vss. 35).
4. Jesus is over Gods house, which is composed of
believers who remain in Him (vs. 6).
5. The one who obeys Jesus words will not fall away
when hard times come (Matt. 7:24-25).
6. The one who does not obey Jesus words will be
crushed by the trials of life (vss. 26-27).
7. Jesus authority showed His superiority to human
teachers (vss. 28-29).
Stuart Olley.


Every house is builded by some man; but he that built all
things is God (Hebrews 3:4).
As one considers having a house built, many important things
must be considered. Among the first of these are the credentials
of the carpenter.
Biblically, the word house often refers to Gods people.
Moses is said to have been faithful in all his house (Heb. 3:2,
5), that is, faithful to his divine appointment to care for Gods
Great as Moses was, he was only part of Gods household of
faith. Jesus is the Creator of that household (Eph. 2:19-22; I Pet.

2:4-5); therefore, He is greater than Moses and equal to God.

The Bible contains a parable about a wise and a foolish man.
As a child, I learned this parable as a Sunday school song with
A wise person builds his house on a rock. Then, when
turbulent times come, it stands firm (cf. Matt. 7:24-25).
The foolish person, however, builds his house on shifting sand.
It is no surprise that his house falls when adverse conditions
come (cf. Matt. 7:26-27).
The application of Jesus parable is clear. Every life, or
house, has a builder. The wise choose Jesus as their Master
Builder, for He is Creator, or Builder, of all (cf. Neh. 9:6; John
1:3). The foundation must begin with Jesus Christ (cf. I Cor.
During times of personal tragedy or ongoing trials, have you
ever worried that Jesus lost His blueprintsHis plansfor your
life? Never fear; He has not, and He will not.
The Sovereign of the universe has a good plan for each
believer (cf. Jer. 29:11). If you have trusted Him as the Builder of
your life, you can stand firm and watch it unfold!
Christine M. Morrison.

The church where I serve as a pastor recently purchased their
first church building. It is not a grand building, but it suits us
well as a congregation, and we are all thrilled at the Lords
gracious provision. In the process of looking over the property,
we had the opportunity to examine the original blueprints from
nearly fifty years ago. It was fascinating to view the architects
original vision and the builders skill in constructing that vision,
not to mention to observe how that design has fared over the
decades of use as a place of worship.
All buildings require a builder with sufficient vision, skill, and

resources to put together a worthwhile structure. The church of

Jesus Christ herself is a kind of building. In Ephesians, the
church is described as an holy temple in the Lord where God
dwells through the Spirit (Eph. 2:21-22). This building, like all
others, has a builder. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus promised, I will
build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against
it. Jesus is the sovereign builder of the church; He has the
perfect vision, the consummate skill, and the infinite resources to
make her into something which will bring glory to God forever
(cf. Eph. 3:21).
It is helpful to think of the work of missions as the work of
building the church. That is exactly how the Apostle Paul
described it in I Corinthians 3:9-10: For we are labourers
together with God: According to the grace of God which is
given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the
foundation, and another buildeth thereon. We have been given
the privilege of working together with God on this spiritual
building. We are all in some sense subcontractors in the work of
building Christs church. We are members of His church and
servants whom He employs to construct the church by making
That privileged position brings with it responsibility. The
Scripture warns, But let every man take heed how he buildeth
thereupon (I Cor. 3:10). The building we are working on belongs
to God, and He does not appreciate careless work.
It is also helpful to think of the work of missions as the work
of building the church because the true target of the Great
Commission is the establishment of local churches, not merely
winning people to Jesus Christ (Doran, For the Sake of His Name,
Student Global Impact). The work of baptizing people and
teaching them everything Christ commanded requires such
churches. The results of the apostolic mission in the book of
Acts always included the establishment of local churches, and
Paul contended that he had fully preached the gospel of Christ
(Rom. 15:19) when he had founded disciple-making churches.

Jesus Christ is building His church today all around the globe,
and you have an important part to play. What have you
contributed to the church building that brings such great honor to
Christ? Of course, I am speaking not of the building you meet in
but the spiritual building that is Gods church. I must also ask,
Would you pray about building His church where it does not
currently exist? For example, if you want Jesus name to be
honored as supreme in what are today majority Muslim countries,
would you consider going yourself as a builder?
Jason Parker.


M.A Little Lower Than Angels. Heb. 2:5-8.
T.If You Hear His Voice. Heb. 3:7-15.
W.Hold Fast Without Wavering. Heb. 10:19-25.
T.Jesus Christ, the Only Foundation. I Cor. 3:10-12.
F.Ask and Receive. Matt. 7:7-11.
S.Known by Their Fruits. Matt. 7:19-23.
S.Building on the Rock. Heb. 3:1-6; Matt. 7:24-29.



OCTOBER 16, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

HEB. 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that
is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold
fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched
with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points
tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that
we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is
ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may
offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them
that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed
with infirmity.
3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also
for himself, to offer for sins.
4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is
called of God, as was Aaron.
5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high
priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day
have I begotten thee.
6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever
after the order of Mel-chise-dec.
7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up
prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto
him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in
that he feared;

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the

things which he suffered;
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal
salvation unto all them that obey him;
10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Mel-chisedec.


The Great High Priest

Lesson: Hebrews 4:145:10
Read: Hebrews 4:145:10
TIME: about A.D. 67

PLACE: unknown

GOLDEN TEXTSeeing then that we have a great high

priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of
God, let us hold fast our profession (Hebrews 4:14).

Lesson Exposition
God used the Law of Moses to provide for a continuing
relationship between Himself and humanity. God never gave up
on restoring what was lost in Eden. Within the Mosaic Law, the
one person who could enter into Gods presence in the Holy of
Holies was the high priest. Jesus came as the Great High Priest
to complete what was begun through the priesthood of the Jews.
We do not have high priests, so it may be difficult to
understand the importance of the high priest to the Jews. The
modern equivalent of a high priest would be something like a
mixture of a member of congress who represents the people, a
soldier who fights for the people, a lawyer who argues for the
people, and a pastor who intercedes with God for the people.
Through Jesus, all of that and more was accomplished.
The sympathetic high priest (Heb. 4:14-15). The fact that
Jesus lived a perfect life and was without sin can, at times,

make Him feel distant. For every other human, sin is a constant
reality. We struggle daily to put to death our own sin nature and
follow Gods commands. The author of Hebrews wanted to point
out that Jesus also struggled. He fought the same fight against
sin that we fight every day. He was tempted with the same
temptations that beset you and me. He did not live a sinless life
without great effort and struggle, and He struggled on our behalf
to show us that it is possible. We can, through the power of the
Holy Spirit, overcome the sin that has kept us in bondage and
separated from God.
Confidence before the throne (Heb. 4:16). Through the work
of Jesus we can approach God confidently. Direct prayer is our
approach to God. Because Christ mended our separation from
God, we can go to the throne of God, in reverence, with
confidence in His grace and mercy. Jesus gives us confidence to
enter into Gods presence, not with fear of death, but with hope
for renewed life.
The author of Hebrews wanted to explain more about the work
of the earthly high priests to help his audience understand both
how Jesus fulfilled the role of the high priest and how He
exceeded what the earthly high priests could accomplish.
High priests represent the people (Heb. 5:1). The high priest,
on one day out of the year, stood in Gods presence and offered
prayers and petitions on behalf of the people. Though they were
doing Gods work, it was only a shadow of the full work that
God wanted to do (cf. 9:23-26). So today as we follow God and
do His work, we ought to remember that while our pastors and
ministers serve God, the greater work is in Christ.
High priests are fallible (Heb. 5:2-3). Through the priesthood
God established a group of people to minister to the world with
both compassion and justice. God perfectly holds both
compassion and justice together in Himself while humans struggle
with them. High priests are able to show compassion because

