Sunday, March 9, 2014

Church of the Living God
Bible Study Lesson
Presenter: Overseer Ennis F. Tait

Date:   Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Series: Spiritual Warfare
Reference Scripture:  Jeremiah 1:4-10, 17-19

Today’s Discussion:    “Training Day”

We’re living in a day and time when the “church” has lost its impact on the world.  Consequently, believers have started to shift their thinking and consider other options to build their faith.  The work of growing the church has become very risky.
(Read: II Timothy 4:3-4)

·         Time – [kahee-ros] – an occasion, i.e. set or proper time
·         Sound – [hoog-ee-ah-ee-no] – to have sound health, i.e. be well (in body) to be uncorrupt (true in doctrine)
·         Doctrine – [did-as-kal-ee-ah] – Instruction (the function or information)
·         Shall they Heap – [ep-ee-so-ryoo-o] – to accumulate further, i.e. seek additionally

The lesson aim is to show believers that God wants to rescue the church.  More importantly, God has commissioned individuals to connect, unit and support the kingdom agenda. (Read: Ephesians 4:11-13)

God explains to the prophet the sovereignty of HIS call.  God doesn’t ask for or solicit our opinion about what to do for HIS people.  Through divine providence, God raises up leaders that are willing to go and face the enemy whether internally or externally.  Jeremiah’s assignment was to go and prepare God’s people for an ensuing battle.  He would face spiritual wickedness in high places; he would come against principalities; he would be confronted by the rulers of the darkness of this world.  Nevertheless, God does not allow him to escape his assignment because of inadequacies or indifferences. God gives Jeremiah specific details of his assignment.  In addition God provides the new recruit with support for his journey.

Jer 1:10
 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.  Jer 1:19
 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. (KJV)

According to the Manual for Spiritual Warfare, “spiritual warfare is multidimensional”, which means we engage in warfare “in different dimensions”.
·         A social battle between the believer and the world (St. John 15:18-27)
·         A personal battle between the flesh and the spirit (Galatians 5:16-26)
·         A supernatural battle between believers and evil spiritual powers

(Ephesians 6:10-27)
Church of the Living God
Bible Study Lesson
Presenter: Overseer Ennis F. Tait

Date:   Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Series: Spiritual Warfare
Reference Scripture:  Ephesians 6:13

Today’s Discussion:    “Hold Your Position” (Part II)

The most difficult task for believers today is patience.  We struggle with the idea of waiting on God to “do something”.  Because of our impatience we tend to become restless and breakout in a panic over attacks from the enemy.  Interestingly, Moses confronts the fears of the people by offering them hope in God’s ability to deal with the matter at hand.  (Read: Exodus 14:13-14)

·         Stand Still – [yaw-tsab] – to place (anything so as to stay); to station, offer, continue
·         Salvation – [yesh-oo`-aw] – something saved, i.e. deliverance; hence, aid, victory, prosperity
·         HE will shew – [aw-saw`] – to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application
·         Shall Fight – [law-kham`] – to feed on; to consume; to battle (as destruction)

In order for Moses to stand before the people and command that they stand still he must have FAITH in God.  Sharing your FAITH is important; Living by FAITH is life changing. (Reference: Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:17; Hebrews 10:38)

The lesson aim is to remind believers to stay strong in the midst of their battles.  More importantly, we must remember to teach all believers that anyone that pursues God will be pursued by the enemy. (Read: I Timothy 1:18)

Paul exhorts the church to prepare itself to engage in spiritual warfare. (Verse 10)  He appeals to the church to consider a spiritual strategy versus an approach driven by emotions. (Verses 11-12)  Paul repeats his initial request for the church to clothe itself in the armour of God if the church hopes to survive in the “evil day”.  (Verse 13)  In many of his letters to the church Paul urges them to “watch out, the devil is coming after you”.

·         The enemy is pulling on you
Paul challenges the church to walk in the spirit and not “lust of the flesh”. 
What is temptation? (Ref: Matthew 4:1-3 (Luke 4:1-2); Revelations 3:10)

How do we resist temptation? (Ref: James 4:7)

·         The enemy is pushing you
Paul challenges the church to “be ye stedfast, unmovable”.  Don’t let the pressure get to you. (Ref: Luke 21:34)

·         The enemy is provoking you

Paul challenges the church not to allow the devil to stir up strife between them. (Ref: Ephesians 4:26-27)
Church of the Living God
Bible Study Lesson
Presenter: Overseer Ennis F. Tait

Date:   Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Series: Spiritual Warfare
Reference Scripture:  Ephesians 6:13

Today’s Discussion:    “Hold Your Position”

In 1865 a very famous hymn entitled “Onward Christian Soldiers” was written to inspire children as they walked from the Horbury Bridge to the Horbury St. Peter’s Church.  The musical piece was adopted by the Salvation Army in 1871.  In addition Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Roosevelt used this same tune to open their peace meetings in 1941.  The origin of the hymn was drawn from Paul’s encouragement to Timothy as he prepared him for his pastoral assignment.  (Read: II Timothy 2:3-4)

·         Endure Hardness – [soong-kak-op-ath-eh-o] - to suffer hardship in company with:
·         Soldier – [strat-ee-o-tace] – a camper-out, i.e. a (common) warrior
·         Warreth – [strat-yoo-om-ahee] – to serve in a military campaign; to execute the apostolate; to contend with carnal inclinations.
·         Entangleth – [em-plek-o] – to entwine, i.e. involve with; a fix position; to twine or braid
·         Affairs – [prag-mat-i-ah] – a transaction, i.e. negotiation

Paul’s tenor in his message to the young pastor is strong.  He challenges Timothy to uphold a certain standard that God (through the Lord Jesus) has set for all those HE has enlisted (chosen to serve) in HIS army.

