Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 239

12 Foundation Stones

Class 0
Introducing the 12 Foundation Stones
Introduction
Today we want to give you a little glimpse into the Activated 12 Foundation Stones course. We'll go over
what the course contains, as well as show you how you can benefit from these classes.
Going through this course is similar to launching out on a journey of discovery! When embarking on such
a journey, the goal is to reach a destination and to explore fascinating and exotic places and discover things of
wondrous value. Similarly, the goal here is to explore and discover the wonders of God and His Word that will
make you spiritually rich beyond anything of value in this world.
When embarking on a journey, you don't go in a straight line from the starting point to your destination;
you have to travel various roads that twist and turn. Yet you know you are pointed in the right direction and the end
result will be worth the effort it took to get there.—And if at times you lose sight of the goal, the compass in your
hand points you in the proper direction.
Likewise, in taking this course, you have in your hand the compass of the Word of God that is always
pointing "true North" to lead you to your destination!

¾ Four qualities for your journey of exploration


Here are the four most important qualities for anyone who is going to launch out on a journey of
exploration. Likewise, these same qualities are ones that you as an individual can make use of in embarking on this
course.
1. Vision—Vision to see what others can't see. You say, "Hey, there's a destination over there and I want to
get there, even though others don't want to or aren't willing to make the journey. I want to get there and see what I
find!" That same kind of vision will help you to work through this material and integrate it and make it a part of
your life. And not only live it in your own life, but also pass it on to others and really change the world. That's a big
vision!
2. Faith—Faith to believe what others don't believe. In today's world, having faith in God's Word is not
such a common thing. So just by being here in this class, by partaking of these things, you're participating in
something that is unique and different. Just like someone who starts on a journey of discovery—it's not your
everyday person who sets off to uncharted lands.
3. Initiative—Initiative to be willing to start the journey, to put your faith into action! As the proverb says:
"A journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step!" It is often easy for people to talk about things, but actually
getting out and doing them is a different story.
4. Courage—To see it through to the end. This is where failure most often occurs in a journey of
discovery—for "well begun is only half done!" But with a bit of "stick-to-itiveness" you can make that commitment
to tackle those pathways and know that with God's help you will succeed if you keep at it and don't give up.

¾ You can do it!


Perhaps the idea of launching out onto a journey of discovery, or taking this course, seems a bit
overwhelming or too much for you—but for all of us our "secret to success" lies in claiming the verse:
Philippians 4:13—I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.
You may feel incapable, but God is capable in you!
When embarking on a journey, travelers often have guides who are more experienced. They've been down
that road before and are somewhat familiar with the paths and where to place your feet to avoid the pitfalls.—And
that is what we are here for, to help guide you along the way.
If you want to teach others, then this course will give you the information to be able to!
2 Timothy 2:2—And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men
who will be able to teach others also.
¾ Foundation Stones
This course is not about making you or your life perfect! It is about making your life happier and fuller. It
is about finding answers to your questions, and it is about how to help those in your sphere of influence also
experience these positive changes.
The classes in this course are like foundation stones. Each foundation stone describes an area of faith or
practical knowledge that you can build the house of your life upon. Each foundation stone deals with you primarily,
for if you can change yourself, then you can bring changes to others. Yet this is not just about your own faith and
yourself. Remember always that these foundation stones are to help you build a life that reaches out to others.
Are you ready to take a peek at these 12 Foundation Stones? You don't have to understand or remember
everything we talk about today, as you'll learn about each one as we proceed through the course. If anything seems
a bit mysterious now, don't worry about it! Things will become clearer as we progress through the classes.

Introducing the 12 Foundation Stones


¾ 1. Becoming a Person of Faith (Classes 1a and 1b—"The Word of God")
If you want to become a person of faith, someone who has a solid relationship with God, then you'll need
to know what to read in the Bible, how to get the most from the time you have for reading, and how to develop
good study habits. You need to have regular spiritual feeding, just like you regularly eat physical food. We will be
devoting several classes to this important subject.
If you don't already have a Bible, please obtain one, as it is the main "textbook" for our course and we'll be
helping you get to know it better.

„ One way we know the Bible is true is that it works!


The Word of God has the power to change lives, and we'd like to tell you a few testimonies of this.

Testimony: When all seemed lost, a new beginning


From John, Chile
When we met Joanna a couple of months ago, she was in a state of severe depression. Over the
last few years she had lost everything: her marriage, her home, her second house, her business, and her
health. She prayed with us to receive the Lord, and began reading the Bible and praying daily. She also
phoned us every day—sometimes several times a day—to ask us for prayer, mostly against depression.
She had nothing else to hold on to.
Before long, we began to witness one wonderful answer to prayer after another. Joanna needed to
find a new apartment, as the one she was living in was dark and dismal. She also needed a job. She was
attractive and had a university degree in chemistry and a diploma as an English interpreter, but because
she was 40, nobody would hire her.
The Lord first helped her find a new apartment for less rent—one that is much nicer and receives
sun all day long. Her new landlord turned out to be a minister in the national government, and through him
she found a good job in the government. Joanna's 20-year-old son was at first quite sarcastic about her
Bible reading and praying, but after seeing how the Lord was working in his mother's life, he started
praying also. Now the two are closer than ever.
It has been thrilling to see the life of this dear friend turn around!

Testimony: The Power of the Word!


The true story of the mutiny on the HMS Bounty has often been retold. One part that deserves
retelling was the transformation wrought by one book. Nine mutineers with six Tahitian men and twelve
women put ashore on Pitcairn Island in 1790. One sailor soon began distilling alcohol, and the little colony
was plunged into debauchery and vice.
Ten years later, only one white man survived, surrounded by native women and their children. In
an old chest from the Bounty, this sailor one day found a Bible. He began to read it and then to teach it to
the others. The result was that his own life and ultimately the lives of all those in the colony were
changed. Discovered in 1808 by the USS Topas, Pitcairn had become a prosperous community with no
jail, no whisky, no crime, and no laziness.

¾ 2. The Wonderful Gift of the Holy Spirit! (Classes 2a and 2b—"The Holy
Spirit")
Do you want the same power that transformed a motley band of fishermen, tax collectors, and others in the
far away dusty land of Palestine into fiery men and women of faith who changed the world? Do you want to know
how that same power can work in your life too? God's got a lot in store for you! In our classes on the Holy Spirit,
we'll learn more about what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit and how to experience the gifts and blessings
that are promised!

¾ 3. Effective Prayer (Classes 3a and 3b—"Prayer")


In the two-part classes on prayer, we'll be exploring how to communicate with Jesus, how to pray
effectively, and how to receive answers to prayer. The key to remember is that prayer works! When we pray, things
will happen and things will be different. God will answer prayer. He says,
Jeremiah 33:3—Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not
know.
„ Examples of answered prayer
There are so many examples of how God answers prayer, in ways little and big, but all are important. Let's
look at a few.

Testimony: Three miracles


From Esteban, Venezuela
We witnessed three more miracles in the course of our prayer and counseling ministry at a local
hospital.
The first involved a four-year-old boy with leukemia, whom the doctors had given no chance of
recovery. The child's mother was very saddened by the news, and asked us to come regularly to the room
where he was isolated, to pray for him. The boy's parents and a few other relatives who were visiting him
all prayed with Maria Clara to receive Jesus. Maria Clara also gave them copies of the New Testament
and some Family publications, and they hung some of the posters around the boy's bed.
After a number of visits and repeated prayer, the boy began to improve ever so slightly. Then he
began to eat and sleep better; then he stopped throwing up. He has now been released from the hospital!
The second case was that of an infant girl, whom the doctors had also given up on. One day when
her parents weren't watching, she had crawled out of their house and into the road, and was run over by a
car. Among her many injuries were serious fractures of one leg and hip, and large open wounds. When
Maria Clara saw and prayed for the little girl the first time, she had just undergone an operation to enable
her to eliminate through a tube. The lower part of her body was covered in wounds. After more prayer and
visits, a second operation was performed to remove a bone that was beginning to decay. More prayer.
Three days later, the pus began to diminish. A third operation closed large wounds, which had been open
up until then. Now the little girl is beginning to show signs of genuine recovery, and is smiling again. The
doctors call her the miracle girl, as they really hadn't expected her to survive.
The third miracle was the change that occurred in this little girl's 19-year-old mother. In the course
of Maria Clara's visits, the mother confided that she thought that her daughter's accident might have been
due to her own sins. Since learning that her husband had been unfaithful, she had been attending
witchcraft sessions and entertaining thoughts of killing her husband and herself. After receiving Jesus with
Maria Clara, this young woman had a miraculous and visible change. So this little family experienced a
double transformation—the baby's physical one, and the mother's spiritual one. Thank the Lord for His
infinite love and power!

Testimony: The Prayer-Empowered Bus!


From Susan, SEA
One day we had a particularly busy trip planned, so we specifically prayed for good bus
connections and good bus rides so that we could make our appointments on time.
When we made our last bus connection, the bus we got on was quite slow and old and the air
conditioning kept breaking down. Finally we got off the bus at our destination, and just happened to look
back over our shoulders. To our amazement, the bus had completely broken down—right after we got off!
It broke down right in front of the dental clinic we were going to! Everyone else had to change buses, but
we were right on time for our appointment! It was like an angel had held it together in answer to our
prayers!

„ God answers prayer!


You'd be surprised how much God depends on your prayers—how concerned you are and how interested
you are. He wants you to show concern and pray about things, and be specific about them. If you really believe,
every prayer is heard and answered. But if you don't pray it is not done! A lot depends on you!
Jeremiah 29:13—And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
In our meetings on this subject we'll be looking at how to get closer to God through our prayers, how to
please Him by thanking Him and having an attitude of praise, and how to receive answers to prayer. Something that
most of us need once in awhile is healing, and we will also look at how to receive healing in answer to prayer.
¾ 4. Hearing from God (Classes 4a and 4b—"Hearing from Heaven")
Prayer is not just a one-way conversation, a monologue of us talking to Him, but the Lord delights in
talking with us.
When we hear from the Lord in this way, we receive messages through what is called the gift of prophecy.
This is a special gift that was promised to abound in the Last Days:
Acts 2:17–18—And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream
dreams. (18) And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they
shall prophesy.
God has always spoken to His children. He didn't stop speaking after the Bible was compiled. In the almost
twenty centuries since the books of the New Testament were put together, He has continued to speak to His
children, to His followers, to those who had the faith to listen. He has inspired His people with instructions, with
doctrinal revelations, with poetry, with music, with literature. He has spoken personally to multitudes and He is still
speaking today. In fact, He is speaking even more today, because we need to hear from Him. We need His guidance
to keep us safely in a world that keeps turning further away from God.
If you're having a particularly difficult problem, wouldn't you like God to talk to you and offer specific
answers? If you're faced with an important decision, wouldn't you like to get the Lord's advice?
Share one or two testimonies of how the Lord has spoken to you and/or how hearing His voice answered a
problem or was in some way miraculous. Personal testimonies are best to share, or you could relate either of the
following:

Testimony: How God can use a small deed to be His special touch of love
By Eva Mae Ramsey
In the mid-1960s, my husband's sister Muriel became very ill. My husband, our six-year-old
daughter, Linda, and I traveled to Tulsa to be present while Muriel underwent surgery for a diseased
kidney. As we neared Tulsa, a thought flashed into my mind out of nowhere. One red rose, a voice said.
Take one red rose to Muriel. My husband agreed to stop at a florist's shop. However, it was late and
everything was closed.
The next morning my husband went to the hospital to wait during the operation. I stayed with Linda
and my husband's elderly mother at her home. All I could think of was that red rose. I felt compelled to
search out that rose. So Linda and I walked uptown, and I bought one red rose.
When my husband returned, he said that Muriel had come through the surgery, and it was now
touch-and-go as to whether she'd recover. He also told me he'd ordered a big bouquet of gladiolas for
Muriel's room.
"That's lovely, honey," I said, "but she's got to have this red rose, too." When we went to the
hospital later, Muriel was still groggy and wasn't able to talk to us, but I put the rose, by itself, in a vase
where she could see it. Because of work commitments we had to return home without ever talking to
Muriel, but we did learn that she would recover.
Soon we got a letter. "Before I went to the hospital," Muriel wrote, "I prayed that if I was supposed
to live, God would send me a sign I specifically asked for, something that meant God was with me and
would give me the heart to go on. When I opened my eyes after the operation, there it was, the very thing
I'd prayed for—a red rose."

The combination
By Franz
Two years ago a friend had given us a suitcase. We had forgotten the lock combination and
therefore never used the lock. But while storing it, someone had accidentally locked the suitcase and the
combination was shut. What to do? We tried and tried all kinds of numbers and started to make a plan
how we would have to go through all the combinations, when someone piped up, "why don't you pray?"
So I asked the Lord to give me the number in prophecy. Lo and behold He did! I got a picture of the lady
who gave us the suitcase saying the number, and when I tried it, it worked!

¾ 5. Getting Along with Others (Classes 5a and 5b—"The Golden Rule")


There is a lot in the Bible about human relationships and about having love for others. The whole purpose
for living is to love God and others. That's the most important thing! You may have a lot of gifts and talents, but if
you don't have love it's not worth much! And this is not talking about love for your work or for material
possessions. It's talking about love for the Lord and others. If you love God you'll love others too, because loving
others is one way you show love for the Lord. Jesus said to His disciples:
John 15:12—"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
What is love? Love is not hurting, love is going out of your way to make others happy, and doing unto
others as you would have them do unto you.
Matthew 7:12—Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the
Prophets.
If you show a real love for people, you won't have a hard time winning friends. Love begets love! What is
the greatest commandment?—To love God! What is the next greatest?—To love thy neighbor as thyself!
Matthew 22:37–39—Jesus said to him, "‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your
soul, and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first and great commandment.(39) And the second is like it: ‘You
shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Probably most of us realize this already and we know we should be loving and kind to others. The
difficulty, though, often comes in putting it into action! How do we get along with people who irritate or hurt us;
how do we reach out and help others? Loving others is oftentimes easier said than done, so in our classes on this
subject we'll be looking at some practical ways of getting along with people and living according to the loving
principles Jesus mentions in these verses.

¾ 6. Bible Knowledge (Classes 6a and 6b—"Bible Knowledge")

„ Getting to know the Word


We've already talked about how our life of faith is based upon God's Word. Our hopes for the future, our
expectation that God will answer prayer, are all based on His promises in the Bible. The Bible tells us who we are,
where we have been, and where we are going. It even tells us how we should get there! Throughout these classes
we often read portions of the Bible, but it is important for you to also take time to read the Bible yourself. So we'll
be looking at how the Bible was put together and where to find what you need. We'll also be looking at some of the
prophecies in the Bible that have already been fulfilled, which are amazing faith-builders!
For instance, did you know that there are dozens of predictions about Jesus in the Old Testament made
hundreds of years before His birth, that He specifically and precisely fulfilled in His lifetime, including His being
born in Bethlehem, His ministry in Galilee, His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the exact year of His crucifixion,
the manner of His execution, His resurrection, and many more!

¾ 7. The Endtime (Classes 7a and 7b—"Bible Prophecy")


The Bible tells us that Jesus will return to set up His reign on Earth. No more cruel wars, oppression, and
the rule of the greedy and powerful, but a rule of love where God's plans will be fulfilled. According to some Bible
scholars, there are 1,845 references to Jesus' Second Coming in the Old Testament and 318 references in the New
Testament. We refer to the period before His return as the Endtime—which does not mean the End of Time, but the
end of the present era, after which Jesus will return to set up His kingdom on Earth.
Along with many other Christians today, we believe that we are now living in the Endtime because of the
way the signs of the times, events and conditions that were predicted as precursors to the Endtime are being
fulfilled. In our classes on this subject, we will look at some of the main signs as they are described in the Bible,
and then we'll look at how these are being fulfilled in our present day. We will try to give you enough information
so that you will be able to discern the signs of the times yourself, as you observe what is happening around you.

¾ 8. Saved Forever—Spending eternity with the loving Creator (Classes 8a


and 8b—"The Greatest Love")
“ How do you know you're saved?” “Is your salvation permanent?” “If you do something really bad, will
you lose your salvation?”
In our classes on salvation we are going to look at the answers to these questions by carefully examining
what the Bible says. Jesus loves you very much and will never let you down. You didn't earn your salvation in the
first place, so you can never lose it by what you do or do not do. We are saved by grace—a free gift of God's
love—and not by our works. The reason we can be so sure of this is because it is clearly explained in the Bible.
We'll also be exploring how to have to a closer relationship with the Lord so that you can confidently rely
on Him, trust in Him, and rest peacefully in His loving arms. He never fails and will always be there for you!

¾ 9. Our Destination: Heaven! (Classes 9a and 9b—"Heaven")


We have an amazing future in store for us! Heaven is a great place to be and a great place to look forward
to! The difficulties of life will seem like they lasted only a moment, in comparison to the wonderful life we will
have in Heaven:
Romans 8:18—For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the
glory which shall be revealed in us.
When you think about our glorious future in Heaven, it helps you bear some of the things you have to go
through now. It pays to think about Heaven and talk about Heaven and try to visualize Heaven. That's what we'll be
doing in several classes, to help you visualize what you have to look forward to!
¾ 10. Sharing Our Faith (Classes 10a and 10b—"Witnessing")
When you get to know the Lord and experience His love, His care, His joy, then it is only natural you will
want to share this with others.
As a comparison, we could say it's like possessing a cure for cancer. If we had a cure for cancer and didn't
tell anyone, we would be terribly selfish! Well, we have a cure for more serious and far-reaching diseases than
cancer! We have the cure for unhappiness, for loneliness, for rejection, for depression, for fear, for eternal death—
illnesses that afflict billions of people, a far greater number than cancer has ever touched, or will ever touch. And if
we didn't share this cure with people, we would be failing God, failing others, and failing ourselves.
The job that God has given to each of His children is to give His Word and His love to others, to preach the
Gospel, to "witness." Jesus told His disciples:
Mark 16:15—Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
One of the most exciting things about having Jesus in your heart is sharing the good news of salvation with
other people. You will be giving them something that will last forever!
We have a responsibility to tell others about salvation, but sometimes we are hindered by not knowing how
to do it. Maybe we don't know how to answer people's questions, maybe we find ourselves drawn into arguments,
or maybe we simply have a hard time getting started because we're shy. In our classes on this topic we'll be sharing
practical advice on these and other issues. We'll find out how to lead someone to the point of praying to receive
Jesus as his or her Savior, how to answer typical questions, and generally how to be an effective witness.

„ The results will be changed lives!


And on that subject, we have a few examples.

Testimony: Pass It On!


From Peter, Steven and Joseph, Russia
As we journeyed by high-speed hydrofoil down the Amur River to the far eastern city of
Komsomolsk, near China, we looked forward to visiting a number of people with whom we had been
corresponding. Some we would be meeting for the first time; others we had met on a previous visit. Luba
and Andrew, two friends who had traveled ahead of us two days earlier to set up meetings with our
friends in Komsomolsk, met us at the boat. With them was an older lady whose beaming smile we
recognized immediately. It was Grandma Zoya, who we had met on our last trip to the city. She had been
writing us often ever since.
About two years ago, Zoya received a piece of literature with the salvation message from one of us
and prayed to ask Jesus into her heart. Since then she has experienced a lot of sorrow and pain (her
husband and several other relatives died), but she has found great comfort in our letters and the literature
we sent her. Mail from us, she said, was her only relief in her dark hour.
Zoya had latched onto Luba and Andrew the moment they met and went everywhere with them.
They had taken stacks of literature to Komsomolsk, and Grandma Zoya joined right in with their
distribution. During our visit, she passed out more than any of us!
"Every time I give out a piece of literature, especially to a young person," she told us, "I remember
how much Jesus did for me, and I know He can do the same for them. Distributing literature seems such
a little thing to do for Him in return, but lives will be changed. I love to pass it on!"

Testimony: Words That Change People


From Pearl, Hungary
We occasionally make trips to a nearby city to visit people we've met and won to the Lord on
previous visits. Each time we do, we try to see Irene.
Irene had serious marital problems, largely due to her husband's heavy drinking. He was also a
hard-line Communist, and didn't share her faith in God. Their relationship was one continual argument,
but she didn't want to leave him as she felt sorry for him and worried that no one else would love him or
take care of him if she left.
On a recent visit we gave Irene a copy of Treasures, a Family-produced book of faith-building Bible
studies and articles on a wide range of subjects.
The next time we saw her, she exclaimed, "You wouldn't believe what happened! My husband
found your book and read it from beginning to end. He couldn't put it down until he'd read the whole thing.
He even highlighted parts and made notes in the margins, he liked it so much. Then I gave him all the
letters I've received from you over the years that we've been corresponding, as well as the other literature
you've given me. He was amazed! After all this time he finally wants to meet you. He's a changed man.
We've never been so happy together!"
Thank God for the truth of His Word that has the power to change people and situations!

¾ 11. Got Problems? God's Got Solutions! (Classes 11a and 11b—
"Overcoming Problems")
We all pass through difficult moments—times of loneliness, sickness, disappointment, accidents, loss,
failure, marital difficulties, financial hardship, discouragement, etc., etc.
A lot of people seem to think that as soon as they receive Jesus they'll be completely happy, all their
problems will be solved and they'll never have any more, and things will go smoothly. But receiving the Lord into
your life doesn't mean that you'll never have any more troubles. Troubles, difficulties, challenges, and problems are
common to all. What makes the difference is that Jesus will help you through your problems and hard times.
In our series of classes on this subject we are not going to offer you any easy answers. There will be no
wave of a magical wand that will solve all of your present difficulties and prevent any other problems ever coming
upon you again! What we will pass on to you are "Three Steps to Victory." We'll be looking at how you should
respond to the problems that come your way, whatever type of problems they are, and how you can find the
solutions.—Because God does have a solution to every problem!

¾ 12. God's Ways (Classes 12a and 12b—"Going God's Way")


As we journey down the road of life we are faced with a multitude of choices, both small and big: what to
eat for breakfast; which newspaper to read, if any; what clothes to wear; what television programs to watch; what
type of job or career to pursue; how much time to spend with family; where to do grocery shopping; what to buy;
when to visit friends; whether to accept the invitation to that party or not; what books to read; what to do this
weekend; whether to witness to this neighbor or not?—And on it goes, choices and more choices.
As believers we should be seeking to follow in the steps of Jesus. Perhaps you wonder how to apply His
teachings to your everyday life, and that's what we'll be discussing.
In these two classes, we'll be looking at how to find God's will; and how to tailor our lives and make our
choices according to His Word and what He knows is best. That way we'll be happier, we'll be pleasing Him,
helping others, and finding greater personal fulfillment. And for those who want to do more for the Lord, we'll be
giving you ideas of how to go further.

¾ 13. Conclusion of the Course (Class 13—"Completing the Course")


For those who complete the course, a diploma is available.

Ending note
¾ What is the source of material used in the 12 Foundation Stones course?
The concepts in this course are based on the Bible and on contemporary Christian writings, in particular
those of David Brandt Berg, founder of our movement The Family, and the Get Activated! series by Aurora
Production. Anecdotes and reference material came from a variety of sources. Many of the true-life accounts come
from the experiences of those working with The Family. (More details about the authors quoted can be found in the
back of the Study Notes book under the heading "Who's Who.")

„ The Family's founder and current leadership


In 1968, David Brandt Berg, a former pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, began a Christian
outreach ministry to the counterculture youth in Huntington Beach, California, USA. From these humble
beginnings, what started primarily as a youth group grew to become an international Christian movement, whose
members today live and work in over 100 countries worldwide. The movement became known as "The Family" in
the early 1980s.
David was the founder and pastor of The Family, and many of our publications are based upon his
writings, as well as of course on the Bible, which he taught was God's standard, the yardstick of measurement by
which all truth and all error could be measured. Along with the classes in this course, you will be introduced to
some of David's writings.
After leading The Family for 25 years, David passed away in late 1994. His wife of 25 years, Maria, now
leads The Family together with her second husband, Peter. Like David, Maria continues to publish many writings to
The Family on a variety of spiritual and practical topics.

¾ Questions about the course?


We hope, pray, and expect that the 12 Foundation Stones course will give you a solid basis upon which to
build your life. Wherever life leads you in the future and whatever happens, you'll know Jesus as a close personal
friend and you'll have His promises to stand upon and His Word to light your way!
12 Foundation Stones—Introductory Notes
1
A Life Change—Salvation
Section 1: "To Be Born Again"
¾ John chapter 3: Jesus with Nicodemus
John 3:1–8—There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. (2) This man came to
Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these
signs that You do unless God is with him." (3) Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you,
unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (4) Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be
born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" (5) Jesus answered,
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (6)
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (7) Do not marvel that I said
to you, ‘You must be born again.' (8) The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell
where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
John 3:16–17—For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the
world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

¾ To be born again
"You must be born again" in spirit: first, by believing the Words of God; then, recognizing your own need
of a Savior from your sins, by receiving the Spirit of Jesus Himself into your own heart personally in a definite,
individual decision.
This is what it means to be "born again" in the spirit and become a "new creation" in Christ, where "old
things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus coming into your life
renews and purifies and regenerates your spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:17—Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.

¾ Thoughts on salvation
Jesus came for love and lived in love and died for love that we might live and love forever!
As an old song tells us, "Out of His ivory palaces into this world of woe, only His great eternal love
made my Savior go!"—down to the earth to live here to save us! Jesus not only had to come down
amongst us, but He had to temporarily renounce His citizenship in Heaven to become one of us!
Philippians 2:6–7—Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with
God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of
men.
He came as a meek and quiet, weak and helpless baby, and conformed Himself to our human
ways of life. He was human. He got tired; He got hungry; He got weary. He was subject to all these
things, even as we are, that He might better reach us with His love and communicate with us on the lowly
level of our own human understanding!
Hebrews 4:15—For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,
but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
And in the end, He suffered for us at a terrific price because of His love. He was spat upon, cursed,
and condemned as a criminal, despised in death! But as He hung on the cross in disgrace and shame
and agony, dying for the sins of the very ones who were crucifying Him, He was showing love to the
whole world! "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13).
Jesus is the Friend who loved us enough to lay down His life that we might be saved!

His love for YOU personally!


God loves all of us as though there were only one of us.
Picture this: Jesus on the cross, and one young man standing before Him. It seemed as though
there was no one else in the whole world except Jesus and this man. It was a picture of the individual
personal love that the Lord has for each of us. As the man looked up to Jesus, He said to him, "You are
the reason that I died, and I would have died even if there had only been you, just you."

Only two religions—Save yourself or be saved by another


While presenting the Gospel on the streets of a California city, we were often interrupted as
follows: "Look here, sir! There are hundreds of religions in this country, and the followers of each sect
think theirs is the only right one. How can poor plain men like us find out what really is the truth?"
We generally replied something like this: "Hundreds of religions, you say? That's strange; I've
heard of only two."
"Oh, but you surely know there are more than that?"
"Not at all, sir. I find, I admit, many shades of difference in the opinions of those comprising the two
great schools; but after all there are but two. The one covers all who expect salvation by doing; the other,
all who have been saved by something done. So you see the whole question is very simple. Can you
save yourself, or must you be saved by another? If you can be your own savior, you do not need my
message. If you cannot, you would do well to listen to it."

The handle to the door is on the inside


Holman Hunt (English painter 1827–1910) painted the picture "Christ the Light of the World." It is a
painting of Christ in a garden at midnight, holding a lantern in His left hand. With His right hand He is
knocking on a heavily paneled door. When the painting was unveiled, several critics were present. One
critic detected what he thought was lacking, namely, a knob on the door. He said, "You haven't finished
your work."
"It is finished," said the artist.
"But there is no knob on the door," protested the critic.
"Ah," said the artist, "that is the door to the human heart. It can be opened only from the inside!"

¾ Heaven, our destination!


Wouldn't you just love to enjoy all the good things you have right now without any pain, sickness, death,
weariness, or curse? Heaven is the place where all your heart's desires will be fulfilled!
Revelation 21:4—And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow,
nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Heaven is a world where everything is a joy and a pleasure and perfect!—Peace and harmony and
cooperation and love! Everything is true there—the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Everybody's
like Jesus—good and honest and loving and kind and helpful and sweet and cheerful and faithful and unselfish and
really caring!—The perfect society, in perfect fellowship with each other and the Lord!
Heaven is our home! We're headed for the Heavenly City that will come down from God out of Heaven
and dwell with men! It's described in the grand finale of the Bible, Revelation, chapters 21 and 22.—A place of
such resplendent beauty, beyond the imagination of man!—The Heavenly City of our future happiness, our Eternal
Home in Paradise!
Hebrews 13:14—For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
The most stupendous things that you have never even dreamed of are already in existence right now, in
that wonderful Heavenly City, "whose Builder and Maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10), and which our departed friends
and loved ones are already enjoying!—"For God has prepared for them a city!" (Hebrews 11:16).
How can we be sure we're headed for Heaven?—By receiving Jesus as our Savior!
John 14:6—Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
Me."
Matthew 18:3—Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom
of heaven.

¾ Salvation prayer
L If you haven’t already prayed to receive Jesus as your Savior, then pray as follows:

Dear Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God and that You died for me and arose from the grave. I need
Your love to cleanse me from my mistakes and wrongdoing. I need Your light to drive away all darkness. I need
Your peace to fill and satisfy my heart. I now open the door of my heart and I ask You, Jesus, to please come into
my life and give me Your free gift of eternal life. Thank You for suffering for all of the wrong I have done, and for
hearing my prayer and forgiving me. Thank You also for the promise of your Holy Spirit. Please fill me with Your
Spirit. Amen.
Section 2: "Now that you're saved…"
¾ Getting to know Jesus!
It's so wonderful to know Jesus personally, the Author of that wonderful Book, the Bible!—The very Son
of God Himself!
God sent Jesus to show us what He's like and what He looks like, you might say. It's too difficult for
people to grasp the idea of God; He's a spirit and they can't see Him, they can't feel Him, they don't know where He
is; He's everywhere, He's all powerful, all knowing and everywhere, in and around everything. That's just too big an
idea for people to grasp, so God had to show what He was like by sending His Son in the form of a man so we
could see Him and we would see what God is like because He's like Jesus in the Spirit.
Getting to know someone happens in stages. You hear about him, you are told what he's like and what he
is, and finally who he is, then you become acquainted when you're introduced and he receives you and you receive
him. Once you've met him, there is a period where you learn to know him personally, and later you can grow into a
really intimate relationship that is not dependent on what you've heard or learned about him from others. At that
stage, you don't use qualities or titles for his name, but you use his first name that his friends call him. You have a
personal relationship with him, and he's become your personal close friend.
It's that way with getting to know Jesus: We hear about Him, then we meet Him personally, but as time
goes on we grow to really know and love Him.

We can know the author!


There's a story about a girl who was assigned some book to read in college. She started, but
because she found it kind of dry and uninteresting, she threw it in the top of her closet and thought she'd
read it later. Later on a man came to the college and lectured. She found out during the course of his
lecture that he was the author of the book! She fell in love with him on his visit to the college and after
hearing his lectures she went home and dug the book out of the top of her closet and buried herself in the
book to read it!—Why? How come the book was all of a sudden so interesting, whereas she thought it
was dry and uninteresting before?—She knew the author!
What's the most important reason why we know the Bible is true? We know the Author. Before
somebody introduced you to the Author, you probably didn't care much about the Bible and didn't know
whether it was true or not, never read it, and maybe didn't even believe it. But now that you've been
introduced to Jesus and have received Jesus in your heart, all of a sudden you're interested in the Bible
for the first time maybe in your life, because now you know the Author, and you want to hear what He has
to say!

„ What you need to grow in spirit


As a spiritual newborn, you will need nourishment in order to grow! The nourishment you need is God's
Word:
1 Peter 2:2—As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.

„ Salvation is forever!
Once you have received Jesus, He will never leave you! His love for each of us is infinite. The gift of
eternal salvation means He will be with us from now through all of eternity!
John 6:37—All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast
out.
John 10:28—And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of
My hand.
Romans 8:38–39—For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor
things present nor things to come, (39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate
us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Timothy 2:13—If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

How can we be sure? Going by the Book!


Two men, the one a foreman, the other, one of the carpenters under him, were standing on the
deck of a steamship, then on the stocks, in one of the shipbuilding yards on the Clyde River in Scotland.
"Well, Stephen," said the foreman, "I have been anxious to have a conversation with you. I'm told you are
one of those people who say they know for certain that they are saved. Is that true?"
"Yes," said Stephen, "quite true. Thank God, I know I'm saved. In fact, there is nothing I'm more
sure of, than that I'm saved."
"Well, now," said the foreman, "that is something I cannot see through. How any man can say that
he is saved as long as he is in this world. I think it is rather presumptuous for anyone to say so..."
"Well," said Stephen, "there is a reality in being saved, in being a child of God, and in knowing it.
What is the diameter of this pipe?"
The foreman, astonished at the apparent sudden change in the conversation, said, "Why, 35
centimeters all around, to be sure. What makes you ask that, when you know?"
"But are you quite sure that it is 35 centimeters?"
"Certainly."
"But what makes you so sure?"
"Why, I'm going by the book," and, as he said so, he pulled a book out of his pocket, in which were
marked the sizes and position of the various things on the deck.
"I'm sure it is 35 centimeters, for it is here in the book, and I got the book from headquarters."
"Oh, I see!" said Stephen. "Now look here. That is exactly how I know I'm saved. I'm just going by
the Book. It came from Headquarters.—It is God's Word."

It's a gift!
Jesus, God's gift of love to us, is just that—a gift—and we just have to receive Him humbly,
knowing that we can't possibly pay enough to buy our way into Heaven, to buy eternal life, to buy the
happiness that Jesus brings. Accepting salvation through His Word is a work of God's grace.
Ephesians 2:8—For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is
the gift of God.
You can't earn a gift or else it wouldn't be a gift!
Salvation is not a reward, it's not pay, it's not wages, it is a gift that you can't earn by faithfulness or
by any kind of works of your own. Your good works can't save you and your bad works can't damn you!
We're saved purely by faith in Jesus, the gift of God, by His grace. The worst sinner can go to Heaven by
faith and the best person can go to Hell because of unbelief! Heaven is full of sinners!—Saved by grace
through faith!

Isn't it wonderful to know Jesus? Isn't it wonderful to be saved?


"Our God is the God of salvation!" (Psalm 68:20)—Total salvation—body, mind and spirit. God has
rescued us from the very gates of death and Hell. If you have received Jesus, the battle for your soul is
won, and it's a permanent victory of salvation forever! You'll never have to worry about going to Hell or
whether you're going to go to Heaven or not. You have eternal life through Jesus, which is the gift of
God!—And you cannot lose it, for He will keep you! You are His!
God says He's blotted out your sins like a cloud, and like a thick cloud He's put them behind His
back, and will remember them against you no more (Isaiah 44:22).—You're all clean now, not dirty any
more. You can start life all over with the Lord, for you're a new creation in Christ Jesus.—Old things are
passed away and all things are new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
You're born again, a new person, God's new child, with a new plan and purpose in living! He'll give
you peace of mind, purity of heart, rest of soul, and happiness of spirit now and forever!

Section 3: Holy Spirit power!


¾ What is the Holy Spirit?
In John chapter 14, Jesus promised His disciples that after He left this world, the Holy Spirit would come
to help them:
John 14:16–17a—And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you
forever—the Spirit of truth.
John 14:26—But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
„ After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and told them:
Acts 1:8a—But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to
Me.
„ The Holy Spirit is a gift promised to those who believe in Jesus:
John 7:38–39a—Jesus said, "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of
living water." But this He spoke concerning the [Holy] Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.

¾ Tap into the power!


The primary purpose of the Holy Spirit is to empower you to share God's message and love with others.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit also helps you greatly in your personal relationship with the Lord. It gives you a
stronger contact with Him and better communication through prayer, as well as a much deeper understanding when
you read God's Word.
And one of the most wonderful things about it is that you can be filled with the Holy Spirit of God—right
now!
All you have to do is ask. Like salvation, you can't earn it or be good enough to deserve it. It's a gift. Then,
whether you feel any change or not, you will know that you have received it because of His promise
Luke 11:13—If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your
heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

„ Prayer to be filled
If the students did not already pray to receive the Holy Spirit, you can lead them in prayer as follows:
Dear Jesus, please fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit so that I can love You more, follow You
more closely, understand Your Word, and have greater power to tell others about Your love and salvation. Amen.
12 Foundation Stones
Introductory Notes 2
The Endtime
Bible Study on the Endtime
¾ Bible prophecy
The Bible is full of thousands of detailed prophecies, describing specific people, places, times, situations,
and events hundreds of years before they happened or came into being.
Many of these prophecies have already been fulfilled. We don't have time to go into examples here, but if
you'll look in Activated magazine #3, pages 8–9, you'll find a fascinating article, "Proof at Last," which details
some of the outstanding prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in His life on earth.
Many of the prophecies in the Bible are about the final period of world history just before Jesus returns to
put an end to all of today's injustices and to set up His Own kingdom of love and peace on earth. These last final
days of man's kingdoms on earth are known in the Bible as the "Time of the End," the "Latter Days," the "Last
Days," the "Endtime," etc.—the time in which you and I are now living!
We are going to study about the Endtime by looking at the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 24.
This chapter begins with a prophecy by Jesus that was fulfilled roughly 40 years later:
Prophecy fulfilled: Destruction of the Temple (in 70 A.D.)
Matthew 24:1–2—Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him
the buildings of the temple. (2) And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you,
not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
As Jesus prophesied, the temple was thrown down—actually torn apart stone by stone.
The event is recorded in secular history. In 70 A.D. the armies of Roman emperor Vespasian marched into
Israel under General Titus and crushed a rebellion of the Jews, destroyed Jerusalem, and burned the temple. The
fire caused the gold leaf on the temple ceiling to melt. The melting gold flowed down the walls, settling into
crevices. The Romans then pried apart the stones to remove the gold, until literally "not one stone was left standing
upon another"!
Just as this prophecy by Jesus was fulfilled, the remainders of Jesus' predictions in Matthew 24 are now
being fulfilled before our eyes. (Note: The "Wailing Wall" in Jerusalem is not a remaining portion of the temple,
but rather part of the retaining wall of the temple mount.)

¾ Signs of the Times


Matthew 24:3—Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us,
when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
When Jesus' disciples wanted to know the future and asked Him, "What will be the sign of Your coming
and of the end of the age?" He didn't tell them of only one sign, but many! In fact, the Bible gives us scores of
"signs of the times," signs and signals that we are to look out for so that we can know exactly how close to the very
end we are.
We are going to look now at some of the signs and how they are being fulfilled today.

„ Wars
Matthew 24:6–7—And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these
things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7a) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom…
No period has witnessed an escalation in the number and intensity of wars as has the 20th century. (This
21st century is off to a similar start.) The century came to a close with a third of the world's 193 nations embroiled
in conflict.
Over 100 million people were killed in wars during the 20th century (International Red Cross).
Up until 1914, war had never been universal, but in both World War I and II, total war was waged.

9
The death toll in conflicts since the end of World War II topped 23 million before the end of the 20th
century.
There have been over 130 major wars since the end of World War II.
In 1999 there were 65 armed conflicts.
"Nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" could more accurately be translated as
"ethnic group rising against ethnic group"—a prophecy dreadfully fulfilled in former Yugoslavia, Rwanda,
Indonesia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burma, and other trouble spots around the world.
„ Famines
Matthew 24:7b—And there will be famines…
18 million people die of starvation, malnutrition, and related causes every year (Johns Hopkins University
study).
More than 800 million people are chronically undernourished (UN statistics).
It is estimated that one-third of the world is well fed, one-third is underfed, and one-third is starving
(World Health Organization).
Of the millions who go hungry every day, it is estimated that only 10% are victims of disaster (World
Food Program).
For the price of one cruise missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years.
Water shortages in parts of the world in the next 25 years will pose the single greatest threat to food
production and human health. 1.3 billion people worldwide have no access to clean water (World Bank).
„ Pestilences
Matthew 24:7b— and pestilences...
Pestilences or plagues: Drug-resistant strains of microbes are having a deadly impact on the fight against
tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, diarrhea, and pneumonia, which together kill more than 10 million people worldwide
each year (Pan American Health Organization).
At least 30 previously unknown diseases have appeared globally since 1973, including HIV/AIDS,
Hepatitis C, Ebola hemorrhagic fever and others. Twenty well-known infectious diseases such as tuberculosis,
malaria, and cholera have reemerged or spread since 1973, some reappearing in "deadlier, drug-resistant forms" (
U.S. National Intelligence Council).
Over 100 different kinds of cancer now kill over six million people every year. (World Health
Organization)
An estimated 800,000 people died because of smoking in 1999.
As of the end of 2002, over 42 million people are living with HIV / AIDS. 5 million new HIV infections
occurred in 2002, and 3.1 million people died of AIDS that year, bringing the total of AIDS-related deaths to 6.4
million. (UNAIDS)
In the 45 most affected countries, it is projected that, between 2000 and 2020, 68 million people will die
prematurely as a result of AIDS. The projected toll is greatest in sub-Saharan Africa where 55 million additional
deaths can be expected. (UN and other sources).
„ Earthquakes and natural disasters
Matthew 24:7b—…and earthquakes, in various places...
The quantity of earthquakes is increasing: There were only 21 earthquakes of major strength recorded
between the years 1000 and 1800. Between 1800 and 1900 there were 18 major earthquakes. In the next 50 years,
between 1900 and 1950, there were 33 major quakes. Between 1950 and 1991 there were 93 major earthquakes,
almost tripling the number of the previous half century, and claiming the lives of 1.3 million people around the
world (The World Almanac) .
In an average year about 18 "major" earthquakes (with magnitudes between 7.0 and 7.9) occur around the
world. On average, 10,000 people die in earthquakes annually. (U.S. Geological Survey).
2001 was a particularly deadly year for earthquakes, with 65 significant quakes worldwide blamed for
killing more than 21,000 people. (U.S. Geological Survey).
11,000 people were killed by floods, earthquakes, storms and other extreme weather in 2002. (Munich
Re).
The Red Cross and Crescent have reported "a huge increase in the number of people needing our
assistance due to floods and earthquakes. In recent years, it has risen from less than half a million to more than 5
1/2 million."
„ A world of violence
Matthew 24:37—But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
How were things in the "days of Noah"? The Bible tells us the earth was filled with violence:
Genesis 6:11—The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
In the U.S., on average one person is murdered every 22 minutes; someone is raped every four minutes; a
robbery is committed every 26 seconds (FBI).
In the past 30 years, 1.2 million people have died by murder or suicide in the U.S. (Washington Post).
A survey of 900 fourth- through eighth-grade students in the U.S. found that almost half of the children
said their favorite electronic games involve violence.
The average child in the U.S. will witness at least 8,000 murders on TV by the time he or she leaves
elementary school, along with more than 100,000 assorted other acts of violence (American Psychological
Association).
"The introduction of television in the 1950s caused a subsequent doubling of the homicide rate; i.e., long-
term childhood exposure to television is a causal factor behind approximately one half of the homicides committed
in the U.S., or approximately 10,000 homicides annually" (Journal of the American Medical Association).
In England and Wales: One in five young men has committed a violent offence by the time they reach the
age of 25. The number of violent offences committed by girls aged 10 to 17 has doubled since 1981. Among under-
25s, 17% said they had at one stage carried a weapon, either in self-defense, or with intent to cause harm. Criminals
under 18 are now responsible for 28% of all violent crimes, 40% of burglaries, 11% of drug offences, and 33% of
criminal damage offences.
Across Europe there is a spreading epidemic of juvenile crime, evidence of a continent-wide youth
underclass growing up outside the law. According to news reports, in Germany juvenile crime rose 10% between
1998 and 1999. In Sweden the average age of male criminals has dropped over the past decade from 20 to 15.
More than 20 percent of Mexico City residents have been victims of crime in 1999 (The Autonomous
Metropolitan University).
„ Religious persecution
Matthew 24:9–10—Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations
for My name's sake. (10) And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
"This century [the 20th] is known as ‘the martyrs' century' because more people have lost their lives for
Christianity since 1900 than in all the previous centuries together" (mission agency Open Doors).
Nineteen European countries violate religious liberty, according to the 1998 report of the International
Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF). Subsequent annual reports describe an increase of intolerance and
repression of minority religions.
The average number of Christian martyrs per year worldwide is 163,000 (International Bulletin of
Missionary Research).
„ False religions
Matthew 24:11—Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
In a five-year time span, the number of witches in England increased from 60,000 to 80,000 (Manchester
England Guardian Weekly).
There are about 2 million Americans who adhere to some form of paganism.
„ Love grown cold
Matthew 24:12—And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
According to a Gallup social survey, 72% of the population in Britain think that the country is getting
more selfish.
Worldwide, over 46 million unborn children are aborted every year.
Despite a US$30 trillion global economy, 600 million children live on less than a dollar a day. Child
laborers number 250 million. And millions of people are targeted by military action that increasingly focuses on
civilians (UNICEF).
Sixteen percent of the world's population is consuming some 80 percent of its natural resources (World
Resources Institute).
Throughout the 1990s more than 100 million children died from illness and starvation. Those 100 million
deaths could have been prevented for the price of ten Stealth bombers, or what the world spends on its military in
two days.
„ The Gospel preached worldwide
Matthew 24:14—And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations,
and then the end will come.
There are Christians and Christian churches in every country of the world (The Almanac of the Christian
World).
Over 50 million Bibles are distributed every year, plus nearly 80 million New Testaments.
Four billion Gospel tracts are printed every year.
The Bible has been translated partially or entirely into more than 2,000 languages, making its message
available to about 98% of the world's population.
The Gospel is preached from over 2,100 Christian radio and television stations worldwide.
„ One-world government
1 John 2:18—The Antichrist is coming.
One of the final signs of the end is the rise of a one-world government headed by a Devil-possessed tyrant
known as the Antichrist or "the Beast." The 13th chapter of the book of Revelation says that the world is going to
actually worship Satan in the person of this bestial world leader.
Revelation 13:4—So they worshiped the dragon [the Devil] who gave authority to the beast [the
Antichrist]; and they worshiped the beast.
This man will come to power with a seven-year agreement, a "covenant," in which he will promise world
peace and religious freedom. He will also be instrumental in rescuing the world from its present worsening
economic crisis, which many predict will soon escalate into a full-scale global financial crash.
The stage is rapidly being set for the world to accept global leadership.
Famed British historian Arnold Toynbee (1889–1975) said, "The nations are ready to give the kingdoms
of the world to any one man who will offer us a solution to our world's problems."
The first president of the United Nations General Assembly, Paul-Henri Spaak, who was also a prime
minister of Belgium and one of the early planners of the European Common Market, as well as a secretary-general
of NATO, affirmed, "We do not want another committee, we have too many already. What we want is a man of
sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all the people and to lift us up out of the economic morass into which we
are sinking. Send us such a man, and whether he be God or devil, we will receive him."
U.S. President George Bush (senior) popularized the term "New World Order" when he said in a speech
before the U.S. Congress during the Gulf War, "We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. … Out of
these troubled times a New World Order can emerge. … Today that New World Order is struggling to be born."
„ A savior turned sour
For a while, most of the world will hail the Beast as a political savior; he will have brought peace, restored
the world's economy, solved the Middle East crisis, etc. But suddenly, three and a half years after the enactment of
the seven-year covenant, he will repudiate it, and will forbid and abolish all traditional religious worship, declaring
that he himself is God and demanding that all the world worship him! (Daniel 9:27; 8:9–12; 11:21–24,28–31,36; 2
Thessalonians 2:3–4,8–9; Revelation 13:2–7).
He will also outlaw all religions, except the worship of himself and an image of himself that will somehow
be empowered to speak and "cause those who refuse to worship it to be killed" (Revelation 13:14–15).
Jesus warned:
Matthew 24:15, 21—Therefore when you see the "abomination of desolation," spoken of by Daniel the prophet,
standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), (21) For then there will be great tribulation, such
as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
„ The "Mark of the Beast"
Revelation 13:16–18—He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on
[in] their right hand or on [in] their foreheads, (17) and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark
or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (18) Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding
calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
During the Tribulation period—the second half of the Antichrist's seven-year reign—his government will
adopt a universal credit system, replacing the cash system presently used. He will require that everyone be issued a
credit number, referred to in the Bible as the "Mark of the Beast."
One theory is that this mark will be a microchip, containing your personal identification, medical and
financial records, etc., which will be implanted under the skin of the right hand or forehead.
The technology for such a chip and credit system already exists and according to news reports is presently
being tested in some American and European cities!
The Antichrist government can then use this new credit system to try to force everybody to worship the
Antichrist or face starvation, because no one will be able to buy or sell without it. But the followers of God will
refuse to worship him or receive his "mark."—And the Bible promises that the Lord will take care of them, even if
He has to supernaturally drop bread from the heavens to feed them! (Revelation 12:6,14).

This prophecy is truly remarkable. Given nearly 2,000 years ago, it predicts that a global economic system will one
day be instituted in which everyone will be forced to receive a number, without which they will not be able to buy
or sell. It is only since the advent of computers and electronic banking that this prophecy could be fulfilled.
Microchips used in plastic "smart cards" commonly used for banking, health, and identification purposes
cost only a few cents each, yet can contain a vast amount of personal data. A similar chip could be inserted under
the skin for instant identification.
One example: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that implantation of the new
Microdot Identification Project is already underway in Washington, D.C., and several other test cities. The tiny
computer chips being used are no larger than the head of a pin, cost less than 25 cents each and are injected
approximately 1/4 inch under the skin, usually in the dead space between the tendons of the middle and index
fingers. They are activated by a small hand-held scanner and provide flawless identification of the person in whom
it is implanted (Medical Technology Services Newsletter, July 1994, article by Hugh Watson).

¾ The Second Coming of Christ


Matthew 24:29–31—Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will
not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (30) Then the sign
of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son
of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And He will send His angels with a great
sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the
other.
1 Thessalonians 4:16–18—For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an
archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and
remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always
be with the Lord. (18) Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The world's darkest period of tribulation and horror under the Antichrist will abruptly end with the
dawning of the brightest dawn as Jesus Christ Himself returns to gather His children to be with Him!
Lights, trumpets, thunder, earthquakes, and gigantic meteor showers will all herald this climactic event!
God's children who have died throughout the ages will in one moment all be resurrected in new miraculous
bodies and burst forth from their graves and ascend to meet Jesus in the air.
The living Christians will be transformed and will rise from the earth to meet the Lord in the air, floating
right up through ceilings and buildings and cars and right up into the clouds to Jesus!
Such is the scenario of the Second Coming of Christ depicted in the Bible, where He snatches His children
out of reach of their evil Antichrist persecutors and whisks them away to the grandest, most glorious, and thrilling
victory celebration that's ever been held—the great "Marriage Supper of the Lamb" in Heaven!

„ Getting ready for the future!


As these awesome final events of the Endtime begin to unfold, you don't have to be in fear or confusion,
wondering what's going on. We may not like everything that is happening now on earth, and some of it may look
pretty bad, but at least we know the happy ending. Jesus made it clear that as the final signs of the end come to
pass, His return to rescue His people will be that much closer:
Luke 21:28—Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption
[deliverance] draws near.
The best way to be prepared for the future is to receive Jesus as your Savior, as He has promised to be with
His children to protect and provide for them and be their Guide through perilous times. Jesus will give you the
strength and courage to bravely face these future troubles and help you survive until the End of this world, after
which He will reward you beyond your wildest dreams in the heavenly world to come!
12 Foundation Stones

Introductory Notes 3
The Life of Jesus and Bible Basics
Section 1: The Basics

¾ Who or What Is God?


The Bible tells us:
1 John 4:8 – God is love.
The true God is a good God who is kind and loving and concerned about all of His children in every
nation! The Bible tells us that He is a loving Heavenly Father Who loves you as His Own dear child, Who created
this beautiful world as a home for you to live in and enjoy.
Jesus said:
John 4:24a – God is Spirit.
He is not a mere person in the sense that you and I are, for He and His Spirit surpass the entire universe!
God is omnipresent—everywhere; omnipotent—all-powerful; and omniscient—all-knowing!
God is the great basic Power and Guiding Light of the Universe, the Almighty Creator, the Great Spirit of
Love Who has brought all things into being. As Man's loving, fatherly Creator, He has a kind and benign purpose in
store for us, a final fulfillment of all of our longings for love, life, liberty and happiness!—He loves you!

¾ Who Is Jesus?
Jesus Christ is the central character of the New Testament of the Bible. His coming was foretold
throughout the Old Testament.
Jesus was born around the year 4 B.C. and was executed by crucifixion in the year 30 A.D. Three days
after His death He rose again and 40 days later ascended into Heaven. Aside from a time in His childhood, He spent
His life in the lands we now know as Israel and Palestine.
The last three and a half years of His life was the period of His public ministry where He gathered a group
of disciples and traveled and preached. When Jesus began His life's work, He went about everywhere doing good—
helping people, loving children, healing heartaches, strengthening tired bodies, healing sickness and disease, and
bringing God's love to all whom He could. He not only preached His message, but He lived it among us as one of
us. He not only ministered to Man's spiritual needs, but He spent a great deal of time ministering to people's
physical and material needs, miraculously healing them when they were sick, giving sight to the blind, hearing to
the deaf, cleansing lepers, raising the dead. He fed the crowds when they were hungry, and did all He could to share
His life and His love!
He performed many miracles, but more important than those was His message, which was a revolutionary
departure from the established teachings of the Jewish religion. He taught that love was the ultimate principle and
that those who loved God and their fellow man were fulfilling God's requirements for man.
The most important thing about Jesus is that He was not just a great prophet and teacher but that He was
God in the form of man, and belief in Him assures the believer a place in Heaven. Jesus Christ is the Son of God,
the Messiah, who died for our sins, allowing us to enter the Kingdom of God if we accept Him as our Savior.
We recommend you watch the movie Jesus. It is a good portrayal of His life and teachings.
L (Note: Two good versions of movies about Jesus are the 1979 version with Brian Deacon, and the 2000 version with
Jeremy Sisto).

Section 2: What Is the Bible?


The Bible is the holy book of Christians. It consists of two major parts: the Old Testament and the New
Testament. The Bible contains 66 books which were written by about 40 different people who were inspired by
God.
The books of the Bible were written during a 1,500-year period. That 1,500-year period began with Moses
about 3,400 years ago and ended with the book of Revelation about 1900 years ago.
The Old Testament is a collection of the holy Scriptures of the Jews. It contains 39 separate books written
over a time span of more than 1000 years.
The Old Testament has many prophecies about a Messiah or Anointed One, who would be a "son" who
would be called "Mighty God," or "Eternal Father." These prophecies were written hundreds of years before Jesus
Christ was born.
The New Testament contains the sacred writings of the early Christian period. It has 27 books that were
compiled into one anthology in the third century A.D. The first four books are the Gospels, and these are four
separate accounts of the life of Jesus. Next is the book of the Acts of the Apostles that tells the story of the early
Christians after Jesus' ascension to Heaven. Most of the remaining books are epistles, or letters, written by the early
Christian leaders to individuals or groups of followers. The final book is Revelation, a prophetic vision of the
future.
There are many versions of the Bible available, and in this course we will use the New King James
version (NKJ), which is both true to the original meaning of the scriptures, as well as fairly easy for today's reader
to follow and understand.

Section 3: Key Figures in the Bible


The Bible relates the lives and teachings of many of God's men and women of faith. Some of the most
important found therein are:

Abraham lived around 2000 B.C. and is the ancestor of both the Jews and the Arabs. At a time when
polytheism—the belief in multiple gods—was the norm, Abraham became a believer in the one and unseen God. At
the behest of God he left his native land in the area around ancient Ur (in what is now southern Iraq) and journeyed
to the land of Canaan (modern Israel and Palestine).
Moses lived around 1400 B.C. and led the Israelites out of their bondage as slaves in Egypt. Through him
God gave the Israelites the first five books of the Bible that contained the Law, a mixture of both civil and religious
ordinances, by which they were to be governed.
David was the greatest king of ancient Israel and lived around 1000 B.C. Although a man of force and
faults, the Bible says of him that he was a man after God's own heart. He wrote many of the songs of praise that
constitute the largest book of the Bible, the book of Psalms.
John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth. Zacharias was a priest, and Elizabeth was the
cousin of Mary, mother of Jesus. John lived the life of a hermit in the desert, existing on locusts and wild honey,
until the Lord called him to start preaching. His message was one of repentance. At the height of his popularity he
baptized Jesus and proclaimed Him the Messiah. About a year after he had baptized Jesus he was imprisoned by
King Herod and was later executed.
Peter was one of Jesus' twelve closest disciples. Originally a fisherman, he became a trusted follower and
assumed a leadership role amongst the Christians after Jesus' ascension to Heaven. He was eventually martyred in
Rome in 64 A.D.
Paul was the greatest evangelist and teacher of the early Christians. He was not a personal disciple of
Jesus but was, in fact, a persecutor of the early Christians after Jesus' ascension. That changed when he was
temporarily blinded by a brilliant light out of which Jesus spoke to him. His sight was restored after a Christian
prayed for him and from that point on Paul became the most dynamic of the early Christians. Aside from tirelessly
traveling to preach the Gospel and establishing Christian communities in many cities in the eastern areas of the
Roman empire, he also wrote many letters of instruction, 14 of which remained extant and were incorporated into
the New Testament over 150 years later.
John the Beloved was, like Peter, a fisherman before becoming Jesus' disciple. Although of a seemingly
fiery nature, he also was known as the beloved disciple. His Gospel shows a deep understanding of Jesus' nature
and His essential message of love. In his old age, while a prisoner in exile, he received the famous Revelation that
is incorporated into the Bible as its final book.

Section 4: The Life of Jesus


„ Birth, Early Life, and Childhood
The virgin Mary is told she'll give birth to Jesus—Luke 1:26–38
The angel Gabriel told the virgin Mary that she would have a son, Jesus, and that Jesus would be
conceived of her and of the Holy Spirit of God. This event was predicted 700 years earlier when the prophet Isaiah
(Isaiah 7:14) spoke of a virgin having a child who would be referred to as "Immanuel" which means "God with us."
Jesus is born in the town of Bethlehem—Luke 2:1–7
Shortly before Jesus was born, His mother Mary and her husband Joseph had traveled to Bethlehem to be
counted in a mandatory census. While they were there, Mary gave birth to Jesus. This event was foretold 700 years
beforehand by the prophet Micah (Micah 5:2).

King Herod tries to kill the new-born King (Jesus)—Matthew 2:3–12


When Jesus was born, a star-like object appeared over Bethlehem. The star was seen by wise men in the
East who, believing it portended a king's birth in Israel, traveled to Jerusalem. Once there, they told King Herod of
the omen. Herod, fearing his kingship might be threatened, ordered that all the male infants in the town of
Bethlehem and in the surrounding area be killed.

The infant Jesus and His parents escape to Egypt—Matthew 2:13–15


Being warned by an angel in a dream, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus and fled to Egypt for their
safety.

Jesus is taken back to Israel, to the town of Nazareth—Matthew 2:19–23


After King Herod died, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus returned to their homeland. They journeyed to the district
of Galilee and settled in a town called Nazareth.

Jesus as a young child visits the Temple—Luke 2:41–52


When Jesus was about 12 years of age, He visited the Temple in Jerusalem, the capital city of the land of
Israel. While at the Temple, Jesus spoke about God and about the Scriptures. His knowledge impressed the people
who were in the Temple that day.

„ First Year of Jesus' Ministry


Jesus began His ministry at about the age of 30. His ministry lasted about three and a half years.
His ministry has changed the world more than the work of any man in history.

Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist—Matthew 3:13–17


When Jesus had reached the age of about 30, it was nearly time for Him to begin His ministry. But first, He
went to John the Baptist, a relative of his, and was baptized in the Jordan River.

Jesus resists the temptations of Satan—Matthew 4:1–11


After He was baptized, Jesus went into the desert where He fasted (ate no food) for 40 days. He spent
much of this time praying. But Satan used this time to tempt Jesus. Satan is a Hebrew word which means
"adversary," "enemy," or "devil." Satan tried to tempt Jesus with offers of instant glory and worldly power. Jesus
never gave in to the temptations but, quoting Scriptures from the Bible, each time overcame them and defeated
Satan.

Jesus calls His first disciples—John 1:35–51


Jesus then returned to the place where John was baptizing. John pointed Him out to some of his own
disciples as the One on whom he had seen the Spirit descending and proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God.
These two disciples then followed after Jesus. One of them was Andrew, who also brought his brother, Peter, to see
Jesus. The next day Philip and Nathanael met Him and began to follow Him.

Jesus' first miracle, turning water into wine—John 2:1–11


Afterwards, Jesus went to Cana, a town in the district of Galilee to attend a wedding party. His mother,
Mary, also attended. But the host of the wedding party did not have enough wine for everyone who had gathered.
This was an embarrassing situation for the wedding host. So Mary intervened on behalf of the wedding host. She
told Jesus about the problem. Jesus then miraculously changed the water in six large clay pots into wine for the
wedding party.

Jesus cleanses the Temple in Jerusalem—John 2:13–17


Jesus went to Jerusalem and visited the Temple. When He arrived He saw that many people were selling
animals and exchanging money in the Temple. This angered Jesus because the Temple was intended to be a place
to worship God, not a place to operate business and make money. Jesus made a whip out of some strands of rope
and chased the merchants out of the Temple.
Jesus talks of God's love and plan of salvation—John 3:1–17
Jesus explains to Nicodemus what a person must do to have salvation and eternal life.

Jesus tells a Samaritan woman about the "living water"—John 4:5–42


As Jesus and His followers traveled through Samaria, Jesus took a rest near a well. There He met a
Samaritan woman and spoke to her about the "living water." In this discussion with the Samaritan woman, Jesus
showed that the Word of God was meant to be shared with all people, even enemies (the Samaritans and the Jews
were hostile towards one another). And He showed that it was to be shared with men and women, Jews and
Gentiles. (Gentiles include everyone who isn't Jewish.)

Jesus' early ministry in Galilee—John 4:3, 43–45


During much of Jesus' ministry, He was in the region around Galilee, where Jews and many Gentiles (non-
Jews) lived. Jesus preached and performed many miracles there. This was foretold by the prophet Isaiah about 700
years beforehand – see Isaiah 9:1–2.

Jesus heals a nobleman's son—John 4:46–54


A royal official begged Jesus to heal his son who was very ill. Jesus then sent the nobleman on his way,
telling him that his son would recover from the illness and become well again. The nobleman went home and
learned that his son had indeed recovered from his illness at the same time Jesus said he'd be healed. The nobleman
and his family became believers.