they have sinned, but that sin is a violation of Gods justice that
required the high priests to offer sacrifices.
As we learn and grow as Gods children, we are learning to
hold both compassion and justice within ourselves. Although we
struggle, even as the high priests of the Jews struggled, we do
so in the process of being formed into the image of God.
High priests are humble (Heb. 5:4). That God chooses those
who serve Him has always been true. And just as it was
intended for the high priests to be humble, so it is intended for
ministers and pastors today to be humble servants called by
God to serve Gods people for His glory.
The author of Hebrews compared Jesus to the high priests,
showing how Jesus both exceeded the priests and differed from
them in lineage. Through this we can know that Gods will and
plan are not dependent on our understanding of how He works,
but on His sovereign choice.
God appointed Christ as High Priest (Heb. 5:5-6). The
priests of the Jewish people came from the tribe of Levi and the
family of Aaron, brother of Moses. Jesus was born in the line of
David who was from the tribe of Judah, the tribe of kings. So
for Jesus to be priest, He had to have a special appointment
that superseded the tribal system. God provided that through the
order of Melchizedek, an ancient king who helped Abraham. God
is not bound by our understanding, but our understanding should
adjust to Gods activity in the world.
Christ did the work of a high priest (Heb. 5:7-8). The high
priests served God by offering up the prayers of the people
before Gods throne in the Holy of Holies. Jesus did the same,
but instead of offering up the prayers in the earthly temple, He
did so in heaven before Gods actual throne.
Even Jesus, the Son of God and Great High Priest, submitted
Himself to God in obedience. He is the model for the perfect
relationship between God and humanity and, through Him, that

relationship is being restored. As we learn and grow into the

image of God, we can check our growth by seeing how it
conforms to the work of Christ. Are we being humble? Are we
being submissive? Are we working for the sake of others as
Christ did?
Christ is the source of salvation (Heb. 5:9-10). Salvation is a
restoration of the broken relationship between humanity and God.
Jesus secured our salvation by being the perfect High Priest and
showing us how to live as Gods children.
James T. Wood.

1. What position did an Israelite have to hold in order to
enter into the Holy of Holies and speak to God?
2. How does the temptation and suffering of Jesus help
us to live a holy life?
3. What two characteristics of God are held in perfect
balance? How do humans struggle to hold those
characteristics in balance?
4. What type of servants of God did the tribe of Levi
produce? What type of servants of God did the tribe
of Judah produce?
5. How does Jesus, as the High Priest, restore
relationship with God?
James T. Wood.

1. We know our High Priest can enter Gods holy


presence, for He is God (Heb. 4:14).

Our High Priest is able to relate to us because He has
been tempted as we have (vs. 15).
Because of our High Priest, we can be confident that
God will give us mercy and grace (vs. 16).
All other high priests in history have had to offer
sacrifices for their own sins (5:1-3).
Jesus was appointed by God to be our High Priest
forever in the order of Melchizedek (vss. 4-6).
Jesus was heard because of His reverence and
obedience to the Father (vss. 7-10).
Stuart Olley.


Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is
passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold
fast our profession (Hebrews 4:14).
Under the Old Testament system of worship, priests stood in
the gap between God and man. They helped people draw near
to the Lord (Lev. 8).
The high priest alone had the authority and responsibility to
enter the Holy of Holies to atone for the sins of the nations (Lev.
While the high priest entered Gods presence in the tabernacle
once a year, Jesus our High Priest has entered Gods presence
in heaven and there remains. Jesus alone qualifies for the
position of High Priest. He secured once and for all forgiveness
of sin through His blood (cf. Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:11-12).
How reassuring to know that Gods own Son, who has been
given all power (Matt. 28:18; John 3:35), is seated at the right
hand of God, where He intercedes for us continually (Rom. 8:34).

The Bible tells us in I Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, and
one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
What peace it brings to know that we who trust in Christ have
access to heavens throne. O Let us therefore come boldly unto
the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace
to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16).
It is to these precious truths of Scripture that Gods children
are to hold fast. We must cling to them unwaveringly. They form
the core of our belief.
How wonderful and profound is the gospel, yet so simple that
a child can believe it (cf. Matt. 19:14)! The Sovereign of the
universe brings forgiveness to the lowly sinner.
Christine M. Morrison.

The golden text of this lesson, Hebrews 4:14, teaches a truth
that is the lifeblood of every true believers faith. We have a
Great High Priest, who is in the presence of the Father right
now, to intercede for us. But what does this text have to say
about missions?
It only takes a little thought to come up with many answers.
Let us start to answer this question on a personal level. Having
Jesus the Son of God as the Great High Priest comforts and
strengthens the hearts of missionaries, just as it does for all
believers. Every missionary is encouraged by knowing that Jesus
is a high priest touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
Whenever missionaries are in a time of need, they know that
they can obtain mercy at the throne of grace.
This is the secret to the seeming superhuman resiliency of
faithful missionaries. I recently read the stirring story of a native
African missionary named Joel Doba. Joel went from Chad to a
leprosarium in Nigeria, seeking treatment for his leprosy. The Lord
used this time to give treatment to Joels soul, for a doctor gave

him a French New Testament. Through reading this New

Testament, and later rereading it in his native Hausa language,
Joel put his faith in Jesus Christ.
Not only did Joel put his faith in Christ, but he also gave
himself, along with his new wife, to the work of serving Christ.
Using his nursing skills, Joel traveled among the islands of Lake
Chad, treating the sick and spreading the gospel. The Lord
provided a camel for Joel, which made travel much easier than
on foot. With a touch of humor, Joel called him Landrover.
The Lord blessed Joels work, but in 1970 Muslim rebels from
Chad began to cause trouble. When Joel first encountered them,
the rebels threatened Joel and took anything they deemed of
value from his home and medical dispensary. The next time they
met, the fighters captured Joel and several others and took them
out to the desert, threatening to kill them. Inexplicably, they
released Joel, who returned to his island work.
The third time they met, the violence escalated. The rebels
completely burned and destroyed Joels home and mission,
taking him into captivity. While he was their prisoner, they
repeatedly interrogated and beat him, trying to force him to
convert to Islam. Joel had to survive on extremely meager
rations. Twice the rebels apparently intended to shoot him, but
the bullets missed. Once a military plane from the Chadian
government strafed the rebel camp, killing many fighters right
next to Joel.
Yet through it all, the Lord was with Joel, secretly providing
him with a Bible and allowing him to lead two of his captors to
Christ. God allowed him to be released and returned to his
family for a few more years of service before he died of disease
in the early 1980s. Joel found grace in time of need and held
fast to his profession because he knew his Great High Priest
Joel is one of a multitude of missionary men and women
whose hearts have been anchored in the high priesthood of
Jesus, the Son of God. When our hearts grip this truth, we too

will be strengthened to be His servants wherever He sends us.

Jason Parker.


M.Gifts for the Work of Ministry. Eph. 4:7-13.
T.Abundant Grace in Christ. I Tim. 1:12-17.
W.Faith and a Good Conscience. I Tim. 1:18-20.
T.Hold Fast to Sound Teaching. II Tim. 1:3-14.
F.A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ. II Tim. 2:1-7.
S.Seeking the Fathers Will. Matt. 26:36-39.
S.Jesus the Great High Priest. Heb. 4:145:10.



OCTOBER 23, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

HEB. 7:1 For this Mel-chise-dec, king of Salem, priest of the
most high God, who met Abra-ham returning from the slaughter
of the kings, and blessed him;
2 To whom also Abra-ham gave a tenth part of all; first
being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that
also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having
neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the
Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of
a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this
with an oath by him that said unto him, The LORD sware and
will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better
23 And they truly were many priests, because they were
not suffered to continue by reason of death:
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an
unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost
that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless,
undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the

27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up
sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the peoples: for
this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity;
but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the
Son, who is consecrated for evermore.


The High Priest Forever

Lesson: Hebrews 7:1-3, 19-28
Read: Hebrews 7:1-28
TIME: about A.D. 67

PLACE: unknown

GOLDEN TEXTBut this man, because he continueth ever,

hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able
also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by
him (Hebrews 7:24-25).