The lesson aim is to convey to all believers the seriousness of spiritual warfare.  More importantly, the “church” must be reminded that the spiritual battles in which we shall fight are not ours, but they are God’s.  Interestingly, there seems to be a misunderstanding on the part of the “church” as to who the real enemy is: (“for we wrestle not against flesh and blood”).  Paul warns the “church” of the evil forces that are operating in the “darkness of this world”. And as believers we are expected to stay “sober and vigilant”.   

In verse 13 the Apostle Paul issues a final command to the church regarding their involvement in spiritual warfare.  “Take unto you the whole armour of God” is the final clause in the rules of engagement warfare manual that commissions the soldier before he/she engage.  Paul warns the “church” stand strong in a time period that’s coming and filled with evil and difficulty.  (Read: I Timothy 4:1-3; II Timothy 3:1-7) 
According to the Apostle Paul, the “church” cannot afford to come unglued under the pressures of a worldly invasion.  There are battles inside the church that are in full array.  (Read: Romans 7:18; 23)  Thus, Paul uses the term “withstand” to expose the struggles we face to resist the temptations of the enemy. (Read: James 4:7; I Peter 5:8-9)  Paul tells them to “STAND”.  In addition Paul encouraged the church at Corinth “be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”.

Church of the Living God
Bible Study Lesson
Presenter: Overseer Ennis F. Tait

Date:   Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Series: Spiritual Warfare
Reference Scripture:  Ephesians 6:10-12

Today’s Discussion:    “The Dangers of Becoming Overwhelmed”

What happens when the light overcomes the darkness?  It creates a shadow.  (St. John 1:4-5; Romans 12:21; Luke 11:21-22) Jesus speaks power to the believer in John 16:33 to encourage him/her in their Christian walk, work and warfare: (Read St. John 16:33)

·         Tribulation – [thlip’-sis]; pressure; to crowd
·         Overcome – [nik-ah-o] – to subdue; conquest; the means of success (victory)

This verse serves as the premise for all the soldiers of God and their confidence in HIM. (Psalms 23:1-4; Daniel 3:17)

The lesson aim is to warn believers of the impending dangers of spiritual warfare.  More importantly, we must be aware of the traps and temptations the enemy has and continues to use against the church “to deprive us of heavenly blessings and to obstruct our communion with heaven”.     

The Apostle Paul summarizes the Christian struggle in three verses.  Paul’s words of exhortation are both warnings and encouragement.  Paul’s experience with the works of Satan gives him the credibility he needs to challenge the believers in the walk of faith.  Paul challenges the believer to “stand your ground” and fight the enemy.  But not according to the flesh, but in the spirit.  (Read Romans 8:1; II Corinthians 10:3)

So, here are the facts:
·         Satan is a spiritual enemy with a real agenda (John 10:10; I Peter 5:8)
·         We, the believers, are weak against the devil without the strength of Christ (verse 10)
·         We, the believers, are helpless against the stratagems of the devil without the power of God (verse 11)
·         Spiritual warfare is part of the Christian journey to maturity (II Corinthians 10:4)
·         We, the believers, cannot resist the temptations of the flesh if we walk outside the will and purpose of God for our lives (James 4:7)

The most important point in Paul’s message to the church is to stand.  If we allow the pressures of life to overwhelm us, we become vulnerable to the works of the flesh.  The flesh is very dangerous.  The flesh will cause us to step out of spiritual character and commit sins or acts of wickedness that we never knew existed. 

Remember the words of this great apostle recorded in Ephesians 5:15-17!
Church of the Living God
Bible Study Lesson
Presenter: Overseer Ennis F. Tait

Date:   Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Series: Spiritual Warfare
Reference Scripture:  Ephesians 4:24-32
Focus Verses: Ephesians 4:23

Today’s Discussion:    “Step by Step” (Precept by Precept – Isaiah 28:10-13)

God has outlined a course of life for all those that call on the name of HIS son, Jesus.  Once we accepted Christ as our personal savior, we were born into a spiritual life with God.  Now, we are expected to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 3:18)  In addition Peter provides an example of our path to maturity: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (I Peter 2:2)

·         Desire – [ep-ee-poth-eh-o]; to yearn; to dote upon, i.e. to intensely crave possession
·         grow – [owx-an-o] – to grow(“wax”), i.e. enlarge (increase)

The lesson aim is to encourage believers to submit to the will of God.  More importantly, we must be willing to make the necessary changes in our lives.  Paul’s letter to the Romans clearly establishes the protocol for initiating the steps toward spiritual maturity. (Read: Romans 12:1-2)  Likewise, Paul suggests that the renewing of the mind activates the Holy Spirit in us to start the process. (verse 23)  

The Apostle Paul’s describes these steps to maturity as a process.  If we hope to become spiritually mature, the process is essential and necessary.  We must learn to confront the negatives in our lives. (verse 22) 
·         “walk not as the other Gentiles walk”
·         “ putting away lying”
·         “Be ye angry, and sin not:”
·         “Neither give place to the devil.”
·         “Let him that stole steal no more: “
·         “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth”
·         “grieve not the holy Spirit of God”
·         “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

We must learn to embrace the positives that aid in our maturity: (verse 24)
·         “speak every man truth with his neighbour: “
“let not the sun go down upon your wrath:”
·         “but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”
·         “but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
·         “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”