Jesus announces that He is the Messiah—Luke 4:14–21


Jesus went to a synagogue (a Jewish place of worship) in his hometown of Nazareth. He read from the
scroll of Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1–2) to the people gathered there. That Bible passage speaks of an anointed one who
brings the Word of God to the people. When Jesus finished reading Isaiah 61:1–2, He told the people that: "Today
this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Jesus proclaimed before the congregation that He was the anointed
one—or Messiah—that the Bible verse spoke about.

Jesus is rejected as the Messiah—Luke 4:28–30


Shortly after Jesus announced that He was the Messiah, the people at the synagogue in the town of
Nazareth rejected Him as the Messiah.
Though many of the Jews rejected Jesus, some received His message gladly. In fact, the original Christians
were Jews who in turn won other nationalities to Jesus.

„ Second Year of Jesus' Ministry


The second year of Jesus' ministry is sometimes referred to as the "Year of Popularity." During this time
Jesus became increasingly popular. The crowds that gathered to hear His teachings grew. Jesus performed many of
His miracles during this time.

Jesus explains He is salvation; God is His Father—John 5:17–47


Here, Jesus explained that God is His Father. Jesus also explained that He (Jesus) is the only source of
salvation for people. There is no other way to gain salvation than through Jesus Himself.

Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount—Matthew, chapters 5–7


About mid-way through His ministry, which lasted about three and a half years, Jesus gave the Sermon on
the Mount. This speech has been the most recited, most remembered, and most widely known of any speech in
history. During the sermon, Jesus said that He is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and promises, that
people should forgive their enemies and settle disputes quickly, and that people sin even when they think about
sinning. Therefore by inference we are all sinners and need a savior.

Jesus heals the servant of aw Roman officer—Matthew 8:5–13


When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a town in Galilee, He was asked to heal the servant of a centurion (a
Roman officer). Jesus said He would go to the servant and heal him. But the centurion replied that he was unworthy
to have Jesus come to his home, and he said "just say the word, and my servant will be healed." By saying that, the
centurion was attesting that he had faith in Jesus, and that he knew that Jesus could heal his servant simply by
giving the order from a distance. Jesus then told the people that He had not seen such great faith in a man before
and that the servant would be healed—and the servant was healed.
Jesus brings back to life a widow's son in Nain—Luke 7:12–16
Jesus was about to enter the town gate of Nain when a group of people approached, carrying out a dead
body. The dead person was the son of a widow, who was crying. When Jesus saw her, He told the woman not to
cry. He touched the coffin and commanded the young man to get up. He arose and began to speak. All the people
were filled with awe.

Jesus calms a raging storm—Matthew 8:24–27


Jesus was in a boat with His disciples when a storm began to toss high waves and rock the boat. The
disciples were concerned that the boat would sink, so they awoke Jesus, who was sleeping. Jesus told the men to
have faith. Then Jesus commanded the storm to be calmed. Immediately, the storm went away. This was one of the
miracles where Jesus showed that He could command the forces of nature.

Jesus brings Jairus' daughter back to life—Matthew 9:18–19, 23–26


A ruler of the people came to Jesus and said that his daughter had just died. Jesus and His disciples went to
the ruler's home and saw a gathering of mourners. Jesus told the mourners to leave the house, and He told them that
the girl was not dead, but asleep. The mourners laughed at Him. But, after the mourners had left the home, Jesus
took the girl by the hand and the girl rose up, alive.

Jesus heals two blind men—Matthew 9:27–34


Two blind men learned that Jesus was nearby and they called out to Him, "Have mercy on us, Son of
David." Jesus asked the blind men if they truly believed that He had the power to heal them. They told him that
they did. Jesus then touched their eyes and restored their sight.

The twelve apostles are ordained—Matthew 10:1–4


Jesus called together His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to heal people of their diseases
and illnesses. The twelve disciples were Simon (who is called Peter), Andrew (Simon Peter's brother), James son of
Zebedee, John (James' brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus,
Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed Jesus).

„ Third Year of Jesus' Ministry


This period of Jesus' ministry is sometimes called the "Year of Opposition." Some religious leaders
became increasingly jealous of Jesus, as Jesus became increasingly popular.

Jesus feeds 5,000 people—Matthew 14:13–21


Soon after Jesus had learned that John the Baptist had been beheaded, Jesus went out into a boat to pray in
solitude. But a large crowd gathered at the shore to meet Jesus. He felt compassion for the crowd, so He went
ashore and healed the sick people amongst them.
It was getting late into the day, and Jesus' disciples were concerned that the crowd did not have any food.
Jesus told His disciples to feed the crowd, but the disciples said they only had five loaves of bread and two fish.
The crowd was very large, with 5,000 men, as well as many women and children. Jesus gave thanks, broke the
loaves, and gave them and the fish to the disciples who gave them to the people, who all ate and were satisfied.
Twelve baskets of leftovers were later gathered, so much had the food been multiplied!

Jesus walks on water—Matthew 14:22–33


Jesus told His disciples to launch out into the water in a boat while He went to a private place to pray.
Later, Jesus walked out to the boat on the water and startled the disciples. They thought they were seeing a ghost
walking on the water. But after they realized that it was Jesus, they worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son
of God."

Jesus prophesies His Own death—Matthew 16:21–26


Jesus foretold events that happened in the future. For example, He prophesied that the Temple would be
destroyed, that Jerusalem would be destroyed, and that the Word of God would be preached to every corner of the
world. All of those prophecies have come true. As explained in Matthew 16:21–26, Jesus prophesied His Own
persecution, death and resurrection. Jesus told His disciples that He would go into Jerusalem where He would
suffer at the hand of religious leaders before being put to death. He also said that He would rise again on the third
day.

Jesus is transfigured—Matthew 17:1–3, 5–8


Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a high mountain. There He was transfigured—His face shone like the
sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Moses (who lived 1500 years before) and Elijah (a prophet who
had died hundreds of years before) appeared from the world beyond, talking with Jesus.

Jesus heals a man who was born blind—John 9:1–41


When the disciples of Jesus had seen a man who had been blind since birth, they asked Jesus if the man's
blindness was a result of his own sins or if it was the result of his parents' sins. Jesus answered them that the man's
blindness was not due to the man's sins or his parents' sins. Jesus said the man's blindness happened "so that the
work of God might be displayed in his life." Jesus then healed the man of his blindness.

Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead—John 11:1–44


When Jesus received word that His friend, Lazarus, was seriously ill, He said: "This sickness will not end
in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it."
A few days later, Jesus traveled to Lazarus' town, where he was told Lazarus had been dead for four days.
Jesus told Martha, Lazarus' sister, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though
he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Then, Martha answered Jesus: "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of
God, who was to come into the world." Jesus went to the tomb and called out for Lazarus. Lazarus came back to
life, rose up and walked out of his tomb.

„ Final Months of Jesus' Ministry


In the final months of Jesus' ministry, many of the religious leaders plotted against Him.

The triumphal entry into Jerusalem—Matthew 21:1–11


About 500 years before the time of Jesus, there was a prophet of God named Zechariah who spoke of a
king presenting himself to Jerusalem while riding on a humble donkey (Zechariah 9:9). This is how Jesus entered
Jerusalem shortly before He was crucified and killed. He rode on the back of a donkey into the city. Along the way,
a crowd of people gathered near Him, praising Him as He went by.

The question about paying taxes—Matthew 22:15–22


As Jesus became increasingly popular, some of the religious leaders (Pharisees) became jealous and tried
to trap Jesus into saying something or doing something for which He could be arrested.
The land of the Jews at that time was part of the Roman Empire. The Jews were ruled over by a Caesar
(emperor). So, a few of the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus into saying something that would anger the Romans.
They asked Jesus about the issue of Jews having to pay taxes to a Roman Caesar. His wise reply (to give Caesar his
due, but God His due) amazed them. They could not trap Him.

The great commandment (the "Golden Rule")—Matthew 22:34–40


Later others asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment of the Law (the first five books of the Bible).
Jesus answered that to love God and your neighbor as yourself are the greatest commandments, and upon them
hang "all the Law and the Prophets."

The widow's offering—Mark 12:41–44


In Mark 12:41–44, the Bible explains a lesson on giving. Jesus sat down opposite the place where the
offerings were given and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw
in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus pointed out the value of what she had given, for she had given all that she had.

„ The Persecution of Jesus


The Jewish leaders conspired with Judas, one of Jesus' followers, to arrange Jesus' arrest. Jesus was falsely
accused of being an anti-government rebel and was executed by crucifixion. His persecution and death fulfilled
many Bible prophecies that had been written hundreds of years beforehand.

The plot against Jesus—Matthew 26:1–5, 14–16


A few days before the Jewish feast of the Passover, Jesus again predicted His death. He told His disciples
that He would be handed over to be crucified. At about this time, the chief priests and other leaders plotted to have
Jesus arrested so they could kill Him. They conspired with Judas, one of Jesus' 12 apostles, and paid him 30 pieces
of silver to look for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
Jesus is betrayed by Judas—Matthew 26:47–56
Jesus and His followers had entered the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. His disciples were
sleeping when a crowd of Jewish officials and temple guards showed up to arrest Jesus. Judas told the guards which
man was Jesus. Then the men began to arrest Jesus, and in the confusion that ensued Peter, with his sword, cut off
one of the troop's ears. Jesus scolded Peter for doing that. Jesus healed the injured man's ear and then allowed
Himself to be arrested and led away.

Peter denies knowing Jesus—Matthew 26:58,69–75


Chapter 26 of the Gospel of Matthew begins with a prophecy from Jesus that He would be betrayed and
handed over to be crucified. And the chapter ends with the fulfillment of another of Jesus' prophecies—that Peter,
Jesus' close disciple, would deny knowing Jesus three times before the break of dawn.
After Jesus was arrested and led away by the soldiers, Peter followed them into the courtyard of the high
priest. He took a seat near some of the guards and waited to see what would happen with Jesus. A servant walked
up to Peter and asked him if he was with Jesus. Peter said "I don't know what you're talking about."
Peter then got up and went outside of a courtyard where another person saw him and identified him as a
follower of Jesus. Peter again denied knowing Jesus. Other people then identified Peter as being a follower of Jesus
and again Peter denied knowing Him. In all, Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times before dawn, just as Jesus
had predicted.
When Peter remembered that Jesus had predicted his denials, he began to weep because he had indeed
denied knowing the Lord.

Jesus is interrogated, mocked, and condemned—Matthew 27


Chapter 27 of the Gospel of Matthew explains how the religious leaders conspired to have Jesus
condemned by the Romans. They falsely accused Jesus of being an anti-government rebel. Pontius Pilate, the
Roman governor of the land of the Jews, tried to release Jesus and give Him His freedom. But the leaders
conspired, successfully, to force the governor to order Jesus' execution.

Jesus is crucified—Matthew 27:35–38


After the "trial," Jesus was whipped. Then He was given a cross to carry and led to a hill we refer to as
Calvary. There, He was nailed through His wrists and feet to the cross. The cross was raised and Jesus was left to
die. Many people had gathered to watch. Many mocked Jesus as He was dying. A few, His mother among them,
mourned for Him.

Jesus is buried—Matthew 27:57–61; Mark 15:42–47; Luke 23:50–55; John 19:31–42


After Jesus had died on the cross, a Roman soldier pierced Jesus with a spear to make sure He was dead.
Joseph of Arimathea asked permission to take Jesus' body and bury Him. Jesus was taken down from the cross,
wrapped in cloth, and placed into an empty tomb owned by Joseph. A large stone was placed in front of the tomb to
close off the burial chamber. The Romans also posted guards at the tomb to prevent anyone from stealing the body.

„ The Resurrection of Jesus


Three days and nights after Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried, He rose again.

Mary Magdalene discovers Jesus' tomb empty—John 20:1–19


The morning after Jesus had been buried, Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' followers, went to the tomb. She
saw that the stone had been removed from the front of the tomb and that the tomb was empty. She afterwards saw
Jesus, Who told her He had risen and to go tell the news to the others. She then went to Peter and the others and
told them that the tomb was empty and Jesus was alive, but they didn't believe her. Other people also came to visit
the tomb and saw that it was empty.

The report of the guards—Matthew 28:11–15


According to Matthew 28:11–15, some of the guards who were guarding the tomb went into the city of
Jerusalem and told the chief priests that the tomb was empty. The chief priests paid the guards to say that the
disciples had stolen the body while the guards had fallen asleep.

Jesus appears to ten of His disciples—John 20:19–23; Mark 16:14


Shortly after it had been discovered that Jesus' body was no longer in the tomb, Jesus began appearing to
several people. He appeared to two believers on the road to a city called Emmaus, and He appeared to Peter. He
also appeared to ten of His disciples, including Peter, when they were gathered together. Jesus had prophesied that
He would be handed over to be crucified, that He would die, and that He would rise again. But that wasn't enough
proof for the disciple named Thomas. Thomas wasn't present when Jesus visited the ten disciples. He still had
doubts that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Jesus appears to Thomas—Mark 16:14–18


Jesus again appeared to His disciples, and this time Thomas was present, and saw and touched the wounds
of the resurrected Jesus himself.

The resurrected Jesus was seen by over 500 people—1 Corinthians 15:3–7
According to the testimony of the apostle Paul, more than 500 people saw Jesus after His resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:3–7—For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our
sins according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the
Scriptures, (5) and that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve [apostles]. (6) After that He was seen by
over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep
[died]. (7) After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

Jesus ascends to Heaven—Mark 16:19–20; Acts chapter 1


After Jesus had visited His disciples and told them to go into all the world and preach the Word of God, He
was taken up to Heaven. Angels appeared and promised that in the same way that Jesus had been taken, He will
return!
Acts 1:8–11—[Jesus told His disciples] "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (9)
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of
their sight. (10) And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in
white apparel, (11) who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus,
who was taken up from you into Heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven."
12 Foundation Stones
Introductory Notes 4
Welcome to The Family
The Family is a worldwide Christian fellowship dedicated to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the
world. All Family members have received Jesus as their personal Savior and have been baptized with the Holy
Spirit. Each member believes that he or she is called by the Lord to serve Him. The 12 Foundation Stones course is
based on the Bible and on Family publications. The following is a brief introduction to our movement.

¾ What is The Family?


We are an international Christian fellowship. We have each been called by the Lord to serve Him as
disciples in The Family. Our full-time disciples live in communal Homes. Our lives are dedicated to Jesus and
helping others.
L For more information and details, see our brochure, "Introducing The Family" and/or the “"Statement of Faith."

¾ The goals of The Family


„ No. 1: To preach the Gospel, that others would come to know Jesus as their Savior.
We strive to fulfill Christ's commission to His disciples to "preach the Gospel to every creature" at every
opportunity.
Mark 16:15—And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."
Matthew 28:19–20—Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am
with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.
You can show some of the publications we use in our witnessing, such as posters, tracts, music cassettes,
CDs, videos, plus of course the Activated series of magazines and books.

„ No. 2: To be a living example of the love of Jesus through deeds of caring.


We try to be a living example of the love that we preach, endeavoring to follow the model of Jesus, who
described His ministry in these verses:
Luke 4:18–19—The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the
poor; he has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the
blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
We believe that our love for others should be manifest through caring deeds, and for this reason we seek
ways to provide comfort and material assistance to the disadvantaged.
Psalm 41:1a—Blessed is he who considers the poor.
James 2:15–16—If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart
in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it
profit?
James 1:2—Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their
trouble.

„ No. 3: To ensure that each of our children receives a godly upbringing in the best possible
environment we can provide.
Psalm 127:3—Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Isaiah 54:13—All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.

„ The Family's founder and current leadership


In 1968, David Brandt Berg, a former pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, began a Christian
outreach ministry to the counterculture youth in Huntington Beach, California, USA. From these humble
beginnings, what started primarily as a youth group grew to become an international Christian movement, whose
members today live and work in over 100 countries worldwide. The movement became known as "The Family" in
the early 1980s.
David was the founder and pastor of The Family, and many of our publications are based upon his
writings, as well as of course on the Bible, which he taught was God's standard, the yardstick of measurement by
which all truth and all error could be measured. Along with the classes in this course, you will be introduced to
some of David's writings.
After leading The Family for 25 years, David passed away in late 1994. His wife of 25 years, Maria, now
leads The Family together with her second husband, Peter. Like David, Maria continues to publish many writings to
The Family on a variety of spiritual and practical topics.

„ Our communal lifestyle


Our communal lifestyle is based on the sample of the Early Church, though of course our life is adapted
to the 21st century. The lifestyle of the Early Church included sharing the Word, fellowship, prayer, leading a
simple life, and telling others (witnessing).
Acts 2:42–47—And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread,
and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and
divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking
bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having
favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Our full-time disciples choose to abide by the Family's governing Charter of rights and responsibilities.
They live in communities, as the early Christians did, sharing what they have. However, there are also other
members of the Family who do not choose to live communally or are unable to for different reasons. We also work
together with many Family members who help on a part-time basis to support and assist us in our job of preaching
the Gospel.
Our purpose for living communally is so that we can better devote our lives to the service of others. Living
and working in cooperation together, pooling our talents and resources, allows us to better manage our day-to-day
lives and organize our public ministries. Our children are well cared for, educated and vocationally trained in our
communities, while adults have the opportunity to study God's Word, instruct new believers, and reach out to
others in need.

„ Working together in harmony, following the Lord's leading


Putting the needs of others before our own
Psalm 133:1—Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Galatians 6:2—Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Philippians 2:3–4—Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each
esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests
of others.
„ Making decisions through discussion and prayer
Proverbs 11:14—Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Psalm 33:11—The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.
Proverbs 19:21—There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel— that will stand.

„ A life of faith
We live in a world that is increasingly secularized. The pursuit of material wealth has become the driving
force of most people's lives. In contrast, although we also have material needs, we don't want to spend the majority
of our time in seeking after them. The Lord has called us to devote ourselves to Him and others. We believe that as
long as we are working fulltime for Him, living a life based on faith and for the good of others, He will take care of
us.
Matthew 6:19–21—Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where
thieves break in and steal; (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust
destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there your heart will be
also.
Matthew 6:31–33—Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What
shall we wear?" … (32) For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (33) But seek first the
kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Family disciples are dedicated to full-time service for Jesus, sharing His message of hope, love and
redemption with the world. We consider it a blessing and a special calling to be able to serve God and our fellow
man in this way, and a worthy work for others to help support, knowing that they in turn will be richly blessed by
God.
12 Foundation Stones—Class 1A
Treasures New and Old
The Word of God, Part 1
Section 1: Bible Study on God's Word
¾ The Bible was given to man by God
The Bible is a collection of 66 books that are the written record of messages God gave to about 40 people
whom He chose as His spokesmen. Although the Bible was recorded by men, it was written by God.
2 Timothy 3:16—All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Peter 1:21—For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by
the Holy Spirit.

We can know the author


This This story is also in Preparatory Class No.1
There's a story about a girl who was assigned some book to read in college. She started, and
because she found it kind of dry and uninteresting, she threw it in the top of her closet and thought she'd
read it later. Later on a man came to the college and lectured. She found out during the course of his
lecture that he was the author of the book! She so fell in love with him on his visit to the college that after
hearing his lectures, she immediately went home and dug the book out of the top of her closet and buried
herself in the book to read it!—Why? How come the book was all of a sudden so interesting, whereas she
thought it was dry and uninteresting before?—She knew the author!
What's the most important reason why we know the Bible is true? We know the Author. Before
somebody introduced you to the Author, you probably didn't care much about the Bible and didn't know
whether it was true or not, never read it and maybe didn't even believe it. But now since we've told you
that it's Jesus and you've been introduced to Jesus and received Jesus in your hearts, all of a sudden
you're interested in the Bible for the first time maybe in your life, because now you know the Author and
you want to hear what He has to say!

Archaeological finds confirm the veracity of the Bible


This article is also in the Study Notes book.
Biblical archaeology is the scientific study, by excavation, examination, and publication, of the
evidences of cultures and civilizations from the Biblical period. Archaeological discoveries paint in the
background of the Bible, helping to explain many of its events. Although it is not possible to verify every
incident in the Bible, the discoveries of archaeology since the mid-1800s have demonstrated the reliability
and plausibility of the Bible narrative. Here are some examples:
The discovery of the ancient city of Ebla's archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the
Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. (Patriarchs is a name generally applied to the
progenitors of families or "heads of the fathers" mentioned in Scripture, including such personages as
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, etc.) Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate
that specific people and places in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine.
The name "Canaan" was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and
was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible.
The word "tehom" ("the deep") in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late
writing of the Creation story. "Tehom" was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before
Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets
from Nuzi and Mari.
The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were
discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey.
Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon's wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered
records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king, and Solomon's
prosperity was entirely feasible.
It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1,
because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in
Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the
palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela (ancient stone slab or pillar) memorializing the victory
were found at Ashdod itself. (In Daniel 5:2, Nebuchadnezzar is portrayed as the father of Belshazzar,
however the word translated in this verse as "father" is more accurately translated as grandfather or
ancestor. Belshazzar was the son of Nabodinus, and grandson or descendant of Nebuchadnezzar.)
(Based on the research of Bryant Wood, of Associates for Biblical Research.)

¾ God's Word is true and never fails


Psalm 119:89—Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in Heaven.
Isaiah 40:8—The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.
Matthew 24:35—Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My Words will by no means pass away.

The Bible works!


A skeptic, talking about the Bible, said that it was quite impossible these days to believe in any
book whose author was unknown. James, who believes in Jesus, asked him if the compiler of the
multiplication table was known.
"No," he answered.
"Then, of course, you do not believe it?" asked James.
The skeptic replied, "Oh, yes, I believe in it because it works."
"So does the Bible!" responded James.

Testimony: "Through the Rivers!"


(Introduction: This is the translation of a letter that was sent to us by a Russian pastor who lives in
a town on the Amur River in Russia, beyond the Ural Mountains.)
The Lord did a miracle for me shortly after I met you! One morning recently, I opened my Bible to
Isaiah 43:1–2, which says, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are
Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow
you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you."
In the central hospital later that day, we were to hold services for the sick people. I prayed and
asked the Lord what I should talk about, and He showed me to preach on those verses.
Then the next evening, I needed to go to a ship on the Amur River, as the engines needed to be
tested. (I work as an inspecting engineer, besides being a pastor.) We agreed that at 9 p.m., I would
come to this ship by another boat. The ship that needed to be checked is 45 meters long, with four meters
of the hull below the surface of the water.
Before leaving, I finished all the work I had to do at home, I prayed, dressed warmly and left.
I arrived at the pier and took a boat to look for the ship on the river. It was now about 10 p.m. and
very dark. Later I was in the captain's quarters of the small boat, and when I looked out the door I
immediately saw the large ship I was ooking for heading straight at us on an unavoidable collision course!
The only thought I had time to think was, "Thy will be done, Lord!"
We collided, and I was immediately thrown out of the boat. The Lord surely guided me, as deep
down in the water I swam close to the side of my boat, and I could hear the great propellers of the large
ship pass near me.
When I rose to the surface, I called out to the Lord. I didn't have any strength, and I couldn't
breathe well, but I knew He was helping me! I looked around. It was very dark and there was no one
around. I was right in the middle of the Amur River. (Note: The Amur is one of the great rivers of the
world, forming the border between Russia and China for 1,600 km.)
I thought, What next, Lord?
I got an answer: Call for help. I couldn't get enough air and didn't have much of my voice left, but I
started to yell as loud as I could for help, still wondering, Who can hear me? To find a man on the water in
the dark is like looking for a needle in a haystack ... but if the Lord said to do it, then my job was just to
obey.
I later found out that after the ship struck our boat, it veered to the right and got stuck on a sand
bar. My cries were heard and I was brought to the ship! Everybody looked at me with wide eyes, as they
did not expect to see any survivors. I had no wounds, not even a cold. One man said, "You're alive! I
would have died from a heart attack if I was in your place."
I answered, "Right! I would have died myself if it hadn't been for the Lord leading me and not
allowing the ‘river to overflow me'." Praise God for His miracles!

¾ The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Word


„ Jesus is the "Word made flesh."
John 1:1,14—In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (14) And the
Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth.
Hebrews 11:3—By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things
which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
God has always spoken to people in many ways: through the beauty and wonder of His Creation, through
His prophets and messengers, and through His written Word. But the clearest revelation of Himself—of His
character, of His Love—is found in His Son, Jesus, Whom the Bible calls "the Word." Words are the means by
which we express ourselves, by which we reveal our thoughts, our feelings, our character.—And Jesus is the means
by which God expresses Himself to us. God's most outstanding means of communication with us, the way that He
chose to communicate His Love to the World, was by His Own Son, Jesus.

¾ The Bible was written for our benefit


John 19:35—And he [John] who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling
the truth, so that you may believe.
1 Corinthians 10:11—Now all these things happened to them [Bible characters] as examples, and they were
written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
John 4:13–14—Jesus answered and said to [the Samaritan woman], "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst
again, (14) but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give
him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."
Revelation 22:17—And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him
who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

The Water of Life


Water is the most valuable commodity on earth, outside of life itself, which is why God symbolizes
life with water, calling it the Water of Life, along with the Word of Life, the Water of the Word!—Water
being such an essential element of man's life, existence and survival, and without which all life dies!

¾ It's important to keep the Word


Obeying and keeping the Word proves we know and love Jesus. As a result, we receive benefits!
John 8:31–32—Jesus said, "If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. (32) And you shall know the
truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Luke 11:28—More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!
John 15:7—If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done
for you.
John 14:15—If you love Me, keep My commandments.
The Bible is like a map to guide you through life. To say you don't have time for it is like a driver going on
a long journey, saying, "I'm in such a hurry to get there I don't have time to look at the map."

Augustine's conversion
In 384 A.D. a young man from North Africa went to Milan, Italy, to take a position as teacher of
rhetoric. While there, he became very absorbed by and troubled about the meaning of life.
One day in the back yard of his home, while on the verge of almost complete despair, he heard the
voice of a child next door chanting, "Take and read, take and read."
Immediately he took the Scriptures and read that Jesus Christ was the way of complete
forgiveness of sins. Through reading the Word of God, this man's life was changed and he became St.
Augustine, bishop of Hippo, one of the great Christian theologians of all time.

The thief
In a meeting, converts were giving personal testimonies. One man arose, holding a New
Testament in his hand. "My story," said he, "is unlike other men. I was a pickpocket, and one day I saw a
man with a definite bulge in his hip pocket. A fat purse, thought I, and soon it was in my pocket. But when
I arrived home, behold, it was this book. In disgust I threw it aside, but afterward, out of curiosity, I opened
it and began to read. Before many days had passed I discovered Christ as my Savior and Lord."
Listening to this testimony, one of the volunteers from the Bible Society became interested. After
the meeting, he asked to see the New Testament. It was the one he had carried with him for years, the
one he had considered lost. Is not this evidence of the power of the Word to change and to transform
man's life? What has the Word done for you?

Abide in Jesus to bear fruit


John 15:1,4—I am the true vine. … (4) As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in
the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
The physical illustration is clear. If a branch is cut off from the rest of the tree, it will wither and die
and bear no fruit.

¾ Benefits of the Word


„ The Word gives us faith, truth, wisdom and strength!
Psalm 119:7—I will praise You with uprightness of heart, when I learn Your righteous judgments.
Romans 10:17—Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
Acts 20:32b—The Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance.
„ Meditating on the Word brings blessings and success:
Joshua 1:8—This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night,
that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and
then you will have good success.
Psalm 119:130—The entrance of Your Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
„ The Word cleanses us, heals us, makes us happy, gives us peace!
John 15:3—"You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you."
Psalm 107:20—He sent His Word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Psalm 119:165—Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.
Jeremiah 15:16a—Your Words were found, and I ate them, and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of
my heart.
2 Timothy 3:16—All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness.

It will light you home


Years ago, a minister went far into a backwoods settlement to hold a meeting, and it was
necessary that he return late in the very dark night. A woodsman provided him with a torch of pitch-pine
wood.
The minister, never having seen anything of the kind, said, "It will soon burn out."
"It will light you home," answered the woodsman.
"The wind may blow it out," said the preacher.
"It will light you home," was again the answer.
"But what if it should rain?"
"It will light you home," was the answer a third time.
And, contrary to the minister's fears, the torch did last him all the way home.
The Word of God is a torch given into the hands of each of us. What if it rains? What if the wind
blows? What if all is dark around you? If you will hold the torch high, "it will light you home."

¾ All of these benefits will come when we read and absorb the Word
1 Peter 2:2—As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.
Matthew 4:4—It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth
of God."
Colossians 3:16—Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
2 Timothy 2:15—Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the Word of truth.
As someone wrote: "We get no deeper into Christ than we allow Him to get into us."

We need to read the Word to receive the benefits


A certain wayward young man ran away from home and was not heard of for years. After
he heard that his father had just died, he returned home and was kindly received by his mother. The day
came for the reading of the will; the family members were all gathered together, and the lawyer began to
read the document. To the surprise of all present, the will told in detail of the wayward career of the
runaway son. The boy in anger arose, stomped out of the room, left the house, and was not heard from
for three years. When eventually he was found, he was informed that the will, after telling of his
waywardness, had gone on to bequeath him a large inheritance.
How much sorrow he would have saved himself and others, if he had only heard the reading
through! Thus, many people only half read the Bible, and turn from it dissatisfied. The Bible says, "The
wages of sin is death," yes. But it says more. It says, "but the gift of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:23).
Section 2: How and What to Read
¾ The Word of God is not just pretty pictures!
The Words of God are not just pretty pictures. They are meant to be put into action. They should move you
and motivate you; guide you and change you. For the next half an hour, we're going to look at how to get the most
from what you read, and give you ideas of where to start. We won't be looking at many more verses, as we've
already looked at the needs and benefits of reading the Word, but we'll be concentrating on practical tips about how
to get the most from your time in the Word.

¾ When to:
It is difficult to get too far in your reading if you don't spend at least 20 minutes at it. Can you set aside 20
minutes daily? Or would three times a week be easier to start with? Whatever you decide, try to make a definite
goal and then determine in your heart to see it through. It will be easier to follow through if you establish a definite
time slot as part of your regular daily routine. It doesn't matter what time of day, just whenever suits you best.
Some people find it easier to concentrate in the morning; others do better in the evening when the business of the
day has been completed.
See what works best for you. Regard your "Word time" as an appointment with Jesus. Don't be tempted to
cancel or postpone the appointment any more than you'd cancel an appointment with your employer.

¾ Where to:
Try to find a place to read where you will not be interrupted. If possible, use the same place every day, but
the most important is that you have a quiet place where you won't be distracted. You might want to take the
telephone off the hook (or turn off your cellular phone). In front of the TV is most likely not going to work!

¾ What to:
It's a good idea to make a plan of what to read over a period of time. But remain flexible. Ask the Lord
what Bible chapters or other Word-based material you should read. Having a goal can help you. Perhaps you'll
work your way through one of the Get Activated! books, while also reading through a book of the Bible. (There are
suggestions of what to read weekly in the Study Notes book.)
Even if you're following a set reading course, you shouldn't always just say, "Well, I already know what
I'm going to read. It's planned out for the next month." Each time before you sit down to read, you should pray for
the Lord's leading, because maybe the Lord wants to change it! Maybe you needed to read up on "faith" a week
ago, so you decided to read something on that subject. That's good. But maybe the Lord knows that you need to
read about something else even more this week. So you need to pray about it instead of automatically following
your previous plan.

¾ How to:
When you sit down to read, the first thing you should do is pray and ask the Lord to bring the Word alive
to you by His Holy Spirit. As David prayed,
Psalm 119:18—Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.
You can read all the Word you want, but if it doesn't come to life by the Spirit, it's not going to do
anything! Jesus said,
John 6:63—It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The Words that I speak to you are spirit, and
they are life.
And Paul told us:
2 Corinthiwans 3:6b—For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Unless we read the Word in a prayerful and receptive attitude, looking to the Lord and His Holy Spirit for
guidance, it can be very difficult for us to understand some things. Ask the Lord to give you the spirit of wisdom:
Ephesians 1:17–18—…give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, (18) the eyes of
your understanding being enlightened…
You can read a Scripture maybe all your life without grasping its meaning, until the Holy Spirit speaks it to
you and applies it to your situation and brings it to life! The "voice of His Word," as it's called, is when He speaks
to you personally through the Word, or He gives it to you in an answer, He brings it to life, applies it to a situation,
and it becomes alive suddenly! It's no longer just mere words any more, or words that just run through your head,
but all of a sudden you get the point!
In the Study Notes book, we have included some sample prayers for reading the Word.
Humor: How not to read!
Sister Susan got out her Bible and decided she would let the Lord lead to the specific verse she
needed for the day. So with eyes closed she opened her Bible and put her finger on a verse. Opening her
eyes she read, "And Judas went out and hanged himself." She quickly sought a different verse, once
again closing her eyes, cracking open her Bible, and placing her finger on a specific spot. This time she
was disappointed to read, "Go and do likewise!" Undaunted she followed the same plan a third time, and
the verse was, "What you do, do quickly!"

¾ Don't just read—study, question, and apply


2 Timothy 2:15—Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the Word of truth.
One of the main goals of this course is to help you develop a personal connection with Jesus, so you are
able to get spiritual nourishment from His Word. "Rightly dividing the Word of truth" means to know what the
Word says and means.

¾ Read the Word carefully, prayerfully, and thoughtfully.


If every time you sat down to eat a meal, you gobbled and gulped it down as fast as you possibly could,
you wouldn't digest or absorb it nearly as well as if you had eaten it a little more slowly.—Nor would you enjoy it
as much!
This same principle applies to your spiritual food as well. Take time to fully digest, absorb, and benefit
from the Word!
You can miss a lot of the meaning, the real depth of what the Lord's talking about, unless you stop to think
about it and apply the Word to your personal situation, and ask, "How is that true and how does that apply to
me?"—Not with a questioning or a doubtful attitude, but one full of faith, knowing that you can learn even more
lessons if you search further and dig deeper.

¾ Doers of the Word


"The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives."—Dwight L. Moody.
The Word of God has been given to change our character and bring it more into conformity with Jesus'. All
of our efforts in Bible study are valueless if in the final analysis we do not change and become more like Jesus. We
must not merely listen to the Word, but we are to do what it says.
James 1:22—But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
You can't really get to know the Word of God unless you apply it in your life. You can be a walking Bible
encyclopedia, with your head crammed full of Biblical and theological knowledge, but it won't do you any good if
you don't apply it practically in daily living.

When you are reading the Word, pray and ask the Lord to help you apply what you are studying and show you
specifically what He wants you to do. Ask the Lord to show you:
"How can I apply this Word in my life?"
"How can I use this knowledge to help others?"
When you read the Word and you feel the conviction of His Spirit, stop right then to think and pray and
meditate on what that instruction means for you personally. Don't delay taking the time to apply it to your life,
because if you delay, the conviction will wane, you will forget, and the Word you read will be of no effect in your
life. When the Lord is speaking to your heart, challenging you through His Word, that is the time to take action, to
make commitments. You need to think, meditate, consider how you can live the Word, and make a definite plan
right then as to what you'll do. Don't wait. Later will probably be never!
John 13:17—If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

¾ Marking the text


Read with a fine-point pen or dry marker in your hand. When you come across a passage or Scripture that
stands out to you in some way, underline or mark it. Underlining the key phrases and marking the paragraphs that
apply to you makes your reading more interesting and far easier to review.

¾ Taking notes
"A short pencil is better than a long memory."
You might want to start writing key passages and verses into a special notebook that you can reread easily.
It will become sort of a spiritual diary. You can use it to write down things you want to remember that are
important to you in your walk with the Lord and your relationship with Him and others. Sometimes just writing
something down will help you to meditate on it and remember it.
There are different ways to organize a notebook like this. It can be chronological, like a diary, with
meaningful quotes and verses written down from day to day. Or you can start a page for each of the different topics
you're interested in, and then record helpful passages and verses you find on each one as time goes by.

¾ Memorizing
Bible memorization has always been a strength to God's people, even as King David testified:
Psalm 119:11—Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You!
Moses made mention of the same:
Deuteronomy 11:18—Therefore you shall lay up these Words of Mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind
them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets (decorative bands worn on the forehead) between your
eyes.
The Scriptures we commit to memory will be a great blessing to us. In times of sickness and difficulty,
verses are a tremendous comfort and strength. Knowing specific passages and Scriptures also helps us in our
witness to others, as Peter advised,
1 Peter 3:15b—Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.
We will be looking further at the subject of memorizing in a later class.

¾ What to do when you don't understand something


Don't stop reading if you come across something that you don't understand. Keep on reading, as there'll be
plenty of other things that you will understand.
If you don't understand something, maybe God will reveal its meaning to you at a later reading. When you
come across something you don't understand, you can wrap it up in a little "bundle of faith" and put it on the shelf.
Wait for the Lord to unwrap it for you and reveal it to you later.
Proverbs 2:6—For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

We do not have to understand everything


St. Augustine was once walking by the seashore. He was greatly perplexed about a particular
aspect of faith and doctrine. He observed a little boy with a seashell running to the water, filling it and then
pouring it into a hole that he had made in the sand.
"What are you doing, my little man?" asked Augustine.
"Oh," said he, "I am trying to put the ocean in this hole!"
Augustine learned his lesson, and as he walked away, he said, "That is what I am trying to do. I
see it now. Standing on the shores of time I am trying to get into this little finite mind of mine things which
are infinite." Let us be content to let God know some things that we cannot know.

¾ Don't worry about all the details of ancient history


Many of us have found that the most rewarding aspects of our reading of the Bible have not been in getting
to know all the details of ancient history contained in its pages, but in finding what applies to us in our daily lives.
For instance, when we read about the life of Jesus and the early Christians, we see a pattern of "love in action" that
we know we should try to follow. When we read the Psalms and other devotional passages, we can apply them in
our own prayer lives. Although the history of God's people as written in the Bible is interesting and it is good to at
least have a general picture of who did what and where and when, extensive in-depth studies of Biblical history are
not the most important for you to spend a lot of time on.

¾ Suggested Bible studies


Psalms and Proverbs are good devotional books, and by all means read the talks and lessons and Words of
Jesus in the New Testament! The Gospel of John quotes more of the Words of Jesus than any other Gospel,
including passages like His farewell talk in chapters 14–17. So, a good place to start reading the Bible is with the
Gospel of John.
(You'll find that there are around seven chapters suggested to be read in each section of the Study Notes
book.)

¾ Summary of steps for effective Word time


Make a commitment to set aside a regular time for reading and try to follow through on your plan.
Find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted or distracted.
Make a plan of what to read over a period of time, but be flexible and let the Lord lead you to read
something different as the need arises.
Begin your time of reading by praying, asking the Lord to speak to you from His Word and to bring it to
life by the Holy Spirit.
Don't just read—study.
Try to apply what you are reading to your daily life and commit yourself to putting it into action.
Mark the text so that later on you will find it easier to review.
Keep a notebook with the most outstanding verses and passages.
Memorize key verses.
If you don't understand something, don't give up but keep reading!
Two key questions to ask yourself when you read: How can I apply this Word in my life? How can I use
this knowledge to help others?

Ending note

„ Now it's up to you to put this into action!


You can think of this as being like a cookery class. We've given you a recipe, but if you don't pull out the
ingredients and try to cook it, you'll never find out how delicious a meal you could enjoy!
12 Foundation Stones—Class 1B
Memorizing
The Word of God, part 2
Introduction
Testimonies on the power of the Word
"I was in prison, and you visited Me" (Matthew 25:36).—As told by Kristina, missionary in Russia.
Somehow a convicted murderer in a prison in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk got my
address and wrote to me. In his first letter, he told me about growing up in an orphanage, and the hostility
and mistreatment he experienced as a child. Resentment and hatred festered, and he ended up behind
bars. A number of religious groups had visited his prison, he explained, but after talking with them he still
wasn't even sure that God existed. I wrote him a brief account of the events that led me to know God's
love, and we've been corresponding ever since. Following is a translation of an excerpt from his last letter:
"Now I understand that the Bible is a marvelous book. It has all the answers I need and shows the
way I was looking for. Jesus is changing me. I don't hate people or get upset with my guards or other
prisoners like I used to. Instead, I try to talk to them about Jesus and find solutions to our differences in
the Bible. Thank you so much for showing me the light and for giving me Jesus!"

The comfort of the Word!


One spring my mother drove to visit me at college. The highway she had to drive on went through
a series of tunnels. Knowing her fear of tunnels, I was concerned about the trip.
"Did you have any trouble?" I asked when she arrived.
"Nowhere but the tunnels," she replied. "One was 2½."
I asked if she meant 2½ miles or 2½ minutes.
Mother's answer was, "Neither—2½ times through the 23rd Psalm."

Section 1: Why Memorize?


We've seen how God's Word has the power to transform lives. It encourages and comforts us in time of
need. The Word of God is the foundation of the faith upon which we stand.
In our last class we talked mostly about how to read the Word. We touched briefly on memorizing, and
now we'll look at it closer.
The advice we're going to give you on memorizing God's Word can also be applied to anything else you're
studying. If you're in need of retaining information for your studies or work, we think you'll find this class to be of
help.
Before we go into the practical steps, let's look at a few reasons why we should make an effort to
memorize.

¾ Why memorize?
For your own spiritual strength and encouragement in the present—renewing your mind in Jesus
God speaks to you through His Word that you have learned
To help you share God's Word with others
A Bible may not be available during the dark days ahead
A weapon in your walk of faith

¾ For your own spiritual strength and encouragement in the present—


renewing your mind in Jesus
The mind can be compared to a computer database: It has to be filled with something, good or bad. Our
reflexes are mentally conditioned to react in a certain way according to what we have been taught or experienced.
Jesus, by His Word, spiritually cleanses us and gives us something positive with which to fill it.
Ephesians 5:26b—… with the washing of water by the Word.
Romans 12:2a—Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Psalm 37:31—The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
Look at the previous verse. If the Word isn't in his heart, his steps will slide, and he'll get off the right
track.
Fill your mind and heart with positive, encouraging, strengthening, and faith-building thoughts from God's
Word, remembering, memorizing, and quoting to yourself.

¾ God speaks to you through His Word that you have learned
The Lord speaks to us by bringing to mind the passages we have memorized.
John 14:26—But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
God knows His own Book better than anybody, and He can bring verses to your remembrance by His
Spirit when you need it. If you've faithfully read, studied, and memorized, He'll pop the verses up in your little
computer (mind) whenever you make the right connection in your programming. He's the best computer
programmer I know, and He's given you the best computer ever constructed!
One reason that memorizing is important is because it isn't always possible to read. Maybe you wake up in
the night and you can't turn on the light without disturbing someone. Or maybe you find yourself in a place or
difficult situation without your Bible handy. Or maybe you are too sick to read. The only Scriptures you'll have at
those times (which could well be the time when you need them most) are the Scriptures you have committed to
memory.
It is also easier to claim in prayer the promises that the Lord has made in His Word when we know these
promises by heart.
2 Peter 1:4—By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you
may be partakers of the divine nature.

¾ To help you share God's Word with others


Knowing specific passages and Scriptures also helps us in sharing our faith with others, as Peter advised:
1 Peter 3:15b—Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.
The Lord's Word says that you should be prepared to give answers to those who ask and that you should
know the Word:
2 Timothy 2:15—Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing [dissecting] the Word of truth.
There are times that you need to know the Bible and be able to quote it and find Scriptures in order to show
them to the person you are speaking with.

¾ A Bible may not be available during the dark days ahead


The Bible warns us that in the Last Days there will be a great famine for the Word of God.
Amos 8:11–12—"Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord God, "That I will send a famine on the land, not a
famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the Words of the Lord. (12) They shall wander from sea to
sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the Word of the Lord, but shall not find it.
Some day the only Word of God we have may be what we've implanted in our hearts. Having memorized
Scriptures, we will be able to quote them in times of trouble. Nobody will ever be able to take away the Word of
God you have hidden in your heart!

¾ A weapon in your walk of faith


Hebrews 4:12—For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing
even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
the heart.
As we're going to talk more about later in the course, a follower of Jesus' teachings will find that his life is
not always easy. Jesus Himself suffered opposition—spiritually from the Devil (Matthew 4:1–10) and physically
from His enemies. God has given us His Word to use as our spiritual weapon to fight the battles that beset us. It's
up to us to memorize and use it.

Section 2: How to Memorize


L These points can be applied to anything you are memorizing and studying, not just Scripture memorization.
¾ Your memory can be developed like a muscle
The more you use it, the stronger it gets, but lack of use causes it to weaken.
The more you concentrate, the easier it is to memorize
Finding a quiet place, free from distractions, will help a lot.
An unfocused camera gives an unclear picture, and a wandering mind, easily distracted, doesn't get a clear
picture of the things it observes, finding them hard to remember. If you give your full attention, then you'll get a
good, clear picture of that verse printed on your mind.

¾ Find the best time for you


In the morning when you're fresh after waking up, or right before you start your work, is usually best. All
you need is 5–10 minutes when you can concentrate without distraction, if possible. Or, try the evenings. The
important thing is to find the best time for you. Some people like to start the night before by reading over the verses
they want to memorize the next day, so that when they wake up, they're already familiar with them.

¾ Sight, sound, and action


Most people remember best what they see, while others remember best what they hear, and another portion
best what they do in actual motions. By using all three of these faculties, you can increase your ability to remember.
For example, by reading, you use your sight. If you quote your memory work out loud, you hear it too, as well as
use your mouth to speak it. Then by writing the same verse to be memorized, it is often better remembered.
Simply, the more involved you become with your memorization, the better you remember it.

¾ Memory work is work


It does take a certain amount of determination and self-discipline on your part. Make hiding the Word in
your heart a life-long habit! When it becomes a habit, it will get easier.
It's plain hard work to memorize! You have to work at it—like digging a hole or scrubbing the floor or
washing the windows or dishes, it's just hard work! You've got to keep repeating and repeating and repeating and
repeating! Normally you'll memorize a verse phrase by phrase, that's about the best way to do it.
Don't worry if it seems to take quite awhile, especially at first, to memorize a verse. It's not a contest to see
how quickly you can learn. The goal is to get it down, and keep it in your heart.

¾ The law of memory is repeat, repeat, repeat!


Set a goal or memory project for each week
So you don't have to decide each day what you're going to learn that day. There are three suggested verses
in each class in the Study Notes book. We'll talk more about this in a minute.

¾ For more memory tips:


See the Study Notes book, as well as Activated magazine 10, pages 12–13.

Section 3: Advice For Memorizing Scriptures


Much of what we've shared until now could apply to anything you want to memorize or study. Now we
want to look at a few specifics regarding Scripture memorization.

¾ Our decision to memorize shouldn't be based on our feelings


A poor memory can be caused by constantly saying your memory's poor. But "know that you can!" and
claim this verse:
Philippians 4:13—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Another reason we may not get around to memorizing may be simply that we don't always feel like it, but
we should memorize no matter how we feel.
Feeling enthusiastic about memorizing verses is great, but it's not a good enough motivation because those
feelings may not last or be consistent. Feeling enthusiastic about doing something is a motivation that comes and
goes—mostly goes! The motivation that we need to hang on to comes from the facts, not the feelings.
What are some of the facts about memorizing upon which we should base our decision?
God's Word tells us to hide the Word in our heart.
It helps us in our spiritual walk with the Lord.
It helps us to help others.
Some day we're not going to have the Word on paper, and what we hide in our hearts is what's going to
keep us.
All those facts are the consistent motivation that we need to be reminded of over and over!
Psalm 1:1–2—Blessed is the man … (2) [whose] delight is in the law [Word] of the Lord, and in His law he
meditates day and night.

¾ Selecting verses to memorize


Two important keys to memorizing are:
1. To understand why you are memorizing a certain verse; in other words, what is the purpose for
memorizing it? To what practical use can you put it?
2. To make sure that you understand the meaning of all the words in the verse you are memorizing.
Often there is a story or supporting passage behind each individual verse you want to memorize, and if you
know the context of the verse, you will understand the verse better and be more likely to remember it.
If a verse answers a question you've had, comforts you or helps you through some time of testing, this is
the best kind of verse to memorize, as it has special meaning and interest to you and will therefore stick with you
the longest.

¾ How precisely do you need to remember the wording of a verse?


Some verses have difficult wording. If you have difficulty remembering the exact wording, ponder these
points:
When you're quoting a verse to somebody, if you don't remember the verses exactly, you probably will just
paraphrase them, and as long as you've caught the spirit of the verse and it means the same, that's fine.
Sometimes when you're praying you really want to get the exact words of the promise to bring before the
Lord. But if you can't, you can still pray and claim the promise even if you don't have the exact words. It's just as
good to the Lord, because He knows what you're trying to say and the point you're trying to remember.
In conclusion, if you can get the exact wording, that's best, but it's much better to learn something than not
learn anything. You don't have to worry too much about having the exact words all the time, as long as you get the
general point of the verse.
Don't get stuck with details. If you're going to have the attitude that you haven't learned the verse until you
can quote every word exactly right without one mistake, then you're going to spend lots more time memorizing than
you need to. You might progress faster if you're a little less precise but learning a greater variety of verses. And
eventually, as you review the verses, you'll probably get the wording correct too.

¾ Learning the references?


Try if possible to learn the references (the book, and the chapter and verse numbers) along with the verse
itself. This will help you in finding the verse later on, which is especially useful when sharing your faith with
others.
It's good to quote the Scripture, but if you don't know where it's found in the Bible, you run the risk of the
person you're speaking with saying, "Is that really in the Bible? Where is it?" If you don't know and can't show it to
them, then how does he know whether you even know the Scripture?
Whereas, if you know the references to key verses, you can show them the verse right out of the Bible.
That is actually one of the best ways of teaching others, letting them read the verse themselves.
You will have more confidence to teach others if you know where the important verses are.
If you can learn the references, that is a good thing. However, if having to learn the references is going to
discourage you from learning the verses, then it's better not to worry too much about the references.
One thing you can do to learn references is to repeat the reference at the beginning and at the end of a verse
each time you quote it.
Another possibility is to at least remember the book that it's in. Then it's fairly easy to find the verse if you
need to.

Do you know the way to the post office?


The point is that if you are going to use the Bible as a tool, and you are going to use passages and
verses out of the Bible to prove your point or to give the truth to people, if you don't know where those
verses are, how are you even going to find them? How are you going to show them to somebody else if
you don't even know where to find them yourself?
It would be like the little newsboy on the corner, when the famous evangelist Billy Sunday asked
him the way to the post office. After the boy told him, he said, "Okay, now you come out to my meeting
tonight, and I'll tell you how to get to Heaven!"—And the tough little newsboy said, "Huh! You don't even
know the way to the post office!"
So if you don't even know how to find the verses in the Bible, how can you purport to be wise
enough to tell others how to find Heaven!

¾ What to memorize
„ Individual verses or short passages:
The Key Bible Verses booklet contains a comprehensive list of verses on a variety of topics, ideal for your
personal devotional use and for witnessing. Rather than memorizing all the verses on salvation and then moving on
to the next topic, it would most likely be best to begin with learning one or two key verses from each category so
that you will have a wider variety of Scriptures memorized. Then you can go back and memorize more verses in
that section at a later date.
You will also find three key verses in the Study Notes book for each class. If you memorize every verse in
the Study Notes book, by the end of this course you will know approximately 75 Scriptures!
„ Longer passages andb chapters:
The Psalms and certain portions of the Gospels like the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are wonderful memory
projects. Psalms like number 23 (comfort) are all-time favorites.
(As we proceed through the course, you'll be finding out ideas of key chapters to memorize.)

¾ Reviewing
If you plan on memorizing a number of verses, you will need an organized system of review. If you don't
have a plan and method for regularly reviewing what you have memorized, you will eventually forget the verses.
You can write out your memory verses in a small, sturdy notebook.
If you carry it with you wherever you go, you can pull it out to review in spare moments while waiting,
traveling, etc.
If you are memorizing verses from a compiled booklet like the Key Bible Verses or from the Study Notes
book, you could highlight or somehow mark each verse as you memorize it and this will make it easier for you to
find the verses for review.
In a notebook, you can write down the references and first few words of each verse you memorize and
then use this for reviewing.
For example:
John 1:12 As many as
John 3:3 Except a man
John 3:16 For God so
John 3:36 He that believes
A seven-day calendar review system can help you retain what you learn.
After you have learned a verse, you should review it twice a day for the next seven days.
One convenient way to keep track of the verses you memorize is by writing them (or at least the reference)
in a small diary or calendar. Then each day, take this diary and review the verses, working back seven days.
In addition to this, you should work out a method of reviewing all of the verses you memorize. As your
"memory diary" fills up, you could work through the diary's contents week by week. This means, every day you
could review whatever you memorized during the previous 7 days, plus another seven days, and gradually work
through the year like this.

¾ Putting your verses into use


Use the verses you memorize by sharing them with others, through your prayers or witnessing (telling
others about your faith).

„ Scripture songs
The ease with which most of us remember commercial jingles is one of the proofs of how it is relatively
easy to memorize something that has been put to music. Listening to Scriptures that have been put to song is a very
easy way to memorize them. You may eventually find yourself humming or singing them to yourself without even
having consciously attempted to memorize them.

¾ Review of main points on memorizing


If you have time, you can review the main points and tips about memorizing, as follows:
The more you concentrate, the easier it is to memorize.
The best time to memorize is usually first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
Use sight, sound, and action to help engrain the verse into your memory.
Memory work is work and you have to work at it.
"Repetition is the law of memory!"
Memorize and review for short periods, but do it often.
You need to have a plan for reviewing.
Set a goal for what you will memorize each week.
Regularity is a key.
When quoting your verses, try to do it aloud.
Keep on memorizing even when you don't feel like it, or even when it is difficult.
Select verses to memorize that are meaningful for you and that you understand.
Try as much as possible to learn the references, but don't worry too much about it.
While it's good to memorize the verse word-for-word, don't insist on perfection.
Memorize a variety of both individual verses and longer passages.
Use your verses and it will help you remember them.
Review your verses at a steady pace.
Memorize songs of verses that have been put to music.

Concluding prayer
Thank You, Lord, for Your Word and its power. Please do help us all to be faithful to memorize Your
Word, so we can quote it for our own benefit and for the sake of others. Help us to meditate on Your Words as we
go about our daily lives. Please bring Your Words to our remembrance, when we're traveling or working or lying
on our beds at night, so that we never forget You, but keep Your Presence close. Amen.
12 Foundation Stones—Class 2A
Acts 1–4
The Holy Spirit, Part 1
„ Prayer:
Dear Jesus, we thank You for Your Word that You've given us a yardstick by which we can measure all
things, and a guidebook that we can know the way which You'd have us go. Enlighten our minds, Lord, through the
Word! If we want faith, faith comes by hearing the Word of God! Increase our faith today, through Your Word.

Bible Study—Acts 1–4


Today we're going to be studying about the Holy Spirit. We'll be studying Acts chapters 1 to 4, with a
focus on the Holy Spirit. This is presented in quiz fashion. Follow it in your Bible. (You may want to read the
chapter straight through to start with, then look back at the questions here and see if you can get the answers!)

¾ Acts chapter 1
Q? The chapter begins with a reminder of what Jesus had told His followers to do before He ascended. What was
that?
A: To wait.
Acts 1:4–5—He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father.
Q? Did they obey? Did they wait?
A: Yes.
Q? Where?
A: In Jerusalem.
Q? Why?
A: Because Jesus had commanded them to. He had a promise to go with that instruction, like He does with
nearly all commandments; most promises have a condition!

Q? If they kept the commandment, what would happen? What is the key verse of the whole Book of Acts?
A: Acts 1:8—But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses
to Me … to the end of the earth.

Q? Why do you suppose He told them to wait in Jerusalem? Why didn't they wait someplace out in the country?
Why didn't they wait up in Samaria?
A: For one thing, that's where they were at the time. They were right outside the walls of Jerusalem when
He gave them this commandment—on the Mount of Olives. They were fasting and praying and waiting on the
Lord.
Acts 1:14—These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the
mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
But the main reason He had them wait in Jerusalem was so they would be in the right place at the right
time for the mighty miracle which was about to happen

Q? All told there were how many?


A: 120. That is quite a number of people in one upper room! It says, "These all continued ... with the
women."

¾ Acts chapter 2
Now here is the reason and purpose God had them in Jerusalem.
Acts 2:1—Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
They were united in mind and heart and spirit! If we're not going to be united in mind and heart and spirit,
we'll miss the blessing.
„ Q? Does anyone know what the Day of Pentecost was?
A: It was the 50th day after Passover, called the Feast of Weeks, or the Feast of the Harvest in the Old
Testament.
The Greek word pentekoste meant 50th, so it was the 50th day after Passover. Pentecost was an annual
Jewish feast day. What they'd been celebrating for so many thousands of years was now about to happen—the
fulfillment of the foreshadowing of this feast! Pentecost was the harvest feast.

„ Q? Do you think it just happened by accident that it was on the Day of Pentecost that the Lord poured
out His Spirit? Why did He have them meet in Jerusalem? Why did He have them stay there together in one
accord?—Just for the pouring out of the Spirit? Couldn't He have poured out His Spirit just as well on the
120 someplace else?
A: He had them there for a witness. The main purpose of the Day of Pentecost was not just the mighty
signs and wonders and the supernatural manifestations, which most people seem to think was the main purpose of
the power. The Holy Spirit manifestations were only a means to an end! The most important thing is the witness
that they were to the crowds of people who had come to Jerusalem for the feast.

„ Q? What was the most important thing that happened that day? It was not just the outpouring of the
Spirit, but it was what?
A: You'll find it in the 41st verse of the 2nd chapter.
Acts 2:41—Then those who gladly received his [Peter's] word were baptized; and that day about three thousand
souls were added to them.
Three thousand people received Jesus and were saved! That is the most important thing that happened on
the Day of Pentecost!—not the outpouring of the Spirit, believe it or not, although that was essential for it! The one
cannot do without the other.
The greatest, most important thing that happened that morning was not the outpouring of the power and a
lot of people talking in tongues! It was not all that prayer, but it was the end result—what they accomplished, as an
absolutely inalterable effect of that prayer and that praise and that outpouring and that power! That was the final
aim and goal of the whole affair, as far as God was concerned—souls saved! Acts 2:41 is the most important verse
in the 2nd chapter.
In verses 14 to 39 we have a wonderful sermon by Peter: It is an explanation to the hearers of what was
going on, so that they could understand. Through the preaching of the Gospel to the big crowd that the miracle
attracted, they had tremendous results! So why did they meet in Jerusalem? The Lord told them to, and now you
begin to see God's reason for it!

„ Q? Why do you suppose all these people mentioned in the 9th and 10th verses were there?
A: Because there was a big feast day and there were a lot of international visitors in town. Jews came from
all over the world for these famous feasts.
To give the Early Christian Church a real send-off and to get them really rolling, the Lord let them preach
a couple of sermons (Acts chapter 3) that got about another 8,000 souls saved!

„ Q? That wasn't all that happened on the Day of Pentecost; what else happened?
A: Look at verses 1–4. They "began to speak with other tongues."
Acts 2:1–4—Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (2) And
suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they
were sitting. (3) Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. (4) And
they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now look at verses 6–8. The people heard them speak in many languages.
Acts 2:6–8—And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone
heard them speak in his own language. (7) Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another,
"Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? (8) And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which
we were born?"
Some say, "They weren't really speaking in anything supernatural; these were all languages that they
knew!" Why were the people amazed and why did they all marvel if the disciples already knew those languages? It
was obviously a miracle, because the disciples were ignorant Galileans who didn't know how to speak these
languages, so their doing so made the people come running! That's why the great crowd came!
Jesus said in Acts 1:8, "Ye shall receive power … and ye shall be witnesses unto Me." The main thing is
not whether you receive tongues, as long as you receive power for witnessing!—That's the principal purpose! If
you get enough power to make you blast off your launch pad and get out and do something for Jesus, then it doesn't
matter whether you speak in tongues or you don't! Some people witness with power long before they ever speak in
tongues!
Jesus said the Holy Spirit was power for witnessing! When they got that power the first time, they
witnessed and they got the results that the Lord said it was for: 3,000 souls saved.
„ A look at "witnessing"
We've talked about how the primary purpose of the Holy Spirit is to enable us to witness. "Witness"
according to the dictionary means to testify. So how can we testify of our faith? There aren't too many of us that are
either ready or in a position to stand up in front of a crowd of 3,000, but that's not the only method of witnessing!
There are many ways we can share our faith with others, and the Lord does expect us to do this.

„ Some witnessing ideas!


Talking to our family members about what we are learning.
Talking to people at work or place of study about Jesus and His salvation.
Talking to people when we're out shopping and doing business and letting them know God loves them.
Giving out tracts.
Including some sort of a witnessing message in the letters we write.
Inviting people to meet other believers (such as at fellowship meetings).
Offering Activated subscriptions.

„ Now look at verses 17–20.


Acts 2:17–20—And it shall come to pass in the Last Days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream
dreams. (18) And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they
shall prophesy. (19) I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and
vapor of smoke. (20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the
great and awesome day of the Lord.
Look at verse 42.
Acts 2:42—And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and
in prayers.
This verse tells us what the four necessary things for new believers are:
1. "Doctrine"—good teaching.
2. "Fellowship"—the meeting together of believers like we are doing here.
3. "Breaking bread"— sharing your food, your material blessings.
4. "Prayer."

„ Q? What were the results?


A: Wonders and signs.
Acts 2:43—Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
Look at verses 46–47.
Acts 2:46–47—So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they
ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, (47) praising God and having favor with all the people. And
the Lord added to the church [body of believers] daily those who were being saved.
After the Day of Pentecost got the results the Lord intended, the apostles began to really go to work. They
didn't confine their religion to the temple. They went "house to house."
Notice here that the word "church" doesn't denote a building, but the body of believers.

The meaning of the word "church"


Although we often think of the word "church" as referring to a building, this is not its original
meaning. In almost every verse in the New Testament where you find the word "church," it has been
translated from the Greek ecclesia, which is synonymous with the Hebrew kahal of the Old Testament,
both words meaning simply an assembly. There is no clear instance of it being used for a place of
meeting or of worship. In the days of the Early Church, the believers mostly gathered in their own homes
for worship.
Romans 16:5a—Greet the church that is in their house.
A special building is not essential for worship. Our attitude to the Lord is more important than a
location.
John 4:24—God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
Acts 7:48—The Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands.
1 Corinthians 3:16—Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God
dwells in you?
1 Peter 2:5—You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to
offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

¾ Acts chapter 3
In Acts Chapter 3 and 4 we read more about the results of the disciples being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 3:1—Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.
Now look at verses 2–3.
Acts 3:2–3—And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of
the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; (3) who, seeing Peter and
John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.
Then came one of God's great setups: This lame man was sitting by the temple gate. Pentecost was the first
setup God designed to get the Word out to a lot of people. Now He picks another setup that is going to get the
message out to even more! He picks somebody that people had seen day after day at the gate of the temple.—
Everybody in town knew he was a lame man and a beggar.