Lesson Exposition
God has been seeking a relationship with you since before you
were born, since before your parents were born, since before
even Moses was born. God has relentlessly sought to restore
relationship with all of humanity through His servants, through the
law, through the prophets, and ultimately through Jesus Christ.
He continues seeking you even today.
The Bible, for the most part, records the stories of those in
the line of Christ. From Adam to Abraham to David to Jesus, the
Bible traces the narrative of the coming Messiah. But a few
characters appear outside of that story who had relationships
with God about which we know very little. Job does not appear
in any of the genealogies of Christ, yet he was a faithful servant
of God. So too was Melchizedek a servant of God despite not
being a part of the nation of Israel. Gods kingdom is not limited

to those we consider to be saved but to those who God

considers saved.
Melchizedek and Abraham (Heb. 7:1-2). After rescuing his
nephew Lot from several wicked kings in Canaan, Abraham met
Melchizedek the king of Salem, now known as Jerusalem. The
king blessed Abraham, and Abraham gave a tithe to the king.
For the Jewish audience of Hebrews, that indicated that
Melchizedek was greater than Levi from whom all the high
priests descended.
We cannot judge who is greatest and who is least in Gods
kingdom. It is not for us to decide. God can use whomever He
wishes even if it is a foreign king. Even today there are reports
of Muslims having dreams of Jesus, whom they call Isa, and
converting to Christianity. Though they may lose their lives, they
follow Gods call; though no Christian missionary preached to
them, God sought out the people whom He wanted.
Priest forever (Heb. 7:3). For the Jews, a priestespecially a
high priesthad his entire genealogy recorded and the dates of
his service noted precisely. But the precision of the recording did
not make their priesthoods complete; only service to God could
accomplish that. When we attempt to measure success at
church, we often use attendance, contributions, or conversions
as indicators, but Gods vision of success is based on His plan,
not ours.
The covenant of God with humanity has taken many forms
throughout history based on Gods plan, but one thing that has
never changed is Gods faithfulness to His covenant and to His
The failure of the law (Heb. 7:19). The law was given for the
purpose of perfecting Gods followers. Though it did not fully
accomplish that purpose, Jesus came to fulfill the law (Matt.
5:17) and to continue the process of perfecting Gods people. As
we work daily toward perfection we can trust that what seems

too difficult for us is not too difficult for God. He can accomplish
in us what we could never accomplish on our own.
Jesus completing the law (Heb. 7:20-21). Gods promise
holds more weight than any human promise, and through that
oath, God made Jesus the High Priest for all time. Jesus eternal
priesthood means that we do not need to wait for another
covenant. The promised new covenant (Isa. 61) is here and in
place right now.
There is always a new product, new phone, new movie, or
some other thing that is meant to entice us to buy. Newness
seems to be a synonym for what is better in our culture. But
Jesus eternal priesthood never needs to be renewed. The quality
of His work was perfect when it was first done, and He
continues to intercede for us even today. We do not need to
look for anything better; we already have the best!
A better testament (Heb. 7:22). The entire Old Testament
pointed forward to Christ. The entire New Testament points
toward the work of Christ and the fulfillment of His work in the
ultimate restoration of relationship between God and humanity
Christ founded an eternal priesthood of which you and I are
members (I Pet. 2:9). Every follower of Jesus is also a royal
priest in His everlasting priesthood. The priests of Israel
interceded with God on behalf of the rest of the nation. Jesus
intercedes for us before the throne of God, and we too ought to
intercede for our neighbors.
Christ lives forever (Heb. 7:23-24). Unlike the Levitical priests
who died and stopped serving, Christ will never die and never
stop interceding on our behalf before God. Though culture
changes drastically and people change daily, Jesus Christ will
never change (13:8). As we learn to be in relationship with God,
obeying and loving Him, Jesus will always intercede on our

Christ offers complete salvation (Heb. 7:25-26). The Old

Testament sacrifices proclaimed trust in God through the free gift
of the best the people had. Sacrifices were statements of
obedience and love, the two aspects of relationship with God.
Today we no longer need to offer sacrifices under the law, but
we must still show obedience and love to God. He loved us first
and blessed us with forgiveness through His Son, so we obey
His commands and worship Him in love.
One sacrifice for all (Heb. 7:27-28). Gods forgiveness is not
compelled by sacrifice but is a free gift of His love. The sacrifice
of Jesus did not force God to offer forgiveness to us, but was
an outpouring of Gods love on our behalf as He demonstrated
the full extent of His love and showed us the perfect example of
obedience. In Christ we have both the example and the access
to a perfect, renewed relationship with God.
James T. Wood.

1. What family is the main focus of the Bible? What wellknown Bible characters are not a part of that familys
2. What event had happened just before Abraham met
Melchizedek? What did Melchizedek do for Abraham?
3. How do churches often measure success? How does
God measure success?
4. What was the work of a priest in the Old Testament?
How does Jesus do that work? How should we do that
work today?
5. What causes God to forgive?
6. How did the sacrifice of Jesus fulfill the purpose of the
Old Testament sacrificial system?


James T. Wood.

1. Abraham blessed the one who was greater, just as we
should bless the Lord (Heb. 7:1).
2. As the High Priest, Jesus is also the King of
righteousness and peace like Melchizedek (vs. 2).
3. Melchizedeks origin and end are not recorded, which
points to Jesus, who has no beginning or end (vs. 3).
4. Jesus is the ultimate guarantee that the new covenant
will succeed (vss. 19-22).
5. Jesus is able to be our Priest and Saviour forever
because He never dies (vss. 23-25).
6. Jesus one perfect sacrifice covers all sin (vss. 26-28).
Stuart Olley.


But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an
unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save
them to the uttermost that come unto God by him (Hebrews
representatives who had many ministry responsibilities. Most
crucial was their role in appropriating forgiveness for Gods
people through the sacrifices they performed.
Under the new covenant, the Levitical priesthood was canceled
in favor of Christs role as High Priest (cf. Heb. 7:18-22). This
ended the need for animal sacrifices (I Pet. 1:18-19).

In the golden text, Jesus is the man referred tothe God-Man

(John 1:14; Heb. 2:14). Unlike the Levitical priests, who because
of death were constantly being replaced (cf. Heb. 7:23), Jesus is
eternal; he continueth ever.
Jesus has an unchangeable priesthood in that His authority
and power to grant forgiveness to sinners and bring them to God
never diminishes in any capacity. He never changes (Mal. 3:6).
The only way to God is through Jesus (John 14:6). He has
completed the work needed for salvation; therefore, those who
come to God through Him are saved to the uttermost (that is,
perfectly) forever.
What wonderful news to know that we have eternal forgiveness
given to us by Jesus sacrifice and that we are kept through the
power of God (Jude 1:24)!
If you are burdened today because you have loved ones who
do not know the Lord, do not give up on them! Through prayer,
you can take them to the throne of your High Priest. Jesus is full
of compassion and hears the prayers of the righteous.
Christine M. Morrison.

In our last lesson, we considered the personal missionary
implications of Christs high priesthood. But Christs work as our
High Priest is so full and complete that the missionary
implications do not stop on a personal level. Hebrews 7:24-25
makes clear that Jesus high priestly work endures forever and
does not change. This means that the salvation He provides is
permanent and complete.
One clear implication of this truth is that Christ provides the
only sufficient way of salvation. There is nothing that can hope to
offer what Jesus offers. Nothing else is grounded on something
immovably permanent and perfectly complete. The entire
missionary enterprise is based on the perfect High Priests work.

Consider all the alternatives that man can devise. Can they
offer stable and permanent salvation?
One major Western religious export of our day is belief in
technology. By this I mean not merely the good use of
technology, but the strong confidence that through our technology
we will achieve what we were made for. This belief is just
another form of the devils lie in the Garden of Eden: Ye shall
be as gods (Gen. 3:5). It is a form of secular humanism
devoted to achieving salvation through human effort alone.
A recent technology ad featured a song that playfully yet
confidently asserted the singers control of her own destiny. The
combination of these lyrics with video shots of technological
power communicated clearly a story of meaning, supposed
purpose, and self-salvation through technology. The ad implied
that humans will overcome sickness, conquer emergencies, and
enjoy transcendent experiences via the mastery of technology.
But is technology a stable and permanent basis on which to
build a tower to heaven? Can it offer a solution for sin? Can it
compare with the achievements of Jesus? Not even close.
Technological developments are good gifts from God. Medical
advances, for example, are a huge blessing, but technology
makes a very weak substitute god.
Another modern Western religious export is trust in democracy.
Upon entering World War I, President Woodrow Wilson famously
declared that the United States was out to make the world safe
for democracyas if democracy had the power to give us
peace. Professor David Gelernter calls this belief Americanism,
which he calls the fourth great Western religion (Americanism,
Doubleday). But whatever ones views on politics, it is clear from
a biblical perspective that no human political system can give us
life in the kingdom of God. We can hold up Jesus permanent
and unchangeable priesthood against any alternative religious
Not only does Jesus high priestly work encourage and
strengthen us on a personal level, it also undergirds the entire

missionary enterprise. You can give generously to missionary

work, knowing that you are contributing to eternal good. You can
pray confidently for the spread of the gospel, knowing that the
work of Christ stands sure. You can go boldly to the ends of the
earth with the gospel (using modern technology!), showing
mankind the true foundation for salvation.
Jason Parker.


M.At the Lords Right Hand. Ps. 110:1-7.
T.The Priests of Israel. Num. 18:21-24.
W.Our Inheritance in Christ. Eph. 1:11-16.
T.The Greatness of His Power. Eph. 1:17-23.
F.The Priesthood of Melchizedek. Heb. 7:4-10.
S.The Greater Melchizedek. Heb. 7:11-17.
S.Able to Save to the Uttermost. Heb. 7:1-3, 19-28.



OCTOBER 30, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

HEB. 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about
with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with
patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the
throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners
against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto
you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of
the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth
every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons;
for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are
partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which
corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much
rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their
own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be
partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous,
but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit

of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the
feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is
lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.


The Author and Finisher of

Our Faith
Lesson: Hebrews 12:1-13
Read: Hebrews 12:1-13
TIME: about A.D. 67

PLACE: unknown

GOLDEN TEXTLet us run with patience the race that is set

before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of
our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Lesson Exposition
Too often people want to think God is either all about love or
all about rules. In the New Testament Jesus opposed the
Pharisees who wanted to reduce Gods law to a set of rules to
be obeyed. Paul opposed the Corinthians who wanted to use
their freedom in Christ to commit all sorts of sins. Neither is the
path that God has laid out for His people. He is both loving and
just; we should both obey Him and love Him.
Jesus Christ gave us the perfect example of obedience and
love in His life and through His death and resurrection. We are
called to follow His example and to show both Gods love and
His justice to the world around us.
Running the race (Heb. 12:1). God loves us first and then
asks us to obey. The race set out for us and the witnesses that

surround us are evidence of Gods love; the running and

throwing off of sin are our obedience to God.
Focus on Christ (Heb. 12:2-3). Jesus is the example we can
follow as we run the race of life. It will not be easy, but it will
be well worth it. Life is hard. It is difficult to wake up each day
and be tempted by all the sins of the world. Jesus lived through
all the temptations to show us that it is possible to resist.
Through His example we can know that God will form us into His
image and make us into citizens of His kingdom.
In most cases parents discipline their children out of love. The
discipline of God is not an indication of His anger, but His deep
love for us.
The cost of struggling against sin (Heb. 12:4). In the United
States today there is no physical risk for following Christ. The
persecution that we might face is more emotional than physical.
If we profess Christ, we may lose friends and family. That is a
risk worth taking.
Discipline is love (Heb. 12:5-6). God disciplines those whom
He loves. True discipline, not punishment, comes from a desire
for the child to grow and mature. As we accept Gods discipline,
we do so knowing that He is forming us into His children so we
will have a better relationship with Him. We also imitate God by
loving our own children enough to offer discipline for maturing.
Love seeks to create maturity.
Discipline is for Gods children (Heb. 12:7-8). A father does
not discipline children that are not his own. So when God
disciplines us, he proclaims us to be His sons and daughters.
Discipline is for our benefit (Heb. 12:9-10). God does not
enjoy disciplining His children, but does it for our benefit. His
desire is for us to mature into the image of Christ. A parent
makes the sacrifice of offering discipline even though they would
rather shower their child with gifts, because the maturity of the
child is the ultimate goal.

Discipline is unpleasant (Heb. 12:11). From the perspective

of the child, discipline can be frustrating, but true discipline
comes from love and leads the child back to love. If you feel
that you are being disciplined by God, seek the maturing lesson
He is offering rather than resisting. Submission is the fastest way
through the pain.
True discipline brings healing (Heb. 12:12-13). While God
does discipline us, there is also random suffering in the world.
Discipline leads to our healing while suffering leads to death. In
the midst of it, though, it can be difficult to tell the difference.
God loves you and He wants you to mature into obedience.
When you think you are being disciplined, look for how you
might learn to obey God better and how God is showing His
love for you. Ask Him for wisdom to tell the difference between
discipline and suffering.
James T. Wood.

1. Who should we look to as our example in living a life
of obedience and love? What attributes of God should
be shown through our lives?
2. What is the purpose of discipline? What is the
emotional source of discipline?
3. Why does God discipline His children? Why should
parents discipline their children?
4. What is the appropriate response to Gods discipline?
What should our response be to discipline from parents
or spiritual leaders?
5. How can we know the difference between discipline
and suffering?
James T. Wood.


1. Fighting sin in our lives helps us pursue Jesus (Heb.
2. To follow Jesus, you need to focus on Him and what
He has accomplished (vs. 2).
3. Jesus is our example of how to endure hardships (vss.
4. God disciplines those He loves to make them more like
Him (vss. 5-8).
5. If we respect our earthly fathers who do not have all
know-ledge, we should respect our Heavenly Father
even more (vss. 9-10).
6. Hardships produce fruit in our lives and make us
stronger (vss. 11-13).
Stuart Olley.


Let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith
(Hebrews 12:1-2).
Believers can experience strong and exuberant faith during
trying times, but they can also experience periods of weak and
wavering faith. Regardless of what temptations or fiery trials
threaten to disturb our faith, we have been given instructions on
how to stay strong.
In the golden text this week, the athlete metaphor is taken up
again. An athlete is one whose life requires discipline, training,
and perseverance.
As a Christian and avid runner, I have this particular Scripture

reference engraved on my running bracelet. It serves as

encouragement to me when the race gets tough.
An athlete does not give up when something temporarily
hinders his race. Instead, he exercises patience and stays
focused. He does not want to throw away his shot at the trophy.
Likewise, the believer need not give up when adversity comes
(Jas. 1:2-4), for the Lord Himself has given the faith he needs to
complete the race, his personal faith journey.
There is an old hymn called Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus,
written by Helen H. Lemmel in 1922. In essence, the lyrics to
this precious hymn put music to Hebrews 12:2. It is worth
looking up.
Beloved, turn your eyes and keep your focus on our allknowing, all-loving Jesus, for He promises to meet you at the
finish line (cf. II Cor. 5:8).
We need to remember Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our
faith. He is the one who grants our faith (brings it about), guards
it, and brings it to completion (cf. Phil. 1:6). If we look to Him,
we will run well!
Christine M. Morrison.

All Christians are called to run the race of life with patient
endurance, and that endurance is often shown in a special way
in missionary work.
Annie R. Taylor astounded many in 1892 when she became
the first Protestant missionary to enter Tibet, making it to within
three days walk of the sacred city of Lhasa. She accomplished
a remarkable feat of physical endurance. Miss Taylor lived
through storms and extreme cold in mountains with passes over
15,000 feet in elevation, sometimes being without shelter and
having very little food. A trek that was planned for two months
turned into more than seven months of grueling travel, all for the

sake of bringing the gospel to Tibet.