„ Q? Along came Peter and John, and what happened?


A: Peter says, "Sorry, we haven't got any money, but we'll pray for you! If you'll trust the Lord and us, God
will give you something better than money!" So a great miracle happened: The man is healed, and the people were
filled with wonder!
Acts 3:4–10—And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." (5) So he gave them his attention,
expecting to receive something from them. (6) Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have
I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." (7) And he took him by the right hand and
lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. (8) So he, leaping up, stood and walked
and entered the temple with them— walking, leaping, and praising God (9) And all the people saw him walking
and praising God: (10) And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and
they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.

„ Q? When Peter saw what was hapbpening, did he leave the temple and keep them wondering?
A: No. They were wondering what was going on and Peter was ready to tell them! He took advantage of
the opportunity to preach them a sermon, like he did on the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 3:12—So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or
why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?"
We'll turn now to Chapter 4 to find out the results of this miracle.

¾ Acts chapter 4
Q? After the healing of the lame man, Peter had another wonderful opportunity for preaching the Word,
and what was the result? He preached them a pretty stiff sermon, and what happened?
A: Five thousand were saved.
Acts 4:4—However, many of those who heard the Word believed; and the number of the men came to be about
five thousand.

„ Q? What happened after that?


A: Peter and John got tossed in jail.
Acts 4:1–3—Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came
upon them, (2) being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the
dead. (3) And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.

„ Q? Why could Peter preach such good sermons?--Because he had such a good education?
A: It was the work of the Holy Spirit!
Acts 4:13—Now when they [the religious leaders] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they
were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

„ Q? Did the religious council figure that they were "highly educated and learned men"?
A: No. They marveled because they saw that same power in Peter and John that Jesus had when He walked
the earth. They were bold, despite the fact they hadn't had any formal education. They just went ahead and
witnessed anyhow, and they had tremendous power! It was obvious they had been with Jesus: They had the
Master's power to do the Master's work!
The religious leaders that observed them couldn't understand how come they had so much courage and so
much nerve and so much boldness! "They perceived that they had been with Jesus." Peter and John knew what
Jesus taught, they knew how Jesus lived—they knew Jesus! They didn't have anything else but Jesus and boldness,
but they really got results.

„ Q? What was the final analysis of these enemies?


A: They couldn't deny the proof!
Acts 4:14—And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
There was the proof, what could they say against it? The men were so bold and had such power of Jesus
and such proof of the power standing by their side!
Acts 4:16—Saying, "What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through
them is evident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it."

We can see from this chapter that the first crisis of the Church was Peter and John being arrested.
„ Q? What type of a crisis was it? Internal or external?
A: It was an outside attack—persecution.

Q? What was the result of this crisis? Why did the Lord allow them to get tossed into jail? Why couldn't He have
spared them from that apparent defeat and that terrible shame and reproach?
Spend a few minutes discussing why the Lord might have allowed this to happen.

Q? Think a bit about Peter. This was the same man who some weeks earlier had denied Jesus. Now he is
determined to witness, no matter what the cost. He then spoke boldly before huge crowds of people. What brought
about such a transformation?
A: The Holy Spirit.
(For more on "Peter's Transformation," see Activated magazine #2.)

Now look at verse 24.


Acts 4:24—So when they heard [what had happened], they raised their voice to God with one accord and said:
"Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them."
The disciples got together to share what had happened and praised the Lord together.
Now look at verse 31.
Acts 4:31—And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were
all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.

Q? Were they scared stiff now because they had been told not to speak in this Name any more, and not to preach
Christ?
A: No! They spoke the Word of God with boldness.

Now look at verse 32.


Acts 4:32—Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that
any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.
God had a marvelous plan for His believers—as told in the book of Acts!—A blueprint for a way of life!
This is the pattern for missions! This is the way His followers ought to live and act and spread the message! This is
a pattern, an example, and it's still going on! God has a spiritual pattern for His followers: Prayer, praise, study,
teaching, doctrine, and witnessing activity.

„ Q? What was the result, economically, for the believers?


A: They may not have had all they wanted, but none of them lacked anything they needed.
Acts 4:34—Nor was there anyone among them who lacked.

Now look at verse 33.


Acts 4:33—And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great
grace was upon them all.
The apostles became powerful witnesses as a result of all they were experiencing and because of the
moving of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

What is an "apostle"?
"Apostle" is a person sent by another; a messenger; an envoy. This word is generally used as
designating the body of disciples to whom Jesus primarily entrusted the organization of the believers and
the dissemination of the Gospel, "the twelve," as they are called (Matthew 10:1–5; Mark 3:14; 6:7; Luke
6:13; 9:1).

Do you get automatically filled with the Holy Spirit when you get saved?
It is a good idea to include asking for the power and infilling of the Holy Spirit in the salvation
prayer. However, being baptized with the Holy Spirit can be a separate experience which follows salvation
(Acts 19:1–7).

Ending note
¾ Prayer for greater measure of the Holy Spirit
Even if we have already received the Holy Spirit, sometimes if we're feeling a little dry or in spiritual need,
it is helpful to pray for a fresh infusion. A greater measure of the Holy Spirit can certainly benefit all of us.

„ Sample prayer:
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We ask You for a "renewing of the Holy Ghost!" (Tit.3:5).
Please give us all a greater measure of Your Holy Spirit, that Your mighty power can fill and inspire us! We can't
do all of the things you want us to by our own power or will, but we know You can work through us, as You have
done through your followers over the ages. You tell us "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit!" (Zec.4:6).
Empower and inspire us. Please give each of us a greater measure of love, and greater power to witness. Amen!
12 Foundation Stones—Class 2B
Gifts and Benefits
The Holy Spirit, Part 2
Section 1: The Benefits of the Holy Spirit
Let's take a little time to see how the Holy Spirit can work in your daily life.

¾ The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism of love


1 Corinthians 13:1–2—Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become
sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. (2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries
and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If the baptism of the Holy Spirit is anything, it is a baptism of love! It doesn't matter whether you "speak
with the tongues of men and of angels" or you "understand all mysteries and all knowlege," if you don't have love!
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is love! This all-encompassing love of God even extends to loving people
who we couldn't love merely by our own efforts, in some of the toughest situations, even "loving our enemies" like
Jesus told us to do, or when you are around difficult personalities.
Luke 6:27a—But I say to you who hear: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you."
That baptism of power that Jesus said would flow like rivers of water from within you is a baptism of the
power of His love!
John 7:38–39—"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living
water." (39) But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.

In fact, the Holy Spirit of God is love, because


1 John. 4:8b—God is love.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of the love of God! Of course, it's also a baptism of the power
of God, the power that enables you to tell others about Jesus, to be a witness, to share His love with others! It is a
baptism of so much love that you cannot contain it, so much love that you simply must overflow on others. When
you feel you've just got to tell someone about Jesus, you feel you cannot hold it in, you just have to tell them, this is
the overflowing, the baptism of God's Spirit!

¾ The Holy Spirit helps, inspires, and strengthens us


Ephesians 3:16—That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might
through His Spirit in the inner man.
John 14:16—And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you
forever.
John 16:7—Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the
Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

The candle, the wick, and the Holy Spirit


Do you know the principle of the candle? It's not really the wick that's burning—although it does
finally burn a little—but it's the wax. That's why it lasts so long.
If you just burn up your own energy you won't last long! In the old days when they used to use
kerosene lanterns that ran on oil, when the wick began to burn, it soon burned up just like that! But if they
had plenty of oil, the wick lasted a long time because it's the oil that burns. Oil is a good parallel or
illustration of the Holy Spirit.
If you do the burning, you're going to burn out fast!—But if you let the Spirit burn, you'll last a long
time! If things get too rough, maybe you've been burning too much. You haven't let the Spirit do the
burning.

¾ The Holy Spirit guides us and gives us understanding of God's Word


John 16:13—However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not
speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
John 14:26—But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
1 Corinthians 2:12—Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we
might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
2 Corinthians 3:6b—The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
You can read a Scripture all your life without meaning, until the Holy Spirit speaks it to you and applies it
to a situation and brings it to life!
There are parts of the Bible that you can understand very clearly. There are parts of it which you can
certainly apply to yourself and that have a message for you and me today and have had messages for His followers
and all mankind for generations, for centuries, for millenniums. But it takes the divine guidance of the Lord to
really sort this Book out right and understand exactly what it's talking about. You really need the Holy Spirit. You
need the guidance of the supernatural Holy Spirit of God to guide you aright through His Word.

„ To consider: How has the Holy Spirit brought the Word to life for you?

¾ The Holy Spirit enhances our relationship with the Lord


Acts 9:31b—[The Early Church] walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were
multiplied.
Romans 8:26—Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as
we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
John 14:26—But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all
things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
The word translated as "Helper" in the above verse is translated in the King James Version as "Comforter."
The original Greek word used here is parakletos which means "called to one's side." It was used in a court of justice
to denote a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, an advocate; then, generally, one who pleads another's cause. A
wider meaning is "intercessor" or "consoler." Thus, "Comforter" actually gives us a closer idea of the original
meaning than "Helper."

¾ The Holy Spirit empowers our witness to others


Acts 1:8—But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to
Me.
Luke 4:18—The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He
has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set
at liberty those who are oppressed.
The main reason for the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to give you power to witness!
It's often difficult for us to express what we feel; we don't always know how to put it into words. The Holy
Spirit can inspire our words and get the point across much better than we can. Our words often seem to fall far
short, but the Holy Spirit can cause our words to speak deeply to others' hearts so they understand and feel the
profundity of what you may so poorly be trying to express. The Holy Spirit can fill in the meaning, fill in the details
that we fail to include. Like Paul said,
1 Corinthians 2:4–5—And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but
in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, (5) that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the
power of God.
If you are sincere and trying to do your best, then the Lord will bless your witness! The Holy Spirit will
work regardless of how lacking or confusing your words are or how badly you do. You don't have to be afraid of
making a mess of things, because whatever you say to try to share the truth of the Word, the Lord is going to bless
it.

¾ The Holy Spirit working in our lives brings results


Galatians 5:22–23—But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
(23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
If you are filled with the Spirit, obeying the Spirit, and letting the Spirit work in your life, the results will
be visible. When people receive the Lord, we don't see Jesus go into their hearts. Likewise, we don't see the Holy
Spirit physically come into their spirits and lives, but you can sure see the difference afterwards!—In their faces, in
their eyes, their smiles, there is a visible difference!

Section 2: The Gifts of the Holy Spirit


In the previous class you read how the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to His first disciples and the effect it had
in their lives. Now we're going to look more closely at the gifts of the Spirit and how these can make a difference in
your life. Getting filled with the Spirit should bring some changes! Let's look at what they are.

¾ The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts


Now let's turn to 1 Corinthians 12 and see what Paul taught about the gifts of the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:1—Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.
And then he goes on to explain what he's talking about.
1 Corinthians 12:4–6—There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. (5) There are differences of ministries,
but the same Lord. (6) And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
Listed here are nine basic gifts of the Spirit, but there are not only nine gifts, but there are all these
variations on those gifts! What are they again? "Diversities of gifts," "differences of ministries"—differences in the
way in which they are given—and "diversities of activities"—differences in the way in which these gifts operate.
"But it is the same God"—the same Spirit—"who works all in all."
1 Corinthians 12:7—But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.
If you have Jesus and are filled with His Holy Spirit, you can experience the wonderful world of the
spirit—its exciting sights, sounds, visions, voices, and even resultant physical thrills, like talking in tongues—
manifestations, or gifts, of the Spirit.
Besides talking in tongues, eight other gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8–10:
1 Corinthians 12:8–10—For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of
knowledge through the same Spirit, (9) to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same
Spirit, (10) to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another
different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
But even these wonderful gifts of the Spirit that we now have are almost like childish toys compared to
what's coming! They are just tiny gifts from a loving Father to His simple little children to help communicate
understanding of Himself and His Will! They are only a sample of glorious realities to come when Jesus comes
again and we shall see Him as He is and be literally like Him, face to face, actually experiencing the fullness of the
realities of God, which we only have by faith now in the realm of the Spirit! Paul even said in his prediction to the
Corinthians that when we see Jesus face to face, we shall put away even these childish gifts of communication in
the Spirit:
1 Corinthians 13:8–10—Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are
tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (9) For we know in part and we
prophesy in part. (10) But when that which is perfect has come [Jesus], then that which is in part will be done
away.

¾ The gifts of the Spirit


There are nine basic gifts of the Spirit:
The unseen gifts: discernment, knowledge, wisdom
The unstoppable gift: faith.
The guiding gift: prophecy
The renewing gift: healings
The showstopper gift: miracles
The uplifting gift: tongues
The revelatory gift: interpretation of tongues

„ The Lord chooses which gifts to give to whom.


1 Corinthians 12:11—But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as
He wills.
James 1:17—Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

¾ None of the gifts are essential as proofs of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
The most important gifts of the Spirit are mostly quiet: knowledge, wisdom, faith, discernment, and
prophecy. You can see miracles and healing and you can hear tongues. But it is these quieter gifts, some unseen,
that are usually the most important for your daily service to the Lord: the knowledge that God gives you, the
wisdom of how to use it, the discernment of spirits—not only evil spirits but good spirits, and your spirit—and faith
to believe it, plus the gift of prophecy (hearing from God)!
Those are things you often can't see, but they're actually the most important! The other gifts are also
important for you, but mostly for the sake of others, for outsiders, to help them believe.

¾ 1. Discernment
Discernment is defined as "keenness of insight or judgment"—the ability to perceive the spirit and intent
behind what others say or do. God's Word exhorts us to discern the difference between good and evil and to "test
the spirits."
1 John 4:1–6—Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many
false prophets have gone out into the world. (2) By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses
that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, (3) and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has
come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is
now already in the world. (4) You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you
is greater than he who is in the world. (5) They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the
world hears them. (6) We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this
we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

¾ 2. Knowledge
The spiritual gift of knowledge goes far beyond mental knowledge; it's getting a glimpse of the heart and
mind of God. You know things you wouldn't otherwise know.
1 Corinthians 2:9–16—But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of
man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (10) But God has revealed them to us through
His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knows the things of a
man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
(12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the
things that have been freely given to us by God. (13) These things we also speak, not in words which man's
wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural
man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly
judged by no one. (16) For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind
of Christ.

¾ 3. Wisdom
James 1:5—If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and
it will be given to him.
Proverbs 4:7—Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
Proverbs 8:1, 5–7,11—Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? (5) O you simple ones,
understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart. (6) Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
and from the opening of my lips will come right things; (7) For my mouth will speak truth; wickedness is an
abomination to my lips (11) For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be
compared with her.
What is wisdom?—How to use the knowledge of God! Wisdom is a wonderful gift! It's one thing to know
things, that's knowledge, and that's good, that's one of the gifts of the Spirit, but it's another thing to know how to
use that knowledge, and that's wisdom, another gift of the Spirit.
You may be very smart as far as facts and figures and history and even Bible knowledge, but if you don't
know how to use that knowledge to help someone else or help yourself or use it for a good purpose, what good is
it?
A lot also depends on what kind of knowledge you have, whether it's the knowledge of good or evil, and
then, of course, it's very important how you use that knowledge. If you give some people too much knowledge
without wisdom they invent horrific bombs with their knowledge, and spend billions of dollars on armaments while
millions are starving to death!

¾ 4. Faith
Hebrews 11:1,6—Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (6) But without
faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of
those who diligently seek Him.
You certainly need faith! The gift of faith is not very obvious. You can't see it; you can't tell what color it
is; you can't hear it. Sometimes you can see it on people's faces in a way, and you can certainly tell by the way they
act how much faith they've got.
Every born-again child of God is given a measure of faith. Our faith grows every time we read, absorb, and
act upon the Word of God. But to have especially great faith for certain things is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Having the gift of faith will lead to the visible gifts of healing and miracles.
For more on faith, read Hebrews 11.

Abraham walked by faith


Romans 4:19–21—And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead
[since he was about a hundred years old], and the deadness of Sarah's womb. (20) He did not waver at
the promise of God [that Sarah would conceive a child] through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith,
giving glory to God, (21) and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to
perform.

Humorous anecdote on faith


The minister's sermon concerned the relationship between fact and faith. "That you are sitting
before me in this church," he said, "is fact. That I am standing, speaking from this pulpit, is fact. But it is
only faith that makes me believe anyone is listening!"

The story of Etta


By Virginia Brandt Berg
When I was a pastor of a church in Wagoner, Oklahoma, there was a very consecrated Christian
girl named Etta, who desired very much to go to Bible college and prepare for Christian service. For two
years she prayed and waited for the money to come. In fact, the last year that she remained at home
praying and looking for the finances to be advanced for her schooling, she got deeply in debt, and it
looked as though the schooling was an absolute impossibility. She came to me weeping and much
discouraged. I asked her if she knew that it was God's will for her to go, and she answered she was
absolutely sure of that. Then I said, "I would certainly not wait any longer. You have been asking the Lord
for the money for two years, but you have never really definitely claimed it or shown in any way by your
actions that you are really expecting Him to send it. If you really believed He was going to answer your
prayer and give you the funds for railroad fare, tuition, etc., what would you do?"
"I'd get my clothes ready and write the school that I was coming and make all the other
arrangements preparatory to going," she answered.
"Well, then that is exactly what I would do if I really believed God heard my prayer and it was His
will for me to go. I would definitely stand on His promise and go right ahead making every arrangement,
just as you would do, if you had the money in hand, for real faith will proceed as if it already had the
money. If someone wired you he was sending the money, you would believe that little yellow slip of paper,
only a telegram, but when God Himself has wired you through His precious Word and promised you most
definitely to give you the desire of your heart, you do not believe Him but act exactly as if you were
saying, ‘Oh, that's only the Word of God; that doesn't mean anything; I wish some man or woman would
send me word they'd help me.'
"But, Mrs. Berg," the dear girl answered, "I don't feel that way about God's Word. I'll prove to you
that I believe Him and trust His promises to the limit. I'm going home and pack my clothes and get ready
now. School opens in a very short time, and I'll have to hurry to get ready."
And that dear girl claimed a promise from God and never wavered from that moment. She went
straight ahead with her preparations, just as if she already had the funds, so positive was she that God
would not fail her, and the bank of Heaven would "open its windows" (Malachi 3:10) at just the right time.
If this dear girl is reading this story now, she will smile with me as memory turns back to one peculiar
incident that occurred during that preparation. She called me on the phone one day, in fact the very day
before she was to leave, saying that her clothing was all ready, together with her other belongings, in neat
piles in her room, but that she had no trunk. Over the phone we took the Scripture promise "And He shall
supply your every need, according to His riches in glory" (Philippians 4:19).
I went about my work forgetting the incident. About an hour later, Mrs. M., a friend, called me over
the phone, saying they were cleaning house and amongst a number of other things there was a trunk she
had no use for, that was really in the way in the closet, and she wondered if I could use it. Laughingly, I
told her she was filling an order from Heaven, only she had the wrong address, and the Lord wanted the
trunk sent to Etta's home.
Next night, a number of us went to the train to bid farewell to this dear girl, as she started to
college. At the depot she whispered to me, "Sister Berg, the money hasn't come yet, but I am not the
least bit frightened, for I absolutely know the Lord has heard my prayer and I know ‘that I have the petition
that I desired'" (1John.5:14–15). I will confess I was a bit distressed and thought there must have been a
mistake somewhere, for the board of the church had told me they had taken up a little offering for her
amongst themselves. As I was wondering about this, I heard the train whistle in the distance, and far
away I saw the glow of the headlight. I noted Etta was earnestly watching my face. There was nothing to
say. I could not help but wonder, but I knew that God did not dare fail such faith as hers.
Suddenly, a friend our ours, the chairman of the board at the time and a very active Christian
worker, named Mr. Trollinger, came hurrying into the depot and up to us. He greeted us with these words,
"I was doing some work at the office (just a couple of blocks away) when I heard the train whistle and
thought of the money the men had given me to give to Etta, and here is some more, a gift from my wife
and me."
"And here is some," said another voice—a friend of Mr. Trollinger who had met him hurrying to the
depot.
"All aboard," called the conductor, "all aboard."
"All aboard God's promises," I said to Etta. "It pays, doesn't it?"
"It's wonderful," she answered, "simply wonderful, what faith can do."
And that is the story of one who dared to put faith into action; to proceed as if possessing; one who
reckoned on the faithfulness of God.

¾ 5. Prophecy
The gift of prophecy—that of receiving messages from the Lord—is perhaps the most important of all of
the gifts of the Spirit. Paul practically puts it at the top of the list in the 14th chapter. He said:
1 Corinthians 14:3—But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
1 Corinthians 14:5—I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who
prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church [believers]
may receive edification.
In prophecy you're talking in your own language, and you're relating divine inspired words that come
pouring through straight from the Lord or His angels or good spirits. It's so easy you don't have to work for it; it's a
gift, you just give it!
One person may prophesy very beautifully and fluently in language that's almost Biblical, while another
person prophesies haltingly, slowly, and rather roughly. It's a difference in the tools, in the instruments. The Lord is
the One who is giving it to both of them; it's all His inspiration. It's just that certain ones are gifted in different
ways, with different strengths, weaknesses, abilities, and inabilities.
Through the gift of prophecy you receive divine guidance, which is going to become even more essential
as the days of the near future grow darker.
Acts 2:17—And it shall come to pass in the Last Days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream
dreams.
As this is a big subject, we'll look at it in depth in later classes (4A and 4B).

The Call of Jeremiah


Jeremiah 1:3–9—It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the
end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the carrying away of
Jerusalem captive in the fifth month. (4) Then the Word of the Lord came to me, saying: (5) "Before I
formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to
the nations." (6) Then said I: "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth." (7) But the Lord
said to me: "Do not say, ‘I am a youth,' for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I
command you, you shall speak. (8) Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you," says
the Lord. (9) Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: "Behold, I
have put My Words in your mouth."
Jeremiah was born in the village of Anathoth, situated north of Jerusalem in the territory of
Benjamin. He was called to the prophetic ministry in the 13th year of Josiah's reign, about 627 B.C.
Jeremiah's call is one of the most instructive passages in his book. God declared that he had
sanctioned him as a prophet even before he was born (Jeremiah 1:5). But the young man responded with
words of inadequacy: "Ah, Lord God!" (vs. 6). These words actually mean "No, Lord God!" Jeremiah
pleaded that he was a youth and that he lacked the ability to speak. But God replied that he was being
called not because of age or ability but because God had chosen him.
Immediately Jeremiah saw the hand of God reaching out and touching his mouth. "Behold, I have
put My words in your mouth," God declared (vs. 9). From that moment, the words of the prophet were to
be the Words of God (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary).

Prayer and prophecy solve labor problems


(From Marie Claire, India)
A close friend of ours came to us for prayer and counsel: A labor dispute and strike threatened to
destroy his business.
We prayed and received a message from Jesus in prophecy, in which the Lord promised it would
all work out in His time. The Lord also had some specific counsel for our friend about learning to work
more as a team with his staff, how to improve relations with his workers, and how to prepare for the
future.
It took two months for our friend to finish implementing the Lord's counsel, but in due time
everyone learned what they needed to, the strike ended, and things are going better now than before the
problem erupted—just like Jesus said they would!

¾ 6./7. Healing and miracles


The gifts of healing and miracles are sixth and seventh on the list. You've got to stay healthy or you're not
going to serve the Lord very well. To believe that the Lord can heal is important for your own sake and the sake of
your fellow believers.
It is sometimes also necessary for the sake of others. God has often used healing and miracles to get a
crowd for the sake of the publicity so they can hear the message and believe. But note that God uses the gift of
healing in this way because He loves and cares for people and wants them to be healed and to be drawn closer to
Him. Such healings are not meant to glorify the individual to whom God has given the gift. It is a gift to be used in
sincerity, humility, and love.
Miracles encourage people to believe. Miracles can be very visible. The English word "miracle" comes
from the Latin word mirari, to wonder at. Miracles grab people's attention.
Jesus still performs miracles for and through His followers today—miracles of healing and other events.
He promises,
John 14:12—Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and
greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

A healing miracle!
(From Francisco and Margarita in Mexico)
Maria had already been in a coma for over 20 days when her sister contacted us and asked us to
pray for Maria. A heart attack when eight month's pregnant had caused Maria to lose the baby she was
carrying. Now doctors had all but given up hope for Maria to recover. Even if she came out of the coma,
one of her kidneys would need to be removed. Her sister was desperate.
When we went to the hospital to pray for Maria, most of her family was there. Everyone held hands
in a circle and prayed for Maria to come out of the coma and completely recover.
The next day, Maria woke up from the coma, and about a week later her doctors said she wouldn't
have to have the kidney removed after all. They said that Maria's turnabout couldn't be explained
medically, and that it must have been a miracle.
Now Maria is almost back to full health—yet another case of "with men it is impossible, but not with
God; for with God all things are possible" (Mark 10:27).

Miracle of protection!
(From Ben, USA)
There have been so many airplane crashes and near crashes in recent months that if you heard
about the cargo plane that ran off the end of a Miami airport runway and exploded, chances are you didn't
think much more about it. Neither did I, until my daughter phoned to say the crash was immediately in
front of the computer store owned and operated by good friends of ours, and that our friends were in the
store at the time!
We phoned them immediately, and visited them several days later. Earthmovers were still
scooping up fuel-tainted soil when we arrived. Before telling us their amazing story, our friends read us
the following excerpts from Psalm 91:
"He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. Surely He shall deliver
[me] from … the destruction that lays waste at noonday."
The plane crashed just after noon, they explained, and slid for hundreds of feet before stopping
just a few feet from their building. The plane pushed several cars up against the building, and a piece of
one of the plane's engines flew through the glass door of their shop, making an escape route for the
people inside. The three of them and their only customer at the time were able to squeeze through to
safety. Seconds later, a large blast filled in the space along the building through which they had just made
their escape.
When the fire was extinguished and they were allowed to return to the scene, they expected to find
their shop gutted. They were in for a surprise.
The neighboring store was a burnt-out shell, but the only damage to our friends' place was a
melted storefront sign and the broken glass door that had allowed them to get out. Just inside the door
was an outgoing shipment of computer monitors, undamaged and still stacked neatly. A few feet away,
next to the couch where my six-year-old had rested when we had visited our friends the evening before
the crash, was a box of pants labels which had been part of the plane's cargo.
Before we left, we helped one of our friends as he painted in large letters on his boarded-up shop
door: "Thank God we survived! Psalm 91." That same friend was later interviewed on several nationwide
talk shows, and each time he took the opportunity to thank the Lord publicly for His protection. What a
miracle!

¾ 8. Tongues
The gift of tongues is the ability to speak, pray, or praise God in one or more unlearned languages.
Acts 2:4—And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave
them utterance.
Sometimes these are earthly languages, but more often these tongues are heavenly languages which are
unintelligible to the speaker or anyone else except through the gift of interpretation.
1 Corinthians 14:2—For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands
him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

„ The gift of tongues can enhance your prayer life.


1 Corinthians 14:14—For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.
You not only need the infilling of the Holy Spirit to have the power and strength to witness to others, but
also to help you in your own personal communication with the Lord. Tongues are good for the edifying of your
own spirit. It is a miraculous manifestation even to yourself. It's wonderful to be set free in the Spirit! Your spirit is
edified. It means your spirit is being enlightened and inspired.
Even if you don't know what you're praying for, when you pray in tongues, the Spirit prays through you.
The Spirit knows what to pray for. Go ahead and let the Spirit lead!
Romans 8:26b—The Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

„ The difference between praying and praising in tongues, and receiving a message in tongues.
There is a difference between tongues of praise which do not have to be interpreted, and messages in
tongues which should be interpreted.

Tongues of praise:
1 Corinthians 4:5b—Each one's praise will come from God.
Hebrews 13:15—Therewfore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our
lips, giving thanks to His name.

Messages in tongues:
Acts 19:6—And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with
tongues and prophesied.
1 Corinthians 14:5—I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who
prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church [believers]
may receive edification.
Most people who have the gift of tongues only pray or praise the Lord in tongues, which is wonderfully
edifying for your spirit—thrilling, exciting, a miracle, the most obvious of all the gifts of the Spirit and the
commonest, but the least useful for anybody but yourself!
Some people have the gift of receiving messages in tongues, which is a little more rare. The Lord gives the
interpretation to them or to someone else. We'll talk more about this when we discuss interpretation.

„ The gift of tongues is largely for your own benefit.


It is not the most important gift, although it is perhaps the most well known.
1 Corinthians 14:19—Yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach
others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
1 Corinthians 14:22a—Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers;

The gift of tongues is not essential, nor is it the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy
Spirit.
Not everybody receives the gift of tongues when they're filled with the Spirit, and you don't have to
have the gift of tongues to prove that you were filled with the Spirit! There are eight other basic gifts; why
should everyone have to receive the gift of tongues?
Lots of people receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit without necessarily speaking in tongues—
although eventually, most people who have the Holy Spirit are apt to speak in tongues, too, because it's a
wonderful way of praying. It's one of the commonest gifts, although mostly just for your own benefit and
your own edification in the Spirit to be able to pray in tongues.

Testimonies of Receiving the Gift of Tongues


Most people who receive the gift of tongues receive a "tongue of angels" that is not a recognizable
language (1 Corinthians 13:1). However in some exceptional cases, people receive the gift of an earthly
language, just like in Acts chapter 2.

Estonian the easy way


Pentecost's miracle still happens today. Since the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost,
Christians have experienced that people can suddenly speak languages which they never learned, and
which can be understood by others.
Kertu Gasman and Lia Piir, two Christian women from the Baltic nation of Estonia recently told of a
missionary journey to neighboring Latvia. Both women traveled as part of a team from their hometown
Tallinn to Latvia in 1989, two years before Estonia's independence, to pray and evangelize. The Estonian
and Latvian languages are very different despite their geographical proximity, so Kertu and Lia had to
speak Russian in order to be understood. In a prayer meeting, a Latvian girl suddenly spoke loudly in
Estonian: "Lift your eyes, because your hope and Savior is coming soon." Kertu later went to the girl and
told her how surprised she was that she could speak Estonian. The girl replied "Estonian? I can't speak a
single word!" The Christians present, who were still suffering under a Communist regime, understood this
as an encouragement from God.

"When they sang, it was Spanish!"


By Jonathan from Columbia
Years ago I was living in New York with a Christian rock band. I am from Colombia and I know
Spanish and English, but none of the members of the band with whom I was living spoke a word of
Spanish. They were all American and only spoke English. I had met the Lord only six months before and I
was a new Christian.
The band had made several tapes of their practice sessions, as at the time they were preparing to
record some songs professionally and would also do functions at youth gatherings.
One day I was doing some jobs around the house and I was listening to one of the tapes that they
had recorded. A particular song had came on in which the group started singing in tongues. At first I
couldn't understand what they were saying, but as the song progressed, these Americans who couldn't
speak a word of Spanish started singing in beautiful poetic Spanish! I was shocked and thrilled! And they
went on and on—out of their mouths came forth a beautiful message of how love will reign forever.
As a young Christian, this was a wonderful sign to me of one of the Lord's supernatural gifts of His
Spirit!

¾ 9. Interpretation of tongues
1 Corinthians 14:13–16—Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. (14) For if I pray
in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. (15) What is the conclusion then? I will pray with
the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the
understanding. (16) Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed
say "Amen" at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say?
Sometimes tongues are meant to be understood by the Lord alone, but other times they convey messages
that the Lord wants you and possibly others to understand and benefit from. The Lord can give you the
interpretation of the message in tongues if you ask Him and if it is something that you are meant to understand.
An interpretation is like a prophecy. The only difference between interpreting tongues and direct prophecy
is that with prophecy there's no intermediary message in tongues, you just get it straight from the Lord without the
secondary step of having to get it in tongues first and then interpret.

¾ Using God's gifts with the right motives


The main purpose of the Spirit's gifts is to help others and ourselves to be closer to the Lord. Let's look at a
few examples: A miracle can increase someone's faith. A prayer in tongues can be used by the Lord to edify our
spirit. We can receive instruction via a prophecy. These are gifts from a loving heavenly Father to His children to
help communicate understanding of Himself and His Will.
„ We should not belittle or neglect the "gifts of the Spirit."
2 Timothy 1:6—Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my
hands.
1 Corinthians 12:31a—But earnestly desire the best gifts.
The gifts of the Spirit are not meant to be played with or proudly displayed or used for personal profit.

Not to be bought
Acts 8:18–21—And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy
Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay
hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you
thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this
matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.

¾ Patience!
If you ask for a gift, the Lord will answer, but He will choose which are the most important gifts for you in
your life and also the right timing to manifest those gifts. Have patience!
James 1:4—But let patiewnce have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
¾ Love!
You can have all the gifts of the Spirit and all the prophecy, tongues, teaching, and everything else, but it
isn't worth much unless you have love! Love is the most important thing! Look what Paul says in 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 12:31–13:1—But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way. (13:1)
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a
clanging cymbal.

Closing Prayer
Thank You, Jesus, for how You reveal Your Word to us. It takes Your Spirit to open our eyes and show us
Your truth. Please help us to acknowledge You each time we read Your Word, and may Your Holy Spirit give us
an understanding of what You want to tell us. Help us to stay close to You now, Lord, as we go about our way, and
to carry Your Spirit with us. Amen.
12 Foundation Stones—Class 3A
Principles and Practice
Prayer, Part 1
Section 1: Prayer Principles
We want to start our study of prayer by looking at our relationship with the Lord. Prayer is not a ritual. The position
of your body doesn't matter very much. What counts is the position of your heart. When we talk about prayer we're
talking about your relationship and communication with the Lord and His relationship and communication with
you.

¾ Our constant Companion


God sent Jesus into the world to be our Savior. He is the Son of God. God also sent Jesus into the world so
that through Him we could develop a relationship with God. God is too big, too infinite for our understanding. We
don't know what He looks like. We can't really picture Him in our mind's eye because He is too vast.
But we can think of Jesus. We can comprehend and picture Jesus, because He took on the form of a man
and lived a life here on Earth.
Jesus came to save us for eternity, and He also came to be our companion through life. You can picture
Jesus as a constant Companion Who is always beside you and to Whom you can go for counsel and comfort.
Here is a little story about this:

„ "Jim, It's Jesus!"


The story is told of a certain minister who was disturbed to see a shabby old man go into his church at
noon every day and come out again after a few minutes. What could he be doing? He informed the caretaker and
asked him to question the old man. After all, the place contained valuable furnishings.
"I go to pray," the old man said in reply to the caretaker's questioning.
"Come, come now," said the other, "you are never long enough in the church to pray."
"Well, you see," the shabby old man went on, "I cannot pray a long prayer, but every day at twelve o'clock
I just come and say, `Jesus, it's Jim,' and wait a minute and then come away. It's just a little prayer, but I guess He
hears me."
When Jim was injured some time later and taken to the hospital, he had a wonderful influence on the ward.
Grumbling patients became cheerful and often the ward would ring with laughter.
"Well, Jim," said the sister to him one day, "the men say you are responsible for this change in the ward.
They say you are always happy."
"Aye, sister, that I am. I can't help being happy. You see, it's my Visitor. Every day He makes me happy."
"Your visitor?" The sister was puzzled. She always noticed that Jim's chair was empty on visiting days, for
he was a lonely old man, with no relations. "Your visitor? But when does he come?"
"Every day," Jim replied, the light in his eyes growing brighter. "Yes, every day at twelve o'clock He
comes and stands at the foot of my bed. I see Him and He smiles and says, `Jim, it's Jesus.'"

¾ Prayer is praise, petition, listening


We've seen how prayer is our communication with the Lord. Understanding these three principles of prayer
will enhance your relationship with the Lord: 1) praise, 2) petition, and 3) listening. We'll talk about these in more
detail during the next classes, but in brief:

¾ Praise
The Lord gives a lot of instruction in His Word that you should come into His presence with thanksgiving
and enter His courts with praise. Thank and praise the Lord! Give Him the praise and honor that is His due.
Psalm 100:4—Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and
bless His name.
¾ Petition
After you've thanked the Lord for what He has already done for you and given you, then you can pray for
what you still need. He encourages us to ask:
John 16:24b—Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

¾ Listening
Prayer is not a one-way street where you're just asking the Lord for things, but it's communication with the
Lord, conversing with the Lord. A lot of people have a conversation with the Lord and it's a one-way conversation.
They talk to Him and tell Him everything they want, but they never give Him time to say anything!—Except they
hope He'll say "yes" to whatever it is they're asking Him for. After they've given Him their long list, they then hope
that He okays it!
That isn't the way it should be! Your relationship with the Lord should also include you listening to Him.
Prayer is not just speaking your piece, but most of all letting God speak His piece, and waiting in quietness and
confidence until He answers. Take time to hear from God, and He'll take the time to straighten out your problems.
Mark 4:2–3—Then He … said to them in His teaching: "Listen!"
Mark 7:14b—He said to them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand:"

¾ Concentration and visualizing Jesus


John 4:24—God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
When you pray, think about the Lord and visualize Him if you can.
It's good to shut your eyes. You don't have to shut your eyes to pray, you don't even have to bow your
head, but it generally helps. Shutting your eyes closes out everything else that's distracting and opens the inner eyes
of your mind and heart and you can think of and even visualize Jesus.
Try to close your mind to other things and distracting thoughts. If you make an effort to concentrate on
Him, you're less likely to think of other things or be distracted while you pray. You're thinking about the Lord!
Isaiah wrote,
Isaiah 26:3—You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
You can't think of too many things at once. There may be a few peripheral things around the fringes of
your mind, but your concentration can only be focused on one point at a time. When you pray, that focal point
needs to be the Lord!

Jesus on the chair


F.W. Boreham, the writer, tells the story of an old Scot who lay very ill. His minister came to see
him. As the minister sat down on a chair near the bedside he noticed on the other side of the bed another
chair placed at such an angle as to suggest that another visitor had just left it. "Well, Donald," said the
minister, "I see I am not your first visitor."
The Scotsman looked up in surprise; so the minister pointed to the chair. "Ah," said the sufferer,
"I'll tell you about that chair. Years ago I found it impossible to pray. I often fell asleep on my knees, I was
so tired. And if I kept awake, I could not control my thoughts from wandering. One day I was so worried I
spoke to my minister about it. He told me not to worry about kneeling down. `Just sit down,' he told me,
`and put a chair opposite you, and imagine Jesus is in it, and talk to Him as you would to a friend.'" The
Scotsman added, "I have been doing that ever since. And so, now you know why the chair is positioned
like that."
A week later the daughter of the old Scot drove up to the minister's house and knocked on the
door. She was shown into the study, and when the minister came in she could hardly restrain herself.
"Father died in the night," she sobbed, "I had no idea death could be so near. I had just gone to lie down
for an hour or two, for he seemed to be sleeping so comfortably. And when I went back he was dead. He
had not moved since I had last seen him, except that his hand was on the empty chair at the side of the
bed. Do you understand?" asked the daughter.
"Yes," said the minister, "I understand."

¾ Praise Time
L Take some time to praise the Lord now.
We give You glory, Lord! You dwell in the praises of Your people; You inhabit the praises of Your
people! We love You, Jesus! You put our feet on the Rock! (Psalm 40:2). You've done so much for us! We exalt
Your name! Thank You for Your love! Thank You for Your care! Jesus, help us to praise You more, to give You
the glory that You deserve, the glory that's due Your name. Help us to honor You before the people, before each
other! Everything that we get accomplished, everything that we do is through Your grace and power, Jesus!
Hallelujah!
Please bless our relationship with You, that we would be closer to You. Help us to learn to acknowledge You in all
our ways, and to take time with You each day. We love You, dear Lord, and thank You for the wonderful gifts
You've given us. You're the best gift of all!

Section 2: Twelve Steps of Effective Prayer


Prayer works! We'd like to spend a few minutes telling some testimonies of how God has answered prayer,
and then we'll examine the twelve steps to help your prayers accomplish what you want them to.

¾ Testimonies of how God answers prayer


Healing testimonies
From Manuel: "One night we were talking about Jesus to a girl who visits us often and loves God's
Word. She had brought her friend with her for us to witness to her and the Lord led us to share with her
about healing and the importance of prayer. When they returned home they found out that the friend's
baby was sick with a high fever! So they both prayed for the baby and the Lord did a miracle and healed
the baby right before their eyes! Needless to say, this inspired them both that it pays to put their trust in
the Lord."
From Nigel: "A friend who is a barber was, at first, quite cold to our message and our work. We
prayed for the Lord to change him and when we visited him, we found him crying! He told us that he had
throat cancer. We witnessed to him and he received Jesus as his Savior. We specifically prayed for his
healing and he told us that he felt the Lord touching him. The next time he visited the doctors they didn't
find anything wrong with him! Now he's faithfully studying the Word."
From Alison: "One day I got a phone call from my sister who desperately asked me to come and
pray for her two-week-old daughter who was in the hospital dying of bronchial pneumonia! The doctors
said it was too late and that it was an impossible and hopeless situation and she would surely die! My
parents and brother-in-law were staunch unbelievers at this time. So I explained that my prayers couldn't
save their little girl if they didn't get their hearts right with God and pray desperately for a miracle. I told my
brother-in-law that maybe the Lord wanted to show him that He exists and that He loves him and if he
prayed to Him with his whole heart, God could heal his daughter right away! Finally, he felt a need for the
Lord and he humbled himself and prayed, asking the Lord to do a miracle! The next day the doctors were
going to do some tests in order to find out more precisely what the baby's condition was. So we prayed
specifically that when the doctors did their tests they would find the baby completely healed. That is
exactly what happened! The next day the baby was completely well and there was no explanation
whatsoever! It was a miracle! After this my brother-in-law started witnessing to all his friends and the
people he works with, telling them that God really does exist and that He saved his baby's life!"

Transformed!
From Emma and Corrie, Russia:
When we went to visit a close friend, she wasn't there, but her best friend, Olga, was. When she
realized we were the Christians her friend had told her about, Olga began asking us different questions
about God and His ability to protect His children. She went on to tell us that her husband had started to
drink, and at times seemed almost psychotic. He would change from a gentle, loving husband, to a violent
monster. To add to her fears, she had found an unexplained weapon in their home. "I'm so desperate, I'm
willing to try anything," she said.
We told Olga about the power of prayer, and what it has done in our lives. Then we encouraged
her to be honest with her husband and tell him how she felt. We prayed with her, and assured her that the
Lord was able to change her husband and their situation.
When we bumped into Olga a couple of days later, she threw her arms around us, and hugged us.
She said she had taken our advice, told her husband how she felt, and listened to what he had to say. As
a result, he had stopped drinking and their relationship was much better already. She told her husband
that we had prayed with her, and they both credit the Lord with changing their lives. Now they want to
learn more about God, the Bible, and prayer.

¾ 1. Have a praiseful, thankful attitude


Key principle: Please Him by praising Him!
Before you begin to list all the things you would like God to do, take a minute to praise and thank Him for
all He has already done.
Philippians 4:6—With thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
(We'll further explore the principle of praise in the next class.)

¾ 2. Start with a clean heart


Key principle: "Create in me a clean heart, O God" (Psalm 51:10).
Before you can have faith that the Lord will answer your prayers, you need to be sure that things are right
between the Lord and you.
1 John 3:20–22—If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. If our heart
does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we
keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.
Psalm 32:5—I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, "I will confess my
transgressions to the Lord," and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
If you have done wrong, what you need to do to set things straight is to acknowledge your guilt, ask the
Lord to forgive you, and pledge to try to rectify the matter or be reconciled with any others involved. Once you do
that, the Lord is quick to forgive, and to hear and answer your other prayers.
1 John 1:9—If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.
God does not ask for perfection. He only asks that we put our will over on His side; that with all our heart
we try the very best we know how. Let us pray, as David of old,
Psalm 51:10—Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 139:23—Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties.

¾ 3. Pray for God's will to be done


Key principle: The best way to know God's will is to say I will to God.
When you are doing your best to please the Lord, then it pleases Him to grant you your heart's desires.
Psalm 37:4—Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
1 John 5:14–15—Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will,
He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have
asked of Him.

¾ 4. Put the needs of others ahead of your own


Key principle: "Jesus," then "others," then "you" spells J-O-Y!
God expects us to pray not only for ourselves, but also for others.
Job 42:10—And the Lord restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice
as much as he had before.
1 Thessalonians 1:2—We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.
Psalm 31:1—Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
(We'll talk more about our responsibility to pray for others in the next class.)

¾ 5. Be specific
Key principle: Specific prayers get specific answers.
Jesus wants us to be definite in our requests. He asks us,
John 15:7—"What would you have Me do for you?"
Specific prayers get specific answers. Vague, aimless prayers usually indicate one of three things: Either
you're not very concerned, or you don't really know what you want Him to do, or you don't have faith that He can
do it. So be as clear and definite as you would if you were writing a check drawn on the Bank of Heaven. Fill it out
for the exact amount you want, make it payable to yourself or someone else who needs it, date it, sign it—and it's
yours!
We are definite in our business dealings with others—especially in any matter of importance that involves
a money transaction. How careful we are to have a perfect understanding. We say we are "making a deal" or
"closing a deal" with a person, and there comes a time when we sign our name on the dotted line and in a very
definite, careful manner, we close the deal. Just so, there must be a definiteness in closing a deal with God. There
must be a definite moment in which we, so to speak, sign our name on the dotted line under His promises, take Him
at His Word, and close the deal.

¾ 6. Be wholehearted
Key principle: It's not how long you pray or how much you pray, it's how much you believe.
It's true that God knows what you need before you even ask Him, but He still expects you to pray. It shows
that you are depending on Him, that you need Him. It's a positive declaration of your faith that He can answer your
prayers, and that pleases Him.
God wants you to show concern and pray about things.—And in serious matters, He expects you to be
serious about asking for His help. If you stir yourself, God will stir Himself!
Jeremiah 29:13—You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
¾ 7. Exercise your faith
Key principle: When faith goes to market it always takes a basket.
What is faith? It's taking God at His Word. It's believing that what He has promised, He will do. With
faith, it doesn't matter whether reason or logic point in that direction; you just know it will be because God
promised it so, whether your human mind can figure it all out or not.
The greater your faith in the Lord's ability to answer, the greater answers to prayer you will receive. These
two contrasting examples demonstrate the point especially well: When two blind men besought Jesus to restore
their sight, He asked them if they believed He was able to do so. When they answered yes, He told them that it
would be done to them "according to their faith"—and He proceeded to heal them!
Matthew 9:27–30—When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, "Son
of David, have mercy on us!" (28) And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus
said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." (29) Then He touched
their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you." (30) And their eyes were opened.
But another time we read that He didn't do many miracles in one town because of the people's unbelief.
Matthew 13:58—Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
So it's pretty clear that your measure of faith determines the measure of God's response.
How do you build your faith muscles? You nourish them with God's Word, and exercise them daily
through prayer.

„ The one who gets things from God will show his faith by his actions.
James 2:17–18,26—Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (18) But someone will say, "You
have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
… (26) For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
What is a dead faith? It is a faith that is not working. It is a faith that is not operative. Real faith is not a
passive thing; it will act out what it believes.
A believing person puts faith into action. When he has asked God for something, he proceeds as if he
possesses. When he takes God at His Word on some promise, he proceeds exactly as if he already possesses the
thing which he desires (which by believing faith he really does), though the natural senses may deny every step of
the way that which faith has claimed as true.
An illustration of this thought is given in the Bible in the instance of the lepers who were told by Jesus to
go show themselves to the priest for cleansing; the Scripture says,
Luke 17:14—As they went, they were cleansed.
As they went, as they put their faith into action, God did it. If we put forth the effort of a believing will,
God honors that step and does it. Look at the case of the man with the withered hand.
Matthew 12:10,13—And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. … (13) Then He said to the man,
"Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.
The seat of faith is in the will. God certainly expects us to put our faith into action.

¾ 8. Pray in the name of Jesus


Key principle: There is power in the name of Jesus!
When Jesus came to Earth to die for our sins, He became our Mediator with God, the Father. The Bible
tells us:
1 Timothy 2:5—For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
We approach God via Jesus.
John 14:6—Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
Me.
We know that's true of salvation, but this is true also of prayer! Jesus repeatedly told His disciples to pray
in His name:
John 14:13–14—And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
(14) If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
John 16:23b–24—Whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. (24) Until now you have asked
nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

¾ 9. Claim God's Word


Key principle: Quote Scripture when you pray. Hold God to His Promises.
God has a storehouse of matchless treasures and infinite wealth, all that you could ever ask or need or
imagine—and it's all been promised to you in His Word.
2 Peter 1:4—There have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may
be partakers of the divine nature.
All you have to do is lay claim to the promises!
God's Word is a contract that He has bound Himself to. The first step is to familiarize yourself with the
terms of the contract. You do that by reading His Word. Then, when you pray, He wants you to hold Him to those
terms. When you remind Him of His promises, it shows you have faith in what He has said, and that you believe He
is able and will do what you are asking.
Of course, the contract also has terms that you must fulfill. Many of God's promises come with conditions.
1 John 3:22—Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things
that are pleasing in His sight.
In order to claim His promise, "whatever you ask," you must do your best to keep His commandments and
please Him. When you keep your part of the bargain, you can boldly claim all that is rightfully yours according to
His Word.
Memorize a few key promises to claim when you pray. They will greatly strengthen your faith in time of
need. Besides the verses you have committed to memory, you can also claim verses by reading them.

Favorite verses
Here are a few promises that have been favorites for many of us over the years:
John 15:7—If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it
shall be done for you.
Mark 9:23—Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
Jeremiah 33:3—Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which
you do not know.

¾ 10. Refuse to doubt


Key principle: When you pray—believe!
James 1:6–8—Ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the
wind. (7) For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (8) he is a double-minded man,
unstable in all his ways.
Refuse to entertain any thoughts that contradict the Word.
It has been said that there are two different kinds of Christians—those who pray and really expect to see
something happen, and those who just pray but do not expect anything to happen. Accept that God has answered
even before you see the answer!
Mark 11:24—Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
When you pray—believe! It is simply amazing how many people, who, after having asked God to do the
giving actually expect Him to do the taking, also! We want Him, without the least effort on our part, to come right
down and lay it in our laps instead of us reaching up and receiving it. He will give us what we're asking Him for,
but on His own conditions, and those conditions are: "Believe that you receive them, and you will have them."

¾ 11. Count it done


Key principle: "Stand fast in the faith" (1 Corinthians 16:13).
Every prayer that is in line with God's will and according to what God wants and knows is best for
everyone involved, is answered—as far as God is concerned—before the prayer itself is even finished.
Isaiah 65:24—It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will
hear.
He may not answer the way we expect Him to, or we may not see the answer right away, but God has set
things in motion to be fulfilled in His time, providing its His will. So once you have presented your request to the
Lord, it's time to take what is known as the "stand of faith." You must trust that the answer is on its way, and
believe that if you've fulfilled your part of the bargain, He will come through for you, even if it sometimes takes a
while. Count it done!
(We'll look more at the subject of delayed answers to prayer as well as unexpected answers in the next
class.)

¾ 12. Thank God for answering


Key principle: What we win by prayer we must wear with praise.
It's just as important to end your prayers with praise and thanksgiving, as it is to start them that way.
Just like we get specific with God in the things we ask for, we should be just as specific in thanking Him
for the things He gives us. Let's get just as enthusiastic in thanking Him, as we were desperate in asking Him!
If you really believe that God has heard and answered your prayer, you won't wait till you see the answer
to thank Him for it; you'll thank Him by faith.

¾ Review of the Twelve Steps


1. Have a praiseful, thankful attitude.
2. Start with a clean heart.
3. Pray for God's will to be done.
4. Put the needs of others ahead of your own.
5. Be specific.
6. Be wholehearted.
7. Exercise your faith.
8. Pray in the name of Jesus.
9. Claim God's Word.
10. Refuse to doubt.
11. Count it done.
12. Thank God for answering.

Ending note
There are other aspects of prayer that we haven't had much time to get into, such as delayed answers, types
of prayer, how to form good prayer habits, more on praise, listening to the Lord, and so on. These are subjects we
will be discussing in our next class.
12 Foundation Stones—Class 3B
Communicating with God
Prayer, Part 2
Section 1: Our Relationship with the Lord

¾ A good relationship
It takes time and effort to build a good relationship with someone. Let's look at some of the ways we can
apply the lessons we learn with people to our relationship with the Lord.
We need to invest time into building a relationship and give the person our attention.—We talked in the
last class about focusing on the Lord when we pray, even visualizing Him if we can.
We should talk to Jesus as we would to our dearest loved one. In a good marriage or relationship, one
person doesn't do all the talking! So we need to be sure to not only talk to Him, but most importantly, listen to Him.
A good relationship also needs lots of appreciation and thankfulness and not taking the other for granted.
We need to thank the Lord for what He gives us and does for us.
A good relationship is one where we can trust and confide in our partner, knowing he or she will listen and
keep on loving us unconditionally. Our partner will comfort us when we need it, and he or she will honestly point
out our shortcomings when we need help in facing things. But no matter how we fail or what mistakes we make, he
or she will keep loving us. That is how Jesus is with us.

¾ The story of Mary and Martha


Whatever happens, we know the Lord wants us to draw closer to Him. We should not get so wrapped up in
our work and the day-to-day grind of living that we forget that we need to be close to Jesus, and that that is very
important to the Lord! All our activities and work might be good and necessary, but we should not neglect our
relationship with Jesus. We can be assured that everything else will fall into the proper place as long as we keep
close to the Lord.
Let's look at this in the Bible.
The following could be acted out as a skit, getting the students involved:
Luke 10:38–42—Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named
Martha welcomed Him into her house. (39) And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and
heard His word. (40) But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do
You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." (41) And Jesus answered
and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. (42) But one thing is needed,
and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

To consider:
Who do you identify more with—Mary or Martha?
If you were Martha, how would you have reacted to Jesus' words?

¾ What if you feel you've failed?


When we slip and fall because of sin or disobedience, it's easy to feel condemned, like, "Oh, I can't
possibly be close to the Lord because of my sins, because of all my faults and shortcomings!" But you must not let
the Devil—or even your own heart—condemn you.
1 John 3:20—For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
Romans 8:1—There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk
according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Even if you have disobeyed the Lord, if you're sorry for your sins and you sincerely desire to be close to
Him, He forgives you.
Psalm 103:8—The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
Psalm 37:24—Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
I John 1:9—If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.
Psalm 51:17—The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will
not despise.
A lot has to do with your heart, with your attitude. If you sincerely want to please the Lord and do His will,
love Jesus and live for Him, then He will certainly "draw nigh unto you" when you call out to Him. David of old
wrote:
Psalm 145:18—The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.
Psalm 34:18—The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
So regardless of any feelings of discouragement or condemnation that the Devil may try to barrage you
with, if you know you're truly seeking to love and please the Lord, obey His Word and follow Him, then you're
close to Him!—Whether you happen to feel close to Him or not!

¾ The Lord is always there, no matter how you feel


We've talking about concentrating and we've talked about visualizing the Lord when you pray, and we've
talked in the previous classes about the gifts of the Spirit, but maybe you haven't felt any different. Maybe you don't
feel close to Jesus. The Bible makes it very clear that we're not supposed to go by our feelings, or by any of our
physical senses!
2 Corinthians 5:7—For we walk by faith, not by sight.
The Lord loves each of us very much and promises to be with us. Whether we feel we are close to Him or
not, we can know from His Word that He is close to us! His Love for us is unchangeable, unwavering.
Hebrews 13:5b—For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
Isaiah 54:10—"For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from
you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

Poem: Three men walking on the wall.


Three men were walking on the wall—
Feeling, Faith and Fact.
Feeling had an awful fall.
Faith was taken back.
Only Fact remained.
So Fact pulled up Faith.
And Faith pulled up Feeling.
And they walked on the wall again. ("Fact" is the Word!)

Don't rely on feelings


If we start trusting or relying too much on our feelings as an indicator of how well we're doing
spiritually, we're going to be very unstable! We'll be continually tossed to and fro by every wind of feeling
that happens to come along.
James 1:6—Let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea
driven and tossed by the wind.
We'll never know how we're going to be doing tomorrow, as that would be determined by how we
feel when we get up in the morning. Regardless of how we may happen to feel, if we love the Lord and
are walking by faith and obeying His Word, then we know that our relationship with the Lord is still firm.
Some people do feel close to Jesus. Some people just have more creativity to be able to picture
things. We all have certain personalities, and some of us are much more emotional than others. But just
because some people don't feel a big emotional closeness to the Lord, they don't need to sit around
feeling sorry for themselves or feel that they are not close to the Lord. We all just need to take things by
faith! There aren't too many verses in the Bible on going by feelings, but there are a lot about faith and
trusting the Lord and believing His Word!
Even if you can't feel any closeness at all, you can still know you're close to Him if you're doing
your best to love the Lord and please Him and obey His Word and do what you know He has said.
We've got to just go by the Facts, by the Word, and your faith in His Word, your obedience and
yieldedness have nothing to do with your feelings! So it doesn't really matter whether you feel close to the
Lord or not. You don't have to feel that emotion!

¾ The closer walk


How do you get close to Jesus? You get close to Jesus by obeying His Word and yielding to His will and
taking time with Him! Jesus says,
John 14:23—If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him
and make Our home with him.
If you're obeying what He says in His Word, if you're spending time praising Him, talking to Him,
listening to Him, and reading His Word, then of course you're close to the Lord!—He'll come and make His home
with you. Paul says,
Hebrews 10:22—Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.

Poem: Feelings come and feelings go


(By Martin Luther)

For feelings come and feelings go,


And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God,
Naught else is worth believing!

Though all my heart should feel condemned,


For lack of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart,
Whose Word cannot be broken!

I'll trust in God's unchanging Word,


Till soul and body sever;
For, though all things shall pass away,
His Word shall stand forever!

„ To consider:
How do you usually pray? Do you have a set time or a set place or are you more spontaneous?
What occupies most of your time in prayer? Praise; pouring out your heart to the Lord about personal
situations or trials; asking the Lord for things you need; praying for others?
What do you find most distracting when you are praying? Have you found any ways to overcome this?

Section 2: The Prayer "Habit"

¾ The good habit of prayer


Luke 18:1—Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
1 Chronicles 16:11—Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!
1 Thessalonians 5:17—Pray without ceasing.
Ephesians 6:18—Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with
all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
Philippians 4:6–7—Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let
your requests be made known to God; (7) and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard
your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

¾ Making prayer a habit!


The key to being prayerful is making it a habit. There's not really anything that's so mystical or mysterious
about it, you just have to keep doing it and keep at it, faithfully acknowledging Him in all your ways
Proverbs 3:6—In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
To truly make prayer a habit you have to endeavor to pray about everything! Of course, it's a good start if
you pray before you eat and before you drive and before you go to bed and upon waking up, but what about all the
other things you do during the day? You could pray about which work you should do, or if you already know, if it's
a set pattern, you could pray about how to do it. If you faithfully pray every day before doing your work, the Lord
might show you a better way of doing it that day, or a faster way.
One of the most important phrases we could introduce to our vocabulary and which we should frequently
use is, "Let's stop and pray."
To form a good habit takes a lot of conscious effort over a period of time. It also usually involves a lot of
forgetting and some remembering. Then, finally we start remembering more than we forget!
Just like with teaching little kids to brush their teeth every day, you have to keep reminding them and keep
reminding them every morning and every night. They'll forget half the time unless you remind them. But as they
get older and they keep doing it year after year, finally, they'll rarely forget! When they get up to their teens, lo and
behold, after all those years they've finally made it a habit!
That's what it takes with prayer, although we certainly hope it won't take that long! Pray for the Lord to
help you cultivate the habit as quickly as possible. It takes effort on our part, but if we pray and ask the Lord to
check us when we don't pray, then cultivating a good habit of prayer will go much easier and much faster.
We should learn to pray over everything! The Bible says,
1Thessalonians 5:17—Pray without ceasing.
We need to strive to really make it a habit in some of these areas where we don't normally pray.

Thoughts on prayer
* Prayer is a connecting link between human need and divine resources.
* Seventeenth-century physicist Isaac Newton, considered by many as the father of modern
science and discoverer of gravitation, said: "All my discoveries have been made in answer to prayer."
* We should believe that nothing is too small to be named before God. What should we think of the
patient who told his doctor he was ill, but never went into particulars?

¾ Nothing is too small for the Lord


Sometimes we don't think about praying for little things. Maybe you lose your pen or you have a cold or
you need a certain article of clothing. None of these are drastic situations. However, one of the ways that the Lord
can get us into the habit of praying is to teach us to pray for the little things. If we only pray for big things, big
things don't usually come along very often, at least not often enough to cause us to make a habit of prayer.
If we get into the habit of praying for the little things that come along, then we will automatically get in the
habit of praying for everything—big or small. And if we pray for the little things and see how the Lord answers in
those miraculous little ways that He does, then our faith will be increased to face the bigger needs when they come
up!
Another reason to pray for little things could be illustrated by the above example of the case of someone
with a simple cold. If you don't pray for healing, you could get sicker. The "little" thing can become a very big
thing if we don't pray!

¾ Pray!—And God will bless and answer!


2 Chronicles 26:5—He sought God … and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper.
Psalm 62:8—Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.
Isaiah 30:19b—He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.
Jeremiah 29:13—And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 33:3—Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not
know.
Matthew 7:7–8—Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8)
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Isaiah 55:6—Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.

Truly a God of miracles!


From Lucas, Rute, and Madalena, Brazil
Maria is a friend who has been learning about the Lord with us, and most recently about the Lord's
power to heal. She's been putting those lessons into practice with great results.
First she read some Family literature with her mother who had insomnia. The two prayed that the
mother would be able to sleep well, and for the first time in years, she slept soundly all night. The next
morning she told Maria that she wanted to keep reading those wonderful words together. They've been
doing so ever since, and Maria's mother has continued to sleep well all night, every night.
Maria also prayed for her brother who was in the hospital waiting to have surgery to remove a
tumor from his stomach. He had been in the hospital for three days and was so weak that he couldn't
even talk. As Maria prayed for the Lord to heal him, she felt a great peace come over her.
The next day when Maria arrived at work (where her brother also works), she found him already on
the job. The doctors had done another examination, he explained, and had told him there was no need to
operate because the tumor was gone. They had released him from the hospital, and since he felt just fine
he decided to go to work.
Maria said later that when she saw him at work she didn't know whether to cry or laugh. "Lord, You
really do answer prayer!" she exclaimed for her brother and all to hear. "Truly You are a God of miracles!"