Sometimes the endurance required for missionary work is not
physically spectacular. It is simply faithfulness over time.
Jim Elliot is known around the world for selflessly giving his life
for Christ, but Jims brother Bert showed every bit as much
dedication to the work of Christ. Author Randy Alcorn said of
Bert, In missions work, suffering sometimes results in a short life
culminating in martyrdom, sometimes in a long life of daily dying
to self and living for Christ (Alcorn, Bert Elliot: A faithful star,
rising night after night for Christ, Eternal Perspective Ministries, This is the patience of those who look to Jesus.
Jason Parker.


M.I Know Their Suffering. Exod. 3:7-10.
T.A Cry from the Depths. Ps. 22:1-5.
W.By His Stripes We Are Healed. Isa. 53:1-6.
T.Running for the Prize. I Cor. 9:24-27.
F.Endure Discipline. Heb. 10:35-39.
S.Blessing in Enduring Trials. Jas. 1:12-16.
S.Looking unto Jesus. Heb. 12:1-13.



NOVEMBER 6, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

REV. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the
first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there
was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Je-rusa-lem, coming
down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned
for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the
tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and
they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them,
and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and
there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things
are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all
things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are
true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Ome-ga,
the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst
of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and
murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters,
and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth
with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.


Making All Things New

Lesson: Revelation 21:1-8
Read: Revelation 21:1-8
TIME: A.D. 96

PLACE: from Patmos

GOLDEN TEXTGod shall wipe away all tears from their

eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow,
nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the
former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4).

Lesson Exposition
The book of Revelation can be intimidating and confusing to
read, but its core message is quite simple: God will be victorious
and His followers will join Him.
At the end of the Bible we find a return to the creation found
at the beginning. Genesis begins with God speaking the world
into existence; Revelation ends with the new creation.
New creation (Rev. 21:1-2). When we join God in His glory,
we will do so in resurrected bodies. Jesus was the first, and we
all will follow Him (Phil. 3:20-21). We will not be simply spirits but
physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual beings who are free to
fully serve God.
Eden was Gods plan. Sin delayed that plan. God has been
taking humanity on a journey back to Eden ever since. There we
will serve God with our whole selves; heart, mind, body, and soul

(Mark 12:28-31).
Today, as we are being formed into the image of Christ, we
must remember that it is not simply our souls that God wants to
redeem, but our whole selves. We can worship God through our
outward activity (such as helping others) as much as through our
spiritual activity (such as praying). And we also ought to care not
only for the spiritual needs of others but also for their physical
and emotional needs as we show the love of God to a broken
and hurting world.
Gods new covenant (Rev. 21:3-4). God promised the new
covenant through His prophets (cf. Isa. 25:6-10). He began the
new covenant through the work of Jesus, but the full effect of
the new covenant will not take place until the resurrection.
As we live in the knowledge that God has already defeated sin
and death but with the reality that the victory is not yet fully
realized, we serve to remind the world of its destiny. Every
person on earth was made to dwell with God in Eden. We lost
that through sin, but we all long for Gods perfect presence. As
we follow Jesus, we work with Him to reverse the effects of sin
and death in the world today: we can care for the poor, tend to
the sick, visit the imprisoned, feed the hungry, and clothe the
naked. Through those simple acts of reversing the curse for one
person at a time, we can provide glimpses of heaven for the
world to see.
God loves you. But because He loves you, He will not compel
you to follow Him. Sin entered the world because Adam and Eve
had a choice, just as we have a choice. Out of love, God allows
us to choose either to be with Him or to reject Him.
A reliable message (Rev. 21:5). You can trust not only the
message of Revelation but also the entire Bible as the Word of
God. Trust it for how it has proved accurate in the past. Trust it
for being the most well-preserved ancient text. Trust it because it
records a consistent story of God seeking to redeem and restore

His people to Eden.

Inheritance of life (Rev. 21:6-7). For those who choose to
follow God, He will honor their choice and invite them into His
holy city. They will dwell with God and He with them for eternity.
Your choice today to serve God matters. But each day you must
choose anew to serve Him. Every day is a struggle against sin;
remember the future for those whom God loves, the future of
resting with Him.
Inheritance of death (Rev. 21:8). Just as God, in His love,
allows us to choose Him, He also allows people to choose not to
follow Him. Though it grieves Him deeply, He will not force
people to follow Him.
The second death will be a lake of fire. In it will be eternal
torment for those who do not know God and do not obey the
gospel of Jesus Christ. Being without God is the worst torment
imaginable. God will bring judgment because He is holy and just.
James T. Wood.

1. How is Revelation connected to Genesis?
2. What type of bodies will we have after the
resurrection? What is the model for these bodies?
3. How can we worship God with our bodies as well as
our souls?
4. In what ways can we demonstrate to the world that
the curse of sin is not permanent?
5. What are some of the reasons that we can trust the
6. What can help us continue to choose to serve God?
7. Why would God allow people to suffer in hell for all of

James T. Wood.

1. The old and perishable must give way to the new and
imperishable (Rev. 21:1).
2. God will give His children the best and most perfect
dwelling place (vs. 2).
3. God Himself will dwell with His people (vs. 3).
4. There will be no more suffering or pain in the world
(vs. 4).
5. Everything in the new earth will also be made new (vs.
6. Because Jesus is eternal, we will live forever (vs. 6).
7. Sonship means an inheritance of good things from God
(vs. 7).
8. Those who have not put their faith in Christ will be
punished for their sin (vs. 8).
Stuart Olley.


God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither
shall there be any more pain: for the former things are
passed away (Revelation 21:4).
Most people would agree that there is something about the
word new that excites thema new car, a new house, a new
job, or even a new relationship.
As wonderful as these blessings can be, God has something

far more exciting for believers to look forward toa brand new
world! And it lasts forever!
Jesus referred to Himself by a peculiar name: Alpha and
Omega (Rev. 1:8). This particular name is evidence of Jesus
sovereignty and supremacy.
Jesus commanded John to write what he was told (Rev. 21:5),
for much is gained by reading this prophecy (1:3).
Heaven, the new world in which those who have received
Christ as Lord and Saviour will live, is described as having no
tears, pain, sorrow, death, or crying. How glorious!
Looking at our world and the tremendous amount of pain and
suffering in it, it is hard to imagine a world free from its
presence and effects.
It is Satan and sin that bring death and sorrow (cf. John
10:10), but Satans reign has a limit. Jesus will one day put an
end to Satan and all workers of iniquity (Rev. 20:10; 21:8); thus,
there will no longer be tears, death, sorrow, or pain.
Picture a new world, beautiful as a bride (cf. Rev. 21:2), with
the inhabitants enjoying God continually (vs. 3). That is what
awaits those who love Him (cf. I Cor. 2:9).
Christine M. Morrison.

Mission work is frequently a pain-filled task, and it is carried
out in a death-filled world. So it might seem a little unusual to
speak about the comfort of missions. Nevertheless, when you
have the deep-seated hope that God will make all things new,
the work of missions becomes a work of joy.
Paul testified, For our light affliction, which is but for a
moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight
of glory (II Cor. 4:17). Missions work is the most optimistic work
we could possibly perform.
This spirit of optimism is exemplified well by Steven Khoury, an

Arab-Israeli pastor from Jerusalem. As far back as I remember,

he says, there hasnt been a day free of violence, riots,
gunshots, persecution, the effects of war, or death. There are
many days when almost every entity around us [threatens]
either our security and stability or our familys safety. Yet with
tremendous confidence in Gods promises, he declares, We will
push forward; we will continue sharing Jesus; we will go into
hostile territories and be a beacon of hope, a lighthouse where
there is not light. We are confident that Greater is He that is in
us than He that is in the world (Something Worth Dying For,
Christian History Magazine, Issue 109). Overcoming death, God will
make all things new.
Jason Parker.


M.God Will Dwell Among Them. Exod. 29:42-46.
T.Who Dwells on Gods Holy Hill? Ps. 15:1-5.
W.Life in the Kingdom. Isa. 65:20-25.
T.The Bread of Life. John 6:35-40.
F.The Mercy of Jesus Christ. Jude 1:20-25.
S.God Will Wipe Away All Tears. Rev. 7:13-17.
S.All Things Made New. Rev. 21:1-8.



NOVEMBER 13, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

REV. 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels
which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and
talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride,
the Lambs wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high
mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Je-rusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a
stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates,
and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon,
which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the
south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in
them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty
and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the
moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the
Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the
light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and
honour into it.
25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for
there shall be no night there.

26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations
into it.
27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that
defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a
lie: but they which are written in the Lambs book of life.


The New Jerusalem

Lesson: Revelation 21:9-14, 22-27
Read: Revelation 21:9-27
TIME: A.D. 96

PLACE: from Patmos

GOLDEN TEXTI saw no temple therein: for the Lord God

Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city
had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it:
for the glory of God did lighten it (Revelation 21:22-23).

Lesson Exposition
The image of heaven given to John the apostle was fantastic
and quite likely beyond his ability to describe. Any description of
the new creation will fall short of the reality that further
emphasizes how wonderful it will be.
The New Jerusalem will complete the work left undone by the
first Jerusalem: bringing God together with His people. As we
follow God and are transformed by Him, it is for the purpose of
preparing us for His presence.
The bride of Christ (Rev. 21:9-10). The church today is the
bride of Christ, the nation of Israel was the bride of God before
Jesus came. Both will become the bride of Christ in the New
Marriage is a relationship of intimacy and trust. God asks the
same from His people. Even if we cannot see how His plan is

working today, we can trust that the end will see us together
with Him in the New Jerusalem. We will learn to know God as
we are known of Him.
The beauty of the city (Rev. 21:11-12). The New Jerusalem
will be more beautiful than anything we can possibly imagine.
The most precious jewels and metals will pale in comparison to
living in Gods presence. That should tell us not only what awaits
us but also the detrimental effects that sin has on the world
today. God created everything to shine with beauty, yet sin has
tarnished Gods beautiful creation. As we grow in Him we ought
to work to remove that tarnish and erase the effects of sin
where we can so that the world can see more clearly the hope
that God has prepared for us.
Twelve gates and foundations (Rev. 21:13-14). New
Jerusalem will celebrate both the Jewish and Gentile heritage of
Gods people. The gates will be named after the twelve tribes of
Israel and the foundations after the twelve apostles of Jesus.
Together we form the people of God who have followed Him and
will be with Him in His holy city.
Gods work is one of uniting, not dividing. He leads His people
together to follow Him. The Jews were wrong to exclude the
Gentiles, and it is just as wrong for us to exclude any who
follow God through Jesus Christ today.
CITY OF GODRev. 21:22-27
Since the Fall, all creation has been longing for Gods
presence again. In the new creation, God will grant that desire
and fulfill the purpose for which He first created the world.
No need for a temple (Rev. 21:22). Within the Bible the idea
of Gods presence is often tied to the temple, whether it is the
one in Jerusalem or the temple of Christian believers (cf. I Cor.
6:19). But in the New Jerusalem there will be no temple, either
physical or spiritual, because God and Christ will be with us.
No need for the sun (Rev. 21:23-24). The ancient Romans
worshipped the light of the sun and showed their emperors

crowned with the suns glory. In the New Jerusalem God will be
our light and the kings of the earth will submit to His glory.
No need for security (Rev. 21:25-26). Today we fear the
night; in the ancient world, people feared it even more. But in
the holy city we will have no night and no fear. God will be with
us at all times.
No uncleanliness (Rev. 21:27). Sin is a disease that has
infected creation. God will cure the disease in the new creation.
And as our bodies cannot be sickened by the same virus twice,
so creation will be immune to the effects of sin. Nothing sinful or
unclean will enter into New Jerusalem even though the gates
stand open. No citizen of the holy city will be tempted by sin
because God will have removed all traces of it through Christ.
As we struggle with sin now, we can know that it is a
temporary thing. God is refining us and healing the world of the
disease of sin. Though today it is a struggle, in the coming age
it will be pure joy.
James T. Wood.

1. What characteristics of earthly marriage apply to our
relationship with God?
2. What does the indescribable beauty of New Jerusalem
tell us about the effects of sin on our world?
3. What do the twelve gates and foundations of New
Jerusalem say about the residents of the city? What
does this indicate about God?
4. How will Gods presence among His people affect New
5. What will the effects of sin be on the residents of the
holy city? How is that different from today?


James T. Wood.

1. The New Jerusalem will come down from heaven (Rev.
2. The twelve gates of the New Jerusalem show that the
redeemed from all the tribes of Israel will enter into the
holy city (vss. 12-14).
3. There will be no need for a temple in the New
Jerusalem because God will dwell with His people (vs.
4. Gods presence will enable everyone to live their lives
uprightly (vss. 23-24).
5. Everyone on the new earth will be able to enter the
New Jerusalem freely (vss. 25-26).
6. No sin will enter into the New Jerusalem (vs. 27).
Stuart Olley.


I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the
Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the
sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God
did lighten it (Revelation 21:22-23).
In the book of Revelation, the Apostle Johns vision of the New
Jerusalem includes what will not be present (vss. 22-27).
The golden text tells us that John saw no temple. The need to
seek a particular place for worship is eliminated, for Gods
continual presence will fill the city.

The sun and the moon, which shed forth light, are likewise
absent, for the glory of God radiates light among the people
(Rev. 22:5). The Lamb (Jesus) is called the Light of the World
(John 8:12).
Imagine never experiencing the dark again in any capacity.
There will be no spiritual darkness, where Satan operates by
tempting and bringing oppression. Nor will there be physical
darkness, which hides crime and limits productivity.
Most exciting about the New Jerusalem is who will be there,
the Lord of lords and King of kings! Having put on immortality,
believers will finally see His glorious face (Rev. 22:4)!
The final verse of Revelation 21 reveals who else will and will
not enter the New Jerusalem. In short, unbelievers are denied,
and believers are welcomed.
The future city has this non-negotiable prerequisite for granted
entrance: you must be born again (John 3:3). Will you be there,
beloved? Have you believed in Christ and called on His name
(John 3:16; Rom. 10:13)?
Jesus wants to spend eternity with you in the New Jerusalem.
Will you say yes to His invitation?
Christine M. Morrison.

Revelation 21:24 describes a bit of what will happen in the
New Jerusalem: And the nations of them which are saved shall
walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their
glory and honour into it.
In todays world, it is hard to imagine that scene. My family
and I recently spent 31 days praying through the area of the
world known in missions lingo as the 10/40 window. This simply
refers to the region of the globe between 10 degrees and 40
degrees north latitude throughout Africa, the Middle East, and
Asia. Scores of countries in this region have little to no gospel

witness. Billions of people who live there do not know Jesus

Christ as Saviour. In many of these countries, churches are
either nonexistent or underground. Persecution of believers in
some of these countries, like North Korea, is more intense than
anywhere else in the world.
Yet in the new heaven and the new earth, the Bible declares
that all nations will bring their honor and glory into the New
Jerusalem. All evil will have been judged, and God the Father
and the Lamb will reign in righteous splendor.
Appearances can be deceiving. Despite current circumstances,
the one true God will be rightfully worshipped all over the new
creation. This vision is essential fuel for missionary passion.
Jason Parker.


M.The First Heaven and Earth. Gen. 1:282:3.
T.The Glory of God Returns. Ezek. 43:1-9.
W.Made a Pillar in Gods Temple. Rev. 3:10-13.
T.The Holy City. Isa. 52:1-7.
F.All the Earth Shall See. Isa. 52:8-12.
S.The Splendor of the New Jerusalem. Rev. 21:15-21.
S.The Glory of God and the Lamb. Rev. 21:9-14, 22-27.