God's supply!
The Christian elementary school in Vacaville, California, had just been remodeled. That is, it had
been remodeled except for shingles (roof slates). Funds had run just that much short. And the need was
serious, for the rainy season was approaching.
The smaller children, in Kay Buzelli's room, had memorized the Words of Jesus, "With men this is
impossible; but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). And they believed those Words were
true. For days they had prayed for shingles. And earlier that September morning, in Bible class, little
Karen had prayed, "Dear Jesus, please be with us today. Help us to do something to show we love
others. And please, dear God, don't forget to take care of our school."
Then it happened. The freeway was only a stone's throw away. Suddenly there was a great
"boom" as a giant truck tire blew out. Seventeen frightened children looked up to see the big truck swerve
into the path of oncoming traffic. But those little people, believe it or not, did not race outside, or even to
the window to see what was happening. One of them said, "Let's pray that no one will get hurt." And
seventeen children gathered in one circle with their teacher and prayed—while the screeching, thumping,
bumping, crashing sounds of a serious accident continued.
Their prayer was answered even as they prayed. The big truck had turned over and dumped its
contents on the edge of the freeway. A smaller truck, in which a two-year-old boy was riding with his
father had turned over and landed in the creek beside the school. But there were no serious injuries. Even
the newspaper called it a miracle.
But wait! What had the big truck dumped on the edge of the freeway? Shingles! Shingles just the
right color needed for the school! Shingles strewn everywhere, it seemed! And nobody wanted to pick
them up!
A school board member was at the school at the time, and he negotiated with the insurance
adjuster to buy them all for a very small sum. The children picked them up and stacked them neatly. The
roof was finished before the rains, and the shingles left over were sold for a profit of $300!
Could anyone tell those Vacaville children that God doesn't answer prayer?

We put God on the spot!—God's supply


From Sammy and Belen Siervos, Latin America
Our rent went up 600% in one month. The day we had to pay it we didn't have the money, due to
some unexpected expenses. So that morning we all got together and prayed desperately for the Lord to
do a miracle right away as we wanted and needed to pay the rent on time. We specifically asked the Lord
to supply the money we needed that morning, although we didn't know from where the money was going
to come. We had to really stretch our faith as it was such an impossible situation!
After we prayed we went to have breakfast. Ten minutes later somebody knocked at the door. It
was our friend who came in, kissed and hugged everybody and sat down at the table and wrote out a
cheque for us, saying he just came to give us this donation because the Lord told him to do so. He gave
us a cheque for the amount we needed to pay the rent! A genuine and immediate answer to prayer!
Isaiah 65:24—It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still
speaking, I will hear.

¾ Waiting for the Lord to work


Someone once said "God's delays are not denials." We don't always get immediate answers to our prayers,
and that causes us to exercise patience.
James 1:3–4—Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work,
that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 5:10—My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and
patience.
We can't always see how the Lord is going to answer prayer, and we can't always see why He may delay
answering. Whatever happens, we need to remember that the Lord will never fail. He will bring what He knows is
best to pass. Sometimes when we pray He answers with a "yes"; sometimes with a "no"; and sometimes with a
"wait"!

God's answers
The Lord's answers to prayer are infinitely perfect, and they will show that often when we were
asking for a stone that looked like bread, He was giving us bread that to our shortsightedness looked like
a stone (Matthew 7:7–11).

¾ Believing the promises!


Even if we can't always see with our eyes what the Lord is doing, we can see with eyes of faith because
He's promised to answer prayer.
Matthew 7:7—Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
John 15:7—If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done
for you.
Mark 11:24—Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and
you will have them.

Just for fun!


A dignified old clergyman owned a parrot that he was exceedingly fond of, but the bird had picked
up an appalling vocabulary of cuss words from a previous owner and, after a series of embarrassing
episodes, the clergyman decided he would have to get rid of his pet.
A lady in his parish suggested a last-ditch remedy. "I have a female parrot," she said, "who is an
absolute saint. She sits quietly on her perch and says nothing but, `Let's pray.' Why don't you bring your
parrot over and see if my own bird's good influence doesn't reform him?"
The clergyman said it was worth a try, and the next night he arrived with his pet tucked under his
arm. The bird took one look at the lady parrot and chirped, "Hi, Toots! How about a little kiss?"
The lady parrot responded gleefully, "My prayers have been answered!"

¾ The importance of praying for others


1 Samuel 12:23a—Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray
for you.
Romans 15:30—Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that
you strive together with me in prayers to God for me.
1Thessalonians 1:2—We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers.
Praying for others is an important part of your prayer life. Sometimes it helps to keep a list of those in
special need of prayer. When you know people who are struggling with health problems or job problems or
financial problems or personal problems—just any problems—the very best you can do for them is pray for them!

Miraculous change through prayer!


From Sarah, India
One of our fellowship members was still quite distant until the Lord proved Himself to her through a
miracle. At a meeting she asked for prayer for her brother who was on drugs and who had embezzled
some money from their company and then stole a motor scooter and disappeared!
At the next meeting she shared the testimony of how her brother had come to them a few days
after we'd prayed and confessed how much money he had stolen and offered to pay it back. He also
returned the scooter and testified that he had given up drugs. He said that he himself didn't know how he
had made this complete turn-around, and he confessed that it must have been due to our prayers! As a
result of this miraculous answer to prayer, this dear member is really enthusiastic now and wants to have
a closer walk with the Lord.

Her lasting legacy


There was once a young invalid who lay upon her deathbed. She had given herself to God and
was distressed because she could not labor for Him actively among the lost. Her pastor visited her, and
hearing her complaint, told her that from her sick bed she could pray earnestly. He went away and
thought of the subject no more. Soon a feeling of religious interest sprung up in the village and the
churches were crowded nightly. The little invalid heard of the progress of the revival and inquired
anxiously for the names of the saved. A few weeks later she died and among a roll of papers that was
found under her pillow was one bearing the names of 56 persons, every one of whom had been
converted in the revival. By each name was a little cross, by which the poor crippled saint had checked off
the names of the converts as they had been reported to her.

¾ Ways to pray
Prayer is not judged by the length of words. Sometimes you'll be praying for a desperate situation and
you'll want to go into details with the Lord. Other times your prayer can be very short.
The most important thing about your prayer is that you're concentrating on the Lord, whether you pray a
lengthy or short prayer!
When you use different ways of praying, such variety can help keep your inspiration for prayer high and
help you to concentrate.
Look at "Ways to Pray" in Prayer Power, a Get Activated! booklet, for more ideas. See pages 58–63.

ABC…
A little lad was keeping his sheep one Sunday morning. The bells were ringing for church and the
people were going over the field, when the little fellow began to think that he, too, would like to pray to
God. But what could he say? He had never learned a prayer. So he knelt down and commenced the
alphabet—A, B, C, and so on to Z.
A gentleman happening to pass on the other side of the hedge heard the lad's voice, and, looking
through the bushes, saw the little fellow kneeling with folded hands and closed eyes, saying, "A, B, C."
"What are you doing, my little man?"
"Please, sir, I was praying."
"But what are you saying your letters for?"
"Why, I didn't know any prayer, only I felt that I wanted God to take care of me and help me to care
for the sheep; so I thought if I said all I knew, He would put it together and spell all I want."
"Bless your heart, my little man, He will, He will, He will. When the heart speaks right, the lips can't
say wrong."

¾ Praying Written Prayers


Although most of the time it is good to pray as you are led of the Lord, out of the fullness of your heart, at
other times, praying prayers that have already been thought out and have been powerfully expressed, even though
by someone else, can be very meaningful. If you can find an already written prayer that's appropriate for whatever
you are praying for, you may like to use it as your prayer.
Jesus Himself set the precedent for printed prayers in the most famous prayer of all, the Lord's Prayer
(Matthew 6:9–13). When His disciples asked Him how to pray, He didn't give them generalities like, "Well, just
pray from your heart. Just say what you feel." He actually gave them a prayer—word for word that they could
memorize and repeat—not their own words, but His Words. What better example of the power and effectiveness of
written prayers could we ask for than that?

Section 3: Praise
¾ The importance of thanking and praising the Lord
We've talked a lot today about the petition aspect of prayer. Now we want to focus on praise and
thankfulness.
1 Thessalonians 5:18—In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Psalm 34:1—I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 86:12—I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.
Psalm 118:21—I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.
Psalm 105:1–2—Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!
(2) Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works!
Any relationship is very one–sided if it involves a lot of taking but not much giving. The Lord certainly
doesn't mind our taking all that He has for us, but in return He looks for our thanks and appreciation. He wants us to
acknowledge that we are pleased with all the gifts that He has given us and how He takes care of us so well! He
delights in taking care of us, but part of His pleasure is receiving our gratitude.

The story of the leper who returned to praise God


Luke 17:12–19—Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers,
who stood afar off. (13) And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" (14)
So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they
went, they were cleansed. (15) And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a
loud voice glorified God, (16) and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a
Samaritan. (17) So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
(18) "Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" (19) And He said
to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."

¾ Taking time to say "thank you" to Jesus


Often we keep asking for our needs, but then we almost get too busy gathering up all our blessings that we
don't take time to thank Him for them!
The courteous, polite thing to do when one receives a gift is to sit down and write a thank-you letter—to
take the time and effort to acknowledge your gratitude. When you take this special time to voice your appreciation,
the sender then knows that it meant something to you. However, if he hears nothing, or maybe just a "one-liner"
stuck in the middle of another barrage of requests, he figures that his gift must not have meant very much to you.
He also can quite legitimately figure that giving you all the other things that you are asking for will be met with the
same lack of gratitude.
Therefore it's a little difficult for the Lord to keep pouring out His gifts to you when you don't take time to
properly acknowledge them, showing your gratefulness and thankfulness by stopping and formulating your "letter
of thanks" to Him for the wonderful gifts that He has sent you—in this case, God's priceless gifts, treasures so rich
and so valuable they can only come from His hand—blessing upon blessing!

The banquet
There was once a king in Spain called Alfonso XII. Now it came to the ears of this king that the
pages at his court forgot to ask God's blessing on their daily meals, and he determined to rebuke them.
He invited them to a banquet that they all attended. The table was spread with every kind of good thing,
and the boys ate with evident relish; but none of them remembered to ask God's blessing on the food.
During the feast a beggar entered, dirty and ill-clad. He seated himself at the royal table and ate
and drank to his heart's content. At first the pages were amazed, and they expected that the king would
order him away. But King Alfonso said never a word. When the beggar had finished, he rose and left
without a word of thanks. Then the boys could keep silence no longer. "What a despicably mean fellow!"
they cried.
But the king silenced them, and in clear, calm tones he said, "Boys, bolder and more audacious
than this beggar have you all been. Every day you sit down to a table supplied by the bounty of your
Heavenly Father, yet you ask not His blessing nor express to Him your gratitude."
The only excuse…
The only excuse for not praising the Lord is if you are out of breath:
Psalm 150:6—Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
(But of course you could still praise the Lord in your mind and heart!)

¾ Fitting "Praise Time" into our daily life


If we don't have a special time allotted solely for the purpose of praising the Lord, we often do not do it,
because there are so many other demands on our time.
Something we have tried is scheduling five minutes three times a day when we stop and praise the Lord.
We call this "Praise Time." We specifically use this time to praise the Lord. We don't ask Him for anything or
petition Him. We only thank Him.
We've found that setting aside specified daily times for praise has helped us get more in the habit of
praising the Lord.
Although these should not be the only times we praise the Lord, at least we know that we have these
special periods three times a day to stop and acknowledge the Lord, to thank Him for how much He has done for
us.

„ Here are some ideas of what to do in Praise Time:


Sing a song of praise to the Lord.
Close your eyes and thank Him for specific blessings.
Read a poem of thanks.
Read a written "praise."
12 Foundation Stones—Class 4A
How to Receive Prophecies
Hearing from Heaven, Part 1
Section 1: What Is Prophecy?

¾ Prayer includes listening to God


As was discussed in "Prayer, Part 1: Principles and Practice," prayer is not meant to be a one-way
conversation with the Lord in which you do all the talking! Your relationship with the Lord should also include
listening to Him. Prayer is communion with the Lord, directly conversing with the Lord. You come to Him with
quietness and respect and you sincerely present your petition, and you wait silently to get the answer. If you really
want to hear Him, He'll talk to you.
1 Samuel 3:9–10—Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak,
Lord, for Your servant hears.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. (10) Now the Lord came and stood and
called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears."
Numbers 9:8—And Moses said to them, "Stand still, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning
you."
Psalm 4:4b—Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
Psalm 46:10a—Be still, and know that I am God.

Skit: The Story of Samuel


The script of this skit is based on 1 Samuel 3:1–10. The students could be involved in acting this
out.

¾ When God speaks…


When the Lord speaks and gives a message through one of His people, we refer to such inspired utterances
as "prophecy." Throughout the Bible the Lord spoke to His people this way, inspiring His prophets to give His
words and messages.
In both the Old and New Testaments, God tells us that in the days prior to Jesus' Second Coming, a period
known in the Scriptures as the "Time of the End," or the "Last Days," He is going to pour out His Spirit in a special
way, anointing many of His servants to prophesy. He says,
Acts 2:17–18 (also Joel 2:28–39)—And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of
My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old
men shall dream dreams. (18) And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those
days; and they shall prophesy.

¾ Prophecy: One of the gifts of the Spirit


When we ask the Lord to fill us with His Holy Spirit, we can then receive what the Bible calls the "gifts of
the Spirit." These are special spiritual gifts from our Heavenly Father to strengthen and assist us in many different
ways. The gift of prophecy is included among the nine basic gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:
1 Corinthians 12:4,10–11—There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. … (10) to another prophecy … (11)
But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
These are gifts from a loving Heavenly Father to His children to help communicate understanding of
Himself and His Will.
In the Old Testament, only certain kings and prophets and leaders received the Holy Spirit and the whole
burden of leadership fell on them. But when the New Testament age dawned, on the Day of Pentecost, God
completely threw out the old system of making believers so totally dependent on human leadership for their
guidance, and He made every single individual Christian responsible, directly, to His Own Holy Spirit.
Everyone can have just as much of the Holy Spirit as they want or can take, and should be led individually
of the Lord. The Lord did this to prepare the Church (His followers) for an age when it was going to have to survive
a lot of persecution and its members would need to be individually led by Him.
¾ The desirable gift
The Bible also tells us that the gift of prophecy in particular should be desired and sought by God's people.
In other Bible passages we are encouraged to desire this spiritual gift, and to let God speak to us and through us via
prophecy.
1 Corinthians 14:1,5,39—Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. (5) I wish
you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who
speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the Church may receive edification. (39) Therefore,
brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.

¾ "Forthtelling"
Many people think of "prophecy" as predicting the future, but this is not always the case. The word
"prophecy" is taken from a Greek word propheteia that means "the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God."
Prophets do a lot of foretelling under the inspiration of God's Spirit. But a further meaning of prophecy is
to speak under divine inspiration, to forthtell the Words of God—to simply give God's Word, whatever it may be,
whenever it may be, at any time, at any place, to any people, whenever it is God's will.

Section 2: About Prophecy in the Bible


Let's look at some of the ways God has used the gift of prophecy to speak to His people through history.

¾ Prophecy comes from God


2 Peter 1:21—For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by
the Holy Spirit.
Acts 3:21—God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
Hosea 12:10—I have also spoken by the prophets, and have multiplied visions; I have given symbols through the
witness of the prophets.
Romans 12:6—Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy,
let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.

¾ Prophecy and prophets in the Old Testament


In the days of Moses 70 elders prophesied
Numbers 11:24–30—So Moses went out and told the people the Words of the Lord, and he gathered the seventy
men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tabernacle. (25) Then the Lord came down in the
cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders;
and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again. (26)
But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the
Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they
prophesied in the camp. (27) And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying
in the camp." (28) So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, "Moses
my lord, forbid them!" (29) Then Moses said to him, "Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord's people
were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!" (30) And Moses returned to the camp, both he
and the elders of Israel.

Elijah was the main prophet, but there were at least 100 others:
1 Kings 18:1,3–4—And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third
year, saying, "Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth." (3) And Ahab had called Obadiah,
who was in charge of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly. (4) For so it was, while Jezebel
massacred the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah had taken one hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a
cave, and had fed them with bread and water.)

Elisha's schools for prophets


(Elisha trained a group of prophets called "the sons of the prophets")
2 Kings 2:3,5—Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha. … (5) Now the sons of the
prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha.
2 Kings 4:38—And Elisha returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. Now the sons of the prophets
were sitting before him.
2 Kings 6:1—And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, "See now, the place where we dwell with you is too
small for us."
Samuel's group of prophets
1 Samuel 19:20—Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets
prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and
they also prophesied.

¾ The Early Church and the gift of prophecy


It is very interesting to study over the experience of the Early Church and how they not only got their
directions from the written, recorded Word of God, but also relied on the gift of prophesy. Here are just a few
examples of the first Christians' reliance on the Living Word (received through prophecy):
Acts 11:27–30—And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. (28) Then one of them, named
Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world,
which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. (29) Then the disciples, each according to his ability,
determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. (30) This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the
hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Acts 13:1–3—Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas,
Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and
Saul. (2) As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them." (3) Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent
them away.
Acts 19:6—And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with
tongues and prophesied.
Acts 21:8–9—On the next day we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the
house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. (9) Now this man had four virgin
daughters who prophesied.
Acts 21:10–14—And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.(11)
When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit,
‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'"
(12) Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to
Jerusalem. (13) Then Paul answered, "What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not
only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." (14) So when he would not be
persuaded, we ceased, saying, "The will of the Lord be done."

¾ The gift of prophecy was a respected ministry in the Early Church


1 Corinthians 12:28—And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third
teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
1 Thessalonians 5:20—Do not despise prophecies.
Romans 12:6—Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy,
let us prophesy in proportion to our faith.

¾ Conclusion: You can hear from Heaven too!


Reading about some of the times God has spoken to His children in the past, as well as becoming familiar
with His many promises to speak to you, will strengthen your faith that you, too, can hear from Heaven!
12 Foundation Stones—Class 4B
Prophecy in Action
Hearing from Heaven, Part 2
Introduction
„ "Make Cars!"
What would happen if you'd take a large number of unskilled laborers, suddenly place them in an
automobile factory, and say: "Make cars!" Without training, experience, guidance, or instructions this would be
impossible! It would be nothing but chaos, every man with his own ideas, going his own way and doing his own
thing, and you'd probably end up with a crazy contraption. It might even be a very elaborate, intricate, and
complicated machine, but without coordination, purpose, or guidance, it would get nowhere.
But if you would tell these factory workers: "Now, see here! You don't know anything and you never made
a car before, but if you'll just listen to the instructions from our central computer through your earphones on your
little radio sets, each one of you will know exactly what to do and when and how to do it! Just listen and obey
instructions!"—And they might actually be able to make a car with a little time, patience, and experience!—For the
computer knows how!
But if the workers decided they didn't need the computer, they'd rather figure it out for themselves, and
they turned off their radios and laid aside their headsets, because they were so busy and didn't want to be bothered
with having to listen, they would soon have nothing but confusion, frustration, and failure.

L To consider: Have you been going to the Lord for His instructions? Have you heard from the Lord since your last
class?

Section 1: Prophecy Pointers

¾ Why get prophecies?


Prophecy gives you guidance for specific questions.
Psalm 73:24a—You will guide me with Your counsel.
Psalm 143:10—Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of
uprightness.
You should let the principles in the written Word of God guide you as much as you can, but there are
things that the written Word doesn't tell us about some situations that we need to know specifics about. The printed
Word gives you the fundamentals, the basics, but often the Lord wants to give you specifics for your particular
situation through speaking to you directly in prophecy.
If possible, share some examples of when you have needed and received the Lord's guidance for a specific
question. In addition, you may like to read either of the following examples.

Examples of prophecy giving specific guidance

Example 1: Witnessing
We know from the Word that we're supposed witness (share our faith).
Mark 16:15—And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."
But to whom are you supposed to witness? Where should you witness? Should you give out
literature? Should you try to talk to strangers on the street or should you knock on people's doors or
should you talk just to your colleagues and relatives? There is a whole range of ways to fulfill what Jesus
told us about witnessing. But to find God's specific plan for you, you might need to hear from the Lord
about it.

Example 2: The Cookie Story


By Aaron
It was near Christmastime in Belgium. We had a few orphanages that we were bringing supplies
to. We wanted to bring cookies and snacks for the children but didn't have the money to buy them, so we
prayed asking Jesus to show us what to do and what He would do to supply this need. In prophecy He
told us to follow the first truck that we would see and that that would lead us to where we needed to go.
We opened our eyes and looked. A truck pulled up right in front of our car. We started the engine
and we followed by faith, having no idea what the truck did or where it went or anything. We followed it
and followed it for about 20 minutes around different areas of town until it finally arrived in front of a
factory.
By faith we went into the factory, and lo and behold, it was a cookie factory! When we asked to see
the director and told him why we came, he immediately said, "Who told you to come here?"
We said, "Well, we prayed and we asked the Lord to direct our path and He told us to follow the
first truck we saw." He was in shock.
He said, "This is a miracle! Saint Nicholas' Day is past and I have about 50 boxes of cookies from
the holiday that I don't know what to do with and it's my pleasure to be able to give them to you."—And off
we went with a car loaded down with boxes and boxes of cookies for our Christmas gift to the orphans
and other needy families in Belgium.

¾ How wonderful to have the Lord's help!


It's often the case that when things seem difficult and muddled and we can't seem to find any kind of
solution, or when things look complicated, if we'll just go to the Lord and desperately seek Him, He gives us the
simplest answer. We may look at it in amazement and say, "Why in the world didn't I ever see that? Of course I
should have seen that!—How dumb of me!"
The Lord often allows this to happen just to show that no matter how clear things should be, if we don't
seek Him for the answers, and if we try to do things in the "arm of the flesh," which means without relying on His
help, we can't really do anything.
John 15:5—I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for
without Me you can do nothing.

¾ Keys for hearing from the Lord


We've established that prophecy is helpful. It's encouraging. It's a gift that we want to have and use. Now
let's look at some keys for receiving prophecies:
„ Earnest desire
Psalm 119:2—Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!
Jeremiah 29:13—And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
If you're seeking with your whole heart and are asking Him, He'll answer!
„ Concentration
As we discussed in our earlier classes on prayer, concentration is important. Try to focus on the Lord and
clear your mind from other thoughts.

Look at the map


Taking time to hear from the Lord about your direction is like using a map in order to find the
easiest, safest, and smoothest route to your destination. But you can't look at the map while you go
speeding down the road. You've got to stop and study the map, just like you have to stop and get quiet
and listen in order to have close communion with the Lord and get your directions from Him.
„ Have an open heart
Ask the Lord to help you have an open mind and heart, to be ready to accept whatever He gives, even if it
is not what you were expecting, or completely to your liking, or you don't understand it fully.
„ Carefully word your questions
The answers you receive will depend on the questions you ask. Be sure it is clear in your mind what you
are asking the Lord, so that when you get the answer, you'll know what He is referring to. Sometimes it helps to
write out your question.
„ More tips!
Be sure to study over Hearing from Heaven (Get Activated! booklet) for more keys. The chapters "Basic
Operating Instructions" and "General Maintenance" are very useful.

„ God speaks at any time


Many of us find that we occasionally wake up in the night, unable to sleep. During such sleepless hours, it
is a good time to pray and think about the Lord and commune with Him within your heart.
Section 2: Judging Prophecies

¾ Two terms to understand:


Judging prophecy is the act of discerning if a prophecy was given by the Spirit of God.
Interpreting prophecy is the act of coming to an understanding of what a prophecy means, and knowing
how to apply it.

¾ How can you tell if a prophecy is truly inspired by God?


Over the centuries, many people have claimed to hear from God. In some cases, their lives bore good
testimony through their deeds of love and righteousness. But in other cases, the fruit it bore in their lives or their
subsequent actions makes you wonder, were they really being inspired by God, or were the ideas their own, or even
worse, were they deceived by the Devil?
Perhaps you too are wondering how you can know whether a prophecy you receive is from God, whether
you've received it directly through your own prayers or through another source.
Or perhaps you have prayed and it seems the Lord has given you His Words, but you do not understand
how to apply what He has said or even what He means.
We'll look at these questions now. It is our prayer that the guidance we share and our own experiences in
hearing from the Lord will be a help to you.

"The voice that tells me to do something good"


Prophecy is one of the ways that you can find the will of God, one of the ways that He can speak
to you. But how can you tell if what you have received is really from the Lord? Let's take a look at this
question.
There's a story told of a young boy who accepted the Lord. The old elders of the church seemed
skeptical about his conversion and asked him, "How do you know you're saved? How can you tell? How
are you going to know what to do when the Devil comes and tells you to do something bad? How are you
going to know the difference between the voice of God and the voice of the Devil?"
The little boy had a very simple answer. He said, "If the voice tells me to do something bad, I'll
know it's the Devil! If it tells me to do something good, I'll know it's God!"
It's that simple! If you love the Lord, what you receive from Him is good and ministers faith, joy,
hope, love, and praise.

¾ Jesus told us to judge prophecies by their fruit


Jesus gave the basic criteria for judging a prophet or a prophecy when He told us to look at the fruits:
Matthew 7:15–20—Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are
ravenous wolves. (16) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from
thistles? (17) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (18) A good tree cannot
bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. (19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and
thrown into the fire. (20) Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

¾ How to tell the difference between a prophecy that is from God and one
that is not
To judge a prophecy, check these points:

„ Is it in harmony with the Bible?


It should not contradict the written recorded Word of God, though it may fill in "gaps" in our
understanding. Is it according to the written Word in the Bible? The Word is the measurement, the standard by
which prophecy should be judged.
Isaiah 8:20b—If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
You can recommend they read page 53 of Hearing from Heaven for more on judging prophecy.

„ Is it helpful?
Does it motivate you to do good? Does it encourage you to follow God's way? What are its fruits?
Matthew 7:20—Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Galatians 5:22–23—But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
(23) gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
„ Does it bring peace and unity with your fellow-believers?
A godly prophecy usually flows with and confirms what God has already said. It brings unity and peace,
never confusion.
1 Corinthians 14:33—For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

„ Does it result in humility? It should not lift you up in pride.


1 Corinthians 1:29—That no flesh should glory in His presence.
L You can read pages 51–52 of Hearing from Heaven for more on this.

„ Does it encourage you? It should not condemn you or others.


Revelations 12:10b—Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ
have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

„ Does it bring faith to your heart? It should not bring fear.


2 Timothy 1:7—For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
1 John 4:18a—There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.
Does it provide helpful instruction?
Proverbs 9:9—Give instruction Wto a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase
in learning.

¾ Warnings about false prophecy


We've talked about being able to judge whether the things you personally are receiving are from the Lord
or not. What about other people? How can you tell if somebody is a true prophet of God? The same criteria apply
(as explained above), and here are a few additional points to ponder:

„ A false prophet leads you away from God.


Deuteronomy 13:1–3—If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a
wonder, (2) and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, "Let us go after other
gods"— which you have not known—"and let us serve them," (3) you shall not listen to the words of that prophet
or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with
all your heart and with all your soul.

„ A false prophet will not lift up Jesus as the only begotten Son of God
1 John 4:1–2—Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many
false prophets have gone out into the world. (2) By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses
that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.

„ False prophets claim greatness for themselves; some even claim to be the Messiah
Matthew 24:4–5,11—And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. (5) For many
will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. …(11) Then many false prophets will rise
up and deceive many."

„ A false prophet may perform "great signs," but not by the Lord's power.
Matthew 24:23–24—Then if anyone says to you, "Look, here is the Christ!" or "There!" do not believe it. (24)
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the
elect.

¾ Review
Judging prophecy is the act of discerning if a prophecy was given by the Spirit of God.
Interpreting prophecy is the act of coming to an understanding of what a prophecy means.
How can you tell if a prophecy is truly inspired by God?—"The voice that tells me to do something good";
Jesus told us, judge by their fruits.
How to tell the difference between a prophecy from God and one that is not:
Is it in harmony with the Bible? Is it helpful? Does it bring peace and unity with your fellow-believers?
Does it bring humility and not pride? Does it encourage you? Does it bring faith to your heart? Does it provide
helpful instruction?
Warnings about false prophecy: A false prophet leads you away from God; a false prophet will not lift up
Jesus as the only begotten Son of God. False prophets claim greatness for themselves. A false prophet may perform
"great signs," but not by the Lord's power.

Section 3: Interpreting Prophecy

¾ Interpreting prophecy
There are many reasons to ask the Lord to speak to us in prophecy. Some of these include a need for
encouragement, direction, instruction, help in decision-making, insight into problems, finding the Lord's will in a
matter, etc.
Once the Lord has spoken on a matter, we must prayerfully look at what He has said and determine what
instruction or answer He is giving us. To do this, we must interpret the prophecy; we must find the meaning of what
He has said to us.
In order to fully benefit from the gift of prophecy, we must learn to properly interpret the prophecy, as it
doesn't help much to get a message from the Lord if you don't understand the meaning of what He's telling you!

¾ The gifts of wisdom, understanding, and discernment


There are a number of factors for properly interpreting prophecy. The gifts of wisdom, understanding, and
discernment help us to interpret. These are spiritual gifts, which can be prayed for.
Daniel 8:15—Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly
there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.
Daniel prayed for understanding when he had seen a vision and "sought for the meaning." The Hebrew
word translated in that verse as "meaning" is generally translated throughout the Old Testament as "understanding,"
so he sought for understanding of the vision, which we must often do with prophecy as well.

¾ Seek the counsel of others


Prayerful counsel with faithful and wise fellow-believers will help you determine exactly what the Lord
has told you in prophecy. The Lord doesn't necessarily give any one person the full interpretation to every
prophecy. Counsel in these matters is so important, because sometimes what may be very unclear to you might be
very clear to someone else, through the discernment the Lord has given them.
1 Corinthians 14:29—Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
Proverbs 11:14—Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Proverbs 15:22—Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established.
Proverbs 19:20–21—Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days. (21)
There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel—that will stand.
Proverbs 27:9—Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by
hearty counsel.

¾ Choose the right counselors!


A godly counselor is someone who loves the Lord, and whose life shows the good fruit of living close to
Him. If you want to learn how to play the piano you wouldn't go to business college; you'd go to a pianist who
knows how to play well. If you want to learn how to cook you wouldn't go to a computer technician, but to
somebody who knows how to cook, whose meals you've enjoyed. So godly counselors are people whom you can
trust because they bear good spiritual fruit.

¾ Be guided by the Word


A prophecy should be interpreted in light of the Word. As mentioned earlier, true prophecy should not
contradict the recorded Word of God in the Bible, but it may fill in gaps in our understanding. Let the Word be the
standard by which you measure and interpret the prophecies you receive.
Psalm 119:105—Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

¾ Be open to the Lord


Another major factor in interpreting prophecy is the need to be open to all the Lord may be saying. To
understand what the Lord is telling you in a prophecy, faith, yieldedness, and humility are the keys.
Pray with an open heart and be earnest in your desire to hear the Lord clearly.
Receive His Words with praise and thanksgiving.
Ask the Lord to clear your mind of your own thoughts.
Be yielded to what He shows you.
Believe that what you receive is from Him.
Have the faith to act upon it.
We shouldn't interpret prophecy according to what we want it to say.
—Nor should we be pulled by our desires or preconceived ideas.
In order to understand and accept the Words the Lord gives, we must be of a believing heart and an open
mind and of pure intentions. If you already have your mind made up about the matter, it will be difficult to be open
to what the Lord may be trying to show you through prophecy.
Prophecy cannot be interpreted just by using carnal reasoning, logic, or analytical study.
It requires the wisdom of God and the leading and the discernment of God's Spirit. We cannot just assume
in our own pride that we know what the Lord is saying.
Proverbs 3:5–6—Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; (6) In all your
ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
2 Peter 1:20—Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.

¾ When you do not understand


Isaiah 55:9—For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My
thoughts than your thoughts.
We don't always understand what the Lord is telling us. Some of what He says might be very clear; some
might be shrouded in mystery. Sometimes part of what He tells us might be for now; sometimes it might be for the
future.

Even prophets like Daniel and Ezekiel did not always understand what the Lord gave to them.
Daniel 12:8a—Although I heard, I did not understand.
Ezekiel 3:14–15—So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit;
but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. (15) Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River
Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.

„ Wrap it up in a "bundle of faith."


Don't be worried if you cannot always interpret everything that the Lord gives. The Lord may reveal His
meaning to you at a later time. If you don't understand something, wrap it up in a "bundle of faith" and put it on the
shelf. Trust the Lord that He will show it to you in His own time.

The Story of Lazarus—and how the Lord's meaning is not always clear
It's a bit like when the Lord told His disciples that Lazarus' sickness was "not unto death." He later
said that Lazarus was sleeping, and eventually He told them "Lazarus is dead." This might have seemed
a bit contradictory to them. His disciples could have asked how Jesus could say the sickness was not
unto death, yet Lazarus was dead; in fact, he was in the grave for four days! Yet Jesus eventually raised
him from the dead, so even though the disciples didn't understand it at the time, they eventually did, after
Lazarus was raised up. They could have accused Jesus of giving false or inaccurate statements at the
time He made them, but because they had faith in the Words that He had spoken, they could trust what
He said even though they didn't understand it:
John 11:1–15—Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister
Martha. (2) It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair,
whose brother Lazarus was sick. (3) Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom
You love is sick." (4) When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of
God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." (5) Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and
Lazarus. (6) So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.
(7) Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." (8) The disciples said to Him,
"Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?" (9) Jesus answered, "Are
there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the
light of this world. (10) "But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." (11)
These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake
him up." (12) Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." (13) However, Jesus spoke of
his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. (14) Then Jesus said to them
plainly, "Lazarus is dead. (15) And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe.
Nevertheless let us go to him."
¾ Review
Keys to interpreting prophecy: the gifts of wisdom, understanding, and discernment. Seek the counsel of
others. Be guided by the Word. Be open to the Lord.
When you do not understand, wrap it up in a bundle of faith!

Section 4: Prophecy in Perspective

¾ Is prophecy infallible? What if a prophecy does not come true?


Sometimes things do not seem to work out as it seems God said in prophecy. Was the prophecy really
inspired by God in the first place? There are a few points to understand.

¾ Prophecies can "fail."


1 Corinthians 13:8–9—Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are
tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (9) For we know in part and we
prophesy in part.
Even though prophecy is a wonderful means by which the Lord speaks to us and encourages us, it is not
necessarily a "written in stone" unalterable means of discerning God's will.
Just because you or someone else receives a prophecy that indicates something will happen or should be
this or that way, we shouldn't get locked into taking it as, "Thus saith the Lord, this is how it will be, this is exactly
how it will happen," or "This is exactly what you must do!"

¾ The future is somewhat dependent on the choices that we and others make.
It is important to understand that our own decisions and choices, based often on the knowledge and
wisdom that He gives us (which, of course, are also "gifts of the Spirit"), are still very instrumental in our
determining God's will, even after specific prophecies may have been received.

¾ The Lord often leads us one step at a time on the path of His will.
The Lord apparently knows that it's best that we don't always know all the details of the future, at least not
very often. He usually hides the future from us and makes us take things one step at a time.
2 Corinthians 5:7—For we walk by faith, not by sight.
He likes to see us exercise our faith. We learn a lot from following step by step, going along on just the
little bit at a time that the Lord reveals to us. We follow Him from point "a" to point "b," and then from there we
have to make another decision, "Where do we go from here?" We desperately pray and ask the Lord and He shows
us a little more, how to get from point "b" to point "c," and we then go on and on to the next steps. But the Lord
doesn't usually show us the whole picture "a" to "z" in advance.

¾ Depending on our decisions…


In many ways, the Lord confines Himself to operating within our frame of reference, within our
circumstances. He does "go along with us" a good deal of the time, and when we decide something, He acts or
reacts accordingly.
It's like He says "Well, you have now decided to do this, so I have promised to do such-and-such, in light
of your decision." But if we later change our mind and decide to do something else so that our previous plans are no
longer in effect, then His promises or His instructions for our former plans are no longer in effect either.

Jonah and the story of how prophecies are fulfilled


Jonah was a prophet of God who lived in ancient Israel hundreds of years before Jesus. God told
him to go to the city of Nineveh and warn the people that because of their great wickedness, within 40
days their city was going to be destroyed. Jonah didn't even want to obey this prophecy at first and tried
to run away from God but finally decided to go to Nineveh and obey God's commandment to him to
"preach unto it the preaching that I bid you" (Jonah 3:2).
Upon hearing Jonah's words of coming doom, the people of Nineveh believed God and proclaimed
a fast throughout the land, dressed in sackcloth, and truly repented.
Jonah 3:10—Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented
from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.
Because the people had repented, God did not (at that time) destroy Nineveh. But Jonah didn't
seem to grasp the point of God's forgiveness. He sat a short distance from the city, waiting for God's
judgments to come down. When the judgments did not arrive, he was dismayed.
Had this been a false prophecy? Why did God say that Nineveh would be destroyed in 40 days,
knowing that it wasn't going to be? Some people might even say that God lied to them. The Word says,
Romans 3:4—Let God be true but every man a liar.
God said it: Nineveh was going to be destroyed in 40 days! According to their circumstances at the
time, that was what was going to happen. God was just warning them about what was actually going to
occur; that was what they were headed for. But when Jonah went and preached to them, they had a
wonderful repentance, and their change caused God to change! He went along with them. The
circumstances changed, so what God originally said was no longer applicable.
God gives us the majesty of choice, and then He goes along with our decisions and gives us what
we need or tells us what to do according to what we have decided.
So instead of automatically concluding that a prophecy was not from God if it doesn't come to pass
exactly as expected, we might consider that maybe somebody here on earth changed their mind, and as
a result God changed His.

¾ Matters of misunderstanding
Something to keep in mind is that sometimes we think that a prophecy didn't come true either because we
don't remember correctly what the prophecy said, or we didn't interpret it properly. Sometimes, when encountering
a situation where things seemed to turn out differently than a prophecy said they would, if you'll go back and study
that prophecy, you'll see things in a different light. So before you presume that a prophecy "went wrong"
somehow, go back and re-read it, and you may find that what the Lord said was just what happened—you just
didn't understand it clearly the first time, or you didn't remember correctly what it said.

¾ Other ways to find God's will


Prophecy is not the only way of finding God's will. We will learn more about these other ways in a later
class, but in brief, you can also find God's will through ...
1. Applying the written Word to your situation.
2. The "voice of the Word"—which is when you're reading the Word and suddenly something stands out
to you and really speaks to your heart concerning the Lord's will, or gives the answer to a question you had.
3. Receiving direct revelations in ways other than prophecy, such as dreams, visions, or impressions.
4. Seeking counsel from others who are strong in faith and knowledge of the Word.
5. Circumstances that you believe to be engineered by the Lord—also known as "open and closed doors."
6. Personal concern or conviction.
7. Specific, predetermined signs received in answer to your prayers.
When you face an important decision, or one that will affect other people, it's wise to find and confirm
God's will through more than one means. Ask God to use His Word or one or more of the other ways listed here to
confirm what He's told you in prophecy.

¾ Prophecy: Not only for instruction, but also for encouragement


We have discussed the benefits of prophecy as far as guidance and instruction. Another very important
benefit we can receive through prophecy is encouragement.It is a very precious gift to receive the Lord's personal
words for us.
Psalm 85:8a—I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints.
Psalm 119:50—This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your Word has given me life.
Psalm 27:14—Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the
Lord!
Proverbs 16:20—He who heeds the Word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
Psalm 144:15b—Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!

What if you feel incapable, discouraged, or that God can't speak to you?
If you feel discouraged and like you can't do it—that you can't be good enough to receive
something as wonderful as His messages from Heaven—all you have to do is ask the Lord to override all
of those feelings and replace them with a gift of faith.
You don't have to have "great faith." Just ask Him for the faith of a child who reaches up and
receives her father's gifts. She doesn't think about it and analyze the message, because she has childlike
faith and trusts that her father knows what he's doing and he knows what's best, and all she has to do is
trust.
The Lord delights in using men or women who don't think much of themselves and are little in their
own eyes.
1 Corinthians 1:26–29—For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the
flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to
put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which
are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the
things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.
Don't worry if you feel incapable, because if that's how you feel, you will stay humble and more
dependent on the Lord.—And that's how He wants you to be!

¾ Learning to use the gift


There is a lot to learn about prophecy. Just like any talent or tool, as we start using it and keep using it, we
gradually learn more and more.
Be sure to study the Hearing from Heaven booklet, as there are many more lessons on prophecy than we
have had time to discuss in these two classes.

¾ Review
Why a prophecy may not seem to come true: Prophecies can "fail." The future is somewhat dependent on
the choices that we and others make. The Lord often leads us one step at a time on the path of His will.
Other ways to find God's will, besides prophecy: (1) the written Word; (2) the "voice of the Word"; (3)
direct revelations such as dreams, visions, or impressions; (4) seeking counsel from faithful and wise fellow-
believers; (5) circumstances; (6) personal concern or conviction; (7) receiving specific, predetermined signs in
answer to your requests.
Why prophecy? It's not only for instruction, but also for encouragement.
12 FOUNDATION STONES—CLASS 5A
SUCCESS WITH PEOPLE
THE GOLDEN RULE, PART 1

Section 1: The Golden Rule

¾ Matthew 22:37–40
We're going to start by looking briefly at what the Bible says about relationships with others. The
key verses are in Matthew 22:37–40:
Matthew 22:37–40—Jesus said to him, "‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it: ‘You shall
love your neighbor as yourself.' (40) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."

¾ The Golden Rule


Matthew 7:12—Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the
Prophets.
Philosophers have been speculating on the rules of human relationships for thousands of years,
and out of all that speculation there has come one important precept. Jesus taught it among the stony
hills of Judea 20 centuries ago and summed it up in one thought: Do to others as you would have others
do to you. So let's give to others what we would have others give to us.
How? When? Where? The answer is ... in every way, all the time, everywhere!

¾ More verses on love


1 John 4:7–11—Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and
knows God. (8) He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (9) In this the love of God was mani-
fested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. (10) In
this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (11)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:12,16–17,21—If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us (16) And
we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,
and God in him. (17) Love has been perfected among us in this because as He is, so are we in this world. (21) And
this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
John 15:12—This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
1 John 3:16—By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives
for the brethren.
John 13:34–35—A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also
love one another. (35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Galatians 5:22—The fruit of the Spirit is love.
Romans 5:5—The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:14—For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

¾ Love loves whom?


Love loves the unlovely and casts a veil over countless sins! Love prefers the happiness of others to
your own. It's hard for you to see anything good in someone you don't love, but if you really love some-
one, it's much easier to overlook and forgive his or her faults.
Proverbs 10:12—Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
God's love can love anybody, even your enemies! Love begets love, and we love Him because He
first loved us. Ask God to help you love others with His love which passes all understanding!
Love is not blind.—It has an extra spiritual eye that sees the good and possibilities that others
cannot see!
Matthew 5:44—But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and
pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
1 John 4:19—We love Him because He first loved us.
Philippians 4:7—And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:14—For the love of Christ compels us.

¾ Love never fails!


Do you want to be successful for the Lord and with others?—Love, and you can't lose—for love
never fails! Do you want the key to every heart?—Try love!—It never fails, because God is love, and it's
impossible for Him to fail!
1 Corinthians 13:8—Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues,
they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

¾ God's love: The answer to everything!


God's love is the answer to everything: It saves souls, forgives sins, satisfies hearts, purifies minds,
redeems bodies, wins friends, and makes life worth living. It's the only truth, the only way, and the only
peace!
Love works no ill to his neighbor: you'll not curse him, cheat him, steal from him, or lie to him if
you love him—much less hurt him!
Love even prevents accidents! A safety lecture in college once told how most traffic accidents are
caused by a lack of love and consideration for the other driver, believe it or not. So not only wars, but also
slaughter on the highways is caused by pride, selfishness, and lack of love.
John 14:15—If you love Me, keep My commandments.
John 14:23—Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will
love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him."
God's love is endless and without limit and without bounds. The ways that we can show His love are also
limitless!

Section 2: Ten Tips

¾ Introduction
The verses we've just read tell us that love is the most important thing in our relations with oth-
ers. The Golden Rule of God's love should reign over our actions and interactions.
Now we're going to talk about how to apply this in our daily lives. How can you put the Golden
Rule into action? How can you get along with practically anybody? We all struggle sometimes with ac-
quaintances, work colleagues, relatives, and even occasionally friends and those closest to us. We some-
times have a hard time getting along with people whom we like, just because we are all so different or
something comes up. … Then there are cantankerous personalities, and people who we simply don't get
along with. It's obvious that we're meant to get along with people, but how to do this?
We're going to take a little time to discuss practical ways of relating to others in a loving manner.
We can't cover everything in one class, but we're going to look at Ten Tips to help you in your interac-
tions with others. Of course these Ten Tips are not all there is to know, but as much as we'll have time
for today.

¾ Being kind to others is being kind to the Lord!


When you show people love in little ways, when you show them little courtesies and are well
mannered around them, it's really showing love to the Lord, because people are His creation and He loves
them dearly. When you take good care of people, show them love, do loving things for them, treat them
with courtesy and good manners, this is honoring and respecting the Lord. You're being loving and kind to
the Lord. You're telling the Lord that you love His creation, His people, and you want to be loving to them
not only for their sakes, which is a good enough reason, but also out of love for Him.

¾ Ask the Lord for the love you need and do your best to put it into
practice!
There are hundreds of things you can do throughout the day, little things that make someone's
life more beautiful because of your kindness. If you follow Jesus' golden rule to "do unto others as you
would have them do unto you," then you'll be kind and courteous.
When you pray and ask the Lord to help you be more loving, at the same time ask Him how you
can be more loving, and then start working on those practical areas.
That's like putting feet to your prayers. As you do your part, He'll put the love in your heart, and
soon it will become a loving habit to do those things.
You can't just ask the Lord for more love but then not work on it or do the practical things the
Lord shows you to do. Neither can you just try to work it up in the flesh, or it won't come across right.
It'll just be dead works, a superficial tradition without the Spirit. You've got to both ask the Lord for the
love you need and do your best to put it into practice!

¾ 1. Speak to people
Colossians 4:6—Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to
answer each one.
1 Peter 3:8—Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender-
hearted, be courteous;
Courtesy, kind words, loving and considerate language are all part of showing love, and part of
our sample of the Lord's Love.
Give a warm greeting instead of an indifferent glance. A smile and cheerful words show a person
that you're interested in them.
Take a moment to answer a question with consideration and sincerity, instead of in pressured
haste and busy rush, making others feel belittled or in the way.
Slow down. Sure we're all busy, but we're not so busy that we can't take a little time to acknowl-
edge each person we meet. Be sure when you first meet someone each day to greet them.
A tip for married couples: Hug and kiss when waking, when leaving your room for the day, when
returning home after a day out, before sleeping, etc.

„ Show love by being courteous


You can show others love by being kind and courteous. It's amazing how much little courtesies
and good manners affect people. It means a lot to people and they appreciate it when others treat them
with love and courtesy. Just ask anyone if they don't feel better when someone says, "Excuse me" if they
happen to bump into them, or pass something in front of them, or walk in front of them when they're
having a conversation.
It's part of our duty as Jesus' followers to be loving to one another. Showing courtesy and kind
manners to others in the little things is a wonderful way to show them the Lord's love. You don't have to
do big things to be loving, and as a matter of fact, it's often the little things that are so important.
Little phrases, such as "I'm sorry to bother you." "Would you please?" "Would you mind?" "Thank
you!"—little courtesies like these oil the cogs of everyday life and are just plain good manners!

Humor: "Please!"
Jessica was trying to teach her two-year-old son how to say "Please" and "Thank you." She gave him a
biscuit and asked, "What do you say?"
"Please," replied Mark.
"No, what do you say after you've been given something?"
"More please," came the reply.

„ Show love by including others


It's so easy to unintentionally hurt people or make them feel unloved or unappreciated, when just
a little courtesy can do the opposite and make them feel appreciated and loved.
Stop and wait for someone if you're walking too fast and give him or her a chance to catch up,
and slow down your pace.
If someone walks up to you while you're having a conversation with another person, try to in-
clude him or her in the conversation and fill him or her in on what you've just been talking about. That's
just good manners; it is rude and hurtful to people to ignore them or exclude them from your activity or
conversation.
We all yearn for attention. We want our ideas and opinions to be heard. The desire for attention is
present in all of us. If you think not, let me ask you if you've ever been snubbed by a haughty waiter,
passed by at a bus stop by a bus driver or completely ignored by some store clerk!
¾ 2. Smile at people
Proverbs 15:13—A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.
Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, "I like you. You make me happy. I'm glad to
see you."
This is why dogs are such a hit. They are so glad to see us they practically jump out of their skin.
So naturally, we are glad to see them. A baby's smile has the same effect.
The effect of a smile is powerful!—Even when it seems unseen. Telephone companies suggest you
smile when talking over the phone. Your "smile" comes through your voice.
Smile! Nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!

The sun and the wind (Based on the fable by Aesop)


One day the sun and the wind quarreled about which was the stronger. The wind said, "I'll prove I
am. See that old man down there with a coat? I bet I can make him take his coat off quicker than you can."
So the sun went behind a cloud and the wind blew until it was almost a tornado, but the harder it
blew, the tighter the old man wrapped his coat about him.
Finally the wind calmed down and gave up; and then the sun came out from behind the cloud and
smiled kindly on the old man. Presently, the man mopped his brow and pulled off his coat. The sun then
told the wind that gentleness and friendliness were always stronger than fury and force.

The language of a smile


They say it takes 72 muscles to frown; 14 to smile.
All people smile in the same language.
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.
A smile of encouragement at the right moment may act like sunlight on a closed flower.—It may be
the turning point for a struggling life.
If you see someone without a smile, give him one of yours.

Your life is bound to affect others! "No man is an island!" Everybody's influencing somebody—
even when you seem to be all alone! Sometimes just a word or a glance or a smile can make a difference.
You're either going to pull people up to your level or drag them down to yours—one or the other!

¾ 3. Address people by their names


The sweetest music to almost everyone is the sound of their own name! Here are some tips for
remembering names:
When you are introduced to someone, you are not likely to forget his face, at least not at once,
since it is right there before you. His name, however, is another matter. A common embarrassment is to
fail to catch a name, or instantly forget it.
To overcome that problem:
a. If you are not sure you heard the name right, ask to have it repeated.
b. If you are still in doubt, then ask to have it not only repeated but also spelled.
c. Check any uncertainties immediately. If you let the moment pass, it becomes awkward to ask
the person's name later on—though it would be better to do that than miss the name completely.

¾ 4. Be friendly and helpful


Friendliness, helpfulness, kindness, generosity, and unselfishness are all part of love.
"Little deeds of kindness, little words of love, help to make Earth happy, like the Heaven above."
„ Unselfishness—the J-O-Y formula—Jesus, Others, You
Seeking the happiness of others as God has ordered us to do, is the only way to have true happi-
ness! If you'll try to make others happy, it'll make you happy, and you'll have a little Heaven right here on
Earth! You don't find happiness by chasing it. Happiness finds you by your bringing happiness to others.
That's God's system; that's God's rule; that's God's way; that's God's Law of Love. God will make you
happy if you make others happy. It's that simple!
Love prefers the happiness of others to your own. True happiness comes not in your personal pur-
suit of selfish pleasure and satisfaction, but in finding God and giving His life to others and bringing them
happiness!
If you'll just forget yourself and think more about others, and really try to help and pray for and
love them, you'll find that will solve almost all of your problems! If you get your mind off of yourself and
on others you'll find that this is what will bring you true joy and happiness. That's the formula for finding
joy: Put Jesus first, then others, and then you!—J-O-Y!
First of all, get your mind on Jesus, and then He'll help you get it on to your neighbor, and help
you love him as yourself.

The sort of impression that kindness makes…


In the city of Philadelphia there was a little third-class hotel. Into it one night there came two tired
elderly people. They went up to the night clerk and the husband pleadingly said, "Mister, please don't tell us
you don't have a room. My wife and I have been all over the city looking for a place to stay. We did not
know about the big conventions that are here. The hotels at which we usually stay are all full. We're dead
tired and it's after midnight. Please don't tell us you don't have a place where we can sleep."
The clerk looked at them a long moment and then answered, "Well, I don't have a single room except
my own. I work at night and sleep in the daytime. It's not as nice as the other rooms, but it's clean, and I'll
be happy for you to be my guests for tonight."
The wife said, "God bless you, young man."
The next morning at the breakfast table, the couple sent the waiter to tell the night clerk they
wanted to see him on very important business. The night clerk went in, recognized the two people, sat
down at the table and said he hoped they had had a good night's sleep. They thanked him most sincerely.
Then the husband astounded the clerk with this statement, "You are too fine a hotel man to stay in a hotel
like this. How would you like for me to build a big, beautiful, luxurious hotel in the city of New York and
make you general manager?"
The clerk didn't know what to say. He thought there might be something wrong with their minds.
He finally stammered, "It sounds wonderful."
His guest then introduced himself. "I'm John Jacob Astor." So, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel was built,
and the night clerk became, in the years to follow, the best-known hotel man in the world.
In 1976, the 47-story Waldorf-Astoria in New York City served three-quarters of a million guests in its
1,900 rooms.

The lost shoe


This story is told of Mahatma Gandhi. He was standing in the doorway of an open railway carriage
as it moved slowly out of an Indian station, when one of his shoes slipped off and fell on to the track.
Quickly he took off his other shoe and dropped that on to the track, too.
Seeing the puzzled look of a fellow passenger, Gandhi said, "A poor man may find a pair of shoes
now. One wouldn't be much good to him."
It's wonderful to think not only in terms of how things affect ourselves, but also in terms of how they
affect others.

Loving-kindness
A class of eight-year-old boys was asked to explain the meaning of loving-kindness; one youngster
replied, "If I were hungry and someone gave me a piece of bread and butter ... that would be kindness, but
if they put lots of jam on it ... that would be loving-kindness."

¾ 5. Communicate
Hebrews 13:16—But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Proverbs 10:11a—The mouth of the righteous is a well of life..
Proverbs 15:23—A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!
Obviously, for people to feel our love and care for them, we need to communicate with them.
That means giving and taking in conversation. We need to take the time to listen, but we should not only
listen in silence: We also need to convey our own thoughts and feelings.

The power of listening!


(From a group of Family members who helps counsel UN peacekeepers in an active zone.)
When we first met one group of UN soldiers, most of them were very much on the defensive. They
were "realists" and agnostics, they said. But after a while they saw that we weren't trying to "give them relig-
ion" but rather a listening ear, understanding and Jesus—and they became very receptive.
They returned the next day so we could talk some more. At that time we were able to explain more
basic principles from the Bible.
One fellow already knew the Lord and had begun reading through the New Testament. "I have a Bi-
ble and am reading through it, but with you I have the missing ingredient.—I'm getting the love I need!" he
said.
We all prayed together before parting. When we looked up, some of these burly soldiers were in
tears.
Later we discovered one example that showed how important our work is: Sheridan is a Canadian
peacekeeper who has an extremely dangerous job; he drives a specially designed UN bulldozer that clears
mine fields. He just returned from a mission in the field, and sought us out to tell us this story.
As he was clearing a mined area, he drove over an anti-tank mine, which didn't explode. The 30-ton
vehicle behind him ran over that same mine and was blown into the treetops. The driver survived, but he
lost both of his legs. Sheridan told us that he believes it was our prayers that protected him. He had received
the Lord with us just before going on this mission.
These soldiers constantly face life-and-death situations, so our witnessing to them is also a matter of
life-and-death.

Listening with your eyes


A young child returned home with a crayon drawing she had done at school. She almost danced
into the kitchen where her busy mother was preparing dinner. "Mummy," she cried in glee, "you'll never
guess what!"
"Right," replied the mother not looking up, "I don't know what."
"Mummy, you're not listening." "Yes, I am, darling," said the mother as she attended to her pots.
"But, Mummy, you're not listening with your eyes."

¾ 6. Be concerned
Galatians 6:2—Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Romans 12:15—Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
There isn't any point in paying attention to the other person unless you honestly care about him,
unless you are willing to share his pain and help him solve his problems. To be concerned about the other
person is the basic foundation for all deep and lasting human relationships.

„ Empathy
A vital quality for getting along with people is empathy. Empathy comes from the German word
einfulung, which means to feel into or to feel with. Empathy is viewing life through another's eyes, feeling
as another feels, hearing a story through the perceptions of the other person. Christians are called to em-
pathy by bearing one another's burdens and by rejoicing with others in their joys and weeping with others
in their pain.

„ Prophecy helps!
Ask the Lord to give you prophecies for people you know. If you're having difficulties getting
along with someone, ask the Lord to give you something about that person that will help you understand
them and empathize with them.

Understanding
It was a cold winter morning. The shopping center parking lot was ridged with piles of fresh snow. I
parked my car and headed for the sidewalk, the only exit that had been freed from the drifts of snow. But
there was a car left directly in front of the shoveled pathway! I had to trudge around the vehicle, wading
into snow up to my knees, to get onto the walk. "How thoughtless can people be!" These words rang
through my mind along with a few others. But as I turned to stamp the snow off my trousers, there, strug-
gling along the walk, was a lady with crutches extending from both arms, her legs encased in braces.
Slowly, ever so slowly, she inched her way along the slippery pathway, got to the car blocking the walk, tus-
sled herself into the front seat, and drove away. I stood for a moment, ashamed that I had felt the way I
had. In seconds I had changed. I saw the woman and her plight. Suddenly I understood!
The absolutely indispensable ingredient to getting along with others is understanding! Differences,
displeasures, wrath, frustration, conflict, and separation start where understanding stops.

¾ 7. Be generous with praise, encouragement and appreciation


Philippians 4:8—Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if
there is anything praiseworthy— meditate on these things. [Song: "Whatsoever Things Are True"]
One of the deepest needs of human nature is the desire to be appreciated. Give sincere, honest ap-
preciation. Be hearty in your approval and lavish in your praise, and people will cherish your words and
treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime.
Everyone likes to feel important. People are hungry for praise and starving for honest appreciation.
"I am proud of you" are five of the most precious words you can ever use to make another person
feel important.
Almost everybody needs encouragement! Most people are not really conceited, but feel a certain
amount of inferiority complex and tend to get a little discouraged with themselves. Therefore, encour-
agement is a very important thing!
Children thrive on praise! It's more important to praise a child for his good works and his good
behavior than it is to scold him for his bad behavior. Always accentuate the positive!
That applies to your spouse as well! Try to remind yourself constantly of his or her good qualities,
the good things, and try not to think about the bad things. One of the worst things you can do is pick on
every little fault, always belittling, nagging, henpecking!—And that will really break up marriages!
In marriage, with children, at work, in any association—an ounce of praise, of sincere appreciation
of some act or attribute, can often do more than a ton of fault-finding. If we look for it we can usually
find something to commend and encourage in even the most unlikely, unlikable and incapable person.
Most of us, in the glow of feeling we have pleased, want to do more to please, and knowing we have done
well, want to do better.

Encouragement motivates!
Aleida Huissen, 78, of Rotterdam, Netherlands, has been smoking for 50 years. And for 50 years she
has been trying to give up her harmful habit. But she has not been successful—that is, until recently. She
has now given up cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. The secret? Leo Jansen, 79, proposed marriage last year, but
refused to go through with the wedding until Aleida gave up smoking. Says Aleida now: "Will power never
was enough to get me off the tobacco habit. Love did it."

Giving sincere appreciation and praise


Praise spurs people to achieve, gives them inner confidence, and makes them grow. But how many
flowers go ungiven? How many compliments go unsaid? How many people do you admire for certain quali-
ties or accomplishments but have never bothered saying so? Why not practice praise? When you do, con-
sider these thoughts:
— Be sincere, don't give flattery. Being sincere is just a matter of looking for the good in others.
You'll find it if you're sincerely looking.
— Be specific. Don't just say a person is "nice" or "good." Pick out specific things to praise.

The doggie example!


Why read a book to find out how to win friends? Why not study the technique of the greatest win-
ner of friends the world has ever known? Who is he? You may meet him tomorrow coming down the street.
When you get within ten feet of him, he will begin to wag his tail. If you stop and pat him, he will almost
jump out of his skin to show you how much he likes you. And you know that behind this show of affection
on his part, there are no ulterior motives: He doesn't want to sell you any real estate, and he doesn't want to
marry you. Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn't have to work for a living? A
hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving
you nothing but love!

Humor: Overlooking the faults of others


At her golden wedding celebration, Grandmother told guests the secret of her happy marriage: "On
my wedding day, I decided to make a list of ten of my husband's faults which, for the sake of our marriage, I
would overlook."
As the guests were leaving, a young woman whose marriage had recently been in difficulty asked
Grandmother what some of the faults were that she had seen fit to overlook. Grandmother said, "To tell you
the truth, my dear, I never did get around to listing them. But whenever my husband did something that
made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, "Lucky for him that's one of the ten!"

¾ 8. Be genuinely interested in the feelings of others


Giving and taking goes on continuously in conversation. Human relationships are sustained by
this back and forth flow. If the flow becomes one-sided, the conversation wanes for the moment. The
conversational fire burns low and dies out.
People need outlets for their feelings. They need someone who will listen with understanding;
who will give them assurance for their anxiety, a vent for their anger, acceptance and forgiveness when
they need it, sympathy for their grief, and who will share their joy.
Part of consideration is listening. You can't consider someone's feelings if you don't know what
they are! And to find out, you'll need to listen to them.
To someone in need of an outlet for his thoughts and feelings, your attention can be a precious
gift. As a listener you are more than a recipient of information. You often help the speaker clarify his
thoughts and discharge his feelings.
An individual who is annoyed or worried or joyful or guilty about something has to carry the bur-
den of these pent up feelings until he can vent them. Probably the most common way of venting feelings
is talking, and talking calls for a listener.
Sometimes all some people need is for somebody to listen.

„ Samples of conversation in the book of Job


Job's appeal to his friends to listen to him.
Job 21:2–3a—Listen carefully to my speech, and let this be your consolation. Bear with me that I may speak.
Sample of listening and then speaking:
Job 32:10–12a—"Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me, I also will declare my opinion.' (11) Indeed I waited for your
words, I listened to your reasonings, while you searched out what to say. (12a) I paid close attention to you."

Learning to listen
I know of no quicker way to insult a person or to hurt his feelings than to brush him off or turn away
when he's trying to tell you something. How many times have you been right in the middle of a good story
only to have one of your listeners turn away or interrupt you and start talking about a brand new subject?
Learning to listen to the other person with everything you've got means putting aside your own in-
terests, your own pleasures, and your own preoccupations, at lest temporarily. For those few moments of
time it means that you must concentrate 100% on what the other person is saying. You must focus all your
attention on him. You must listen to him with all the intensity and awareness that you can command.