NOVEMBER 20, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

REV. 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life,
clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the
2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the
river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of
fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the
tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God
and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their
5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle,
neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and
they shall reign for ever and ever.
6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true:
and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew
unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the
sayings of the prophecy of this book.


Living Waters
Lesson: Revelation 22:1-7
Read: Revelation 22:1-7
TIME: A.D. 96

PLACE: from Patmos

GOLDEN TEXTHe shewed me a pure river of water of life,

clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and
of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1).

Lesson Exposition
When God created the world He did so with a purpose in
mind. That purpose was damaged by the introduction of sin and
the curse of death that came with it. When we join God in the
New Jerusalem we will join His eternal purpose, and creation will
continue on the path that was marred by sin.
CITY OF LIFERev. 22:1-5
Every day we live in the shadow of death. We may not think
about it every moment, but we are constantly at risk of dying.
This reality, a symptom of the curse, prevents us from having
true, full, complete life. Knowing that every one of us will
eventually die prevents us from truly living in the manner that
God always intended.
The water of life (Rev. 22:1). The idea of water giving life can
be found throughout the Old Testament, especially in Exodus,
where Moses brought forth water from the rock (17:6). Without
water we would die in a matter of days. But in Gods presence

we will not have to worry about where our next cup of water will
come from or our next breath of air. He will provide for all our
The tree of life (Rev. 22:2-3). The tree of life was at the
center of Eden and will be at the center of the New Jerusalem.
It will grow astride the river of life and provide twelve types of
fruit and a new harvest each month. Essentially the tree of life
will be an unlimited source of food, so we will no longer need to
worry about working for our meals (Gen. 3:17-19).
Once God has provided for all our needs and taken away the
curse of sin and death, we will serve Him as we were always
meant to serve. Today we are concerned with such things as
housing, money, food, jobs, insurance, and savings. But once
God has provided for all our needs, we will no longer need to
work for survival. Instead we will work for Him and for the
purpose that He created us. We will work for joy and passion.
We will all have an everlasting purpose that glorifies God and
brings us immense pleasure because we will finally be doing
what God created us to do.
The light of God (Rev. 22:4-5). That God will provide light for
His creation is another way to emphasize that God will provide
everything we need. We will not need to find a candle or a
lightswitch to see what we are doing. We will have Gods
presence to light everything we do.
God will place His name upon us. The Jews feared to speak
Gods name and would not even write it as they copied scrolls,
but God will place His holy name upon each of us. He will
proclaim that we are His and He is ours. We will be fully and
irrevocably holy because of Him.
Holiness means separation from anything profane. God, in His
holiness, must be separate from sin. While we are under the
curse of sin, it separates us from God; once sin is no more, we
will be holy as God is holy.
Today we struggle to mature and grow. We were made to be
holy and together with God, but sin keeps us separate. As we

mature and are formed into the image of Christ, holiness

becomes more natural and sin less so.
In the midst of suffering, Gods promises can seem very far
away. When death is a daily reality and sin infests everything, it
can seem as if we will never be free. You can trust God. He
has always been faithful and will be faithful forever.
The message of the angels (Rev. 22:6). Gods message, given
through angels, prophets, and His own Son, is true. God will do
what He set out to do when He created the world. He will
accomplish His purpose in each of us for His glory.
The blessing of prophecy (Rev. 22:7). Gods definition of
quickly is clearly different from our understanding. It has been
over two thousand years since Jesus was here, and Christians
still await His return.
We cannot be complacent or impatient; He will return in His
time. Between now and then we are to continue to be formed
into His image.
James T. Wood.

1. What damaged the purpose for which we were
created? When will that purpose be perfected?
2. How will the presence of unlimited water give comfort
to those in New Jerusalem?
3. What aspect of the curse will be reversed by the tree
of life?
4. How will Gods unlimited provision change the nature of
our work?
5. What is the significance of God placing His name on
our foreheads?

6. How can we know that God will be faithful to His

7. What should we be doing as we wait for Christ to
return? What behaviors should we avoid?
James T. Wood.

1. The river of life symbolizes the unending flow of eternal
life from God (Rev. 22:1).
2. The tree of life symbolizes Gods provision for His
redeemed people (vs. 2).
3. The fruit of the tree of life will bring healing to all
damage done by sin.
4. There will no longer be death as a consequence of sin
(vs. 3).
5. Gods people will finally see Him face-to-face (vs. 4).
6. God Himself, the Light of the World, will render
obsolete the need for the sun (vs. 5).
7. Gods words will come true (vss. 6-7).
Stuart Olley.


He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as
crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb
(Revelation 22:1).
In the Bible, water is mentioned throughout both the Old and
New Testaments. It is often referenced metaphorically to teach a

spiritual truth. It has ceremonial references, and it is certainly

recognized as a basic commodity of life.
Nearing the end of the Apostle Johns visions in the book of
Revelation, he is shown a body of water, which he refers to as
a pure river of water of life. This could be both symbolic,
representing the continual flow of eternal life from Gods throne
to heavens inhabitants, and literal, representing Gods continual
provision for them.
John described the water he saw as pure and clear as
crystal, which indicates it is living and perfect, undefiled in any
way. Nothing needs to be added or taken from it to fulfill its
How could the water be anything but perfect since it flows
from the very throne of God and of the Lamb? No water on
earth today has such a perfect and holy source!
Spiritually speaking, this living water is free! There is an
invitation in Revelation 22:17 given to those desiring quenching
for their thirsty souls: come.
We hear the offer to receive living water given to an outcast, a
Samaritan woman in John 4:1-15. She wisely responded and
drank it!
Regardless of whether this passage is strictly symbolic, literal,
or both, the vital point is that all life comes from Jesus Christ,
the Alpha and Omega.
The offer of living water is for you. Have you received it? If
not, come and take of it today, for the only One who can give it
will not turn you away (John 6:37).
Christine M. Morrison.

Paul Seger tells of growing up in the village of Gadaka,
Nigeria. The village was near the Sahara Desert, and the villagers
depended entirely on the rainy season to give them enough

water to grow their crops for the year. Without crops, these
people would die, Paul relates. There was no other industry to
fall back on if there was crop failure. Having food to eat in the
dry season depended on successful farming in the wet season
(Seger, Chief, Sawubona Press).
People who have lived in arid or semiarid climates understand
intuitively what is meant by water of life (Rev. 22:1). Throughout
the entire Bible, God uses the imagery of life-giving water to
convey His life-giving presence. In Revelation 22, that water
comes directly from His own throne. Gods purity, holiness,
power, and life flow out to His people.
What Revelation pictures is still to come; however, missionaries
offer a foretaste of such glory. Jesus offered the Samaritan
woman water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:14).
When missionaries proclaim Jesus Christ, they are offering the
eternal life that God alone gives. They carve a river of life right
through the heart of the desert.
The glory of missionary service is truly a hint of what is yet to
come in Gods eternal kingdom. It is refreshing, powerful and lifegiving. What greater service can there be?
Jason Parker.


M.Wash and Be Healed. II Kings 5:10-14.
T.Waters of Life from the Temple. Ezek. 47:1-12.
W.Streams Making Glad the City of God. Ps. 46:1-11.
T.Water for a Dry Land. Isa. 41:17-20.
F.Dryness in Judgment. Isa. 42:10-17.
S.Forgiveness and Healing. Matt. 9:2-8.
S.The River of Life. Rev. 22:1-7.



NOVEMBER 27, 2016

Scripture Lesson Text

REV. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is
with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Ome-ga, the beginning and the end, the
first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may
have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates
into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers,
and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and
maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these
things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David,
and the bright and morning star.
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that
hear- eth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And
whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the
prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things,
God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the
book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the
book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things
which are written in this book.
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


Alpha and Omega

Lesson: Revelation 22:12-21
Read: Revelation 22:8-21
TIME: A.D. 96

PLACE: from Patmos

GOLDEN TEXTI am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and

the end, the first and the last (Revelation 22:13).