Listen between the lines


A lot of times you can learn more by what the other person doesn't say than by what he does. So
learn to listen between the lines. Just because he didn't say that he doesn't want to do it your way isn't any
sign that he does.
The speaker doesn't always put everything he's thinking into words for you. Watch for the changing
tone and volume of his voice. Sometimes you will find a meaning that's in direct contrast to his spoken
words. And watch his facial expression, his mannerisms, his gestures, and the movements of his body. To be
a good listener and to listen with everything you've got means you'll have to use your eyes as well as your
ears.

Listening is a proof of care


"When the word got around that I had cancer," Jan reported, "I soon discovered something surprising
about people. After five or six conversations one day, I realized that I had little doubt about who really
cared. Those who cared were those who listened, who really heard me without trying to explain or advise or
catalogue their own illnesses. It's not hard to tell if you've been cared for. The measuring is done by the lis-
tening."
Do you hear Jan? She is scared, confused, angry, and full of feelings that deserve expression. And she
is not looking for someone to tell her what to do with her pain or where to go with her problem. Listening
is one sign of caring she recognizes.

¾ 9. Avoid arguments
2 Timothy 2:24—And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.
James 1:19–20—So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; (20)
for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

„ Avoid getting drawn into arguments


It's been said that there's only one way to get the best of an argument—avoid it!
Proverbs 17:14—The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts.
1 Peter 3:8–9—Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender-
hearted, be courteous; (9) not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing
that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

„ By choosing your words wisely, you can avoid provoking an argument


Proverbs 15:1—A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 17:9—He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.
Ecclesiastes 5:2a—Do not be rash with your mouth.

„ Love, humility and prayer solve all problems!


Philippians 2:3—Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem
others better than himself.
Colossians 3:13—Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against an-
other; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Share your opinions without starting an argument!


Proverbs 11:14—In the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Sometimes when you're discussing something with another person, like plans or a project or what-
ever, you'll find they have a different opinion than you as to what should be done. It's at times like these you
should pray and ask the Lord to give you real wisdom and to help you avoid getting pushy or into an argu-
mentative spirit.
You may feel your ideas are the best and therefore you may really push them to the point that you're
actually arguing with others. That's a mistake! You are supposed to present your side of the picture, that's
expected; you shouldn't just sit there and say nothing when you know some extra facts or other details or
important information that might change the outcome.
The problem comes when you become too pushy and argumentative in presenting the facts as you
try to get across your point of view. A lot of times it's just your desire to see things done properly and you
want the right thing to happen, but if you start pushing and really aggressively advocating your side, then it
creates tension.
If you feel the other person is wrong, then you should question it in a nice, loving manner. You
shouldn't say, "You're wrong! I think you're making a mistake," but rather something like, "Don't you think
maybe we should consider the possibility of doing it this way?" or "Perhaps we should consider this other al-
ternative."

How wars begin


A boy once asked his father, "Dad, how do wars begin?"
"Well, take the First World War," said his father. "That got started when Germany invaded Belgium."
Immediately his wife interrupted him, "Tell the boy the truth! It began because somebody was assas-
sinated!"
The husband drew himself up with an air of superiority and snapped back, "Are you answering the
question or am I?"
Turning her back upon him in a huff, the wife stormed out the room and slammed the door as hard
as she could! When the dishes stopped rattling in the cupboard an uneasy silence followed, broken at
length by the boy: "Daddy, you don't have to tell me how wars begin. I know now!"

¾ 10. Be alert to give service


We're going to talk more about this in the next class, but for now, here is some food for thought:

„ Jesus set the example of being a Servant of others.


John 13:13–15—(Jesus said:) You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. (14) If I then, your
Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. (15) For I have given you an
example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Luke 22:24–26—Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.
(25) And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority
over them are called ‘benefactors.' (26) But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him
be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves."

Love not only in word, but in deed.


A chaplain on the battlefield came to a man who was wounded, lying on the ground. "Would you
like me to read you something from this Book—the Bible?" he asked the soldier.
"I'm so thirsty," replied the man. "I would rather have a drink of water." As quickly as he could the
chaplain brought the water. Then the soldier asked, "Could you put something under my head?" The chap-
lain took off his light overcoat, rolled it, and put it gently under the soldier's head for a pillow "Now," said
the soldier, "if I had something over me! I am very cold." There was only one thing the chaplain could do. He
took off his own coat, and spread it over the soldier.
The wounded man looked up into his face, and said gratefully, "Thank you." Then he added feebly, "If
there is anything in that Book in your hand that makes a man do for another what you have done for me,
please read it to me."
The Good Samaritan
One semester, a seminary professor set up his preaching class in an unusual way. He scheduled his
students to preach on the Parable of the Good Samaritan and on the day of the class, he choreographed his
experiment so that each student would go, one at a time, from one classroom to another where he or she
would preach a sermon. The professor gave some students ten minutes to go from one room to the other;
to others he allowed less time, forcing them to rush in order to meet the schedule. Each student, one at a
time, had to walk down a certain corridor and pass by an indigent man (penniless and homeless), who was
deliberately planted there, obviously in need of some sort of aid.
The results were surprising, and offered a powerful lesson to them. The percentage of those good
men and women who stopped to help was extremely low, especially for those who were under the pressure
of a shorter time period. The tighter the schedule, the fewer were those who stopped to help the indigent
man.
When the professor revealed his experiment, you can imagine the impact on that class of future spiri-
tual leaders. Rushing to preach a sermon on the Good Samaritan they had walked past the beggar at the
heart of the parable. We must have eyes to see as well as hands to help, or we may never help at all.

God's Hand
In a prayer meeting a man prayed with great fervor. The burden of his prayer had to do with a family
that had suddenly been bereft of the father and husband. "O God," pleaded the intercessor, "do send some-
one to that grief-stricken family to touch them for You!" Suddenly the man lapsed into silence. Quietly he
withdrew from the group. Before the prayer meeting concluded, he returned. Asked why he concluded his
prayer so abruptly, and why he withdrew without explanation, he said, "As I prayed that God would touch
that sorrowing family, He seemed to say to me, `You are My hand! You go and touch them for Me!'"

¾ Summary of the Ten Tips


1. Speak to people
2. Smile at people
3. Address people by their name
4. Be friendly and helpful
5. Communicate
6. Be concerned
7. Be generous with praise, encouragement and appreciation
8. Be genuinely interested in the feelings of others
9. Avoid arguments
10. Be alert to give service

¾ A principle to base your life on!


It all boils down to what the Lord said nearly 2,000 years ago: "Love the Lord with all your heart
and soul and mind, and your neighbor as yourself."
How do you like to be loved and treated? Think about it. That's how you should love and treat
others. "Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them." It's not just a Bible verse or some abstract
spiritual principle, but it's something to base your life on!
When you're out and about during the day, look at the people passing by as if they were you.
They need love, encouragement, cheerfulness, comfort, hope, peace, concern, and compassion just like you
do—and the Lord most of all, of course. What if that person on the street or in the shop or school were
you? How would you want to be loved and reached? That's how you can love and reach others, and
change their lives forever!
Your family at home deserves the same love, appreciation, and support. Make it a true home of
hearts, and in loving and helping both the lost and your family in this way you'll influence multitudes of
others! The love will spread from heart to heart, person to person, and you have no idea how far it will go!

(end)
12 Foundation Stones—Class 5B
Love Is the Answer
The Golden Rule, Part 2
Section 1: Bible Study on the Law of Love
There is a lot in the Bible about human relationships and having love toward others. That's the whole
purpose for living, to love God and others—the whole purpose for everything is love. And if you love God you'll
love others too, because loving others is one way you show love for the Lord.

¾ The Good Samaritan


Let's look at Luke chapter 10 and the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Luke 10:25–37—And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to
inherit eternal life?" (26) He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?" (27) So he
answered and said, " ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your
strength, and with all your mind,' and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'" (28) And He said to him, "You have answered
rightly; do this and you will live." (29) But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my
neighbor?"
(30) Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among
thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. (31) "Now by
chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (32)
"Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. (33) "But a
certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. (34) "So he
went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to
an inn, and took care of him. (35) "On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the
innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay
you.'
(36) "So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" (37) And he said,
"He who showed mercy on him" Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
What did Jesus say when He was asked, "But who is my neighbor?" You talk about legalists; they want to
know exactly, technically, ‘Who's my neighbor'? In other words, "Tell me exactly who I have to love, so I know
who I don't have to love."
That's when He gave the example of the Good Samaritan. Jesus told them the story of a Samaritan who
helped a poor beaten-up Jew who had been robbed. He picked him up and bound his wounds and took him to a
hotel and paid his bill.
The Samaritans were a people whom the Jews hated and despised. If they even touched a Samaritan they'd
have to wash afterwards! They would avoid traveling through Samaria. Rather than taking the shortest route to
Galilee that went through Samaria, they would go clear across the Jordan River and around it just to keep from
going near the Samaritans!
Jesus said this was a good neighbor, a Samaritan who was good to a Jew, how about that? In other words,
He was as good as telling the Jews, "Listen, you know who your neighbors are. Those Samaritans up there in
Samaria, the ones you hate and you won't even touch and you won't even go near and have nothing to do with,
they're your neighbors. You'd better get busy and love them!"
Your neighbor is anybody that needs your love—anybody—even if he lives halfway around the world. He
may not live next door, but if he lives on this earth he's your neighbor, so you're responsible for him. And we're
certainly responsible for those who are right around you, that's for sure!

¾ The supernatural love of God empowers you to love people you don't even
like!
Luke 6:32–36—But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who
love them. (33) And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do
the same. (34) And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even
sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. (35) But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing
in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful
and evil. (36) Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.
How can you love someone you don't like?—And does the Lord even expect you to do this? One notable
aspect of the story of the Good Samaritan is how the Samaritan went out of his way to help someone who was more
or less of an enemy nationality.
The answer is that empowered by the supernatural love of God, you can love anyone, even those you don't
like, even someone who has done you wrong or harmed you in some way. Ask Jesus for His love.—He will
respond to your fervent request. (We'll talk more about the "strength to love" later in this class.)

¾ The greatest commandment: to love!


Let's turn to Matthew 22. The religious leaders questioned Jesus:
Matthew 22:36—Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?
Of the hundreds of commandments in the Mosaic law, this is what Jesus picked:
Matthew 22:37–39—Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like it: ‘You shall
love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Jesus proceeded to shock these Pharisees—whose entire religion was built on their attempts to keep the
hundreds of laws, ordinances, and traditions of their Jewish religion—by telling them that these two simple
commandments summed up all the other commandments of the entire Old Testament!—That love was God's
law!—That if you love, you are fulfilling all the laws of God! He proclaimed,
Matthew 22:40—On these two commandments [to love God and your neighbor] hang all the Law and the
Prophets.
We call this the "Law of Love." The Law of Love is the Godly principle by which our entire lives, as
Christians, should be governed. Jesus summed it up very simply in the famous "Golden Rule," giving us the key to
our relationships with others.

„ Review of Matthew 7:12


Matthew 7:12—Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the
Prophets.
This means that loving your neighbor as yourself fulfills God's laws. This loving principle should guide all
of our actions with others. (This is a belief that binds millions of Christians together.)

¾ Living the Law of Love is simply living what Jesus said is the law, the great
commandment—to love.
Galatians 5:14—For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
This Law of Love that Jesus proclaimed—loving God first, and loving others as yourself—fulfills all the
other Biblical law. It means that we are free from all the old Biblical law. For example, if you love the Lord with all
your heart, soul, and mind, then you won't put other gods before Him or take His Name in vain. If you love your
neighbor as yourself, you won't kill him, steal from him, lie to him, or covet what he has. And the reason you won't
do these things is because of love. You don't need the Biblical law to keep you from doing these things; you simply
refrain from doing them because to do them would be unloving. This freedom from the Biblical law, based on the
Lord's instruction to govern ourselves by loving God above all and our neighbors as ourselves, is the whole concept
of the Law of Love in a nutshell.

¾ Putting love into action


When we talk about living the Law of Love, we're talking about loving those around you, about putting
that love into tangible, everyday action. It's about sacrificial living, giving of yourself to others, helping those in
need, and bearing one another's burdens.
The Law of Love is simply loving others unselfishly. In this unselfishness and in this life of sacrificial
giving and loving, you not only allow yourselves to help many others, but you allow the Lord to pour out His
blessings upon you. For He blesses the unselfish and the sacrificial.
God's Law of Love is first of all that you love the Lord with all your heart and soul and mind, and second
that you love your neighbor as yourself. The greatest way His love is manifested is in the laying down of your life
for another.
¾ The Law of Love should be the guiding principle of our lives.
It's what everything we do should be based on. It includes so much: encouragement, comfort, simplicity,
preferring one another, doing a little extra for those around you, sympathy, compassion, and feeling the pain that
others suffer.
„ Love on a day-to-day level
1 Peter 4:8a—And above all things have fervent love for one another.
John 15:12—Love one another.
In Jesus' last message to His disciples at the Last Supper, before he was arrested, taken to jail, beaten, and
then killed, what did He tell them? He talked about love, that love was the most important thing!
(You can read about this in John 13:1–17.)
What is the greatest commandment?—To love God. What's the next greatest? To love your neighbor as
yourself! He said that's like unto the first commandment. To love your neighbor is to love God!
As you can see, the Lord is clearly trying to make the point that we should walk in love in all that we do,
that love should be the main motivating factor in our every action, and that our love should be manifested in
tangible, loving deeds which help to supply the needs of others.

¾ When we see someone with a need, it is our duty, in love, to help supply that
need.
If we don't help, how can God's love dwell in us?
1 John 3:17–18—But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from
him, how does the love of God abide in him? (18) My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in
deed and in truth.
When you help a child, or an overworked, sick, lonely or needy person, you are giving yourself to them in
love; you are fulfilling Jesus' Law of Love. If you were sick or hungry, if you needed help with your children, if
you needed some friendship, if you needed a coat or a pair of shoes or something to eat, wouldn't you want
someone to give you the help you needed? (Matthew 7:12).
The essence of the Law of Love is having enough love to do to others what you would want them to do to
you; to have enough love to help those in need, whatever the need, just as you would want them to help you in your
need; to put the needs of others above your own, even when it's a sacrifice for you to do so. That's love.

¾ Try to remember this important principle of the Law of Love as you go about
your day.
If you see someone who needs help, pitch in to help for a few minutes. That's love. If you love your
neighbor as yourself, you'll put yourself in his place, and wonder how you would feel if you were there, and wonder
what you would want and need to have fulfilled. This is what the Law of Love is all about—giving love, in deed
and in truth, to those in need.
Giving love to others isn't always a matter of going out of your way to do some outstanding action like
feeding the homeless, but it also means being a sharing person with those around you. Being generous and being
giving needs to be a part of our everyday lives.

¾ Love in action
If we have real love, we won't face a needy situation without doing something about it. We won't just pass
by the poor man on the road to Jericho! We will take action like the Samaritan did.
Many people today, when faced with suffering of the needy or the poor, say, "Oh, I'm so sorry, how sad!"
But compassion must be put into action! That's the difference between pity and compassion: Pity just feels sorry;
compassion does something about it!
Love can seldom be proven without tangible manifestation in action. The need for real love is a spiritual
need, but it must be manifested physically in works.
Galatians 5:6—Faith working through love.
James 2:18—But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works,
and I will show you my faith by my works.
In other words, if in the faith of God you really love people, they cannot understand it or believe it unless
you really show them by some visible, tangible work or action that puts your words into action and puts your faith
into effect and makes it fact and not fiction, a sample not just a sermon!
¾ Compassion is loving deeds, not only loving words
James 2:15–17—If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, (16) and one of you says to them,
"Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what
does it profit? (17) Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
What is compassion?—It is loving to the point of really helping. To be compassionate means to really care
and truly be concerned, not to just say, "I love you" and then walk off and forget it. It's not saying, "Be warmed and
filled," but not giving them what they need (James 2:16). But the compassionate are those who try to put feet to
their prayers and kind deeds to their kind words and try to do good as well as speak good.

¾ Our responsibility to give to others


There are many Scriptures that make it clear that we have a responsibility to help the needy in practical
ways.
Psalm 41:1a—Blessed is he who considers the poor.
In this next example we see that if we have something our neighbor needs, we owe it to him.
Proverbs 3:27–28—Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to
do so. Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it," when you have it with you.

To love and share


A little orphan newsboy was selling his papers on the street. A man stopped to buy a paper from
him. While the man was searching his pocket for a coin, he questioned the newsboy as to where he lived.
The answer was that he lived in a little cabin way down in the dark district of the city, on the river bank.
The next question was, "Who lives with you?"
The answer was, "Only Jim. Jim is crippled and can't do any work. He's my pal."
The man ventured the remark, "You'd be better off without Jim, wouldn't you?"
The answer came with some scorn. "No, Sir, I couldn't spare Jim. I wouldn't have anybody to go
home to. And Mister, I wouldn't want to live and work with nobody to divide with, would you?"

¾ Helping the needy is giving to the Lord.


Proverbs 19:17—He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and He will pay back what he has given.
Matthew 25:31–40—When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit
on the throne of His glory. (32) All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from
another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. (33) And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the
goats on the left. (34) Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit
the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (35) ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I
was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; (36) ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I
was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' (37) Then the righteous will answer Him,
saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? (38) ‘When did we see
You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? (39) ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and
come to You?' (40) And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to
one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

¾ We should support each other in our work for the Lord


Our responsibility to help also extends to one another. We have each been blessed with many gifts that we
are responsible to use for the good of others. If God has given us the ability to teach His Word, He expects us to use
that ability. If He has given some of us money or other material possessions, He expects us to use them to help
others—not only the "strangers on the street," but also our fellow-believers.
Romans 12:13—Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Here are examples of unity and helpfulness in action during the days of the Early Church:
Acts 11:27–30—And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. (38) Then one of them, named
Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world,
which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. (29) Then the disciples, each according to his ability,
determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. (30) This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the
hands of Barnabas and Saul.
Romans 15:26—For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor
among the saints who are in Jerusalem.
¾ One particular aspect of our responsibility to each other is regarding helping
those who are ministering the Gospel.
The Apostle Paul wrote to a group of believers whom he had personally led to the Lord:
1 Corinthians 9:11 and 14—If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material
things? (14) Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.
Romans 15:27b—For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to
them in material things.

¾ God blesses us for giving to His work and to His workers!


Hebrews 6:10—For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His
name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Matthew 10:42—And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple,
assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.

God blesses us when we give!


From John and Susan, missionaries in South America
When we arrived here in this small city that the Lord had showed us to come to, there was another
missionary family here with six children who were on their way south. They were waiting for money that
was being sent from the States.
Time dragged on and their money hadn't come, so we prayed and then offered to help them. They
said they needed $200, which was about one third of our available funds. But when we prayed, we got the
Scriptures Acts 2:44–45 and Luke 6:38, so we brought them the money.
The next day in the post we got a check for $4,000—an inheritance that we had not known about.
The check had been lost in the mail a year before, and the bank had discovered that it had not been
cashed. What a fulfillment of God's promises and a real blessing for us to help us as we get established in
South America!

What happened to the widow who supported God's worker?


This incident is described in 1 Kings 17:9–16. The land of Israel was suffering from a drought
around 900 B.C. During the resultant famine, God's prophet Elijah was told by the Lord to visit the town of
Zarephath, "See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you" ( verse 9).
We can picture Elijah traveling through the dry land, arriving at Zarephath weary, hot and caked in
dust. As he approached the city gate he spotted a woman gathering sticks. "Water!" he cried out to her,
"please bring me some water in a cup that I may drink!" Taking pity on the weary stranger, the woman
rose to bring him some water when he called out to her again, "And please, could you bring me
something to eat also!" Turning to him, she exclaimed,
(verse 12:) "As the Lord lives, I don't even have a piece of bread, but only a handful of flour in a jar
and a few drops of oil in a jug.—Look, I'm out here gathering a few twigs to cook with, to take home and
make a final meal for myself and my son, that we may eat, and then die."
Elijah must have then realized that this poor little impoverished woman was the widow that the
Lord had promised would feed and care for him! He then told her,
(verse 13–14:) "Fear not, but go and do as you said.—But make me a small cake of bread first,
and then make something for yourself and your son! For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Your jar of
flour will not be used up, nor shall your jug of oil run dry, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon this
land!'"
She may have thought to herself, "I told him how poor I am, how I'm gathering twigs to cook a final
tiny meal for my son and myself, and that afterwards we expect to starve to death.—Yet he is asking me
to make a little loaf of bread for him first!" But because Elijah spoke to her with such authority in the name
of the Lord, she knew that he must be a man of God, a prophet, and she decided to trust God and do as
Elijah instructed her. She hurried home and scraped together the last tiny handful of flour from the bottom
of the large clay jar that it was kept in. She took her oil jug, tipped it, and drained out the last few drops of
precious oil.
It was probably after she had mixed the flour and oil together into a paste and baked the little piece
of bread for Elijah, that she received the surprise of her life: Picture this lowly widow, tidying things up
while the bread-cake for Elijah was cooking. She goes to put the empty oil jug in its proper place, and
suddenly she notices it's much heavier than it was a moment ago. Barely tipping it, she can hardly believe
her eyes when fresh oil flows out of it!—It is full!
Setting it down, she rushes over to the large earthen pot where the flour is kept, and gasps aloud
in astonishment when she lifts its lid!—Instead of the empty, dusty jar she knows it was just a few minutes
earlier, it is now filled to the brim with fresh flour!—A miracle has taken place! Her heart overflows with
thankfulness to the Lord for such a wonderful manifestation of His blessing! As a result of her care for
God's worker, and just as Elijah had prophesied, in the midst of three long years of famine, "Her jar of
flour was not used up, and her jug of oil did not run dry throughout the entire duration of the famine!"
(verses 15–16)
Tithing—One way of giving to the Lord
Tithing—giving a tenth of one's income or property as an offering to God.
Many believers practice tithing—regularly giving one tenth of their income to the Lord's work. The
dedication of a tenth to God was recognized as a duty before the time of Moses. Abraham paid tithes to
Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20; Hebrews 7:6). Jacob vowed unto the Lord and promised a tenth to Him:
Genesis 28:22b—Of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.
Nowhere does the New Testament expressly command Christians to tithe. Nevertheless, the
principle of giving remains and is incorporated in the Gospels. Ten percent is an easy figure to calculate
and budget. However, the tithe is a guideline and shouldn't be a cap on a Christian's giving.
Luke 6:38—Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and
running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured
back to you.
God's blessings are promised to those who tithe:
Malachi 3:10—"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try
Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for
you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."

¾ Whether or not you have something material to share, you can still help
others
We consider that the sharing of our time, our love, and our life with others, is the greatest of all sharing.
Jesus Himself did not usually have anything material to share with His disciples, only His love and His life, which
He gave for them and for us, that we too might have life and love forever.
1 John 3:16—By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our
lives for the brethren.
John 15:13—Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
James 1:27—Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their
trouble.

Giving of yourself
A story is told about two brothers, soldiers in the trenches during World War 1. One was lying
wounded in action in no-man's land, a deadly, dangerous area between the opposing forces. When the
older brother in the trench heard of the plight of his brother in the field, he said to his officer, "I've got to go
get him!"
His officer said, "It's impossible! You'll be killed the minute you stick your head out of this trench.
You know the enemy always starts shooting the minute you go over the top!" But the older brother tore
himself loose from the officer's grip, scrambled out of the trench, and plunged into no-man's land to find
his kid brother, despite the withering fire of the enemy.
There he found him, mortally wounded, and whispering, "I knew you'd come! I knew you'd come!"
The older brother, himself now wounded, barely managed to drag his younger brother back to the Allied
lines, both of them falling into the trench dying.
With tears streaming down his face, his officer said to the older brother, "Why did you do it? I told
you, you'd both be killed!"
But the older brother replied with a final smile, "I had to do it! You see—he expected it of me, and I
couldn't fail him!"

The highland boy who averted a disaster at the cost of his life.
In the north of Scotland, the main railway line crosses a gully which is bridged by a viaduct. One
night a fearful storm raged, and the little creek under the viaduct became a raging torrent.
A young shepherd, a Highland boy, sheltered his sheep as best he could for the night, and in the
morning, long before dawn, he set out to see how they fared. As he made his way up the hillside he
noticed, to his dismay, that the central column of the viaduct was gone, and the bridge was broken. He
knew the train was due and, if not warned, would be dashed to pieces and many lives lost. He made his
way up as best he could, wondering if he would be in time. As soon as he reached the rails he heard the
pound of the mighty engine. He stood and beckoned wildly, but the engine driver, making up time, drove
on. The train drew nearer, and still he stood, beckoning it to stop. At last it came to where he stood, and
he flung himself in front of the engine.
The driver applied the brakes and managed to stop the train in its own length. The stop was
sudden and the passengers, awakened, came to see what was the matter. The driver said, `It has been a
close shave this time. We might all have been lost. Come and I'll show you the one who saved us tonight.'
A little way along they saw the mangled remains of the shepherd boy who gave his life for them,
dying that they might live (1Thessalonians 5:10; Titus 2:13–14).

¾ The best gift of love is Jesus!


People are looking around for some little ray of hope, some salvation, some kind of bright spot
somewhere—a little love, a little mercy, someplace where they can find some relief.
The greatest joy they could find is coming to know Jesus! And therefore the greatest gift of love you can
give to someone is leading them to the Lord—through your words, your sample, through giving out literature. Even
if you don't feel capable yet of explaining to others about the Lord, you could at least give them tracts.
We're going to talk more about witnessing and how to lead people to the Lord in a later class.

Testimony: The poster that saved a life


From Esther, James, and Nathan, USA
"One of your posters saved my life," Jack told us. "Someone handed it to me in a parking lot.
When I got home, I left it in the bathroom and forgot about it.
"Later that evening, I was feeling so hopeless and defeated that I took out my gun and went into
the bathroom to end my life. I put the gun to my stomach and started to say one last prayer. ‘Oh God…'
"Just as the words left my mouth, my eyes fell on the poster. The title was ‘Peace in the Midst of
Storm.' I read the text on the back, and cried myself to sleep that night."
Three days later Jack met The Family again. This time he stopped to talk and got saved. No longer
"hopeless and defeated," Jack has become one of our closest friends and a big help to our work. God
bless him!

Testimony: On call!
From Vicky, Italy
The phone rang, and I picked it up. "Hi, I love you!" a man's voice at the other end of the line said
in a very sweet way. I tried to place the voice or think who might be phoning me with such a message, but
quickly realized it was a wrong number.
I wanted to take the opportunity to tell whoever it was about the Lord, so I answered, "Thank you. I
love you, too. And do you know what? Jesus loves you even more!"
Needless to say, the person on the other end was surprised at my answer. Now it was his turn to
try to find out who I was! His questions gave me a chance to explain how I had met Jesus and dedicated
my life to Him, and also a little about The Family's work here.
Before long, my anonymous caller was telling me all about himself. He had been an alcoholic until
five months earlier, when he saw that his drinking problem was about to destroy him and he managed to
quit. Still, he felt empty inside, he said.
At that point in the conversation, he explained that he was calling long distance and his phone card
was about to run out. "Quick, give me your phone number, please, so I can call you back. I would love to
stay in touch with you."
That day he went through four phone cards, talking with me. The next day he went through two
more, and so on. He had so many questions about life and the times we live in! All those calls were
getting quite expensive, of course, so finally he decided that it would be better if we discussed those
things by mail.
Nothing ever happens by accident, and I'm sure Jesus wanted this dear man to know that he was
loved in a special way—which surely he must be, to have been led to get to know Jesus through such
unexpected and unorthodox means. I sure am glad I didn't lightly dismiss that first call as a wrong number
and hang up. It was a good reminder that we need to be "on call" for Him and others at all times!

¾ Followers of the Man of Love should also be loving!


Jesus was the Man of Love who went about everywhere doing good, loving and caring for those He met.
How can we prove that we are His followers?—By following in His steps and being loving. This loving does not
only extend outwards to those who cross our path. It also includes unity amongst ourselves, the body of believers.
John 13:35—By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Always be tender, loving, and kind and "love one another" as He said:
Ephesians 4:32—And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ
forgave you.
What everybody needs is love! If they're not going to find it here, amongst the followers of the God of
love, where are they going to find it?

Loving Hands
The Rev. Ira Gillett, missionary in the former Portuguese East Africa, tells the story of a group of
natives who had made a long journey and walked past a government hospital to come to the mission
hospital for treatment. When asked why they had walked the extra distance to reach the mission hospital
when the same medicines were available at the government institution, they replied, "The medicines may
be the same, but the hands are different!"

¾ The Love Chapter


Love is a constant Theme of the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 13 is the "Love chapter" and gives us much
practical advice about how to live according to the Law of Love. (Read it after the class!)

Section 2: Strength to Love

¾ If you give in love, you will be rewarded: The "Boomerang" Principle


Galatians 6:7—Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
It's just one of God's rules and laws of the Spirit—just as definite and certain as some of the scientific laws
of gravity. The laws of the Spirit, however, never fail! They always work—either for you or against you, according
to how you obey them and whether or not you obey them. The first law is the Law of Love—unselfish love—love
for Him and others. If you will obey that one and give that love which is His and their due, so shall you also
receive.
Matthew 7:2—With the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
Ecclesiastes 11:1—Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.

Testimony: Overflowing with blessings


From Michael, Latvia
One morning while praying about what to do that day, Sara saw a vision of one drop of water
falling into a cup, which caused the cup to overflow. She had the impression that the drop of water
symbolized our helping the poor: It often seems too little to do much good, but because we try to do what
we can, the Lord causes our cup to overflow with blessings.
So Sara decided to bring some bread and flour to Nina, a friend at the local market, who scrapes
together a living for herself and her children selling little trinkets and forest berries.
Nina wasn't at the market that day, but another woman said, "Oh, you have bread and flour? Why
don't you give it to me? I'm also poor!" But when Sara handed the food to her, the woman changed her
mind. "Actually, my sister needs it more than I do. Why don't we give it to her instead?"
Just then her sister arrived on the scene. When Sara and the other woman offered her the bread,
her eyes widened in amazement. She raised her arms heavenward and said, "God sent you! This
morning I prayed that He would give me bread. My children and I had nothing to eat, and God sent you
with this bread!"
The next time we visited a baker who supports us and our work by donating bread each week, he
gave us much more than we could possibly eat ourselves—more to pass on to others who are hungry and
needy! As soon as we did our part to fulfill that little vision the Lord gave Sara, He did His part and poured
out abundant blessings on us!

¾ Whether you see the results or not…


Whether those you help show their appreciation or not, or whether you see results right away or not, you
should not let this discourage you. What's most important is that you are doing your part to fulfill the Lord's Law of
Love. Trust Him for the results!

Blossoming flowers
A young woman who was a great lover of flowers had set out a rare vine at the base of a stone
wall. It grew vigorously but it did not blossom. Day after day she cultivated it and watered it and tried in
every way to coax it into bloom.
One morning as she stood disappointed before it, her invalid neighbor, whose back lot adjoined
her own, called over and said, "You cannot imagine how much I have been enjoying the blooms of that
vine you planted." The owner looked and on the other side of the wall was a mass of bloom. The vine had
crept through the crevices and flowered luxuriantly on the other side.
There is a lesson for every Christian here. So often we think our efforts thrown away because we
do not see their fruit. We need to learn that in God's service our prayers, our toil, our crosses are never in
vain. Somewhere they bear their fruit and some heart will receive their blessing and their joy.

If you feel your efforts don't count for much, know this—you can make a difference!
I was walking down a deserted beach at sunset. As I ambled along, I noticed a local man in the
distance. Coming closer, I saw that he kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the
water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.
As I approached even closer, I saw that the man was picking up starfish that had been washed up
on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.
I was puzzled. I approached the man and said, "Good evening, friend. I was wondering what you
are doing."
"I'm throwing these starfish back into the ocean. You see, it's low tide right now and all of these
starfish have been washed up onto the shore. If I don't throw them back into the sea, they'll die."
"I understand," I replied, "but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach! You can't possibly
get to all of them. There are simply too many. And don't you realize this is probably happening on
hundreds of beaches all up and down the coast. Can't you see that you can't possibly make a difference?"
The man smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the
sea, he replied, "Made a difference to that one!"

¾ Living the Law of Love requires the love of God!


It's no easy task to live Jesus' commandments of love. To love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind,
to love others as ourselves, and to lay down our lives for the brethren, all require living a life of self-sacrifice. It
means putting Jesus first, others next, and ourselves last. Doing so goes against the natural man, against human
nature. To have this kind of love, the love that causes you to lay down your life for your brethren, living for others,
requires the supernatural love of God. That's why Jesus says,
John 15:5—Without Me you can do nothing.
We know that:
Philippians 4:13—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
2 Corinthians 12:9—And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in
weakness."
You can't possibly keep His Law of Love unless you have Jesus in your heart and the Spirit of God's love
within you, to give you the power and the strength to love others more than you love yourself.
Living the Law of Love means consistently, sacrificially thinking of others and serving them. That's a tall
order! It's so easy to be lazy, selfish, and self-centered; most of us are that way naturally. Our first reactions are
usually about ourselves, what we want, what will make us happy. But if we ask the Lord to help us and we put forth
a genuine effort, we can develop new habits and reactions, which, with time, will help us to become more loving,
caring, sacrificial individuals.
The Lord understands that we don't naturally have enough love to live in the loving manner that He's
asking us to. But just because we can't do it doesn't mean He doesn't expect us to, because He will do it for us and
through us! He's promised that He can give us the love we need, that He will pour His love through us and make us
new creatures!

¾ Getting filled up with His love!


If you call out to the Lord, simply asking Him for the love you need, and are then willing to put that love
into action by faith, He will give you His love in such tremendous volume and power that you will know you have
witnessed a miracle!
It takes fervent prayer, a believing spirit, and a willing mind and heart. Then follow this with many small
steps of unselfish love, and you will become a new creature. You will think of others, have more concern, and feel
for others' needs more readily. You'll be willing to give up your own plans and ideas to care for the weak.
Love is action, love is doing, love is outgoing concern. But all of this must come from the Lord's hand if it
is to last. He has such love for us!
He is the God of miracles, and He will give us this miracle of love. He is love, and we can have more of
Him than we've ever had before.
Matthew 7:7—Ask, and it will be given to you.
The Lord will give you the strength, the grace, and the power to give of yourself to others, to put the needs
of others before your own, if you ask Him, if you let Him fill you with His Spirit, if you give your life to Him. You
can't do it, but Jesus can! And He will, if you let Him!
12 Foundation Stones—Class 6A
Know the Book
Bible Knowledge, Part 1

Section 1: Why Study the Bible?

¾ You should study the Bible for your own benefit


It's important that you know your Bible, first of all for your own benefit!—So you know where to find
what you're looking for and what you want to study and what you want to read, etc.
The Lord is the Author! Remember, the people who "wrote" the Bible were merely tools in His hands. The
Lord inspired them to write what they did. If you want to get to know His views, His explanation of history and His
outlook for the future, read what He has to say!

The Author made me!


A learned Chinese scholar was employed by some missionaries to translate the New Testament
into Chinese. At first the work of translating had no effect upon the man. But after some time he became
quite agitated and said, "What a wonderful book this is!"
"Why so?" asked the missionary.
"Because," said the man, "it tells me exactly about myself. It knows all that is in me. The One Who
made this book must have made me!"

¾ Reading the Bible, you get closer to the Author


Psalm 119:9—How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your Word.
Psalm 119:15—I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.
Psalm 119:27—Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on Your wondrous works.
Psalm 119:42—So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your Word.
Psalm 119:97—Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Psalm 119:99—I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.
Psalm 119:100—I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts.
Psalm 119:104—Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Psalm 119:105—Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:144—The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting; give me understanding, and I shall live.
Psalm 119:151—You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are truth.
Psalm 119:160—The entirety of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
Psalm 119:165—Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.

¾ You should study the Bible for your witness


The Bible is well known and is a well-recognized authority. Most people at least have heard about it and a
lot of people respect it, and there are millions of people who even believe in it!
If you can quote the Bible to them, or if you can even find the verses and the proof you want in the Bible
and show it to them, a lot of people will believe it. But if you don't even know how to find the verses in the Bible,
how can you purport to be wise enough to tell others how to find Heaven, if you don't even know the names of the
Books or where the passages are and how to find them!
Even for the people who pretend not to believe it, the Word is powerful just the same!—"Sharper than any
two-edged sword," full of the power of the Spirit and very convicting.
Hebrews 4:12—For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing
even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of
the heart.
¾ To know the future: The Bible tells us what's going to happen!
The Bible contains hundreds of specific prophecies about people, nations, places, times, and events that
have already been fulfilled down to the smallest detail. Some of these were fulfilled almost immediately, others
took hundreds of years, but each came to pass exactly as God said they would. (There are also many other
prophecies in the Bible that are yet to be fulfilled, which will be fulfilled just as surely.)
Fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest proofs of the Bible! Who else but God could have revealed the
future thousands of years before it would unfold? Who else but God could have foretold the future in perfect detail,
long before it happened? A lot of these prophecies haven't happened yet, so they're not yet proven, but there are
hundreds and hundreds of prophecies in the Bible that have already been fulfilled and are already proven! They say
there are over 300 prophecies about Jesus alone and His first coming that have already been fulfilled in detail!
In the book Understanding God's Word (Get Activated series), pages 80–87, you'll find over sixty of the
most outstanding fulfilled prophecies, arranged into two groups: 1) those fulfilled by Jesus and 2) others from both
the Old Testament and the New Testament. Take the time to study these. For now, we'll look at one example.

A place for fishermen's nets—The fall of Tyre


Tyre was a city in ancient Lebanon which still exists today. In the years when the prophecy was
given, Tyre was part of a country called Phoenicia. This was about 600 years before Jesus was born.
In the year 590 B.C., God spoke to the prophet Ezekiel and told him what was going to happen in
the future to the city of Tyre.
From Ezekiel chapters 26–30—Son of man, because Tyre has said against Jerusalem, ‘Aha! She
is broken.' And hast said, ‘I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas—I am of perfect
beauty!' Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will cause many
nations to come up against you. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; I will
also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for spreading nets in
the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,' says the Lord God; ‘it shall become plunder for the nations. I will
make you a terror, and you shall be no more; though you are sought for, you will never be found again. I
will make you like the top of a rock; you shall be a place for spreading nets, and you shall never be rebuilt.
Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. All they that know thee
among the people shall be astonished at thee: … and they shall know that I am the Lord [when] I will give
the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus.
God told Ezekiel that because the city of Tyre was proud and rebellious against God, then God
was going to allow the king of another country to come and destroy the city. He said that the city would
end up in ruins, just piles of rocks for the fishermen to spread their nets over.
If you were living in Tyre in those days, you would have thought this was a silly prediction. Tyre
was the great city of the Phoenicians, built on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in what is now the
modern nation of Lebanon. The Phoenicians were a great seafaring and trading people— "all the ships of
the sea" came to Tyre. The Phoenicians were one of the outstanding civilizations of ancient times.
Ezekiel 27:9—Elders of Gebal and its wise men were in you to caulk your seams; all the ships of
the sea and their oarsmen were in you to market your merchandise.
But just look what happened to Tyre!
Nebuchadnezzar was the heathen king of Babylon. He went out conquering many countries.
God even allowed him to conquer His people in the land of Israel because they had turned their
backs on God's ways.
In 586 B.C. four years later, Nebuchadnezzar's armies went through the cities of Tyre and Sidon.
Just like God had told Ezekiel, Nebuchadnezzar tore down ancient Tyre and leveled it to the very ground,
but left the ruins there.
The whole prophecy still had not been fulfilled because the old city of Tyre had not been scraped
"as bare as the top of a rock" and its ruins were not yet "a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of
the sea."
Nebuchadnezzar received no wages for destroying Tyre—no jewels or gold or loot—because the
people of Tyre fled to a little island that was a half mile offshore. There the people built a new city and
took all of their wealth with them. Nebuchadnezzar was not a seafaring man. He had no ships or navy and
he was unable to cross that little half mile of ocean between him and the island to conquer them.
So on the mainland lay the ruins of ancient Tyre, while a new city of Tyre was built on the island.
The prophecy was still not completely fulfilled.
But what God says, eventually comes to pass! Sometimes it takes a long time, but God's
prophecies never fail! And that's what happened. About 250 years later a Macedonian king named
Alexander the Great came along sweeping the world with his armies, fighting great battles with minimal
losses on his side.
In 332 B.C., Alexander came to Tyre. He heard all about this wealthy city out there on the island.
Alexander was a very smart general. He looked out across that half mile of water and said, "How can I get
there? I want to get all that money they have out there!"
So he began looking around for something to use, and he saw this big pile of rubble that used to
be the ancient city of Tyre—all those bricks and stones and mortar and timbers. So Alexander's army got
it all together and they scraped everything they could find right into the Mediterranean Sea. They scraped
the area bare and used the materials to build a causeway right across the shallow floor of the
Mediterranean to the island city! And soon Alexander captured and plundered the island city of Tyre.
And do you know what? Along the sides of that road the fishermen spread their nets exactly like
God had prophesied! Tyre was thrown into the sea! This exact end of ancient Tyre was predicted over
250 years before it happened! Only God could have predicted that so many years before!

In the next class we'll be looking at fulfilled prophecies about Jesus, which is an amazing study all in itself. In later
classes we'll look at prophecies concerning the time we are now living in.

¾ Quick summary of reasons to study the Bible:


For our own benefit and spiritual growth
To get closer to the Author and to know His mind
For the sake of our witness to others
To know the future: The Bible tells us what's going to happen!

Section 2: Basic Bible Knowledge

¾ Who wrote the Bible?


Would you like to know a little something about the general content of the Bible? It's helpful to know
something about how the Bible is composed or constituted, how it's set up. It's very well organized.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books. God used about 40 men to write the Bible. In some cases quite a few
books were written by the same man.—But that's not really the most important thing because God is the Author of
the Bible!
2 Timothy 3:16—All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness.
2 Peter 1:21b—Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
The books of the Bible were written during a 1,500-year period. That 1,500-year period began with Moses
about 3,400 years ago and ended with the book of Revelation over 1,900 years ago.
Difference between Old and New Testaments and what they are
Have you all got your Bibles? The Table of Contents in the front of your Bible will make it simple for you.
You can follow along by looking at the list of books.
The Bible contains two major sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament. (Testament in this case
means "covenant" or "contract," so the Old and New Testaments can be thought of as the old and new binding
agreements between God and man.)
The Old Testament is a compilation of the Holy Scriptures of the Jews, written over a 1,100-year period.
The Old Testament has many prophecies about a Messiah or "Anointed One," who would be a "son" who would be
called "Mighty God," or "Eternal Father." These prophecies were written hundreds of years before Jesus Christ was
born.
The New Testament contains the sacred writings of the early Christian period. The 27 books of the New
Testament were written in Greek over a period of about 100 years. They tell of Jesus' life and ministry and the
growth of the Early Church, and present the basics of Christian faith.

¾ Old Testament Groups


The Old Testament has 39 books. Scholars generally agree that they were written over a period of about
1,100 years, from the 14th to the 4th century B.C. They were written in Hebrew, except for a few passages in the
book of Daniel, which were written in Aramaic.
The Old Testament is divided into three major divisions: Historical, Poetical and Prophetic. The books are
organized partly chronologically and partly according to content. The Bible is very well organized and it was put in
this order to make it clearer for us.
„ Old Testament Historical books
The Old Testament begins with 17 historical books. The historical books begin with the first five "Books
of Moses." They are called the "Pentateuch" or the "Five Books of Moses" and they are also spoken of by Jesus and
others as the "Law" or the "Torah."
Esther is the last of what are called the Historical Books. All those first Books from Genesis to Esther are
classified as Historical Books.
You can show the students a good way to illustrate this by drawing a line across the Bible's TOC page
under Esther, and then between the page numbers and the columns write vertically "History" to categorize the
Historical Books of the Bible.
Those first historical books are about the history of the world, history of God's people, and history of God's
dealings with man before the birth of Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:11—Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our
admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.
„ Outline of historical books: Five books of Moses
Genesis. The book of Origins. The origin of the universe, human race, etc. Largely a record of the early
history of God's people. The first part of the book covers the history of early mankind, narrating the events of the
Creation, the Fall, the Flood, and the Dispersion of the races (people scattered across the world following the
Tower of Babel). The second section concerns the lives of the patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
Exodus. The bondage, deliverance, and beginnings of the history of the Hebrews on the way to Canaan,
under the leadership of Moses. Includes the life story of Moses and the Hebrews' deliverance from Egypt, and the
giving of the law.
Leviticus. The book of Mosaic laws. It teaches access to God through sacrifices. We are no longer under
these laws since Jesus' death. The book has mostly priestly legislation and the practical application of the law
among the people. Much importance is placed upon the Hebrews' separation from all heathen influences so that the
nation would retain its religious purity.
Numbers. The book of the pilgrimages of Israel. It is a continuation of Exodus, describing the forty years'
wanderings in the wilderness.
Deuteronomy. A repetition of the laws given shortly before the children of Israel entered Canaan. It is a
sequel to Numbers. The last three chapters tell the last days of Moses.
„ Outline of other Historical Books
Joshua. This tells the story of Joshua, Moses' successor. It was Joshua who led the people into the
Promised Land after the death of Moses. The book records the conquest of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua,
and the division of the land among the twelve tribes.
Judges is so called because it relates the times of various rulers, or judges, of Israel from the possession of
Canaan until the time of Samuel. Covers 300 years of history—the six conquests and subjugations of the Israelites,
and the various deliverances of the land through the fifteen judges. Includes the adventures of Samson.
Ruth. A beautiful story of how Ruth, a foreigner, became the ancestress of David and of Jesus. A love
story! Ruth, the Moabitess, goes to Judah with her mother-in-law, Naomi. There Ruth meets and marries Boaz.
1 and 2 Samuel. The history of Samuel (priest and prophet) and the beginning and early years of the
monarchical period in Israel (when they were first ruled by kings) under the reigns of Saul and David.
1 Samuel tells of the organization of the kingdom, the actions of Samuel, how Saul was made king, his fall,
and the beginning of the reign of King David. 2 Samuel tells of the reign of David.
1 and 2 Kings. The early history of the kingdom of Israel, and later of the divided Kingdom. (Israel and
Judah split.) Includes the lives of Elijah and Elisha, prominent prophets.
1 and 2 Chronicles. Largely a record of the reigns of David, Solomon, and the kings of Judah up to the
time of the Captivity (when Babylon conquered Judah and carried many Jews away to become slaves in Babylon).
Some repetition of what is in the books of Samuel and Kings.
Ezra. Continues from Chronicles. A record of the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon, and the
rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.
Nehemiah. An account of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, and a "revival" amongst God's people.
Esther. The story of Queen Esther's (Jewish wife of the Persian king) deliverance of the Jews from the plot
of Haman in the courts of the king of Persia.
„ Old Testament Poetical Books
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon are called the Poetical Books. They are the
poetry of the Bible, and they were grouped together because they were used largely in devotional services, being
either read or sung.
Psalms and Proverbs are beautiful books to read at your devotional times.
Psalms is also a tremendous prophetic book full of Messianic prophecies.
Parts of the book of Proverbs are proverbs of other kings and other men, as it says in the Bible, but King
Solomon wrote most of it. Of course, in many of those proverbs he was repeating the wisdom which had been given
by God to men down through the ages. He was simply making a list and recording them.
As there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, a good project is to read one chapter each day, corresponding with
the day of the month.
„ Outline of Poetical Books
Job. The problem of affliction, showing the malice of Satan, the patience of Job, the problem of self-
righteousness, the vanity of human philosophy, the divine wisdom, and the final deliverance of the sufferer. This is
generally accepted as the oldest book in the Bible, and probably was written before the time of Moses.
Psalms. A collection of 150 spiritual songs, poems, praises, prayers, and prophecies. King David wrote
many of these. Psalms are very inspiring to read during your devotional quiet times. Some key chapters of Psalms
are also very beautiful and helpful to memorize.
Proverbs. A collection of moral and religious maxims, and discourses on wisdom, temperance, justice, etc.
King Solomon wrote many, and the rest are considered to be authored by others.
Ecclesiastes. Wise Solomon's reflections on the vanity of life, and man's duties and obligations to God, etc.
Song of Solomon. A beautiful, passionate love poem. Some people look at this simply as a literal love
poem; others take it as an allegory of our relationship with the Lord describing the love of Jesus for His Bride (us).
„ Old Testament Major Prophets
There are 17 prophetic books. Five are "major" and twelve are "minor."
The four major prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. They are considered major not because
of the size of the books but because of the importance of the prophet and what he predicted. Even though Daniel is
a relatively small book with just 12 chapters, there are more specific amazing prophecies about the future, and time
prophecies, than there are in the other Major Prophets.
Isaiah was the Messianic Prophet because he prophesied a good deal about Jesus, both about His first
coming and about His second coming! There are more prophecies about the Millennium* in Isaiah than anywhere
else in the Bible. Isaiah is devotional reading, not only a study of Bible Prophecy. Isaiah is easier reading because
it's so beautiful and poetic and so much about the coming Messiah and the Millennium, His Messianic Kingdom,
etc.
(*The Millennium: The coming thousand-year reign of Christ and His saints upon earth that will take place
after His return.)

Jeremiah was known as the "Weeping Prophet," concerned mostly about the Jews—their history, their fall, and
their future and the restoration when they would return to Israel, which has since happened.
Ezekiel also prophesied mostly about the Jews, but he had many more prophecies regarding the distant
future, particularly about the Antichrist and the Battle of Armageddon, even clear up to the Heavenly City.
Daniel was a Prophet of the Endtime, the future! They all prophesied about the Endtime, but he especially
prophesied about the distant future—very little about the current history of Israel at his time or even shortly after,
mostly about the prophecies of the distant future. He was told to shut up the book until the Time of the End,
because it wouldn't be revealed what it meant until the very End.
Daniel 12:4—But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall
run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.
In a later class we will study some of Daniel's prophecies.
„ Outline of Major Prophets
Isaiah. A book rich in Messianic prophecies, and other prophecies of the future, mingled with woes
pronounced upon sinful nations.
Jeremiah. Jeremiah lived from the time of King Josiah to the captivity in Babylon. The main theme of the
book is the backsliding, bondage, and restoration of the Jews. Jeremiah received the call to prophesy while very
young. It was his mission to predict doom upon his nation for its many sins. For this the priests and the people
hated him. Jeremiah warned the Jews not to fight Babylon, but to surrender, and God would temper their
punishment.
Lamentations. Also written by Jeremiah. A dirge over the desolation of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel lived during the exile (in Babylon). The book is divided into two sections: The first denounces the
sins and abominations of Jerusalem and the second looks to the future with the hope that the city will be restored
after it has been cleansed. The latter also contains prophecies about the coming Kingdom of Heaven and of Jesus.
Daniel. Prophecies of the future: some have been fulfilled, some are specific prophecies of the Endtime
which were only meant to be understood in the Last Days.
Minor prophets
Then come the twelve Minor Prophets. The final book in the series is Malachi, the last book of the Old
Testament.
„ Outline of Minor Prophets
Hosea. Lived at the same time as Isaiah and Micah. The central thought: The apostasy of Israel
characterized as spiritual adultery. The book is filled with striking pictures describing the sins of the people. Hosea
was even instructed by the Lord to marry a harlot as a picture of God's unfailing love for His errant bride! He urges
a return to God.
Joel. A prophet of Judah, he wrote this book during a plague of locusts, a time of great distress for the
people. This book contains discussion of repentance and its blessings, and predictions of the Holy Spirit.
Amos was a herdsman prophet who denounced selfishness and sin. The book contains a series of five
visions and predicts the ultimate universal rule of the Lord. Amos proclaimed that God was the ruler of the whole
world.
Obadiah. Leading topic—the doom of Edom and final deliverance of Israel. The shortest book in the Old
Testament, it has only one chapter.
Jonah. The story of the "reluctant missionary" to the great city of Nineveh who was taught by bitter
experience the lesson of obedience and the depth of divine mercy. This is the man who was "swallowed by the
great fish" or whale.
Micah. This book gives a dark picture of the moral condition of Israel and Judah, and foretells the
establishment of the Kingdom of the Lord in which righteousness shall prevail.
Nahum. The destruction of Nineveh, capital of Assyria. Also contains a classic rebuke against warfare and
militarism.
Habakkuk. Written in the Chaldean period. This book is concerned with the problem of unpunished evil in
the world. It was revealed to Habakkuk that the Chaldean (Babylonian) armies were to be God's means of
punishing the wicked and that evil would destroy itself. The book concludes with a poem of thanksgiving and great
faith.
Zephaniah. This book is filled with God's threatenings to the rebellious, but ends with a vision of the future
glory of God's people.
Haggai. A colleague of Zechariah. He reproves the Jewish people for slackness in building the second
temple; but promises a return of God's glory when the building should be completed.
Zechariah. Contemporary of Haggai. He helped to arouse the Jews to rebuild the temple. He had a series of
eight visions, and saw the ultimate triumph of God's kingdom. Zechariah gives very specific predictions about the
coming of Jesus the Messiah: His death to remove sin, Christ as King and Priest, His Triumphal Entry into
Jerusalem, being betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, His hands pierced at the crucifixion, and more.
Malachi. He gives a graphic picture of the closing period of Old Testament history. He shows the necessity
of reforms before the coming of the Messiah. The final message to a disobedient people.

„ New Testament Groups


The New Testament is composed of 27 books. It is divided into three major categories: History (the
Gospels and book of Acts) , Epistles (letters) and Prophetic. It parallels the same arrangement as the Old Testament
with one exception: The central section, instead of Poetic books, contains Epistles.
„ Historical: Gospels and Acts
The first five books of the New Testament are historical: four Gospels and the book of Acts.
The Gospels deal with the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. The book of Acts tells of some of the
major happenings of the Early Church over the next 30 years, and is a sort of sequel to the Gospels.
The first three Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—are called the "Synoptic Gospels" because they are
similar in content. The Gospel of John is the Gospel of Salvation. Each Gospel tells the same basic story—of the
life and ministry of Jesus, and the meaning of His coming—yet they each tell it in a slightly different way. The
authors mention what was important to them about certain events, which explains why the accounts of the same
events are slightly different.
Outline of New Testament Historical Books
Matthew. Matthew had been a tax collector and became one of the apostles. His book was written mostly
with the Jews in mind, to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah. You'll find many references to the Old
Testament in this book as Matthew wanted to show how Jesus was fulfilling the prophecies. Matthew was an
eyewitness to many of the events that he wrote about.
Mark was a companion of Peter, as well as Paul. His Gospel contains what he heard Peter recount. He
emphasized the supernatural power of Jesus over nature, disease, and demons. All this divine energy was exercised
for the good of man.
Luke was a Greek physician (the only non-Jewish author in the New Testament) and was a companion of
Paul. He wrote the most complete biography of Jesus, portraying Him as the Son of man, full of compassion for the
sinful and the poor.
John was one of the original 12 apostles. John understood the spiritual depths of the Love of God and His
salvation and what Jesus meant to the whole world, and not just to the Jews. The book of John contains more of the
actual quoted words of Jesus than any other book.
Acts follows on from the Book of Luke and is believed to be written by the same author. It tells what
happened to Jesus' disciples after His resurrection, then going on to explain the history of the Early Church, the
conversion of Paul and his journeys, etc. Acts emphasizes that the Church is guided continually by the Holy Spirit.
„ The Epistles
"Epistles" means letters. Paul wrote the 14 so-called "Pauline Epistles." Then there are seven "General"
Epistles. They are called "General Epistles" because they are not addressed to anybody in particular, whereas the
earlier Epistles were written specifically to certain people. Paul's Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians
and Ephesians, etc., are all addressed to specific individuals or groups of believers and are named after whom the
letters were addressed to. The following Epistles from James, Peter, John and Jude are named after those who wrote
them..
Paul's epistles are deep, legal theology, as Peter said:
2 Peter 3:16—As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to
understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the
Scriptures.
Paul was a religious lawyer and he was trying to interpret the Gospel for the sake of lawyers and brilliant
minds and legalists like himself, to his own kind like the Pharisees and the scribes, trying to prove to them in legal
language and legal arguments that he was right.
He does a very good job of it, but many people can only understand some of it, and a lot of it they can't; a
lot of it is quite lengthy, as Peter says, and a little bit difficult to comprehend. That's why many of us like reading
the Gospels best, particularly the words of Jesus.
Paul's writings were necessary too. It was important for Paul to explain in convincing legal arguments why
the Gospel had to be so, why Jesus had to come and why things were different now—no longer under law, but
grace. He gives legal arguments like he's talking before a judge to convince a judge of his case, and if you have that
kind of a mind, you'll enjoy his writings.
You should also bear in mind when reading the Epistles that some of what Paul wrote on behavior and so
on, was pertaining to the customs of the day and does not necessarily apply today, just as much of the Old
Testament law is no longer relevant.
„ Outline of 14 Epistles of Paul
Most of these were written to the churches in that specific area. If you look at a map of the area in New
Testament times (you'll probably find one in the back of your Bible), you'll be able to find these locations. These
places still exist today! Corinth, for instance, is near Athens.
Romans. Addressed to Roman Christians. Chapters 1–11 discuss the plan of salvation. Chapters 12–16 are
largely exhortations relating to spiritual, social, and civic duties.
1 Corinthians. Addressed to the Corinthian church. Leading topics—the cleansing of the church from
various evils, together with doctrinal instructions.
2 Corinthians. The characteristics of the ministry and vindication of Paul's apostleship.
Galatians. Important book because it explains clearly the concept of salvation by faith, not works.
Ephesians. The plan of salvation. All barriers between Jews and Gentiles have been broken down.
Philippians. A letter to the Philippian church. It reveals Paul's intense devotion to Christ, his experience in
prison, and his deep concern that the Church should be steadfast in sound doctrine.
Colossians. Counsel to abandon worldly philosophy and sin. Jesus is the head of the Church.
1 Thessalonians. Exhortations and counsel. Also prophecies of the Endtime.
2 Thessalonians. More about Jesus' Second Coming and warnings to believers.
1 Timothy. Counsel to a young pastor concerning his conduct and ministry.
2 Timothy. Paul's last letter, written shortly before his death, giving counsel to his beloved "son in the
Gospel."
Titus. Counsel given to a trusted friend.
Philemon. A private letter written to Philemon, beseeching him to receive and forgive Onesimus, a
runaway slave.
Hebrews. Author is most likely Paul. Written to Jewish Christians, this explains the doctrine of salvation.
Also contains very inspiring history of God's people (Chapter 11).

„ Outline of 7 General Epistles


James. Probably written by James, the brother of Jesus. Addressed to Jewish converts who had dispersed
from Israel. The main theme is practical religion, manifesting itself in good works, as contrasted with only a
profession of faith.
1 Peter. A letter of encouragement written by the Apostle Peter to the believers scattered throughout Asia
Minor. Leading topic: The privilege of believers following the example of Jesus, to have victory in the midst of
trials, and to live consecrated lives in an unfriendly world.
2 Peter. A warning against false teachers and scoffers.
1 John. Written by the Apostle John. It lays great importance upon the believer's privilege of spiritual
knowledge, the duty of fellowship, and brotherly love.
2 John. A brief message on divine truth and worldly error.
3 John. A letter of commendation written to Gaius.
Jude. The writer was probably the brother of James, and brother of Jesus. Historical examples of apostasy
and divine judgments upon sinners.
„ The Prophetic Book: Revelation
Revelation or the Apocalypse is the last book in the New Testament. Note that the title is "The Revelation
of Jesus Christ to St. John." This is a message that Jesus gave to John. Revelation is the one thoroughly Prophetic
book in the New Testament, although many of the other New Testament books contain Endtime prophecies.
Revelation is the only book of the New Testament devoted entirely to prophecy.
„ Outline of Revelation
Revelation. It was written by the Apostle John (while in exile), who was also the author of the Gospel of
John and three Epistles. The book of Revelation contains complex and detailed prophecies about the future, with
much detail on the Endtime, the events preceding and following Jesus' Second Coming, on into the Millennium. It
concludes with a wonderful description of Heaven.

¾ How the Bible came into being


The first recorded instance in the Bible of God telling someone to write is in the book of Exodus.
Following a victory in battle, God instructed Moses to "Write this for a memorial in the book" (Exodus 17:14). In
another example several chapters later, "Moses wrote all the words of the Lord … Then he took the Book of the
Covenant and read in the hearing of the people" (Exodus 24:4, 7).
From that time until the end of the New Testament age, the writing of the many books and parts of the
Bible continued.
None of the original biblical documents has survived. But before the original documents disappeared, they
were copied. These precise copies of the original writings are the texts on which current translations of the Bible
are based.
The process of copying and recopying the Bible has continued to our time. Until the middle of the 15th
century A.D., all the copying was done by hand. Then, with the invention of the printing press in Europe, copies
could be made in greater quantities by using this new process. Before, each copy of the Bible had to be produced
slowly by hand, but now the printing press could produce thousands of copies in a short time. This made the
Scriptures available to many people, rather than just the few who could afford expensive handmade copies.

¾ How the Bible was put together


It's quite amazing when you realize that here is a Book that was written over a 1,500-year span—40
generations. It was written by over 40 authors from every walk of life including kings, shepherds, philosophers,
fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars, etc. Yet the Biblical authors wrote in harmony and continuity from Genesis
to Revelation. There is one unfolding story: God's redemption of man.
This grouping of the Old Testament that you study today was put in this final canonical form and
organized in this order by a group of 70 scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, somewhere between 250-100 B.C.
These 70 scholars decided on which were authentic books, recognized as genuinely inspired. That was
probably the most important gathering of scholars for thoroughly translating all of the Old Testament Hebrew-
language books.
Their product was a translation into Greek and became the accepted Authorized Greek Version of the Old
Testament, which was the literary language of the people of that day, of both the Greek and Roman empires. They
called it the Septuagint, meaning the one produced by 70 men, and that has been the accepted Authorized Version
of the Old Testament ever since.
In the second century A.D., when officials of the Early Church sought to make a list of books about Jesus
and the Early Church that they considered authoritative, they retained the Old Testament, on the authority of Jesus
and His apostles. Along with these books they recognized as authoritative the new writings—four Gospels, or
biographies on the life and ministry of Jesus; the 14 letters of Paul; and letters of other apostles and their
companions. The Gospel collection and the apostolic collection were joined together by the book of Acts, which
served as a sequel to the Gospel story, as well as a narrative background for the earlier Epistles.
The primary standard applied to a book was that it must be written either by an apostle or by someone
close to the apostles. This guaranteed that their writing about Jesus and the Early Church would have the
authenticity of an eyewitness account. The apostolic writings formed the charter, or foundation documents, of the
Christian movement.