Lesson Exposition
Christ will return and take His children home to live with Him
in the New Jerusalem. We can be sure of that, but what we do
between now and then is no less important than the future that
awaits us. God has promised us a future with Him to enable us
to live for Him today rather than forget about our present lives.
As the wait for Christs return grows longer, we must not lose
sight of the purpose of our salvation or of Gods sovereign plan
for the world.
Behold Christ (Rev. 22:12-13). Jesus Christ, when He comes,
will welcome the redeemed into the New Jerusalem. The text of
Revelation says that the reward will be given based upon each
persons work. But that does not contradict other places in
Scripture where God teaches that we are saved by grace (Eph.
2:8-9). Instead, it points out that faith produces good works (Jas.
2:14-26). Gods free gift of grace must take root in our lives as
we learn to obey Him and do His will. We are not saved by

works, but works show that we have been truly saved.

Blessings and curses (Rev. 22:14-15). The way we view the
new creation is tied to the way we view the old creation. God
has made His followers new creations (II Cor. 5:17) even though
we still dwell in the old creation. We are strangers in this world,
but when we arrive in the holy city, New Jerusalem, we will
finally be at home. Conversely, those who are at home in this
fallen world will be utterly lost and outcast in the new creation.
We are being transformed, day by day, into citizens of New
Jerusalem. Though it may bring pain and suffering while we still
dwell in the old creation, it will bring utter joy when we step into
Gods city.
At the end of the day all we have to believe in is the
testimony of others. But the testimony we have comes from the
most reliable witnesses: Christ, the Spirit, the Bible, and the
Testimony of the angel (Rev. 22:16). In Isaiah the foretold
Messiah was called the Root of Jesse (11:1). Jesus is the
Messiah that was foretold in the Old Testament and the Son of
God described in the New Testament. When the temptation to
doubt arises, remember that Jesus is the focus of three millennia
of Scripture and two millennia of the church, and they all agree
on His testimony.
Testimony of the Spirit (Rev. 22:17). Both the Spirit of God
and the bride of Christ, the church, continue to offer hope and
life to the world. The invitation is to come, no matter your doubts
or your past. Simply come and follow Jesus. We are to continue
to proclaim the invitation of God until Jesus returns.
Testimony of the book (Rev. 22:18-19). Not only can we trust
the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit, and the church, but we can
also trust the truth of Scripture. It records for us the beginning
and end of the story of sin. But it also tells us of the purpose
we will all fulfill in the new creation. You were made for a reason

far greater than you know and you will experience that reason
fully in the new creation with God as your guide.
Testimony of Christs followers (Rev. 22:20-21). For nearly
two thousand years, Christians have waited for Christ to come
back. His quickness is not as we would define it, but we are
learning every day to be more like Him.
In our waiting we must not neglect the work that God is doing
in us now. He is shaping us into the image of His Son, and we
must continue to grow in our love and obedience to Christ. The
world needs to see the hope that is to come, and we are the
ones given the task of showing a lost and broken world that
there is a greater purpose and a more worthy cause than mere
survival. We are the light that shines on the path that leads the
lost world to see the sovereign plan of God.
James T. Wood.

1. What do good works in the lives of the redeemed
indicate about them?
2. How does it feel to have heavenly citizenship in the
New Jerusalem yet live in a fallen world? How will it
be for those who reject Jesus when the new creation
3. What is the basis of our belief in God? How can we
trust that it is true?
4. How should Christians spend their time while waiting
for Christ to return?
5. What is Gods plan for the world? For humanity? What
will be the role of Christs followers in the new
James T. Wood.


1. When Jesus comes back, evil will be punished and
good rewarded (Rev. 22:12).
2. We can trust Jesus words because He has always
existed and always will exist (vs. 13).
3. In order to enter the New Jerusalem, you must be
washed of your sins (vs. 14).
4. The unrighteous will remain outside the city and will be
punished for their sin (vs. 15).
5. Jesus bids all who seek Him to come (vss. 16-17).
6. Anyone who alters Jesus words is condemned (vss.
7. Followers of Jesus should long for His arrival (vss. 2021).
Stuart Olley.


I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the
first and the last (Revelation 22:13).
The Bible records many special names of Christ. Some names
include bread of life (John 6:35), light of the world (8:12),
door of the sheep (10:7, 9), good shepherd (vss. 11, 14),
and true vine (15:1, 5).
The golden text contains another name. This particular name
emphasizes Jesus sovereign rule and final authority over all
matters. It is a name that should cause restlessness within
unbelievers and an awakening within complacent believers (Rev.

Jesus states throughout the book of Revelation that He is

coming quickly (2:16; 3:11; 22:7, 12, 20), as if to warn. Churches
and believers must examine their true spiritual condition.
Jesus alone has the keys to hell and death (Rev. 1:18) and the
authority to blot names out of the book of life or confess those
names before His Father (3:5). This is sobering!
To the faithful believer, the name Alpha and Omega not only
reminds us of the supreme reverence belonging to our Lord but
also assures that He who began a good work in us will complete
it (Phil. 1:6).
Jesus is the beginning and end, the first and the last. He has
fulfilled all the Fathers purposes in totality. As believers, we are
complete in Him (Col. 2:10) and should live as powerful
Unbelievers must recognize their spiritual brokenness and
inability to enter heaven on their own (cf. I John 5:12). We must
urge them to repent before it is too late.
Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, is coming! When? No one knows
but the Father (Matt. 24:36). Be ready!
Christine M. Morrison.

Jesus is the One by whom and for whom all things were
created, the One who is before all things, and by [whom] all
things consist (Col. 1:17). Jesus is the One who was made in
the likeness of men: and humbled himself, and became
obedient unto death (Phil. 2:7-8). Jesus is the Lamb who was
slain, who redeemed us to God by [His] blood out of every
kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Rev. 5:9). Jesus is
the One to whom ten thousand times ten thousand angels will
sing, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and
riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and
blessing (vs. 12).

I urge you to cultivate in your heart a desire for the glory of

your Saviour, Jesus Christ. Frequently and fervently praise His
immeasurable work of redemption. Delight yourself in everything
you can think of about Christ.
If you do these things, I have no doubt that you will be drawn
to the Great Commission work of missions. God may use you as
a chosen vessel to go out for the sake of His Name. God will
certainly use you in His cause. Your entire life will exude the
missionary spirit of Paul: Christ shall be magnified in my body,
whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ,
and to die is gain (Phil. 1:20-21).
Jason Parker.


M.You Will Not Find Me. John 7:32-36.
T.If Anyone Thirsts, Come. John 7:37-43.
W.The Lord God, the Almighty. Rev. 1:4-8.
T.Return to Your First Love. Rev. 2:1-7.
F.Worship Without End. Rev. 7:9-12.
S.Created for His Glory. Isa. 43:1-7.
S.Behold, I Come Quickly. Rev. 22:12-21.




Table of Contents
Title Page
The Quarter Ahead
The Sovereignty of God
UNIT I: The Sovereignty of God
Sept. 4The Kingdom of PeaceIsa. 11:1-9
Sept. 11The Mountain of GodIsa. 25:6-10a
Sept. 18The Foundations of the EarthIsa. 40:21-31
Sept. 25The Everlasting CovenantIsa. 61:1-4, 8-11

UNIT II: The Sovereignty of Jesus

Oct. 2The Express Image of GodHeb. 11:1-9
Oct. 9The Builder of the HouseHeb. 3:1-6; Matt. 7:24-29
Oct. 16The Great High PriestHeb. 4:145:10
Oct. 23The High Priest ForeverHeb. 7:1-3, 19-28
Oct. 30The Author and Finisher of Our FaithHeb. 12:1-13

UNIT III: Jesus: Alpha and Omega

Nov. 6Making All Things NewRev. 21:1-8
Nov. 13The New JerusalemRev. 21:9-14, 22-27
Nov. 20Living WatersRev. 22:1-7
Nov. 27Alpha and OmegaRev. 22:12-21