¾ Language and translation


The beautiful poetic books in the Bible, in the original language, had both meter and rhyme! They were
beautifully translated, but you can imagine how difficult it would be to try to translate them into our modern
language with meter and rhyme.
The Old Testament was mostly written in Hebrew. That's one reason why it is simple to read, as Hebrew is
a simple language. You don't find nearly as many big words in the Old Testament as you do in the New Testament.
The New Testament was written in Greek, a far more prolific and expressive language.
The Old Testament was first translated from Hebrew, and the New Testament from Greek. The Jews, of
course, spoke Hebrew, but in the New Testament era, because of the domination of the Greek Empire they also
spoke Greek as the language of culture, philosophy, religion, art, and music. After the Roman conquest, they also
spoke Latin, which was the language of the law or the government.
Most of the early Christians already knew three languages. The educated ones knew Hebrew, Greek, and
Latin. And because the Greek language is by far the most expressive, much more even than Hebrew or Latin, they
used Greek to write the New Testament in.
The common language or vernacular of the time in the area around Israel was Aramaic and Jesus could
have also spoken Aramaic.

¾ Compiling the Bible and its division into chapters and verses
The Bible originally was not divided into chapters and verses; in fact, in the original manuscripts or scrolls
they didn't write in the vowels nor even divide the words. There were no spaces between the words, no punctuation,
and it just all ran together.
Scribes wrote and copied the Scriptures. It was a very important, highly technical task, and they were
checked and checked and re-checked by others to make sure they got every jot and tittle!
Do you know where that expression comes from, "jot and tittle"? It is part of the Hebrew alphabet. Jot
comes from the Hebrew "Jod," which is nothing but a little tiny apostrophe, but it's actually a Hebrew letter sort of
like a "Y." And the tittle comes from the next smallest Hebrew character.
Can you imagine what it would look like if you didn't put spaces between your words or any punctuation
or vowels? Scholars learnt the text by heart and knew what it said.

frgdslvdthwrldththgvhsnlybgttnsn
(For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.)

The Bible was not divided into chapters and verses until the 1200's. It certainly is handy to have it divided
into chapters and verses so you can find something. In the days of the apostles and the Old Testament, all they
could say was, "Well, it's in David" or "It's in Isaiah" or "It's in this or that!"—And you had to hunt for it.
The Bible, or portions of it, have been translated into approximately 2,233 languages, making its message
available to about 98% of the world's population. The history of how the Bible was put together, and how it was
translated into English and other languages is fascinating, but we don't have time to get more into it now.

Section 3: Archaeological Finds Confirm the Bible


Now we'll take a little time to look at some of the archaeological finds that are encouraging confirmations
of the Bible's veracity. The main reasons we know the Bible is truly the Word of God is because it works and
because we know the Author! Even without archaeological evidence, we know it's true, but the archaeological finds
are faith building. Science and the artifacts of archaeology confirm the Bible; they do not disprove it but are
proving it more every day.

Nelson Glueck, the renowned Jewish archaeologist (1900–1971), wrote: "It may be stated categorically
that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference."

Dr. W. F. Albright (1891–1971), leading Biblical archeologist and scholar, author of more than 800
publications, wrote: "Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of innumerable details, and has
brought increased recognition to the value of the Bible as a source of history."

The finding of Babylon


The remains of Babylon have now been discovered, but for a long time no one could find it! Some
higher critics of the Bible said, "Well, it shows you the Bible's wrong, if it had been such a great city and all
that, we should have found the remains by this time, so the Bible must not be so." Yet they have been
found!
Details:
BABYLON, the mightiest metropolis of the ancient world, was largely built by the efforts of
Hammurabi (1728–1686 B.C.) and Nebuchadnezzar II (604–562 B.C.). It declined after the death of
Nebuchadnezzar and came to ruin about 130 B.C. at the hands of the Parthians. Archaeologists probed
the ruins of the place, which lay on both sides of the river.
The discoveries in Babylon were no less than phenomenal. Among the more important finds were
almost 300 cuneiform tablets relating mostly to the distribution of oil and barley to captives and skilled
workmen from many nations who lived in and around Babylon between 595 and 570 B.C. Among those
mentioned were Yow-keen (Jehoiakim) King of the land of Yehud (Judah) and his five young sons who
were in the hands of Keniah, their attendant.
To understand the significance of this: In the third year of Jehoiakim, the eighteenth king of Judah
(B.C. 605), Nebuchadnezzar, having overcome the Egyptians at Carchemish, advanced to Jerusalem
with a great army. After a brief siege he took that city, and carried away the vessels of the sanctuary to
Babylon, and dedicated them in the Temple of Belus. He also took captives, including King Jehoiakim.
2 Kings 24:1—In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his
vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him.
2 Chronicles 36:6–7—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him [Jehoiakim], and
bound him in bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon. (7) Nebuchadnezzar also carried off some of the
articles from the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.

Ancient kings
An obelisk (stone pillar with pyramidical top) found in Calah, on the banks of the Tigris River, was
set up by Shalmaneser II. It mentions by name a king of Syria and king of Israel who are also mentioned
in the Bible.
Details:
The place of Calah, now called Nimrud, lies about twenty miles south of Nineveh, on the west bank
of the Tigris River. According to Gen.10:11, it was first built by Nimrud:
Genesis 10:11—From that land he [Nimrud] went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah.
Austin Henry Layard, during his excavations between 1847 and 1851, found that the remains of
the ancient city walls measured 7,000 by 5,500 feet. Within these walls he found the remains of the
palaces of three kings: Ashur-nasir-pal (885–860 B.C.), Shalmaneser III (860–825 B.C.), and Esarhaddon
(680–669 B.C.), along with many wall sculptures.
The most interesting of these sculptures was a series that record the victories of Tiglath-pileser III,
the Pul of 2 Kings.15:19. These figures show, in graphic style, the evacuation of a city, military operations
connected with a siege, and the harsh treatment meted out to prisoners.
The most important of all discoveries was the Black Obelisk which had been set up by
Shalmaneser III in the central building. It is a large, imposing monument of black marble, six feet, six
inches high; and tapering at the top. It has twenty small bas-reliefs, five on each side, showing the
officials from five different countries bringing tribute to the king. Above, below, and between the reliefs are
210 lines of cuneiform inscription which tell the story of the monarch's achievements in war and peace
during the first thirty-one years of his reign.
Among other individuals it mentions "Hazael of Damascus and Jehu of Israel."
2 Kings 19:15–17—Then the Lord said to him: "Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of
Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of
Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in
your place."
On the obelisk Shalmaneser says:
In the eighteenth year of my reign I crossed the Euphrates for the sixteenth time. Hazael of
Damascus put his trust in his large army, and mustered his troops in great numbers, making Mount Senir
(sa-ni-ru), facing the Lebanon, as his fortress. I fought with him and inflicted defeat upon him, killing with
the sword 16,000 of his experienced soldiers. I took away from him 1121 chariots, 470 riding horses as
well as his camp. He disappeared to save his life, but I followed him in Damascus, his royal residence.
There I cut down his gardens outside the city and took my departure. I marched as far as Mount Hauran
destroying, tearing down and burning innumerable towns, carrying booty away from them that was
beyond counting. I then marched as far as the mountains of Ba'lira'si, by the sea-side, and erected there
a stela* with my image as King. At that time I received the tribute of the inhabitants of Tyre, Sideon, and
of Jehu, son of Omri. (*stela or stele: an ancient stone slab or pillar, usually engraved, inscribed, or
painted, and set upright.)
Then, later, comes the section that is of even greater interest to the Bible student. It reads:
The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with
pointed bottom, golden goblets, pictures of gold, bars of lead, staffs for the hand of the king, and javelins,
I received.
Jehu is shown kneeling, with tribute, in front of Shalmaneser. The Assyrian monarch is
accompanied by two attendants (one holding a sunshade above him), and stands proudly, with the
symbols of Ashur and Ishtar in the area above. King Jehu of Israel wears a short, rounded beard, a soft
leather cap, and a sleeveless jacket, which marks him as a prisoner. Following him come Israelites
dressed in long garments and carrying precious metals and other tribute. This is the only sculptured relief
we have of any Israelite king.

The Dead Sea Scrolls


"Dead Sea Scrolls" is the name given to a collection of ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek
manuscripts (and fragments of manuscripts), found in a number of caves in the barren foothills of the
Judean Wilderness, west of the Dead Sea. More than one-third of these are copies of books of the Old
Testament, which are older by at least 1,000 years than the hitherto earliest known Old Testament
manuscripts.
The jars that they found around the Dead Sea, with parts of the book of Isaiah in them, sealed with
clay, had been preserved for 2,000 years!
God saw to it that they were preserved, because they destroyed the higher critics of Isaiah who
claimed that the book of Isaiah had been written by two authors at different times, because the
prophecies in the book were so accurate and came to pass so perfectly. They said therefore that the
prophetic part of Isaiah must have been written a long time after the first Isaiah, by some other Isaiah. But
they have discovered the actual scrolls of the writings of Isaiah, which date back before the prophecies
were fulfilled. So now it can't be denied that Isaiah wrote it, and they were genuine prophecies!
Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea were a
thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (980 A.D.), they proved to be
word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95% of the text. The 5% of variation
consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.
Details:
The discovery of the scrolls began in the spring of 1947 when an Arab shepherd boy missed one
of his goats. While searching for it in one of the steep valleys, he threw a stone into a hillside cave and
heard what sounded to him like the breaking of pottery. Summoning his companion, the two entered the
cave and found some pottery jars 25 to 29 inches high and about 10 inches wide. In these, they found
objects which looked much like miniature mummies, but were actually leather scrolls wrapped in squares
of linen cloth, and covered over with a pitch like substance possibly derived from the Dead Sea. With a
vague idea that they had discovered antiques that might bring them money, they divided the scrolls and
set off for Bethlehem where they located an antique dealer and offered him the scrolls for twenty pounds.
He refused them. Afterwards they were directed to Jerusalem where, after bargaining for weeks, they sold
four of the scrolls to Archbishop Athanasius Samuel of St. Mark's Syrian Orthodox Monastery, and three
to E. L. Sukenik, Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Archbishop Samuel
showed his scrolls to several authorities who were uncertain about their content and value. Finally they
were taken to Dr. John C. Trever, acting director of the American School of Oriental Research
(Jerusalem), who photographed and studied some of them, then sent copies to Dr. W. F. Albright of
Johns Hopkins University. This well-known authority tentatively dated them about 100 B.C., and declared
them an amazing discovery.
The Arab shepherds revealed the cave where the scrolls had been found, but war between the
Arabs and Jews made scientific investigation impossible until February of 1949, when Dr. Laukester
Harding of the Jordan Department of Antiquities, and Pere R. de Vaux of the Dominican Bible School of
Jerusalem carefully excavated its floor level. Within three weeks they found some 800 scroll fragments
belonging to about seventy-five different leather scrolls, a few fragments of papyrus scrolls, portions of
linen in which scrolls had been wrapped, Roman lamps, and portions of jars and potsherds belonging to
about fifty different jars.
Apparently some 200 scrolls had been hidden away in the cave. Origen, an Alexandrian church
father who lived during the third century, is said to have used certain manuscripts which he found in a jar
near Jericho. Also, Timotheus, Patriarch of Baghdad, wrote a letter to Sergius, Archbishop of Elam, about
A.D. 800, saying that a certain person from Jerusalem told him of an Arab hunter's dog that went into a
cave entrance near Jericho. When the animal did not return for some time, his master went in after him,
and found himself in a little house in the rock in which were many manuscripts. He reported the find to
some Jewish scholars in Jerusalem who came down to the cave and removed many of the scrolls, which
they said were books of the Old Testament and other Hebrew works.
Thirty-seven caves in the Qumran were examined during 1952 and found to contain pottery; but
eleven of them also contained manuscript material, in large or small quantities. Cave II yielded biblical
and apocryphal fragments. In Cave III were 274 portions of manuscripts, and two copper scrolls which
originally were made up of three strips of copper, riveted together and measuring nearly eight feet in
length. But in Cave IV were found over four hundred manuscripts, and about a hundred thousand
fragments, varying in size from a thumbnail to a sheet of legal-size paper. Altogether, the remains of more
than 500 different manuscripts, or large portions of manuscripts, and multiplied thousands of fragments
were found in these eleven caves. About one-third of the manuscripts are books of the Old Testament,
the remainder are commentaries on some Old Testament books, Apocryphal and wisdom books, hymns
and psalms, liturgies, theological works, and works relating to the people who lived at Qumran and wrote
the scrolls. There are manuscripts or fragments of every book of the Old Testament, except Esther. The
most popular books, to judge from the number of copies found of each, were Isaiah, the Psalms,
Deuteronomy, and Genesis. These were written on rolls of leather which had been carefully ruled to guide
the scribes. A few were written on papyrus, and one on copper.
Some of the most important and best preserved of all these manuscripts were:
The scroll of Isaiah, known as St. Mark's Isaiah Scroll, which was written on seventeen sheets of
parchment sewn together end-to-end, making a scroll 24 feet long and 10.2 inches high. It is the largest
and best preserved of all the scrolls, and was written in an early form of the square letter, which according
to Dr. Albright places it in the second century B.C. This makes it the oldest known complete Hebrew
manuscript of any biblical book, and it agrees in almost every respect with our traditional Hebrew texts, as
used in the translation to the King James Version of our Bible.
Discoveries at Kirbet Mird: In 1950 members of the Ta'amireh Bedouin tribe found manuscript
material of great interest at Kirbet Mird, a ruined Christian monastery on top of a conical peak 2 miles
northeast of Mar Saba. A Belgian expedition made further searches there in February and March of 1953.
Altogether, these discoveries include papyrus fragments of private letters in Arabic, a fragment of the
Andromache of Euripides, and a number of Biblical texts in Greek and Syriac. The Greek texts include
fragments from Mark, John, and Acts. Those in Syriac include fragments of Joshua, Luke, John, Acts, and
Colossians. They all date from the 7th and 8th centuries of our Christian Era.
12 Foundation Stones—Class 6B
Prophets and People
Bible Knowledge, Part 2
Note
Along with this class you should receive the “Halfway-Through Self-Assessment Quiz”. Please complete the quiz
and send it back to us. Thank you!

Section 1: Fulfilled Prophecy About Jesus

¾ Born of a virgin
Nearly 750 years before Christ's birth, the Old Testament prophet Isaiah prophesied:
Isaiah 7:14—Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Immanuel.
Fulfillment: Mary was a virgin engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth, when the angel
appeared to her saying,
Luke 1:35—"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore,
also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."
Immanuel means "God with us," and that's who Jesus is when we receive Him; God is with us!

¾ Born in Bethlehem
Micah, prophesying in the eighth century B.C., predicted:
Micah 5:2—But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you
shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.
Fulfillment: The Gospel says Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea.
Matthew 2:1—Now after Jesus waWs born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king …

¾ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem


Around 450 B.C., the prophet Zechariah commanded the people by the Spirit of the Lord to:
Zechariah 9:9—Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is
coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Fulfillment: Five days before his crucifixion, Jesus returned to Jerusalem and told His disciples,
Matthew 21:2–10—"Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt
with her. Loose them and bring them to Me." (6) So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. (7)
They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. (9) Then the multitudes
who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who
comes in the name of the Lord!'"
Besides the fact that Jesus, riding into Jerusalem on an ass, fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah, another
outstanding aspect of this passage is that the same people who were shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David" when
He rode in, were five days later going to demand His crucifixion. It was like riding into your enemy's stronghold
and expecting a warm welcome! But that's what He did! He knew that the Scripture had to be fulfilled that the
people were going to shout when He rode in. He even said to some of the religious hypocrites, who were trying to
make the crowd keep quiet,
Luke 19:40—"I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."

¾ His betrayal
In 450 B.C., Zechariah also prophesied:
Zechariah 11:12–13—Then I said to them, "If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain." So
they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. (13) And the Lord said to me, "Throw it to the potter"— that
princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the
potter.
Fulfillment:
Matthew 26:14–15—Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests (15) and said, "What
are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
Matthew 27:3–7—Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought
back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. (5) Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the
temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. (6) But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, "It is
not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood." (7) And they consulted together and
bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.

¾ His crucifixion
About 1000 B.C., King David prophesied:
Psalm 22:16–18—For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced
My hands and My feet; (17) I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. (18) They divide My garments
among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.
(See also Zechariah 12:10; 13:6.)
Fulfillment: That was written by King David, who died a natural death (recorded in 1 Kings Chapter 1), so
he wasn't talking about himself. But being a prophet, he predicted the type of death that Christ would die! It says in
the New Testament:
John 19:23–24—Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus [pierced His hands and feet], took His
garments and made four parts, to each soldier a paWrt, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam,
woven from the top in one piece. (24) They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it,
whose it shall be."
Crucifixion was not practiced by the Jews of David's time (they used stoning), but David predicted this
type of death for the Messiah, a method of execution unknown to the Jews of his time—foretold 1000 years before
it happened!

¾ His burial
Isaiah 53:9—And they made His grave with the wicked— but with the rich at His death.
Fulfillment: Jesus died as a criminal ("with the wicked") in the eyes of the world, as there were
Matthew 27:38—Two robbers were crucified with Him.
And after His death—
Matthew 27:57–60—A rich man named Joseph went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. …When Joseph
had taken the body, he … laid it in his new tomb.
—a grave with the rich!

¾ His resurrection
Psalm 16:10—For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
The Hebrew word here sheol is sometimes translated "hell" (the place of eternal punishment) and other
times "grave" or the "unseen state." King David, who gave the prophecy, died and was buried and his flesh saw
corruption, but Jesus was raised from the grave and Hell three days after His death.
Acts 2:31—His soul was not left in Hades [the underworld of the dead], nor did His flesh see corruption.
As the angel said to the mourners who came to Jesus' tomb,
Luke 24:6,5—He is not here, but is risen! … Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Jesus is alive! The Scriptures show that He walked the earth for 40 days after His resurrection and was
seen by hundreds of followers!
Acts 1:3—To whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by
them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 15:4–6—He was buried ... He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, (5) ... He was
seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. (6) After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the
greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
He then ascended up to Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the throne of God, and from which He
shall soon return to take over the earth and rule it for a thousand years!
Mark 16:19—So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into Heaven, and sat down at the
right hand of God.
Now, of course, one of the arguments used against these prophecies is, "Well, the Church had almost total
control of the old manuscripts from which the Bible is translated and they just doctored up the Old Testament
prophecies so that they'd look like Jesus fulfilled them." This argument fell apart in 1947, when an Arab shepherd
boy in Palestine stumbled across a cave containing ancient scrolls of the Old Testament, all dated before 68 A.D.,
and some as early as 200 B.C.! The scrolls agreed in almost every respect with the traditional Hebrew texts used in
the translation of our Bible, containing the same prophecies word for word. (For more on this, see the section
"Dead Sea Scrolls" in the previous class.)
The other argument is that the New Testament was doctored up a little in order to make it appear that Jesus
fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. If that's so, how do you explain the following three prophecies and the now
historical events they describe?

¾ Exact year of His crucifixion


Daniel 9:25–26—Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build
Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built
again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. (26) And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not
for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it
shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.

Summary of the prophecy, given by Daniel around 530 B.C., and its fulfillment:
1. There would be a decree to rebuild Jerusalem.
2. Jerusalem and the Temple would be rebuilt.
3. Then an "anointed one" (Messiah) would arrive.
4. But the Messiah would be "cut off" (an idiom for rejected or killed; see Isaiah 53:8).
5. Then Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed again.

All of these historically recorded events later happened, in the same order in which they are described in Daniel
9:24–26:

1. The neo-Babylonian empire was conquered by the Persian empire about 2539 years ago. The Persians ruled a
vast empire that included the Jewish homeland (Israel). The Persian king Cyrus gave permission to the captive Jews
in Babylon to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the Temple. Then, about 2453 years ago (about 453 B.C.), the
Persian king Artaxerxes gave permission to the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem, which was still in ruins after having been
destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.
2. The Jews rebuilt the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.
3. Then, about 2000 years ago, Jesus entered Jerusalem as the Messiah that was promised by the Old
Testament prophets.
4. But, many of the people rejected Jesus as the Messiah and He was crucified and killed.
5. Then, about 40 years after Jesus was crucified, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. (The
Temple has not been rebuilt since then).

Let's look at the details of this amazing prophecy.

The commandment to "restore and build Jerusalem"—453 B.C.


In 453 B.C., Artaxerxes Longimanus, king of the Persians, commanded the Jews who remained in other
parts of the Persian Empire to return to the land of Israel "to restore and to build Jerusalem."

69 "weeks" or 69 x 7 = 483 years from the commandment to build Jerusalem until the "cutting off" of the Messiah
The prophecy of Daniel predicted that from the time of this commandment unto the Messiah the Prince
shall be—how long?—"seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks"—or 7 + 62 = 69 weeks.
The word that's translated "weeks" here in the Bible is the Hebrew word shabua which means "seven."
Therefore a little better, more literal translation would be "69 sevens," instead of "69 weeks." Taken literally, 69
"shabuas," or 69 sevens, would be 69 x 7, which equals 483.
In the book of Genesis, a week was symbolically used to represent Jacob's seven-year service for his wife
Rachel. His uncle told him,
Genesis 29:27—Fulfill her week, and we will give you this one also for the service which you will serve with me
still another seven years.

453 B.C. until 30 A. D.—the year of Jesus' crucifixion = 483 years!


69 sevens of years, or 483 years, were to pass between the going forth of the commandment to build
Jerusalem and the cutting off the Messiah.
Modern historians now date the birth of Jesus at 4 B.C. and His crucifixion or "cutting off" in 30 A.D.
(This is because of a miscalculation on the part of the Catholic monk, Dionysius ("Denis the Short"), who
in the sixth century devised our present Christian-centered calendar system without the use of the more precise
archaeological information we now have.)
So Jesus actually began His ministry at 30 years of age (Luke 3:23), in the year 27 A.D., and was crucified
three years later, in 30 A.D.
We know from history that the commandment went forth in 453 B.C., and Jesus was "cut off" in 30 A.D.
Therefore, if we add the 453 years B.C. to the 30 years A.D., it equals 483 years, the fulfillment of the 69 sevens or
483 years that Daniel predicted would transpire between the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the death of the
Messiah!
—And this was prophesied in the year 538 B.C.—almost 600 years before Jesus the Messiah was
crucified!

Why the prophecy is divided into two parts


Just as the prophecy divides the 69 weeks into two parts, one of seven weeks, and then 62 weeks, so there
were two events that were fulfilled in these two time periods.
1) The wall and the city were built in the first seven weeks or 49 years.
2) After that, there were still 62 weeks, or 62 sevens (434 years), before the crucifixion of Christ.

Daniel's prophecy continues with undeniable proof that this Messiah had to be Jesus...

¾ Destruction of Jerusalem after His coming


Daniel 9:26—And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the
prince who is to come shall destroy the city [of Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the temple].
This prophecy given in 540 B.C. shows that after the Messiah's death the city of Jerusalem and the Jews'
temple would be destroyed.
Fulfillment: After Jesus was cut off [crucified] in 30 A.D., not for Himself, but for the sins of the world, do
you know what happened to Jerusalem and to the Jews' temple? In 70 A.D., the Roman legions marched in and
burnt Jerusalem to the ground.

Section 2: Heroes with Clay Feet

¾ The people God uses!


Acts 14:15—And saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you,
and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the
earth, the sea, and all things that are in them."
The people we read about in the Bible, including the ones whom the Lord used to write the Bible, were
people just like us. They were men and women "with clay feet" who made mistakes and committed sins. The Lord
still used them, just as He can use any of us who open our lives to Him today.
God's Word portrays its heroes as they really were! It doesn't depict them as men who were perfect and
never made a mistake and supernatural and all that sort of thing, but they were just ordinary men like you and me.
They made their big mistakes just like you and I do, and if it weren't for God, why, they really would have been a
mess—just like you and I are without God!
In fact, one of the proofs that the Bible is a supernatural, miraculous book of God and not man, is that
when man writes history, much of the time he covers up the failings and mistakes of his heroes, whereas God lays
them out wide open there, the mistakes that they made and their sins!—And yet they repented and God forgave
them and they were restored and they were still useful in spite of it all, which gives all of us sinners hope.
Let's look at a few examples. We've chosen three characters who did great things for God, and we're giving
you one example each of how they failed.

¾ Moses
Moses lived around 1400 B.C. He led the Israelites out of their bondage as slaves in Egypt. Through Him,
God gave the Israelites the first five books of the Bible that contained the Law, a mixture of both civil and religious
ordinances, by which they were to be governed.
A mistake: When Moses was 40 years old, he got in a hurry to deliver the children of Israel and killed an
Egyptian. He had to flee for his life, and lived 40 years in the wilderness with the sheep and his father-in-law. It
was only after 40 years of patiently and humbly tending sheep in the wilderness, with time to listen to the Voice of
God instead of his own impulses, that he was ready for the slow, laborious, patient work of the Exodus to deliver
the Israelites from Egypt—slow, but sure!
Exodus 2:11–12,15—Now it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out to his brethren
and looked at their burdens. And he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. (12) So he looked
this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. (15) When
Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the
land of Midian.

Striking the rock


Another example is when Moses disobeyed and struck the rock twice in the energy of the flesh
rather than in the power of the Spirit.
The Children of Israel had left Egypt and were passing through the wilderness. The Lord had
already done miracles to supply them with water and food. On this occasion, again there was no water
and the people began to murmur. God directed Moses through to bring forth water out of the rock by
speaking to it.
Numbers 20:8—Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring
water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.
But instead Moses shouted angrily at the people,
Numbers 20:10–11—"Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?" Then
Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the
congregation and their animals drank.
The Lord was angry with Moses for having behaved in this very wrathful and impatient fashion
before the people in this display of a fit of anger and impatience with them in which he also acted almost
as though he were angry at the rock as well, which was a type of Christ, so that he smote it angrily twice
with his rod instead of just speaking to it. Well, it got the results that he wanted and needed and got the
water out of the rock to supply the people and their beasts with their needs, but God didn't like the way he
did it!
He did the right thing but in the wrong way, and God was so angry with him for this display of
temper (angry impatience is a sign of lack of perfect faith and rest in the Lord) that He punished Moses by
telling him,
Numbers 27:14—You rebelled against My command to hallow Me at the waters before their eyes.
(These are the waters of Meribah, at Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin.)
Numbers 20:12—Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of
Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.
Because he wasn't a better example of God's own patience with the people, therefore Moses was
only allowed to see the Promised Land from afar, from the top of a mountain, before he died.

¾ King David
David was the greatest king of ancient Israel and lived around 1000 B.C. Although a man of force and
faults who sinned greatly, the Bible says of him that he was a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 3:14). He wrote
many of the songs of praise that constitute the largest book of the Bible, the Book of Psalms.
A mistake:
Read all of 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12 (up to verse 25), or read the explanation below:
David fell in love with Bathsheba, a beautiful woman, who lived within the shadow of the walls of the
palace. Her husband Uriah, a heroic general, was battling in David's army. David saw Bathsheba taking a bath. He
stood up on the roof, breathing in the night air and taking a look at Bathsheba every now and then. The king fell in
love with Bathsheba. He eventually invited her to the palace where he made love to her and she conceived.
David then recalled her husband Uriah home from the battlefront with the feint of having him report how
the war went. Once he had heard the report, he told Uriah to go spend the night with his wife. He refused to do so.
He said, "My lord Joab and the men of Israel are sleeping in tents and on the ground. How can I go down and enjoy
my wife and my own home?" So instead, he slept out by David's gate.
This made David really angry, as he wanted Uriah to sleep with his wife so it would appear that he had
fathered the child. So he arranged with his top general Joab to have Uriah placed in the frontline of the battle and
then have his escort withdraw, so he would be killed—which he was! He sent Uriah to his death!
As God's punishment, the son born to David and Bathsheba got sick and died. But God allowed David to
marry Bathsheba, who became the queen. Then after they were married, their next child, Solomon, later became the
next king—one of the forerunners of Christ Himself!
It's a strange thing how the Lord let this happen. Perhaps, if Bathsheba was the one that God wanted for the
job (of being the mother of the next king), God could have done it some other way—without David committing
murder! But sad to say, that's the way it happened! The way David went about this was a very great sin in the sight
of the Lord!
The incident of David's sin brought Nathan the prophet to David's side. The prophet poured out upon him
such a scathing denunciation that David cried out: "I have sinned against the Lord!" (2 Samuel 12:13.) And so he
had!
David greatly repented. However, the Lord pronounced certain judgments upon him that would happen,
even in spite of his repentance: Their first child would die, the sword would never depart from his house, the
kingdom would be taken from his heirs, and it would be divided!
Psalm 51 is David's prayer of repentance on this occasion. King David is a great inspiration and comfort to
many of us, because if such a big sinner could be forgiven such big sins and the Lord still turned around and called
him a man after His own heart, then you know how great the love and mercy of the Lord is! Despite David's sins,
the Lord forgave him because he loved the Lord. He knew he was a sinner and he confessed it and he repented.

¾ Paul
Paul was the greatest evangelist and teacher of the early Christians. He was not one of those who
personally followed Jesus while He was on earth, but was, in fact, a persecutor of the early Christians after Jesus'
ascension. That changed when, while on a mission to arrest some Christians, he was temporarily blinded by a
brilliant light out of which Jesus spoke to him. After being blind for three days, his sight was restored after a
Christian prayed for him, and from that point on Paul became the dynamic leader of the early Christians. Aside
from tirelessly traveling to preach the Gospel and establishing Christian communities in many cities in the eastern
areas of the Roman empire, he also wrote many letters of instruction, 14 of which were incorporated into the New
Testament over 150 years later.
The Apostle Paul did not consider himself to have "attained."
Philippians 3:13–14—Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those
things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the
prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
A mistake:
Besides having been a vicious persecutor of the Christians before he got saved, Paul later curtailed his own
ministry by stubbornly going back to Jerusalem and trying to appease the religionists of his time. After being
warned not to by the Spirit, Paul returned to the temple at Jerusalem and was arrested. He spent most of his
remaining life in bonds until his final execution in Rome.
It certainly seems that it was a mistake when he went back to the temple. He went in spite of every warning
that God's prophets gave him not to go.
Acts 20:16—For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he
was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost.
Acts 20:22–23—[He told his friends:] "And see, now I go bound in the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the
things that will happen to me there, (23) except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and
tribulations await me."
Paul obviously disobeyed the checks of the Lord! God tried to stop him from going to Jerusalem. He even
got to one place where a prophet took his belt and tied his hands together and said, "If you go to Jerusalem, this is
what's going to happen to you!" God was warning him not to go, yet he went anyway.
Acts 21:10–12— And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. (11)
When he had come to us, he took Paul's belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, "Thus says the Holy Spirit,
‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'"
(12) Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to
Jerusalem.
In spite of all the warnings God gave Paul not to go he went anyway, and it didn't do anything but cause
him trouble.
The Lord used him anyway. He wrote a lot of letters and he got to witness to Caesar's household, and
perhaps it was of the Lord in order to get him to go to Rome. Maybe that's why the Lord let it happen, but it
certainly didn't do the Jews any good and it certainly didn't bring about any peace with the Temple or the religious
leaders. So it was just a matter of God using Paul's mistake for His glory; it didn't vindicate or justify Paul in what
he did.
The Lord did use him, but how much more might he have accomplished if he had not been imprisoned.
Compare this with the time he did act more wisely (for example, his preaching in Athens, see Acts 17:16–34).

¾ Learning from our mistakes


One important point to note is that we only make progress if we learn from our mistakes. Not all of God's
people have learned from their mistakes and therefore they didn't make the progress He was hoping they would!
Mistakes are useful tools for learning, but only if we learn from them.
„ Within reach!
Some people make characters in the Bible sound so far above and beyond us that they seem unrelatable to
our present existence.—But the Lord wants us to realize how human they were and how much like us they were.
We've pointed out a few of their mistakes to show you that even the greatest heroes were not perfect!
It's important to bring some of these characters down closer to our level where we can see there is hope for
us. If those in the Bible could serve the Lord, despite their weaknesses and character flaws and mistakes, so can we!

„ The Lord is not going to expect more of you than you're able to bear.
He's not going to ask more of you than what you are capable of, and what He asks of you He will give you
the strength for.—And even when you fail, as long as you ask His forgiveness, He will forgive you and help you up
and help you try again.
1 Corinthians 10:13—No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of
escape, that you may be able to bear it.
Philippians 4:13—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Proverbs 24:16—For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again.
Daniel 11:34a—Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help.
Isaiah 41:10—Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will
help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

„ The Lord has shown us that anyone who accepts Him, and wants to serve Him, He accepts.
Jesus walked those dusty roads and talked to the simple fishermen and the tax collectors, prostitutes and
drunks, as well as the influential and the educated, in order to show them that God loved them all and they could all
love God, they could all love each other and serve each other and serve the world with the Gospel.
He came to try to make it as easy as He could!
—And that's why the religious leaders of His day wanted to crucify Him, because they taught the people
that you couldn't get close to God without them and without following all of their religious laws.
But that's not what Jesus preached! The only standards and requirements He has given us are contained in
the Law of Love: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart … and your neighbor as yourself"
(Matthew 22:37,39).

Conclusion
All the Bible knowledge without love in action will be nothing. Knowing the Bible backwards and
forwards is not going to help us if we're not living it and applying it. Lord help us all to apply what we read, to be
doers of the Word, not hearers only.—And Lord help us all never to be discouraged by our limitations or failures,
remembering the sample of God's people of years gone by, and how they, too, fell and made mistakes, yet because
of their love for the Lord He could keep on using them. Help us to follow that example, of love and dedication of
the heart.
THE YEAR OF THE CRUCIFIXION
In 630 B.C., Daniel predicted there would be 483 years (69 “sevens” ) from the decree
to rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah would be “cut off” (rejected or killed). History tells
us that there were precisely 483 years between these two events!
Daniel 9:25—Know therefore and
understand, that from the going forth of the HISTORICAL FULFILMENT
command to restore and build Jerusalem until
Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks
and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built 453 Artaxerxes Longimanus, king of the Persians, gives decree
again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. commanding the Jews to “restore and build Jerusalem”
B.C.
WHY THE 69 WEEKS = 483 YEARS
483 years between the two
“Week” was translated from the
events:
Hebrew word shabua which means
“seven.”
453 years B.C.
+ 30 years A.D.
Because 1 “week” = 7 years
———————
Therefore:
483 years
69 “sevens” means
69 x 7 years = 483 years

Daniel 9:26a—And after the sixty-two weeks


Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; 30 Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D.
and the people of the prince who is to come shall In 70 A.D., Jerusalem was destroyed by the
destroy the city and the sanctuary. A.D. Roman armies of General Titus
Halfway-Through Self-Assessment
 How are your spiritual habits developing? In general: ________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

(Yes/No)

  Do you read something from God’s Word daily?

  Have you been reading through any of the Gospels?

  Do you have Quiet Time with the Lord daily?

  Have you memorized Scriptures?

  Have you reviewed the verses you’ve memorized?

  Have you been taking time to praise the Lord each day?

  Have you been making prayer a habit?

  Do you pray before you go somewhere?

  Have you told anyone about Jesus or given out any tracts?

  Do you stop and ask the Lord for guidance?

 How much do you remember from the classes?

 Give three reasons for reading the Word. __________________________________________________________


______________________________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________________________

 Give two reasons for memorizing. __________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Which book of the Bible tells the history of how the Early Church was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach the
Gospel? __________________________________________________________________________________________

 What is the main purpose of the Holy Ghost?_________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Name three of the gifts of the Spirit. ________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 “Prayer is a two-way conversation.” True or false? ____________________________________________________

 Give an example of one verse that is a “promise” that you can claim when praying. __________________________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 What is the key verse that tells us that the gift of prophecy will be poured out in the last days? ______________
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Jesus said we could judge a prophet by his ____________. (The answer is in Matthew 7:20.)

 What is the Golden Rule? ________________________________________________________________________

 What two commandments did Jesus say are most important? __________________________________________

 How many books are there in the Bible?_____________________________________________________________

Halfway-Through Self-Assessment

Teacher's_Supplement.indd 102 1/10/2004, 3:45:03 PM


12 Foundation Stones—Class 7A
Daniel Two
—A Picture of Past and Future
Bible Prophecy, Part 1
Bible Study on Daniel 2
Part of this is fulfilled; part is yet to happen. Knowing that parts of the prophecies in this chapter have been
fulfilled increases our faith and expectation that just as surely, the rest will come to pass! Let's see what is yet to
happen!

¾ The prophet Daniel


Daniel was born sometime around 620 B.C., and he was therefore already a teenager when
Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem for the first time in early 605 B.C. Daniel, along with other Jews of royal
blood, was taken captive and brought to Babylon.
Daniel 1:1–3, 6—In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon
came to Jerusalem and besieged it. (2) And the Lord gaSve Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of
the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought
the articles into the treasure house of his god. (3) Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to
bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles. (6) Now from
among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. [The names of Daniel's
companions were later changed to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.]
There he spent three years studying "the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans."—Daniel 1:4. He and
his three friends were made wise men and counselors of the king.
Daniel 1:19–20—Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah,
Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. (20) And in all matters of wisdom and understanding
about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who
were in all his realm.
Daniel lived at least 72 years in Babylon and his life there extended from the first year of the reign of
Nebuchadnezzar through the reigns of the succeeding five Babylonian kings, past the Fall of Babylon into the
Persian Empire, through the governorship of Darius the Mede and the first three years of Cyrus the Persian.
Daniel 10:1—In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was
called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long; and he understood the message, and
had understanding of the vision.

¾ Daniel chapter 2
Daniel Chapter 2 is the briefest and most concise overall picture of the history and future of the world in
the entire Bible. The prophetic dream in this chapter describes five of the seven great empires of man from ancient
Babylon to the final World Empire of the Antichrist, which is destroyed by the Kingdom of God. This dream was
originally given to Nebuchadnezzar and was interpreted for him by Daniel during his reign.
Daniel 2:1—Now in the second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was
so troubled that his sleep left him.
The second year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign was approximately 603 B.C.

¾ The Dream
Daniel 2:2–5—Then the king gave the command to call the magicians, the astrologers, the sorcerers, and the
Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king. (3) And the king said to them, "I
have had a dream, and my spirit is anxious to know the dream." (4) Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in
Aramaic, "O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will give the interpretation." (5) The king
answered and said to the Chaldeans, "My decision is firm: if you do not make known the dream to me, and its
interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made an ash heap."
The king knew that it was a very important dream.
Daniel 2:6–13—"However, if you tell the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive from me gifts, rewards,
and great honor. Therefore tell me the dream and its interpretation." (7) They answered again and said, "Let the
king tell his servants the dream, and we will give its interpretation." (8) The king answered and said, "I know for
certain that you would gain time, because you see that my decision is firm: (9) if you do not make known the
dream to me, there is only one decree for you! For you have agreed to speak lying and corrupt words before me
till the time has changed. Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can give me its interpretation."
(10) The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, "There is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter;
therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean. (11) It is a
difficult thing that the king requests, and there is no other who can tell it to the king except the gods, whose
dwelling is not with flesh." (12) For this reason the king was angry and very furious, and gave a command to
destroy all the wise men of Babylon. (13) So the decree went out, and they began killing the wise men; and they
sought Daniel and his companions, to kill them.
God's prophet Daniel was a captive in Babylon at the time this decree was made and was serving with
some fellow Jews as one of the king's wise men.
Daniel 2:14–15—Then with counsel and wisdom Daniel answered Arioch, the captain of the king's guard, who
had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon; (15) he answered and said to Arioch the king's captain, "Why is the
decree from the king so urgent?" Then Arioch made the decision known to Daniel.
Daniel 2:16–18—Then Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would give him time, and that he would
shew the king the interpretation. (17) Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah,
Mishael, and Azariah, his companions: (18) That they would desire mercies of the God of Heaven concerning this
secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Imagine how Daniel must have prayed and cried out desperately to God! He didn't know what to do; he
didn't know the answer! How in the world could he possibly tell the king his dream, how could he interpret it, when
he didn't even know the dream?—He prayed!
Daniel 2:19—Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. So Daniel blessed the God of Heaven.
Daniel 2:20–23—Daniel answered and said: "Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and
might are His. (21) And He changes the times and the seasons; he removes kings and raises up kings; he gives
wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. (22) He reveals deep and secret things; he
knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him. (23) I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made
known to us the king's demand."
Daniel 2:24–28—Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of
Babylon. He went and said thus to him: "Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; take me before the king, and I
will tell the king the interpretation." (25) Then Arioch brought Daniel before the king, and said thus to him, "I
have found a man of the captives of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation." (26) The king
answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Are you able to make known to me the dream which
I have seen, and its interpretation?" (27) Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, "The secret which
the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the
king. (28) But there is a God in Heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar
what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these."
God alone is the One Who could reveal the king's dream and its interpretation to His prophet.
Daniel was faithful to give God all the credit and all the glory!
Daniel 2:29–30—As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass
hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. (30) But as for me, this
secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make
known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.

¾ The Image
L Use the (ideally enlarged) Teacher's Aid "Image of Daniel 2" (found in the Study Notes book) to help explain the
following.
Daniel 2:31—You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was
excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome.
Here now begins the description of one of the most amazingly prophetic dreams ever given to man! In this
astonishing vision, each of the different parts of this "great and awesome" image symbolizes a different empire.
Daniel 2:32–33—This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
(33) its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Looking closer, we see that each major section of this image's body is made of a different metal:
"Head of gold"—we'll look at the interpretation in verse 38.
"Chest and arms of silver"—we'll find the interpretation in verse 39.
"Belly and thighs of bronze"—interpretation comes in verse 39. [Bronze is translated as "brass" in the King
James Version.]
"Legs of iron"— interpretation in verse 40.
"Feet part of iron and part of clay"— interpretation in verses 41–43.
Daniel 2:34—You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron
and clay, and broke them in pieces.
"The Stone"—interpretation in verse 44.
This stone was not part of the image but was "cut out of a mountain." We'll look at this more in verses 44
and 45. This great stone struck the image upon its feet. The reason it struck the image on the feet and not on the
head, was because God wanted to show at what point in history the kingdoms of man would be destroyed!—In the
days of the feet.
Daniel 2:35—Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like
chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the
stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
In the days of these ten toes, the stone will strike the image and the image will be turned to powder, "like
chaff." That will be the world's last big dust storm, when God crushes the image and blows it all away! (See
interpretation in verses 44 and 45.)

¾ The head of gold = Babylon


Daniel 2:36–38—This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. (37) You, O king,
are a king of kings. For the God of Heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; (38) and
wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into
your hand, and has made you ruler over them all— you are this head of gold.
According to God's Word, the great kingdom of Babylon, the "golden city" of ancient times, with its great
King Nebuchadnezzar, was the head of gold. He was the first part of the image. Babylon was also represented in
other verses by gold:
Isaiah 14:4—That you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: "How the oppressor has
ceased, the golden city ceased!"
Nebuchadnezzar later proclaimed God as the most high God above all other Gods, and he commanded all
of his people to reverence the Lord.
Daniel 2:47—The king answered Daniel, and said, "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a
revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret."
Daniel 3:29—Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss
against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an
ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.
Daniel 4:37a—Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven, all of whose works are
truth, and His ways justice.

¾ The chest and arms of silver = Medo-Persia


Daniel 2:39a—But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours …
Daniel 2:32—… its chest and arms of silver …
Since the head is definitely pinpointed as Babylon, all we have to do in order to find out what this next
kingdom was is to look at history to see which kingdom arose after Babylon. According to world history, the
kingdom of Medo-Persia followed Babylon, conquering it in 538 B.C.
It is even specifically named later on in Daniel 5:30–31, as being the kingdom that conquered Babylon.
Daniel 5:30–31—That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. (31) And Darius the Mede
received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.
Also, the prophet Jeremiah, about 55 years earlier in 593 B.C., had prophesied that the Medes would
conquer Babylon.
Jeremiah 51:11, 28—Make the arrows bright! Gather the shields! The Lord has raised up the spirit of the kings
of the Medes. For His plan is against Babylon to destroy it, because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance
for His temple. (28) Prepare against her the nations, with the kings of the Medes, its governors and all its rulers,
all the land of his dominion.
The kingdom of Persia is depicted here by two arms. The Medes were the first nation to be incorporated
into the Persian Empire. Previous to Cyrus, the Medes had dominated the Persians, but Cyrus beat the Median king
at the Battle of Persepolis. Afterwards, many Medes held important places in the Persian Empire.

Historical Notes
(Based on information from the Microsoft Encarta encyclopedia.)
Media, an ancient country of Asia, corresponds to the northeastern section of present-day Iran.
The inhabitants, who were known as Medes, and their neighbors, the Persians, spoke Indo-Iranian
languages that were closely related to Old Persian.
Beginning about 835 B.C. the Median tribes became subject intermittently to the kings of Assyria.
In 625 Median king Cyaxares (625–585 B.C.) drove the Scythians out of Media and imposed his
rule over the Persians. He attacked the Assyrians next and captured (614 B.C.) the city of Ashur. In 612,
in alliance with the newly independent kingdom of Babylonia, he captured the city of Nineveh and
overthrew the Assyrian Empire. He chose as his capital the city of Ecbatana (present-day Hamadan,
Iran).
In about 550 B.C., the Persians, under Cyrus the Great, revolted against a later Median king
Astyages (r. about 584-c. 550 B.C.). Joined by a portion of the Median army under a chief named
Harpagus, they took Ecbatana and deposed the Median king. From that time Media was politically
subservient to Persia; the Persians, however, regarded the Medes as equals, and thenceforth the two
peoples were considered as one.

More on Medo-Persia
Medo-Persia is specifically named in a later chapter, the "Mene Mene" handwriting on the wall
vision of Daniel 5:18–31, as being the kingdom that conquered Babylon.—See Daniel 5:18–31.
Notice also the remarkable symbolism in the image: The dual kingdom of Medo-Persia is depicted
here by two arms. Persia was the stronger of the two, just as in the body one arm is usually stronger than
the other!

¾ The belly of bronze = Greece


Daniel 2:39b—… another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.
We know from history that this third kingdom of bronze, the one to follow Persia, was the Grecian Empire.
In a later chapter Daniel specifically prophesies that Greece will be the conqueror of Medo-Persia. In this
passage in Daniel chapter 8, nations are symbolized as animals. Greece is pictured as a "male goat." The "horn" is
its prominent leader.
Daniel 8:21–22—And the male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between its eyes is the first
king. (22) As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that
nation, but not with its power.
This was fulfilled in 333 B.C., 219 years after the prophecy was given, when Alexander the Great led the
Greek army in conquering the Persian Empire. Following the death of Alexander, the Greek Empire was divided
between its four principal generals—"four kingdoms shall arise."

Historical notes
Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.), king of Macedonia, is known as the conqueror of the Persian
Empire. He began his war against Persia in the spring of 334 B.C.. During the next ten years, his
conquests extended Greek influence as well as the Greek civilization and language throughout a
Macedonian empire that ranged as far east as northern India and as far south and west as Egypt.
Alexander's army defeated the Persians under the leadership of King Darius in the Battle of
Guagamela on October 1, 331 B.C. Darius fled and was later slain by two of his own generals. Babylon
surrendered after Gaugamela.
Alexander arrived in Babylon in the spring of 323 B.C. In June he contracted a fever and died.
Following the death of Alexander, the Macedonian generals began to partition his vast empire among
themselves. The disagreements arising from this division resulted in a series of wars from 322 to 275
B.C., many of which took place in Greece.
The symbolism of the Greek Empire as a belly was appropriate for a few reasons. The Greeks were
known for being uninhibited about sex, and made nude statues of the human body that left the sexual
organs uncovered.—It was therefore fitting that they were also symbolized by the thighs and sexual parts
in the image.
The Greeks were also interested in philosophy, religion, and spiritual things.

The seat of the spirit.


It is held by many religions that the seat of the spirit is in the belly. As Jesus Himself said, John
7:38–39—"Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit.
The word "heart" in this verse is from the Greek koilia which means a cavity, especially the
abdomen. It stands metaphorically for the innermost part of man, the soul, the heart. Thus the term
"heart" used in this translation is figurative. In the King James Version it is translated as "belly."

¾ The legs of iron = Rome


Daniel 2:40—And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters
everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
Since we already have the fulfillment of actual history, we know that this fourth kingdom was Rome.
Rome was the tough, iron-fisted kingdom, which clamped down with iron military rule over the entire known
(Western) world in the days before Christ.
Rome is symbolized here by two legs of iron: Was Rome ever divided into two parts? Yes! It was often
administered governmentally as two different halves, the Western and Eastern regions, and in its decline it was
completely divided into an Eastern and Western Empire. The Western Empire had its capital at Rome, and the
Eastern Empire, later called the Byzantine Empire, had its capital at Constantinople.
Italy, which was the heart of the Roman Empire, is even shaped like a leg!
Rome was the strongest of all these kingdoms. That's why it is symbolized here by iron. And why was
Rome not only the strongest, like iron, but also like a pair of legs? Because they were great on marching! They
were the first World Empire to build a network of paved roads. They built stone highways everywhere and the main
purpose of their paved roads was so their Roman legions could march rapidly to quell any revolt that would break
out.
What's the longest part of the image?—The legs! And of all those empires—Babylon, Medo-Persia,
Greece, and Rome—which of those empires ruled the longest?—Rome! In fact Constantinople, the capital of the
Byzantine Empire, was only finally conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 A.D., about 1700 years after Rome
had conquered Greece.

¾ The feet and toes = strong and weak governments of the Endtime
Daniel 2:41— Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be
divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.
The iron which continues from the legs down into the feet and toes of the image is sort of a continuation of
the Roman Empire. After its fall, Rome was broken up into the "iron" and "clay" countries of the feet and toes.
These represent the basic types of governments the world has known since the fall of Rome: Strong and weak
governments; dictatorships and democracies.
"The kingdom shall be divided." Since the fall of Rome there has been division amongst the nations, with
no one power completely dominant, though some—like Napoleon and Hitler—have tried. At times, equally
powerful "empires" have existed simultaneously, such as the British, French, Spanish, etc., but no one nation has
ruled over all of the world's people since the Romans.
Daniel 2:42—And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly
strong and partly fragile.
"The kingdom shall be partly strong"—iron—"and partly fragile"—clay.
Daniel 2:43—As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not
adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
They "will not adhere one to another." This is seen in the political alliances of the nations in today's world.
However, the soon-to-arise empire of the Devil-possessed dictator known as the Antichrist (which we will
cover in detail in a later class), will for a very brief period, unite all of these iron and clay nations, ruling the world
in some kind of One World Order. Many Bible teachers have said that "the Kingdom," the Antichrist World
Empire, will be a revival of the old Roman Empire. The nations represented by the 10 toes will be united under the
Antichrist, and although the kingdom will be a mixture of iron and clay, he is going to unite them all with his iron
hand.

¾ The Rock = Jesus/The Mountain = The Kingdom of God


The stone was cut out of a mountain completely separate from the image. Other passages also refer to
Jesus as a stone.
Matthew 21:42–44—Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders
rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? (43)
Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
(44) And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."
1 Peter 2:6—Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect,
precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."
"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner"—of this new Kingdom of
God!
Daniel 2:44—And in the days of these kings the God of Heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be
destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these
kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

The stone that "struck the image" (Daniel 2:34) is Jesus, and this "great mountain" that "filled the whole earth"
(Daniel 2:35) is none other than the Millennial Kingdom of God, Christ's Kingdom on Earth!
Micah 4:1–3—Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be
established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. (2) Many
nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of
Jacob; he will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the
word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (3) He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword
against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Christ will set up His Kingdom on Earth, in the Millennium at the end of the Battle of Armageddon
(Revelation 19:11–21).
Revelation 19:11, 19–21—Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was
called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. (19) And I saw the beast, the kings of
the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His
army. (20) Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by
which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were
cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. (21) And the rest were killed with the sword which
proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
This stone smashes the image by force and destroys it and leaves nothing of it! It says the wind carried
away the image (man's governments) "as chaff."
Isaiah 17:13—The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; but God will rebuke them and they will flee
far away, and be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
Notice the return of Jesus was not in the legs (Rome), but on the feet, "in the days of these kings" at the
very end of man's governments.
"These kings": Other passages mention there being 10 kingdoms (nations) that align themselves with the
Antichrist to form the core of his empire. We will look at that subject in later classes.
God's Kingdom will then "fill the whole earth."

¾ World history in a nutshell


Daniel 2:45—Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in
pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will
come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.
This image represents a historical sequence of the great empires of man.
"The interpretation thereof is sure." We know exactly what's going to happen!
Daniel 2:46–48—Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, prostrate before Daniel, and commanded that they
should present an offering and incense to him. (47) The king answered Daniel, and said, "Truly your God is the
God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret." (48) Then the king
promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts; and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and
chief administrator over all the wise men of Babylon.
God revealed to Daniel the dream Nebuchadnezzar had forgotten, and then gave Daniel the interpretation
of the king's dream. Daniel advised the king wisely, so the king made him the highest ranking man in the kingdom,
aside from himself.

¾ Where are we now?


We believe that today we are living in the time of the feet.
From the symbolism of the feet we know that the final Antichrist Empire will be a very strange type of
government. It will be a mixture of these iron and clay nations, ruling the world in some kind of federation of
nations. There are all kinds of theories about this, ranging from it being the United Nations to the European Union.
There are also many Bible passages that tell us what happens before, during, and after the time that the
"stone hits the image" and Jesus sets up His Kingdom. We'll look at these in detail in our next class.
The Image of Daniel Chapter 2
The Image: Daniel 2:31–33
“Nebuchadnezzar had
dreams…
The secret was revealed to The head of gold =
Daniel… Nebuchadnezzar, king
of Babylon
[God] made known what
will be in the latter days.” (verses 36–38)
(Daniel 2:1, 19, 28)
Chest and arms of
silver = Medo-Persia
(verse 32; Daniel 5:
30–31)

The Rock Belly of bronze =


destroys the Greece
Image: Daniel 2: (Daniel 2:39; 8:21–22)
34–35

Legs of iron = Rome


(Daniel 2:40)

The Rock = Jesus


Feet and toes =
(Matthew 21:42–44)
Strong and weak
governments of the
Endtime
The mountain fills the earth (Daniel 2:41–43)
= The Kingdom of God
(Daniel 2:44; Micah 4:1)
12 Foundation Stones—Class 8A
The Love of Jesus
The Greatest Love, Part 1
Section 1: Getting to know Jesus
¾ The gift of getting to know Jesus
The story is told by the Persians of the great Shah Abbas, who reigned magnificently in Persia, but loved to
mingle with the people in disguise. Once, dressed as a poor man, he descended the long flight of stairs, dark and
damp, to the tiny cellar where the fire man, seated on ashes, was tending the furnace.
The king sat down beside him and began to talk. At mealtime the fire man produced some coarse, black
bread and a jug of water and they ate and drank together. The Shah went away, but returned again and again, for his
heart was filled with sympathy for the lonely man. He gave him sweet counsel, and the poor man opened his whole
heart and loved this friend, so kind, so wise, and yet poor like himself.
At last the emperor thought, ‘I will tell him who I am, and see what gift he will ask.' So he said, ‘You think
me poor, but I am Shah Abbas your emperor.' He expected a petition for some great thing, but the man sat silent,
gazing on him with love and wonder. Then the king said. ‘Haven't you understood? I can make you rich and noble,
can give you a city, can appoint you as a great ruler. Have you nothing to ask?'
The man replied gently, ‘Yes, my lord, I understood. But what is this you have done, to leave your palace
and glory, to sit with me in this dark place, to partake of my coarse fare, to care whether my heart is glad or sorry?
Even you can give nothing more precious. On others you may bestow rich presents, but to me you have given
yourself; it only remains to ask that you never withdraw this gift of your friendship.'
Mark 10:45—For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for
many.
Galatians 2:20—I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life
which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Ephesians 5:2—Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to
God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Section 2: God's Great Love for You


¾ Introduction
The really important thing to know and realize is that Jesus understands what we go through, and He loves
us and wants to help us. He promises to always be with us. His love is so great that He died an agonizing death on
the cross for us. His love is so great that He hasn't expected any one of us to earn our salvation, but He gives it to us
as a great gift. No matter what mistakes and sins we've committed, as we bathe in the ocean of His love, we receive
forgiveness. We can receive His blessings, all the goodness that He offers to us freely.
We're going to spend a few minutes now talking about the Lord's love for us. We hope these readings will
bring the reality of the Lord's presence closer to you, that you will feel His great love for you personally and He
will wash away anything that is troubling you.
Romans 8:35–39—Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we
are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." (37) Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him
who loved us. (38) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor
things present nor things to come, (39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate
us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jude 1:21—Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Ephesians 3:19—To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness
of God.

¾ Jesus calls us His friends


John 15:14–15—You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (15) No longer do I call you servants,
for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from
My Father I have made known to you.
James 2:23b—"Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the
friend of God.
Luke 12:4a—And I say to you, My friends…
Hosea 2:23b—I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!' And they shall say, ‘You are my
God!'

Jesus wants to be close to you


Jesus really cares about you and He wants you to be happy. When you're lonely and sad, He sees
and He feels and He knows. He's always right there, just waiting to be your Best Friend. He's lonely
sometimes, too, because He wants to be with you more. He wants to understand you, to listen to you, and
to give you answers. You might think you're not very important and wonder why Jesus would want to
spend time with you, but that's not the way He sees it. He's your Friend. He wants to talk to you. He wants
to listen to you, and He wants you to listen to Him. He's always there; He never goes away. Jesus, your
wonderful Best Friend, is always there for you, so don't forget it.

¾ Jesus loves each of us personally, and cares about us as individuals


Luke 12:7a—The very hairs of your head are all numbered.
John 10:2–3—But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. (3) To him the doorkeeper opens, and
the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
Isaiah 43:1b—"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine."
He loves each one of us, as though there were no one else to love. He died for each one of us, as if there
were no one else to die for. He calls us by our names, for He cares for each of us as individuals.

Don't be afraid, Papa is here!


A husband had been happily married for a handful of years. He dearly loved his beautiful wife and
their sweet little daughter. Sudden sorrow struck the home when the young wife was killed in a traffic
accident, and it seemed that all of the light had gone out of his life forever. The night after the funeral, the
young father was putting his three-year-old daughter to bed, and with awkward fingers was buttoning her
sleeping garment when the lights suddenly went out all over the house. He suspected that a fuse had
blown out in the basement, and said to the little child, "Papa will be right back; you lie still and wait here."
But she, frightened at the thought of being left alone, pleaded to be taken with him, so he picked
her up in his arms and started through the darkened hallways and down the stairs. The child snuggled in
his arms for a while in silence; but as they entered the basement she tightened her arms about his neck,
and said, "It's awfully dark; but I'm not afraid, because my papa is here!"
A sob shook the man's whole body. He buried his face in the baby's hair and wept, as he said,
"Yes, dear, it is dark, indeed; but I also am not afraid, because my Father is here!"
"I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5b).

How the grapes are ripened


Galileo, the pioneer Italian astronomer, is best remembered for his work based on the theory of
Copernicus, that the sun, rather than the earth, is the center of our universe. He was also the first man to
use a telescope to study the skies.
One day someone asked him how he could reconcile the vastness of the universe with the idea of
the care of God for every one of His creatures. His reply bears thinking about, especially as on first
reading, it doesn't even seem to be an answer to the question asked. He said: "The sun, which has all
those planets revolving around it, is able to ripen the smallest bunch of grapes as though it had nothing
else to do in the universe."

¾ He holds our hand. He holds us in His arms. He is always with us!


Psalm 139:7–10—Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? (8) If I ascend into
Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Hell, behold, You are there. (9) If I take the wings of the morning, and
dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, (10) even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold
me.
Isaiah 41:13—For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.'
Isaiah 42:6a—I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You…
Matthew 18:20—For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
You'll never walk alone if you have Jesus in your heart and your hand in His! If you have Jesus, you
always have company and love. No matter where you are, you are in His hands and He'll take care of you. Jesus is
the one possession you'll never have to give up, never have to leave behind, never lose. You can give Him away as
much as you like but you'll always have Him with you. He'll always be near.
Footprints in the sand
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across
the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one
belonging to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He
noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that
it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, You said that once I decided
to follow You, You'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times
in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed You most, You would
leave me."
The Lord replied, "My son, My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your
times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

¾ Jesus hears our cries and answers our prayers


Exodus 22:27b—And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious.
2 Samuel 22:7—In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His
temple, and my cry entered His ears.
Psalm 4:3—But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to
Him.
Psalm 55:17—Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.
Psalm 66:19—But certainly God has heard me; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
Psalm 102:19–20 —For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from Heaven the Lord viewed the
earth, (20) to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death.
Psalm 145:19—He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; he also will hear their cry and save them.
Isaiah 65:24—It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will
hear.

¾ The Lord not only listens, but talks to us too—a faithful Counselor
Proverbs 8:17—I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently will find Me.
Psalm 85:8a—I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace to His people and to His saints.
We have a dear Friend who is always ready to listen to what we have to say—and not only listen; He is
eager to speak to us in return.

God's life-saving intervention


Peter Marshall (chaplain to the U.S. Senate for a number of years), in his youth, spent a summer
working in the English village of Bamburgh, sixteen miles southeast of the Scottish border. One very dark
night as he was walking back to Bamburgh from a nearby village, he decided to take a shortcut. He knew
that there was a deep, deserted limestone quarry in the area, but he thought he could avoid the danger
spot. So he struck out across the moors. The night was starless and inky black, and the sound of the wind
seemed to give it an eerie quality.
Suddenly he heard someone call, "Peter!" The voice was urgent.
He stopped. "Yes, who is it? What do you want?"
For a second he listened, but there was only the sound of the wind. Thinking he must have been
mistaken, he walked on a few paces. Then he heard it again, even more urgent: "Peter!"
This time he stopped dead still and tried to peer into the impenetrable blackness, and suddenly he
stumbled, falling to his knees. He put out his hand to catch himself, but there was nothing there.
Cautiously he felt around in a semicircle and found that he was on the very brink of the abandoned stone
quarry. Just one more step would have sent him plummeting to his death!
Peter Marshall never forgot that voice. And there was never any doubt in his mind about the
source of it.

The Pencil
By Mrs. Theo Hill
It was a cold midwinter day in South Carolina, but I was busy—and warm—inside the house I had
lived in alone for the past 15 years. I needed some wrapping paper, so I pulled down the folding stairs
and started climbing to the attic. I was 81 at the time, and the moment the frigid attic air hit me, I knew I
should have put on a coat. Oh well, I'd hurry.
To keep the warm air downstairs, I shut the door to the attic storage room behind me. I heard a
click. I knew immediately that I was locked in. The door had no knob; I'd taken it off to replace one
downstairs. And there was no one else in the house.
The cold penetrated my bones. I wrapped myself in a blanket to stop my shaking and looked out
the attic window. No neighbors in sight. Anyway, the window was stuck shut from years of disuse.
An hour passed ... then another. "Dear Lord, please send my children to help me." I knew this
prayer was unrealistic. None of my four children was due to visit.
At my feet sat a yellowed and dusty pile of my son Billy's school papers. On top of them lay an old
pencil. I picked it up, thinking of the hours it had spent in Billy's hand.
Once again I prayed for help. Immediately, as clear as any words I've ever heard, a question came
to me, "What is that in thy hand?"
I looked at the pencil, my glance falling not on the leaded end, but on the metal end that had once
held an eraser. It was now flattened, no doubt by my Billy's biting down as he sought to unlock a math
problem.
I went to the door and inserted the end of the pencil into the keyhole. The lock turned. The door
opened.

¾ He carries our burdens


Nehemiah 4:20b—Our God will fight for us.
Isaiah 41:17—The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will
hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
Luke 5:15—However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together
to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.
Matthew 11:28–30—Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take My
yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30)
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

A testimony of what happens when we keep holding tight to Jesus!


From Joyce, Philippines
One very hot day, my son and I stepped into a shop to buy some bottled drinking water, and he
handed the saleslady a copy of our To You!—With Love tract.
"Does God love me?" she asked glumly.
"Yes, He does!" we answered. "Whatever our troubles may be, no matter how heavy our burdens
may be, God loves us! He loves us so much, in fact, that He sent Jesus to help us. During our most
difficult times, Jesus carries us and holds us tight. It's we who sometimes let go of Him."
At that, the saleslady, who turned out to also be the owner of the shop, began to explain her
problems. Her husband had passed away recently, and she was left with a lot of debts. On top of that,
she had just received notice from municipal hall that all the shops in that area were going to be
demolished. "What am I to do?" she asked. "This shop is my only source of income."
By the time we finished our conversation, she had decided to plead her cause to the mayor's
office. We prayed for her, bid her farewell, and parted with these words: "Keep holding tight to Jesus!
Whatever happens, don't let go!"
Five days later we dropped by to say hello and see how she was doing. As soon as she saw us,
she lit up and excused herself from the customers she was with. "The Lord answered your prayer!" she
told us excitedly. "I can keep my shop! The first official I talked to said he couldn't do anything, but the
words, `Keep holding tight to Jesus,' kept ringing in my ears. This renewed my determination. I appealed
to higher authorities, and my request was granted!"

¾ He comforts us
Isaiah 30:19b—You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He
hears it, He will answer you.
Psalm 119:50—This is my comfort in my affliction, for Your word has given me life.
Isaiah 40:1—"Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" says your God.
Isaiah 66:13a—As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.
Matthew 9:22—But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, "Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith
has made you well." And the woman was made well from that hour.
2 Corinthians 1:4—Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any
trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
John 14:1—Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

Praying at her side


By Sam Nix
Here in South Korea, I recently met Ms. Kyong Cha Lee, a woman who had suffered a terrible loss.
Ms. Lee's house, like many older homes in Korea, is heated by large charcoal briquettes placed
under the floor. During a cold spell last spring this primitive heating system malfunctioned, spreading
poisonous carbon monoxide fumes throughout the house, almost killing Ms. Lee.
She lay in the hospital in a coma for days, with her family at her bedside. When she finally awoke,
they were too grieved to tell her the extent of her loss. But she astonished them when she said she
already knew her two children had been killed in the tragedy. "The doctor told me when he came to look
after me," she explained.
"What doctor?" they asked.
"The doctor who prayed by my side and promised that God would watch over me."
They assured her they had seen no such visitor and they had been with her constantly. The
physician must have been a dream, they said.
When Ms. Lee was well enough to go home, she was making her way out of the hospital when she
caught sight of a portrait in the lobby.
"There," she said, "that's the doctor who came to my bedside. What is his name?"
"Jesus Christ," came the answer.

¾ He strengthens us. We can depend upon His help.


Exodus 15:2—The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will
praise Him; my father's God, and I will exalt Him.
2 Samuel 22:33—God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.
Psalm 28:7a—The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped.
Psalm 37:39—But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble.
Isaiah 25:4—For You have been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the
storm, a shade from the heat; for the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Isaiah 40:29–31—He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (39) Even
the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, (31) but those who wait on the Lord shall
renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk
and not faint.
Daniel 11:32b—The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
2 Corinthians 12:9–10—And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in
weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's
sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Trust Him!
A man slid down a rope into a well. He supposed the rope to be of ample length, but to his dismay
he reached the end of it without touching the bottom of the well with his feet. He tried in vain to climb up
the rope, and dared not let go for fear of being dashed to pieces. He held on as long as he could, and
when utterly exhausted let the rope slip from his grasp. He fell—just three inches!

Jump into His arms


In order to clarify what faith involved, C.H. Spurgeon used to employ this illustration. Suppose
there is a fire on the third floor of a house, and a child is trapped in a room there. A huge, strong man
stands on the ground beneath the window where the child's face appears, and he calls "Jump! Drop into
my arms."
"It is a part of faith," Spurgeon would say, "to know that there is a man there; still another part of
faith to believe him to be a strong man; but the essence of faith lies in trusting him fully and dropping into
his arms." Thus it is with us and Jesus.

He will hold you up!


Some at times are like the man that was crossing the ice-frozen Ohio River on his hands and
knees, fearful that he was going to break through and drown, when all of a sudden he saw a double team
of horses coming pulling a load of iron confidently over the very ice on which he was so hesitantly
crawling! Let me tell you: God can take it! He can handle any load you want to give Him!

¾ In Jesus we find peace


Psalm 29:11—The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.
Isaiah 26:3—You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
John 14:27—Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your
heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Philippians 4:7—And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.
Psalm 55:22—Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be
moved.
Hebrews 4:9—There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.

Without a knock!
The following story was told by Olga Kristensen, who spent forty years in China as a missionary:
"Toward the end of my stay I had nearly 80 refugees at the mission station besides the women
living there. One night we heard bandits approaching. There were shots at the end of the street. We all
knew that without intervention, murder and disaster were on the way. I went into my closet and prayed to
God for a verse to calm myself and the others with me. My tortured soul then found a verse I had often
read before, but which now had a real meaning for me—"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes,
you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the
wicked when it comes" (Proverbs 3:24–26).
Could I have a better message? I brought it to all the others and told them to go to rest. When I
was going to bed I was tempted to lie down with my clothes on, but after a little struggle I undressed and
lying down, slept soundly. The next morning the dead were lying outside our premises. There had been
fighting and murder, but no one had even gone so far as to knock on our door."

The One who rules the past, future, and present!


Oliver Cromwell's secretary was dispatched to the Continent on some important business. He
stayed one night at a seaport town, and tossed on his bed, unable to sleep.
According to an old custom, a servant slept in his room, and on this occasion slept soundly
enough. The secretary at length awakened the man who asked how it was that his master could not rest.
"I am so afraid something will go wrong with the embassage," was the reply.
"Master," said the valet, "may I ask a question or two?"
"To be sure."
"Did God rule the world before we were born?"
"Most assuredly He did."
"And will He rule it after we are dead?"
"Certainly He will."
"Then, master, why not let Him rule the present, too?"
The secretary's faith was stirred, peace was the result, and in a few minutes both he and his
servant were sound asleep.

¾ He takes care of our needs


John 14:13–14—And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
(14) If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Psalm 37:4—Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Philippians 4:19—And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:33—But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to
you.

The preacher robin


Martin Luther once said: "I have one preacher that I love better than any other on Earth; it is my
little tame robin, who preaches to me daily. In the evening, he hops onto the windowsill where I put
crumbs and takes as much as he desires to satisfy his need. From thence he always hops to a little tree
close by and lifts up his voice to God and sings his carols of praise and gratitude, tucks his little head
under his wing and goes fast to sleep, and leaves tomorrow to look after itself. He is the best preacher
that I have on Earth."

¾ He brings solutions to our problems


1 Peter 5:7—Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Whatever our problems are, Jesus has the answers. If you'll just put your life in His hands, then He'll take
care of and help you to deal with any problem that you have!—He can help you through it and make it easier for
you and be the kind of support and comfort and friend that you need. Jesus cares about you and He loves you very
much, and He sees and understands the suffering you're going through. His Word says that He cares for you, and
that you can cast your cares upon Him. If you give your problems to Jesus, then He'll take care of you, and He'll
give you the comfort and solutions you need.
Of course, the Lord does not instantly and automatically dissolve every single one of our problems as soon
as we get saved, and this doesn't mean that you'll never have any problems again, but the Lord helps us with our
problems and makes them easier to solve, easier to bear, and He does dissolve some of them entirely and
completely delivers us from them. However, there are other problems that He knows are good for us for one reason
or another, and He helps us to handle these problems, and gives us the grace and the patience and the love to bear
them.
It's sort of like having a wise counselor that you go to about your problems. The counselor cannot get rid of
all your problems by himself, but he can give you help and counsel and wisdom that you can take back with you
and use to your advantage to make things better and easier.
With the Lord, we know a lot of His help is supernatural, He does a lot for us by His supernatural power.
But it is a relationship, it is teamwork, and we usually have to do something. We have to cooperate with Him. We
have to go by His rules and carry out certain procedures in order for Him to do the work in our lives.
We'll talk more about this subject of how to handle the problems and difficulties and challenges of life in a
later class, but for the moment we want to focus on the fact that Jesus is our Good Friend who lovingly wants to
help us with whatever problems we face!

¾ He wants us to be happy
2 Chronicles 9:7—Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you
and hear your wisdom!
Nehemiah 8:10b—The joy of the Lord is your strength.
John 10:10b—I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 16:24—Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Psalm 144:15—Happy are the people who are in such a state; happy are the people whose God is the Lord!
Psalm 19:8a—The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.
Luke 10:20b—Rejoice because your names are written in Heaven.
John 15:10–11—If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's
commandments and abide in His love. (11) These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and
that your joy may be full.
Psalm 100:1–2—Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! (2) Serve the Lord with gladness; come before
His presence with singing.

¾ He works things out for our benefit


Romans 8:28—And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the
called according to His purpose.
The Lord loves us and works out the circumstances of life for our benefit, even if we can't always easily
recognize things as "good."

Bread that looks like a stone


The Lord's answers to prayer are infinitely perfect, and they will show that often when we were
asking for a stone that looked like bread, He was giving us bread that to our short-sightedness looked like
a stone (Luke 11:11).

The oyster
An oyster on the ocean floor opened wide its shell to let the water pass over it. As the water
flushed through, its gills picked out food, sending it to its stomach. Suddenly a large fish nearby stirred up
a cloud of sand and silt with a flip of its tail. Sand! Oh, how the oyster disliked sand. It was so rough and
made life so unpleasant and uncomfortable and was such a bother whenever any got inside its shell.
Quickly the oyster slammed its shell shut, but it was too late. One hard gritty grain of sand had gotten in
and lodged itself between his inner flesh and his shell.
My, how that piece of sand bothered the oyster! But almost immediately, special glands God had
given him for coating the inside of his shell began working to coat the irritating grain of sand with a lovely
smooth and shiny covering. Year after year the oyster added a few more layers of the coating onto the
tiny grain of sand until at last, it had produced a beautiful lustrous pearl of great value.
Sometimes the problems we have are a bit like that grain of sand. They bother us and we wonder
why we have the irritation and inconvenience they can be. But the grace of God begins to work a wonder
with our problems and weaknesses, if we let Him. We become more humble and yielded, more desperate
in prayer, closer to the Lord, wiser, and better able to resist the problems. Like blessings in disguise, the
Lord soon takes the rough pieces of sand in our life and turns them into precious pearls of strength and
power and they become a hope and inspiration to many.

The life-saving fire


One chilly winter morning, a fishing fleet launched out from a small harbor on the east coast of
Newfoundland. In the afternoon there arose a great storm. When night settled, not a single vessel of all
the fleet had found its way back into port.
All night long, wives, mothers, children, and sweethearts paced up and down the windswept
beach, wringing their hands and calling on God to save their lost loved ones. To add to the horror of the
situation, one of their cottages caught fire. Since the men were away, it was impossible to put out the
blaze and save it.
When morning broke, to the joy of all, the entire fleet had returned safely to harbor in the bay. But
there was one face which was a picture of despair—the wife of the man whose home had been destroyed
in the fire.
Meeting her husband as he landed, she cried, "Oh, Honey, we are ruined! Our home and
everything in it was destroyed by fire!"
But the man exclaimed to her surprise, "Thank God for that fire! It was the light of our burning
cottage that safely guided the whole fleet into port!"

¾ Through Jesus we receive forgiveness


Psalm 103:8–12—The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. (9) He will not
always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. (10) He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor
punished us according to our iniquities. (11) For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy
toward those who fear Him; (12) As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions
from us.
Psalm 86:5—For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon
You.
Psalm 130:3–4—If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? (4) But there is forgiveness with
You, that You may be feared.
Lamentations 3:22–23—Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
(23) They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Ephesians 1:7—In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches
of His grace.
1 John 1:9—If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness.
1 John 2:12—I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.

¾ He came to save us and give us eternal life!


John 3:16–17—For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life. (17) For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the
world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
The greatest gift of love that God has given us is Jesus! And Jesus loved us enough to leave His Home in
Heaven to come to earth with a mission from His Heavenly Father—to live, love and die for humankind. He left the
splendors of Heaven to suffer a cruel death at the hands of cruel men. Why?—That we may be saved. God knows
that none of us could be good enough to earn our way to Heaven. It's only Jesus' sacrifice in our place that makes it
possible for us to obtain salvation, the blessing of spending eternity in Heaven with the Creator of Love.
(In our next class we'll focus more on salvation and the gift of forgiveness.)

Jesus left Heaven for our sake!


Jesus left the Halls of Heaven for our sakes! Jesus Himself temporarily renounced the rights of His
citizenship in Heaven and became a citizen of this world, and though He was rich, for our sakes He
became poor that we through His poverty might become rich. He was human—He got tired, He got
hungry, He got weary. He was subject to all these things even as we are, yet without sin, that He might be
a good High Priest, have compassion upon us, know how we feel, know when we're footsore and weary,
know when we've had enough.
God sent Jesus to become a human being in order that He might better reach us with His love and
communicate with us on the lowly level of our own human understanding, and have more mercy and
patience with us than God Himself. Think of that!
The Bible says, "He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust," having worn that frame
Himself, suffering in it and dying in it for our sakes. He came down to our level that He might take us with
Him back up to His. What a miracle!—All for our sakes.
Hebrews 4:15—For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,
but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Psalm 103:14—For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

¾ His love is unchanging and never-ending


Matthew 28:20b—Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Jude 1:24–25—Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the
presence of His glory with exceeding joy, (25) To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty,
dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
We have Someone in whom we can rest reassured, eternally secure, knowing that we don't have anything
to even worry about! He's going to solve every problem and always meet the need, whatever it is, and keep us
safely wherever we are, whatever we're doing! So hold on to the Lord!
Malachi 3:6a—For I am the Lord, I do not change.
Hebrews 13:5b—Be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor
forsake you."
Hebrews 13:8—Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Praise the Lord! He remains the same—faithful, always trustworthy, always there, always solving every
problem, answering every need!

„ Bible reading of John chapters 14 and 15


L Read this after the class.
12 Foundation Stones—Class 8B
Eternal Salvation
The Greatest Love, Part 2
Section 1: Eternal Salvation by Grace
¾ Salvation—Eternity in Heaven with the God of love
The greatest gift of love that God has given us is Jesus! Jesus loved us enough to leave His home in
Heaven to come to earth with a mission from His Heavenly Father—to live, love, and die for humankind. He left
the splendors of Heaven to suffer a cruel death at the hands of cruel men. Why? That we may be saved.
God knows that none of us could be good enough to earn our way to Heaven. It's only Jesus' sacrifice in
our place that makes it possible for us to obtain salvation, the blessing of spending eternity in Heaven with the
loving Creator.

¾ Receiving Jesus guarantees eternal life in Heaven


Romans 6:23b—The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
John 11:26a—And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
John 14:3—I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and
receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
1 John 5:11b—God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

Jesus has done it for us


I remember hearing of a young man who went to a pastor in great distress about his spiritual state.
He said to the minister, "Sir, can you tell me what I must do to find peace?"
The minister replied, "Young man, you are too late."
"Oh," said the young man, "You don't mean to say I am too late to be saved?"
"Oh, no," was the reply, "but you are too late to do something. Jesus did everything that needed to
be done twenty centuries ago."
We can only get saved by receiving Jesus.

¾ We don't deserve to go to Heaven


We are all sinners, and sin brings about spiritual death; but Jesus died in our place, taking our punishment:
Isaiah 59:2a—But your iniquities have separated you from your God.
Romans 6:23a—For the wages of sin is death.
Romans 5:8—But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for
us.
2 Corinthians 5:21—For He made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for [instead of] us, that we might
become the righteousness of God in Him.
1 John 2:1–2—My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have
an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (2) And He Himself is the propitiation [atonement] for
our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Jesus paid for our sins


Two men who had been friends in their youth met years later in the police court of a great city. One
sat on the judge's bench, the other in the prisoner's dock. Evidence was heard, and the prisoner was
found guilty. In consideration of their former friendship, the judge was asked to withhold sentence. "No,"
he said, "that cannot be. Justice must be done and the law upheld." So he gave sentence: "Fifty dollars
fine, or fourteen days at hard labor."
The condemned man had nothing wherewith to pay, so prison was before him. Then the judge,
having fulfilled his duty, stepped down beside the prisoner, paid his fine, put his arm about him, and said,
"Now, John, you are coming home with me to dinner."
Not even God can overlook sin. He must be faithful and just. But for us the Judge was crucified!
Jesus paid the price for our sins! "Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sins of the World!...He
bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (John 1:29; Isaiah 53:12).
¾ We can only get saved through Jesus
Acts 4:12—Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by
which we must be saved.
John 14:6—Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
Me."
John 3:16—For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him
should not perish but have everlasting life.
1 Timothy 2–5—For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
John 3:36b—And he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
John 8:24b—If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.
John 10:9—I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
1 Corinthians 3:11—For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1 John 5:12—He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

¾ Salvation is simple
Jesus came to try to make salvation as easy as He possibly could! He showed the people that they didn't
have to follow the religious laws and rules and regulations and the Ten Commandments and all the rest. All they
had to do was simply confess that they were sinners and needed salvation and ask Jesus to give it to them.
The whole idea is so simple and so childlike that Jesus said you must become as a little child to enter His
spiritual Kingdom of love, joy, and happiness here and now in this life—as well as a beautiful, wonderful, and
thrilling eternity in His heavenly Kingdom in the next life. He said,
Matthew 18:3—Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no
means enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
John 3:3—Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot
see the Kingdom of God."

¾ Nobody can fully understand salvation


—That's why Jesus said that you must be like a little child and just accept it by faith! The Bible says that
the love and peace of God "passeth all understanding."
Ephesians 3:19—To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness
of God.
Philippians 4:7—And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds
through Christ Jesus.
It's a love that passes your understanding and lands right down in your heart! It is something you don't
have to understand. In fact, you can't understand it, it's impossible to understand God's love!—All you can do is
receive it!
Does a baby understand the love of its mother? Does a little child understand the love of its father?—No,
he just feels it, knows it, accepts it, and receives it! Even before he understands language, before he even learns to
talk, he understands love, he feels love, and he trusts his parents because they love him. He hasn't read it in the
Bible, he hasn't read love letters from his mother, he simply feels it in her love and sees it in her actions.
So you don't have to understand all about God to know His wonderful love and salvation in Jesus.—All
you have to do is receive it!

Letting go
A traveler upon a lonely road was set upon by bandits who robbed him of everything he had. They
then led him into the depths of the forest. There, in the darkness, they tied a rope to the limb of a great
tree, and bade him catch hold of the end of it. Swinging him out into the blackness of surrounding space,
they told him he was hanging over the brink of a high precipice. The moment he let go he would be
dashed to pieces on the rocks below. And then they left him.
He was filled with horror at the awful doom impending. He clutched despairingly to the end of the
swaying rope. But each dreadful moment only made his fate more sure. His strength steadily failed. At
least he could hold on no longer. The end had come. His clenched fingers relaxed their grip. He fell—six
inches, to the solid earth at his feet!
It had only been a ruse of the robbers to gain time in escaping. And when he let go it was not to
death, but to the safety which had been waiting him through all his time of terror.
Clutching will not save you. It is only the devil's trick to keep you from being saved. Let go! That is
God's plan to save you. "And will I not fall to my death?" some ask. No! Underneath is Jesus!
¾ Salvation cannot be earned through works; it is a gift
We can't work for our salvation. It is by grace, a gift of God, and cannot be earned.
Ephesians 2:8–9— For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of
God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Titus 3:5a—Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.
Galatians 2:16—Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we
have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by
the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
2 Timothy 1:9—Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according
to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.
Romans 3:28—Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
Romans 11:6—And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of
works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
Jesus died because we're all sinners and it is impossible for us to be perfect, it is impossible for us to
perfectly keep laws like the Laws of Moses. Only Jesus was perfect and that's why He could pay the price of our
sins and God could forgive us, because He took our punishment for us. He gives us salvation as a gift, because we
could never earn it, we could never be perfect. We always make mistakes and commit sins.
God has offered pardon to the guilty. It doesn't matter how bad you are, how wicked you are, or what
you've done.—It doesn't matter to God! If you'll just confess your sins to Him, ask Him to forgive you and take
Jesus into your heart, He'll save you.

Why following Jesus' example is not enough


At the close of a Gospel service, an intelligent-looking man came to the minister and said, "I do not
see any necessity for the Blood of Christ in my salvation. I can be saved without believing in His shed
Blood."
"Very well," said the minister. "How then do you propose to be saved?"
"By following His example," was the answer. "That is enough for any man."
"I suppose it is," said the minister. "And you propose to do just that in your life?"
"I do, and I am sure that is enough."
"Very well, I am sure that you want to be following right. The Word of God tells us how to do that. I
read here concerning Christ, ‘Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth.' I suppose that you
can say that of yourself too?" (1 Peter 2:22).
The man became visibly embarrassed. "Well," he said, "I cannot say that exactly. I have
sometimes sinned."
"In that case you do not need an example, but a Savior; and the only way of salvation is by His
shed blood."

¾ We can't be good enough


Romans 3:23—For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Mark 10:26–27—And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?"(27)
But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are
possible."
If we were good enough to be saved, we wouldn't need Jesus. But we have all sinned, we all come short of
God's standards, we all need His love and mercy to be saved, and we find that love and mercy in Jesus Christ!
We cannot save ourselves by our own works, our own goodness, our own attempts to keep His laws and to
love Him, or even our own endeavors to find and follow His truth! Salvation is a gift of God performed by a
miraculous transformation of our lives when we accept His truth in the love of His Son Jesus by the work of the
Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Mercy, not justice


A mother sought from Napoleon the pardon of her son. The emperor said it was the man's
second offence, and justice demanded his death.
‘I don't ask for justice,' said the mother, ‘I plead for mercy.'
‘But,' said the emperor, ‘he does not deserve mercy.'
‘Sir,' cried the mother, ‘it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask.'
‘Well, then,' said the emperor, ‘I will have mercy,' And her son was saved.
This little incident gives us a good idea of the meaning of mercy. We think of clemency as another
word for mercy, but mercy is the ‘gracious attitude of one who sits in the seat of authority toward one who
has given offence by breaking of the law, or by some violation of those canons of conduct which
constitute offence.' This is at least part of its meaning.
Grace is the unmerited favor of God toward the undeserving. Grace bestows what we do not
deserve; mercy does not mete out to us what we deserve.
(Exodus 34:6–7; Micah 6:8; Hebrews 4:16)

Another illustration of mercy, not justice


An old fellow was brought to court on serious charges. As court preliminaries were getting under
way, it was very evident to the young lawyer handling the case that his client was very uncomfortable and
tense. Perhaps it was because of his youth, the lawyer mused. So, in an effort to comfort the man and
allay his fears, the young lawyer said, "Charlie, you don't need to be afraid. I'm going to see that you get
justice in this court today!"
A meditative look displaced the hitherto look of fright on the man's face. In measured words, he
said, "Young man, it isn't justice that I want in this court today. It's mercy!"

¾ Even if you could keep the Mosaic Law, it wouldn't save you
The Mosaic Law was a legal code that God gave Moses. It was a strict code of justice and retribution:
Exodus 24:12—Then the Lord said to Moses, "Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you
tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them."
Exodus 21:23–25—But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, (24) eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand
for hand, foot for foot, (25) burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Hebrew 10:28—Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three
witnesses.

„ The Ten Commandments were not merely "helpful moral guidelines," but strict laws carrying the death
penalty
Galatians 4:21—Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
Deuteronomy 27:26—Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.
Galatians 3:19—What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed
[Jesus] should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a
mediator.
Galatians 3:23—But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would
afterward be revealed.
What is more, the ten commandments were only the beginning; Moses' law contained hundreds of other
commandments!
Punishment was very severe in those days. There were 23 crimes for which you could be put to death. God
was trying to show His people that He really meant business, that He really didn't want them to misbehave. You
could get stoned to death even for cursing your father or mother. You could get stoned to death for all kinds of
things. That was a very terrible way to die, but the reason for it was as a deterrent of crime and disobedience and
sin.

The Ten Commandments, with death penalty for breaking them.


Exodus 20:2–3—(1) You shall have no other gods before Me. [Death penalty: Exodus 22:20;
Deuteronomy13:1–18.]
Exodus 20:4–5—(2) You shall not make yourself a carved image. [Death penalty same as (1). See also
Leviticus 26:1,30; Deuteronomy 4:23–26.]
Exodus 20:7—(3) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. [Death penalty: Leviticus
24:10–16.]
Exodus 20:8–10—(4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. [Death penalty: Exodus 31:14–15;
35:2.]
Exodus 20:12—(5) Honor your father and your mother. [Death penalty: Exodus 21:15,17; Leviticus 20:9;
Deuteronomy 21:18–21.]
Exodus 20:13—(6) You shall not murder. [Death penalty: Exodus 21:12; Leviticus 24:17,21; Numbers
35:16–31.]
Exodus 20:14—(7) You shall not commit adultery. [Death penalty: Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22.]
Exodus 20:15—(8) You shall not steal. [Punishment: Exodus 22:7; Proverbs 6:30; death penalty: Exodus
21:16.]
Exodus 20:16—(9) You shall not bear false witness. [Punishment and/or death penalty: Deuteronomy
19:16–21.]
Exodus 20:17—(10) You shall not covet … anything that is your neighbor's.
¾ Scrupulously keeping the Mosaic Law never saved anyone
Romans 3:20—Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the
knowledge of sin.
Romans 9:31—But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.
Hebrews 7:19—For the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope,
through which we draw near to God.
In the beginning, God created man to freely and willingly choose to love and obey Him as His thankful
children. He really preferred the whole thing by grace and faith to begin with and there were very few rules, very
few laws, everything was to be done voluntarily out of love.—That was His original plan.
But as man became more and more disobedient and wicked, God had to give him more and more laws and
rules and regulations. These laws were not made for the righteous person, because the righteous person doesn't
harm or do wrong to his neighbor, but they were made for the wrongdoers, the evil people, the wicked.
The Laws were given for the people who do not have love, who do evil, unloving, harmful things. The
Bible says that:
1 Timothy 1:9—Knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and
insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and
murderers of mothers, for manslayers.
What do you have to do with a wild animal, a ravenous beast that might bite you or destroy you?—You
have to either put him in a cage or kill him. Evil men are like wild animals. Look at the atrocities and cruelties that
you hear of people committing nowadays.—Even wild animals don't commit some of the atrocities you hear about!
Because man didn't follow grace and faith and love, God had to crack down with the rules, the cage of the
law for the transgressors. But the rules couldn't save man, they only showed him where he was wrong. (See
Romans 3:20 above.)
In fact, it is impossible for anyone to be good according to the Law of Moses. The Mosaic Law makes
every one of us a sinner, because not one of us can keep all the law!

The Lamb takes away sin


John the Baptist publicly identified Jesus as "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the
world!" (John 1:29, 36). This calls to mind the Old Testament sacrificial system. In the sacrifice God
accepted the blood of animals as the means of atonement for sin. It is likely that John had many themes
from the Old Testament in mind when he called Jesus the Lamb of God. These themes probably included
the sin offering (Leviticus 4), the trespass offering (Leviticus 5), the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement
(Leviticus 16), and the Passover sacrifice (Exodus 12).
Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb Who was killed for our sake. As it says in Isaiah 53:12b, "He poured
out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and
made intercession for the transgressors."

¾ The Old Law was merely a copy, a shadow, of the real thing
Colossians 2:16–17—So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or
sabbaths, (17) which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
Hebrews 8:5—Who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he
was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you
on the mountain."
Hebrews 9:8–9—The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest
while the first tabernacle was still standing. (9) It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and
sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience.
Hebrews 10:1—For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things,
can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
I John 2:8—Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the
darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

¾ Jesus' death ended the Mosaic Law and ushered in the era of grace
The Mosaic Law was impossible to keep
This showed man he was a sinner in need of grace. The old law was unprofitable and eventually to be
replaced.
John 7:19—Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?
Acts 15:10—Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our
fathers nor we were able to bear?
Romans 3:19—Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every
mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Romans 8:3—For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own
Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.

¾ Jesus' death on the cross fulfilled and ended the law


The old Mosaic Law is now discarded (for believers in Jesus):
John 19:30—So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave
up His spirit.
Romans 10:4—For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Colossians 2:14—Having wiped out [the slate completely clean of] the handwriting of requirements [the law]
that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Hebrews 8:13—In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first [covenant] obsolete. Now what is
becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 10:9—Then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first [law] that
He may establish the second.
Hebrews 8:6—But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better
covenant, which was established on better promises.
The law was only our teacher, our instructor or "schoolmaster" to show us that we're sinners, to bring us to
God for mercy, and to show us His absolute perfection and perfect righteousness which was impossible for us to
attain:
Galatians 3:24–25—Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
(25) But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

¾ The saved are no longer bound by the rigid Mosaic Law


Jesus has liberated us from the Mosaic Law, in its place, giving us His laws of loving God and loving our
neighbor.
Romans 7:4—Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you
may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
Romans 6:14b—You are not under law but under grace.
Romans 8:1–2—There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk
according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me
free from the law of sin and death.
The Lord far prefers that we willingly and cheerfully do what He asks with the right loving motivation,
because we want to do what's right and because we love Him and others, rather than just because we have to obey
because it's the law or because of fear of punishment or fear of judgment, etc.
In fact, God would have preferred to have trusted His people with more freedom if they had been more
humble and honest and had more love, consideration, unselfishness, thoughtfulnes, and real concern for others—not
wanting to hurt anybody and just wanting to help everybody. But usually He hasn't been able to because most
people just aren't that unselfish or loving or thoughtful.
Freedom is God's ideal, His ultimate, His plan from the beginning! And it's almost like He's been trying to
bring His people step-by-step out of bondage towards this goal through the ages.
He brought the Jews out of their slavery in Egypt, but then they were in bondage to the harsh and rigid
rules of Moses—the Law.
Then along came Jesus with His grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, and truth—our salvation:
John 1:17—For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

„ The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath
Jesus came and showed us that salvation and true righteousness are not by works, but by grace!—That "the
Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath."—There is the example of when the disciples picked corn on
the Sabbath day, and another time He healed on the Sabbath (Mark 2:27).

What is the Sabbath?


The Sabbath is one day in seven set aside as a time for rest and worship. Jews observe this on
the seventh day of the week, Saturday. Christians who observe the Sabbath usually do so on Sunday.
God originally set the seventh day aside for a day of rest in the story of Creation:
Genesis 2:2–3—And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested
on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. (3) Then God blessed the seventh day and
sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
The fourth Commandment is "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." All work except acts of
mercy, necessity, and worship were forbidden on the Sabbath. However, during the period between the
Old and New Testaments, Jewish religious leaders added greatly to the details of Sabbath legislation,
which made the law a burden rather than a rest and delight as God had intended.

Jesus breaks the sabbath law


Mark 2:23–28—Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they
went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. (24) And the Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why do
they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" (25) But He said to them, "Have you never read what David
did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: (26) "how he went into the house of God in
the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except for the
priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?" (27) And He said to them, "The Sabbath was
made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. (28) "Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the
Sabbath."
Mark 3:1–5—And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered
hand. (2) So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might
accuse Him. (3) And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Step forward." (4) Then He said to
them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they kept silent. (5)
And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He
said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as
the other.
(See also Matthew 12:1–14.)

¾ The end of the old Law


Matthew 5:17—Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to
fulfill.
By fulfilling the Law, Jesus ended it; therefore we (saved Christians) are no longer required to keep the
Laws of Moses of the Old Testament.
Romans 10:4—For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
The death of Jesus marked the end of the Law, the end of the Old Testament.
testament or a contract was often sealed with the testator's blood. They would sometimes prick their finger
and sign their name in blood as proof that they really meant business. When Jesus shed His blood, He was in a
sense signing His name to the covenant in His own blood. This was the new contract.
God's grace through Jesus' Law of Love is the end of the old law. Paul preached sermon after sermon and
wrote letter after letter showing that the old Law was finished, it was done with!—The Mosaic Law is done away
with for the Christian who is living under grace and under the Law of Love.
Romans 7:6—But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we
should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
Galatians 3:13—Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.
This was the most raging controversy between Jesus and the Jews. It was also the most raging controversy
between Paul and the legalists, the "concision" as they were known, the converted Jews who said, "Yes, we now
believe in Jesus, but we still have to keep all the old Law, we still have to keep the Ten Commandments, the
Mosaic Law, the Sabbath, etc."
There are still many Christians today who are just like those legalistic concision members of the Early
Church.—They're still partly in the dark, they don't realize that Jesus is enough, that His light is sufficient, that His
love is all we need. They're still preaching the Mosaic Law with one hand while preaching Christ with the other.
But according to Jesus Himself and every book of the New Testament, Christians today are no longer
under the Laws of Moses! We are under grace and under love. For us the old Law is gone forever. We now only
have the Law of Jesus, God's only Law—Love!
Galatians 5:14—For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Matthew 7:12—Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the
Prophets.
Romans 13:8—Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
If you have love, you are fulfilling the laws of God.

¾ Only Jesus can save you


Christ's message was clear, His death was plain, the message of God was very clear throughout the Old and
New Testaments—especially the New Testament, but very clear even in the Old Testament. Abraham was the
father of the faithful because he was a man of faith, demonstrating that he couldn't do it himself, he just had to have
faith in God.
God's message is: "Only I can save you, you cannot save yourself!"
In contrast, the message of the "works" religions has always been: "Save yourself! You're your own god,
your own savior. Why depend on another? Save yourself!" This started in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5)—and
man has been trying to save himself by his works ever since.
Sad to say, hundreds of millions of Christians around the world today, in spite of the message of Christ, in
spite of the message of His sacrifice on Calvary, in spite of what Jesus did to save us, gave His life and His blood
for us, are still being taught by their leaders to try to save themselves. Isn't that sad?

The two religions


While presenting the Gospel on the street of a California city, we were often interrupted as follows:
"Look here! There are hundreds of religions, and the followers of each sect think theirs the only right one.
How can poor men like us find out what really is the truth?"
We generally replied something like this: "Hundreds of religions, you say? That's strange.—I've
heard of only two."
"Oh, but you surely know there are more than that?"
"Not at all. I find, I admit, many shades of difference in the opinions of those comprising the two
great schools, but after all there are but two. The one covers all who expect salvation by doing. The other,
all who have been saved by something done. So you see the whole question is very simple. Can you
save yourself, or must you be saved by another? If you can be your own savior, you do not need my
message. If you cannot, you'd do well to listen to it."

¾ You cannot lose your salvation: Once saved, forever saved!


John 6:37—All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast
out.
If you have Jesus, then you have eternal life, and you cannot lose eternal life! You can lose your physical
life, but never your eternal life.
Salvation is forever! Once saved, you are always saved, because God cannot lie or go back on His Word or
on Himself. God doesn't change His mind. Once you've received Jesus Christ and you've let Him into your heart
and you love Him and you know Him and you believe on Him as your Savior, you are a saved child of God and
you're going to live forever!
Once you are "born again" as His child, you will always be His child. You can't be unborn!
John 3:36a—He who believes in the Son has everlasting life.
You have salvation right now! Your salvation does not depend on your behavior, or on going to church, or
on anything like that. It doesn't say you're going to have it, it says you have it right now!—"Has everlasting life!" If
you stand in danger of losing it many times, how can you have everlasting life? It's not everlasting if it only lasts a
few minutes, till your next sinful thought or next evil deed.
How can you be saved and unsaved, and then saved and unsaved, 100 times a day? Some say, "Well, I
won't know if I'm going to make it to Heaven until I'm dead and He balances up and measures all my good deeds
against my bad deeds. If the good ones outweigh the bad ones, well then maybe I'll make it." They never really
know when or where they stand or how or if or what! It's enough to make a nervous wreck out of you! But thank
God,
Hebrews 4:3—We who have believed do enter that rest.
We can have rest and peace of mind, knowing that we don't have to worry about whether we're good
enough or if we've been too bad or if we're going to make it or not, every day wondering whether we're going to be
saved or not. If you could save yourself, the Lord wouldn't have had to give His life for you.
True, you are more likely to receive His daily blessings upon your life if you conduct yourself in the way
that He wants you to, if you do the things that please Him. But you can't keep yourself saved. Jesus did that once
and forever, and His gift is eternal life.
Grace plus faith plus nothing!—That's salvation! You don't have to be good to get saved and you don't
have to be good to stay saved! But this does not mean that you can just live as you please once you are saved.

¾ What about sin?


Just because you are saved doesn't mean that everything you do is right and good! Although your sins
won't result in you losing your salvation, you may lose some of God's blessings in your life if you walk on the
wrong paths.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20—Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom
you have from God, and you are not your own? (20) For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your
body and in your spirit, which are God's.
Romans 6:15—What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!
You have a responsibility to live according to God's Law of Love to the best of your ability. If you disobey
that law, you will be sinning. If you commit sins against the Lord and others that are unconfessed, unrepented of,
and not made right, you will endure the consequences for them in some way.
As a loving Father, the Lord will try to help you learn from your mistakes and discontinue from taking the
wrong paths in life.
Hebrews 12:6—Whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.
Just remember, that even if you are disobedient and chastened of the Lord for your sins, once you are
saved, you'll always be saved!

¾ Eternally His
John 3:36 should end all your worries: He who believes in the Son has everlasting life.
He doesn't keep popping in and out of your heart. He is there all the time. He says,
Matthew 28:20—"Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age."
Hebrews 13:5—Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He
Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
John 10:28—And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of
My hand.

Not by feelings
Dr. Thomas was a young man Mr. Poole had been talking to night after night, endeavoring to win
him to Christ. Nothing he said seemed to cut through the mental fog that blocked the way to a clear
understanding of salvation. Finally realizing that the young man's difficulty was his own inability to "feel"
saved, Mr. Poole took a coin, handed it to Dr. Thomas, and asked him to put it in his shirt pocket.
"Do you feel you've got it?" Mr. Poole asked.
"No," replied the young doctor, "I know I have."
"So," Mr. Poole continued, "we know we have Christ when we accept Him and believe His Word,
without feeling it."
Dr. Thomas testified later, "When I awoke the next morning my soul was overflowing with joy, and
since then I have never doubted that it was on that Saturday night I was born again—converted to God."

¾ Cleansing for ALL sins


Isaiah 53:6—All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has
laid on Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all.
No matter what your sins are, if you are sorry, Jesus will forgive you!
1 John 1:7—But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood
of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
All sin, A-L-L, all sin! You don't have to worry about all those different kinds of sins, because you're
going to be forgiven for all your sins: Past, present and future! Because He promised, "the blood of Jesus Christ,
God's Son, cleanses us from all sin!" Praise God!

Justification
A simple way to remember the word "justified" that always stuck with me since I was a boy was
when the preacher illustrated how when we're justified by Jesus' blood, it's just-if-I'd never sinned! He
cleansed us from all our sins. "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin"—past, present, future.
(1John 1:7) Just-if-I'd never sinned, justified. Really it means it makes you just, righteous, saved!

¾ Review quiz
(Answers with supporting references are below.)

„ Questions
1. "Salvation" means that when we receive Jesus, we are guaranteed what?
2. How many people in the world are sinners?
3. We deserve punishment for our sins, but when Jesus died, what was He taking upon Himself?
4. What is the ONLY way we can get saved?
5. Can we get saved by our own good works?
6. If we are a pretty good person, isn't that enough to get us to Heaven?
7. How do we know that salvation is by grace?
8. What does "by grace" mean?
9. What was the Mosaic Law?
10. What was the penalty for breaking most of the Ten Commandments?
11. Were there only ten commandments?
12. Was it God's plan that the Mosaic Law was to be maintained for eternity?
13. Did anyone ever get saved by only keeping the Mosaic Law?
14. Is it possible to keep the Mosaic Law in its entirety?
15. What does this show?
16. What did Jesus' death on the cross do to the old law?
17. Do believers in Jesus need to keep every jot and tittle of the old Mosaic Law?
18. Does that mean that a believer can do anything he chooses?
19. Which is greater: Grace or Law?
20. How long does salvation last?
21. What happens when you sin? Can you lose your salvation?
22. Can you lose Jesus out of your life?
23. What sins does Jesus forgive you for when you repent? s

„ Questions with answers:


1. "Salvation" means that when we receive Jesus, we are guaranteed what?
(Answer: Eternal life in Heaven.) Romans 6:23b; John 11:26; 1 John 5:11.
2. How many people in the world are sinners? (Answer: Everyone!) Romans 3:23.
3. We deserve punishment for our sins, but when Jesus died, what was He taking upon Himself?
(Answer: Our punishment; He died in our place.) Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 1:9.
4. What is the ONLY way we can get saved? (Answer: By receiving Jesus.) Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5; John 3:16.
5. Can we get saved by our own good works? (Answer: No.) Romans 3:20a; Galatians 2:16.
6. If we are a pretty good person, isn't that enough to get us to Heaven? (Answer: No.) 2 Timothy 1:9.
7. How do we know that salvation is by grace? (Answer: The Bible tells us so.) Romans 3:28; Ephesians 2:8–9.
8. What does "by grace" mean? (Answer: It is a gift, not something we worked for.) Titus 3:5a.
9. What was the Mosaic Law? (Answer: A legal code that God gave Moses on Mt. Sinai.) Exodus 24:12.
10. What was the penalty for breaking most of the Ten Commandments? (Answer: In most cases, death was the
penalty, which shows that the Ten Commandments were not merely "helpful moral guidelines," but strict laws.)
11. Were there only ten commandments? (Answer: No; Moses' law contained hundreds of other commandments.)
Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 9:10.
12. Was it God's plan that the Mosaic Law was to be maintained for eternity? (Answer: No. It was a mere shadow
of the real thing.) Colossians 2:16–17; Genesis 8:5; Hebrews 10:1.
13. Did anyone ever get saved by only keeping the Mosaic Law? (Answer: No.) Romans 3:20, 9:31; Hebrews 7:19.
14. Is it possible to keep the Mosaic Law in its entirety? (Answer: No.) John 7:19; Acts 15:10; Romans 7:14–19.
15. What does this show? (Answer: That man is a sinner in need of grace.) Romans 3:20b, 7:7; Galatians 3:24.
16. What did Jesus' death on the cross do to the old law? (Answer: It fulfilled and ended the law.) Matthew 5:17;
John 19:30; Romans 10:4; Colossians 2:14.
17. Do believers in Jesus need to keep every jot and tittle of the old Mosaic Law? (Answer: No.) Hebrews 8:6,13,
10:9.
18. Does that mean that a believer can do anything he chooses? (Answer: No. Jesus has liberated us from the
Mosaic Law but expects us to keep the two Great Commandments: love God; love others.) Matthew 22:37–40;
Romans 7:4, 10:4.
19. Which is greater: Grace or Law? (Answer: Grace.) Mark 2:23–28, 3:1–5; Matthew 5:17.
20. How long does salvation last? (Answer: Forever!) John 6:37, 3:36; Hebrews 4:3.
21. What happens when you sin? Can you lose your salvation? (Answer: No, you will be chastened, but you cannot
lose your salvation. Once saved, always saved!) Hebrews 12:6.
22. Can you lose Jesus out of your life? (Answer: No, He is with you always.) Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; John
10:28.
23. What sins does Jesus forgive you for when you repent? (Answer: Everything!! All sins!) Isaiah 53:6; 1 John
1:7.
Section 2: Communion

¾ What is Communion?
1 Corinthians 11:23–26—For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on
the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; (24) and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said,
"Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." (25) In the same manner He
also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of Me." (26) For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death
till He comes.
What is Communion? It's a witness to others that you believe what His Word says. The bread symbolizes
the body of Jesus. The wine symbolizes His blood.

The Last Supper


Luke 22:7–20—Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. (8)
And He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat." (9) So they
said to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare?" (10) And He said to them, "Behold, when you have
entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he
enters. (11) Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest
room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' (12) Then he will show you a large, furnished
upper room; there make ready." (13) So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they
prepared the Passover. (14) When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.
(15) Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I
suffer; (16) for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." (17) Then He
took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; (18) for I say to you, I
will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." (19) And He took bread, gave thanks
and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance
of Me." (20) Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My
blood, which is shed for you."

¾ The meaning of the bread: 1) Jesus' body was broken for our healing and
2) one loaf symbolizes unity
Jesus' body was broken for us for the healing of our bodies. When we partake of the bread we can claim
healing.
Isaiah 53:5—But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement
for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
The bread doesn't heal any more than the wine saves your soul, but partaking of it is a manifestation of
your faith. It's a witness. The bread represents His body that was broken for us, and if we eat it by faith we can
claim healing by faith.

There's nothing wrong with chewing it, swallowing it, eating it like you would food. He said, "Take, eat, this My
body."

It's best to use one piece or loaf of bread (at Communion) as this demonstrates our unity. One piece represents His
Body that was broken, and when we all eat of it, it is going to become a part of each of us. In other words, we're all
becoming part of the One.

¾ The meaning of the wine: the blood, shed for our salvation and forgiveness
of sins
After the same manner Jesus took the cup. The wine symbolizes Jesus' blood, shed for the remission of our
sins, for the salvation of our souls.
Matthew 26:28—For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
I John 1:7—But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood
of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

¾ Showing Jesus you love Him


Communion is a precious illustration that the Lord gives us. "As often as you do it, you do it in
remembrance of Me," He said.—And what else? "You do show the Lord's death."
In other words, it's showing you love Him, you appreciate what He's done for you, you're doing it in
remembrance and thanks for what He has done for your body and your spirit, and you're also witnessing to others
what He has done for you at the same time. It is both a thanksgiving and a witness.

Don't ever forget the resurrection when we're speaking of the death. The death was for a resurrection, and if it
hadn't been for the resurrection, all the rest of it wouldn't have been enough.
1 Corinthians 15:W14—And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
—But thank God He is risen!

¾ How often to hold Communion


Jesus didn't say just how often you had to have Communion, He said as often as you would you're
remembering Him and you're a witness for Him. So do it as often as you feel led.
It doesn't have to be any place special.
It doesn't have to be elaborate, it can be very simple—use whatever you have. Although it's best to use one
loaf or piece of bread and wine, some people have had to use bread and water, or crackers and coffee, etc., when
nothing else was available.

¾ Sample Communion ceremony


„ Prayer for the bread
L Pray for the bread. Following is a sample prayer:
Thank You Lord for this bread that symbolizes Your body broken for us. You said, "Take, eat, for this is
My body which is broken for you, this do in remembrance of Me." We remember that Your body was broken for us
and we thank You for it. Strengthen each of us here and give Your healing to those who need it. Amen.
„ Pass the bread
L Each one should break off a small piece. They should retain their portion until all have been served, as that best
illustrates the meaning of unity, if all eat it at the same time.
L Everyone should now eat his or her piece of bread

„ Prayer for the wine


L Pray for the wine. Following is a sample prayer:
We thank You, Jesus, for this cup that symbolizes Your death on the cross. Your body was broken many
times even before You got to the cross. You suffered such agony for us, and then You shed Your blood unto the
death that we might live. We thank You, Lord, for shedding Your blood for our sins. Please do cleanse each of us
and forgive us for all of our shortcomings, errors, and sins. As we drink this wine, we thank You by faith for the
forgiveness of our sins that You have promised. Amen.
„ Pass the cup of wine
12 Foundation Stones—Class 9A What
It's Like!
Heaven, Part 1
Section 1: Introducing Heaven

¾ Heaven awaits us!


Jesus wants us to understand both the love that is in Heaven, and the place that those who love Him go to,
when they pass beyond the veil. The distance beyond the veil is not so great, and what happens on the other side is
not totally different to what happens on this side, on the earth side. But in Heaven there is the joy, the love, the
peace, and the contentment that we who are saved have a taste of here, but which there we will experience in
abundance.
He wants us to understand what it is like when we come into the fullness of His love and the fulfillment of
the promises that He has made. Heaven is real; death is just the door through which we pass from the life we now
live into eternity!
1 Corinthians 13:12—For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I
shall know just as I also am known.
Many people in the world say that when you pass through the doors of death, it is over, it is finished, it is
the end. They are wrong! You enter into a new life: The life on the other side of the veil. You are still you. You
retain your individuality. You continue to live and to mature and to learn. Your spirit carries on.

¾ What we are studying today


In today's class, we're going to look at what the Scriptures say about Heaven, and we're also going to hear
some testimonies of those who have had glimpses of Heaven through "Near Death Experiences." Through
testimonies, through the Bible's teachings, and through prophecies and other revelations, we know a great deal
about what awaits us! And we want to share at least a portion of this today.

¾ The most important point to grasp from this class is that Jesus has prepared a
wonderful place for us in the life beyond
Jesus told us:
John 14:2–3—In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare
a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that
where I am, there you may be also.
When we are called from this life, when we are brought to the threshold and we are called across, we leave
the things of this life behind—our flesh, our material belongings. We shed these things as one sheds a garment. But
our spirit, that which is truly "me" and truly "you," steps across the veil and lives on forever. Our experience and
knowledge—and mainly the things that we have learned of the spirit, the matters of love, of kindness, and of
truth—these things remain with us and benefit us throughout eternity. Therefore this class, and the one following, is
also a challenge. Will we learn the lessons we need to learn in this life and apply them?
In God's wonderful kingdom of love, all is love. There we will have and experience all of those things that
we seek. No matter what our limitations here, there we will have peace of heart and mind and contentment of spirit;
there we will have no fear; there our needs will be filled abundantly; there we can be creative; there we can find
true love, and fill the empty spaces in our lives, our hearts, our minds, and our spirits.
Jesus is the door to Heaven, and by coming into it through Him, your life in this world, and in the world
beyond, will be much greater than anything you ever imagined! You've received Jesus, so you are going to live
with Him in His loving, exciting, wonderful, fulfilling, peaceful kingdom—forever!
„ But don't get too impatient!
The Lord will bring us to Heaven in His own time:
Psalm 31:15a—My times are in Your hand.
Psalm 48:14—For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.
We're studying about Heaven because that's where we're going to eventually go!—But in the meantime,
the Lord has a lot for us to do, including bringing as many other people with us as we can.

Section 2: Why Learn About Heaven?


We are going to study what the Bible has to say about Heaven, and we're also going to hear the accounts of
people who have had a "Near Death Experience" (NDE). They died, perhaps following an accident or during a
medical procedure, but then were revived. During the time they were clinically dead, they experienced something
for which there was no other explanation than they had been given a glimpse into what it will be like to make the
transition from this life to the next world.

¾ The Grand Finale


Heaven is such a wonderful, almost unimaginable "Happy Ending" that the final chapters of the Bible are
devoted entirely to it!—Revelation chapters 21 and 22's description of Heaven is the Grand Finale of the Bible, the
thunderous climax of the symphony of God, and reveals a place of such resplendent beauty that just reading about it
will lift you into the Heavenlies, beyond the imagination of man! We'll look at those chapters in a minute.
The most stupendous things that you never even dreamed of are already in existence in that way-out home
of the children of God—that Heavenly City whose Builder and Maker is God, and which our departed friends and
saints are already enjoying!
Hebrews 11:13–16—These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were
assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (14) For those
who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. (15) And truly if they had called to mind that
country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. (16) But now they desire a
better, that is, a Heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a
city for them.
It is such a beautiful place that you can hardly even possibly imagine it!—But the Lord in His great love
for us has been telling us a lot about it.
1 Corinthians 2:9–10—But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of
man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." (10) But God has revealed them to us through
His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

¾ Why learn about Heaven?


They say that anticipation is 50% of enjoyment, so why not enjoy half of Heaven now? We're halfway to
Heaven here in spirit, and we can get half of the enjoyment ahead of time just by thinking about it, praising the
Lord for it, thanking the Lord for it, reading about it, dreaming about it, and anticipating it! We can have 50% of
our enjoyment right now just by looking forward to it!
That's one reason it's good to talk about Heaven and think about Heaven and read about Heaven. After all,
that's where we're going to spend eternity, so it's a pretty important place, don't you think? It's our eternal Home,
the place that Jesus has gone to prepare for us to live forever, so we certainly ought to be interested in it and want to
know what it's like and what we're going to be like when we get there!
All God's children of faith since the beginning of time have been looking for "a city which hath
foundations"—eternal foundations—"whose Builder and Maker is God!" They were not satisfied with being
citizens of this world, with its earthly, carnal, flesh-and-blood kingdoms of evil men and evil spirits. But rather they
looked for a country made by God, a Heavenly country, a Heavenly City, built by the Lord!
Hebrews 11:10—For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
If you're looking for the perfect city and the perfect government in the perfect country with perfect people,
just wait a little while longer—it's coming! Jesus promised that He's preparing a place for us (John 14:2–3).
Heaven is a great place to look forward to, and we hope you will get thrilled and excited about it too, as it
will help you to bear some of the burdens and trials that you're going through now when you realize the wonderful
things that God has in store for you!
Romans 8:18—For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the
glory which shall be revealed in us.

¾ Nothing to fear
Fear of death is one of the greatest fears that grips people, but the Bible tells us that Jesus can set us free
from those fears. He conquered death! There is nothing to fear, only a joyful and patient waiting to meet our Savior
face-to-face.
Hebrews 2:15—And release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
1 Corinthians 15:55–57—O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? (56) The sting of death
is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord
Jesus Christ.
Revelation 22:3–4—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) They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.

¾ Near Death Experiences almost always result in a loss of fear of death


One of the outstanding characteristics of someone who has had an NDE is that he or she no longer has any
fear of death. They've been given a glimpse into the world beyond, and they know there is nothing to fear.

NDEs are real!


The research on NDEs offers quite compelling evidence that these experiences are genuine. For
instance, Dr Melvin Morse, author of Closer to the Light, wrote:
Michael Sabom, an American cardiologist, has done some fascinating work on out-of-body
experiences and people who almost died of cardiac arrest. In these experiences, a person in a near-death
crisis claims to leave his body and watch his own resuscitation as the doctor performs it in the emergency
room or during surgery.
Sabom had 32 such patients in his study. Sabom asked 25 medically knowledgeable patients to
make educated guesses about what happens when a doctor tries to get the heart started again. He
wanted to compare the knowledge of "medically smart" patients with the out-of-body experiences of
medically unsophisticated patients.
He found that 23 of the 25 in the control group made major mistakes in describing the resuscitation
procedure. On the other hand, none of the near-death patients made mistakes in describing what went on
in their own resuscitations. This presented very strong evidence that these people were actually outside
their bodies and looking down as they said they were.

NDE: Jerry's story


Also in Study Notes book.
In 1997 (at age 47), I was involved in a serious car crash with many major injuries. When I was
trapped in the car, I felt no pain even though I had my pelvis broken in two places, a fractured tailbone, a
rib that had punctured my lung, a fractured skull, lacerations to my face, and part of my ear was severed.
I saw a place of warmth, love, and friendship. It was something like a tunnel but not round. It was a
walkway type tunnel that you see joining buildings or stores together, the type that goes over a street, not
narrow, but wide. I walked along it, or it felt like I was walking but I don't remember my feet moving. It was
not bright on the sides of the walkway, but it was not dark either.
When I reached the end of the tunnel, I could see people. It appeared to be only from their waist
up. It was not scary at all. Everyone was smiling and happy.
I saw faces that I recognized. I saw both my grandfathers and my father. It was very dark behind
their bodies and I felt the presence of multitudes of others behind them.
Someone was shaking my hand as if to greet me. I think it was my father. He died of Alzheimer's
disease and was a mess when he died. But now he was upright and looking healthy and I realized just
how short he really was. All these people were so very happy to see me.
At that point I felt the need to go back to the living. It was not a horrifying feeling but just a point
where it was time to decide. I still don't think the decision to go back was mine. I feel someone decided it
for me.
My hand was still holding (not shaking anymore in greeting) the person who I first started shaking
hands with. The hand was very warm and soothing. My hand slowly and gently slipped away as I floated
backwards to the living world. Then it was over. I was back. In retrospect, I am not afraid of dying now.

¾ Let's think about Heaven


All of those wonderful Bible heroes who are memorialized in God's hall of fame, the 11th chapter of
Hebrews, considered themselves pilgrims and strangers here because they all looked for that Heavenly City which
hath Foundations, the one country that really belonged to them and that they belonged to. They were able to endure
all kinds of tribulation on Earth and suffering and hard work and even torture and death because they looked
forward to that City.
2 Corinthians 5:1—A building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens.
So it pays to think about Heaven and talk about Heaven and try to visualize Heaven and what you have to
look forward to—knowing that the suffering of this present time is nothing compared to the glories that we are
going to share in the near future.
2 Corinthians 4:17–18—For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory, (18) while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things
which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Colossians 3:1–2—If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is,
sitting at the right hand of God. (2) Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Hebrews 13:14—For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.
The Heavenly City, which will come down from God out of Heaven and dwell with men! This is the hope
of all ages: That now-unseen Eternal World where we shall dwell with Him forever! That's what we're all looking
forward to!—Not pie in the sky, but Heaven on Earth!—A New Heaven and a New Earth with its Eternal City!

Another destination: Hell


Of course, not everyone who dies is heading for Heaven. All do, however, pass on into the unseen
world of the spirit and some go to Hell. What is Hell? It is the antithesis of Heaven. In every way that
Heaven is beautiful, Hell is devoid of beauty. Imagine your worst nightmare and you have a taste of Hell.
(You could read Luke 16:19–26, the parable of Lazarus the beggar and the rich man, for a description of
Hell.)
„ Prayer
Paul the Apostle, when writing to some of his followers about heavenly things, told them that he prayed
continually,
Ephesians 1:17–18—That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of
wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, (18) the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you
may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

Section 3: Our Heavenly Home!

¾ The Bible's picture of Heaven


Revelation chapters 21 and 22 offer the most detailed, specific description in the Bible of what Heaven is
like, so we are going to now have an in-depth, verse-by-verse study of the marvels of these chapters. Come with us
now, as we swing out into space and travel far into the future! In fact, in these marvelous chapters we'll travel even
beyond the realms of space and time, into the amazing realm where God Himself dwells, the Eternal Now!—Are
you ready?—Here we go!

¾ Eternity with the Lord


Revelation 21:2–3—Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from Heaven saying, "Behold, the
tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be
with them and be their God."
The place we're going to dwell with the Lord forever hereafter is not some fanciful dreamland way off in
outer space, but an even more amazing Dream City that's going to come down from God, out of Heaven. God's
going to come down and live with us, and us with Him, in that beautiful Dreamtown.

¾ No more tears
Revelation 21:4—And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow,
nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Isn't that beautiful? If you'll read carefully, you'll see that it doesn't say there aren't going to be any tears! I
think a lot of people, when they get to Heaven and face the Lord, are going to be ashamed and cry and weep over
their sins and their failures.
But isn't the Lord wonderful and loving and merciful? He says He's going to wipe away all those tears, and
there will be no more pain, no more death, no more sorrow!—Only eternal, wonderful happiness!
It's going to be so wonderful that you're going to forget about all your troubles of the past.
Isaiah 35:10—And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on
their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

¾ Our inheritance
Revelation 21:5–7—Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new. … (6b) I will give of the
fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. (7) He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be
his God and he shall be My son."
In this wonderful Heavenly City, His overcomers shall "inherit all things!"
1 John 5:4–5—For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the
world—our faith. (5) Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
The Lord loves faith and He loves His faithful children and He is going to reward them greatly! They'll
inherit all things, anything they ever wanted or ever desired!—For it is God's delight to give us the desires of our
own hearts, if we love Him and delight ourselves in Him! He says,
Psalm 37:4—Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Luke 12:32—Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

¾ Reunion with loved ones


Another wonderful thing about Heaven will be a reunion with our loved ones! It'll be the greatest family
reunion ever known, with your loved ones and relatives and children and parents and ancestors and descendants and
fellow laborers and loves. There we will all be together in one place at the same time, rejoicing and praising the
Lord all together in one great, grand Heavenly fellowship meeting. So that's another thrilling aspect of Heaven to
look forward to.—We'll all be together at last!
Everyone there is going to be so good and loving and kind and helpful and gentle and tender and cheerful
and faithful, really loving the Lord and caring for each other.—Just beautiful!—The perfect society, the perfect
community, in perfect fellowship with each other and the Lord. There will be no hate or jealousy or selfishness or
cruelty or any of those bad things.—Everybody's going to be just lovely!—So sweet and kind!—Just beautiful, just
perfect!—Like angels! It will be wonderful!—You'll love it!

NDE: Sammy's story


I had been having flu-like symptoms accompanied by some minor aches radiating out from the
chest into both arms and up into the jaw. I gave the doctors two picture-perfect EKG tests and the
symptoms were written off as a nasty virus. After a couple of weeks of no improvement and another EKG
it was decided to give me a cardiac stress test. This involves walking on treadmill at various levels of
difficulty while wired to an elaborate EKG machine. During the first stage of my test I felt a crushing pain
in my chest. It was as if someone had placed a giant vice on my chest. I remember the doctor asking me
if I was okay and beginning to fall, but I don't remember landing on the treadmill or floor.
After that my memories are bits and pieces of images and feelings. I remember going through a
tunnel or tubular passage with a loud rushing noise in the background. I do not remember entering or
exiting the tube.
The next thing I remember was being drawn toward a magnificent light of immeasurable brilliance.
As I moved toward the light, my first wife [his first wife was deceased] intercepted me. She was happy to
see me but concerned because it was not time for me to be there. I knew she was happy and contented
in her present form. I don't remember her telling me any of that. I just knew it.
It was as if we made a right turn. The next thing I remember is sitting in a warm green pasture-like
setting with a brilliant blue sky. I can't clearly remember if there were grass, flowers, or other plants there.
I spoke with someone there. We talked for hours about why we are all here and my plans for this life. At
that time I knew it all—the whole meaning of life and what it is all about.
I cannot remember any of what we discussed except the last sentence. It is clear to me I am not
supposed to remember. To this day, I still dream of the conversation in great detail. When I wake up, I still
can't remember it. I do not know who or even what I spoke with. I can tell you I felt unconditional love and
limitless wisdom.
As I said, the only thing I remember from that conversation is one sentence. I remember it as clear
as if I just heard it. A deep male voice said, "Then it's decided, you're going back."
At the end of that sentence the medical personnel defibrillated me the second time. I was slammed
back into my body and I felt the shock with a vengeance. It was as if somebody set off a small bomb in
my chest. My eyes popped open and I saw the back of the head of the man who did it. I heard him say
"conversion" which is the medical term for re-establishing a cardiac rhythm. They tell me it was the
second shock. The doctor who administered the stress test said they shocked me twice. The first time I
did not convert.
My eyes closed again. The next time they opened I was in cardiac care.
The memories I can recall of my NDE are very sharp and clear. What I do remember is clear with
no dream-like qualities. I recall traveling at a very high speed through a dark tubular passage. I saw a
very bright, indescribably beautiful full-spectrum light. As bright as the light was, it was not unpleasant or
painful to look at. I met my deceased first wife. I spoke with a superior entity about why we are here and
what my mission in this life is.

¾ Our Heavenly Home's divine design


John gives us an amazing, specific, detailed description of our future Heavenly home itself, the great Space
City, New Jerusalem!—Including its exact measurements, colors, materials, etc:
Revelation 21:9–11—Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues
came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife." (10) And he carried
me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending
out of Heaven from God, (11) having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper
stone, clear as crystal.
Like a diamond, in other words. The city is so beautiful that God likens it unto His crowning creation, a
beautiful woman! Earlier in verse 2, John said that he saw the Holy City descending "as a bride adorned for her
Husband," so we know this reference to the City as "the Bride" is symbolic, as it's obvious that this marvelous City
which He has prepared for His true Bride, His Church, is a very literal, down-to-Earth, Heavenly Home with literal
walls and mansions and a river and trees and gates and exact physical measurements and dimensions.
Revelation 21:12–14—Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and
names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east,
three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve
foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
On each of the gates is a name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. John also says that the names of the
twelve original apostles are on the wall. That doesn't mean that they are the walls or that they are the gates!—This
is simply God's way of honoring them.
Revelation 21:15–16—And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall.
The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve
thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.
Do you have any idea how long 12,000 Biblical furlongs equal in modern measurements?—There isn't a
clear consensus on exactly how long the furlongs referred to in Bible times were, but it's roughly equal to 185
meters. Thus 12,000 furlongs would equal about 2,200 kilometers [1,500 miles]! And that is a very big City!—
2,200 kilometers in each direction—wide, long, and high! It's almost beyond comprehension!

¾ Many mansions
From the measurements we read in Revelation 21, the Heavenly City is an immense size! The tremendous
capacity of this marvelous, final, great, Heavenly City that Jesus has gone to prepare for us is simply amazing!
Remember what Jesus said in John 14:2:
John 14:2a—In My Father's House are many mansions.
Just think, one of these days you're going to live in a beautiful place that isn't going to cost you
anything!—No upkeep, no expenses, absolutely nothing except what it's already cost Jesus!—And it will be
commensurate with your works on Earth, what you already paid for it down here. There are some things that you're
working for right now that you're not going to receive till you get there, but you'll find that whatever you've paid
here is not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed there!
Whatever place Jesus has gone to prepare for you will be fantastic! I'm sure that when you see what He has
for you there, you'll be amazed!

¾ Jesus, the glorious Light of Heaven


Revelation 21:23—The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated
it. The Lamb is its light.
It doesn't say there'll be no moon and no sun, but it says in the City they won't need the moon and the sun,
because it will have its own light, the Light of God and His Son Jesus! But the sun and moon will still continue on
in the world outside the City on the planet Earth, which will still exist with its new Garden-of-Eden-like surface.
But inside this Heavenly City we won't need these earthly lights, because the Lord is the light thereof and it
will be light all the time, all day and all night, and we'll never have to go to bed, we'll never have to sleep, because
we'll never get tired or weary. And even for those on the outside, it will be a blessing just to live anywhere within
view, within sight of that City, just to be able to see it at night and thrill to its gorgeous splendor, resplendent with
the golden, supernatural, miraculous Light of God! God's Word says that even the sun and the moon shall be
ashamed in comparison to the glory and the beauty and the light of that Holy City here on the surface of the Earth!
Isaiah 24:23—Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount
Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.
God's city is going to be perfect and pure and governed by God himself! It's going to be so beautiful! In
fact, it's not going to be beautiful, it's already beautiful! Jesus has been working on it ever since He left!

NDE: Donna's story


It was l973 and I was 17. I was in the hospital. I had lost massive amounts of blood and had bad
cramping of the stomach due to a miscarriage. I remember being in the emergency room and then they
admitted me to a private room. When I was there and the doctor was examining me my heart stopped, my
fever was off the thermometer, and he called in more doctors and nurses.
I distinctly remember starting to feel myself leaving my body and floating up to the top of the room.
As I looked down there were five doctors, three nurses, IV's being put in both arms and a heart machine
all trying to bring me back! I just looked down on them and it felt so good to be up there that it was quite
beautiful and I really didn't care to go back.
The next thing I recall was floating way up to a place in a bright illuminous light that I have never
seen in this world—words could not describe the warmth, love, and peaceful feeling that was in this light.
I saw a huge three-dimensional screen come up bigger then any movie screen I had ever seen in
my life! I just stood there watching my whole entire life pass before my eyes on this screen. Everyone I
had ever encountered in my 17 years of life was on this screen; every emotion and feeling was also
played too! It was surreal!
After that I started floating toward a tunnel. It was very long but the light on the other end was
unbelievable. I was in so much bliss going toward the light. The feelings I had were so loving and
peaceful, nothing like I ever felt on earth. I really wanted to go and never come back here! It was pure joy,
peace, and bliss, but I was told I had to come back, my purpose was not fulfilled here.
I started floating back. Next thing I remember looking down at my body with all those doctors trying
to bring me back and fighting for them not to! I could not move a muscle in my body yet as my spirit body
was moving back into my physical body. I kept saying "No, no, don't do this to me! Let me go! Don't save
me!" I was really hoping they wouldn't bring me back!
I learned one thing when I was there I will always remember. The message was to love each and
every one and judge no one or nothing! Just that simple!
Isaiah 60:20—The Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be
ended.

The River of Life


Revelation 22:1–2—And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding
from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the
tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were
for the healing of the nations.
The Prophet Ezekiel also caught a glimpse of this wonderful river and these heavenly trees and
described them thus:
Ezekiel 47:12—Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used
for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because
their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.

„ Read Revelation 22

¾ If you die before the Rapture, straight to Heaven you go


As we've been reading Revelation 21 and 22, we've been focusing on the description of Heaven from the
point of view of the final destination—after Jesus has returned to reclaim the world for God, after the Millennium,
the Heavenly City is our eternal home.
But what about the believers who die now? Where are they now? Do they have to wait until some time in
the future to enjoy the pleasures of paradise? No! Those who die now do not have to wait until Jesus' Second
Coming before being raised from the dead. Paul said,
2 Corinthians 5:8—To be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
So this wonderful place we've been reading about is already filling up with the saved of all ages. They are
already enjoying the wonders of God's Heavenly Home! They are already in the presence of Jesus.
Perhaps you're wondering what it is like for them, and what they are like. So far we've talked a lot about
what Heaven is like, and in the next class we'll talk about Heaven's inhabitants—us!—and what we will be like.

Ending note

„ Prayer
Dear Jesus, we thank You that we will be able to spend all eternity with You and with our loved ones who
have received You, that we will never be apart. We will never be alone, and with each passing day we will grow to
know You more and more, and see You more clearly and understand You more deeply. Amen.
12 Foundation Stones—Class 9B
Now and Forever
Heaven, Part 2
Section 1: What Will You Be Like in Heaven?
You can hardly appreciate Heaven and what it will be like unless you know what you're going to be like!
Of course, we don't know all the details, as it is somewhat a mystery, but here are some verses and ideas on the
subject.

¾ The mystery of the resurrection


1 Corinthians 15:51–52—Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— (52)
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
When the Lord created the life cycles of butterflies and moths, He was illustrating resurrection. They hatch
from eggs into little worm-like caterpillars. Then they wrap themselves up in a cocoon called a chrysalis, almost
like a coffin, and it seems they die. But then spring comes and suddenly the coffin splits open and out comes a
beautiful butterfly or moth! Once it was just a little crawling worm, and all of a sudden it breaks out into a beautiful
butterfly that flies in the heavens!—One of God's prettiest creatures.
Like the difference between the grain of wheat and the full-grown, full-blown stock and head that comes
from one grain, or the flower and the tiny seed it comes from, that's how much better your new Heavenly body is
going to be! It will be so much more wonderful; it will be like the difference between the seed and the flower! Paul
writes:
1 CorinthiansW 15:35–38—But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they
come?" (36) Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. (37) And what you sow, you do not sow
that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. (38) But God gives it a body as He
pleases, and to each seed its own body.
Paul says it's such a mystery you can hardly understand it, just like most of us do not understand how a
seed buried in the ground comes to life and springs up and becomes a whole new plant. That's how much more
wonderful your new body's going to be, and how different!
He says there's one kind of this and one kind of that, and if you bury a grain of wheat in the ground you're
not going to get apples. What comes out, the final end product, is going to look like the grain of wheat you buried.
In Heaven you're going to look like yourself, but with a marvelous new body!

¾ Spirit bodies until we receive our new bodies at the resurrection


When we're talking about how we will be in Heaven, it's important to understand there are two stages. If
we die now, before Jesus returns, we are given a type of spiritual body. When Jesus returns, then the bodies of the
saved believers (who were already in Heaven) will be resurrected. Those who are still alive at His coming will be
instantly transformed to receive their resurrected bodies:
1 Thessalonians 4:15–17—For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain
until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself will
descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in
Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to
meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
The Bible doesn't say much about the present state of those who die now (before Jesus returns) but tells in
some detail our state when resurrected. So now let's look at what we will be like in our resurrection bodies.

¾ When we are resurrected, we will be like Jesus after His resurrection


Philippians 3:20–21—For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord
Jesus Christ, (21) who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to
the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
We're going to be like Jesus! We're going to look like Jesus did when He rose from the dead. We are going
to be much the same as we are now, except that we're going to have supernatural bodies. We will look like we do
now, just as Jesus did after His resurrection. He could even eat and drink and they could feel Him and touch Him as
well as see Him. Jesus took on a physical form, which means it is some kind of a form of flesh. Theologians call
them theophanies, a word literally meaning "God body," the fleshly physical embodiment of a spirit being. We'll be
like Him—God's Word says so!
1 John 3:2—Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we
know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
He was born of woman, of flesh. He died like a man, like flesh dies, but He was resurrected like we'll be
resurrected, being in a sense part spirit and part flesh.
1 Corinthians 6:14—And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
Romans 6:4W–5—Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised
from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been
united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.

¾ The qualities of our new heavenly bodies


Let's look at the qualities that Jesus had when He was resurrected.
„ A new kind of body
When Jesus was resurrected, He was not purely spirit.
Luke 24:36–40—Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them,
"Peace to you." (37) But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. (38) And He said
to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? (39) Behold My hands and My feet, that
it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." (40) When He had
said this, He showed them His hands and His feet.
Jesus was still human and still had a body of flesh and bone—He says so! Flesh and bone!
You notice He doesn't say blood, because "the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11).
Corruption comes through blood and the carnal nature of our present physical bodies that are from the dust. We're
going to have flesh that looks like this flesh and feels like this flesh too, but it's not going to have the kind of life
that blood gives, which is not eternal life.
We are going to have a new kind of a spiritual, resurrected, marvelous, eternal, glorified body; and yet it's
going to be material enough and natural enough and recognizable enough and seeable, feelable, enjoyable enough
to actually be constructed as we now are of flesh and bones—but eternal flesh and bones, incorruptible, immortal
flesh and bones.—Flesh and bones! Think of it! And that kind of marvelous glorified Heavenly body is going to be
able to enjoy all the pleasures that our body enjoys here and now.

„ Recognizable
1 Corinthians 15:49—And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the
heavenly man.
Even as we have looked on Earth, we will resemble that same image in Heaven. We will bear the same
looks and general appearance—here called "image"—as we have here on Earth, but much more glorious.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that it's going to be like the difference between sowing a seed, and then what
comes up out of the seed. He says it's going to be new and different, and yet we'll recognize each other; we'll "know
even as also we are known" (1 Corinthians 13:12).
„ Powers of movement
When Jesus was resurrected, He was not only able to do all the normal natural things we humans do, but
when His disciples were in a locked room with the doors all barred, all of a sudden He came walking right through
the door without unlocking it! Jesus could appear or disappear; He could walk right through walls or locked doors.
John 20:19—Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the
disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be
with you."
John 20:26—And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors
being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"
In your new body, you'll be able to walk through walls, doors, and appear and disappear just like Jesus did.
Perhaps we'll even fly!
Isaiah 60:8—Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like doves to their roosts?

¾ The pleasures of life continued


All of the pleasures of this present physical life can be continued into the next life as well, since we will
have a body which is similar to our physical body, but so much more glorious and wonderful and supernatural that
it's even called spiritual. Yet it can actually materialize and eat and drink and be merry, have fun, love and all of the
present pleasures of this life extended into the next. We will have an immortal, incorruptible, all-powerful body that
can enjoy these pleasures even more there than we do here, and forever without ever suffering pain or sickness or
weariness or death. It will be absolutely marvelously heavenly forever!

„ Still able to eat, although it won't be necessary


Luke 24:42–43—So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their
presence.
Jesus ate with His disciples several times after He was resurrected. In Luke 24 we read how He sat down
and ate with them. Another time He broke bread with the disciples after the walk down the road to Emmaus. They
didn't recognize Him until after He broke bread.
Luke 24:13–17, 30–31—Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus,
which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. (14) And they talked together of all these things which had
happened. (15) So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.
(16) But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. (17) And He said to them, "What kind of
conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?" … (30) Now it came to pass, as He
sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. (31) Then their eyes were
opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

„ For more on this subject, be sure to read 1 Corinthians 15, if you haven't already.

Section 2: Our Heavenly Co-Workers

¾ Heaven is a busy place


Job 1:6a; 2:1a—Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord. (1)
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord.
Revelation W4:2, 6, 9–10; 5:11—Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in Heaven, and One
sat on the throne. (6) Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and
around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. (9) Whenever the living creatures
give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, (10) the twenty-four
elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their
crowns before the throne. (5:11) Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living
creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of
thousands.
Being in Heaven does not mean an eternity of nothingness, but a whole new life of movement, action,
learning, and achievement. When you read the book of Revelation, you'll see there are lots of things happening!—
People coming and going, trumpets blowing, singing, praising, people being called in for audiences, sent on
assignments, and more!

¾ Helping those on Earth


From the Scriptures we can see that one of the activities of Heaven's inhabitants is helping those of us still
alive here on Earth. Those in Heaven are not only observing our activities, but they are assigned by the Lord to
actively assist and sometimes communicate with us on Earth.
Some examples of God using the spirits of departed believers to communicate with those still living on
Earth are found in the account of the spirits of the departed prophets, Moses and Elijah, appearing and conferring
with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration; and Saint John's account in the book of Revelation of his conversation
with a heavenly messenger sent by God to reveal to him mysteries of the future.
Let's look at some of the Scriptures that explain this.

¾ The cloud of witnesses—Hebrews 12:1


The 11th chapter of the New Testament Book of Hebrews is an inspiring account of the faith and exploits
of many of the most outstanding men and women of God who appear in the Old Testament. Immediately following
this listing of heroes and heroines of faith, we are told in the first verse of the next chapter,
Hebrews 12:1—Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside
every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
The original manuscript of the New Testament was not divided into chapters, so you've got to keep in mind
the chapter before this (11) in order to know what "great cloud of witnesses" he's talking about. Those who have
already gone on to be with the Lord are watching us, praying for us, and trying to help us.
¾ Delivering prophecies
In almost every case of the Biblical prophets there was some spiritual agent or an angel or someone
helping him most of the time. Time and again when the prophets revealed something, they said the angel of the
Lord or someone else was there showing them. So it must have been the angel who was communicating those
visions, and the prophet was able to see what God was showing the angel to show to the prophet to pass on to the
people.

Daniel 8:13a—Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who was
speaking.
Daniel 8:15—Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly
there stood before me one having the appearance of a man.
Daniel 9:21–23—Yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the
beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. (22) And he informed
me, and talked with me, and said, "O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. (23) At the
beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved;
therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:"
Daniel 12:5–7—Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that
riverbank. (6) And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long shall
the fulfillment of these wonders be?" (7) Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the
river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall
be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all
these things shall be finished.
Ezekiel 40:1–4—In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the
month, in the fourteenth year after the city was captured, on the very same day the hand of the Lord was upon me;
and He took me there. (2) In the visions of God He took me into the land of Israel and set me on a very high
mountain; on it toward the south was something like the structure of a city. (3) He took me there, and behold,
there was a man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze. He had a line of flax and a measuring rod
in his hand, and he stood in the gateway. (4) And the man said to me, "Son of man, look with your eyes and hear
with your ears, and fix your mind on everything I show you; for you were brought here so that I might show them
to you. Declare to the house of Israel everything you see."
Zechariah 1:9—Then I said, "My lord, what are these?" So the angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show
you what they are."
Zechariah 2:3—And there was the angel who talked with me, going out; and another angel was coming out to
meet him.
Matthew 1:20—But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a
dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived
in her is of the Holy Spirit."
Matthew 2:13—Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream,
saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for
Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."
Luke 1:11–13—Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
(12) And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. (13) But the angel said to him, "Do
not be afraid, Zacharias."
Revelation 1:1—The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants— things which must
shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John.

¾ Heavenly communication
Isaiah 30:21—Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn
to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
Zephaniah 3:9—For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language, that they all may call on the name of the
Lord, to serve Him with one accord.
Communication in the spirit world may be different than in this physical world, and perhaps includes
thought transference. This helps to explain how we receive messages from those beyond, as they usually
communicate directly in our thoughts.

Try the spirits


Of course, not every communication from the spirit world comes from a good source. In this class
we are focusing on angels or men and women who loved the Lord in their lifetimes and went on to help
from Heaven.
There is another side to spiritual communication—the darker side. Not every spirit is from the Lord
and not every prophecy is inspired by Him!
I John 4:1–3—Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God;
because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every
spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not
confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which
you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
As the Word says, you must "test the spirits" through His Word so that you will not be led astray.
The judgment of prophecies was explained in the classes on prophecy and you may like to review
this subject.

¾ The book of Revelation


In chapter 19 of the book of Revelation, written by the apostle John, after receiving a glorious revelation of
the future from a heavenly being, he writes,
Revelation 19:9–10—Then he said to me, "Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of
the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God." (10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. But
he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony
of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
A similar passage from chapter 22 says,
Revelation 22:8–9—Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship
before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. (9) Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For
I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book.
Worship God."
The book of Revelation contains a number of other passages where John records messages he received
from departed saints.
Revelation 6:9–11—When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain
for the Word of God and for the testimony which they held. (10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How
long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" (11) Then a
white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both
the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
It is interesting that in this passage John sees and hears the so-called "dead," and identifies these "souls" as
"fellowservants" and "brethren"—the same terms applied to the messenger that he fell down to worship in the
previously quoted text. It's also noteworthy that these spirits who had already left this life still expressed concern
about "them that dwell on the earth."
In chapter 7, John describes more astounding sights and sounds he partook of during a spiritual trip to
Heaven:
Revelation 7:9–14—After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all
nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes,
with palm branches in their hands, (10) and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God
who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (11) All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four
living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, (12) saying: "Amen! Blessing and
glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." (13)
Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come
from?" (14) And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great
tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Here John beholds an innumerable multitude of people in Heaven, and he then carries on a two-way
conversation with one of them, an "elder," who clearly appears to be a departed believer. In chapter 5, verse 9, these
same "elders" proclaim to Jesus, "You have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and
people and nation," showing that indeed these elders are departed brethren.

¾ Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration


Another outstanding appearance of two renowned departed saints is recounted in three of the four Gospels,
in the description of Moses' and Elijah's meeting with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. These two prophets
had left this life hundreds of years earlier, but held what was no doubt an important conference with the Lord
shortly before His crucifixion.
Luke 9:28–31—He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. (29) And as He prayed,
the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening. (30) And behold, two men
talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was
about to accomplish at Jerusalem.

¾ The saved of all ages can communicate with those still in this life
The privilege of helping those still in this life is not limited to personalities from the Bible. The saved of all
ages who have passed on to the spirit world can communicate with us. Our loved ones who have passed on, and
those unknown to us personally, may on occasion deliver messages from Heaven.
One example of this is the founder of our movement, David Berg, who departed this life in 1994. It makes
sense that those who devote their lives to sharing the good news of Jesus' love will want to continue doing so when
they pass on beyond, so the Lord gives them opportunities to communicate with us.

Section 3: Getting Ready for Heaven

¾ Getting this far


It’s like the old lady when they made fun of her because she believed that when she died she was going to
go to Heaven. "Ah," they said, "didn't you know all that stuff's been debunked and there's no such thing as God and
Heaven? That's ridiculous to believe like that!"
She said, "Well, even if it isn't so, I sure have had a good time getting this far!"
Think that one over! Even if we don't get to enjoy it forever, we've had a good time getting this far, haven't
we? But the fact is we are going to enjoy it forever! Heaven is our destination!

¾ We don't have to fear death


1 Corinthians 15:55–57—"O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (56) The sting of
death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our
Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 7:24–25a—O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (25a) I thank
God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
For us, as believers, death will have no sting because our sins are forgiven, and the grave will have no
victory because we have won the victory over the grave through Christ and our salvation and our eventual
resurrection. Our spirits are immediately free to go be with the Lord, so it's not really death for us in the same way
it is for others. We don't really "die" in the sense that they die.
That's why we don't really like to call it "dying" or "death." It's better to call it "graduation," "passing on"
or "promotion." It's just like passing from one room to another. It's a very beautiful experience for most people who
know and love the Lord.
John 11:25–26—Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may
die, he shall live. (26) And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die."
John 8:51—Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word he shall never see death.
Jesus Himself said we don't really die! He doesn't even want to call it death or dying. At times when they
said somebody was dead or had died, He said they were "sleeping." He didn't even want to say that they were dead.
At least apparently their body was sleeping and probably their spirits had an after-death experience or life after life.
Matthew 9:24—He said to them, "Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping." And they ridiculed Him.
John 11:11—He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."
Whenever it comes and whenever we go to be with the Lord, however we go to be with the Lord, our entry
into the next world is going to be a wonderful experience! Our place in Heaven is guaranteed!
Matthew 16:28a—Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death.
Psalm 23:4a—Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with
me.
Hebrews 2:14b–15—That through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the Devil,
(15) and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Dying Grace
You don't have to worry about death and fear it and wonder about what's going to happen when
you die. When it comes the Lord will give you dying grace and dying will probably be the easiest thing you
ever did. The hard thing is to live!—Right?
It's like what Dwight L. Moody told the old ladies when they asked him, "Doctor Moody, have you
got dying grace?"—Two self-righteous Holiness sisters who figured, of course, they had dying grace
already!
He shocked them by saying, "No, sisters, I'm sorry, I don't have dying grace!"
"You mean, you, the great D.L. Moody, the great evangelist, you don't have dying grace yet?"
He said, "No sisters—I'm not dying yet!"

Out of sight, but not gone


I am standing on the seashore. A ship spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for
the ocean. I stand watching her until she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says, "She is
gone." Gone where? The loss of sight is in me, not in her. Just at the moment when someone says, "She
is gone," there are others who are watching her coming. Other voices take up the glad shout, "Here she
comes!" That is dying.

The other side—those who die without the Lord


We've talked a lot about Heaven and we haven't talked much about what happens to those who
die without knowing the Lord.
Most of the people whose Near-Death Experiences we've heard about must have been saved, or
at least good people, and that's why they all had such good experiences. However there have been other
studies of other kinds of people, some of them not so good and criminals and whatnot, and some of their
experiences were not so happy, it was more like a bad drug trip! There is a Hell and a very unhappy side
to eternity, but we don't have time to get into it in this class.

¾ Our lives are in the Lord's hands. He'll bring us Home when it is time.
As much as we're looking forward to Heaven, we should never consider taking matters into our own hands.
God knows when and how we're supposed to die. If you love the Lord, God has appointed a time and a place for
you to die when your job is done.
Psalm 48:14—For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.
We do not consider suicide an acceptable act in the eyes of God. Anyone who commits suicide is robbing
God of the life that He has given them to serve others! God knows when and how you're supposed to die, and we
should each wait for God to make the decision and have His way, whatever it is, and not die at our own hand.
Life is a precious thing, given to us by God, and though He has given man the freedom of choice, He
means for you to leave with Him the choice of when your physical body dies and you return to His arms. God has
His Own timetable for each person on Earth, and when your time is up, He'll call you Home.
This present life on Earth is for a reason. There are lessons to be learned to prepare us for Heaven, and it's
wisest and best for each of us to live our lives on Earth through to the end in order to be prepared and learn what we
need to learn before our arrival in Heaven!
Although Heaven has wonderful beauties and glories, including freedom from the pain and suffering that
exists in our earthly life, those who end their lives prematurely will have to face the consequences of their action
once they get to the other side. They will have to learn the lessons that the Lord wants them to learn from their
wrong decision. They will still have to face the sorrow, pain, and suffering which they have caused their friends,
relatives, and loved ones.
Self-destruction is no victory. It could come under the classification of the Scripture about respecting the
"temple of God" which you are:
1 Corinthians 3:16–17b—Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in
you? (17b) … For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
The worst disrespect of all would be to destroy your own body. We need to wait for God to make the
decision of when our life on Earth should be over. We have no right to destroy the God-given life which He's given
us to live for Him and others!

NDE: June's story


(As told by her doctor:) June had had a cardiac arrest at the age of five during surgery to repair her
heart valves and to install a pacemaker. She often talked about her near-death experience, mainly
because it was such a beautiful event that it always seemed to be with her. Although she was deeply
anesthetized during the surgery, she suddenly found herself floating above the doctors, watching them as
they worked. She could recount details: the appearance of certain instruments, for instance, and the fact
that one of the doctors was right-handed and the other left-handed. When the doctors began their
procedure to restart her heart, she found herself leaving the operating room and traveling down a long
tunnel. At the other end, she was bathed in light, a bright warm light that she always described as "the
Light of God." As she later told her husband, Don, "I was never afraid again after I experienced the light. I
know that I can die at any time, and yet I have no fear."
It was the experience of this light that gave her such a positive outlook on life. Without it, much of
her life would have been dark. Her parents died when she was young. Her sister died of a drug overdose
at the age of eighteen. June knew that pacemakers sometimes stop working, causing heart failure, but
she didn't dwell on it. "I was more afraid than she was," said Don. "She had no fear because she had
seen the light."
The day before she died June was having a cup of coffee at her kitchen table, when her dead
sister appeared. She stood before her and announced, "June, it's time to go." Then the apparition sat
down across the table and drank a cup of coffee. When the apparition finished, she simply got up and left
the house. June felt that she couldn't tell her husband what had happened. Instead, she called the aunt
and uncle who had raised her and told them about the peculiar occurrence. "I am going to die, and I just
wanted to say good-bye," she said. Then she called her two brothers. She told them not to mention their
conversation to her husband until she died because it would be too upsetting for him.
She simply told Don how happy he had made her. She was glad to have such a beautiful home
and a wonderful child. Nothing could have made her happier. That night she died in her sleep (at age 28)
because her pacemaker failed. Her heart simply stopped.

¾ We can prepare for Heaven by pleasing the Lord


Our lives in the world to come depend upon the choices that we make while on Earth. Those who choose
to love God and receive Him and try to do good and love their fellow man will be blessed with love in the world to
come. On the other hand, those who hate and destroy and kill will be judged in the world to come, and they will
suffer for their choices and for their lack of love.
If we want to go to be with the Lord in Heaven, if you have received the Lord into your heart, that's what
counts! You're saved!
John 6:37b—And the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
However, if we want the Lord to rejoice at our arrival and if we want rewards, then we need to do the
things that please Him. We have already prepared for Heaven by receiving the Lord. Now our lives need to show
and manifest our faith. Remember what Jesus told us:
Revelation 14:13—Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on, and their works follow them.
Matthew 16:27—For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will
reward each according to his works.
A good question to ask yourself at the end of each day is: "What have I done with my life this day? What
did I do for Jesus? What did I do for others?"
Believers will be rewarded at the Judgment of Jesus Christ, the Throne of Christ. For many, the greatest
part of our reward will be meeting people that we have helped, especially meeting people in whose salvation we
were involved. When these people get to Heaven, they're going to be so thankful and appreciative because we were
instrumental in bringing them into that heavenly Kingdom!

Rewards in Heaven
Matthew 6:19–21—Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust destroy
and where thieves break in and steal; (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither
moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (21) For where your treasure is, there
your heart will be also.
Matthew 25:31–40—When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him,
then He will sit on the throne of His glory. (32) All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will
separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. (33) And He will set the
sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. (34) Then the King will say to those on His right hand,
‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
(35) for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and
you took Me in; (36) I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and
you came to Me.' (37) Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry
and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? (38) When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or
naked and clothe You? (39) Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' (40) And the
King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of
these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Psalm 62:12—Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; for You render to each one according to his
work.
Jeremiah 17:10—I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to
his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.
Revelation 22:12—And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every
one according to his work.
2 Corinthians 5:10—For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may
receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

Heaven is full of sinners!


Heaven is full of normal people, just like we are. Anyone who arrives in Heaven is there because
they are saved by grace, not because they're some sort of holy, self-righteous hypocritical type of person!
This song expresses the thought very well.

Heaven Is Full of Sinners


By Jeremy Spencer

I know Heaven is full of sinners


You never thought you would see.
They were lost, humble, loving sinners
Jesus came to free.
I know Heaven is full of sinners,
People like you and me.
All so happy to be forgiven
For eternity!

You can never be too bad for Jesus,


Only too good!

Heaven's open to all who will receive Him


If only they would!

I know Heaven is full of sinners.


We just might be surprised
At the characters we will meet There
In our Home up high!
They're our sisters
And they're our brothers,
All saved by grace.
Sinning saints! There are no others
In that heavenly Place!
12 Foundation Stones—Class 10A
The Seven Steps
Witnessing, Part 1
Section 1: Why Witness?

¾ Making a difference
In the last class we talked about Heaven. We know it's a wonderful place, and today we're going to talk
about how we can offer more people the opportunity of experiencing it! But we're not just going to talk about
making a difference in eternity.—Let's also look at here and now. So many people struggle through life, battling
loneliness, dissatisfaction, health problems, financial problems, frustrations, you name it—so many problems!
When someone receives the Lord, their problems don't all magically disappear, as you've probably experienced
yourself. But the difference is that now they have Jesus to walk with them along the path of life. They have the
source of joy, of love, to help them through their lives. Don't we want other people to know Jesus as we know
Him?—That's what "witnessing" is about. Witnessing is sharing the love of Jesus with another human being,
testifying of your belief in Jesus. The goal is that the person you testify to will also accept Jesus as their Savior.

¾ What do we mean by "witnessing"?


Acts 1:8—But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to
Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
We use the term "witness" for the act of telling others about Jesus, salvation and our faith. Most of us are
more familiar with this term being used to describe someone who testifies in legal proceedings. A witness stands
before the judge and jury and tells what he or she knows. In similar manner, we who are saved and have come to
know Jesus as our Savior, are called by Him to testify before the jury—the world—what we know about Him and
His love for us.
There are many ways to witness. You can witness with a smile, a hug, or an act of generosity. Yet what
takes these actions beyond the realm of the "loving thing to do" into actual witnessing is if you bring Jesus to
someone in some way, either talking about Jesus or God's love, or letting the person know that it is the love of
Jesus that motivates you. You are telling them or conveying in some way that He loves them, that He offers them a
chance for eternal life if they will receive Him as their Savior. This is witnessing. This is "preaching the Gospel to
every creature," as He has given commandment to do.
Mark 16:15—And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."

Witnessing: Making the connection


Witnessing is making a connection from God to somebody who needs His love. You are the
connection between God and that person. In everything we do in witnessing, God is the One who's
sending the message and they are the one He wants to get it to.
But it has to go through you.—You're like a telephone operator. And if you don't make the
connection, if you're lazy and slow and negligent and you don't care and you don't even want to be
bothered with these calls and so you don't make the connection, then it's a broken connection, and they
never get the message, and they never receive the love, and so there's never any answer. A witness is
the connector between God and the people. A witness is the operator who receives the message of God
and passes it on.

The definition of "witness"


Dictionary definitions of "witness" include: One who can give a firsthand account of something
seen, heard, or experienced: a witness to the accident. One who furnishes evidence. To testify to one's
religious beliefs.

¾ Jesus gave the "Great Commission" to all believers


Matthew 28:19–20—"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
John 20:21—So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you."
Romans 10:14–15—How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they
believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (15) And how shall
they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of
peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"
"Go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15) doesn't sound like an option,
does it!? The message is clear! Jesus again made it quite apparent that all believers are appointed to preach the
Gospel when He said:
John 15:16a—You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit.

Salt of the earth


At a meeting some young people were discussing the text, "You are the salt of the earth" (Matthew
5:13). One suggestion after another was made as to the meaning of "salt" in this verse.
"Salt imparts a desirable flavor," said one.
"Salt preserves from decay," another suggested.
Then a Chinese Christian girl spoke out of an experience none of the others had. "Salt creates
thirst," she said, and there was a sudden hush in the room. Everyone was thinking: Have I ever made
anyone thirsty for Jesus? (See Matthew 9:36–38)

Which Martin do you know?


At the beginning of the Reformation, Martin of Basle came to a knowledge of the truth, but, afraid
to make a public confession, he wrote on a leaf of parchment: "O most merciful Christ, I know that I can
be saved only by the merit of Thy blood. Holy Jesus, I acknowledge Thy sufferings for me. I love Thee! I
love Thee!" Then he removed a stone from the wall of his chamber and hid it there. It was not discovered
for more than a hundred years.
About the same time Martin Luther found the truth as it is in Christ. He said: "My Lord has
confessed me before men; I will not shrink from confessing Him before kings." The world knows what
followed, and today it reveres the memory of Luther; but as for Martin of Basle, who remembers or even
knows of him?

¾ We have a responsibility to the people we meet


Proverbs 14:25a—A true witness delivers souls.
Acts 26:18—..Open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God,
that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.
James 5:20—Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and
cover a multitude of sins.

¾ If we don't offer them a chance for salvation, they will suffer, and so will we!
Mark 8:38—For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the
Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.
1 Corinthians 9:16—For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes,
woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!
Ezekiel 3:17–19—Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from
My mouth, and give them warning from Me: (18) When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,' and you give
him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall
die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. (19) Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn
from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

¾ Don't miss the chance


If you have the opportunity to witness to someone, you should talk to them! You may never see them
again! Maybe they'll die, maybe they'll go some place else, maybe that's the last chance you'll have! You're
responsible to give them the message.

"You will never speak to that man again."


This story was told by Dr. R. A. Torrey, American evangelist (1856–1928):
One evening when Mr. Alexander and I were in Brighton, England, one of the workers went from
the afternoon meeting to a restaurant for his evening meal. His attention was drawn toward the man who
waited upon him, and there came to his heart a strong impression that he should speak to that waiter
about his soul, but that seemed to him such an unusual thing to do that he kept putting it off.
When the meal was ended and the bill paid, he stepped out of the restaurant, but had such a
feeling that he should speak to that waiter that he decided to wait outside until the waiter came out. In a
little while the proprietor came out and asked him why he was waiting. He replied that he was waiting to
speak with the man who had waited upon him at the table. The proprietor replied, "You will never speak to
that man again. After waiting upon you he went to his room and shot himself."

His greatest mistake


Evangelist D. L. Moody, said that his "greatest mistake" occurred October 8, 1871. On that night in
Chicago, he addressed one of the largest crowds of his career. His message was about the Lord's trial
before Pilate, and was based on Pilate's question, "What shall I do then with Jesus?" (Matthew 27:22).
As Moody concluded, he said, "I wish you would seriously consider this subject, for next Sunday
we will speak about the cross, and at that time I'll inquire, ‘What will you do with Jesus?' Ira Sankey then
sang the closing hymn, which included the lines, ‘Today the Savior calls; for refuge fly. The storm of
justice falls, and death is nigh.'
But the hymn was never finished, for while Sankey was singing, there was the rush and a roar of
fire engines on the street outside. That was the night of the great Chicago fire that almost destroyed the
whole city. And before the next day, Chicago lay in ashes. "I have never since dared," said Moody, "to
give an audience a week to think of their salvation."

¾ "The love of Christ compels us"


Matthew 9:36—But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were
weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
2 Corinthians 5:14a—For the love of Christ compels us.
The Lord wants us to be moved by the same feelings of compassion, love and care as He is. "He was
moved with compassion." The love of Christ should motivate us to do all we can to reach out to others, not merely
out of a sense of duty and obedience to His commandments, but because our hearts are sincerely touched by the
needs of others.

The blind man who was healed


A blind man was taken to a hospital. The doctor operated, removing cataracts from his eyes. The
man went back to his home seeing and rejoicing. In a few weeks he went back to the hospital. This time
he was holding the end of a rope to which forty blind people were clinging. He had led them to the place
where he had received his sight. Should we attempt to do less in a spiritual way?

¾ How your witness can change the world


Your witness can change more than you realize! The words of God's prophets have crossed the ages and
swept around the earth and changed the course of nations! Their messages have changed the hearts of men and
given hope for a better world.
But whether you change a nation or not, if you have changed even one life by the power of God's love you
have changed a part of the world! If one life can be changed, it shows that it's possible for more lives to be changed,
and the world can be changed, starting with just one person—all because you shared the love of God with others.
Never underestimate the far-reaching results that the salvation of even one person can have! Even if you
don't see the results right away, that person may some day do great things for God or mankind.
L For more on this subject, see the article "Change the World" in Activated issue #5

World changers!—A few examples from history.


Armenia became the first Christian state in the history of the world in 301 A.D.. Gregory "the
Illuminator" visited the country and in 303 A.D., converted King Tiridates III and members of his court.

How Norway, Iceland and Greenland heard the message: Olaf I (968–1000 A.D.), King of Norway,
participated in numerous Viking raids along the Baltic and North Sea coasts and in the British Isles.
During his last campaign in England (994) he was converted to Christianity. The following year he
returned to Norway, where he set out to Christianize the country. His efforts also contributed to the
conversion of Iceland, Greenland, and the Faeroe Islands to Christianity.
The story continues: Leif Ericson (circa 975–1020), was the Icelandic explorer thought to have
been one of the first Europeans to set foot on North American soil. He voyaged from Greenland to
Norway shortly before 1000. There, according to one tradition, King Olaf I was responsible for converting
him to Christianity and later sent him back to Greenland to win its Viking settlers over to the Christian
faith. One of his converts was his mother, Thjódhild, who is said to have built Greenland's first Christian
church at Brattahlid.

The abolition of slavery: Christians played important roles in many humanitarian and reform movements
during the 19th century. In England, evangelical Protestants were leaders of the agitation that led to the
abolition by Parliament of slavery in British dominions. In turn, at the Congress of Vienna in 1814, Great
Britain exerted its influence to induce other foreign powers to adopt a similar policy abolishing the slave
trade, and eventually nearly all the states of Europe passed laws or entered into treaties prohibiting the
traffic. In the U.S., evangelical Protestants also actively campaigned against slavery.
One of the outstanding leaders against slavery was William Wilberforce (1759–1833), British
statesman and reformer. He converted to Christianity in 1784. Wilberforce became the chief spokesman
in the House of Commons for the movement to abolish the slave trade. In 1807 Wilberforce secured
enactment of legislation prohibiting the trade. He joined the struggle for the complete abolition of slavery
and in 1823 was a founder of the Anti-Slavery Society. The Emancipation Bill abolishing slavery became
law one month after his death.

Each of these examples has one key point in common: What happened was the result of the conversion
of one person.

Former Japanese gangster a fervent witness


A Japanese gangster who became a Christian is converting other criminals. Hiroyuki Suzuki takes
the Christian message to railway stations and public squares, using his notoriety to grab attention,
according to the Times of London. He has numerous tattoos and several amputated fingers attesting to
his previous allegiance to the yakuza organized crime organization. Suzuki is the founder of Mission
Barabbas, a group of reformed gangsters who have embraced evangelical Christianity. His ministry
includes fervent preaching, songs, and faith-healing. Christianity is considered a mysterious sect by most
Japanese, and only 1.5 percent of the population is Christian. But Suzuki's church in Tokyo overflows on
Sundays.
Suzuki dates his conversion to a point when he was deep in debt, taking drugs, and plagued by
illness. He put a gun to his temple but didn't have the nerve to pull the trigger, according to the Times. His
estranged wife had been an ardent churchgoer and, out of desperation, he sought refuge in a church. "I
told the minister I was a gangster who had done time, deserted his wife and child, and was beyond
redemption. But the minister talked to me about God's love and the meaning of the cross," Suzuki told the
Times. He returned to his family and was accepted immediately. "That made me believe in the existence
of unconditional love and the fact that people can start over again."
Food for thought: What if the minister hadn't been available to talk with Suzuki? What if he had
closed the doors, said it was too late, or maybe even been afraid to speak with him?—But because he
was willing and available to witness to Suzuki, how many souls have been saved as a result?

Miracles in Cambodia, 2000


Miracles are turning people to Christ in Cambodia, said Advance, a publication of the Foursquare
Gospel Church. Residents of two villages professed faith in Christ after a display of God's power,
Advance said. In one village residents asked a missionary pastor to pray for rain for their newly planted
crops, while in a nearby village residents asked him to pray that God would stop the rain until their crops
were planted. For the next week, rain fell on the village that had planted its crops, but not on the other
village, the publication said. People in both villages declared themselves Christians and received the Lord
as their Savior!
Food for thought: What if the missionary hadn't been there? What if he had prayed for them, but
hadn't told them Who was answering their prayers?

¾ Heavenly rewards for witnessing


Daniel 12:3—Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to
righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
Luke 12:8—Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the
angels of God.
1 Corinthians 3:8b—Each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
1 Corinthians 9:17a—For if I [preach the gospel] willingly, I have a reward.
It's a thrilling, wonderful satisfying experience when, having found the love of Jesus, you pass it on to
another. You'll be so thankful when you meet that soul in Heaven, that you'll be jumping up and down for joy, and
feel that it was worth it all.—And they will be thankful to you for all eternity that you told them about Jesus' love
and won them to the Lord!
The most precious, priceless thing that God ever made is a human soul! Souls are forever!
1 John 2:17—And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
The end result and goal of witnessing is a newborn babe in the family of God, a soul made whole by the
hands of God. Saved souls are the only thing we can take with us from this world! As Paul wrote to one of his
flocks:
1 Thessalonians 2:9,13,19—We preached to you the gospel of God; (13) when you received the Word of God
which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which
also effectively works in you who believe. (19) For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even
you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?
¾ Joy in Heaven as a result of each soul saved!
Luke 15:10—Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who
repents.

Section 2: Getting Ready To Witness

¾ How to witness
Most likely you've already been witnessing. Maybe you gave a tract to someone. Maybe you told someone
else about these classes. Maybe you have been acting differently and someone you're close to asked you "why" and
you told them about your faith. Or maybe you've been telling someone about what you've been learning or reading.
There are many ways to witness. In this class we'd like to help you learn in more detail some of the ways
of witnessing successfully, including how to explain salvation, how to answer questions, how to lead someone in
prayer, and how to witness in a way that will appeal to the hearer. The Bible says:
Proverbs 11:30—The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
Before we look at the main lessons in this class, there are a few points to take into consideration.

¾ Pray and ask the Lord to lead you


As with everything else in life, you'll be more successful and have fewer problems if you ask the Lord for
His guidance! Although the various tips and lessons in this class will be useful, there is not a set method for how to
use them. It is up to you to pray about how to apply and use these tips.
Ask the Lord to speak to you about those He wants you to witness to. He can show you the best approach
and the best timing if you ask Him.

¾ Be flexible
A witnessing method, or a certain subject of conversation, may be very successful on one occasion but
inappropriate on another. For example, the elderly and the terminally ill are probably thinking about what awaits
them at death, so the promise of eternal life in Heaven will probably inspire them more than anything else to
receive Jesus. Most teenagers, on the other hand, feel they have their whole lives ahead of them and are far more
concerned about coping with the present, so the promise of a Friend who truly understands and will love them
unconditionally may be just the thing to win them.
Be prepared to alter your way of witnessing depending on the needs, interests, and the circumstances of
those you are talking with.

¾ Use wisdom
Not every witnessing "method" is appropriate under all circumstances. For instance, in some countries
public distribution of Christian literature is against the law.
The Lord expects us to exercise wisdom in how and when and to whom we witness. "Behold, I send you
out as sheep in the midst of wolves," Jesus told His disciples. "Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as
doves" (Matthew 10:16). The Lord doesn't mean for us to cause ourselves unnecessary trouble by giving the
message to people who we know won't receive it and possibly even persecute us for it. The whole purpose of
witnessing is to win others with the Lord's love, not antagonize or offend. In some non-Christian countries, unwise
witnessing can lead to serious persecution.
In some countries or cultures where people are fairly ignorant about Jesus or the Bible, you need to go
slower in order for them to understand. In those situations it can take time and a lot of patience to win people to
Jesus. Some people have to be convinced of your sample—the way you live and how loving and concerned you are
for others—before they're ready to accept what you have to say.
Ask the Lord for His wisdom in knowing how, when, and where to witness and to whom!

¾ A matter of timing
There's also the issue of how quickly or slowly to bring up Jesus, and how far to take it the first time.
When it comes to your family and friends, a lot of your witnessing can easily be incorporated into your
conversations with them on other topics. You don't have to come home and start preaching constantly at them right
off the bat.—In fact, it will likely turn them off to what you have to say if you do. In those circumstances start off
gently, and sometimes slowly. Bring Godly principles and mentions of Him and His Word into your discussions as
the opportunity arises. Your friends and family will be watching to see what good your newfound faith is doing
you. Seeing you changed for the better, a sample of happiness, kindness, and love, will be a far greater testimony to
them than any sermon. Soon enough, an opportune time should come up where you can explain Jesus' love and His
gift of salvation to your friend or loved one who has not yet received Him.

¾ Be available
Your best ability is availability when it comes to preaching the Gospel! You can be a witness at school, at
work, in your neighborhood or city, or on some foreign shore. If you're willing to be what Jesus wants you to be
and to do what He asks you to do, He can make you a mighty witness, whatever your age and experience.

¾ Personal witnessing
Many soul-winners have found that the most effective way of winning souls is through personal
conversations. You talk with someone and listen to that person as an individual, and therefore can adapt your
witness to their individual needs.
There are other more public methods of witnessing. We'll talk about some of the most useful in our next
class (including literature distribution and so on), but for now, we'll concentrate on personal witnessing.

Section 3: Seven Steps of Witnessing

¾ We're going to look at seven steps, which covers from the start—finding
someone to witness to—all the way through to establishing them in the faith.
1. Find someone to witness to!
2. Ask questions
3. Listen!
4. Give them God's answers
5. Get a decision
6. Take care of those you lead to the Lord
7. Pray for people

¾ 1. Find Someone to Witness to


We could divide the people you witness to into two categories:
Firstly, there are people whom you encounter in your own surroundings and you don't have to go out of
your way to meet—your relatives, your work or university colleagues, your friends, the clerk at the grocery store
you visit daily, the gas station attendant, and so on.
Secondly, there are people whom you don't know. If you will witness to them it will obviously be
somewhat different than an ongoing witness to someone you see almost daily. A rule of thumb can be that those
you see regularly you can go slow with, but those who you are unlikely to see again you should try to bring all the
way to salvation if possible, or at least give them a salvation tract.
The suggestions we will share with you now apply for both categories of people, but you'll see there will
be obvious differences in approach.

¾ 2. Ask Questions
You need to show concern about them and interest in them, and the way you do that is by asking them
questions about themselves and their lives.—And you will find there's nothing most people like to talk about more
about than themselves!
In other words, show you're interested in them. Ask them about their background. If you understand them
better, you're much better able to witness to them and know what they need the most.—How are you going to find
out who the person is, what he is, what he does, what his religion is, or anything about him at all unless you ask
questions?
Proverbs 18:13—He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.
One of the best ways to start witnessing is just exactly the same way you get acquainted with anybody or
any stranger: "Hi, how are you? Nice day, isn't it?" Talk about the weather or anything, everybody's interested in
the weather. You can talk about issues of concern. Get into some interesting subject. And of course the most
interesting subject to everybody is guess what? (Themselves.) The Lord can inspire you to use situations around
you to help you initiate a conversation with someone.
Remember that conversation is give and take. Although you want to ask questions to get to know them,
don't interrogate them! You should also enter into the conversation and tell about yourself.

L The class "The Golden Rule, Part 1—Success with People" also had good tips about communication.

¾ Ideas for conversation starters

„ Use current events and trends to arouse their interest


Luke 13:1–5—There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had
mingled with their sacrifices. (2) Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other
Galileans, because they suffered such things? (3) I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
(4) Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners
than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? (5)I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish."
In these verses, Jesus referred to current events—Pilate's cruelty, the tower of Siloam falling—to bring to
life the points He wanted to teach. Current events and trends are interesting and can be a good way to get a
conversation going. However, you will want to tread a little carefully as you may find yourself on the opposite side
of an issue with the person you are talking to. If you do this, it is not going to help your witness. Remember, it is
better to lose an argument and win a soul than vice versa. Current happenings such as holidays, new movies, and so
on can also be good conversation starters, especially among younger people.
You'll also find that one of the most interesting things to many people is the future, Bible prophecy. You
start asking them, "Well, do you know what the Bible says about this? Do you know what the Bible says is going to
happen next?"

„ Witness in a quiet place when possible


The best places to witness are quiet ones—someplace quiet and private enough that the person you're
witnessing to can talk with you without being embarrassed by others or distracted by anything else. Perhaps you'll
want to invite them for coffee or go sit in a quiet corner of the park, if weather permits.
If possible, the place also needs to have sufficient light so that they can read the things you're asking them
to read.

¾ 3. Listen
Get them to speak their heart; listen to them
Proverbs 20:5—Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.
Matthew 12:34b—For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
James 1:19a—So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak.
In witnessing, you're not the one who's supposed to do the talking at first. It's best to get them to talk first
to see where they're at, where they stand, who they are, what they are, where they are, as well as where they're
from, etc.. Then you'll know how to talk to them eventually. So ask questions, then listen to their answers until
finally something is said that opens the door for you to witness.
A lot of witnessers talk too much, quote too much Scripture, and all that, without listening to the person
they're witnessing to. You have to show interest and concern in the person and their problems. Ask them questions,
and listen to their answers. That may be the best thing you could do for them to start with—be somebody they can
talk to, and pour out their hearts to.
Even if you have to listen for a long time, keep trying to turn them in the right direction when you see what
they need. Try to guide the conversation if you can by asking more questions: "Oh, is that so? What about this or
what about that and what did you do then? Well, did you ever do so-and-so?"
„ When you are witnessing, you are soul doctors
What does a doctor do? You come in, you've got problems. Does he immediately start writing out the
prescription for you? You, as the spiritual doctor, know the prescription, you know the remedy, but they're going to
think you're kind of crazy if you start giving them the remedy without even finding out what's wrong with them!
How are you going to know what the prescription is—the prescription Scripture—unless you find out what their
problem or their illness or their ailment is?
So get them to talk, listen to what they have to say, and that way you'll find out what's wrong with them,
what their problems are, what their background is.
Almost everybody will talk if you show them a little human interest, a little love, a little concern, and ask
them questions.
¾ 4. Give Them God's Answers
„ Give them God's answers to their problems
Once they've said their piece and given all their problems and proposed answers which they themselves
don't even believe and know don't work, you start giving them God's answers: "Well, do you know what it says
here in the Bible? Do you know what God said about it? Do you know what it really means? Do you know what
you really need to do?" etc.
Then is your time to start giving them God's answers: Telling them in your own words, and also showing
them Scriptures (which we'll talk about more in a minute).
The main answer, of course, is accepting the Lord. So after you listen to their answers, say, "Yes, but you
know the Bible says so-and-so."—"Well, Jesus said that what you need to do is so-and-so, to be born again," and so
on.
„ Give your own personal testimony—tell what the Lord has done for you!
Your own personal testimony is just about the most effective thing you can tell them. Because then they've
either got to say, "You're a liar and I don't believe you!," or, "It must be true, because you say so."
The Apostle Paul was a great witness, and almost every single time he started his witness before kings and
judges or whoever it was, he invariably started with his own personal testimony: "This is what happened to me!"
When it was a new crowd, new people, new situation, he always said, "Well, this is what happened to me."—You
can read examples in Acts 22:3–21 and Acts 26: 1–20.
In the story of Jesus witnessing to the woman at the well in John chapter 4, she was so thrilled about her
experience with this stranger named Jesus that she called the townspeople to meet Him:
John 4:28–29—The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, (29) "Come,
see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"
As a result of her personal testimony, many were saved:
John 4:39—And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who
testified.
Sometimes people will not listen to anything else.—They may refuse to listen to all your preaching.—You
could even prophesy and they wouldn't listen! You could do all the teaching that you think they might need and
they'll still never listen!—But when you start telling them your life story—"This is the way it happened to me and
this is my testimony, this is my personal experience"—instantly you have their attention, they're fascinated!—
People are interested in people! Everybody loves a story, and life stories are a much more effective witness than
getting into theological arguments and preaching sermons on doctrine.
The moment they confess that it's possible for it to happen to you, then they have to confess that it's
possible for it to happen to others! If it's happened once, it's most likely to happen again, and it can happen to them!
„ Illustrate your points with stories
Mark 4:2—He [Jesus] taught them many things by parables.
Everybody loves a story! Jesus Himself knew that it is just human nature to want to hear stories about real
experiences, so He often told parables to illustrate His messages. His stories and vivid examples were usually
simple, but very powerful and effective in bringing spiritual principles down to earth, showing people how they
could apply them in their everyday lives. Are stories effective?—Obviously, yes! Just look at Jesus' example!
Matthew 13:34—All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not
speak to them.
The more you can paint a word-picture and help others to visualize the truth you are trying to tell them
with a story which illustrates the point, the better they will understand it.
The famous preacher, Spurgeon, once said that illustrations are like windows, letting the light stream in!

The soap illustration


Never state a fact if you can bring the fact to life with an illustration. Here's an example:
A soap manufacturer, who was an unbeliever, walked along the road one day with a preacher of
the Gospel. Said the soap manufacturer: "The Gospel you preach has not done much good, for there is
still a lot of wickedness in the world and a lot of wicked people too."
The preacher made no reply until they passed a dirty little child, making mud pies in the gutter.
Seizing his opportunity, the preacher said, "Soap has not done much good in the world, I see; for there is
still much dirt and many dirty people about."
"Oh, well," said the manufacturer, "soap is only useful when it is applied."
"Exactly!" said the preacher, "so it is with the Gospel that we proclaim."

„ Use the Word in your witnessing


The Word of God is powerful and convinces people:
2 Chronicles 17:9—So they taught in Judah, and had the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went
throughout all the cities of Judah and taught the people.
John 20:31—But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that
believing you may have life in His name.
Acts 17:2–3—Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from
the Scriptures, (3) explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and
saying, "This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ."
Acts 18:28—For he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.
Titus 1:9—Holding fast the faithful Word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to
exhort and convict those who contradict.
Most of the world knows about the Bible, even the unbelievers, and they know it's a holy book. People
have a certain amount of respect and reverence for holy books. They'll probably be interested in what it has to say,
especially on these subjects you're talking about, to prove that this holy book that millions and millions, in fact
billions have received, says these things. You've got a lot more weight and authority if you'll use the Bible.
Scripture memorization is important for witnessing, so you can find the verses you want to show:
Psalm 119:42—So shall I have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your Word.
1 Peter 3:15—But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who
asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.

„ Have them read the Word


No one can hear the Word of God without being influenced and affected in some way. Don't just quote it
to them, or just read it to them, but also let them read it themselves. You remember about 80% of what you see, but
only about 40% of what you hear—which means reading it is twice as effective!
„ Keep their attention:
"Look, read this! Oh, it says that here, read this!" Don't you read it to them; most of them can read. You just keep
that Bible in front of them and keep them interested. Even while you're talking and flipping pages, keep them
interested so that you won't lose their attention.
It's good to be able to find Scriptures with your Bible upside-down. If you turn the Bible around and start
hunting for something, they're going to start looking at the top of your head and thinking about other things.
You may like to have tabs cut or marked in your Bible to mark different books or parts of the Bible. You
can put these marks there so that when you flip through the Bible, you can find things easier.
You'll do a lot better in your witnessing if you'll get them to respond each time by reading a Scripture.
"And do you know what's going to happen next? Here, read it! You know what's going to happen after that? Here,
read it!" That's the best way to keep their attention and the best way to get them to remember it and really never
forget. They may not memorize the verse completely, but they'll never forget that they read that right in the Bible,
that's really what it said, that's really what's going to happen.
Of course, in some situations you can't always exactly bring out a Bible.—Sometimes you might, but in a
public place like a café, the person you are witnessing to might be embarrassed if you read to him out of the Bible
or have him read from the Bible. Usually you can only do that in private personal witnessing.
„ Keep your witness simple
1 Corinthians 1:17—For Christ did not send me [Paul] to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of
words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
1 Corinthians 2:1–2—And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom
declaring to you the testimony of God. (2) For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ
and Him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:4—And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in
demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
2 Corinthians 1:12—For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the
world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly
toward you.

Keep your witness simple


Some cynics asked John Wesley [1703–1791, founder of the Methodist Church], "Dr. Wesley,
when you have both children and learned doctors of the law in your audience, to whom do you direct your
message? You couldn't possibly be able to talk to both."
He said, "I talk to the children, of course, and then the learned doctors will understand."
That's what Jesus did! He talked very simply to the common uneducated people and He very
rarely directed any complicated remarks to the learned lawyers, the scribes and pharisees and chief
priests. In fact, He tried to avoid them.
Martin Luther said: "When I preach, I regard neither doctors nor magistrates, of whom I have
above forty in my congregation. My eyes are on the servant maids and the children."

„ Just a few verses


You shouldn't try to cram the whole Bible into the person you're witnessing to. Just keep on going over a
verse or two until he can't forget them; otherwise, you'll just confuse him. Keep things simple!

By grace
A fellow who had been a Catholic priest, yet had never really known the Lord, was in the hospital.
An old lady came by and quoted him the verses Ephesians 2:8–9. She just kept talking to him and quoting
those same verses over and over to him, "For by grace you have been saved" and so on. He said it just
burned itself into his mind until he couldn't get rid of it! And it finally woke him up to the fact that he didn't
have to work his way to Heaven!—And as a result, he was saved!

„ Give them literature to take with them


The literature will keep speaking to them even after you are gone! Literature is also good for busy people
on occasions where you can't say too much yourself. You can give them something to read and think over
afterward.
„ John 3:16 is all you really need to know to win souls!
You can win a lot of people to the Lord with only John 3:16. Let's look at how to use this verse in your
witnessing.
L Show your students how to "teach" John 3:16. You could act it out, then have one of them try it. Or they can
divide into pairs and each one teach the other the verse.

"For God so loved the world"—the world includes you, let me put your name in here.
"that He gave His only begotten Son"—that's Jesus.
"that whoever believes in Him,"—do you believe?
"should not perish, but have everlasting life."—then you are going to live forever in Heaven!

¾ Lift Up Jesus
Acts 5:42—And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the
Christ.
Acts 13:38—Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man [Jesus] is preached to you the
forgiveness of sins.
Acts 20:21—Testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus
Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:23—But we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks
foolishness.
2 Corinthians 4:5—For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants
for Jesus' sake.
1 Timothy 1:15—This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to
save sinners, of whom I am chief.
John 12:32—And I, [Jesus] if I am lifted up ... will draw all peoples unto Myself.
1Corinthians 2:2—I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ.

Don't forget to mention Jesus!


Two businessmen were friends for a long time. Joe was a Christian and Mike, the other, wasn't.
Finally Mike went to a Gospel meeting. He heard the message of salvation and prayed to receive the
Lord. Later Mike told his friend what had happened. Joe said, "Wonderful! That's tremendous! I'm a
Christian, too." Mike, the newly-saved Christian, was stunned.
"Do you know why it took so long for me to receive the Lord?" he asked. "You, Joe, never told me
you were a Christian and never said anything about it, so I thought, ‘Wow! If somebody can be that good
and upright without knowing the Lord, then what need is there for Jesus?'"

„ Find points of agreement. Lovingly win others. Don't argue.


1 Corinthians 9:19–22—For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win
the more; (20) and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under
the law, that I might win those who are under the law; (21) to those who are without law, as without law (not
being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; (22) to
the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all
means save some.
1 Thessalonians 2:7–8—But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. (8)
So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our
own lives, because you had become dear to us.
2 Timothy 2:23–24—But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. (24) And a
servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.
When you're witnessing to someone, you should try as much as possible to find points of agreement. Don't
dwell on your disagreements, on things that you know they're going to disagree with. You've got to win the person
over to yourself first, really, before you can win their heart, before they're going to believe what you've got to say
about Jesus and the Bible and getting saved. So don't start off hitting them between the eyes with something you
know they don't believe and wouldn't agree with!
Love the person, even if you don't like his point of view! This is true of all your witnessing! Dwell on the
positive, not the negative. Discuss the things you have in common, not your differences. Emphasize the things you
agree on, not argue about, and try to establish as many points in common as possible, instead of picking out the
flaws! You've got to remember to make a differentiation between the sin and the sinner, to hate the sin but not the
sinner.
Avoid getting drawn into arguments. There is a saying "a man convinced against his will is of the same
opinion still." There is little point in pursuing a line of conversation if the other person is just trying to argue abou